Monday, January 14, 2013

Is It Time for All Religions to Accept Evolution?

This is a BBC One program posted to YouTube on Jan. 13, 2013. The question is whether it's time for all regions to accept evolution. The answer is "yes" of course, but some religions are going to resist for a bit longer. Because this is Britain, it's not so much the Christians that are the problem but Muslims.

You will recognize some of the people on this program. Matt Ridley, for example, gives a pretty good answer to the question about whether there's a scientific debate about the fact of evolution. It's amusing to read the response of Cornelius Hunter who claims that everything Ridley says is a lie [Here is How Evolutionists Lie to the Public].

Hunter says,
That was such a dizzying flurry of big lies we, frankly, lost count. Those lies are so absurd, so unequivocally false, and spoken with such conviction, that the average person is sure to believe them.

Unfortunately such lies are the rule rather than the exception. This evolution propaganda segment was no mistake—it is unfortunately typical.

Of course one can make truthful arguments for evolution. And one can try to find scientific evidence to support it. It is not easy, but it can be done. But that is not what evolutionists do. They mandate evolution. They insist evolution is a fact in spite of the evidence. And that is a big lie.
I don't think we're ever going to succeed in teaching the Cornelius Hunter's of this world the difference between truth and lies but TV shows like this one are having an impact and I'm glad to see that some Muslims are willing to speak out.

Shows like this one were very rare in the 20th century. It's now become much more acceptable to challenge religious beliefs that conflict with science and I think that's because of outspoken atheists like Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris, along with many other so-called "New Atheists."



58 comments:

  1. I just finished watching that. It was a pretty good discussion.

    I can see why Cornelius is protesting, for the creationist side were the clear losers.

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  2. Cornelius Hunter: Hitler called it the Big Lie.

    The way to ruin your credibility is to begin with Godwin's Law and work up to a climax.

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    Replies
    1. No, the way to ruin your credibility is to wheel out a ludicrous fallacy and leave it at that - as you've just done. Although, having no credibility, that doesn't really bother you.

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  3. They insist evolution is a fact in spite of the evidence.

    What evidence?

    I take it he means to insinuate there's evidence that evolution is false(in which case I'd like to know what that is), not just evidence that there is some phenomenon not yet explained in exquisite detail by the theory of evolution?

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  4. The bigger question is surely whether atheists are willing to stop attaching unconnected metaphysical notions to evolution at every (un)available opportunity. And if they/you did, religious people might be less inclined to reject evolution since it wouldn't always appear as a naked man dressed up, emperor fashion, in imaginary religio-political clothing. But then, if all that did happen, what on earth else would you be left to use to prop up your atheistic musings?

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    1. Hey Luther, you keep making this claims about methaphysical notions being attached to the theory of evolution, and I have already told that some of them are justifiable, and those that aren't, aren't made.

      Let's go over it again: If someone claims there's a god that made the earth and all of life, pretty much as-is, about 6000 years ago, and that all of humanity descended from two individuals(Adam and Eve), then evolution has falsified that god.

      That's not to say evolution has falsified all gods, some gods are unfalsifiable, or irrelevant with respect to the history of life.

      The people who think evolution falsifies god, thinks evolution falsifies the first one I described. They're right.

      Incidentally you'll find plenty of religious believers who agree that evolution falsifies certain god-concepts. The *magic-I-poof-stuff-into-existence-existance* kind of god most assuredly does not exist.

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    2. For someone who claims that the supernatural is explainable by natural means, it would be hard to imagine anyone more burdened by unconnected metaphysical notions than yourself.

      And by "unconnected metaphysical notions" I mean paranoid delusions, random assertions, stream of consciousness ravings and a basic (and most likely willful) ignorance of the definitions and workings of the scientific method.

      Pot calling kettle black.

      And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

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    3. I know you've said stuff before - but you seem to imagine that that somehow makes it true. The fact is that what you said was garbage then and is garbage now.

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    4. @Oberski
      I never said the supernatural was explainable by natural means - on the contrary, I defined supernatural as that which cannot have a natural explanation. As for the rest of your post, well, there's nothing there to address.

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    5. Ok Luther, I see what kind of person you are now. Thank you, we're done.

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    6. Quite specifically, I'm defining God as a supernatural entity/thing that created the universe. An entity/thing explicable by natural means.

      Luther, that's the problem when you spew out so much garbage.

      You probably don't actually recall saying this.

      I have yet to see you make a single coherent point.

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    7. @Oberski.
      Yes, I remember saying it full well. And I remember correcting the typo one minute later in the very next post. The one where I say, 'Third sentence "inexplicable".' (The third sentence in the post I was referring to being the second sentence in the one cited by you above.) Indeed, I even remember you commenting on my correction with an attempted joke. What is a joke, though, is that an immediately corrected typo is the best you've got.

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    8. Luther, everything you post is a "typo".

      Some of your turds are stinkier than others, but in the end it's all shite.

      To paraphrase Bill Maher, I'm hard-pressed to see the difference between a urine-soaked street preacher with a bullhorn babbling about the apocalypse and your comments.

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    9. @Oberski
      You're hard pressed to see any difference in anything because you're just not very good at thinking.

      BTW, my turds - obsessed much?

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  5. Replies
    1. the vid, the program.
      All very interesting

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    2. Good! All clear. Just making sure it was not in reference to the comment above it.

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  6. Cornelius showed up for a bit as a "student" in a MOOC course by Duke professor Mohammed Noor: Intro to Genetics and Evolution. He was a denier from the beginning in the forum and according to Noor didn't finish the course.

    So, as you said, we aren't likely to teach people like him much of anything.

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  7. I like how the creationist muslim could only shake is head and say "ridiculous". Pure denial.

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  8. what on earth else would you be left to use to prop up your atheistic musings?

    A general disbelief in God/gods, perhaps?

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    1. Indeed, and exactly how strong is that argument? Consider: Hello, I have a general disbelief is God(s), care to join me. Far better to pin one's atheism to science, eh.

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    2. I don't need any scientific theory to be factual for there not to be any evidence that justifies god-belief. We could be butt-fucking ignorant and not having made any scientific discoveries at all in the last 5000 years, there'd still not be any evidence of god.

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    3. Plenty evidence for God, you're just too afraid to take it.

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    4. Provide evidence now Luther.

      And hopefully you haven't assigned one of your idiosyncratic definitions to yet another word.

      A logical proof is not evidence.

      An argument from incredulity or ignorance is not evidence.

      A willful misunderstanding of evolution and the scientific method is not evidence.

      Your poorly disguised fear of death and the dark is not evidence.

      Try not to waste our time once again.

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    5. You think the best evidence can just be written down and handed to someone to read? LOL Here's you, prattling on for years about God this and God that and you don't have a clue what you're talking about. Teach me to shoot under 70 at golf, NOW! Teach me to speak Japanese, NOW! As I said, lol.

      And, fwiw, a logical proof is evidence. It's the best written evidence one can have.

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    6. No Luther, I just think that you don't actually have any such evidence.

      In fact, I know that you don't have any evidence.

      And I know that you will never, ever produce any.

      What you will do is to continue to ramble on about critical thinking, naturally explicable supernatural beings, how evolution doesn't explain bivalves (I mean, WTF was that all about ?), golf and Japanese, but you will never deliver any evidence.

      Except that since there are no gods actually talking to us, that void is filled in by people with their own corruptions and limitations and agendas. And anyone who tells you they know, they just know what happens when you die, I promise you, you don't. How can I be so sure? Because I don't know, and you do not possess mental powers that I do not. The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is not the arrogant certitude that is the hallmark of religion, but doubt.

      Bill Maher (a refreshing anodyne to the Luther Flints of the world) (from his movie Religulous)

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    7. The stuff about golf and Japanese shows that not all things are a matter of just being given pieces of paper with writing on them. Some things actually need to be done, experienced, lived or whatever. As regards evidence in writing, here's some: God exists. There you go. Not very good evidence I grant you, but evidence nonetheless.

      Anyway, on a more serious note, there are many tried and tested methods of communing with the divine, why not try some regularly for a year or two and then see what you have to say.

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    8. Anyway, on a more serious note, there are many tried and tested methods of communing with the divine

      Sure asshole, next time you talk to Jesus ask him how to cure cancer. If he can't tell you, I conclude you and he are not really friends.

      Oh no, wait-- you were expecting evolutionists to solve the whole "cancer" thing-- weren't you?

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    9. Firstly, it's Mr Asshole to you, cunt. Just had a chat with J, He said drink plenty of water, keep active all day every day, eat plenty of the fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, and a little of the fish and meat his Dad provided, and you almost certainly won't get cancer in the first place. And if you do, you'll almost certainly be so old as to not be all that bothered. Next!

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    10. Excuse me, it's Dr. Cunt. Second, I was talking to Jesus and he says he doesn't really like you. He was just being polite.

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    11. You're not very good at this. are you?

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    12. Luther, next time you're talking to your invisible friend tell him I'd like a large amount of money deposited in an offshore account.

      Given your friend's predilection for human blood and flesh I don't know that I would consider him to be a reliable source of diet advice.

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    13. Human blood and flesh eh, stick, end, wrong.

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    14. Go find out what you're talking about.

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    15. Luther, I find it interesting, in the sense of observing an ongoing train wreck from a safe distance, that your insults careen from the homophobic to the misogynistic with a steady scatological back beat leavened by a simmering paranoia.

      An online forum may not be the best venue for dealing with your issues, you may want to address them in the relative privacy of a therapists office.

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    16. I'm not the guy who obsessively thinks about you, eg, while listening to the radio, or who ponders on, eg, the precise nature of our turds. The fact is this, your entire contribution to any discussion is to make snide remarks about stuff you don't understand to people who know more tan you. Move on.

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  9. I don't think that any religion "accepts" evolution in the sense that they advise their followers to rationally examine the evidence and come to their own conclusions.

    The Catholic church is often trotted out as an example of a religion that "accepts" evolution, but they accept it in the same sense that they used to "accept" a geocentric model of the universe, namely by revelation and authority and promulgated by fiat upon the sheep, but not before contaminating it with a teleological "metaphysical framework".

    And to get a sense of how well this works we need only look on as Kenneth Miller, a cell biologist and catholic, ties himself up into knots trying to inject spooks into the evolution of humans. He obviously encountered the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin at an impressionable age and this caused some sort of permanent cognitive damage.

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  10. Here is what I posted over at Dr. Cornelius' blog, regarding him invoking Adolf Hitler in the VERY FIRST sentence of his blog post, and then comparing Matt Ridley to Hitler.

    Dr. Cornelius,

    Um, you do know that Hitler accused the Jews of practicing "the Big Lie", right?

    And so now you accuse "Darwinists" of practicing "the Big Lie", right?

    I've noticed that ID ideology is nearly identical to Nazi ideology, except with "Jews" replaced by "Darwinists". Dr. Cornelius gives us yet another example.

    Let us compare ID and Nazism, and let's see what happens when you replace "Jew" with "Darwinist."

    1. In both cases, the Jew/Darwinist is claimed to be purely destructive, because he is atheistic/materialistic, and materialism can only be destructive. (Note that the Nazis accused Jews of being closet "materialists" just pretending to have a religion.)

    2. The Jew/Darwinist is called a Christ-killer. (Yes, creationists William Dembski, William Jennings Bryan, Thomas Kindell, and Dan Gilbert did indeed call "Darwinists" Christ-killers, and yes, Nazis called Jews Christ-killers.)

    3. The Jew/Darwinist is blamed for causing World War I *AND* World War II.

    4. The Jew/Darwinist initiated, and is behind, Bolshevik revolutions.

    5. The Jew/Darwinist is determined to destroy Christianity.

    6. The Jew/Darwinist is dangerous because he does not believe in an afterlife.

    7. The Jew/Darwinist is an intellectual elite maintaining a stranglehold on all professional institutions by illicit means.

    8. The Jew/Darwinist is called a disease, parasite, or vermin that feeds on the host body, Christendom, and must be eliminated or civilization will perish.

    9. The Jew/Darwinist has promoted a "worldview" that is mechanistic, reductionist, materialistic, corrosive to society, etc.

    10. The Jew/Darwinist is blamed for promoting homosexuality, abortion, and lascivious popular entertainment.

    11. The Jew/Darwinist is to blame for higher criticism of the Bible/documentary hypothesis.

    12. The Jew/Darwinist is to blame for secularism, liberalism, rationalism, and the Enlightenment.

    13. The Jew/Darwinist is himself sensuous and sexually promiscuous.

    14. The Jew/Darwinist has promoted a "worldview" that ruined modern art, modern music, theater, etc. The Jew/Darwinist can neither create beauty nor appreciate it.

    15. The Jew/Darwinist destroys family and/or marriage because of his materialism.

    Now, thanks to Dr. Cornelius, I can add #16:

    16. The Jew/Darwinist practices "The Big Lie."

    Thanks, Dr. Cornelius! I knew I could depend on you.

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    1. Nicely done! All we need now is for some intrepid researcher to produce genealogical evidence that Darwin was descended from Jews, and the circle will be complete.

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    2. The notion of Darwinism as Jewish fable is not as rare as you might think, and is sometimes invoked by American creationists.

      In the fraudulent Protocols of the Elders of Zion the Jewish elders admit they are to blame for the popularity of Darwinism and Communism. Nazi Alfred Rosenberg wrote a detailed analysis of it in the 1920's and the Nazi printed their own edition in the 1930's.

      The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem, which was attributed to carmaker Henry Ford but was actually written by American creationist William Cameron, was given credit by many Nazis for converting them to anti-Semitism, and we know Hitler distributed copies of the German translation to party members in the 1920's. It's based on The Protocols and again blames the Jews for the spread of Darwinism.

      In Germany, the botanist Ernst Bergdolt wrote in the Nazi Party’s science journal that Darwinian natural selection was:

      “typical of the kind of passive environmentalist theory declaimed by Jewish liberals”.

      "Environmentalist", meaning human moral/mental qualities are NOT determined by race. The Nazi is saying Darwinism is Jewish, liberal, and NOT racist.

      In Turkey, American-style creationism is common, because the Turkish government translated the American creationist books of Henry Morris and the ICR into Turkish, and the Islamic creationist Harun Yahya plagiarized their books. Result: Darwin the Jew.

      "A series of [Turkish] books for primary schoolchildren, describing Charles Darwin as a Jew with a big nose who kept the company of monkeys and other historical figures in anti-Semitic terms, has caused outrage in Turkey amid fears of rising religious intolerance… [The incident] comes in the wake of wide-ranging education reforms pushed through this year by the country’s Islamist-rooted government, which have increased the number of religious schools in Turkey and introduced optional lessons on the Prophet Mohammed in ordinary state schools… " [Turkish book on Darwin sparks outrage. Financial Times, Oct. 19, 2012.]

      Everybody knows you can’t make Jews into soap by putting them in ovens. You have to boil them.

      Many American creationists have insisted that Darwinism is Jewish.

      The 1930's most infamous female American anti-Semite (also a supporter of Hitler) was Elizabeth Dilling.

      Dilling: "The Darwinian theory of evolution... are [sic] similar Cabalistic ideas in new word form... the basically atheistic "Jewish" Babylonian Talmudic religion. Karl Marx, himself son of a Jewish Rabbi, called [it] "dialectical materialism," the mindless bashing of germ to fish to mammal to ape to man, with the Jewish-spawned Marxist revolution as its crown and triumph." [Elizabeth Dilling. The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today (aka The Plot Against Christianity), p.75-6]

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    3. Continuing, on evolution as "Jewish fable"...

      The founder of American fundamentalism as a political movement was William Bell Riley, who telegrammed William Jennings Bryan and asked him to prosecute Scopes at the Monkey Trial, and tried to ban Darwinism in several US states. In the 1930's he became a big supporter of Hitler and a promoter of The Protocols.

      "By 1923, Riley in an article linked evolution to “anarchistic socialistic propaganda” and labeled those who would teach it “atheists.” (By the 1930s, Riley’s attacks became even more over-the-top, as when he warned of an “international Jewish-Bolshevik-Darwinist conspiracy” and congratulated Adolf Hitler on his attempts to confront such a conspiracy in Germany.)" [Douglas Linder, "Putting Evolution on the Defensive", 2005]

      Riley's biographer quotes him: "'Today in our land many of the biggest trusts, banks, and manufacturing interests are controlled by Jews; tobacco, cotton, sugar,— they handle in overwhelming proportions. Many of our journals they edit. Most of our department stores they own. They are the landlords of enormous resident properties. The motion pictures, the most vicious of all immoral, educational and communistic influences, is their creation. Fifty per cent of the meat packing, sixty per cent of the shoe making, a large proportion of men's and women's ready-made clothing... they loom in them all.'

      Worst of all, thanks to this economic power, they had managed to take over higher education in America. This meant that evolution was in, and the Bible out." [William V. Trollinger, God's Empire, p.69-73]

      The Christian Identity movement, organized by creationist Gerald L. K. Smith (who built "The Christ of the Ozarks", the biggest Jesus statue in N. America), is super-anti-Semitic and super-creationist.

      One Christian Identity writer, Col. Jack Mohr, wrote the Christian Patriot Crusader, as McIver describes: 'He [Jack Mohr] argues... that the Jewish religion is evil; that Jews are truly Satanic agents seeking to undermine American Christian civilization and morals, and that evolution is a “satanically inspired Jewish fable."

      ...Another creationist at the 1989 [Institute for Historical Review, Holocaust denial] conference was Canadian high school teacher James Keegstra, who gained notoriety... when charged with denying the Holocaust. Keegstra emphatically rejects the “Jewish lie” of evolution. He claimed that he converted his entire school to creationism—- a remark which drew applause from the [Holocaust denying] conference audience.' [Tom McIver, “The Protocols of Creationism,” Skeptic, Vol. 2 No. 4, 1994, p.76-87]

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    4. Uh, I garbled one of my posts, regarding the Turkish textbook that said Darwin was Jewish. Here's the complete quote.

      "A series of [Turkish] books for primary schoolchildren, describing Charles Darwin as a Jew with a big nose who kept the company of monkeys and other historical figures in anti-Semitic terms, has caused outrage in Turkey amid fears of rising religious intolerance…

      [The incident] comes in the wake of wide-ranging education reforms pushed through this year by the country’s Islamist-rooted government, which have increased the number of religious schools in Turkey and introduced optional lessons on the Prophet Mohammed in ordinary state schools.

      Such changes are hailed by the government as increasing freedom of choice in a country that for decades excluded the religiously conservative majority…

      A book on Albert Einstein describes the physicist as “filthy and slovenly”. Immediately after saying that he ate soap, it adds: “The sad part is during that time the Gestapo was putting Jews into ovens and making them into soap.” [Turkish book on Darwin sparks outrage. Financial Times, Oct. 19, 2012.]

      Hence my comment:
      Everybody knows you can’t make Jews into soap by putting them in ovens. You have to boil them.

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  11. Luther Flint

    Indeed, and exactly how strong is that argument? Consider: Hello, I have a general disbelief is God(s), care to join me.

    Why do you think I give a shit if anyone wants to 'join me'? I don't believe in God; atheism is that simple. I don't need science to confirm my disbelief. You find the evidence for God compelling? Well done you.

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    1. If you don't need to enlist the help of science to prop up your unconnected philosophical/theological views then so much the better for you. There are, however, many here who need science so badly for that purpose that they're willing to assault every part of it to try to squeeze out some anti-religious equations.

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    2. I think you are just making stuff up. What makes you think my philosophical/theological views are 'unconnected'? What does that even mean?

      There are, however, many here who need ...

      Can you provide an example of anyone who fits your description? Perhaps we'll have a Marshall McLuhan moment and they can explain their position for themselves. I'll tell you why I like science - it's interesting!

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    3. Your theological/philosophical views on God are unconnected with science - or were you only pretending when you said you didn't need science to confirm your disbelief.

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    4. Your theological/philosophical views on God are unconnected with science

      Ah, now I get it. Well, I decided that religion was just stories before I knew much science (age about 11), so fundamentally yes, though these things cannot be said to be entirely disconnected in my 55-year-old brain that has since learnt stuff. But that 'stuff' makes sense of nature, rather than post hoc support for absence of theology.

      or were you only pretending when you said you didn't need science to confirm your disbelief.

      Yeah, Luther, I was pretending, because I care so deeply about giving the right impression to random strangers on the internet...

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    5. Pity you moved straight to the science and bypassed reading comprehension.

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    6. Huh? You could try expressing yourself a bit more clearly, chum. I read "If you don't need to enlist the help of science to prop up your unconnected philosophical/theological views..." as my sundry philosophical and theological views being unconnected with each other, rather than with science - 'unconnected' being in that case essentially redundant. No need to get pissy about it.

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    7. You're the one getting pissy about it. Look at your posts, pissy as pissy things. Every one of them. Like a little child. And then when the fact comes out that you didn't actually read, or didn't understand, what you were responding to, it's my fault for not being clear enough. Everything that was being said was about the claimed/implied connection between science and theology. Couldn't really be clearer.

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    8. It's a relief that Luther has abandoned any pretence of a concern for critical thinking and unconnected philosophical/theological views and is concentrating on what he does best, bitter and angry diatribes devoid of any actual content.

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    9. And yet another post solely about me - you need to let go of this obsession.

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    10. Everything that was being said was about the claimed/implied connection between science and theology. Couldn't really be clearer.

      Yes, it could. You see a connection between science and theology. Since I do not, "unconnected" read like a qualifier of my views, rather than something one would feel the need to insert between 'science' and 'philosophy/theology'.

      Consider it thus: "If you don't need to enlist the help of sausages to prop up your unconnected political views ...". It is at the least ambiguous to this reader as to whether 'unconnected' pointlessly emphasises that sausages have nothing to do with politics, or is a qualifier of the views themselves.

      But like I said: "now I get it". Which concession you immediately followed by some snark about my comprehension.

      Still, I'm more than happy if Luther feels embiggened by the exchange.

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    11. I don't see a connection between science and theology. The point I originally made - the one you decided to comment on for some reason - was precisely about whether atheists like Larry were willing to give up the unconnected theological stuff they keep pinning on to evolution. That was the context of the discussion and in that context the point was clear as day. Had the context been sausages, and had huge numbers of people been making anti-religious claims based on sausages (eg, had the world's foremost sausage eater (call him Dokkins) incessantly banged on about bangers and their connection to religion), and had my post been about the lack of connection between religion and sausages, then a sausage point wouldn't have been ambiguous. Thus your sausage example is wrong for three reasons: there is no wider religio-sausage issue to begin with; the discussion had no immediate sausage context; and if there was such an issue and such an immediate context then a sausage point would have been clear.

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    12. Nonetheless, your point was not clear. So like all the truly great communicators, you indulge a swipe at the reader, with a side-order of lengthy self-justification.

      I think you may be making a little too much of the sausage thing.

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    13. I was just explaining, using your sausage example, why you are talking shite. The background, the context, and the specifics all made it clear what was being said. You just happened to misunderstand in your haste to disagree/find fault.

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