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Fitna vs Expelled – Is Islamofascism similar to Darwinian fascism?

Are there parallels between the effects of “Big Science” Darwinism severe job discrimination against non-Darwinists as shown in Expelled, and recent terrorism by Jihadists?

The very controversial film Fitna offers a view on radical Islam and the Qur’an by by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV). It was just released today March 27th on the Internet, and already has over one million downloads each in English and Dutch. Wilders alternates verses from the Qur’an with terrorist events and statements by radical jihadists. Blogpulse of Fitna already lists 2110 messages or 0.1% of messages, compared to 1618 for Blogpulse Expelled Stein.

Compare prominent Darwinist PZ Myers Insisting:

“Don’t tell me to be dispassionate or less unreasonable about it all because because 65% of the American population think creationism should be taught alongside evolution,. . .
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. If you don’t care enough for the truth to fight for it, then get out of the way.”

Perspective, Pharyngula, Thursday, August 04, 2005

Similarly PZ Myers advocates:

“Our only problem is that we aren’t martial enough, or vigorous enough, or loud enough, or angry enough. The only appropriate responses should involve some form of righteous fury, much butt-kicking, and the public firing and humiliation of some teachers, many schoolboard members, and vast numbers of sleazy far-right politicians”(objecting to a creationist high school biology teacher and the education commissioner seeking instruction in “intelligent design creationism”)

What differences are there between imposing the beliefs of believers in Darwinism on others, with imposing the beliefs of radical Islam on others? Is either compatible with constitutional guarantees of religious liberty and speech?

Do we need to describe and strongly oppose such tactics as Darwinian Fascism?

Describing September 11, 2001, Stephen Schwartz defined:

“Islamofascism refers to use of the faith of Islam as a cover for totalitarian ideology. This radical phenomenon is embodied among Sunni Muslims today by such fundamentalists as the Saudi-financed Wahhabis, the Pakistani jihadists known as Jama’atis, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In the ranks of Shia Muslims, it is exemplified by Hezbollah in Lebanon and the clique around President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran.”

See: What Is ‘Islamofascism’? A history of the word from the first Westerner to use it. The Daily Standard 08/17/2006. See: Islamofascism at Wikipedia.

What do we need to do to vigorously uphold our rights to religious expression and speech? See:

fn2 [ Annotations ]

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day, and Human Rights Week, 2001

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

  • Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
  • Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, nonselfgoverning or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
  • Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

The film Fitna is available as follows (warning, disturbing themes and visuals):

{PS DLH added “radical” to Islam}

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150 Responses to Fitna vs Expelled – Is Islamofascism similar to Darwinian fascism?

  1. Are there parallels between the effects of “Big Science” Darwinism severe job discrimination against non-Darwinists as shown in Expelled, and recent terrorism by Jihadists?

    Not yet. The zealots from our training camps have yet to graduate (the selection regime is rather severe). But when they do, you’ll see waves of suicide bombings, hijackings and aerial assaults on centres of ignorance like churches, temples and warehouses of Chiquita Brands International. We were planning to target ISCID, but we can’t find it.

  2. 2

    You’ve seen fit to invoke Wikipedia, so consider that 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.

    The connection of Islamofascism to fascism is eminently clear, but I see no connection whatsoever of the socio-political radicalism of P. Z. Myers to fascism. Would you please explain in clear terms how the behavior of Myers and the few who are like him satisfies the definition of fascism?

    It appears to me that all you have done is to latch onto metaphoric language Myers used, and to attempt to get all the mileage you can from how “fascist- sounding” it is. You invoke the term “Darwinian fascism,” show us that Google yields a whopping 50 hits for the term (evidently in a sad attempt to legitimize it), and then juxtapose the term with a form of fascism much hated by Christians.

    I despise the rant of radical atheists like Myers and Dawkins. But I also despise the utterly base rhetoric you’ve engaged in here. And I also despise the stupidity of it. The notion that Myers literally IS a fascist because of the sound of his language is abominably stupid.

    If you can’t step through the definition of fascism and clearly demonstrate that the so-called Darwinian fascists literally embrace fascism, you need to admit that you stepped way over the line with your invocation of Islamofacism. I enjoy the ID debate — both sides of it, when articulated well — but this is an ugly episode.

  3. I agree with leo and turner. This thread is just over-the-top and unnecessary.

    Stop being so cavalier about words like facsism. If you are given the honor and responsibility of starting new threads on this blog, then start taking responsibility and give some thought to the things you post. This blog has already had to “take down” certain threads on “second thought” Alittle thought up front would eliminate that need.

    I’m not sure what you were thinking, DLH, but there is no reason for this kind of over-the-top posting.

  4. Turner Coates: Good point, Darwinian/Materialist Idealogy certainly does not fit the traditional definition. However, perhaps it would fit the definition of Totalitarianism better — the seeking of total power and control, without permitting any alternative viewpoints to be aired. In a word, total intolerance. Of course, you are right, the term FASCIST does much more to conjure up web hits as well as emotional responses.

    While it seems alarmist to call names and apply terms such as Fascist, it may in retrospect seem naive and living in a state of stupor and denial not to recognize the threat to our freedom. After several generations, the Darwinists/Materialists are frustrated that their domination of academia, education, and the media has not done the job brainwashing (whoops, I mean convincing) the populace of their beliefs. Consequently, they are hopping mad, feeling a heightened level of frustration. And when one feels frustrated, one is overcome by a compulsion to fix the problem through coercion and force.

    The commonality between the Materialists and the Islamofascists is the obsession that the entire world believe and behave as they do. The differences are both what they believe, and their style/modus operandi. Islamofascists are out of power in most places, so use violence to gain attention and influence. The Materialists are already in power, but strongly desire to stamp out any resistance by extinguishing the ability of others to communicate alternative ideas.

    The more accurate parallel is found in the old U.S.S.R., Communist Russia, in the 1920s/1930s. The leadership simply could not seem to stamp out the hideous practice of private ownership of small farms, primarily in the Ukraine. So what did these scheming megalomaniacs do? They choked off all means of transportation in the region, and millions died from starvation. Our Materialist bosses remember how effective such practices were. So, they are starving ID, choking off communication and dialogue. Plato is very disappointed, to say the least!!

  5. Speaking of fascism I assume y’all have read Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism. Nevertheless you’re right, the term is so over used it’s practically meaningless—ever since Stalin ordered the term be directed at his materialist rivals it’s been hurled at conservatives and traditionalists every time they open their mouths. So read the book and see Jonah Goldberg set the record straight.

    All grand ideologies with the power and the will to stifle dissent are dangerous. There seems to be a hunger out there for ideological peace—”can’t we all just get along!”—but isn’t it precisely the survival of dissenting parties that assures our safety?

    Today the diversity police mandate the celebration of every genre of cultural and moral depravity—real ideological dissent they squelch.

  6. Turner Coates et al.
    I am posing the question of whether there parallels.
    I agree that Darwinism exhibits extreme intolerance, as well as coercion.
    If you see Darwinism closer to Totalitarianism, by all means make the case. Consider some
    Characteristics of Darwinian Fascism/Totalitarianism
    *Requires dogmatic adherence to atelic evolution with extreme intolerance for other worldviews.
    It is enforced by financial, social and physical coercion:
    * Expelling scientists and teachers from their jobs.
    * Denying funding for research.
    * Preventing publication in journals.
    * Public abuse and peer pressure.
    * Organizations dedicated to identify and expose non-adherents.
    e.g. the effort by the National Center for Science Education to force Richard Sternberg out of the Smithsonian Institute.
    * “Applying” (Imposing) Darwinism through Eugenics
    * Imprisoning or killing objectors.
    (e.g. in the USSR under Stalin for not complying with Lysenkoism)

    Compare:
    Fascism

    (fsh´zm) (KEY) , totalitarian philosophy of government that glorifies the state and nation and assigns to the state control over every aspect of national life. . . .

    A second ruling concept of fascism is embodied in the theory of social Darwinism. The doctrine of survival of the fittest and the necessity of struggle for life is applied by fascists to the life of a nation-state. Peaceful, complacent nations are seen as doomed to fall before more dynamic ones, making struggle and aggressive militarism a leading characteristic of the fascist state. Imperialism is the logical outcome of this dogma.

    The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2007 Columbia University Press.
    (Emphasis added)
    Totalitarianism

    (ttl´´târ´nzm) (KEY) , a modern autocratic government in which the state involves itself in all facets of society, including the daily life of its citizens. A totalitarian government seeks to control not only all economic and political matters but the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population, erasing the distinction between state and society. The citizen’s duty to the state becomes the primary concern of the community, and the goal of the state is the replacement of existing society with a perfect society.

    The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. Copyright © 2007 Columbia University Press.

    Darwinian Fascism/Totalitarianism was applied in both Fascist states like in Hitler’s Germany, and Totalitarian states like Stalin ‘s USSR.

    See examples of PZ Myers etc committing to Deny tenure, or refuse to hire non-Darwinists etc. See discrimination by Darwinism in education etc.
    Perhaps the parallels will become clearer after you see Expelled. Let the debate continue – forcefully express your opinions- but let all do so freely.

    {DLH Changed “Darwinian Lysenkoism” to “Lysenkoism” per comments below}

  7. I just hope ID is right. Won’t we look silly.

  8. Upon further thought, one might conclude that, if one lived entirely logically in accordance with one’s belief system:

    A Moslem would murder infidels to cleanse the land.

    A Materialist/Darwinist would murder when it is convenient and pragmatic, or fits within one’s created fictional life purpose.

    A Christian would not murder since Christ set an example by going to the Cross without resisting, and even rebuking Peter for one swift slice of the sword, with the comment that those who live by the sword die by the sword.

    But then, as we are painfully aware every time we peer into the mirror, people are not entirely rational and do not behave in total accordance with their stated beliefs. For some, this is a good thing, for others, a bad thing.

  9. It is important to have the freedom to debate these ideas. You shouldn’t be labeled a weirdo for invoking a designer.

  10. DeepDesign

    It is important to have the freedom to debate these ideas.

    That is a critical issue at stake. Darwinism in practice coercively expells all other worldviews.

    At Darwinism’s foundation:
    Random Mutation + Natural Selection = Rule of the Jungle
    or
    Might makes right.

    Practioners then believe that since neo-Darwinian evolution is the ONLY “scientific” theory (in practice the only one allowed), it must be “right”, and all others are “wrong.”
    Therefore, as a “moral obligation” Darwinists must enforce it.
    Consequently PZ Myers committing to refuse tenure to anyone who does not toe his Darwinian line.

    Thus a key message of Expelled is to uphold foundational freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

    On your *8 – better to be “silly” and free than “proper” and in “prison”

  11. Only the Judeo/Christian ethic provides a rational justification for the “inherent dignity of the human person.” That is why Darwinism and Islam always lead to centralized tyranny. I don’t know why everyone is fussing over the word fascism and ignoring the main point.

  12. StephenB
    Good point – Fascism, Totalitarianism and Darwinism are all outworkings of this underlying defference in worldview.

    Key issue is how to maintain the freedoms foundational to the Judeo/Christian ethic while upholding that freedom of worship and expression to the Islamicist and Darwinists?

  13. —–DLH: “At Darwinism’s foundation:
    Random Mutation + Natural Selection = Rule of the Jungle
    or
    Might makes right.”

    Exactly right. The formula for liberation was established long ago.

    God confers dignity; dignity commands freedom; freedom leads to self government. Islam and Darwinism will have none of that.

  14. 14

    The definition you give for Islamofascism- whatever that is, exactly- is extremely poor. What exactly do all of those groups you mentioned have in common, besides being Muslim? And how exactly does fascism which was a European phenomenon of the 20th have anything to do with Islam? It seems to me that this term, Islamofascism, was coined to induce the gut reaction that we as Westerners have towards fascism when we hear of it. Using such a term only adds to the heavy sensationalism already pervasive in our media, and does little to foster any understanding. The Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt does not use violence for their political ends, so how exactly are they totalitarian? They are political party among others in Egypts. As for Ahmadinejad, he might say some crazy things, but he’s certainly against war. It seems like this post exemplifies Islamophobia, more than anything else. I highly doubt anyone on this list serve could really tell me the nuances of any of these groups besides expressing

    A question for many of you: why are you content with such absurd understandings of a religion which has more than a billion adherents amongst cultures as disparate as the Malay and African people? Where is Jesus’ imperative to be charitable, not only with one’s money but also in one’s judgment of others? If Islam really is so evil, then why so many adherents over centuries? It seems to me that if you believe that Islam is evil, then you will have to explain why these millions of people have been deluded, are just stupid or perhaps evil. The argument you’d be making would sound a lot like the argument Dawkins makes with respect to Christianity and all religions.

    If you all are true followers of Jesus, than I’d imagine you would heed his call for peace and for the rejection of violence. This requires dialogue, not only among our particular faith group, but also with the other with whom we may disagree.

  15. 15

    Also, why do many of you turn to films such as fitna for your understanding of Islam, a film clearly made to induce hatred, rather than the films and writings of mainstream Muslims? Isn’t this being a bit dishonest? Wouldn’t you advise a person interested in Christianity to learn about Christianity from one of its mainstream adherents?

  16. The heart of this issue on worldview is whether
    Lex Rex The Law is over the King,
    OR
    Rex Lex – The King’s Law
    See Samuel Rutherford Lex Rex
    Are the unalienable rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech upheld?
    OR
    Can a Darwinian oligarchy impose its worldview over all others?

    For a detailed discussion on Worldview issues see:
    Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth 2005 ISBN-10: 1581347464

  17. I, for one, look forward to the day when ID is the reigning paradigm in the biological sciences and all the Darwinian fascists are forced off into some academic backwater like a department of natural appreciation.

  18. mohammed.hussain at 16
    Thank you for differentiating between mainstream vs radical Islam. Gallup’s survey of 50,000 Moslems found that:
    Most Muslims ‘desire democracy’

    The movie Fitna publicizes the efforts of the 7% who coercively seek to impose radical Islam on the rest of the world.

    I will edit my posts above to better differentiate “radical Islam”.

    For all who desire the benefits of “democracy”, it is important to recognize that its benefits are only truly obtained in a democratic “REPUBLIC” that is a government under the rule of law where each person’s unalienable rights granted by the Creator are upheld.

  19. mohammed.husain,

    How can I say this correctly, without sounding uneducated. You and I (I’m a Christian), as people of the Book, have an enormous amount in common.

    I’m sure many followers of Islam would like to see Darwinism crumble, as much as we do.

    Let’s be friends.

  20. I don’t understand why everyone is avoiding the theme of this thread.

    Here is the relevant half with regard to Islam:

    Islamic law mandates second-class status for Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims in Islamic societies.

    These laws have never been abrogated or revised in any way by Islamic authroties.

  21. 21

    DeepDesign, thank you for the extension of friendship. I agree, I think anyone who knows Islam and Christianity well, knows they have a great deal in common. Yes, of course we would like to see Darwinism crumble, we would also like to have better relationships with our Christian brethren whom we have a great deal of respect for.

    For those of you interested in what its really like to live in a Muslim country, say, what many believe to be the axis of evil, Iran, take a look at the following website: http://30dayexperiment.blogspot.com/
    Its a weblog of a Mennonite couple that spent some time studying in the Iranian city of Qum (student exchange program), which is probably the most conservative city and has been historically a city of Islamic scholarship. I think, her experience should be valuable to many of you. She’s a devout Christian and her experience is one you’d never hear about in the press.

    As for dialogue, here is an article written by a mentor of mine with respect to the ongoing dialogue he has been engaged in with Christians:
    http://ahmadsamantho.wordpress.....ing-peace/

  22. mohammed.husain : “If Islam really is so evil, then why so many adherents over centuries?”
    Easy. Forced conversions, high birth rates (more kids = more Muslims), fear of rape and slaughter upon conversion to Christianity or anything else, discrimination against every other religion in Muslim countries (be Muslim or better to leave), religious justifications for beating ones wife (wives), the right to have as many women as can be purchased (just marry them all)…. the list is long.

    Islam is anything but a religion of peace, social justice and love. Anyone who dislikes Jews or Christians finds ample justification to persecute them in the Quran.

  23. 23

    Ekstasis (7):

    I’d characterize physicists, chemists, and biologists as generally elitist and authoritarian in the intellectual arena, but not in the socio-political arena. They’re ostensibly open to divergent scientific thought, but in reality the maverick had best have either an established reputation or a very strong case when challenging conventional wisdom. ID advocates have often suffered because they insisted on pushing “crackpot” ideas prior to establishing themselves as legitimate scientists.

    I believe that crackpots contribute enormously to the intellectual ferment that should exist at institutions of higher learning. And every once in a while, their ideas turn out to be fantastic. But a rule every academician knows is that cracks should not appear before a pot has gained tenure and promotion. If various ID advocates had been a bit less enthralled with the notion that a “design revolution” is at hand, and had cautiously established themselves before emphasizing their interest in ID, most of them would be ensconced in academia today.

    What matters most to me is how institutions of higher learning treat professors who’ve established themselves in the intellectual mainstream and advocated (or seemed to advocate) ID. We’ve been hearing nothing about how Michael Behe “suffers” at Lehigh. To my knowledge, his institution has treated him well, though he is maligned by some of his colleagues. It’s hugely ironic that Robert Marks II, who has much higher professional stature than Behe does, should have his web pages on evolutionary informatics deleted by a relatively conservative Baptist institution.

    I contend that the present-day conservatism in academia is a major problem for ID. Faculty members and students are too respectful of institutional authority. Much of academic freedom is rooted in past protests of scholars, and now that scholars rarely protest, university administrators get away with things like marking off small free-speech areas on their campuses. ID advocates should find it very distressing that I, an opponent of ID, actively opposed Baylor’s treatment of Marks while students and faculty at the institution did virtually nothing.

  24. “While students and faculty at the institution did virtually nothing.”

    This is because most people don’t care.

    “generally elitist and authoritarian in the intellectual arena”

    HMM it’s not only academics. You have to remember, everytime you see smutty shows on television, you can thank the fact that Darwinism pervades our culture.

  25. Even if ID is wrong. You are going to have to find something to replace nihilistic Darwinism.

    If you don’t.. well I hope I won’t be here.

  26. mohammed.hussain at 15
    Thanks for raising these issues. I want to keep this thread focused on the coercive features of Darwinsm.
    (Briefly on your other queries:

    “The definition you give for Islamofascism- whatever that is, exactly- is extremely poor.”
    See the quote from Stephen Schwartz who coined its current use after September 11, 2001.
    If you see otherwise, please add a section to the Wikipedia article to voice those objections and cite references supporting that.

    “If Islam really is so evil, then why so many adherents over centuries?”
    Perhaps you could examine the “abrogation” of the “peace” sura for the “sword” sura.
    Fr. Zakaria Botros appears to be an expert on classic Arabic, the Qu’ran and such issues.
    See numerous links to “Islam Sword”.

    The Muslim Brotherhood appears both to have rejected violence and to have a reputation for it. Does it support Israel’s right to exist and unalienable rights to religion and speech?

    You say

    ”As for Ahmadinejad, he might say some crazy things, but he’s certainly against war.”

    What do you mean by “against war” or “peace”?
    Is this the freedom for all to freely worship according to their conscience? OR is it to impose Sharia law over everyone?
    See reports on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Israel and Nuclear program of Iran. There are many around the world who understood him to be seeking war, to destroy Israel, and to be building a nuclear weapons program to do so.

    If you could persuade Ahmadinejad to clearly seek true peace, uphold Israel’s right to exist and provide actions to support that, we would all breath a big sigh of relief – while insisting on “Trust but verify”.)

    Back to the central issue for Intelligent Design: Can those who seek to pursue Intelligent Design do so with with “academic freedom” without fearing for their jobs, research funding and reputations, or whether atheistic Darwinism will continue to be coercively imposed on them.

  27. 27

    Ekstasis, that was 5, not 7.

    DLH (7):
    You seem to believe that similar phrases express truly similar ideas. “Darwinian fascism” is just a weak metaphor and a smear. Now you invoke “social Darwinism” as a secondary attribute of fascism. So what?! I have known a great number of Darwinists, but I have never met a social Darwinist. Most intellectuals, including neo-Darwinists, regard social Darwinism as a weak metaphor taken literally by a dangerous few.

    Darwinian Fascism/Totalitarianism was applied in both Fascist states like in Hitler’s Germany, and Totalitarian states like Stalin ’s USSR.

    No, totalitarian states have integrated warped extensions of Darwinian thought into the ideologies they pushed on their citizens. The social Darwinism that fits well with fascism has absolutely no place in communist ideology. The upshot is that you are lumping together radically different distortions of Darwinism.

    Connecting social Darwinism, which is hugely different from Darwinism, with fascism in no way supports your claim that there literally exists a Darwinian fascist movement in the U.S. You have simply gone over the top with your rhetoric.

  28. 28

    DLH,

    None of the links you posted work. The one that did, leads me to a site in Arabic. Do you read Arabic? I sure don’t.

    But this is what I mean, my friend, why don’t you ever guide me to a website run by a mainstream Islamic scholar? The sites you’ve cited clearly have an agenda. “Islam Sword,” come on man. This isn’t honest, its not serious and using your own standards its not Christian.

  29. I think Darwinists are big into moral relativism.

  30. 30

    The site I posted, 30dayexperiment.blogspot.com, was one written by a devout Mennonite Christian living in a devout Islamic city. It wasn’t written by a self-hating Christian, or a Muslim with an agenda. I’d expect the same level of academic honesty.

  31. mohammed.husain,

    I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about DLH’s good intentions.

    I’m sure it was merely a mistake.

  32. 32

    If you want to understand Ahmadinejad see this: http://www.countercurrents.org/qarai280907.htm.

    What does Israel’s right to exist have to do with our conversation? Does Israel recognize Hamas’ right to exist as a democratically elected political party?

  33. Mohammed — A question for many of you: why are you content with such absurd understandings of a religion which has more than a billion adherents amongst cultures as disparate as the Malay and African people?

    I support a Moslem’s right to express his view and try to persuade others to adopt it without fear of persecution by the state, and with the understanding that the state will conclusively dissuade others from interfering with that right — and, of course, that is the status Moslems have in America.

    But do you not believe that a Christian (Jew/Hindu/Buddhist/atheist) should have the same right to proclaim and proselytize in Saudi Arabia or Iran? How about Turkey? If a Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon goes door-to-door in Ankara what is the likelihood of him getting beaten or arrested?

    If you could convince me that it was very low, and show me organized influential Moslem groups working hard to make that the case in Medina and Riyadh and Tehran and Damascus, my opinion of Islam might improve.

  34. 34

    Clearly, many of the responses I’m hearing are responses that are the result of our media that has sensationalized so much of the Middle East and Islam in general. Someone said earlier that “Moslems would murder infidels to cleanse their land.” Well, can I ask you, have any of you encountered a Muslim personally whom they felt physically threatened by? It seems, as if your real positive experience of me and normal Muslims like me, is ignored in favor of images fed by the media of Muslims you’ve never met or encountered.

  35. mohammed, is there anything i can help you with?

  36. 36

    DLH (11) combines parody and chopped logic:

    At Darwinism’s foundation:
    Random Mutation + Natural Selection = Rule of the Jungle
    or
    Might makes right.

    Practioners then believe that since neo-Darwinian evolution is the ONLY “scientific” theory (in practice the only one allowed), it must be “right”, and all others are “wrong.”
    Therefore, as a “moral obligation” Darwinists must enforce it.

    Are you just spinning, or do you truly understand evolutionary theory so poorly? A number of “living fossils” are anything but “mighty.” Cockroaches have been around for many millennia, but I’ve never encountered one that could lick me in a fistfight.

    Again, to go from Darwinism to social Darwinism is a huge leap. Most present-day intellectuals are acutely aware of this.

    Allen MacNeill has done a wonderful job of explaining here a wide range of challenges to the neo-Darwinian paradigm. These challenges have NOT been suppressed by mainstream evolutionists. It seems to me that there is widespread acknowledgment that a paradigm shift is coming, but that there is simply no replacement yet for neo-Darwinism. If you buy into Kuhn’s interpretation of the history of science, scientists will not abandon neo-Darwinism simply because shortcomings are evident. A superior alternative will have to come along.

    If you truly believe that mainstream evolutionists are morally committed to forcing neo-Darwinism on the masses, you have been living far too much of your life in the blogosphere.

  37. mohammed.hussain
    I hope I have fixed all the links.
    I do not know of any other Arabic scholars. Not knowing your location/expertise, I gave both Arabic and English links.

    Per: ““Islam Sword,” come on man.”
    I gave a general Google links to all sites, both pro and contra Islam. Search on whether the Sword sura apply today or not!

    The major international concern over radical Islam is its commitment to use the “sword” to impose Islam on others. For modern examples see the plight of those persecuted by radical Islam in Indonesia and the Sudan. For historic examples, how did Islam take over the strongly Christian countries of northern Africa and Turkey. Do your homework before flippantly dismissing the issue.

  38. mohammed.husain,

    What is your opinion on Sufism? Do you feel that mystics in the Islamic tradition are a good thing, and should be encouraged?

    http://www.al-islam.org/belief.....ffism.html

    The reason I ask is because it is the one place within Islam that I have found a love for peace, and a “melting in God”. And yet my Moslem friend that I see at the gym seems to have a negative regard. I asked him “but is this not a good thing?”. He did not seem to have much of an answer.

  39. mohammed –

    It’s a matter of values, not theology but If someone has theology that allows (or even demands) that force be used to overturn values that I hold dear (freedom of thought/speech) there are going to be issues.

    And this applies as well, btw, to Christian denominations.

    And I agree that many, maybe even most Moslems, share my values but if you do share my values you ought to join me in standing up for them — defend Ayaan Hirsi Ali, condemn the murderer of Theo van Gogh, condemn honor killings, support the right of Israel to exist, support freedom of speech and religion in Saudi Arabia.

    I’ve known Moslems and I’ved liked them. We are in the midst of a war on terror, not a war on Islam.

  40. Turner Coates on 11

    If you truly believe that mainstream evolutionists are morally committed to forcing neo-Darwinism on the masses,

    Regardless of whether the “mainstream” does, the problem is with the Darwinian “Oligarchy” such as the NAS, PZ Myers Larry Moran etc. who do so, and enforce it with rejecting tenure, rejecting grants, rejecting papers etc.

    See Richard Wiekart’s
    From Darwin to Hitler
    He traces the connections.
    Neo-Darwinism may not be “Social Darwinism”, or Hitlers Nazi regime. However, similar principles undergird and lead to each of them.

    See the parallels with the Global Warming vs Climate Change debates.

    Listen to: Vaclav Klaus, Ph.D. President, Czech Republic, We Should Not Make Big Mistakes over Climate Change, Audio

    Those who have lived under Communism or close to it are most sensitive to such issues of coercion.

    Re: “These challenges have NOT been suppressed by mainstream evolutionists.” Maybe in Journals, but any hint that Neo-Darwinism is not “Fact” is vigorously opposed in textbooks and school science “standards.”

  41. Mohammed:

    Turner Coates:

    Neither of you have addressed my point. Neither Darwinism nor Islam provides a rational justification for freedom; neither ideology contains any basic teaching on the inherent dignity of the human person. Please address this point.

  42. 42

    DeepDesign (26) extends the list of -isms:

    Even if ID is wrong. You are going to have to find something to replace nihilistic Darwinism.

    Facism didn’t suffice, so we’ve since seen Darwinism associated with communism and totalitarianism and social Darwinism and, now, nihilism. Why not give up the shotgun and cast a wide net, bad-ism. American culture is rife with bad-ist Darwinism.

  43. Turner Coates at 44
    Do you acknowledge the importance of the freedoms cited in DLH 1?
    Do you acknowledge the coercive items noted at DLH 7 or do you hold that they do not happen?

    If they do happen, how to we redress them?

  44. Yes, oddly enough. Only a purposeful world view allows liberty to flourish.

    “American culture is rife with bad-ist Darwinism.”

    Yes. If we go with the Church of Darwin, the future of society will be very bleak.

  45. Also, Turner, you don’t see me writing that ID is correct. It might not be.

    Darwinism is an insufficent world view to act as foundation for a stable, sane society.

  46. DLH @ 7 –

    Consider some
    Characteristics of Darwinian Fascism/Totalitarianism

    * Imprisoning or killing objectors.

    I see. Are you going to give us evidence that people have been imprisoned or killed for not supporting Darwinism?

  47. 47

    Ekstasis (39):

    I, too, am well disposed to Sufism. To my knowledge, there are mystics in all of the world’s major religions, and there is a remarkable convergence of their beliefs.

    Having taught Muslim students from America, a former Soviet republic, Africa, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim, I can tell you that the spectrum of beliefs in Islam is at least as broad as that in Christianity. You should expect many Muslims to view Sufis somewhat as many Christians view Quakers.

  48. Bob O’H at 47
    See the line after: * Imprisoning or killing objectors.
    “(e.g. in the USSR under Stalin for not complying with Lysenkoism).”

    Imprisonment and death have happened to many scientists in at least one regime grounded on Darwinian principles and enforcing Darwinian dogma. Remember:

    “[t]hose who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it”

    GEORGE SANTAYANA, LIFE OF REASON 284 (1905).
    {DLH changed “Darwinian Lysenkoism” to “Lysenkoism” per comments below}

  49. Bob O’H:

    Turner Coates:

    Mohammed:

    It is belief in the “inherent dignity of the human person” that provides the ultimate foundation for freedom of speech. Like all “natural rights,” the right to self expression is, in essence the right to exercise one’s “moral conscience,” which is the individual’s capacity to recognize the natural moral law and act on it. It is only because an individual can act as an independent moral agent, (or act on conscience) that he can claim the right to be free from the state’s imposition of its own brand of morality, which, if not based on the natural moral law, is always arbitrary.

    Thus, true freedom, that variety which was provided for by the founding fathers, is the right “to follow the dictates of our conscience.” False freedom, that variety which we now unwisely claim for ourselves, is the right “to follow the cravings of our appetites.” The first leads to a well-ordered society; the second always leads to tyranny. In other words, we are becoming less free because we have stopped believing in our own sales pitch about Godly freedom.

    Neither Islam nor Darwinism accepts the inherent dignity of the human person, or by extension, the derivative principle that individuals “deserve” to be free. Under the circumstances, there is no thought of allowing one to self actualize or search for one’s personal destiny, because there is nothing “in” the individual (conscience) that could possibly justify it.

    That is why Darwinism and Islam tend toward centralization and tyranny. Neither accepts the basic premise of freedom in which God confers dignity, dignity justifies freedom, and freedom demands self government. Darwinism militates against freedom by denying purpose in nature and the derivative concept of “natural rights.” To deny design in nature is to deny anything like a “natural moral law” or “conscience,” both necessary conditions for freedom. Islam militates against freedom by denying “universal moral values.” There is no equivalent to the “golden rule,” which means that charity is due only to “believers.” As a result, each relegates the individual to an inferior role in a master/slave relationship. The difference is this: Darwinism does it in the name of the state; Islam does it in the name of God.

  50. 50

    DLH (41), you’ve finally hit on an appropriate term:

    Regardless of whether the “mainstream” does, the problem is with the Darwinian “Oligarchy” such as the NAS, PZ Myers Larry Moran etc. who do so, and enforce it with rejecting tenure, rejecting grants, rejecting papers etc.

    I don’t think there’s a reasonable argument against the notion that the social structure of the scientific community is oligarchical. A disproportionate amount of authority and power lies with an elite. Personally, I think that’s the way science should be. Of course, a movement trying to force change on scientific institutions through socio-political means wouldn’t see it that way.

    Lumping Myers and Moran with the members of the NAS is absurd. They’re simply lightning rods of Darwinist bad-ism. It’s been indicated here recently that Myers does not yet have tenure at his institution. He certainly is not a member of the scientific power-elite. As a Canadian professor in a Canadian university, Moran has at best an indirect influence on science policy in the U.S.

    So I agree that science is socially oligarchical. But who are the prominent Darwinian bad-ists in the NAS, and what are the awful things they have been saying?

  51. 51

    DLH says,

    Neo-Darwinism may not be “Social Darwinism”, or Hitlers Nazi regime. However, similar principles undergird and lead to each of them.

    You keep alluding to these principles, and you keep dropping links into your comments. Would you please explicitly identify the “similar principles” underlying the various manifestations of bad-ism?

  52. It seems like you are loosing your cool here Turner.

  53. 53

    No equivalent to the golden rule in Islam? really? You must not know Islam very well. “Hal jazaa ala ihsaan-e illal ehsaan.” Paraphrased roughly as “Is the recompense of good anything but good.” This is a verse of the Qur’an. Now proceed on to explain it away.

  54. 54

    StephenB (42) says,

    Neither Darwinism nor Islam provides a rational justification for freedom; neither ideology contains any basic teaching on the inherent dignity of the human person. Please address this point.

    The very way you have phrased your point is either muddled, if unintentional, or manipulative, if intentional. It is absurd to link a religion and a scientific theory in a single statement, as you have.

    However much you dislike Islam, it deserves to be treated as religion, and not mere ideology. However much you dislike Darwinism, it deserves to be treated as scientific theory, and not mere ideology. And even if you insist on thinking in terms of ideology, there are huge differences between religion and science.

    But that last point is at the crux — most ID advocates believe that science, when conducted “properly,” yields capital-T Truth just as reading “the right” holy book does. I say that science yields only a tentative understanding, subject always to revision.

    There is as much more to Islam than Christians find in the Qu’ran as there is to Christianity than Muslims find in the Bible. A huge portion of Christian doctrine originates with theologians and church leaders who lived centuries after Jesus walked the earth. The situation is similar with contemporary Islamic doctrine.

  55. ???? ????

    It’s not possible that a billion plus Muslims surrender the faith, but there will be war until Islam’s silent majority (if there is such) rises up against the fanatical hatred that now convulses the religion—this utterly irrational hate for Israel, Jews, Christians, and other kafirs (?????).

    A reasonable read recommended for all nonfanatical folks in this thread is Dinesh D’Souza.

  56. —–Turner Coates: “The very way you have phrased your point is either muddled, if unintentional, or manipulative, if intentional. It is absurd to link a religion and a scientific theory in a single statement, as you have.”

    I made a very definitive statement that should either be conceded of refuted. You ignored the bottom line and reached for a qualification, a sure sign that, as of yet, you cannot refute the main point. So, I will make it again.

    Neither Darwism nor Islam accepts the basic premise of freedom in which God confers dignity, dignity justifies freedom, and freedom demands self government. Darwinism militates against freedom by denying purpose in nature and the derivative concept of “natural rights.” To deny design in nature is to deny anything like a “natural moral law” or “conscience,” both necessary conditions for freedom. Islam militates against freedom by denying “universal moral values.” There is no equivalent to the “golden rule,” which means that charity is due only to “believers.” As a result, each relegates the individual to an inferior role in a master/slave relationship. The difference is this: Darwinism does it in the name of the state; Islam does it in the name of God.

  57. 57

    DeepDesign says,

    Darwinism is an insufficent world view to act as foundation for a stable, sane society.

    Where in the world did you get the notion that Darwinism is a world view? It’s a scientific theory, and many have been foolish enough to allow it to permeate their world views. Blame that on poor education in philosophy and religion, not the theory.

    (Richard Dawkins knows more evolutionary biology than I ever will, but I carry more philosophical acumen in the tip of my left pinky than he does in the whole of his being.)

  58. Bob O’H at 47
    See the line after: * Imprisoning or killing objectors.
    “(e.g. in the USSR under Stalin for not complying with Darwinian Lysenkoism).”

    Do you have the faintest clue what you’re on about here? Here is one quote from him (source pdf):

    The representatives of Neo-Darwinism, the Mendelist-Morganists, hold that the efforts of investigators to regulate the heredity of organisms by changes in the conditions of life of these organisms are utterly unscientific. They, therefore, call the Michurin trend in agro-biology Neo-Lamarckian, which, in their opinion, in absolutely faulty and unscientific.

    Sound like a follower of Darwin to you?

  59. This is a very snotty comment Leo.

    “in hopes of riling up those interested, but ill-informed onlookers, who don’t know any better.”

    Alongst the lines of

    “Everyone else had better shut up.”

  60. Oh this is going to get very nasty once Expelled hits the theaters.

  61. “Darwinian Lysenkoism” is an oxymoron.

    Unfortunately, DLH’s comment is only moros without any sign of being oxy.

  62. Turner Coates at 59

    Consider 1998, 7% NAS scientists believe in God while 72% disbelieve in God. 5.5% of NAS Biologists believe in God.
    National Academy of Science

    The executive of NAS has defined ID as not “science.” It a priori excludes any explanation from intelligent causation, rather than allowing evaluation of empirical evidence against competing models to see which better explain and predict the evidence.

  63. The link between the Holocaust and Darwinism is stronger than the proposed Soviet – Darwin linkage.

  64. 64

    DLH,

    Do you acknowledge the coercive items noted at DLH 7 or do you hold that they do not happen?

    I think you need to look up strong words like coercive in the dictionary before using them for effect. There has been some ugly infringement on the academic freedom of ID advocates.

    There have also been some cases in which ID advocates were rightfully denied tenure because of substandard scholarship — tenure committees have the legal right to maintain orthodoxy, and that’s why some of the “expelled” will fare better on the big screen than in open court.

  65. leo stotch 55, Bob O’H at 60, sparc 63 etc.
    I agree with you on “Darwinian Lysenkoism”, so I deleted “Darwinian” above.

    I am trying to point out fascist and/or totalitarian imposition of world views with consequential loss of freedoms, and that those regimes were also undergirded by Darwinian principles and/or imposing them.

    Note that Darwin’s “Origin of Species” was instrumental in turning Stalin from the priesthood to a tyrant.
    See: E. Yaroslavsky, Landmarks in the Life of Stalin (Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing house, 1940), pp. 8-12.

  66. 66

    DLH says,

    Darwinian Lysenkoism

    Absurd. Don’t just link to the article — read it! Lysenkoism ran contrary to the synthesis of Mendelian genetics and Darwinism we now call neo-Darwinism.

  67. —-mohammed: “No equivalent to the golden rule in Islam? really? You must not know Islam very well. “Hal jazaa ala ihsaan-e illal ehsaan.” Paraphrased roughly as “Is the recompense of good anything but good.” This is a verse of the Qur’an. Now proceed on to explain it away.”

    There is nothing to explain away. That passage does not even come close to replicating the golden rule.

    The Islamic community has responded to the “Universal Declaration of Human rights on two different occasions. In neither case did they acknowledge the freedom to worship as one chooses.

    “There is for you an excellent example to follow in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people: ‘we are clear of you and whatever ye worship besides Allah: We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, emnity and hatred forever, unless you believe in Allah and him alone.”

    Qur’an 60:4

  68. 68

    StephenB (50) says,

    Thus, true freedom, that variety which was provided for by the founding fathers, is the right “to follow the dictates of our conscience.”

    The United States is, as a nation, very much a product of Enlightenment thought. When Thomas Jefferson wrote of self-evident truths in the Declaration of Independence, he meant truths that could be arrived at by capital-R Reason. In those days, conservative religious belief was that monarchs ruled by divine right, and the American leaders of the revolution did not believe that people should be self-governing on the basis of any holy book, but indeed on the basis of human reason.

    Personally, I believe that the Church of Reason is a cold and sterile place, but I wouldn’t say that the ideological errors of the Founders made our nation corrupt.

  69. 69

    DLH says,

    The executive of NAS has defined ID as not “science.”

    Those fascists!

    It’s been some time since I looked at the NAS statement, but my recollection is that it explains that ID violates the methodological naturalism that almost all scientists require of scientific investigation. Thus the statement did not define ID as not science, but pointed out that ID violates a definition of science that was in place before creation science went belly-up (1987).

    Few members of the NAS believe in God, but that is hardly prima facie evidence that they’re anti-religion.

  70. 70

    StephenB (69):

    When I took Bible courses in college, I learned what awful shenanigans preachers had been up to with their “proof texts.” To compare a negative proof text from another person’s holy book to the most positive you can find in your own, and leave the impression that you’ve nailed the other person, is ugly.

    Do you really see yourself doing unto Mohammed Husain as you would have him do unto you? It seems to me that the Golden Rule can be offered only gently. You certainly can’t use it as a cudgel. When Confucius offered the “rule,” he phrased it as a question in response to a question.

  71. Turner Coates at 71

    The United States is, as a nation, very much a product of Enlightenment thought. When Thomas Jefferson wrote of self-evident truths in the Declaration of Independence, he meant truths that could be arrived at by capital-R Reason.

    See Wallbuilders for the story behind that spin and more actual history.
    Particularly see:David Barton’s book: Uncommon Descent ISBN-10: 1414311613.

    I am afraid you will have a hard time justifying Endowed by their creator with unalienable rights” from “reason”.
    See also “laws of Nature’s God”, reliance on Providence, and the appeal to Judge of the world.

  72. Turner Coates, you make some very good points here in your comment above.

    I think it is very important to make sure people realize ID and Evangelical Christianity are not one and the same.

  73. Turner coates at 72

    Re NAS “ID violates the methodological naturalism that almost all scientists require of scientific investigation.”

    “Methodological naturalism” is reasonable if you are looking purely at natural laws, excluding all intelligent causation.

    However, we are now on the bring of the “second scientific revolution” which has to address the coded data in DNA, apparent design and irreducible complexity within the cell etc.

    To do so, tellic intelligent causation is one option while atellic naturalism is the other.

    Models of intelligent causation may well fit this empirical data better than atellic nature. To test for this, methodological naturalism needs to be relaxed.

    A priori forbidding that option, leaves those who do so only able to examine the smaller universe of atellic models. They cannot then validly comment on tellic models of intelligent causation.

    Intelligent causation models and can be developed by examining known intelligent causation by human agents.

    In this post, it is the coercive aspect that is particularly troubling that the NAS lumps the lot together and says “not science”. Furthermore, those at the Smithsonian Institute were some of the worst offenders in that effort to evict Richard Sternberg, discredit him, and ruin his career.

  74. Not to belabor the obvious…but there is indeed a link between Darwin and totalitarianism. And that link is theory.

    Theory totalizes value. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Plato’s theory of the Ideas, or Descartes’ theory of the affections, or Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection, or Nietzsche’s theory of the will to power—or, for that matter, a certain very famous scientist’s theory of spacetime.

    In each instance, theory uses the mind’s capacity for qualitative resistance to totalize value and suppress the varieties of experience. Or to put it more positively (we’ll force ourselves to be kind), theory seeks to unify experience through a dialectical concept of value.

    Now as it happens, there is a direct link between Nazi fascism and Darwin through Nietzsche and the will to power, which is based on the survival of the fittest. Naziism is a political expression of the superman; it is futile to claim otherwise. Whether or not Hitler actually “understood” Nietzsche is a moot point. He understood him in his own way, and that’s where the trouble began.

    But more germane to the present discussion is the link between Natural Selection and the totalitarianism on display in our universities. Darwin’s theory facilitates totalitarianism for the very reason that it is a theory. Just as Plato’s theory of value led to the totalitarianism of the Republic, where no dissent was tolerated, so the totality that is Darwinism cannot tolerate any discontents. Dissenters must be labeled madmen to preserve the integrity of the façade of power and absolute certainty.

    Unfortunately all theories are vulnerable to one little fact of existence: observation. The totalitarian façade that is Darwinism is crumbling because of a virtual outpouring of toney high-tech studies in basic science that clearly indicate design. Those who report these study results are not able to utter the word “design”—after all, they do want to get published—but the design inference is clearly evident in their results.

    The totalitarianism on display in Darwinism is being undermined by hard science; by the varieties of experience, which become more interesting than the theory with each passing day. The more we study nature, the more obvious it becomes that Darwin’s quaint little story about value is suspect. And this makes it increasingly difficult to enforce orthodoxy (which accounts for the rhetoric seen in Dawkins, Harris, Myers, et al).

  75. —–Turner Coates: “The United States is, as a nation, very much a product of Enlightenment thought. When Thomas Jefferson wrote of self-evident truths in the Declaration of Independence, he meant truths that could be arrived at by capital-R Reason. In those days, conservative religious belief was that monarchs ruled by divine right, and the American leaders of the revolution did not believe that people should be self-governing on the basis of any holy book, but indeed on the basis of human reason.”

    As it turns out, that simply is not true. That is the politically correct version of history. If you want to know what the founding fathers really thought, just read the inscriptions on the monuments in Washington D. C. The one phrase you will not find is, “In reason do we place our trust.”

    Read all of the state constitutions. I each case, they fall all over themselves to pay tribute to the “God” who has provided “blessings.” Further, all of the enlightenment ideas about natural rights were derived from Biblical principles. I suggest that you read, “How The Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, by Rodney Stark.” Or, read “Triumph of reason,” by the same author.

    Again, you are not addressing the issue. How do you provide the moral justification for freedom? To say that it is based on “reason” is to beg the question. The Declaration of Independence is less about reason and more about the self-evident principles that reason points to. What are those principles? We are endowed by our CREATOR with certain inalienable rights. They come from “the laws of nature” (the natural moral law) and “natures God” (The lawgiver) For Darwinism there is no “natures God,” no “natural moral law,” no “natural rights” or no “design.” According to that mind set, all these things are “illusory,” meaning, of course, that they could hardly be self evident.

  76. Turner Coates at 73 has a good point on the Golden Rule.

    Lets work to apply it.

    More on the Golden Rule
    Harry S. Gensler (Dissertation etc. on the GR)
    Ethics 08 The Golden Rule Gensler

    Statements of the Golden Rule

    The Golden Rule at Teaching Values

    Ethic of reciprocity Wikipedia (which is happy to mention the Dalai Lama, but has an aversion to Jesus.)

  77. 79,

    If you go to the ISCID website and check out the society fellows.

    There really is a diverse set of Design supporters, you have everthing from theists and deists to Buddhists and agnostics. That is the way it should be.

  78. And everything in between. ;)

  79. —–Turner Coates: “Do you really see yourself doing unto Mohammed Husain as you would have him do unto you? It seems to me that the Golden Rule can be offered only gently. You certainly can’t use it as a cudgel. When Confucius offered the “rule,” he phrased it as a question in response to a question.”

    I am responding to the theme of the thread. If everyone wants to put aside the discussion about Islam and focus on Darwinism threat to freedom, I will be happy to do that. Meanwhile, I don’t appreciate your insinuation that I am violating the golden rule by pointing out that Islam makes no provisions for it. I haven’t done anything TO Mohammed other than present facts to him. Is it your opinion that withholding truth is a loving thing to do? As a point of interest, I would be willing to drop the matter altogether at this point and join forces with Mohammed to criticize the destructive world view of Darwinism.

  80. DLH:

    Ethic of reciprocity Wikipedia (which is happy to mention the Dalai Lama, but has an aversion to Jesus.)

    I don’t get your claim that Wikipedia “has an aversion to Jesus” in this context. The article sites nearly a dozen verses, all Jesus’ words. More is quoted of Jesus than of the Dali Lama (one small quote). Though Jesus is not specifically mentioned, his message is clearly stated, and the quotes are clearly attributed to him by anyone who looks up the citations in a red-letter edition of the Bible, or anyone who reads in context.

    {DLH – yes, but the attribution to Jesus is in a footnote, not in the main text.}

  81. 81

    DLH (76):

    You previously said that the NAS defined ID not to be science. Now you’re saying what is correct, namely that the NAS does not accept revised notions of science coming from ID theorists.

    I think Mike Gene’s characterization of ID as proto-science is reasonable. It’s going to take a lot of scholarly work to build a case for revising the demarcation of science. It’s not good enough for ID advocates to proclaim passionately, “Darwinism is BAD and the only remedy is to make science include ID,” and then whisper, “OK, and astrology, too.” (I’m alluding, of course, to Behe’s Dover testimony.)

    I believe that the scientific establishment indeed should be very conservative in its view of what constitutes science. Members of the ID movement have energized many of you here with talk of a “design revolution,” but I have to say on general principle — not as a response to ID in particular — that when you seek radical change in the definition of science, you should expect to labor long and hard to realize that change.

  82. Yeah, and when he put that thing in about their Creator (captial C) he was just goofing.

  83. 83

    StephenB (78) asks,

    Again, you are not addressing the issue. How do you provide the moral justification for freedom?

    Fallacy of the complex question. It is not a foregone conclusion that the justification must be moral, or that a justification is required at all. For instance, Sartre said that we are condemned to freedom.

    My thoughts on personal freedom are irrelevant here. What I consider relevant is that science does not provide an adequate basis for ethical or moral beliefs. The fact that some magpies work Darwinism into their belief systems in bizarre ways is not an indictment of the scientific theory.

    There are New Agers invoking quantum mechanics to thatch their nests. Shall I attack QM in response to how they use it? Are you aware that relativity was attacked from the pulpit for a number of years? Preachers saw the Einsteinian universe as a contradiction of the Bible. Now almost everyone is comfortable with relativity — seeing the explosion of an A-bomb is compelling. Prior to the Hiroshima, naysayers might have gotten away with calling relativity a just-so story.

    Now we all accept relativity and QM as excellent scientific theories (despite their conflict). No one asks what they do or do not morally justify. The big moral question connected to relativity is whether Truman should have used the technology based on the theory as he did.

    So what is special about neo-Darwinism, that you call it to task on moral grounds? I say that scientific theories attempting to account for the diversity of living things on earth should be treated just as other scientific theories. People may use those theories to “bomb” culture immorally, but the theories themselves remain morally neutral.

  84. —–Turner Coates: Are you aware that relativity was attacked from the pulpit for a number of years? Preachers saw the Einsteinian universe as a contradiction of the Bible. Now almost everyone is comfortable with relativity — seeing the explosion of an A-bomb is compelling. Prior to the Hiroshima, naysayers might have gotten away with calling relativity a just-so story.

    Yes, I am well aware of that episode. Untrained preachers say a lot of silly things. You have not been very specific, but I assume you are referring to the fact that some misguided fundamentalists, who did not understand the General Theory of relativity, mistakenly equated it with “moral relativism.” That is hardly commensurate to what I have put on the table.”

    —–“So what is special about neo-Darwinism, that you call it to task on moral grounds? I say that scientific theories attempting to account for the diversity of living things on earth should be treated just as other scientific theories. People may use those theories to “bomb” culture immorally, but the theories themselves remain morally neutral.”

    Neo-Darwinism is more than a scientific theory, because it asserts that design in nature is “illusory.” So, I am taking Darwinism and you seriously by pointing to the implications involved in denying teleology in nature. The founding fathers were design theorists. The Declaration of Independence, for example, insists that design in nature is real, as is the “natural moral law,” “natural rights,” a Divine lawgiver” and the “inherent dignity of the human person.” Further, it makes the argument that these things are self-evident and, because they are self evident, we ought to base our freedoms on them. In other words, “the laws of nature” and “natures God” mandate freedom and also provide the rational justification for it.

    Darwinism, on the other hand, negates all of this by claiming that all of these things are unreal, that any hint of self evident design in nature is misleading. Therefore, Darwinism undoes the very bases of political freedom by insisting that nature cannot possibly reveal those self evident truths that Jefferson and company were talking about. To deny design in nature is to deny evidence of morality, natural laws, and natural rights. Thus, to deny design is to deny natural rights.

  85. Update: LiveLeak pulls film because of coercive threats:

    Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.
    This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else.

    The threat that Geert Wilder sought to publicize by his film about the Quran appears to have been realized in Britain.

    Blogpulse (Fitna) has increased to 0.23% of blogs with 3199 messages.

    “Al-Qaeda proclaims death penalty Jihad against Wilders” Radio Netherlands Published: Wednesday 27 February 2008 09:33 UTC

  86. DLH

    leo stotch 55, Bob O’H at 60, sparc 63 etc.
    I agree with you on “Darwinian Lysenkoism”, so I deleted “Darwinian” above.

    But by writing

    I am trying to point out fascist and/or totalitarian imposition of world views with consequential loss of freedoms, and that those regimes were also undergirded by Darwinian principles and/or imposing them.

    in the next sentence you repeat the argument or shouldn’t

    those regimes

    refer to Naziism and Stalinism?

  87. DLH –

    leo stotch 55, Bob O’H at 60, sparc 63 etc.
    I agree with you on “Darwinian Lysenkoism”, so I deleted “Darwinian” above.

    Can we just be clear – are you now admitting that you were wrong when you wrote in post 7

    Consider some
    Characteristics of Darwinian Fascism/Totalitarianism

    * Imprisoning or killing objectors.

    and you will rescind this accusation?

  88. 88

    Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):

    “None of you will truly believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself”.
    (narrated by Bukhari). Nawawi the famous of the 13th century says that brother here means brother in humanity.

    God loves kindness when you deal with any
    matter” (narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)

    “You will not enter Paradise until you have faith
    and you will not have faith until you love one
    another. Do you want me to tell you
    something you can do to make you love one
    another? Make it a habit to greet one another
    with “Asalamu Alaykum” – peace upon you”.
    (narrated by Muslim)

    “Give gifts to each other, as this will make you
    love one another.” (narrated by Muslim)

    “Where are those who love each other for the sake of My glory? Today I will shelter them with My shade, as there is no shade today except My shade”.” (narrated by Muslim) (with reference to the Day of Judgement.

    “God Almighty said: “My servant draws near to Me with nothing more loved by Me than the acts of worship that I have enjoined upon him. My servant continues to try to draw near to Me with more devotion, until I love him. When I love him, I will be his hearing with which he hears, his sight by which he sees, his hand with which he strikes, his feet on which he walks. When he asks Me for something, I will respond and when he takes refuge in Me, I will grant it to him. I do not hesitate in doing anything I intend to do as much as I hesitate in seizing the soul of My faithful servant; he hates death and I hate hurting him. But death is a must for him”.”
    (narrated by Bukhari)

  89. 89

    Verses of the Qur’an of some interest:

    “O ye who believe! stand steadfast to God as witnesses with justice; and let not ill-will towards people make you sin by not acting with equity. Act with equity, that is nearer to piety, and fear God; for God is aware of what ye do.”

    (From Sura 5 – The Table)

    “Verily, God bids you do justice and good, and give to kindred (their due), and He forbids you to sin, and do wrong, and oppress; He admonishes you, haply ye may be mindful!”

    (From Sura 16 – The Bee)

  90. 90

    “ Those who spend in ease as well as in adversity and those who restrain (their) anger and pardon men. And Allah loves doers of good (to others).” (3:133).

  91. The Qur’an’s tolerant verses have been “cancelled.” According to the Islamic doctrine of abrogation (naskh), Allah can change or cancel what he tells Muslims. Thus, passages revealed later in Muhammad’s career, in Medina, overrule passages revealed earlier, in Mecca.

    2:106. Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We {Allah} abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?

    Clearly, it is the latter passages relegating non-Muslims to an inferior status that is preferred by Islamic authorities. For them, Sharia Law takes precedence over the Declaration of Human Rights, which, in their judgment, is inconsistent with teachings of their Holy Book. That is why

    —Islamic law mandates second-class status for Jew, Christians, and other non Muslims in Islamic societies

    —The Qu’ran and Islamic law treat women as nothing more than possessions of men and instruct husbands to beat their disobedient wives.

    —There is no room for any commandment of general beneficence, in spite of any claims made by Islamic apologists.

  92. Footnotes:

    1] Islamofascism:

    The term Islamofascism seems to have originated with moderate Algerians, in response to the threats from the radical islamists there in the 1990′s.

    Citing a case in point, as just linked:

    MEQ: Would you use the term Islamo-fascism to describe this threat?

    [Mohamed] Sifaoui [a France-based Algerian Journalist who exposed an Al Qaeda cell in France]: I certainly am one of the first Muslims to consider Islamism to be fascism. This is not a subjective decision but rather a serious, academic argument. Fascism and Islamism are comparable in many aspects: Fascism, without evoking all its particularities, bears similarities to trends also present in Islamism. I am, of course, making a reference to their will to exterminate the Jews. On this point, the Islamists may go even further in their doctrine than the Nazis did, considering that the end of the world could only occur when there are no Jews left on earth. In the three monotheist religions, apocalypse, end of the world, and doomsday exist and are liturgical events invested with a high degree of spirituality. Hence, the Islamists interpret the end of the world in a very special way. Whereas it is written nowhere in the Qur’an [NB: apparently he is here adverting to a Hadith, one of a large collection of more or less respected traditions tracing to Mohammed which also have authority in Islam], exegetes describe the end of the world as the day when even the trees and rocks will be able to talk and tell the Muslims: “Come here, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him.” And this would go on, until there would not be any Jew left on earth. This ideology is pure fascism . . .

    Such remarks are sobsering and havce to be addressed very carefully indeed.

    2] Science is . . .

    As to the attempted redefinition of science to try to exclude inference to intelligence when it is not convenient to evolutionary materialism, that question-begging is its own refutation. It is neither historically nor philosophically well-waranted.

    As a simple isslustration ofr why, consider that natural regualrities, trace to mechanical newcessity [e.g. heat + oxidiser + fuel --> fire]. But when contingency dominates the situation, chance or agency is the logical explanation [e.g. which face of a tossed die is uppermost?]. But, equally, one may place a die by intent with the side in question uppermost. And, when there is a large enough information bearing capacity that expresses itself meaningfully and functionally, then teh logical inference is agency: e.g. we do not ge3nrally attribute coments in this thread to lucky noise but to agents.

    To impose a rule that one may not infer to agent action when it may not be convenient to one’s worldview and agendas is thus to beg the question and censor science.

    3] Basing rights

    To assert in effect that rights are brute givens is to imply that one has no foundation for them.

    The American Founders, reflecting the historically key contribution of Judaeo-Christian thought to the modern world, wrote in the context of the self evident truths of our nature as Creatures of God.

    In effect, deny these and one ends in absurdity, as to think on the experienced, known, intuitively understood substance of the claim is to see its point: i.e. it is self-evident. And, indeed, the evolutionary materialist view [ the broader context of major streams of Darwinian thought over the past 150 years] ends up undercutting the very validity of mind itself much less of the moral claim of right vs might.

    A few notes . . .

    GEM of TKI

  93. Hi KF,
    I’ve always been leery of so called “self-evident” truth. I’d rather not take the tack that denying them ends in absurdity, I’d rather take the more rational posture that if you can provide evidence to back up your assertions then they are more likely to convince them simply saying “they are self evident and if you don’t see that you are absurd”. Don’t you think a more productive conversation would result?

    Could you explain how the evolutionary materialist view ends up undercutting the very validity of mind? To me that simply does not make any sense. Whatever evolutionary study finds it won’t affect my concept of the validity of my own personal mind. I followed your always linked. You said this there

    “Further, since family structures and rules of sexual morality are “simply accidents of history,” one is free to force society to redefine family values and principles of sexual morality to suit one’s preferences.

    Finally, life itself is meaningless and valueless, so the weak, sick, defenceless and undesirable — for whatever reason — can simply be slaughtered, whether in the womb, in the hospital, or in the death camp.”

    Firstly, it seems to me that yes, family structures and rules of sexual morality are in fact accidents of history. If you look back you’ll find that the modern concept of marriage and monogamy is a relatively recent arrangement. In fact right now in America groups of people claim the right to marry multiple times. Not only that but I don’t see how a given individual can “force” society to conform to what they see as right, except via the normal methods used from the beginning of time to “change society”. And that’s via the ballot box or convincing people via evidence (ideally) that your way is better, or any number of other ways to seek change (suffragettes for example) I don’t see a magic button that people can press to force society to change without everybody else buying into the change or at the very least stating their opposition to the mooted change. And anyway, if two adult people between them have a particular set of sexual principles who are you to say that is a bad thing? Why would anybody not want to find an arrangement more suitable to ones personal preferences? You would not condemn a particular behavior would you, simply because you yourself did not partake?

    Your second point also seems somewhat unsupported by fact. For example, England is becoming a very secular society. Hardly anybody goes to church anymore. Yet life has value, the sick defenseless and undesirable are cared for (unlike sometimes in the USA where they are left to fend for themselves, many homeless have mental health problems after all). And your reference to the death camp is somewhat odd, after all the Nazi’s were influenced by Darwin to an extent (as noted by expelled!) but they were also influenced by Hitler who in his own words said he was influenced by his belief in God and that he was doing right by his God. So, it seems to me that Darwinism on it’s own is not enough to cause the situation you describe and as such is it accurate to place 100% of the blame there?

    You end that article you linked to as follows “Once that is done, we can then set about separating the wheat of sound insight from the chaff of anti-Christian bias, then work towards a sounder, more sustainable future for our region.”

    I could not agree more, however I don’t see it as a fight between anti-Christian bias and evolution, more like a fight between rationality and non-rationality.

  94. FB:

    A few notes on follow up to your points:

    1] 96: I’ve always been leery of so called “self-evident” truth. I’d rather not take the tack that denying them ends in absurdity . . .

    First, I am speaking logically, in the sense of reductio ad absurdum. That is, you cannot, consistent with logical coherence and factual adequacy, successfully deny self evident truth. [Cf here Mortimer Adler's essay on little errors in the beginning to see some of what I am pointing to in so speaking.]

    Here is Adler in a key excerpt:

    The little error in the beginning, made by Locke and Leibniz, perpetuated by Kant, and leading to the repudiation of any non-verbal or non-tautological truth having incorrigible certitude, consists in starting with a dichotomy instead of a trichotomy — a twofold instead of a threefold distinction of types of truth. In addition to merely verbal statements which, as tautologies, are uninstructive and need no support beyond the rules of language, and in addition to instructive statements which need support and certification, either from experience or by reasoning, there is a third class of statements which are non-tautological or instructive, on the one hand, and are also indemonstrable or self-evidently true, on the other. These are the statements that Euclid called “common notions,” that Aristotle called “axioms” or “first principles,” and that mediaeval thinkers called “propositions per se nota.”

    One example will suffice to make this clear — the axiom or selfevident truth that a finite whole is greater than any of its parts. This proposition states our understanding of the relation between a finite whole and its parts. It is not a statement about the word “whole” or the word “part” but rather about our understanding of wholes and parts and their relation. All of the operative terms in the proposition are indefinable. We cannot express our understanding of a whole without reference to our understanding of its parts and our understanding that it is greater than any of its parts. We cannot express our understanding of parts without reference to our understanding of wholes and our understanding that a part is less than the whole of which it is a part . . . .

    Such propositions are neither analytic nor synthetic in the modern sense of that dichotomy; for the predicate is neither contained in the definition of the subject, nor does it lie entirely outside the meaning of the subject. Axioms or self-evident truths are, furthermore, truths about objects understood, objects that can have instantiation in reality, and so they are not merely verbal. They are not a priori because they are based on experience, as all our knowledge and understanding is; yet they are not empirical or a posteriori in the sense that they can be falsified by experience or require empirical investigation for their confirmation. The little error in the beginning, which consists in a non-exhaustive dichotomy mistakenly regarded as exhaustive, is corrected when we substitute for it a trichotomy that distinguishes (i) merely verbal tautologies, (ii) statements of fact that require empirical support and can be empirically falsified, (iii) axiomatic statements, expressing indemonstrable truths of understanding which, while based upon experience, do not require empirical support and cannot be empirically falsified.[6]

    As Adler just exemplified, one does not simply dismiss those who reject self-evident truth, but rather one shows the absurdity, step by step, relative to that common sense, experientially anchored reality that we all know but are often tempted to deny under the pressure of certain philosophical systems.

    BTW, Kant’s dichotomising between the world of reality in itself and the world in our minds, his Copernican Revolution in phil, also has in it such a denial that ends in absurdity. Here, I cite Kreeft and Tacelli:

    [Kant’s] “Copernican Revolution in philosophy” was the claim that our knowledge does not conform to a real object but vice versa . . . All the form, determination, specificity or knowable content comes from the mind and is projected out onto the world rather than coming from the world and being impressed upon the mind . . . .

    Kant’s “Copernican Revolution” is self-contradictory, just as simple [radical or selective] skepticism is. After all, if Kant was right, how could he possibly have known he was right in terms of his system? He couldn’t. He could never know that there are “things- in- themselves,” onto which the knowing self projects all knowable content. That would be knowing the unknowable, thinking both sides of thought’s limit.

    There is a half truth in Kantianism. Some knowledge is conditioned by our forms of consciousness(e.g. Colors by the eye, measurements by artificial scales and ideological positions by personal preferences). But even here there must be some objective content first that is received and known, before it can be classified or interpreted by the knowing subject.[Handbook of Christian Apologetics, (Crowborough, England: Monarch, 1995) pp. 372 – 373.]

    2] Could you explain how the evolutionary materialist view ends up undercutting the very validity of mind? To me that simply does not make any sense. Whatever evolutionary study finds it won’t affect my concept of the validity of my own personal mind.

    I note that you begin your excerpts AFTER the actual reductio. So, here is the reductio that Evo Mat has to address and resolve [so far, not very successfully; I am simply giving a brief and simple version of a much more comprehensive case, onlookers]:

    [evolutionary] materialism [a worldview that often likes to wear the mantle of "science"] . . . argues that the cosmos is the product of chance interactions of matter and energy, within the constraint of the laws of nature. Therefore, all phenomena in the universe, without residue, are determined by the working of purposeless laws acting on material objects, under the direct or indirect control of chance.

    But human thought, clearly a phenomenon in the universe, must now fit into this picture. Thus, what we subjectively experience as “thoughts” and “conclusions” can only be understood materialistically as unintended by-products of the natural forces which cause and control the electro-chemical events going on in neural networks in our brains. (These forces are viewed as ultimately physical, but are taken to be partly mediated through a complex pattern of genetic inheritance and psycho-social conditioning, within the framework of human culture.)

    Therefore, if materialism is true, the “thoughts” we have and the “conclusions” we reach, without residue, are produced and controlled by forces that are irrelevant to purpose, truth, or validity. Of course, the conclusions of such arguments may still happen to be true, by lucky coincidence — but we have no rational grounds for relying on the “reasoning” that has led us to feel that we have “proved” them. And, if our materialist friends then say: “But, we can always apply scientific tests, through observation, experiment and measurement,” then we must note that to demonstrate that such tests provide empirical support to their theories requires the use of the very process of reasoning which they have discredited!

    Thus, evolutionary materialism reduces reason itself to the status of illusion. But, immediately, that includes “Materialism.” For instance, Marxists commonly deride opponents for their “bourgeois class conditioning” — but what of the effect of their own class origins? Freudians frequently dismiss qualms about their loosening of moral restraints by alluding to the impact of strict potty training on their “up-tight” critics — but doesn’t this cut both ways? And, should we not simply ask a Behaviourist whether s/he is simply another operantly conditioned rat trapped in the cosmic maze?

    In the end, materialism is based on self-defeating logic . . . .

    In short, there is a need to be able to ground the credibolity of the mind on chance + necessity working through RV + NS. The ontological gap embraced, leads to absurdity: chance + deterministic forces cannot credibly account for a trustworthy mind.

    3] it seems to me that yes, family structures and rules of sexual morality are in fact accidents of history.

    I quote: it seems to me . . .

    Unfortunately, the consequences of this one are playing out around us, and will increasingly contribute to the internal collapse of Western Civilisation.

    4] England is becoming a very secular society. Hardly anybody goes to church anymore. Yet life has value, the sick defenseless and undesirable are cared for . . .

    Much of the compassion that is admirable about the UK system traces — to its Christian heritage (and in very significant measure to the results of the Evangelical awakenings and associated reform movements of C18 – 19; ever read Gen Booth’s “In Darkest London“?], I am afraid.

    But, already, secularisation is degrading the value of life, starting with the first 24 weeks in the womb . . .

    [BTW, I am not an American.]

    4] I don’t see how a given individual can “force” society to conform to what they see as right, except via the normal methods used from the beginning of time to “change society”. And that’s via the ballot box or convincing people via evidence (ideally) that your way is better, or any number of other ways to seek change (suffragettes for example) I don’t see a magic button that people can press to force society to change without everybody else buying into the change or at the very least stating their opposition to the mooted change.

    Let’s see, does July 14, 1789, Paris, ring a bell?

    How about October [Actually November] 1917, Russia?

    And, 1933 – 1945, in Germany?

    Or for that matter 1958 – 9 [up to 2008] and 1979 – 83 here in the Caribbean?

    In short, there are any number of ways in which society can be FORCED to undergo radical change, once it has been taken over by ruthless men.

    5] your reference to the death camp is somewhat odd, after all the Nazi’s were influenced by Darwin to an extent (as noted by expelled!) but they were also influenced by Hitler who in his own words said he was influenced by his belief in God and that he was doing right by his God. So, it seems to me that Darwinism on it’s own is not enough to cause the situation you describe and as such is it accurate to place 100% of the blame there?

    Let’s take a clue or two from Vox Day in his recent book and column on this exact point:

    Just as atheists anticipate the need to answer for Stalin and Mao, Christians are expected to answer for the Inquisition and the Crusades. And both sides recognize the need to deal with the Hitler question. Like Einstein, the Führer made enough ambiguous statements to leave the matter up for discussion; unlike Einstein, no one is eager to claim Hitler and his National Socialists as members of their intellectual camp . . . .

    after quoting Hitler’s public statements that state outright that he is a Christian, and a very devout one at that, Dawkins quotes private statements that reveal a deep hatred for Christianity surpassing that possessed by even the most militant New Atheist. It is possible that Hitler had by 1941 experienced some kind of de-conversion or disillusionment with Christianity. Or is the resolution of the contradictions simply that he was an opportunistic liar whose words cannot be trusted, in either direction? – Dawkins, “The God Delusion,” 276.

    It is worth noting that most of the statements that indicate Hitler’s Christian faith were made in public, prior to 1934, when he was still a politician running for elected office. Given his subsequent actions once he had secured political power, there is no reason to believe that Hitler meant them . . .

    On the best evidence it is most likely Hitler was an occultic neo-pagan, with a racialist worldview strongly shaped by Darwinian thought as it developed in Germany in the years since 1859. [Note as well, that Germany was the locus of a by then over 100 year long major apostasy from the Christian faith as it has been understood since C1.]

    Nor was what happened under Hitler just Hitler. Much of it was shaped by a general, deeply darwinised and elitist intellectual climate that arrived at the concept of life unworthy of living. So, abortion, infranticide and euthanasia were powerful movements, and culminarted in genocide. The Judaeo-Christian ethic, of course stresses teh SANCTITY of life.

    So, while it was you British [pardon if my inference is off] who invented the Concentration Camp [and used it on the Boers], it was Hitler’s Germany who perfected that iniquitous institution.

    6] I don’t see it as a fight between anti-Christian bias and evolution, more like a fight between rationality and non-rationality.

    Note, first, I carefully, consistently speak to Evolutionary Materialism [originally a descriptive term that was clearer than "naturalism" or "Physicalism" or the like], not “Evolution” as such.

    The issue we face here in the Caribbean is that there is a rising tide of evolutionary materialism, often in the guise of “science says . . .” which feeds into an agenda of anti-Christian bigotry and bias; rather as it has elsewhere. So I am equipping people here to understand and counter it.

    In that intellectual exchange, the intellectual and morasl incoherence of evolutionary marterialism, as discussed, is a significant point of standing up for reason in the teeth of those who abuse it to advancer that which is ultimately utterly unreasonable.

    Okay, trust that helps.

    GEM of TKI

  95. KF– good post as always. For contemporaneous illustration: Is Bill Clinton a Christian?

    Now obviously, only God knows for sure but most Christians would figure that he sure doesn’t act like one despite the way he totes his Bible around, and of course, Clinton never got the religious vote in his presidential campaigns.

    OTOH, the anti-religious crowd gave him a LOT of support despite his toting the Bible around and claiming to be a Christian and making appearances in churches.

    I betcha PZ voted for him.

  96. Bob O’H at 90

    No. I only withdraw the
    “Darwinian Lysenkoism”.

    I explicitly reiterate:
    “Consider some
    Characteristics of Darwinian Fascism/Totalitarianism

    * Imprisoning or killing objectors.”

    Because that is the ultimate consequence of carrying the foundational “moral” principles of Darwinism to their ultimate end.

    They are well attested to by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc.

  97. And KF, could Godel be applied to natural science as well as math?

    If an axiomatic system can be proven to be consistent and complete from within itself, then it is inconsistent.

    It seems something outside nature is required to give nature meaning.

  98. f.blair,

    you said

    “unlike sometimes in the USA where they are left to fend for themselves, many homeless have mental health problems after all”

    I don’t think you understand how liberal thought works in the US. About 50 miles from where I live is a large complex of abandoned buildings, 10-20 of 2-3 story buildings which was once a mental hospital. Some time in the recent past, 30-40 years ago it was declared barbaric to keep people in mental institutions against their will. Hence these people, many addicted seriously to drugs and alcohol and of low functionality were set loose on the streets of America in name of individual freedom. So we get homeless.

    I am sure it not quite as simple as I have just portrayed, but the homeless in America are there by design not neglect. The policies were considered forward thinking and were opposed to the “medieval” policies then in effect which involuntarily incarcerated those who could not function on their own. There are programs aimed at these people, maybe someone here can comment, but essentially they are let loose on purpose not neglect.

  99. kf, what is the source of the quote in 2) above, the one that starts “[evolutionary] materialism [a worldview that often likes to wear the mantle of “science”]…”?

    Thanks

  100. hi KF,

    That is, you cannot, consistent with logical coherence and factual adequacy, successfully deny self evident truth.

    No, of course, but I think you can appreciate the fact that the in the past things that people thought were self evident truth turned out to be wrong after more information was uncovered. And so while the value of a self evident truth can be meaningful I don’t think you should put all your eggs in that particular basket. And people might being to question any so called self-evident truth if the people claiming it is self evident have a particular axe to grind. It’s not a good starting point if you as me.

    one shows the absurdity, step by step, relative to that common sense, experientially anchored reality that we all know but are often tempted to deny under the pressure of certain philosophical systems.

    Experientially anchored?
    What particular experientially anchored reality is that? I know of the Biologic work, or do you refer to something else?

    In short, there is a need to be able to ground the credibolity of the mind on chance + necessity working through RV + NS.

    To me the credibility of what I guess you could call Darwinism is the fact that there are tons of journals and papers talking about and using it. It seems that you are holding Darwinism to a higher standard of evidence then your favored alternative. That’s not to say that there are no peer-reviewed ID friendly papers (10+) but when you talk about RV+NS not being credible, well it’s you to my mind that loses credibility.

    And, 1933 – 1945, in Germany?

    Or for that matter 1958 – 9 [up to 2008] and 1979 – 83 here in the Caribbean?

    In short, there are any number of ways in which society can be FORCED to undergo radical change, once it has been taken over by ruthless men.

    I think it speaks to your naïveté if you think that society can be FORCED to change in a direction it’s opposed to. The events in Germany did not happen in a vacuum, the population at any time could have stopped it, acting as a whole. To put the blame 100% on a few “ruthless men” is oversimplifying far too much to retain a coherent story.

    The issue we face here in the Caribbean is that there is a rising tide of evolutionary materialism, often in the guise of “science says . . .” which feeds into an agenda of anti-Christian bigotry and bias; rather as it has elsewhere. So I am equipping people here to understand and counter it.

    Are you sure rather then “science says” you don’t really mean “a small sub-set of science says”? After all, the majority of science is “self-evidently” right or we’d not be having this conversation mediated by the component parts, physical and electromagnetic that make up computers, the internet etc. So, I don’t think as a whole science is saying anything about if evolution has or has not made a deity superfluous, and to say that it is is misrepresenting the case significantly. So what “science says” is not significantly in error in regard to the physical world, don’t you agree?

  101. —–” f. blair: “No, of course, but I think you can appreciate the fact that the in the past things that people thought were self evident truth turned out to be wrong after more information was uncovered. And so while the value of a self evident truth can be meaningful I don’t think you should put all your eggs in that particular basket. And people might being to question any so called self-evident truth if the people claiming it is self evident have a particular axe to grind. It’s not a good starting point if you as me.”

    Rationality can exist only if there is [A] a rational universe, [B] rational minds to apprehend the universe and [C] a correspondence between the two. Take away any of these three components and the entire rational enterprise collapses. Both realms, the rational universe and the rational mind, must be real, a condition that some refer to as ontological dualism. There must be something to reason about and something to reason with.

    For evolutionary materialism, only one realm exists (monism). It grants the reality of the universe (even at that is dismisses its rationality), but it denies the reality of the rational mind that would apprehend the universe. Further, it must obviously deny correspondence, since the necessary condition for correspondence (two realms) has been removed. To maintain evolutionary materialism is to abandon the world of reason and logic.

  102. StephenB –

    To maintain evolutionary materialism is to abandon the world of reason and logic.

    Yet as is repeated many times, surveys of scientists show that the majorty are not believers. According to you then they have abandoned the world of reason and logic, yet the inventions still continue to work, electrons continue to flow in predicable (as predicted by evolutionary materialist scientists) ways and the ceiling has not fallen.
    When you say evolutionary materialism denies the reality of the rational mind, what actual consequences does that have? How are the two things related? Are only believers in a particular flavor of deity allowed to participate in the world of reason and logic? Would you say that just believing is enough, or do you think it has to be more specific? Again, there are a lot of atheist scientists out there who are given a good appearance of rationality, reason and logic.

  103. mohammed.husain 91-93

    Those are noble saying worthy of consideration.

    How can those in both the West and the East work to uphold the principles of freedom of worship and freedom of speech?
    Especially in the face of Totalitarian/Fascist Darwinists and radical Islamofascists who seek to impose their world view on others of different persuasion?

    You cite Surahs 3, 5 and 16.

    Following on StephenB 94

    For those who hold to the doctrine of the “Abrogator and the Abrogated Doctrine (al-Nasikh wal-Mansoukh)”, has not Surah 3 and 5 had both their authority for applications and their wording been abrogated?

    Has not Surah 16 had its wording abrogated/nullified, but maintained its authority for applications?

    Have not these both been abrogated by:
    “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war)…..” Surah 9:5
    The Quran’s Doctrine of Abrogation Prepared by Abdullah Al Araby

    How are we to work together when a small minority seek to impose this doctrine on all others by force?

  104. f.blair,

    As far as I know current scientists only believe in one irrational thing and that has no effect on science. They believe that all things can be explained by material means and as part of that accept the full Darwinian paradigm. They accept the irrational part of the Darwinian paradigm but this part has no applicability to anything in the scientific world.

    So they can get away with accepting it and not have it affect their work. They accept the irrational part of the Darwinian paradigm because their personal philosophy of life would fall apart if they didn’t. Since they cannot have that, they blindly accept the whole paradigm and prevent any questioning of it.

  105. How are we to work together when a small minority seek to impose this doctrine on all others by force?

    As ever, it’s only a small proportion of people that show the most radical predilections. As long as the majority of the population disagree then the radical element can never really win. I hope.

    DLH, “Totalitarian/Fascist Darwinists” sounds really quite severe. What proportion of Darwinists are Totalitarian/Fascist?
    I can only but think the best of people and I can’t see that becoming convinced that Darwinism is correct leads to Totalitarian/Fascist tendencies in any measure. These people have normal home lives and family’s I’m sure? What think you?

  106. Fascist Darwinian education.

    “In Nazi Germany there was a concerted effort by the Nazis to end all education except for state education, which was duly Nazified. . . .When exhortations and threats ceased to be enough, Himmler simply banned all Confessing Church seminaries and instruction in 1937. Two years later Himmler closed all private religious schools.”

    Some Wicked Friends of Public Schools By Bruce Walker, American Thinker March 28, 2008.

    How is current American public education any different from Nazi Germany’s fascist program? Today we have Darwinists forcing all public education to require teaching only “evolution’ as the only “scientific” theory, regardless of the persuasion of the parents and students. Yet Darwinists equally enforce materialistic evolution, a prioriexcluding all other explanations or theories.

  107. jerry –

    They believe that all things can be explained by material means

    So, if I understand you correctly:

    (materialists) believe that everything can be explained by material means.
    (ID) believes that not everything can be explained by material means.

    So, if you had two groups of scientists, as above, working away and something was found that led towards non-material places why would, having previously accepted the irrational part of the Darwinian paradigm, automatically disbar them from following the evidence where it lead to?

    Sure, they might not want to tell their boss because they might be branded mad etc (just like in the films) but they’d pursue it anyway, if at all possible? A Nobel awaits after all!

    Aren’t you presuming that all materialist scientists would automatically reject evidence that goes against their atheism, after all, accepting the evidence then trying to explain it is at the core of the whole scientific endeavor. Would every single person react the same way? I doubt it. Some would be converted, whatever the evidence pointed to. Look at some of the things that people believe nowdays with no actual evidence!

  108. DLH

    Today we have Darwinists forcing all public education to require teaching only “evolution’ as the only “scientific” theory

    I remember recently hearing from people considered to be the founders of ID that they don’t believe that ID is ready for the school room. Obviously you disagree with that.

    If you had a free hand, what would the syllabus you are proposing cover? Just bullet points would be great.

    And would what you teach solely depend on the persuasion of the parents and students?

    That could get tricky if standardized testing is required, if the content of the test you take depends on where you live, what if you move just before test day to a community with very different leanings?

  109. f.blair at 108
    “I can’t see that becoming convinced that Darwinism is correct leads to Totalitarian/Fascist tendencies in any measure.”

    Then I refer you to history. In this last century, 33 democracies succumbed to totalitarianism. NOT because the majority of peace loving persons, but because of a particular person supported by a small number of militant supporters. Many of these had Darwinism as their foundation.
    See
    From Darwin to Hitler by Richard Weikart,
    Communism’s Black Book, Stéphane Courtois et al. 1999, ISBN-10: 0674076087

    As a consequence, over 100 million people were killed by those totalitarian States – far more than the 39 million in all wars of the 20th century.

    Darwin’s “Origin of Species” has spawned many regimes reknowned for brutality and murder. Worldviews have consequences. Darwinism’s Might makes Right is among the worst. Thus it is critically important that people recognize the predominant consequences of Darwinism –
    (regardless the objections of Richard Dawkins.)

  110. f,blair,

    You have to understand the concept of the “Just told story.” It is common in evolutionary biology and in fact is the main form of evidence for the Darwinian theory. It is the only science where one’s imagination, the so called plausible story, is evidence.

    Now in your example that you list, there is nothing preventing the scientist from investigating the phenomena but the explanation would most likely be couched in a just told story. It is always possible that an individual scientist will get religion (used as an expression only here) but the community would be very unsympathetic and search for a material explanation. You are talking about ideology here and it must be protected.

  111. DLH

    Darwin’s “Origin of Species” has spawned many regimes reknowned for brutality and murder.

    Yes, but you are talking about the level of governments and war. I’m asking about how individual scientists and ordinary people (who after all make up the actual people who implement totalitarian states) are affected.

    How can what you say be true at the macro level of governments etc, but not have recognizable signs down at the micro level. I suppose what I’m asking is what signs do I have to look for in a scientists if I suspect they have succumbed to Totalitarian/Fascist tendencies after reading Darwins Origin of Species? It can’t affect goverments without affecting people first. I’m asking what behavioral differences could you look for to prove your point here? It seems to me there owuld be some.

  112. f.blair at 111

    For public education, start with
    1) PRESUPPOSITIONS
    That the theory of evolution as held by the majority implicitly assumes materialistic naturalism and excludes intelligent causation.
    (Some may claim there is theistic evolution, but when push comes to shove, the “theistic” part is discarded for “random mutation” and is only appealed to for warm fuzzy emotions.

    2) Origin of Life
    The primary rule of empirical biology Life comes from life See Louis Pasteur etc.

    Evolution requires priori self replicating life for which it has no explanation.

    etc.

    Enforcing in public schools a belief in neo-Darwinian evolution excluding all but materialistic naturalism is a clear establishment of religion.

  113. jerry

    It is always possible that an individual scientist will get religion (used as an expression only here) but the community would be very unsympathetic and search for a material explanation.

    And there you have the crux of the matter Mr Jerry. They would search for a material explanation. This anomalous result would preclude satisfactory explanation if the solution could not be investigated due to crippled tools. Currently I don’t believe ID is in that situation and by the way you phrased that I don’t believe you do either. Is there a Indiana Jones style box in a warehouse somewhere with something easier hidden then investigated?

    So, with regard to teaching non-materialist theory’s in the classroom, if there is no item pending satisfactory material explanation then what is it that is being prosed to teach in the schools?

    Of course, there are the items identified as supporting the ID ideology such as irreducibly complexity, amongst other things but in the situation I describe above the community as a whole is already satisfied with the status quo explanations for these items and so the progress, if any, will have to come from labs unafraid to explore these frontiers themselves.

  114. f.blair at 114.
    “I’m asking what behavioral differences could you look for to prove your point here?”

    Good question. Start with do they uphold the unalienable freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Particularly No Establishment of religion, No limit on Free Expression of religion.
    OR
    Do they insist on enforcing their viewpoint and insisting that all dissenters are “intolerant”?

    Any who will not support and defend each person’s unalienable rights is pursuing totalitarianism/fascism. e.g., PZ Myers as a classic example.

    Advocating the “good of the whole” at the detriment of the individual is another clue.

    I have just started reading Os Guinness, The Case for Civility – any why our future depends on it. HarperOne ISBN 978-0-06-135343-7

    See particularly His Afterword
    The Williamsburg Charter – A Celebration and Reaffirmation of the First Amendment.

    See also
    Documents Professing Principles of Universal Religious Freedom
    European Convention on Human Rights

    Article 9, as does Article 18 of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.” (1950).

  115. DLH – earlier you said

    Today we have Darwinists forcing all public education to require teaching only “evolution’ as the only “scientific” theory, regardless of the persuasion of the parents and students.

    What is the alternate theory you desire to be taught then?

    The two points you mention above

    That the theory of evolution as held by the majority implicitly assumes materialistic naturalism and excludes intelligent causation.

    and secondly

    Evolution requires priori self replicating life for which it has no explanation.

    appear to be criticisms of standard evolutionarily theory rather then a proposed alternative “scientific theory” to evolution. I’m more interested in the alternative you want to teach then the reasons you feel it’s necessary to teach it (i.e because you feel darwinism has failings as you just pointed out there with your two points).

  116. f.blair at 118
    With the current state of affairs, just getting recognition of presuppositions, and limitations of the conventional paradigm is a major advance.
    The Discovery Institute advocates that at present.
    Intelligent Design is being developed as an alternate theory. e.g see Dembski and Wells, The Design of Life.
    See ID Assumptions.
    Beyond this, a systematic design theory needs to be developed and published that is more explicitly descriptive and predictive.

    One step at a time.

    PS Note the impact of Darwinism on the Columbine killers.
    http://www.answersingenesis.or.....1/bomb.asp“> How to build a bomb in the public school system
    observes:

    “The autopsy report for one of the killers documents that on the day of the tragedy he was wearing black combat boots, a black glove on his right hand, and a white T-shirt with the inscription ‘Natural Selection’ on the front. . . . They were also fascinated by the German Nazi belief, fueled by ideas of Darwinian struggle, in a ‘master race.’

    See also Darwinism and the Nazi race Holocaust

  117. DLH,
    Sure, but is that happening? Continued usage of the presupposition that excludes non-material causation is not causing a revolution and the conventional paradigm is producing results, as usual. If money was pouring in and nothing was coming out the other end hard questions would quickly be asked, I suspect. Is there any evidence that that is the case? I know the Biologic group is working on ID stuff but I’ve not heard much from them as yet.

    I’ve had a look at the ID Assumptions like you provided. It’s a very large website, could you provide a link to the part that best represents a systematic design theory?

  118. f.blair
    ” . . .Continued usage of the presupposition that excludes non-material causation is not causing a revolution . . .”
    How do you know? Would you recognize it if you saw it? What was Columbine? Why the demise of the USSR & Eastern European countries?
    Why the cultural decline in the USA today?

    A “systematic design theory” is under development.
    See: Essential Intelligent Design Bibliography

    See publications on: Intelligent Design Research

    See books by:
    Dembski & Wells, The Design of Life
    Mike Gene, The Design Matrix
    Michael Behe, The Edge of Evolution
    Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box
    Guillermo Gonzalez, Privileged Planet
    etc.

  119. —–f. blair: “When you say evolutionary materialism denies the reality of the rational mind, what actual consequences does that have? How are the two things related? Are only believers in a particular flavor of deity allowed to participate in the world of reason and logic? Would you say that just believing is enough, or do you think it has to be more specific? Again, there are a lot of atheist scientists out there who are given a good appearance of rationality, reason and logic.”

    I have never met a rational atheist scientist. Although they use logic at a minimal level, they cannot reason their way beyond their own paradigm long enough to consider the consequences of their own actions. That is why they contaminate science by making it an object of worship.

    It is they who say “if we can do it, we ought to do it”—that is not rational. It is they who hate the “big bang” theory because it implies a creator—that is not rational. It is they who cannot distinguish between a presupposition (creation science) and an inference (intelligent design)—that is not rational; it is they who persecute ID scientists and misrepresent the methodology—that is not rational. Except in their own limited world, they cannot even reason in the abstract. Have you never read the works of Richard Dawkins?

    It is irrational to renounce the metaphysical conditions necessary for rationality; it is irrational to renounce the mind that does the reasoning; it is irrational to renounce the reasonableness of the world that they nevertheless try to reason about; it is irrational to renounce the formal definition of truth, which is the mind’s correspondence to reality. So the only question to ask anyone who renounces the metaphysical foundations for science is this: Why have you chosen irrationality?

  120. DLH

    Why the cultural decline in the USA today?

    Does darwinism cause cultural decline? If a large % of the USA believes in a god, and they do, and yet somehow there is still cultural decline I doubt that mentioning the E word will add much to that or in fact caused much of it at all. How could it of? Most believe. And after all the point of all this is that most of the USA believes that life did not create itself yet that simple self evident fact cannot be acknowledged at school, right? And that’s what a good portion of this is about, as far as I can tell. I want to know what would be taught alongside evolution, once that fact is acknowledged, if you get you way.

    Why the demise of the USSR & Eastern European countries?

    The USA had alot to do with that.

  121. 121

    More material verses of the Qur’an of interest:

    “Nor can goodness and
    evil be equal. Repel (evil) with what is better: then will he between whom and you was hatred become as it were your friend
    and intimate.” (41: 34)

    “O Mankind! We created you from a single [pair] of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that
    you may know each other [not that you may despise each other]. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is
    [he who is] the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted [with all things].”
    (Koran 49: 13)

    “Invite [all] to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are
    best and most gracious: for your Lord knows best, who have strayed from His path, and who receive guidance.” (16: 125)

  122. f.blair — Does darwinism cause cultural decline?

    Yes

    If a large % of the USA believes in a god, and they do, and yet somehow there is still cultural decline

    It’ s there, it’s just not as bad as Europe which no longer believes in God.

  123. 124

    DLH,

    This whole issue of abrogation applies only to verses that contain legal injunctions. So for instance, the verse that states that alcohol is forbidden abrogates the ones that permit it. Verses with ethical content can never be abrogated; this has been the consensus of Muslim scholars over centuries.

    DLH, the website you quoted about abrogation is one again that clearly has an agenda to “expose” Islam. It is not written by Muslims, but rather people who are clearly hostile to the religion. That is not dialogue. I can only conclude that you are not interested in really learning about Islam. Why not turn to the highest Muslim scholars for information about their religion: Ayatullahs in Iran or the sheikhs of al-azhar? Trust me, they are far more intelligent, and you would find that to be so if you kept an open mind.

    This is the website of one of the highest religious authorities in Lebanon: http://english.bayynat.org.lb/. This is the website of the supreme leader of Iran, also a very high religious authority. http://www.leader.ir/langs/en/index.php.

    You’d be better off learning about the religion from those whom Muslims consider to be its representatives.

    Ektasis,

    I have a very favorable view of Sufism. In the modern era its had a complex history in which its obtained an identity of its own. But if you look at Muslim history you will see that a very large number of Muslim scholars have been initiates into Sufi orders, and Sufism in general has pervaded Muslim culture in pre-modern times.

  124. Mohammed

    Here’s keeping it in context.

    Beware of false prophets.

  125. Mohammad.hussein

    You’d be better off learning about the religion from those whom Muslims consider to be its representatives.”

    Indeed. Thanks for your two links. Yet one can not learn from those who mention nothing on a subject. Unfortunately, neither of those authorities have anything to say about “abrogate” or “abrogation”, nor about the “golden rule”.

    Can one not learn both from the advocates and opponents of a position? Consider the following expositions, particularly from the issue of how to maintain a civil society with inalienable rights when some seek to enforce their positions on others.

    Naskh (tafsir)(abrogation)

    Abrogation claims of Muslim Scholars

    Peace or Jihad? Abrogation in Islam, David Bukay
    Middle East Quarterly Fall 2007, pp. 3-11

    Statements that there is no compulsion in religion and that jihad is primarily about internal struggle and not about holy war may receive applause in university lecture halls and diplomatic board rooms, but they misunderstand the importance of abrogation in Islamic theology. It is important to acknowledge that what university scholars believe, and what most Muslims—or more extreme Muslims—believe are two different things. For many Islamists and radical Muslims, abrogation is real and what the West calls terror is, indeed, just.

    Abrogation in the Qur’an

    Abrogated Verses Of the Quran –
    Evidence from Islamic Sources

    Abrogation in the Koran – ANWARUL HAQQ, 2006

    Episode 22 F.Zakaria

    Back to the foundations of civil discussion, may I ask you to review the following and discuss its principles relative to what is essential to civil society: The Williamsburg Charter – A Celebration and Reaffirmation of the First Amendment.

  126. tribune7 at 128
    I fixed 128. Please address the topic of principles essential to civil society vs coercion of beliefs on others whether from science or religion, (rather than arguing one religion vs another).

  127. mohammad.hussein

    Per your reference to Sayyid Ali Khamenei, I found:

    Palestinian issue, the focal point
    (2006/04/14 – 20:51)

    “The values of Jihad and martyrdom are revived, and the genuine power, that of a nation resolute in its spirit of firmness and sacrifice, recovers its place in the political equations of Palestine and the region.

    “The noble blood of martyrdom-seeking youths and the presence of dauntless warriors within the struggle invalidate all calculations f worldly materialists and hedonists, opening a new arena where blood triumphs over sword.

    It appears that he advocates Jihad and martyrdom against Jews.

    You referred to:
    Sayyed Fadlallah
    The Stand of Rajab 04 1426H /August 09, 2005 A.D.
    In “Peace is the Islamic basis for establishing relations with others” he states:

    We call for a humanistic and civilised world that accepts others and pluralism, a world where everyone deal with others on the basis of an objective and scientific study and not on subjective and ideological slogans.

    That sounds wonderful.
    However, he also acknowledges:
    recognizes that some Muslims:

    They have imposed their deviated understanding of Islam on others, making it very easy to accuse others of non-belief and even to issue fatwas ruling that those accused of non-belief could be killed.

    Therein lies the difficulty of living in a civil society when there are those who seek to impose their beliefs on others by coercion.

  128. —–“The Stand of Rajab 04 1426H /August 09, 2005 A.D.
    In “Peace is the Islamic basis for establishing relations with others” he states:
    —–‘We call for a humanistic and civilised world that accepts others and pluralism, a world where everyone deal with others on the basis of an objective and scientific study and not on subjective and ideological slogans.’”

    It is important to know what the word “peace” means in this context. Muslim brotherhood Sayyid Qutb, explains:

    “When Islam strives for peace, its objective is not that superficial peace which requires that only that part of the earth where the followers of Islam are residing remain secure. The peace which Islam desires is that the religion (i.e. the law of society) be purified for God, that the obedience of all people be for God alone, and that some people should not be lords over others. After the period of the Prophet—peace be upon him—only the final stages of the movement of Jihaad are to be followed; the initial or middle stages are not applicable.”

    In other words, Islam is a religion of peace that will come when everyone is Muslim or at least under the subjugation of a Muslim state. To obtain this “peace” they must wage war.

  129. Global Jihad: The Future in the Face of Militant Islam

    http://www.barnabasfund.org/re.....ces_02.php

    Dr Sookhdeo’s recent work analyses the rise of Islamic violence worldwide in the modern world. Quoting from an extensive range of Muslim and other sources, he examines the present situation in the context of Islamic teaching on violence and war, past and present, and suggests a range of possible responses. (670 pages, hard back, Isaac Publishing)

    “This book is long overdue. Patrick Sookhdeo has put together a stunning in-depth analysis of perhaps the greatest threat facing the Western World today. I strongly commend it to anyone attempting to understand the issues surrounding global jihad, particularly policy makers and those charged with executing the responses required. Our current campaign plans lack both clarity and understanding – this book provides both, and all those engaged in the formulation of future plans should read what he has to say very carefully indeed – their efforts will be well rewarded.”
    Major General (retired) Tim Cross CBE, Army Adviser to the House of Commons Defence Committee

  130. 131

    DLH,
    I don’t know if this discussion is really very fruitful any longer. The sites you continue to posts aren’t one that can be taken seriously. They are not academic; they are not written by Muslims expounding upon their faith, but rather by Christians and others who seek to demonize Islam. If you were really interested in the issue of abrogation you would seek the discussions of the issue found in tafsir (arabic word for a commentary of the Qur’an, in case you aren’t aware) of classical and contemporary Islamic scholars. I don’t understand why you privilege the interpretations of those with an agenda (clearly the website, http://www.answering-islam.org has an agenda) over the interpretations of well known Islamic scholars of the past and present. By doing so you imply that Muslims do not even understand their own faith and rather it is only these pseudo-scholars who have suddenly centuries later discovered the “true” Islam (veiled of course to Muslims) and have exposed it for all the world to see. This is incredibly simplistic, not to mention incredibly arrogant.
    You guys probably know that there are tons of sites on the web exposing violent passages in the Bible, just as there are for the Qur’an. All the arguments you guys are making against the Qur’an can also be made against the Bible. I’m sure you’ve read this verse in Matthew:
    “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at
    variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
    And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” (Matthew 10: 34-36).
    Now all sorts of silly conclusions can be made from this verse, as I’m sure your foes Dawkins and others do. You would object to those sorts of extrapolations made from verses like these, but you hold a double standard for Islam.
    I really feel as though some of you peruse the sites I give you to find information to support your already established conclusions. My point in posting those links wasn’t to address the issue of abrogation but rather to expose you to some of the translated discourse from high religious authorities.
    Someone mentioned earlier that Islam doesn’t have the equivalent of a golden rule; this is nonsense that is probably not worth a response. But here is a hadith for you guys (hadith= Saying of the Propeht Muhammad): “None of you will truly believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself”.
    (narrated by Bukhari). For the skeptically inclined, Imam Nawawi the famous Islamic scholar of the 13th century says that brother here means brother in humanity. Someone also said that Islam treats women as mere possessions of men. This is also nonsense. I would encourage you to speak to Muslim women to rid yourself of this misconception. It might be also of some worth to note that Islam granted women the right to own property many centuries before the West. (this begs the question of how property can own property)
    Someone mentioned the quote about the Palestinian struggle as being one that sanctioned jihad against Jews. This is a misreading; whoever made this interpretation is imposing this notion that the Israel-Palestine struggle is one that is essentially a religious one between Muslims and Jews, in which Muslims are fighting to impose their religion on others. This is NOT the case. It is essentially a political struggle in which religion may be invoked to legitimize and encourage self-defense. Palestinians have lost their land and been expelled from their homes. Millions continue to live under military occupation. No one is fighting the Israelis because they are Jewish. This is an important point to understand.
    2:62 Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.
    My advice to you all is to get to know Muslims. Visit your nearby mosque, you might be surprised by the warmth you will be met with. I hold no grudges against any of you though many of the comments I’ve encountered I’ve found repulsive. I think one thing I do want to say before I go is that I think you all should ask yourself whether you have dismissed Islam because theologically speaking seeing any goodness in it would threaten your own faith. It’s no secret that Christians have had to grapple with the idea of how God would allow a new world faith to emerge after Jesus that acquired so many adherents, many among whom were once Christian. Many people, in order to defer the problem that this might imply theologically, are content in seeing Islam as a religion of evil. If one is to be honest with oneself one has to ask whether this anxiety plays a large part in the bias against and utter dismissal of Islam and also the demonization of Muslim peoples.
    I do wish you all the best in your endeavors to deconstruct Darwinism. It’s a noble effort that I very much hope succeeds. I still maintain that Muslims and Christians have a great deal in common, and dialogue is the best way forward. The ultimate aim of the Prophets of God, of course, was peace.
    P.S. I love Jesus!!!

  131. Participants:

    This thread has in effect split into two major sub-discussions, both of which are important: evolutionary materialist secularism and where it trends, and islamo-fascism [with a sub-discussion on the implications of the principle of abrogation].

    I think a note to MH is appropriate as a start point for further discussion, as he is evidently a moderate Muslim who does not want to acknowledge the validity of the relevant history, theology and current course of islamist thought and action.

    1] On Islamism, abrogation, jihad and dhimmitude

    First, I think I can safely speak of my distinguished, Templeton Prize holding Caribbean colleague, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, that he is beyond reasonable doubt a world-class expert on Islam and on islamism, with deep and very personal familiarity with Islam from his childhood and youth in his native Guyana; now multiplied by unparalleled global level direct knowledge of the key persons, institutions, events and issues across the Muslim world and in the context of interface between that world and the rest of the world, especially those in the suffering churches. BF, which he heads, is the leading global charity that assists the church under dhimmitude – in effect, Islamist apartheid. (And, MH I am quite prepared to back this point to the hilt. Onlookers, simply do a web search, and follow up Bat Ye’Or’s work. Answering-Islam.org also has a vast, well-supported and relevant body of resources. Much of the content there is by acknowledged experts and a significant part is by former Muslims themselves. The issue is not the person but the substance on fact and reasoning. A look at the Barnabas Fund site will also be very revealing.)

    Nor, is it proper to dismiss the testimony and record of others since they happen not to be Muslims; which, onlookers, just happens to be a long established, too often and notoriously exemplified principle of Islamic jurisprudence – in the case of conflicting testimony before Islamic “justice” the testimony of the non-Muslim is immediately dismissed as that simple fact is held to be a character disqualification on truthfulness. And, MH, we have 1400 years of history linked to say Surah 9:5 and 29 ff [and BTW, if in those following ayas and other linked texts, Allah and his prophet could not get basics of Judaism (e.g. status of Ezrah) and Christianity right (and well-poisoning does not count as getting things right), what does that tell us], and a world of current experience consistent with that history to establish the objective truth on the matter. We are not so dumb or ignorant as too many Islamists suppose. [BTW, here, MH – as one familiar with many former ethic Muslims who are Christian leaders in the Caribbean -- you need to plain and straight address the fact of the death sentence on “apostasy” from Islam, which I know from very direct observation, is a serious concern even here in the Caribbean.]

    Bottomline: the Algerian Moderates are right to have labelled the sort of Muslim Brotherhood inspired militancy that now seeks to take over the world through subjugating it under Allah, his law and his warriors over this century [I have the maps and the relevant documents in my vaults, MH]: Islamofascism.

    It is you moderate Muslims who need to acknowledge the history and the challenges in the Quran, hadiths and jurisprudence, and find a way of liberating reformation in the teeth of the surging militancy we see and suffer from all across the world.

    2] FB, 103: I think you can appreciate the fact that the in the past things that people thought were self evident truth turned out to be wrong after more information was uncovered.

    And so what? That we are finite and fallible is a general human constraint that imposes provisionality and humility on our reasoning. It does not entail that we should abandon the project of seeking and walking in light of the best and reliable current understanding of the situation.

    I repeat [and allude to Adler's remark]: when we reject self-evident truth, we end in absurdity, first of all marked by logical incoherence. And, future “facts” are not going to rescue one from such incoherence, which is precisely why reductio ad absurdum is so centrally important in Mathematical proof. [Notice, Adler identifies that there are truths that are in principle corrigible relative to experience, and there by sharpest distinction, there are truths that once we have enough understanding are seen as such necessarily. Try to deny that “the finite whole is greater than its constituent part,” and see where that lands you, logically.]

    Onlookers, observe further, on the relevant issue of evolutionary materialism, I have taken time to show, step by step, how its monism undermines the credibility of mind and morals. In response FB gives a general remark on how he does not trust self-evident truths as our knowledge and reasoning are in effect provisional – which was not in dispute. That looks like more of a distractor than a substantial response on the material issues and points.

    Okay, FB, the burden is on you to show that evo mat credibly accounts for the reliability of mind and gets us to a stable foundation for sound morals as well; especially given the history of eugenics, genocide and tyranny costing well over 100 million lives which integrated Darwinism into their foundations and rationales.

    3] Experientially anchored?

    Cf the excerpt above from Adler on the third class of truth: self-evident truth, with its anchor in experience. Sub-excerpting:

    One example will suffice to make this clear — the axiom or selfevident truth that a finite whole is greater than any of its parts. This proposition states our understanding of the relation between a finite whole and its parts. It is not a statement about the word “whole” or the word “part” but rather about our understanding of wholes and parts and their relation. All of the operative terms in the proposition are indefinable. We cannot express our understanding of a whole without reference to our understanding of its parts and our understanding that it is greater than any of its parts. We cannot express our understanding of parts without reference to our understanding of wholes and our understanding that a part is less than the whole of which it is a part . . . .

    Such propositions are neither analytic nor synthetic in the modern sense of that dichotomy; for the predicate is neither contained in the definition of the subject, nor does it lie entirely outside the meaning of the subject. Axioms or self-evident truths are, furthermore, truths about objects understood, objects that can have instantiation in reality, and so they are not merely verbal. They are not a priori because they are based on experience, as all our knowledge and understanding is; yet they are not empirical or a posteriori in the sense that they can be falsified by experience or require empirical investigation for their confirmation.

    4] I think it speaks to your naïveté if you think that society can be FORCED to change in a direction it’s opposed to. The events in Germany did not happen in a vacuum, the population at any time could have stopped it, acting as a whole. To put the blame 100% on a few “ruthless men” is oversimplifying far too much to retain a coherent story.

    On the contrary, the verdict of a lot of very bloody history is plain: societies are vulnerable to ruthless manipulators who game the existing rules, perceptions and balances of forces to seize control of the levers of power and polarise the society in so doing, distorting the ability of people to perceive truth, right and duty to justice. As Aristotle warned so long ago, the das fate of Socrates in mind: our judgements when we are pleased and friendly are not as those we make when we are pained and hostile.

    Once they control those levers, they are in a position to exert coercive force against any organised opposition or emerging leadership. And, they do so, intimidating the majority into silence and compliance. Those who courageously stand up pay for it, too often in blood – which takes us right back to my point about the Barmen Declaration and the White Rose movement from the earlier thread.

    For that matter, my own name is a reminder of that for me: one of my distinguished relatives [who bore the same name] aid for standing up for the poor in the Assembly by being taken from his sickbed to where martial law was in force once the explosion he warned against happened. He was Kangaroo Courted and hanged, not even being given enough time for his physician to come and testify as to why he was missing from a crucial Vestry meeting; namely his illness (the same one he was suffering from at the time of the trial). Want of that key testimony was of course decisive in the minds of the incompetent militia officers who sentenced him to death. Jamaica’s House of Parliament now sits on the site of his home and now bears his name. The names of his gloatingly unjust judges – sadly – are now “forgotten.”

    Of course the many who are intimidated into compliance – or, worse, become active collaborators and functionaries of tyranny — are not blameless, but we must understand, in light of very bloody history, the dynamics and power of deception and intimidation when they are backed up by state power. WHAT FRIGHTENS ME ABOUT THE STATE OF WESTERN CIVILISATION TODAY IS THAT PRECISELY THOSE DYNAMICS ARE INCREASINGLY AT WORK.

    5] Are you sure rather then “science says” you don’t really mean “a small sub-set of science says”?

    I am pointing to the manipulative rhetoric that seeks to blanket exploit the air of authority of “Science” in service to all sorts of agendas, often suppressing questions on the assumptions, debates over and limitations of the science. As should be very plain from the context and my words – indeed, the suppression of the other side of the story on the limitations of claims regarding origin of life scenarios and body-plan level macro-evolution are notorious cases in point.

    6] I don’t think as a whole science is saying anything about if evolution has or has not made a deity superfluous, and to say that it is is misrepresenting the case significantly.

    The rhetors who speak in the name of “Science” [and often while wearing literal or figurative lab coats] — starting with Mr Dawkins and co — are saying precisely that. Indeed, as a recent long thread shows, they are writing an implicit commitment to evolutionary materialism into their [re-]“definitions” of “Science.” Then they proceed to teach said question-begging historically unjustified and philosophically unsound attempted re-definitions as unchallengeable consensus, and set out on PR strategies to personally attack, slander and destroy the reputations of those who object.

    7] what “science says” is not significantly in error in regard to the physical world, don’t you agree?

    First, science is precisely an empirically anchored provisional exercise so its knowledge claims are precisely that: provisional, and withing that context some are a lot more reliable and well-confirmed than others. I for instance, for excellent reason, trust the second law of thermodynamics, statistical form, far more than I trust the claims of neo-Darwinian theory and associated claimed reconstructions of the history of life and of its chemical evolution-based origin in the purported deep past of the earth.

    GEM of TKI

  132. PS: Godel. Some have applied it to nature, viewing the cosmos as in effect a massive computation. Interesting work.

  133. KF
    I’ll respond to your other points in a few hours, but with regard to

    its knowledge claims are precisely that: provisional, and withing that context some are a lot more reliable and well-confirmed than others.

    You note you trust the second law of thermodynamics. What about the current understanding of radioactive decay? Do you trust that as well?

    Purported has as one of it’s definitions the following:

    To have or present the often false appearance of being or intending;

    And when you go on to say “purported deep past of the earth” it simply invalidates anything else you might say. If there is no physical evidence whatsoever beyond some fevered imaginings for a young earth (including re-writing the laws of physics) then what credence can I give to somebody who buys into the young-earth situation, such as you appear to be KF. I believe you have said in the past, as others have here recently that ID does not speak to the age of the earth. It’s odd then how often the subject arises. KF, if you can trust the second law of thermodynamics completely then what about the other physical laws that relate to it? If our understanding of other laws just as basic as the SLOT can be wrong (and they would have to be wrong for a young earth to be possible) then I doubt we’d be having this conversation as nobody would have been able to understand the properties of matter well enough to put computers together.

    KF, how old is the earth? And what makes you think the apparent (and confirmed in every way) old age is an illusion? Where is your evidence for that (and I know you are an evidence based person and would not claim such without good reason, not simply because it’s in the bible).

  134. DLH– thank you for fixing the link.

    Mohammed does not seem that bad a fellow.

    A litmus test for a civilized society would be the degree to which views that dissent from that of the majority are allowed i.e. ownership of the Bible/Koran, sale of them equally, distribution of them equally, no discrimination on broadcasts, public readings or proselytization.

    It has been my opinion that Moslems are afraid of the Bible. That does not seem to be the case with Mohammed, so God bless him.

    Anyway, what we should do is fight for values and not theology.

  135. mohammad.hussein at 134

    I do wish you all the best in your endeavors to deconstruct Darwinism. It’s a noble effort that I very much hope succeeds.

    Thanks for your encouragement. We welcome you and others to contribute to this effort and to develop and support scientific theory(s) of Intelligent Design that provides a better description of nature and better predictions than the conventional evolution paradigm.

    On the links, I tried to provide pro-islamic, “neutral”, a Jewish scholar, and pro-christian perspectives.
    This issue of the interpretation of the “sword” surah and abrogation appear to be key factors underlying the difficulty most have with “islamofascism”, and the division between moderate and radical Islam.

    On “dismissed Islam because theologically speaking seeing any goodness in it would threaten your own faith.” – there are many people of all faiths who do good deeds. That is not the threat at all.

    I look forward to your comments on the Williamsburg compact and principles for civil society.

  136. f.blair at 137
    There are other meanings for “purported”. e.g.:
    “assumed as such”
    “commonly put forth or accepted as true on inconclusive grounds”
    etc. Please ask for explanations rather than jumping to conclusions.

    If there is no physical evidence whatsoever beyond some fevered imaginings for a young earth (including re-writing the laws of physics) then what credence can I give to somebody who buys into the young-earth situation, such as you appear to be KF. I believe you have said in the past, as others have here recently that ID does not speak to the age of the earth.

    Lets focus on common principles and what is needed to uphold civil society, and developing principles of ID as a scientific theory

    NOT targeting each other over whether young earth or an old earth is “right” or “wrong”.

  137. DLH – you are quite right, I should have asked before assuming the definition.

    However I feel compelled to point out that the other meanings you mention don’t really put any better spin on the issue.

    The age of the earth has not been “assumed as such” nor is it accepted as true on “inconclusive grounds”.

    Lets move away from the issue of old v young earth then (KF I’d still be interested to hear your opinion on the matter and by what you meant with your usage of “purported” in that instance) and move the subject to the levels of evidence required to accept something as “as true as it gets”.

    The evidence for ID has not been developed to the same level as (say) the evidence for an old earth. While there is evidence for both, one has a much stronger case then the other. For example, that the earth is old is supported by multiple calibration curves that all just happen to have values that match each other despite being independently generated. Of course, there are also all the peer-reviewed papers, journals and indeed books published on radiocarbon and other forms of dating. The body of evidence, if you will.

    Yet it appears it is not enough to convince some people.

    Fair enough, some people might have a higher standard of evidence, or have prior convictions that prevent them from becoming convinced by the evidence. For whatever reason, not convinced.

    The body of evidence for ID, while substantial, is poor compared to that supporting well developed physical sciences such as those used to determine the age of the solar system and planets.

    What I find odd is that people can be convinced by the evidence for ID 100% and yet the much larger body of evidence regarding issues such as the age of the solar system and the planets within it is treated with disdain and remains unconvincing.

    What level of physical evidence would convince you KF and others (over half the ID movers and shakers!) so that the usage of the word “purported” (if used in the way I described to indicate “supposed” or similar) would not be necessary next time you write a similar essay?

    It almost seems as if a double standard is in operation. If 10 peer reviewed papers mean something of significance then don’t 100 mean something also? 100,000? A million? At what point do you become a believer?

  138. f.blair at 141

    move the subject to the levels of evidence required to accept something as “as true as it gets”.

    Consider the voluminous exponentially increasing evidence from biochemistry to medical genetic diseases, genomics and proteomics.

    We look forward to your evaluation of the cell “factory” with its myriad information processing, regulatory, energy, and transport systems relative to ID vs materialistic evolution.

    Then on the topic of the thread, please address how that rapidly increasing body of evidence is allowed to be interpreted relative to competing origin theories or ID vs evolution, (including the Origin Of Life, and the Fine Tuning of the Universe.)

    E.g. the Stephen Myers/ Richard Sternberg saga.

  139. DLH:

    Thanks for more than adequately addressing the most recent rabbit trails in this thread and calling us back to the core business:

    Consider the voluminous exponentially increasing evidence from biochemistry to medical genetic diseases, genomics and proteomics.

    We look forward to your evaluation of the cell “factory” with its myriad information processing, regulatory, energy, and transport systems relative to ID vs materialistic evolution.

    Then on the topic of the thread, please address how that rapidly increasing body of evidence is allowed to be interpreted relative to competing origin theories or ID vs evolution, (including the Origin Of Life, and the Fine Tuning of the Universe.)

    E.g. the Stephen Myers/ Richard Sternberg saga.

    Now, on points to . . .

    FB, 137:

    1] “Purported”:

    I deliberately gave you rope to run off on a tangent instead of addressing the core issue on the merits.

    You immediately — and inadvertently revealingly — pounced on the term “purported” and diverted to the distractor, inferring from it that you had discredited what I had to say, forgetting or neglecting to address the matter in the main on the merits.

    But in so doing, you actually inadvertently undid the case you are trying to make.

    For, in using the word, I am emphasising that we were not there in the claimed deep past, so our “reconstructions” are just that: more or less plausible reconstructions, not the past itself. Further, on cases and evidence, there are certain troubling circularities in much of the associated reasoning [index fossils immediately come to mind, and the issue of isochrons that contradict KNOWN dates of lava or ash flows], as for instance the contentious behind- the- scenes debates over dating KNM ER1470 etc brought out most forcibly.

    But, most of all, we are dealing with the big gap in the epistemology of science here.

    Namely, that [a] scientific investigations on the presently observed operating factors and patterns are, per methodology, repeatable, testable and reliable (or they would not be “science”). But, and note how I make a careful distinction here, [b] scientifically informed reconstructions of the — necessarily — unique past, simply are not.

    To pass the last off as if it were as established as the former, is to mislead — whether unintentionally or not.

    Period.

    FYI, on personal view: I happen to be a lot more impressed with the evidence of astrophysics than I am with that for the commonly accepted, NDT- and more or less uniformitarian Geology- based reconstructed past on earth. (E.g. just yesterday I had to remark to a senior policy maker here that in the past 10 – 15 years here in M’rat we have seen a pretty good fraction of what was reconstructed as happening across 10 ka, ~ 25 – 15 kya, with our presently active volcano. In short, we need to temper our reconstructions of the past with humility and open-mindedness, especially on assumptions, rates and parameters and boundary conditions. For the case in view, that means we need to be open to a lot nastier behaviour of the volcano than many are wont to accept, thence issues over sustainability of decision making and redevelopment policy. It is worth noting that the officials and scientists have been CONSISTENTLY optimistic in their estimates, and have been caught out napping by the mountain more times than I care to mention. In short, we do not have a good handle on matters such as rates, trend lines and time estimates. So, I simply look at the overall pattern and say we need to assess based on optimistic, moderate and pessimistic scenarios, for scenarios/models are all we have.)

    FYFI, I am [per models that are acknowledged to be provisional] willing to go along with the general framework for the reconstructed past, insofar as there is a physically anchored and not too question-begging basis for the relevant reconstructions, which acknowledges the limitations at work. I am not willing to concede these reconstructions as practically indisputable facts on the level of the observation that per the mathematics of decay constants [ln2/lambda and all that], a certain isotope has a half life as observed under present circumstances, of 5,600 or so years. [And of course radiocarbon dating is a major part of the reconstruction of the local volcano's past behaviour . . . ]

    Do you see the difference I am making?

    Do you see why I think the distinction is valid?

    If you disagree, why?

    2] 2LOT and Radioactivity

    FYI, I simply gave 2LOT as an example.

    I am perfectly able [since I was in 6th form longer ago than I want to remember just now] to infer from dN/dt varies as N, to the decay constant, thence resulting half-life — and indeed, I well recall doing just such calculations in 6th form and thinking about the underlying assumptions that were being neatly glided over, e.g., on C14 dating. (Nor were those assumptions really teased out in higher level physics work that I did. I didn’t make a fuss over it, but I saw what was being missed. Now, I am in a position to say a little something about it, and I have.)

    This, then is my caveat: when we move from model world to actual reality, we need to reckon with too often undiscussed issues, constraints and factors.

    3] when you go on to say “purported deep past of the earth” it simply invalidates anything else you might say.

    This — as I have shown just now — is, sadly, a perfect instance of assailing a strawman and incorrectly/ fallaciously inferring therefrom, that the real issue may safely be dismissed.

    And, BTW, kindly note that it is YOU who have introduced notions of Young Earth Creationism. I have not.

    Instead, as I outlined above, I adverted to the significant difference between investigations in the present and reconstructions of the past beyond human observation and record.

    Nor is this issue without relevance to the matter in the main . . .

    4] Tying the issue back in

    For, the inference to design is precisely an inference from the easily repeated — and so far exceptionless — present observation that causal factors underlying key change processes can and have long been clustered as chance, necessity, agency. And, in that context, necessity shows itself in natural regularities, leaving highly contingent situations to chance and/or agency. Functionally specified, complex information is a reliably observed distinguishing marker of such agency.

    So, we have excellent inductive — and of course therefore provisional [as with all of science] — grounds for incorporating this principle into our scientifically informed reconstructions of the past where we did not directly observe the causal processes and have no record as such of said processes.

    Immediately as we do so, we observe in the present life forms with a molecular based nanotechnology that exhibits massive FSCI. We have reason to infer that this same nanotech was at work in the past life forms that have left fossil remains, e.g. — and directly relevant to the Meyer-Sternberg case — in what has been termed the Cambrian revolution in the fossil record; requiring for us to account for several dozen phyla and sub-phyla worth of biodiversity, at the point of origin of major biodiversity. Similarly, we see that the inference to the existence of such nanotech also obtains for the origin of said cell-based life; not leas because of the strong commonality of DNA and its code (with minor dialects) across existing life forms.

    So, we need to account for the origin of the massive FSCI implied, and we know from observation and analysis that FSCI credibly traces to agency; without a significant counterexample within the ambit of our observation.

    So, now, why is the inference based on scientific principles and observations that we see in the present and have reason to accept would obtain for the past, resisted to the point of slander and career-busting?

    Let’s see . . .

    6] 141: The evidence for ID has not been developed to the same level as (say) the evidence for an old earth . . . . The body of evidence for ID, while substantial, is poor compared to that supporting well developed physical sciences such as those used to determine the age of the solar system and planets.

    Whoa!

    a –> We have a highly reliable, massively supported and unexceptioned empirical observation in the present, in the very well-known, well developed science of information theory: functional, code-bearing digital information strings that are beyond 500 – 1,000 bite of information storing capacity are invariably the work of intelligent agents, for multiple reasons. [Onlookers, cf my always linked section A.]

    b –> We have reason to believe that the heart of cell based life forms is precisely such a functional, highly complex code-bearing digital string, DNA: concatenated, encoded 4-state elements, in strings of length 300 – 500k at the lower end, ranging up to about 3 bn at the upper end. At the very first level, 300,000 4 state elements is 600 k bits [1,000 not 1024 "k"s!], corresponding to a config space of order about 10^180,000; vastly beyond the number of quantum states in the observed universe across its generally discussed lifetime [~13.7 BY] and scale [~ 10^80 atoms], about 10^150 states.

    c –> So, if “the present is the key to the past,” then — if we are to be consistent in making scientifically informed reconstructions of the not- directly- observed- or- recorded past — we have excellent reason to infer that the same known causal factor that routinely and reliably produces such FSCI in the present as observed in communication systems and analysed through information theory [consider the inference to signal/ message not noise implied in the common ratio, signal-noise ratio] produced it in the past.

    d –> So, either you surrender the claim that [i] the present is the key to the past or you surrender the claim that [ii] the evidence for ID is substantially/ materially poorer than that for other reconstructions of the past based on scientific observations in the present.

    e –> Otherwise, you are indulging in selective hyperskepticism, i.e. inconsistent epistemology based on injecting question-begging worldview level assumptions, i.e. evolutionary materialism and/or its handmaiden, so-called methodological naturalism.

    And, DLH, see why I went where I went? (Also, my actual opinion on the matter is pretty much as above: in light of the underlying inherent epistemological limitations of science, we must be HUMBLE about our reconstructions of and models for the past. And, we should in all honesty teach science students from primary school on up, about the limitations of scientific thinking, modelling and theorising.)

    7] It almost seems as if a double standard is in operation. If 10 peer reviewed papers mean something of significance then don’t 100 mean something also? 100,000? A million? At what point do you become a believer?

    First, number of peer-reviewed papers, especially in a context of polarised institutions, is no index of truth. For, no authority is better than his/her facts, assumptions and reasoning. It is the merits on facts, assumptions and reasoning that count in the end.

    The above should suffice to show where the real selective hyperskepticism challenge lies:

    Physician, heal thyself.

    GEM of TKI

  140. Muslim Protesters Call for the Death of Anti-Islam Dutch Filmmaker

    It appears that the “Islamofascist” wing is still active!

    Those claiming Islam is a religion of “peace” together with the rest of us must still address the challenge that the Islamo-fascists call for death of everyone they disagree with and who will not bow to the religion they seek to impose on everyone else.


    Geert Wilders
    to edit film to remove copyright objections over the use of the opening/closing cartoon.

    At FrontPage, Daniel Pipes discusses:
    Will Europe Resist Islamization?
    By Daniel Pipes

  141. How does Darwinian Fascism/Totalitarianism in classrooms indoctrinate children compared with Islamo-Fascism in classrooms?
    e.g., consider:
    ‘Bush killed’ in Palestinian kids TV show

  142. DLH,

    In 145, you ask a very interesting question:

    How does Darwinian Fascism/Totalitarianism in classrooms indoctrinate children compared with Islamo-Fascism in classrooms?

    Now of course, “fascism” may not be an appropriate term for many Darwinists, given its more or less specific ideological meaning. Having noted that, there are significant abuses of power and manipulations of those not knowing enough to spot the holes, that should give us pause in looking at the comparison.

    For instance, in recent months, there have been several threads at UD which are very relevant to this question, both in the narrow sense of the classroom, and in the wider sense of the media-promoted, often government funded radical cultural agenda promoted through positions of power and influence, e.g. the recent sub-thread discussion on the Kansas School Board 2007 question-begging attempted re-definition of science backed up by slandering those who challenge it, the one on the earlier Crystal City Atheism conference led by Dawkins, and the thread on how Sweden’s education authorities set out to ban ID in private schools (not just public ones). it is worth highlighting a few points:

    1 –> First, let us observe again how the radicalised, circa 2007, Kansas School Board has sought to write evolutionary materialism into the “definition” of science taught to children in Kansas — and by direct implication and extension, elsewhere:

    Science is a human activity of systematically seeking natural [i.e. in effect, materialist only] explanations for what we observe in the world around us . . . As it is practiced in the late 20th and early 21st century, science is restricted to explaining only the natural world, using only natural cause. This is because science currently has no tools to test explanations using non-natural (such as supernatural [which is of course an allusion to the Barbara Forrest-style slanderous and atmosphere-poisoning allegation that ID infers tot he supernatural, as opposed to the truth: it infers, on empirical evidence, to intelligent action) causes.

    2 --> Now, as the relevant thread showed at length, first this definition is historically and philosophically indefensible and question-begging. But also it is backed up by a sustained destructive slander-based public relations tactic that for instance a leader of the KCFS group and commenter here at UD could only defend by attempted repudiation; which fails once we realise just who Ms Liz Craig was and just what is implied by her position as a PR officer at the time, writing in the KCFS discussion forum [uncorrected by Mr Krebs, the Moderator, or anyone else, on FTK's testimony], and the ever so telling use of OUR:

    My [i.e. a KCFS PR officer's] strategy [as declared in their online forum, circa 2005] . . . is the same as it was in 1999: notify the national and local media about what’s going on and portray them [i.e. those who advocate for objectivity, fairness and balance in science definitions and in teaching about the science of origins] in the harshest light possible, as political opportunists, evangelical activists, ignoramuses, breakers of rules, unprincipled bullies, etc . . . . Our [i.e. KCFS's] target is the moderates who are not that well educated about the issues, most of whom probably are theistic evolutionists . . . . The solution is really political . . .

    3 –> Compare here, the statement of the Swedish Minister of Education, on how that nation proposed to regulate PRIVATE, Christian schools:

    The Swedish government is to crack down on the role religion plays in independent faith schools. The new rules will include a ban on biology teachers teaching creationism or ‘intelligent design’ alongside evolution.

    “Pupils must be protected from all forms of fundamentalism,” said Education Minister Jan Björklund to Dagens Nyheter. [“Fundamentalism” is of course an ever-handy smear that targets Christians through taking a word whose roots were in a descriptive term for groups who opposed early C20 Modernist departures from the hisoric Christian positions, by insisting on historic, longstanding Fundamentals of the Christian faith traceable to its C1 founding era, with the improper extension of the term to embrace Islamist radicals, then dragging it back again to make it sound like Christians are equally culpable as Islamofascist terrorists.]

    4 –> So nasty is this tactic, that Sam Harris — commendably – tried to correct it at the Crystal City Atheism conference, but his tempering remarks were not well received by its participants:

    While Harris said [agreeing with a theme sounded by Dawkins] he believed science must ultimately destroy [note the violent metaphor, in light of our living in a world in which atheist regimes across C20 slaughtered millions of Christians and at least one evidently continues to do that today . . .] religion, he also discussed spirituality and mysticism and called for a greater understanding of allegedly spiritual phenomena. He also cautioned the audience against lumping all religions together . . . . Specifically, he [Harris] noted that radical Islam was far more threatening than any radical Christian sect, adding that Christians had a right to be outraged when the media treated the two religions similarly . . . .
    While the audience gave Dawkins a standing ovation, Harris received only polite applause.

    5 –> Professor Dawkins’ enthusiastically-received speech, by sharpest and saddest contrast, was tellingly revealing:

    Dawkins portrayed a black-and-white intellectual battle between atheism and religion. He denounced the “preposterous nonsense of religious customs” and compared religion to racism. [of course, rather ironic givent he views of Darwin as expressed in say his Descent of Man, chs 5 – 6 and other places] He also gave no quarter to moderate or liberal believers, asserting that “so-called moderate Christianity is simply an evasion.”

    “If you’ve been taught to believe it by moderates, what’s to stop you from taking the next step and blowing yourself up?” [which of course refers to the Islamist terrorist suicide bomber tactic, and alludes tot he abusive use of the term “fundamentalist”] he said.

    All of this brings to mind the telling point made by Aristotle 2,300+ years ago, in key opening remarks in his The Rhetoric; remarks that fairly drip with painful memories of the now notorious cup of hemlock given to Socrates by his fellow Athenians, after he had been kangaroo courted:

    Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker [ethos]; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind [pathos]; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself [logos]. Persuasion is achieved by the speaker’s personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible . . . Secondly, persuasion may come through the hearers, when the speech stirs their emotions. Our judgements when we are pleased and friendly are not the same as when we are pained and hostile . . . Thirdly, persuasion is effected through the speech itself when we have proved a truth or an apparent truth by means of the persuasive arguments suitable to the case in question . . . .

    We cannot say that we have not been warned.

    GEM of TKI

  143. A moderate Moslim’s viewpoint on Fitna

    Muslims should be angry about Fitna, but that anger should be directed to those ulaema and leaders who perpetuate traditional Islamist positions. Nevertheless, despite any feelings of anger Muslims must tolerate it, and other perceived insults to Islam, in order to demonstrate true Muslim tolerance and compatibility with wider civilisation. Moderate Muslims, in particular must play a leadership role by defending the universal freedom of expression, even in the face of insult, as Christians, Jews and members of other faiths so often do.

    See full article: Fitna and the Challenge to Moderate Muslims, By Thomas Haidon
    FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, April 02, 2008

  144. DLH:

    I found this excerpt from the article you linked [thanks!] perhaps even more compelling — and, let us remember, it is Algerian Moderates who seem to have invented the term, Islamofascism:

    . . . Overall, the film [Fitna] presents a succinct, yet superficial (and perhaps simplistic) overview of particular verses of the Qur’an, and the Muslim tradition which can be interpreted to mandate violence and oppression, and attempts to demonstrate how these verses have been applied to justify Islamic terrorism and the maltreatment of non-Muslims, women, homosexuals and others. Nevertheless Fitna uses powerful imagery, concrete examples, Islamic sources and actual words and statements of Muslims and Muslim commentators to support its thesis. Fitna provides a powerful reminder of the drivers behind the terrorist murders which took place on September 11th and in London, Madrid and many other locations.

    The film suffers from an important flaw however. In its conciseness and brevity, it does not provide a full picture of modern Islamic thought. It leads the viewer to believe, that there is only a singular understanding of Islam and of the verses in the Qur’an. It overtly ignores the existence and work of moderate Muslims and more liberal schools of Islam. That being said, it would be disingenuous to argue that the substance of the film is somehow inaccurate. These verses have been used and justified, extensively by both traditional and modern scholars (such as Sheikh Al-Rashudi and Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi). While there are liberal and moderate schools of Islamic thought, they are, unfortunately, not predominant. Nonetheless, the portrayal of Islam as a singular monstrous monolith is troubling, from the perspective of a moderate Muslim.

    At the same time however, the film (perhaps unwittingly) speaks to moderate Muslims and poses a challenge. This takes place during arguably the film’s most powerful moment at the conclusion where an image of the Qur’an is placed on the screen, and the sound of tearing pages is heard in the background. The narrator immediately puts forward a challenge to Muslims:

    The sound you heard was a page being removed from the phonebook. For it is not up to me, but to Muslims to tear out the hateful verses of the Qur’an.

    It is ever so chilling to hear an obviously moderate Muslim make that summary, especially to see him critique the film for missing the moderate position — fair enough — then have to concede that that moderate position is “not predominant.” For, it describes a Muslim position, one that clearly has historical roots in classical and even foundational era Islam, and it shows that the position is what motivated the sort of terrorism we have seen in too many cases across the world. Then, even in protesting that his is not the only Muslim view, it has to concede that the more moderate views do not predominate.

    In other words, the picture that, say, a Dr Sookhdeo paints is — sadly — substantially accurate: a relatively small but numerically very large and violent minority, a major slice that hold similar views of the relevant texts and traditions, but do not currently think the time is right for the world conquering surge of Islam, and a distinctly smaller minority view that is more moderate.

    Also, I think there is evidence to support that there is a growing proportion of the disenchanted, who have seen the violent side of Islamism, and do not like what they see. Probably, this explains the rising success of a Father Botros, whose evangelism and apologetics that gently challenges the Islamic authorities to justify their claims and teachings, joined to invitation to turn to one who is unquestionably non-violent, Jesus, is a big factor in the 6 million Muslims per year who are reported to be converting out of Islam, threats notwithstanding.

    Here, from the just linked, is a summary of his work:

    Though he is little known in the West, Coptic priest Zakaria Botros — named Islam’s “Public Enemy #1” by the Arabic newspaper, al-Insan al-Jadid — has been making waves in the Islamic world. Along with fellow missionaries — mostly Muslim converts — he appears frequently on the Arabic channel al-Hayat (i.e., “Life TV”). There, he addresses controversial topics of theological significance — free from the censorship imposed by Islamic authorities or self-imposed through fear of the zealous mobs who fulminated against the infamous cartoons of Mohammed. Botros’s excurses on little-known but embarrassing aspects of Islamic law and tradition have become a thorn in the side of Islamic leaders throughout the Middle East.

    Botros is an unusual figure onscreen: robed, with a huge cross around his neck, he sits with both the Koran and the Bible in easy reach. Egypt’s Copts — members of one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East — have in many respects come to personify the demeaning Islamic institution of “dhimmitude” (which demands submissiveness from non-Muslims, in accordance with Koran 9:29). But the fiery Botros does not submit, and minces no words. He has famously made of Islam “ten demands,” whose radical nature he uses to highlight Islam’s own radical demands on non-Muslims.

    The result? Mass conversions to Christianity — if clandestine ones. The very public conversion of high-profile Italian journalist Magdi Allam — who was baptized by Pope Benedict in Rome on Saturday — is only the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, Islamic cleric Ahmad al-Qatani stated on al-Jazeera TV a while back that some six million Muslims convert to Christianity annually, many of them persuaded by Botros’s public ministry. More recently, al-Jazeera noted Life TV’s “unprecedented evangelical raid” on the Muslim world.

    One hopes and prays that good sense, common decency and moderation will in the end prevail.

    GEM of TKI

  145. 146

    Kariousfocus, I wanted to comment on the Gödel question put forward by Tribune.

    Here is a quote that I have been hiding for some time now because I found it so enlightening and inspiring I had the feeling like I didn’t want anyone else you know about it. My selfishness has been replaced with my desire to share the quote with you all.

    This is a quote written by Kurt Gödel in a letter to someone inquiring about the philosophical implications of his work-

    “What has been proved is only that the kind of reasoning necessary in mathematics cannot be completely mechanized. Rather constantly renewed appeals to mathematical intuition are necessary. The decision of my “undecidable” proposition … results from such an appeal. … Whether every arithmetical yes or no question can be decided with the help of some chain of mathematical intuitions is not known. At any rate it has not been proved that there are arithmetical questions undecidable by the human mind. Rather what has been proved is only this: Either there are such questions or the human mind is more than a machine. In my opinion the second alternative is much more likely.”

    —Kurt Gödel [9, p. 162, Letter to David F. Plummer]

    What beautifully eloquent and precise language Gödel uses to describe the implications of his result. Note how he uses the word “undecidable” instead of “incompleteness.”

    For the longest time I was under the impression that Gödel did away with formalism. That is that his theorem proved that formal systems were flawed or incomplete within themselves but according to Gödel- while he is hesitant to say for sure (but of course how could he say anything for sure given the circumstances) what the implication was he favored the mystical explanation that the Mind is more than machine. Spooky. Gödel as it turns out thought that mathematical intuition went beyond formalization but didn’t disprove it. Gödel believed in intuition above all else, and it makes sense because the long friendship between Einstein and Gödel was perhaps facilitated by that high respect for the intuition that they both shared. Einstein once was speaking with Rockefeller and Rockefeller said to him “you know I put my faith in organization“- with which Einstein replied “I put mine in intuition.”

    If Gödel’s interpretation of his result isn’t intelligent design worthy and oriented than i don’t know what is.

    —Kurt Gödel [9, p. 162, Letter to David F. Plummer]

  146. Either there are such questions or the human mind is more than a machine. In my opinion the second alternative is much more likely.”

    That’s beautiful. Thanks.

  147. Radical Islam provides another example of their understanding of the “friendly skies”.
    ‘Terror plot’ to blow up transatlantic flights out of London
    British Muslims ‘planned to kill thousands by bombing SEVEN transatlantic airliners in one go’

    -All in the name of Islam.

  148. Frosty:

    KG’s work on incompleteness and related undecidability is indeed powerful and humbling.

    His point is that if the mind is like a computer, it cannot pass the level of the axioms and their limitation that they cannot be both complete and coherent and there is no CONSTRUCTIVE procedure to make them known to be coherent [save for making certain assumptions that are themselves reflective of undecidability].

    KG comes down on the side of intuition, that we can see and even know beyond what we can prove. In short, we all live by faith, in the end — the issue is, which one, why.

    GEM of TKI

    PS: DLH, the radical, violent Islamists are a shame to all people, including most decent-minded Muslims. Sadly, within teh islamic thought world, they have some very significant warrant for thewir views. That means that we have to appeal to the moral intuitions to call for repentance and reformation, or if such is impossible, a walkaway. Cf my cites and remarks at 148.

  149. 150

    A Muslim response to Fitna:

    A Netherworldly Fitna!
    Written by Sayyid Ali Quli Qarai
    Monday, 07 April 2008

    The anti-Qur’an video by Geert Wilders is the most recent of efforts, albeit a very coarse one, to malign Islam and Muslims. Its attempts to cast aspersions on the Holy Qur’an are based on distortions and mistranslations of some of its verses quoted out of context. In the following, I will try to bring out some of the grotesque character of its allegations.

    (1) The first verse (8:60), cited at the opening, is an advice to Muslims of the Prophet’s era to establish an effective defense force to protect the new-born Islamic state from actually or potentially hostile entities, which included the pagan Arab tribes and the empires of Persia and Byzantium. Together with 8:61, it also sets forth a straightforward military policy for the Islamic state: establishment of effective defence to deter present and future enemies and maintenance of peace with non-Muslim neighbors who desire to maintain peaceful relations with the Islamic state:

    Prepare against them whatever you can of [military] power and war-horses, awing thereby the enemy of Allah, and your enemy, and others besides them, whom you do not know, but Allah knows them. And whatever you spend in the way of Allah will be repaid to you in full, and you will not be wronged. And if they incline toward peace, then you [too] incline toward it, and put your trust in Allah. Indeed He is the All-hearing, the All-knowing. (8:60-61)

    Now read the distorted, truncated version quoted in Mr. Wilders’ film:

    “Prepare to destroy ‘them’ with all force. Terrorize Allah’s enemy and your enemy.”

    (2) The second verse cited is 4:56, which gives a graphic description of the state of the faithless in hell. Similar graphic depictions of hell abound in Christian literature and art, such as Dante’s Divine Comedy and paintings of Medieval and Renaissance artists (e.g. Hieronymus Bosch’s Last Judgment), and in the art and literature of other faiths.

    One would hardly suspect that a verse such as this would provide ammunition for anti-Islamic propaganda. But Wilders is determined to distort the Qur’anic language to fit his own callow and grisly purposes. The Qur’an says:

    Indeed, those who defy Our signs, We shall soon make them enter a Fire: as often as their skins become scorched, We shall replace them with other skins, so that they may taste the punishment. Indeed Allah is all-mighty, all-wise. (4:56)

    Mr. Widlers offers this translation for the verse:

    “Those who are disbelievers will be burned in fire and when their skin is crispy like a turkey’s we will replace it with another skin, so that they will know their punishment. Allah is great and wise.”

    There is no mention of “skin turning crispy like a turkey’s” in the Quran.

    (3) Verse 47:7 is a general guideline for the conduct of Muslim warfare against the troops of pagan Arab tribes, who were in a league determined to annihilate the emergent Islamic state and religion. Although it is meant as a war directive, there is a resounding note of Divine Compassion even in this passage:

    When you meet the faithless in battle, strike their necks. When you have thoroughly decimated them, bind the captives firmly. Thereafter either oblige them [by setting them free] or take ransom till the war lays down its burdens. That [is Allah's ordinance], and had Allah wished He could have taken vengeance on them, but that He may test some of you by means of others. (47:4)

    Mr. Wilders gives the following text as representing 47:7:

    “When you have an encounter with a disbeliever, cut their throats (sic) with a sword and spill their blood.”

    The accuracy of Mr. Wilders’ rendition and his honesty as a critic of the Qur’an are left to the reader’s judgment.

    (4) There was a group of saboteurs and spies amongst Muslims who practiced dissemblance by appearing to be converts, while working secretly for the pagans in their designs to eradicate the newly established faith. They are called Munafiqun (hypocrites) in the Qur’an and in Muslim parlance. Some of these self-styled “Muslims” lived in Mecca with the pagans, and exploited their professed conversion and contacts with Medina to spy on the Muslims. Some Muslims sympathized with them, while others considered them dangerous. Verse 4:89, which relates to these hypocrites, is cited erroneously in the video as an assertion against non-Muslims.

    A thorough discussion of the historical and political background of verse 4:89 can be found in detailed works on Qur’anic exegesis. Here, however, we quote verse 4:89, along with its preceding and following verses, to throw light on the exact context:

    Why should you be two groups concerning the hypocrites, while Allah has made them relapse (into unfaith) because of their deeds? Do you desire to guide someone Allah has led astray? Whomever Allah leads astray, you will never find any way for him.

    They are eager that you should disbelieve like they have disbelieved, so that you all become alike. So do not make friends [with anyone] from among them, until they migrate in the way of Allah. But if they turn their backs [i.e. if they refuse to join the Muslim community in Medina and prefer to continue their residence amongst the pagan Meccans], seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and do not take from among them friends or helpers, excepting those who join a people between whom and you there is a treaty, or such as come to you with hearts reluctant to fight you or to fight their own people.

    Had Allah wished, He would have imposed them upon you, and then they would have surely fought you. So if they keep out of your way and do not fight you, and offer you peace, then Allah does not allow you any course [of action] against them. (4: 88-90)

    As can be seen, these verses are meant to put an end to security risks arising from suspect external elements pretending allegiance to Islam. Moreover, in them the Qur’an directs Muslims to honor their obligations towards non-belligerent pagan tribes who had peace treaties with the Islamic state.

    Mr. Wilders, unconcerned with context and background, renders verse 4:89 as follows, as if it were another item in a string of invectives against non-Muslims:

    “They would like to see you become disbelievers, don’t trust these people as long as they don’t follow Allah. When they escape, kill them wherever you find them! Don’t trust them, it will be your grave.”

    The Qur’an’s Teaching Concerning Jews and Christians:

    Mr. Wilders’ little video is loaded with terrible scenes of bloodshed and terrifying statements from apparently Muslim individuals against non-Muslims, especially Jews. By any civilized standards, every individual is responsible for his own statements and deeds, no other. To transfer the blame for an individual’s words and deeds to an entire community or religion is to yield to barbarism.

    The deeds and words allegedly attributed in Mr. Wilders’ video to Muslim individuals relate as such only to their alleged authors, in case such attribution be true. I as a Muslim neither relate to any of those acts and statements, nor do I consider myself or any other Muslim answerable for them.

    All I can say here is that the attempt of the video to project such statements and acts as stereotyping Muslim attitude towards non-Muslims, is contrary to Islam and the Quran as practiced and understood by the vast majority of Muslims, Shia and Sunni.

    First, the Quran honours all pious and faithful persons regardless of their religious tradition. It declares in clear terms in two places in the scripture:

    Indeed the faithful, the Jews, the Christians, and the Sabaeans – those of them who have faith in Allah and the Last Day and act righteously – they shall have their reward near their Lord, and they will have no fear, nor will they grieve. (2:62 & 5:69)

    It is true that the Quran does not entertain a very positive view of the Jews as a religious community and is very critical of their conduct (not because of their Jewishness, but because of their human character and failings; many Muslims would see the same criticism to be as pertinent to the conduct of some Muslim communities through the last fourteen hundred years, especially in view of some prophetic traditions which consider Qur’anic descriptions of Jews and Christians as being archetypical of the future conduct of Muslim communities themselves):

    Certainly Allah took a pledge from the Children of Israel, and We raised among them twelve chiefs. And Allah said, ‘I am with you! Surely, if you maintain the prayer and give the alms and have faith in My apostles and support them and lend Allah a good loan, I will surely absolve you of your misdeeds, and I will surely admit you into gardens with streams running in them. But whoever of you disbelieves after that has certainly strayed from the right way.’ Then, because of their breaking their covenant, We cursed them and made their hearts hard: they pervert words from their meanings and have forgotten a part of what they were reminded. You will not cease to learn of some of their treachery, excepting a few of them. Yet excuse them and forbear. Indeed Allah loves the virtuous. (5:12-13)

    Whenever an apostle brought them that which was not to their liking, they would impugn a part of them, and a part they would slay. They supposed there would be no testing, so they became blind and deaf. Thereafter Allah accepted their repentance, yet [again] many of them became blind and deaf, and Allah sees best what they do. (5: 70-71)

    Surely many of them (i.e. Jews) will be increased by what has been sent to you from your Lord in rebellion and unfaith, and We have cast enmity and hatred amongst them until the Day of Resurrection. Every time they ignite the flames of war, Allah puts them out. They seek to cause corruption on the earth, and Allah does not like the agents of corruption. (5:64)

    But it also acknowledges that they are not all alike:

    Yet they are not all alike. Among the People of the Book (i.e. the Jews) is an upright nation; they recite Allah’s signs in the watches of the night and prostrate. (3:113)

    Among the people of Moses is a nation who guide [the people] by the truth and do justice thereby. (7: 159)

    The Quran is also very critical of the Christian doctrine of Trinity and rejects Christian theology which deifies Jesus:

    They are certainly faithless who say, ‘Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary.’ Say, ‘Who can avail anything against Allah should He wish to destroy the Messiah, son of Mary, and his mother, and everyone upon the earth?’ To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and whatever is between them. He creates whatever He wishes, and Allah has power over all things. (5: 17)

    It considers the schism and fragmentation of the Christian community as being due to its turning its back on its Divine commitments:

    Also from those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ We took their pledge; but they forgot a part of what they were reminded. So We stirred up enmity and hatred among them until the Day of Resurrection, and soon Allah will inform them concerning what they had been doing. (3:14)

    Yet it has warm words of appreciation for individual Christians who try to live up to the demands of their faith, considering them to be emotionally and spiritually closer to Muslims:

    Surely You will find the most hostile of all people towards the faithful to be the Jews and the polytheists, and surely you will find the nearest of them in affection to the faithful to be those who say ‘We are Christians.’ That is because there are priests and monks among them, and because they are not arrogant. When they hear what has been revealed to the Apostle, you see their eyes fill with tears because of the truth that they recognize. They say, ‘Our Lord, we believe; so write us down among the witnesses. Why should we not believe in Allah and the truth that has come to us, eager as we are that our Lord should admit us among the righteous people?’ (5:82-84)

    The Qur’an categorically rejects the idea that any people or nation can be God’s chosen or beloved people merely on creedal, racial or ethnic grounds.

    The Jews and the Christians say, ‘We are Allah’s children and His beloved ones.’ Say, ‘Then why does He punish you for your sins?’ Rather, you are humans from among His creatures. He forgives whomever He wishes, and punishes whomever He wishes, and to Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and whatever is between them, and toward Him is the return. (5:18)

    From the viewpoint of the Qur’an, no one is entitled to Divine favor on mere basis of his creed. Those are nearest to God who have faith in Him and follow His edicts contained in the scriptures.

    O mankind! Indeed We created you from a male and a female, and made you nations and tribes that you may identify yourselves with one another. Indeed the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most Godwary among you. Indeed Allah is all-knowing, all-aware. (49:13)

    Although the Qur’an considers Islam as the most complete and perfect religion, it takes a pragmatic view of religious allegiances and accepts other religions, calling upon their followers to loyally follow their scriptures.

    Say, ‘O People of the Book! You do not stand on anything until you observe the Torah and the Evangel and what was sent down to you from your Lord.’ (5: 68)

    Let the people of the Evangel judge by what Allah has sent down in it. Those who do not judge by what Allah has sent down—it is they who are the transgressors. (5:47)

    For each [community] among you We appointed a code [of law] and a path, and had Allah wished He would have made you one community, but [His purposes required] that He should test you in respect to what He has given you.

    So take the lead in all good works. To Allah shall be the return of you all, whereat He will inform you concerning that about which you used to differ. (5:48)

    No nation or community has any special relationship with God. The Qur’an does not consider God’s favor towards Muslim communities to be unconditional:

    O you who have faith! Should any of you desert his religion, Allah will soon bring a people whom He loves and who love Him, [who will be] humble towards the faithful, stern towards the faithless, waging struggle in the way of Allah, not fearing the blame of any blamer. That is Allah’s grace which He grants to whomever He wishes, and Allah is all-bounteous, all-knowing. (5: 54)

    Sayyid Ali Quli Qarai is an Indian scholar. He has published several books, including a phrase-by-phrase English translation of the Holy Qur’an.

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