A Few Things on my P.Z. “Meyer” Post


  1. I apologize for the misspelling. My mistake.
  2. Some complain about not linking the original blog post. The reason is I was going after the overall approach that Myers takes when writing about people. But I wasn’t attacking a specific blog post, rather what Rabbi Averick faced. For those interested, here is the link. More importantly, I was writing based upon Rabbi Averick’s post and from what I’ve seen; the post Myers links everyone to isn’t what I was responding to.
  3. Myers wrote a “response” that only proves my point: Labeling me an “IDiot” is an ad hominem attack. Giving it tags of “kooks” and “stupid” only furthers my point; Myers is apparently incapable of holding a civil conversation. How much I would have loved if he responded civilly, to the point that I would have been shown to truly be a kook and be stupid. But he didn’t. He merely proved my point.
  4. Myers’ attempt, and his brute squad’s attempt, to say that the entire post was one big ad hominem is both true and false. On one hand it’s true because I did look to how he handles himself (and how the overall community of atheists have handled themselves). On the other, I never attacked them for this or interjected it with argumentation; rather I was making an observation that isn’t insulting, but accurate. It’s true that Myer (and many of his followers) is extremely uncivil. In my opinion this is because he’s afraid of the growing strength of theism at the academic level (and it’s not just him, but many people – we see the same thing among some evangelical Christians when confronted with foreign beliefs). If nothing else, it was an attempt to show that Myers and others are displaying a distinct fear – whether they’ll admit it or not – in the face of the rise of theism in academia.
  5. Even if Myers claims to have dealt with the arguments – and he does make attempts at times – it’s wrapped around so much hate and vitriol that it’s difficult to see the point. It’s like a rain-wrapped tornado: You may not see it coming, but it’ll cause just as much damage.
  6. Mocking people who study theology or those who believe in God only furthers my point that Myers isn’t dealing with the issue of theism appropriately. No one is asking him to embrace theism, nor to avoid some heated conversations or ideas about theism. But at least be respectful about it and realize that one can rationally embrace both theism and Christianity (or Islam, or Judaism, and so on). To act as though it’s an act of pure irrationality is, quite honestly, to be behind the times philosophically and shows that he possibly embraces an epistemological method that has been proven defunct since the 1960s.
  7. Before I make this next point, I should be fair and note that there’s no way Myers could have known about it: Don’t consider me a proponent of Intelligent Design. In recent years I’ve noticed some philosophical problems with it (as well as scientific problems). While I’m certainly sympathetic towards ID – far more sympathetic towards it than I am towards naturalism interjected into evolutionary theory – I would not consider myself an ID proponent.
  8. Honestly, that Myers would even choose to go after me makes me laugh a bit. Generally Josh and I are happy if we can get 50 views in one day. We’re some of the most irrelevant bloggers out there. A good day for us is that some of our friends happened to read what we had to say and passed it onto others. As of this time, we have over 500 views. So maybe P.Z. Myers has finally done something good. Thanks Myers!

As an aside, some of you will notice that the comments may not initially appear. That is because I have a filter on and will keep it on. Rest assured though most comments will get through once I’ve had a chance to moderate them. I know, I know, “censorship!” But it is what it is.

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65 thoughts on “A Few Things on my P.Z. “Meyer” Post

    1. Notice how Meyer is in quotations in the title. That should indicate something to you. Any other time in this post, please let me know as it would be a typo.

      1. Typos: You spelled it ‘PZ MYER’ in the tag and “Myer” in the middle of your point 4.

  1. So you are distancing yourself from ID when you so vehemently defended it only a few years ago. I’d like to ask if ID is no longer your thing, what are you on about these days? And what were the philosophical problems you found with ID? Just curious.

    1. Jennifer, very fair questions.

      First, yes, after defending it I am not longer a proponent for it. This is because I have changed my mind after continuing to study it. At the same time, I would still advocate that those who believe in ID be allowed to carry out experiments at universities; the worst that could happen is they would prove themselves wrong and the whole fiasco would be over.

      As for why, I’ll probably write a post at a later date for my reasons. The one biggest problem that I see is that ID seems to bow before empiricism when I don’t see that as being necessary. For now, I would point to the Roman Catholic/Eastern Orthodox view of creation (or at least what is typically accepted) and say that I sit squarely in that position. This means that I’m still open to cosmological arguments and teleological arguments, just not on the specific scale that many ID proponents place them on.

      1. ID proponents can carry out experiments in proper universities if they can come up with any judged worth funding. Failing that, what about the self-styled “Discovery Institute” and all the “Christian Colleges”? The problem is, they have no lines of research to suggest; they are utterly barren of ideas. They are purely parasitic, spending their time and energy quote-mining and distorting the work of real scientists. “Intelligent Design” is a purely political invention, a tissue of lies, intended to get round the first amendment ban on proselytising in public schools. Google “The Wedge Document” and “cdesign proponentsists” for the evidence.

  2. Myers

    Not Myer

    sigh

    And ID proponents in a University can perform whatever experiments they’d like. They just can’t teach ID as science. Because it’s not.

  3. Oh my gosh Joel, misspelling someone’s name CLEARLY disqualifies you from having an intelligent conversation or even capable of thinking at all.

    Myer labels your post as an ad hominem, but I don’t think he understands that you were pointing out that he, and many new atheists, have a condescending tone that does not deal with arguments but insults. You didn’t call him a jerkface atheist…you pointed out that he does not approach academic matters in the most academic of ways. In fact, it can at times appear quite juvenile.

    Calling God a big fairy in the sky, or equating theology of the incarnation to Lord of the Rings does not deal with the reality of argument, discourse, or civility.

    Technically it is A tactic. If I belittle your beliefs then I don’t need to address them intelligently since they’re nonsense. Calling someone an IDiot, flat earther, fundy, etc. exempts the atheist from intelligently answering a Christian argument because they automatically label theistic beliefs as “nonsense” and “silly”. Imagine if we treated all discourse that way.

    New atheism is the fundamentalist movement of secularism. It’s a sort of closed-minded bigotry that boggles the mind of most rational thinking people.

    1. MYERS you morons. Unbelievable.

      Tell me Jon, how do you propose we deal with your faith based beliefs intelligently?

      Is it that you’ve chosen to ignore all the arguments presented and only focus on tone because it hurts your little feelings?

      1. Man, I am truly a moron because I made a typo of a common name. Believe me, with a name like Jon (not John), I understand people spell names incorrectly. I, however, have never called anyone a moron for doing so.

        My little feelings haven’t been hurt. Thanks for being concerned, though.

    2. “If I belittle your beliefs then I don’t need to address them intelligently since they’re nonsense. Calling someone an IDiot, flat earther, fundy, etc. exempts the atheist from intelligently answering a Christian argument because they automatically label theistic beliefs as “nonsense” and “silly”. Imagine if we treated all discourse that way.”

      This is a blatant misrepresentation of what is going on here. There are tons of arguments that support the claims amongst what you deem as insults. This would not exempt anyone from anything and what is this intelligent Christian argument you are referring to?

      Also **you do treat all discourse that way**. You are free to disregard any part of the observable universe that doesn’t jive with what you want to believe because you don’t understand it, i.e. evolution.

      1. Jon, are you going to answer my question or just continue to be butt-hurt and complain about tone?

  4. So you deleted my comment about you spelling it “Myer” and then edited the article without putting a note in to say that you had; way to stay classy, man.

    1. My apologies. I meant to add your comment, but must have deleted it through all my filtering. I meant to thank you for pointing out my mistake. 🙂

  5. I think proponents of religion need to get over this obsession with respectfulness. Its just P.Z´s prose style and at times it is very funny, but probably not if you´re on the receiving end. But he usually backs up it up with good argument and more importantly, evidence. Kudos to you for having gained so many new readers. Perhaps you could hit us with those sophisticated theological proofs or whatever.

    peace and respect.

    1. Might as well just go to William Lane Craig’s site and start reading. Based on Jeol’s comments about finding empiricism flawed there is almost zero doubt he finds Plantinga’s crazed backbreaking philosophical stretching to be compelling.

  6. Hi Joel,

    I commented on your other article, but it appears you are commenting in response to posts here, so I will make my request here. Could you please identify the arguments you feel atheists are not observing/understanding in regards to theism/Christianity?

    That being said, you have to understand that the big four are not unknown to any atheist by any means. I know what those arguments are. So please, have something new to offer to the debate.

    1. Hi again Joel,

      Is there any chance my request for a run down of the arguments for theology/Christianity will be fulfilled?

      I know I sound like a broken record, but beyond the Cosmological, Teleological, Moral and Ontological arguments I’ve never heard a different argument from a theist. At least none that were something beyond a variant of those already mentioned.

      I am quite sincere in this request. If you’re up for a debate, or just willing to post them, I would appreciate it. If you aren’t, while it really would make no difference, it does make you seem less than sincere in your argument.

      Remember, I’m actively seeking to discuss the philosophy of this, not just trying to bust your balls.

  7. You are choosing to highlight single words like IDiot and run with them. There are pages and pages of explanation as to why he believes that intelligent design people are delusional, anti-intellectual clowns. If you don’t like that, you are free to list the reasons why, but in doing so and not addressing the original claim you are effectively conceding it.

    No one can even propose how to measure design or what experiments would be done to test this. What studies can you do in a lab to verify creationism? You disregard empiricism though out-of-hand, why?

    You ignored the part where you blatantly misrepresented Dawkins re: “Root”. A lot of your tone accusations seem to follow this form. Eye-of-the-beholder insults are not useful when sorting out difficult topics such as this.

    Do you have a source for your claim about growing influence of theism on academia in #4?

    What epistemological model are you referring to in #6 and where was it proved defunct?

    And regarding #8, most of the traffic is from this alleged “brute squad” that is roughing you up intellectually so I don’t see how that helps further your cause. Listing actual arguments to support yourself or highlighting flaws in your opponent’s arguments would help though instead of just declaring victory because you didn’t “get mean” first. Which is again debatable intellectually speaking since Myers backed up his vitriol with logic/reason/evidence and you are still hand-waving.

  8. I’m glad PZ put your link on his site. I like reading what other people think, especially those that have gone beyond what they’ve learned in Sunday school. I’m tired of reading blogs from the “if humans came from moneys” people to be honest.
    So I clicked the “view all posts by Joel” and found myself at the
    entry
    . Interesting read. I haven’t formed any comment about it yet, and this post wouldn’t be the place for it anyway. I hope I formed the HTML link correctly as there is no preview here.
    I fixed the link for you. Thank you for the comment – Joel

  9. “But I wasn’t attacking a specific blog post, rather what Rabbi Alverick faced.” – Joel

    It’s Averick. Sheesh. And Averick has faced nothing more than his stupid article deserved.

  10. “But at least be respectful about it and realize that one can rationally embrace both theism and Christianity (or Islam, or Judaism, and so on). – Joel”

    But that’s simply false. Why should one respect pseudo-intellectual garbage like theism, any more than, say, astrology or numerology? Both have just as much evidential support – that is to say, none whatever.

  11. Joek:
    ‘We’re some of the most irrelevant bloggers out there.’
    QFT

    But you could turn that around by simply presenting ANY evidence for your theistic assertions. You could, actually, make headlines!

  12. You know, as I sit here and read all the comments directed at Joel for his comments and the fact that he approached PZ with wonderment as to the uncivil discourse he has shown: I started laughing at the so-called intellects who have gone out of their way to demean or ridicule Joel. Such comments as “boy” idiot, uneducated, etc, etc,

    While I in no way hold myself out to be an intellect and I am most assuredly not as well educated or well read as all of you posting, we all do have one thing in common; whether you agree or not.

    Our commonality is that we have taken things that we have read, and made a decision to accept them or not and we are basing then that decision on a tremendous amount of faith. I rest in the fact that I absolutely believe there is a God, that HE created all that is, that HE sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die on a Cross for the sin of all mankind. There is no disputing that Christ did live, that can be found in history and historical writers such as Josephus. None-the-less, I readily admit that I cannot explain many of the things of God, as they are mystical just as you cannot explain the beginning of matter, that too from an atheist point of view would be mystical. So, because some things cannot be explained away, we accept them with some level of faith. Some with a greater degree of faith than others. I do believe that for many atheists intellects, their intellect could very well end up being a curse as it hindered their ability to accept by faith, the things of God.

    Again, I readily admit that I am no match for all you posters in the area of intellectual arguments, theories conjectures, etc. I rest each night knowing that by faith, study, research and even logic, I have wrapped my arms around the idea of a God, Christ, heaven hell and salvation. At this point, many of you will call me a fool, idiot, uneducated, etc, and you know what?, that is okay with me because I know whom I have believed. If at the end of the day, when I die and there is nothing left, I am merely worm food as so many put it, there is no heaven there is no hell then I will have died as a fool believing in a “god fairy” and would have wasted a lot of my time and most assuredly the time of others. In short, I die a fool with no consequences against me and perhaps only against those I mislead when sharing Christ with them.

    On the other hand, when I die and all that I believe is true, I will have died with a great and delivered expectation and with the idea that I actually may have impacted others lives whom I shared Christ with. You as atheists can argue that if you are correct, then you win the argument, no harm no foul and you end up like me in this scenario, worm food. However, if what I hold near and dear is accurate, then you get to love with the consequences of being wrong. So with that, why can’t you agree to disagree with those of us who believe in God and Christ and live your lives as you see fit and we as we see fit? At the end of the day, there is right and there is wrong. If I am wrong, as I said you win the argument. If I am right…… well you will have to deal with it.

    I don’t condemn you for being atheists, I don’t call you names, I simply disagree and move on from there. Trying doing the same okay/

    1. So with that, why can’t you agree to disagree with those of us who believe in God and Christ and live your lives as you see fit and we as we see fit?

      Simply put Mark, If religious fanatics could stop what they are currently doing; i.e. trying to control others rights, trying to control women’s bodies, trying to “cure” or banish people who are gay, trying to change the Science curriculum, and on and on; then you may see athiests take a more “live and let live approach.”

      The problem is that the religious community simply doesn’t “live and let Live.”

    2. This word logic, I do not think it means what you think it means.

      And Pascal’s wager is so 1600’s.

    3. Even Homer Simpson is bright enough to see through Pascal’s wager:
      “Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder and madder!”.
      More seriously, what a contemptible attitude: believing what you might get a present for believing, not what you have rational grounds for believing.
      “However, if what I hold near and dear is accurate, then you get to l[o]ive with the consequences of being wrong.”
      And there’s the threat; seldom takes long to come out: “You just wait: my God will have you screaming in agony forever”. Nice.

    4. >”Our commonality is that we have taken things that we have read, and made a decision to accept them or not and we are basing then that decision on a tremendous amount of faith.”

      No, we haven’t. You have.

      >”So, because some things cannot be explained away, we accept them with some level of faith.”

      As indicated above, ther rest of the post veers into a classic Pascal’s wager, a despicable argument made out of fear, not love. Why don’t you try believing in what is true?

      No, we don’t. We say we don’t know and try to find out the truth.

    5. “There is no disputing that Christ did live, that can be found in history and historical writers such as Josephus.”

      I question the validity of this statement (on which your whole argument seems to be perched). where are the CONTEMPORARY Jewish records that confirm your messiah?, the roman records of zombies roaming jerusalem in 33ce?, the chinese historians recording the sun staying still for 9 hours?

      they don’t exist because your Christ is a MYTH built around a mad Rabbi who the Jews hung for being a trouble maker.

      now go and prove me wrong

      1. There is good reason to think that the passage in Josephus’s Antiquities of the Jews which mentions Jesus was a forgery written by a Christian apologist to provide historical evidence of Jesus’s existence. Historian Michael L. White argues against authenticity, citing that parallel sections of Josephus’s Jewish War do not mention Jesus, and that some Christian writers as late as the third century, who quoted from the Antiquities, do not mention the passage.

  13. I’m going to say something here that in the light of how politely I am going to put it, is going to sound completely hypocritical.

    Re the ‘Tone Argument’. For the longest time I found myself deeply troubled by how PZ and others conducted their arguments. Put it down to my natural inclination not to upset people or some misguided notion of how intellectual debates were conducted but I just couldn’t bring myself to endorse such a style (While appreciating the content).

    Then one day I found that how I conducted myself had become a caricature of what it was, I was being *overly* polite for the sake of scoring what I thought of as moral high ground points. I was thinking of a stream of invective and turning it into a combination of condescending (but polite) pretension and cowardly point scoring.

    It is this attitude that I think this post is positively dripping with. I’m sorry but I doubt your thoughts on PZ are anywhere near as polite as you express here and yet you are going to come over all ‘civil’ for the sake of feeling of superiority.

    At least he is honest in his expression of distaste.

    1. Actually, my thoughts on Myers are that he’s a brilliant scientist, but a horrible philosopher. As for the man, I don’t know him, so I really don’t have any thoughts about him as a person. So it’s not that I’m attempting to overcompensate for any ill-will I feel towards Myers. I have no reason to hate him or think ill of him, I just think that it would do him well to tone it down and realize that theism is a rational belief. That and have a bit of respect for those who happen to disagree with him.

      1. “I just think that it would do him well to tone it down”

        the world isn’t all candy and roses. grow thicker skin.

        at the least invective makes for a more entertaining blog and higher readership

      2. “he’s a brilliant scientist, but a horrible philosopher.”

        I suppose you realize that accounts for 90% of the scientist 😉 .
        Since C.P Snow wrote his conference “The Two Cultures” in 1959, most scientist to not take philosophy in a serious tone.

        ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Two_Cultures )

        Hawkins is just repeating what C. Snow said 50 years ago:

        “I now believe that if I had asked an even simpler question — such as, What do you mean by mass, or acceleration, which is the scientific equivalent of saying, Can you read? — not more than one in ten of the highly educated would have felt that I was speaking the same language. So the great edifice of modern physics goes up, and the majority of the cleverest people in the western world have about as much insight into it as their neolithic ancestors would have had.”

        “Philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science. Particularly physics.” (Stephen Hawking )

        Probably the main difference is Myers uses more colorful words 🙂

      3. How would you know what he’s like as either a scientist or a philosopher, when you didn’t even know his name earlier today?

      4. Theism is not a rational belief. There is no particle of evidence for gods, any more than for werewolves or leprechauns – so if belief in a god is rational, so is belief in werewolves and leprechauns. And as soon as one goes beyond the bare existence of an invisible, immaterial superbeing, to what practically all “actually existing theism” holds, it is manifestly absurd. The claim that this universe is the creation of a being that is both omnipotent and good flies in the face of the overwhelming evidence of suffering and evil.

      5. “Actually, my thoughts on Myers are that he’s a brilliant scientist, but a horrible philosopher.”

        Well, that implies you are in a position to judge philosophers, so we are within rights to ask what your credentials are in the philosophical arena. Go ahead, tell us.

        And look at your avatar. Take off that hat, you look like Larry the Cable Guy. You look like you’re from middle America. Oh, wait, . . .

      6. ““he’s a brilliant scientist, but a horrible philosopher.”

        Funny I thought the Rabbi was a horrible Scientist and good philosopher.

        Of course the Rabbi was arguing Biology not philosphy.

        You may not like Myres philosophy however his science is correct.

        I know you don’t like ID anymore but the fact remains that you don’t like it based on philosophy.

        You keep bringing Philosophy to a Biology argument and expecting it to make sense.

        and as other has said. ID and creationism was treated with respect when it had an argument. It’s been 200 years on creationism and 40 years on ID and they haven’t come up with anything new. At some point it is insulting to continue making the same arguments.

      7. “Actually, my thoughts on Myers are that he’s a brilliant scientist, but a horrible philosopher. ”

        That’s because he deals with the real world, that is, evidence. not some amusing non-sense people made up to reinforce their dogmas and delusions about a tribal god of the ancient desert.
        Praise Zeus, brothers and sisters!

  14. Let recall what is going on…

    The post http://www.algemeiner.com/2011/05/29/seriously-arent-atheists-embarrassed-by-p-z-myers/

    It´s about ID, and Rabbi Moshe Averick is using the same old arguments ID proponents have been usign for at least 40 years.

    All those arguments have been discussed “Ad nauseam”, yet they continue to be used as if they have not been debunked long ago.

    So are you defending ID?

    Then need better arguments. Philosophical or Theological arguments are no good, you need facts.

    1. It should be clear that I am in no way defending ID. Rather, I’m critiquing the manner in which Myers conducts himself. I have done the same with people from a myriad of other beliefs, including my own (and even with myself at times).

      1. Yes, Myers use some fireworks in his language. That is really no so unusual in science, although it´s not usually published 😉

        The problems is to use that as an excuse to ignore his arguments:

        ““If we’re going to start comparing lacunae, let’s start with thermodynamics. We’ve got detailed, complete mathematical descriptions of a fundamental mechanism that drives all of biology; the Torah’s got nothin’…We win. Argument over. F**k off, rabbi.””

        The four letter word, does not make invalid the argument…

  15. “If nothing else, it was an attempt to show that Myers and others are displaying a distinct fear – whether they’ll admit it or not – in the face of the rise of theism in academia.”

    this is true. many atheists fear the rise of theism in academia – because it corrupts academia.

    you yourself advocated the relaxation of public school science standards in kansas, which many atheists view as a political attack against science-based worldviews. teaching creation myths in high school is ok, but trying to teach them in a science class when they are distinctly not science is not good.

    the only point to injecting ID into the high school science curriculum is to counter non-theological explanations for cosmology – proselytizing, in short.

    so what atheists fear is that public school will be used to propagandize religious beliefs to captive children, and not for whatever fear you imagine atheists to have – lingering doubt about the truth of their views in the light of god, or something.

    there’s nothing wrong with general theism in academia, either from a structured institutional or personal stance. but when theism is imposed by non-academics as a political stunt – such as the continual battle to rewrite science standards across the country – it effectively turns education into politics. academics fear this more than anything, and as a self-professed academic you should too, joel

  16. “If nothing else, it was an attempt to show that Myers and others are displaying a distinct fear – whether they’ll admit it or not – in the face of the rise of theism in academia.”

    this is true. many atheists fear the rise of theism in academia – because it corrupts academia.

    you yourself advocated the relaxation of public school science standards in kansas, which many atheists view as a political attack against science-based worldviews. teaching creation myths in high school is ok, but trying to teach them in a science class when they are distinctly not science is not good.

    the only point to injecting ID into the high school science curriculum is to counter non-theological explanations for cosmology – proselytizing, in short.

    so what atheists fear is that public school will be used to propagandize religious beliefs to captive children, and not for whatever fear you imagine atheists to have – lingering doubt about the truth of their views in the light of god, or something.

    there’s nothing wrong with general theism in academia, either from a structured institutional or personal stance. but when theism is imposed by non-academics as a political stunt – such as the continual battle to rewrite science standards across the country – it effectively turns education into politics. academics fear this more than anything, and as a self-professed academic you should too, joel

  17. I’m gong to comment, although I do not know what your censoring process will be…so who knows if this will be “civil” enough for you.

    It isn’t that hard to get passed the “vitriol” you say is so prevalent in PZ’s blog. Although you may not have even read his post toward Rabbi Averick, since you say you were mainly concerned with the Rabbi’s post, you should definately take a moment and read it. His arguments come through shrinkingly. He calls the Rabbi out on willfully misrepresenting PZ’s own argument. He goes is depth (sans vitriol) to say that he is not simply comparing driftwood to creation…it is a lot more complicated than that. You may have to struggle through the initial paragraph, skip a few of the more vulgar words so as not to hurt your own feelings, but his point is there.

    Your third point here just makes me think that you are not adult enough to get passed name calling and see what he’s actually saying. Did you simply read the tags and then feel too upset to continue reading? That isn’t very mature of you. If you think PZ is so childish, and yet you are taking the time to call him out on everything, shouldn’t you be man enough to get passed a little mudslinging on his part? Just to make yourself look more informed?

    Finally, I think you are missing our entire beef with religion. Have you NOT been paying attention to the news, to what lawmakers in this country are doing? I will not stoop to assume what your views on gay marriage and the definitions of rape are, but you at least have to know that these issues are under attack. The very base human rights of your fellow citizens are being taken away simply because of religious backlash.

    My gay friends are being labeled less than human. The lawmakers are even telling me what rights I have over my own body. These are all due to a highly religious population. This isn’t just a bunch of atheists trying to push you around and belittle you because of what you believe on your own time…we are fighting back because this country is a SECULAR NATION. It is not a Christian nation or a Jewish nation. We all need to live together, we all need to get along…which is what you claim you want. However, why do you have more rights than woman or gays in this country? I guess it is because you were lucky enough to be born as somebody highly approved of by the religious leaders in this country. Your god forbid that anything should happen to one of your loved ones that may restrict their rights as citizens. Such a fate has already affected my loved ones.

  18. WHOOP! WHOOP! WHOOP!

    DAMAGE CONTROL! DAMAGE CONTROL!

    Oops, too late. You already jammed your foot firmly in your mouth.

    Perhaps you should apologize to the atheist community and Dr. Myers before digging yourself a deeper hole.

  19. So your analysis of P.Z. Myers’ fears is based on Averick’s post and PZ’s Youtube lecture? I’d say it’s bad psychoanalysis.

    So, what are Averick’s intellectual arguments? functional complexity = specified complexity, therefore it implies intelligent intervention?

    That the specified or functional complexity of the Nike swoosh is higher than for the wall of driftwood?

    That non-functional non-specified complexity, as in driftwood on a beach, is not the same as a cell?

    That the “functional complexity” or “specified complexity” of a live cell is measurably or observably different than a dead cell, a smear of denatured protoplasm, a wall of driftwood?

    Averick’s argument appears to be that PZ is misrepresenting ID. Or maybe that ID explains the origin of life.

    Re point 8: I think posting something titled “Why P.Z. Meyer is Afraid” with links to his blog might explain a little of why chose you.

  20. I think you can make a case that Dr. Myers’s tactics/tone are in ill form; however I think the conflict between him and Rabbi Averick is a poor example to illustrate the point.

    Most of the pharyngula posts dealing with Rabbi Averick are dedicated to confronting Averick’s reasoning, and P.Z. does a great job of dismantling the Rabbi’s criticisms.

    Also, typos aren’t that big of a deal. Just a bit embarrassing, but we all make them.

    1. “reasoning?”

      What did I miss? There was “reasoning?” All I saw was a variation of “God said it and that’s it!”

  21. When scientists hear ID proponents such as Averick make the same bad arguments that have been debunked decades ago, you can’t blame us for getting impatient. We can politely explain why these arguments are wrong the first dozen or so times, but when the same person says, “So why are there still monkeys?” for the eighth time, they’ve earned some vitriol.

  22. Ok then, i’ll admit that I’m afraid of ‘theism in academia’.

    But the only reason i’m afraid is tht many of their ‘positions’ are untenable, untestable and wholly unoriginal. ‘God did it’, or if you work at the Discovery Institute, ‘Creator [wink] did it’.

    And I do see how these people are getting their view in. Asking for children to learn about the Constitution is a great thing. Learning it from a deranged man who believed the Bible was the cause of it is not the way to learn.

    I agree that we should teach different views and theories, but only if those theories can lay down a body of evidence and testing just as rigorous as it’s opponent.

    But afraid because you’re challenging the validity of the argument? Not a chance.

  23. So, basically, your entire argument boils down to: “PZ Myers is mean so any points he makes are irrelevant.”

    Because we all know that meanness cancels out any logical validity of any argument.

    Boo hoo. Put on your Big Boy Pants and try again.

  24. “..my point that Myers isn’t dealing with the issue of theism appropriately. ”

    He doesnt have to deal with it, the burden of proof lies on you, and it is quite simple, provide evidence or expect ridicule, that’s it.

    “But at least be respectful about it.”

    Being respectful is exactly why this insulting,irrational superstitions are still with us, it is time to put a stop on it.

  25. I take issue with your statement that you can rationally embrace theism. Theism is, by definition, an irrational position. Martin Luther quite clearly understood this when he made what remains one of the strongest arguments against religion “Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy faith has.” I think are afraid that, because this choice is irrational, all of your reasoning will be deemed irrational as well. Personally, I don’t mind irrational choices all that much, I just have huge objections when you, or your church, or the government tries to force irrational choices upon me.

  26. “More importantly, I was writing based upon Rabbi Averick’s post and from what I’ve seen; the post Myers links everyone to isn’t what I was responding to.”

    In other words: “I chose to wrote a long whine about tone without bothering to read the post I was tone trolling about.”

    There. I fixed it for you.

  27. ” But at least be respectful about it and realize that one can rationally embrace both theism and Christianity (or Islam, or Judaism, and so on).”

    1) Respect is not given, it is earned. The claims of christianity have not earned that respect. Nor have you.

    2) There are no religions that are rational. If there were, there would only be one religion.

    When you have some evidence and have processed it with some reason, then come back to us. Otherwise, stop whining.

    1. Also lol @ closing the comments for that article. The posters understood your argument just fine, they just found it very lacking and you never addressed their strongest points against you. What kind of philosophy is that?

  28. “How much I would have loved if he responded civilly”

    But you have not said anything that was actually worth responding to. Therefore you are mocked.

    “In my opinion this is because he’s afraid of the growing strength of theism at the academic level”

    In my opinion this is a silly assertion. If you have no “evidence” in favor of this assertion, your opinion deserves to be mocked.

    “Even if Myers claims to have dealt with the arguments … it’s wrapped around so much hate and vitriol that it’s difficult to see the point.”

    Remember – the silly “scientists don’t understand the origin of life, therefore god did it” non-argument has been around for more than a few decades. So it’s quite appropriate to simply mock it as stupid at this point.

    “Mocking people who study theology or those who believe in God only furthers my point that Myers isn’t dealing with the issue of theism appropriately.”

    In my opinion, you are simply wrong. Theology is irrational and those who attempt to defend it should be mocked. Perhaps “The God Delusion” dealt with it appropriately and it’s rather redundant to repeat its arguments.

    “I’m certainly sympathetic towards ID”

    Why? Because “god did it” appeals to you? Because the “science can’t explain every detail yet, therefore god did it” non-argument appeals to you? ID is simply anti-science.

    “Josh and I are happy if we can get 50 views”

    Something like no publicity is bad publicity? How silly. I come not to read your silliness, but to read the beatdown comments. But it’s been a two-day wonder and I will now return you to your obscurity.

  29. “I never attacked them for this or interjected it with argumentation; rather I was making an observation that isn’t insulting, but accurate.

    So when you make an ad hominem, it’s just you stating a simple fact?

  30. I would say that ‘ad hominem’ seems to be a favourite accusation that many of PZ Myers’ fans level at his critics yet ‘ad hominem’ is very much something that they do themselves repeatedly.

    In fact, I’ve come to get the feeling that many of the things that Pharyngulites denounce they actually are themselves. In a not too dissimilar way to religious fundamentalists there are, with all-too-many PZ fans, no grey areas. It’s almost as if PZ Myers has become some sort of substitute for God wih them and anyone who criticizes them is denounced and condemned with all the vehemence that a religous fanatic would damn a dissenter to hell. With them, you either agree 100 per cent with PZ, or you are worthless; evil even.

    Despite the left-leaning liberal cred which many of them seem so keen to project, there is actually also a lot of bigotry on PZ Myers’ site. True that PZ Myers has banned people on there who have espoused blatantly neo-nazi, misogynist and homophobic views but many more regulat posters actually seem to be allowed to ‘get away’ with exactly the same views so long as they couch them in terms of being a self-declared nice liberal atheist. So many of the rants against religious minorities such as Muslims and Jewish people are apt to descend into islamopobia and anti-semitism and a general going-out-of-their-way to dis other people’s cultures utilizing illogical offensive stereotypes of the sort that are vitually indistinguishable from the same sort of discourse that you’d find on a far-right hate site.

    There is also much snobbery on Pharyngula, too. Many of its posters feel the need to constantly remind everyone else of their academic credentials. Almost seems like there’s some sort of insecurity showing here – I mean the need to constantly remind others of how clever you believe yourself to be. I read in disbelief one thread in which a Phd in history told a visitor to Pharyngula who happened to be a cnstruction worker that since he ‘found it hard to believe’ that a ‘mere’ construction worker could grasp a concept that had taken him so many years to understand as an academic.

    Has PZ Myers become a demagogue? Do Pharyngulites now form some sort of sect; a cult of the personality? PZ Myers is certainly keen to remain popular and gives into ‘the mob’ all too easily, in my opinion. Hence the bigotry that he is prepared to tolerate on Pharyngula so long as it comes from regulars of some clout. It’s almost as if to criticize PZ is akin to committing some kind of blasphemy as far as many of his followers are concerned. I guess it’s easier for some people to be told what to think rather than to think for themselves and they are too afraid to venture outside their comfort zone. Hence the extremely aggressive reaction meted out by them to ‘outsiders’ like you and me, Joel.

    http://beckytranssexual.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/skeptical-of-the-skeptic/

    Becky

    http://beckytranssexual.wordpress.com/2010/07/24/skeptical-of-the-skeptic/

  31. Hello Everyone! I’m not sure if anyone will read this, but I figure I’ll say my two cents worth anyway.
    After reading quite a bit of the comments above I have a few questions.
    My first question is one of practicality: Many people commented asking Joel to give his logical and factual reasons for why he believes in God. My question is, isn’t that what this whole website thing is about? I could be wrong, but I think if you’d like to know Joel’s views you could just read what he’s already written on the Christian Watershed. I’ve only read a few of the articles on here, but I think that is part of why they have a website to begin with.

    My next questions are ones of curiosity: Are there any new arguments for theism or atheism? Haven’t both theists and atheists pretty much been giving the same arguments back and forth for years? Both sides have stated their case already, right? That said, doesn’t it fundamentally just come down to a choice? You look at both sides and you choose one side or the other along with whatever consequences come with that side.

    My next set of curiosity questions: Do atheists define truth the same way as theists? Many of you have stated that you wish to discover the truth about this issue of evolution and that is why you want theists to give more proof of ID if they wish to refute it? Would it be correct to say that an atheistic definition of truth is: whatever can be proven through science and information is true? If so, I’m pretty sure that theists define truth differently. To them it is a combination of materially seen, which is measured, and spiritually known, which is impossible to measure, right? It has more to do with absolute truth, which involves many things not able to be weighed or scientifically proven. Therefore, when you say prove to us the truth about God, they can truthfully say, “According to our definition of truth, we have!”
    I guess my real point of curiosity is, how could a theist ever possibly fully satisfy an atheist? Due to their presupposition of the answer to “what is truth” they are automatically unable to satisfy a question that contains a different presupposition to the answer “what is truth”.
    In other words, if both sides are working off of totally different presuppositions and totally different definitions of terms, couldn’t you fill up billions of pages with arguments and debates and never get any further than where we’re at now?
    I mean I suppose it works both ways: A theist can never really be understood by an atheist, because an atheist has already chosen to reject the presuppositions of “what is truth” that are held by a theist. And atheism’s proofs of the illogical aspects of theism can never be accepted as true proofs of ill-logic because, for the theist, they do not take into account that half of truth (again to them) which is immeasurable and which they base half of their logic.

    Does anyone else see what I’m getting at?????

    By all means we could discuss flagellum, and fossil records and how plants grow and how pregnancy works and the morality of name-calling till we’re blue in the face, but isn’t the real question: How did we all decided what presuppositions to adhere to? What made us decide to hold to one view of truth or the other? To the theist and atheist alike I ask: what are your presuppositions and why do you hold them?

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