Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lizards and Mammals and Men, Oh My!

Yesterday while commenting at LGF, I couldn't help noticing how the reductionistic Darwinists practice a sort of inverse mysticism, in that they elevate what can only be ceaseless change into eternal truth. With reductionistic Darwinism, all is change; everything is "on the way" to something else that is equally temporary. In such a paradigm, not only can truth not exist, but we couldn't know it anyway; the quantification of knowledge undermines its only meaningful measure, which is the intellect in light of the Absolute.

In a way, this is a caricature of Buddhist metaphysics, as it too advances what amounts to a paradox, i.e., "all is flux," so that it is folly to become attached to the passing stream of maya. However, the Darwinists are missing a very important point, that being that it is possible to escape maya both from "above" and "below," and this makes all the difference, as the latter is actually a deeper plunge into its snares, a point that the -- let us say, less spiritually gifted -- LGF commenters never stop proving.

I'm currently reading this outstanding book on Buddhism by Schuon, and it makes this point with characteristic luminosity (the book is challenging in the usual Schuon way, so buyer beware; however, he really brings the subject alive for me in a way that the new-age Western Buddhists never do). I suppose I'll be posting on it in more detail later, but he points out that the saving renunciation of Buddhism "aims at preventing man from becoming imprisoned in an ephemeral illusion, from identifying himself with it and finally perishing with it; it aims at helping him free himself from the tyranny of dreams that leave no outlet."

In other words, the Buddhist transcends the flux of maya in order to know the eternal, the transcendent Absolute, whereas the Darwinist goes the other route and identifies eternity with matter. Naturally this makes no sense in a cosmos that is itself contingent and evolving, but there you go. Metaphysically consistent they are not. But they are angry. Not sure where that comes from, but I assume it is both a cause and consequence of the spiritual rut they're in. They all insist that their lives are just as fulfilled as the religious person, but one wonders how they could possibly know this, being that they a priori deny the vertical? They sure sound pretty bitter to this coonical pslackologist (check it out for yourself, if you're masochistic enough; I notice that Ben sailed by -- I waved at him, but he was vomiting over the side of the boat).

And markedly adolescent. Smells like the teen spirit of a false and grandiose nirvana, if you know what I mean. There is a rebellious streak in them that is very similar to the left (who also escape reality from "below," except in their case, instead of becoming Darwinian "monotheists" they descend into the fragmented polytheism of multiculturalism, moral relativism, deconstruction, etc.

In reality, they are two sides of the same worthless coin, just as, say, the Semitic and Eastern religions are two sides of an infinitely precious coin. I am disappointed that the head lizard can fall for this junk metaphysics -- just as he expressed disappointment in me -- but in my case I have an excuse, because I only want to be disappointed by the best. I do note that he clearly possesses a kind of peerless left brained, technological kind of intellect, and that may be the issue, for every gift carries a potential curse. Indeed, I may well be cursed with this dominant passion for wholeness and eternity, but if so, it's a blessed kind of curse. It beats walking, anyway.

Schuon writes that "When we contemplate a landscape, we absorb its main features without being distracted by details which, if they were too near, would imprison us as it were in their own special nature." Now, it goes without saying that any remotely advanced pneumanaut sees revelation as a whole and complete "spiritual system" that can only be comprehended inwardly. It is quite the opposite of Darwinism, which can only be understood outwardly, for the simple reason that it possesses no "inside."

And yet, we hear these metaphysical yahoos gratuitously affirming its truth with their own inside, a truth-bearing inside for which their theory can never account. At the same time -- and this would appear to be a logical corollary of their cosmic inversion -- they ask such "subtle" and "sophisticated" theological questions as: "Whom did the children of Adam and Eve marry?" Or "Who created the creator?" Or "If Jesus was God, why did he get baptized?" You can see how a certain type of intelligence is instantly converted to the most flagrant stupidity when it tries to grasp the higher planes within its own narrow orbit.

Again, a religious system applies to realms above, not below, the plane of maya. As Schuon explains, such a system is "a homogeneous ensemble of spiritual percepts, ordered in virtue of a metaphysical perspective. A traditional doctrine is never narrowly systematic, but it nonetheless constitutes a system, like every living organism or like the universe."

Which is again ironic, because the Darwinist pretends to understand "life," when life ipso facto exhibits the qualities of wholeness, interiority, non-linearity, internal connectedness, etc. And as I discussed at length in the Coonifesto, it does this because it mirrors the organismic nature of the cosmos, precisely. I will say it again: ordered totality is ontologically prior to natural selection. Which is why the laws of physics are a special case, not general. You prove this every time you voluntarily move your hand, bozo.

Again, reductionistic Darwinists seem to presuppose a paradigm of logical atomism, even though their empirical discoveries forbid it. For example, Harris writes that "The genome has been shown to act as a whole and not as a collection of separable effects." Or as the estimable Robert Rosen put it -- and he is probably my biggest influence in these purely biological matters, c.f. here and here; he is certainly no "Discovery Institute shill" -- the developing organism is

"governed and directed by the organized structure of the mature individual, which is immanent in every phase and differentiates itself in the process.... Each phase presents the whole, but in a different and contraposed degree of integration and articulation."

In any event, a divine revelation is the sine qua non of an "organismic system," only as applied to the spiritual plane. It can no more be comprehended in a linear, left-brained manner than can Consciousness or Life itself. "Traditions emerge from the Infinite like flowers; they can no more be fabricated than can the sacred which is their witness and their proof" (Schuon). They are alive -- and grant Life! -- something that is quite self-evident to the believer.

You might say that the unity of existence is "refracted" through each of its parts, or there could be no parts. Rather, in a universe of logical atomism, each part is its own private whole, so to speak -- like a collection of billiard balls. This is an example of absolute relativity, which is a contradiction, an absurdity, and an impossibility that even God could not create, for it would mean an infinite number of Gods.

One must try to imagine a gene pool table in which all the balls are members of one another; or which are internally related, not just externally related. So too with revelation -- for example, the deeply internal relationship between the Old and New testaments. Such deep truths cannot be conveyed in a literal sense; however, this is by no means to suggest that words cannot convey them. It's just that the words must simultaneously convey a presence and an absence that goes by the name of "mystery."

Mystery is not a negation, but a kind of dark plenitude that apparently completely eludes the myopic materialist, for whatever reason. Such truths are elliptical, suggestive, or provocative, and serve to "awaken" in the receptive soul a "resonant" response that signifies that the outer form corresponds with an inner certainty -- again, in a holisitc and non-linear way -- as a "flash of in-sight" or seeing the contours of the Within.

This inverts the cosmos (back right side-up), so one sees the emptiness of form and the form of emptiness, so to speak. It should go without saying that none of what I say applies to the non-Raccoon. Do not bother, because these truths are "not for you" -- through no fault of the Truth, I might add. Truth is like the sun. It's always there, irrespective of a reflective medium to "witness" it.

The discovery of this internal relationship on the human plane is none other than love, is it not? Marriage sanctifies this internal relationship, as the Two do not so much "become" one flesh, as realize it. And as the years go by, the two should deepen this realization of sanctified Oneness. Suffice it two say that neither billiard balls nor lizards fall in love. Or, to the extent that they do, its just a trick of the genes to get them to reproduce.

Watch the Darwinists be insulted by this admittedly infrahuman characterization, as if they do not pronounce the verdict upon themselves! For they are replicating machines, nothing more, but a lot less -- both biologically, but more tragically, intellectually and spiritually. Does this mean, like the Islamists, I want them dead? Hardly! I want them alive.

One cannot save a soul as one would pull someone out of the water, one can only rescue those who are willing to be rescued, and that is why it is ridiculous to reproach religions for not having succeeded in saving the world. --Frithjof Schuon


Ray Ingles said...

Again, "I don't believe in the kind of evolution you disbelieve in." Take the first paragraph - for a guy who understands (or claims to) strange attractors and phase space, you present a pretty poor caricature of evolutionary theory.

In dynamic systems where strange attractors appear - like weather - "all is change". And yet there are patterns that can be seen in the changes; patterns that persist over long periods of time, and even as they change, there are patterns there, too.

Evolution is, in fact, a pattern imposed on change. Creationists like to parody evolution as if the whole theory were chance - that one day, a fully-formed living thing just popped into being by a roll of the dice. Your characterization is at least as far off, and in a similar direction.

Some 'evolutionists' certainly are certainly angry, but that may have something to do with being continually misrepresented and wilfully misunderstood.

Like, for example, those who try to present biological evolution as a theory for the origin of life or the origin of the universe. It's not, and never was - though it does have some relationship, as the constituents it works with derive from those sources, whatever they may be. On the other hand, so do banking and baking.

And finally, as I've said before, "A rainbow is not 'degraded' by having arisen from 'mere' physical processes. Physical processes are ennobled by giving rise to such beauty." The same applies to humans.

Gagdad Bob said...

I rest my case.

julie said...

Ray, it would be hilarious if not so very disappointing (is none of this sinking in? Why, oh why then do you keep coming back?) that in the same comment wherein you accuse Bob (and deists in general) of misrepresenting the Darwinist position, you manage to completely misrepresent (or fundamentally misunderstand) the entire point that he makes.

As Van said a few days ago, when you take aim, the broad sides of barns everywhere heave a sigh of relief (and no, I don't actually believe that barns can breathe; you see, some things do have meaning and [non]sense beyond the literal).

Anonymous said...

With that kind of aim, I'm surprised he can hit the darn side of a broad on his vaunted evenings and weekends.

mushroom said...

Bob certainly hit another bullseye. Too cool.

She blinded me with science.

I don’t know if anyone else will find this little article amusing. I did. This is probably my favorite line: "The axion is extremely lightweight with neither electric charge nor spin, so it hardly interacts with the universe's surrounding matter — that's if the particle even exists."

Ray, you left out a word. "Evolution is in fact an arbitrary pattern imposed on change." Because if there is no pre-existing pattern in the universe, that's all it is. Really.

mushroom said...

For the intellectual lightweights everything I know about life.

Nova said...

A lot of what I'm getting from Bob's writing boils down to the fact that I am in love with a woman.

I went through two marriages (once with an Austrian, the second with a black woman who had physical beauty that normally requires men to get their spare horsehoes out in public.

The basic Christian method is to spread love.

And you do it well, Gagdad Bob.

BTW: still on track to catch Van in person in Toronto on the 7th.

Anonymous said...

OT notice for interested Raccoons: conference on Esoteric Christianity, sponsored by the Theosophical Society

Nova said...

Van Morrisson always felt somewhat inacessible to me.

I've been listeng for a while now today. With some help from 30 year old scotch.

NoMo said...

Ray - And, since you meant to say "arbitrary pattern", I suggest you come up with a different word altogether - because where is the WILL behind the arbitrariness? Unless you really meant something else...?

Ephrem Antony Gray said...

Perhaps Ray will be led to the boundary of knowing, and then beyond that, and then, (God willing) beyond that, even.

First the mountain, then no mountain at all, then 'all things made new'. Repeat process!

QP said...

About the replicating machines @LGF:

While coontemplating buying this book(reviewed here) this morning, the qp spied similar comments dominating the "Active discussions in related forums".

Move on; grateful for daily doses of sanity at OC.

Ray Ingles said...

Y'know, if I were convinced that my points weren't misunderstood - or that things that I do know something about weren't thoroughly misrepresented - I might be more inclined to think that there was something to the rest of what's written about here.

Unfortunately, I see a lot of the opposite that Augustine warned against.

Nova said...

Hymn To the Silence (Van Morrison)works for me now.

I've hurt many women along the road. I'm sorry, Lord.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Ray Ingles said...
"Again, "I don't believe in the kind of evolution you disbelieve in."

Eight ball in the side pocket.

And we don't believe in the G-d you don't believe in, Ray.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Note to soph:
Do NOT sail in the bog of eternal stench and "absolute facts."

Snort! Sorry. I still laugh at that one.

Somethin' an RD said to Bob: "There is no absolute truth but there are absolute facts."

Nova said...

As much am I'm love with my 34 year-old girfreind, I've also rediscovered Love, Bob.

In 5 years that 5 mil donation has to go somewhere, right?

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Smoov said...
Hymn To the Silence (Van Morrison)works for me now.

Good song!

mushroom said...

Misunderstood? Physician, heal thyself.

Besides you sound like a wimp.

Ray Ingles said...

Mushroom - The forms created by evolution are as arbitrary as those of snowflakes. A mixture of both chance and necessity, historical contingency and the constraints of natural law. The details of their forms are 'arbitrary' or 'chance' - their basic hexagonal symmetry is not.

Nova said...

Hey Ben,

You've served.

It is up to us who never put our lives on the line to put forward we can.

I feel I can cough up a few million, I just don't want to support the wrong cause...

Nova said...

The one thing I have got tell you, Bob -- tank commanders -- 21 year-old black tacitcal IQ 165 men are following targets, the same way Ben did in his day.

They are listening to, and are inspired by rap.

mushroom said...

"natural law" -- a pattern discovered in nature.

Anonymous said...

Mystery is not a negation, but a kind of dark plenitude.
And for superior-toned reductionism in general, including bumbling progressivism, the teen spirit of a false and grandiose nirvana...
Primo! The man is a writer.

As to the Rose by Any Other Name Theosophical conference, proceed with caution. Random Googling from the schedule produced no joy here, and I believe our MOOT friend would see it clear, and stay clear.

Incidentally, Ray seems to be groping for the angle where the old alchemists lived, where Nature and Nature's God share one mind. I just wish he would spend a decade or so in directed Alchemical Lectio, until he can speak it with the necessary subtlety of dark plenitude.

Anonymous said...


How about taking the next step?

If a rainbow or a human is enobled by giving rise to beauty, what explains the enobling or the beauty?

If DNA explains life proceses, what explains DNA?
If evolution is a pattern, where did the patterns come from?

Come on man, you put all that work into getting a blogger I.D., going from Sourcerror to Ray Ingles and posting that continuous triangle icon, hop in that sucker and take a ride, it may get you over the hump.

Nova said...

A Marine -- especially a black Marine, comes back... hurt.

Let's do we what can to support these..

Men lose their lives in defense of freedom.

As much as I love you, Bob, would you die on a beach in Europe?

Ephrem Antony Gray said...

I would. But my brain's on loan. Got a good use for it?

Anonymous said...

OT. Just-released horoscope based on Obama-as-citizen birth certificate. The astrologer is reputed to be a liberal Democrat.

Nova said...

Niggers also gurantee your security in the following ways:

Most "Top Aces" are African-American

Crews on "boomers" (the subs that ultimately secure us) are commanded by Black Americans.

Draw your own conclusions,

Sibylline Zipper said...

Hey Smoov. If you want to support a good cause, contact Bob's publisher, order up a few thousand copies, and scatter them over the earth. You know...libraries, churches, synagogues and any other place it might get a sympathetic reading. Be your own Johnny mustard-seed.

Nova said...


rap is a form of poetry.

Listen to Kanye (give him a chance)

Anonymous said...

You been drinkin'?

Ephrem Antony Gray said...

I love the Beastie Boys.

Can't go no further.

Ephrem Antony Gray said...

By the way, I don't think anyone here would argue that Rap doesn't have *certain* merits like having a damn good beat.

But the words matter - and in terms of words - there is nothing worse than a lot of that crap.

Kayne I have mixed feelings about - I have liked a few of the Gospel numbers, but the whole him-being-crucified on the cover of - Rolling Stone?

Crosses the line for me, bro.

Gecko said...

Gee Smoove, really glad that you are in love again. With all those millions burning a hole in your pockets maybe you ought to buy everything from Amazon on Gagdad's wish list for those severely wounded warriors.

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything in the post that clearly states the Darwinist position so we can grasp what you are rebutting, Bob.

I thought Darwinists pretty much stuck to talking about natural selection and left theology to others. Or, are they squawking about things outside of the discipline?

Do you have an actual rebuttal for natural selection? That would be interesting.

Otherwise the debate descends into the jungle of subjectivity where of course nothing is ever decided one way or the other.

Ephrem Antony Gray said...

Support the Hagia Sophia becoming a church again.

Get signatures!

Ephrem Antony Gray said...

The 'Darwinists' he speaks of are those who look at the depths of nature and say, "There's a pattern here, but its random, and ultimately meaningless. There is no God."

Would that sum it up, Bob?

Anonymous said...


How about researching your own rebuttal to natural selection?
1. Look up the original theory which Darwin proposed.
2. See how this theory could possibly apply to the complexity of biological systems, the extent of which Darwin had no clue, particularly on a cellular level.
Systems and processes which give no advantage to an organism whatsoever and are actually a detriment or at best unusable until the final mechanical component or chemical reaction is in place.
The more you discover, the more Darwinism begins to look like the Flat Earth Society.
This doesn't necesarily prove the existance of God for many but it does prove that science and our educational system needs to get unstuck from the rut of Darwinism in order to allow scientific progress.
Give it a try, it's so easy, even a cave man can do it.

julie said...

Gecko, that's a great suggestion, but the CAUSE wish lists are pretty modest (compared to the kind of money Smoov wants to spend). For a good list of charities for vets, see the sidebar at Mrs. G's website, Modern Military Heroes.

NoMo said...

Anon 11:05 - So it's officially confirmed by his horrorscope... Obama is the antichrist.

Fortunately, I discovered no "surprises of Uranus" yesterday when I underwent my "coonoscopy" ("l" intentionally omitted).

Smoov - For me, rap began and (should have) ended with Public Enemy. But I'm living in the age of coonoscopies now, so what do I know?

Ephrem Antony Gray said...

"Unfortunately, I see a lot of the opposite that Augustine warned against."

Hunh. I don't see much in the way of interpreting the scripture literally here. Rather, I don't see a denial of its literal meaning, but an understanding of its context and purpose, which is what Augustine related in the second quote.

Ray Ingles said...

Hoarhey - I've not seen a proposed example of "irreducible complexity" that actually held up under examination. Can you point to one?

I'll freely admit that we don't have a good theory about how the 'first cell' originated... yet. We do have some interesting (and testable) hypotheses which are being looked at. Right now, the notion that the 'first cell' was planted by God(s) or aliens can't be disproven - but that's not the same thing as it being proven that it was.

But, what if we could develop life under lab conditions? Any such process would probably take decades at a bare minimum, of course, but what if it were done? Would that disprove God? (Heliocentrism didn't, and we now regard the people who fought against that as needlessly stubborn.)

It's the fact that people do make mistakes about - or at least gross misrepresentations of - things that I am familiar with that makes me wary about their conclusions in other areas... such as "where did the patterns come from?"

Augustine was warning against that - not literal interpretation per se, but Christians asserting that the scriptures or doctrine demands certain things about the real world that are contrary to what is "known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience".

Ephrem Antony Gray said...

I don't think that there is any argument advanced here that God 'planted' the first cell.

Anonymous said...

I agree with nomo...I have long maintained that Public Enemy in general and Chuck D in particular was the apex of Hip Hop.

Well ok, or more accurately no hip hop has ever reached the heights/depths (for me) like Public Enemy.

Anonymous said...

The Darwinist's theology seems to rest on the same anti-authoritarian compulsion as does that of the leftists who tend to populate the pews.

Deny the Emperor, then claim the pyramidal hierarchy of everything is upside down. Create a scheme in which the Proletariat or "building block" of life will ultimately be proven to possess the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Atheism and the repudiation of cosmic and worldly hierarchies are requirements, as is the associated resentment.

It's really an adolescent rebelliousness against the way things clearly are structured, but the insidiousness and destructiveness are staggering if you look back at the last century.

Gagdad Bob said...

But in their spiritual blindness, they just don't see it. Nor, it goes without saying, do they see the future. I certainly see it. Today, for example, with the first "homosexual marriages" in California, another dagger into the heart of Western civilization.

Anonymous said...

I think, Ray, the point that was being made was that, when you throw around terms like "patterns" and "natural law" you are acknowledging the presence of Design. You can choose to see it as Stupid Design or Indecipherable Design if you want, but it's still Design, and there's nothing far fetched about considering it Intelligent and beautiful.

Anonymous said...

“But, what if we could develop life under lab conditions? Any such process would probably take decades at a bare minimum, of course, but what if it were done? Would that disprove God?”

That gives me an idea.
Feed the tuna mayonnaise.

I’m an idea man, "Chuck".


Anonymous said...

Well, they can stab at the heart of Western Civilization, but they can't successfully pervert the order of what is.

Anonymous said...

First off, I hope you guys don't paint all science guys with the same brush. There are devout Christians who are scientists for example.

Second off, you guys seem to profess a preponderance of following the Christian message, but with a very broad additive of education in world religions. In that you place yourselves in a distinct minority of the followers of the way of Christ. You guys are dangerously close to mystics and the Christian mainstream far prefers charismatics to mystics.

I am really finding this whole thing amusing. There are straw dogs impaled and dying everywhere. And as this argument against and for the Darwinists continues, I see a refusal to see the other guy's first principles as the primary difficulty. I read them misdefined both ways.

As for me, a "religion" that doesn't include pure science (not scientism) is surely false. Similarly, any science that insists on the interior life as epiphenomona of matter is surely false. Beyond that I am waiting for conclusions because premature conclusions kill creativity and the conclusions are surely premature as yet.

And I don't have to sweat it because what you refer to here as vital experience of the whole has indeed happened to me and so I "know" where it all leads.

Nova said...


When the time comes, it will make me happy to share wealth.

Botswana and Bulgaria come first, not SoCal. ;-)

Anonymous said...

"but Christians asserting that the scriptures or doctrine demands certain things about the real world that are contrary to what is "known with the greatest certainty by reasoning or by experience"."

--Says Ray.

First thing, I see no conflict between my view of scripture and science. Non at all. I don't know what your talking about Ray. Maybe your just talking about those infantile run of the muck type of church going people; but we understand those types, so why not move on?

Here's a quote from "light on the ancient worlds" by Frithjof Schuon that seems to illuminate (at least for me) the whole science vs. theism conflict, which isn't really a conflict in Reality, but an intrapsychic conflict within the pseudo-scientist themselves who deny the very uncreated intelligence and mystery--the essence and ontological foundation of the subject--that's necessary (necessary because all else is unnecessary, right? There's no purpose of existence existing, at least from the standpoint of Reality. Reality as such is self-sufficient. The transcendent has no need of us.) to even comprehend the cosmos to begin with:

BTW Ray. If you deny anything transcendent, this will make no sense to you. But I'm not sure if you actively deny it, as in pathologically, or just haven't figured out that thoughts can't grasp it. Your probably the first, since your so addicted to horizontal (circular) thinking. Neurotic thinking in this way can be an actual physiological addiction.

Ok. Now the quote:

"We criticize this science--and we are certainly neither the first nor the only to do so--not insofar as it studies some fragmentary field within the limits of its competence, but insofar as it lays claim in principle to total knowledge and insofar as it ventures conclusions requiring a supra-sensible and properly intellective wisdom, the existence of which it rejects out of prejudice, in other words, the foundations of this science are false because, from the "subject" point of view, it replaces Intellect and Revelation by reason and experience--as if it we not contradictory to lay claim to totality on an empirical basis--and because, from the "object" point of view, it replaces Substance by matter alone while denying the universal Principle or reducing it to matter or some kind of pseudo-absolute deprived of all transcendence...

By refusing to admit any possibility of serious knowledge outside its own domain, modern science--as we have already said--claims exclusive and total knowledge while making itself out to be empirical and non-dogmatic, as this, it must be insisted, is a flagrant contradiction; to reject all "dogmatism" and "a priorism" is simply not to use the whole of one's intelligence."

Nova said...


Dear,.. shall I adress formally?

It took a good three years before I could grasp Bob's writing.

Ray Ingles said...

Maineman - I'm not so sure about the 'hierarchy' or 'Great Chain of Being'. I mean, which is higher in the hierarchy - the color blue or mozarella cheese? Isn't it more reasonable that there are different measures for different things?

And it's funny that so many of the 'patterns' that need explanation are always at the edge of current science. Then they turn out to be elaborations of simpler and more fundamental principles.

Nova said...


What about Van Morrison when he gets going?

Gldly buy you tickets for the July 7th show in Toronto -- hotel and all.

Anonymous said...

Smoov (since you started a conversation):

I had more respect for you before today's ranting comments. Something must be wrong with you. You seem more a vital man than I thought. Hip Hop's an expression of mostly unsocialized vital substance, and whoever really gets inspired (my God, people really get inspired (like real inspiration?) from it?)by it--because there are much better things out there than the kind of ephemeral pseudo-expression that comes out of this supposed black culture--must coincide with the core of the mind that it originated from; and I left that years back. It just didn't scratch the itch, if you know what I mean.

And it's coonified. I'm probably the youngest one here (24), and yes, I understood bob instantly, and from the beginning. Bringing that intellectual revelation down into the body is another thing altogether, though. That's the hard part, but I assume that you were talking about "understanding," or was it "grasping"? The key is not to "grasp" and see at the same time. Some people can't do two things at once.

Anonymous said...

I was going to add one more thing:

Your comment made you sound like an ass. It's better not to talk sometimes.

Ray Ingles said...

Coonified - "The four points of the compass be logic, knowledge, wisdom and the unknown. Some do bow in that final direction. Others advance upon it. To bow before the one is to lose sight of the three. I may submit to the unknown, but never to the unknowable." - Roger Zelazny, in Lord of Light

There are lots of things are unknown. I just don't see the use of assuming that there are things that are 'unknowable'. As Woody Allen put it, "Is knowledge knowable? If not, how do we know this?"

I'm aware that there are theists who aren't "infantile run of the muck type of church going people", but again, I haven't seen an indication of a real understanding of evolution on Bob's part. If he's different in that respect, he's not doing a really effective job showing it in the posts that I've seen. (I'll ask, again, if there are better ones in the archives?)

Conversely, well, a lot of the discussion here reminds me of yet another quote: "he important thing is to discover which individuals are honest and which are not, and the usual blanket accusation merely makes this more difficult. The atmosphere of hatred in which controversy is conducted blinds people to considerations of this kind. To admit that an opponent might be both honest and intelligent is felt to be intolerable. It is more immediately satisfying to shout that he is a fool or a scoundrel, or both, than to find out what he is really like." - George Orwell

Anonymous said...

I was lurking on LGF yesterday and was wondering when Bob would chime in (or Petey - who would be immediately banned!)

I eventually commented and, who knows, I might be banned now :-)

That site has gone astray, IMHO, and will be another Andrew Sullivan type result eventually.

Rick said...

You said:
“First off, I hope you guys don't paint all science guys with the same brush. There are devout Christians who are scientists for example.”

Not at all. Speaking for myself of course, I am not anti-science in the slightest. That would be absurd. I don’t think you’re talking to me specifically, but I’m certain 5 out of 5 Raccoons would agree. Or they wouldn’t be Raccoons.

“As for me, a "religion" that doesn't include pure science (not scientism) is surely false.”

Nearly the same answer. If I understand what you mean, that is... I would say it probably doesn’t need to include it, but it would be false to deny it. As for me it would be less rich without it…if that’s even possible. As it is for many, my biggest stumbling head to religion was my own block.

Anonymous said...

"...the Darwinist pretends to understand "life," when life ipso facto exhibits the qualities of wholeness, interiority, non-linearity, internal connectedness, etc...it does this because it mirrors the organismic nature of the cosmos, precisely. I will say it again: ordered totality is ontologically prior to natural selection."

Darwinism claims that random mutation and natural selection explain life, and that nothing else is necessary. Yet these two processes assume life. Given that life exists, Darwinism claims to explain it through these two mechanisms.

Bob makes a very concentrated (concentrated like E=MCSquared is concentrated)point that there must be ordered totality before natural selection can operate.

The materialist asserts that science has explained evolution, life and consciousness and that nothing more (most especially not a non-materialist principal like the G-word) is necessary. The more aggressive claim that the theological position has been refuted. ("I have no need of that hypothesis.")

Michael Behe, who can be assigned to the ID camp, in "The Edge of Evolution" admits to some sort of evolutionary process; in fact, he admits to the common origin of all forms of life on Earth. But he also establishes pretty conclusively that random mutation and natural selection cannot account by themselves for this evolutionary process. Something else must be at work. Materialists try to sneak in a hidden god of the machine with references to complexity and chaos and what-have-you.

The Big Questions: Why is there consciousness? Why is there life? Why is there something rather than nothing? These cannot be answered by describing processes; in fact, they are not scientific questions at all.

ID is not a front for the position that it all started about six thousand years ago at 2:45 on a Tuesday afternoon when God said, "Let there be light." ID is, at its most conservative, the proposition that materialist evolution can't cut the mustard in explaining life.

julie said...

Ricky, I'll second that.

Gagdad Bob said...


I know what you mean. There used to be some very clever people there, so much so it was hard to keep up with the wit. Now it's mostly a kind of Randian skinhead-with-hobnailed boots vibe. Any subtlety & whimsicality are gone.

Anonymous said...

The main effect of gay marriage is to spread the pain onto gay people who were formerly free of the onus of matrimony.

Ouch. Watch out for what you ask for, because you might get it.

Anonymous said...

"To come to what you have not, you must go by a way in which you have not. To come to what you are not, you must go by a way in which you are not. To come to what you know not, you must go by a way in which you know not."

Rick said...

Thanks, Julie :-)

Alright. I’ll admit you are "both honest and intelligent.”
That's what you're asking, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

"Is knowledge knowable?"


Have you ever thought that the knower and the known, subject and object, may co-arise, that is, that they are reflections of one another in some weird way, and that ones ‘center of knowledge’--the episteme--without that which is beyond (the beyond, as in no-nothing, or not-any-thing) the two, beyond subject and object, is just a nonsensical and ultimately reductio ad absurdum contingency, which is no "knowledge" at all, but an outright falsehood. Therefore, all knowledge points beyond itself to the pentacle of manifestation where "once upon a timeless" Being as such trajected out of the beyond-two; and as of now, on earth, at this particular time and space (time and space being conditioned by the epistme that we have assumed in life in relation to the beyond) the All-possible, which includes it's own negation--the impossible nothing and falsity-- works to satisfy an unquenchable thirst for knowledge that can only be quenched by a return to the absolute necessity that all knowledge points too to begin with. Infinity needs a foundation, or else it’s everywhere, which is to say, nowhere at all.

"the important thing is to discover which individuals are honest and which are not,"

What a humanistic statement! No. There are alot of "honest," maybe myopic, fools in the world.


"An argument (which in our context is a sincerely "honest" worldview) is not "barren" or "fruitful"; it is true or false. If it is true, it is all it should be, and it could not then in any case be "barren" in itself; if it is false, the question of its possible "fruitfulness" does not arise; for error cannot be otherwise than harmful or indifferent, according to the domains and proportions involved."

Hmmm. "Error cannot otherwise be harmful or indifferent." Well, if you agree that error in the domain of mind is another word for neurosis, and that neurosis necessarily results in some sort of harmful anti-social behavior, whether self-evident or not, then "shout[ing] that he (just replace "he" with 'falsehood in principle') is a fool or a scoundrel" can be very useful. Nay, it is essential, which is one of the reasons I'm of the conservative political strain, naturally. This fact of true and false and its effects also gives rise to the utility of war, for it is natural for falsehood to honestly—honestly believe its own lies—believe that everyone must hear the “good news;” and any argument that there could ever be a hermetically sealed person living a lie, is an idiot. Where ever we find an individual, we find a collective also; and they’re ultimately inseparable in space and time.

Example of Orwells statement:

A myopic, yet honest child runs out full throttle towards a highway or road, and you catch him just in time. I might just physically condition him not to do it again so that his soma remembers; and yell too. Better that than he being smashed by a car.

The world is full of children, and sometimes it's appropriate that we kick ass and yell at them when we see where their errors lead. Better that, than regression into a totalitarian state. Ya know? But we can’t contain intellectuals in the same way that we can children. I’m not saying that I’m for child abuse.

If you want to make a good point by quoting some intellectual, make sure that he does embody the errors of a pathetic post-modern humanism.

Van Harvey said...

Smoov said "BTW: still on track to catch Van in person in Toronto on the 7th."

I must say, I'm touched about all of you talking so nicely about me... I'm almost embarrased to say that I won't be in Toronto.

"Van Morrisson always felt somewhat inacessible to me."

(oh... how embarrasing....)


"....With some help from 30 year old scotch."

Smoov, if you make it some Lagavulin ("...an Islay scotch, a region known for creating peaty whisky, but this stuff had a deep peat smell"), I'll hum a few bars....

Anonymous said...

Christopher said:

"Second off, you guys seem to profess a preponderance of following the Christian message, but with a very broad additive of education in world religions. In that you place yourselves in a distinct minority of the followers of the way of Christ. You guys are dangerously close to mystics and the Christian mainstream far prefers charismatics to mystics."

Hello Chris:

1)not everyone here is a 'follower of Christ'.
2)Raccoons are by definition a 'distinct minority'.
3)If ya want or expect 'Christian mainstream' you're reading the wrong site.
4) I for one, don't give a rat's ass what mainstream-anything prefers.

Van Harvey said...

Ray said "I mean, which is higher in the hierarchy - the color blue or mozarella cheese? Isn't it more reasonable that there are different measures for different things?"

I do hope that wasn't anything you thought about saying.

Gagdad Bob said...

Isn't the question rendered moot by the existence of blue cheese?

mushroom said...

Maybe I've been beating Ray undeservedly. I assumed he had read enough to know that probably nobody who reads Our Leader regularly believes in like a literal six day creation. I don't believe any of us have any quarrel with "evolution" as in actual science.

What we object to is the absurd religion of Darwinism as espoused by the idiot Dawkins and his ilk.

Most of us would probably agree with the guy who said, "The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine."

The reason we find patterns in nature is because we look for them. We look for them because we believe there is something organized (if you don't like 'designed') about the cosmos.

Speaking strictly for myself, I know God exists for reasons that have nothing to do with the physical world. To me the material universe is kind of like a metaphor for God.

Van Harvey said...

oh my... of course one should keep in mind that Scotch is best for sippin', not swiggin'....

Just sayin'

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Give Smoov a break.
Smoov lost a young friend, younger than you, in Afghanistan recently, to a sniper bullet shot by the Taliban, or one of their terrorist supporters.

So it's understandable that he has drank perhaps too much scotch...he's in pain!
So chill out and try to be supportive, okay?

And Smoov, if you're still awake, get some sleep. Tomorrow is a new day, and I gno all of the Raccoons will remember your friends' sacrifice.
And whenever you can, please write more about him.
It would inspire me to hear more of this young man...this Hero.
God bless this Heroes family and friends,
and God bless you Smoov and keep you.

Van Harvey said...

Way back near the beginning of the Darwhiggian debate, the true positions were set out best by those who grasped them best. 'Darwin's Bulldog' Thomas Henry Huxley, and his friend who he referred to as "that Levite of culture", Matthew Arnold. Neither side has made any appreciable change since, because the conflict doesn’t exist in the facts, but in the positions themselves.

The scientismists side was best summed up by a philistine Josiah Mason, who decided to set up a college of Science, wherein, at his express stipulation, the Classics (which effectively meant the Greeks, the Romans and the Bible) would not be taught.

This was and is the frame of mind that underlay’s the position up with which we will not put. The strident sophistry of only facts and figures being all that is of worth, and which gives a laughably haughty and dismissive sniff towards Literature, the Poetic and the Religious. It is an assertion that nothing is fixed, all is discoverable, and what is not quantifiable is unworthy. More to its root, it is an assertion that human nature is a fiction, that there is no truth but fact, and that the behavior of humans can be redesigned to operate in 'more rational' ways, with but a few intelligent inputs here and there, presto, the proper outcomes will come out there.

What the philistine and Huxley would have denied, but which is in fact undeniable, is that when they sought to exclude and denigrate 'The Classics", they meant to exclude the heart and soul of Western Culture, and in its more important sense, it took the 'Western' out of Western Culture, which of course resulted in removing our Culture from the culture.

Here’s a small snip from Huxley's address"Sir Josiah Mason...with respect to three points, he has laid most explicit injunctions upon both administrators and teachers... Party politics are forbidden ... theology is as sternly banished from its precincts; and finally, it is especially declared that the college shall make no provision for “mere literary instruction and education.”
It does not concern me at present to dwell upon the first two injunctions any longer than may be needful to express my full conviction of their wisdom.
... For I hold very strongly by two convictions. The first is, that neither the discipline nor the subject-matter of classical education is of such direct value to the student of physical science as to justify the expenditure of valuable time upon either; and the second is, that for the purpose of attaining real culture, an exclusively scientific education is at least as effectual as an exclusively literary education."

And a small snip (hey, it was difficult for me to cut it down to even this much... sorry, deal with it) from Arnold's reply "...I call all teaching scientific,’ says Wolf, the critic of Homer, ‘which is systematically laid out and followed up to its original sources. For example: a knowledge of classical antiquity is scientific when the remains of classical antiquity are correctly studied in the original languages.’ There can be no doubt that Wolf is perfectly right, that all learning is scientific which is systematically laid out and followed up to its original sources, and that a genuine humanism is scientific.

...To know Italian belles lettres is not to know Italy, and to know English belles lettres is not to know England. Into knowing Italy and England there comes a great deal more, Galileo and Newton amongst it. ... I proposed knowing the best that has been thought and said in the world... In that best I certainly include what in modern times has been thought and said by the great observers and knowers of nature.

And for the generality of men there will be found, I say, to arise, when they have duly taken in the proposition that their ancestor was ‘a hairy quadruped furnished with a tail and pointed ears, probably arboreal in his habits,’ there will be found to arise an invincible desire to relate this proposition to the sense within them for conduct and to the sense for beauty. But this the men of science will not do for us... it will be knowledge only which they give us; knowledge not put for us into relation with our sense for conduct, oar sense for beauty, and touched with emotion by being so put; not thus put for us, and therefore, to the majority of mankind, after a certain while unsatisfying, wearying.

...Next, how do they exercise it? And this is perhaps a case for applying the Preacher’s words: ‘Though a man labour to seek it out, yet he shall not find it; yea, further, though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it.’

...I mean that we shall find, as a matter of experience, if we know the best that has been thought and uttered in the world, we shall find that the art and poetry and eloquence of men who lived, perhaps, long ago, who had the most limited natural knowledge, who had the most erroneous conceptions about many important matters, we shall find that they have in fact not only the power of refreshing and delighting us, they have also the power,–such is the strength and worth, in essentials, of their authors’ criticism of life,–they have a fortifying and elevating and quickening and suggestive power capable of wonderfully helping us to relate the results of modem science to our need for conduct, our need for beauty.

The ‘hairy quadruped furnished with a tail and pointed ears, probably arboreal in his habits’ carried hidden in his nature, apparently, something destined to develop into a necessity for humane letters. The time warns me to stop; but most probably, if we went on, we might arrive at the further conclusion that our ancestor carried in his nature, also, a necessity for Greek.

The instinct for beauty is set in human nature, as surely as the instinct for knowledge is set there, or the instinct for conduct. ..."

In short, the scientifismist seeks to deny the existence of what he can not know by way of his quantifiable manner of knowing. The man of Literature, the Poetic and the Religious (as if they were separate or even separable!), in knowing what is the container of those lab coats contents, can only shake his head and wait for the fool to occasionally hang his coat up, and come outside.

Van Harvey said...

And most definitely what Ben said.

Oh yes indeed.

Anonymous said...

Ben, thanks for reminding us of what it is to a True friend.

Anonymous said...

Ray said,

"Hoarhey - I've not seen a proposed example of "irreducible complexity" that actually held up under examination. Can you point to one?"

You're kidding right? How about if you point to one that hasn't.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Sorry about the length of this comment, but hey! I'm usually pithy so it balances out. :^)

Some of the many falsehoods that Reductionist Darwinists (RD) perpetuate is the conflation of terms, meanings, and definitions.
For example, they consider proponents of ID and creationists (and by creationist most mean young earth strict fundamentalists)
to be the same thing.
Now, anyone who is even open to exploring the possibility of ID is simply called a Creationist.
And yet, many, such as Charles, denies that Darwinism is even a valid word.
I believe he said it was a construct of ID'ers to smear science and evolution.

RD'ers and those with an RD mindset consider ANYTHING by the scientists that study ID to be a priori false and a hoax.
They label every scientist that believes in ID a fraud.

Now, Charles is on a mission to "expose" Bobby Jindal and his belief in ID, and he's not satisfied with only one post.
There's been three in the last day.

When confronted, most of the RD'ers deny any hostility towards Christianity or Religion or G-d, but an examination of many of the comments shows the truth, and the truth is, there is indeed a lot of hostility.
For instance:

Posted in: Stein's 'Expelled' Exposed?

zombie 4/20/2008 3:18:14 pm PDT

re: #128 wanumba

The state of science education in this country has gone steadily downtown since the atheistic LEFT progressives took control of the schools, and shows NO SIGN of restoring correct scientific discipline.

Students are not taught the math they need, the patience and diligence needed for long term observation and testing that is needed in science. It's all razz-ma-tazz, flashy fluffy presentations for people who been trained for three-minute attention spans. Schools are pushing Neo-Lysenkoism, teaching students that Al Gore, a half-educated politician, is more improtant than scientists who've devoted their careers to the study of weather, climate studies and analysis of ACTUAL data, not easily manipulated computer models. The LEFT is teaching nothing more than plain old superstition - that things happen willy-nilly with no history or cause and effect. With that, people run like Chicken Little from one crisis to another, easily fooled and frightened by one crisis afetr another.

And as usual, who gets the blame for this abysmal situation, the decades now of the Left's March Through the Institutions?

"I fully agree with you. Currently, 80%-90% of the problem with education in this country is caused by the Left.

The other 10%-20% is caused by the Creationists. But they are fighting for a bigger slice of the Pie of Ignorance.

It's not a Left-vs-Creationists battle. The Left and the Creationists are ON THE SAME SIDE, pushing advocacy and brainwashing over knowledge and impartiality.

The battle lines are:

Left+Creationists vs. Rationalists.

Choose sides wisely."

And this:
Posted in: Stein's 'Expelled' Exposed?

zombie 4/20/2008 3:24:10 pm PDT

re: #150 DesertSage

"I see the evolutionists (or the anti-creationist's) people here are spinning like crazy....but not one of them has answered my simple question:


Just answer that one, that's all.

Your question is as valid as "Have you stopped beating your wife yet?"

Implicit in the question is the answer you seek, that there must be a "who" involved.

Your question is a tautology and thus there's no point in even addressing it."

And that's just a few of many, which, again, paint all ID'ers and Creationists with the same brush, and as evil backstabbers attempting to create an evil theocracy.

Now, I agree with Bob that ID shouldn't be taught in science class, although I don't believe it would be a major threat to our country, like the RD'ers believe.

Personally, I believe the teaching of RD in science class as incontavertable fact to be much more damaging than the mention of ID.

I mean, ID wouldn't be an indoctrination, as RD'ers claim, into a Religion, and from what I've seen, it only gets a few minutes of time in the schools it is currently in, which isn't very many (so much for the Theocracy Conspiracy).

And the RD'ers scream bloody murder if anyone questions their dogma (again, I'm not talking about evolution).

And it pains me to see Charles of all people comparing ID'ers and Creationists to Islam.

Posted in: Video: Bobby Jindal Supports Teaching 'Intelligent Design'

Charles 6/16/2008 5:54:54 pm PDT

re: #462 ContraJihadi

The lizards who have remarked that there are bigger fish to fry are quite correct. Neither Darwinists or fundamentalist Christians will fare well if the jihadis triumph and impose sharia on both of them.

"But ironically, the jihadis are just as opposed to the theory of evolution as creationists. So they have that in common."

Posted in: Friday Night Science Thread

#320 Charles 6/13/2008 8:54:22 pm PDT

"Some of you are no doubt wondering why I keep probing this sore tooth.

It's because I sincerely believe that this is a regressive, destructive, anti-science movement promoted by a dishonest special interest group. I have a deep aversion to being fooled by fanatics.

Of any stripe.

And as I always point out in these threads, the far right in America and the Islamofascists in the Middle East totally agree on this issue. Islam is just as opposed to evolutionary science as the Discovery Institute."


Answered by:

Posted in: Friday Night Science Thread

Gagdad Bob 6/13/2008 8:59:41 pm PDT

I don't see how Stein's argument is any less deceptive than the claim that people who believe in ID are creationists or Islamists. Both are scurrilous.

Comment by: Gagdad Bob
Posted in: Friday Night Science Thread
Respectfully, to suggest that all people who believe in ID are "creationists" is as intellectually dishonest as saying that all people who believe in reductionistic and nihilistic Darwinism are necessarily nazis. Neither statement is true.

I respect the work Charles does exposing MSM deceptions and lies, politics, the danger of Islamofacism, etc..
The same holds true for Zombie and many other Lizards.

But they is way off base when it comes to metaphysics and Religion and ID.

That wouldn't bother me nearly as much if they didn't exhibit such a deep hostility and ascribe evil intentions to ID'ers, Creationists, and anyone who see's the evidence of ID (not necessarily agreeing with the Discovery Institute on everything, but again, Charles equates anyone who believes ID to be in cahoots with or a shill for the DI).

It's an unhealthy obsession, and many good folks have been banned or have left LGF.
I truly hope n' pray that Charles, and the other Lizards who share his views at least learn to lighten up and let their anger go, if not realize it's presence within them, and the reason why they are so hostile.

It ain't due to ID, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

And you didn't answer any of the questions from earlier.
Loosen up a little and try thinking out of your box.

Anonymous said...

That last comment was for Ray, not you Ben.

Anonymous said...

Ray said,
"Evolution is, in fact, a pattern imposed on change."

And here's another;
What created the pattern and imposed it on change?
The answer doesn't have to be God if that makes you feel better but it does need to be answered, if even with a theory, if you wish to be taken seriously.
And please don't give me the "evolutionary created aliens from another planet" arguement, that one's already taken. ;^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Outstanding comment, Van!
Thanks for sayin' what I was attempting to say even better!

Hi Ximeze!
You are a good friend in deed! :^)

You know, it's amazing to me that many right-wing RDers have fallen for the lie of "Seperation of Church anmd State" and "the Wall must never be breached" deception.
They just don't understand the Establishment Clause which has nothin' to do with "Seperation of Church and State."

They might be surprised to know that even Thomas Jefferson thought that every school in the United States should include a Bible.

Thomas Jefferson, while President of the United States, became the first president of the Washington D. C. public school board, which used the Bible and Watt's Hymnal as reading texts in the classroom. Notice why Jefferson felt the Bible to be essential in any successful plan of education:

"I have always said, always will say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens."
Thomas Jefferson said.

Check out this link:

They can't even stand a teacher having his Bible on his desk!

A comment from the veteran teacher sums it up:
"Please notice that the attack on religious freedom in America is on Christianity. No one is trying to silence the religious freedom of Muslims or atheists or humanists. Quite the contrary. We are told to 'understand' Muslims, to be sensitive to the atheists and to tolerate the humanists and their various denominations of 'isms' (environmentalism, feminism, secularism, socialism, communism), which we teach openly in our schools,” he wrote in an entry for WorldNetDaily.

More quotes-

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible." --George Washington

"So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once every year." --John Quincy Adams

"If there is anything in my thoughts or style to commend, the credit is due to my parents for instilling in me an early love of the Scriptures." --Daniel Webster

"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments ." James Madison

"[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind." Benjamin Rush

"The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts." John Jay

"The moral principles and precepts contained in the scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. . . All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible."
Noah Webster

"Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society." George Washington

"Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other." James Wilson

"[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind." Fisher Ames

"[F]or avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God." Gouverneur Morris

RDers and indeed, not even uncorrupt science can teach what these men were talking about.

The Founding Fathers weren't talking about any indoctrination into Religion here but clearly, they thought it wise and indeed, essential, to teach the morals, principles, and precepts of the Holy Bible in school.

Nowadays there is an atheistic/secular humanism wall preventing that in our schools.
They don't even want the mention of ID when kids ask about life or where we came from in class.
And that's fine with RDers who cannot see the humans for the animals.

And in a nutshell, that is basically what RD is; A denial of the transcendental potential of Human Beings and the possibility to gno absolute Truth, Goodness and Beauty.
Morals, ethics, principles, laws, and standards are determined by whoever happens to have the power to enforce their brand at any given time.

And it's clear that Truth is not self evident to intelligent animals with that mindset.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Damn! Another long comment.
Sorry. I reckon you could say I'm a bit concerned about these issues, as all of us Raccoons are.

Or perhaps I'm just happy to know that you guys will read it. :^)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Heh! It's rather telling that Bob's challenge to all the RDers and borderline RD'ers to post or comment here at the OC, and have a direct, honest debate with the Raccoons went unanswered and ignored, preferring instead to cling to their ignorant talking points.

Hell, even at LGF that's the case.

Personally, I can't respect that sort of cowardice.
It's dishonorable.

BTW, for anyone who wants to read Bob's superb efforts to save the drowning that don't wanna be saved, but hopefully reached some lost Coons, simply type in Gagdad Bob in the LGF search engine for comments, and the appropriate dates, and voila! You can read more Gagdadian goodness without wading through the nauseas swamp.

It's well worth the effort for any true Bobblehead. :^)

Ray Ingles said...

Coonified - First off - no, I can honestly say I've never thought that. Besides, if it were beyond knowledge, how could we know anything about it?

BTW, Orwell wasn't putting forth a life philosophy - or a guide on child care - he was talking about how to handle discussions among strongly disagreeing parties... like this one. There's a difference between a 'troll' and someone who disagrees with you. One is only playing a game, the other one might have something to learn from you, or even teach you.

Ray Ingles said...

Van, Bob - If there's really a universal hierarchy, then that question actually is meaningful. The fact that it's not says something about the idea of the "Great Chain of Being," which appeared to be what Maineman was talking about. If he wasn't, he's free to clarify, of course.

Ray Ingles said...

Mushroom - Can you point out something specific about what Dawkins says regarding evolution that you disagree with? It shouldn't be too hard to give an example, should it? I've been asking for something like that repeatedly, but somehow no one actually gets around to doing so. Weird.

Ray Ingles said...

Van - you really need to read "Evolution For Everyone" by Wilson. In the same way that, say, most young-Earth creationists are actually people and not stereotypes, however misguided their beliefs on some issues, I'm not sure there actually are many "scientifismists" in the sense you seem to mean. I've certainly never met any.

Van Harvey said...

'Ray Ingles - Keeping the sides of barns safe and un-punctured!'



Van Harvey said...

Ray! I've Read IT! I've read Darwin, I've got a well thumbed second edition of his, I see the sense that is in it, and I see the sense that is denied by those who pretend to understand it.

It isn't the science that I don't buy, it is the positions of the philistines that are beyond belief.

Ray Ingles said...

Hoarhey - as an example of "irreducible complexity" that hasn't held up to scrutiny, we could take the clotting cascade.

As to "what created the pattern imposed on change" - well, as I said to Maineman, the patterns we see often turn out to be elaborations of simpler patterns. At normal Earth pressures, water freezes at 273.15 kelvin. That's a remarkable fact, but it turns out to derive from more fundamental principles - the charges and masses of electrons and protons, the speed of light, and so forth. Given what water is, it couldn't freeze at any other temperature.

As to why the constants we've identified have the values they do... we dunno yet. But even those constants are not totally unrelated, and we haven't necessarily found all the relationships yet.

The other issue is that, given the constants that we've found - whatever may have 'fixed' them (assuming they could be different) - other things necessarily follow. Things that reproduce with occasional errors will undergo evolution, inevitably. Biology is one (spectacular) example, but as I've noted, it can be easily demonstrated in other areas, too.

And, finally, another note about patterns, from Bertrand Russell: "[W]here you can get down to any knowledge of what atoms actually do, you will find they are much less subject to law than people thought, and that the laws at which you arrive are statistical averages of just the sort that would emerge from chance. There is, as we all know, a law that if you throw dice you will get double sixes only about once in thirty-six times, and we do not regard that as evidence that the fall of the dice is regulated by design; on the contrary, if the double sixes came every time we should think that there was design. The laws of nature are of that sort as regards a great many of them. They are statistical averages such as would emerge from the laws of chance; and that makes this whole business of natural law much less impressive than it formerly was."

Ray Ingles said...

Van - speaking of safe barns, I'm trying to point out that maybe you have misinterpreted what some other people have said, too. So long as we're being passionate, "I beseech you in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken."

Specifically, can you point out someone who thinks "THERE'S NOTHING BUT" evolution, along with some statements of theirs that led you to this conclusion?

(For example, if you've read EoE by Wilson, do you think he's in that mold? And can you cite a passage in that book that you disagree with?)

Ray Ingles said...

Oh, and Ricky - What you say about me is not of particular importance. My point is closer to one Mushroom should be familiar with (he quoted Heinlein on his blog): "Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Remember this - it may offer a way to make him your friend."

Anonymous said...

Ray, to clarify, the color blue is higher than all forms of cheese.

That should be obvious and, if it's not, it means you're not getting answers to your questions because you're searching with your eye closed.

Dawkins, meanwhile, is wrong in every way and about everything imaginable because he has chosen to live in a different universe than the one that actually exists. It's a form of self-banishment from absolute truth derived of inflated self-importance -- the same inverse cosmological hierarchy to which I referred originally.

I like bob f's outline of the essential problems with Darwinism. Maybe you should re-read it. You seem to be conflating "natural selection" and "evolution" routinely.

I venture to say that the belief in Evolution proper is a central tenet of the cosmology of everyone who frequents this site. Natural selection, on the other hand, is properly seen as an antiquated, 19th century notion who's sun is setting as we speak.

Van Harvey said...

Ray said "if you've read EoE by Wilson"

Oh... yes it does read that way, sorry too quickly tossed off (the flame caps the hurried dash out the door frame of mind). No I haven't read Wilson's book, some of his articles... not particularly wow'd one way or the other. I've read my Grandpa's copy of 'Origin of the Species', and the Descent of Man too. In younger years I thrilled to Carl Sagan's 'The Dragons of Eden', 'Broca's Brain', and several other treatments of evolution specifically. Unlike perhaps most, I came to the ideas I have by passing through Science, not past it or the reverse.

It is somewhat foolish for me to attempt to speak for the One, but my idea of God has no need to 'tweak' the progress of the Universe... allowing 15 or so billion years to pass before the dawning of Man seems to suggest he's got the patience to let things develop naturally according to the 'laws' in place.

I have no problem with evolution. I comprehend, as best as is possible, the idea and how it works. As I'd hoped the lengthy comment above on Huxley and Arnold (if you want examples of ‘nothing but’ types, reread that, or read the links – it’s up to you. See it or not, I’ve no more interest in providing you examples you will not see) would point out, it is not my position which denies science, but the scientifismists who deny the existence of anything outside the reach of their rulers and gauges.

It is not my point of view that is limited, but yours. Come out of the lab, have a look around within and without. Or stay. No matter. But please don't give me another Wilson link as if I've no clue. I get it. I got it. Long ago. I don't have a problem with the development of the eyeball, or anything else. I'm not the one feigning blindness.

Ray Ingles said...

Bob F. - Maybe "Darwinism" does claim that 'nothing else is necessary for life but mutation and selection'... but if that's true, there aren't any Darwinists.

First off, you seem to have misunderstood Laplace's phrase, "I had no need of that hypothesis". He was speaking of immediate divine intervention actively stabilizing the orbits of the planets. He didn't even disprove that notion - as he stated, he simply didn't need it to account for the observed behavior.

The same is true for much - most - of what we know about the history of life after it originated. It can't be disproven that a God has been hand-(or-other-appendage)-picked each mutation that happened, but if so, there's no sign of it. (For example, go to this page and search for the term 'unequal in most cases'. There's a histogram for the divergence of various genes between humans and mice. It fits a bell curve very well - if there's a bias to the mutations it's a very low level of statistical significance. Scientists have actually looked into the evidence for things like 'directed mutagenesis' (google it) and the evidence has been, at best, inconclusive.) Saying that the hypothesis isn't needed is just not the same as saying it's been refuted.

(I'm also not aware of any 'materialist' who claims that consciousness has been explained... yet. Even the title of Dennett's book is meant ironically.)

Sure, some kind of order is necessary for biological evolution to work - but this isn't news even to evolutionists. The same is true for geology, and - as I noted - banking and baking. But since I'm not aware of anyone - even Dawkins - who argues that evolution can proceed independent of any substrate... well, like I said, I don't see any Darwinists in the sense you seem to mean.

I'm aware that ID claims that mutation and selection aren't enough, but all the cases that I've looked into just don't hold up. That doesn't mean they won't come up with a smoking gun at some point, but until then... well, we have had no need of that hypothesis. I suppose in that sense people could be called 'Darwinist', but that seems a rather useless definition.

Van Harvey said...

Regarding the wall of separation between church and state, I think Jefferson's later letter Thomas Jefferson to Rev. Samuel Miller, 23 Jan. 1808 is much more indicative of his intent, than is the heavily edited Danbury letter usually referenced. In this, Jefferson is more clearly seen to be protecting Church's from Gov't, rather than the other way around, ensuring that Religion would be free from Gov't - and though he certainly would have objected to that as well, he knew the more substantial danger lay with Gov't.

"...I consider the government of the US. as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment, or free exercise, of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the U. S. Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the general government. It must then rest with the states, as far as it can be in any human authority. But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe a day of fasting & prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the U. S. an authority over religious exercises which the Constitution has directly precluded them from. ... I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct it's exercises, it's discipline, or it's doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them...."

FYI - To gain an understanding of the full context of ideas the Founders understood to bear upon the issue of Church and State, this link on the Amendment I is hard to beat, as is the parent site The Founders Constitution, hosted by the University of Chicago. A truly outstanding resource.

Anonymous said...

No, Ray. You have it backwards. If you're going to propose an explanation that defies common sense, as does Darwinism, then the burden of proof is on you. And to date, natural selection has come up entirely empty as to how and when one thing turned into another, let alone how not-life turned into life. What you get instead is slight-of-hand -- justifications of the theory by trotting out changes in species, in response to environmental factors, that are already built into that species' genetic make-up.

The fact that lactose intolerance can be shown to come and go in certain populations says nothing about how people emerged from monkeys. Nothing. The changes that are documented routinely regress to the mean, by the way, which further indicates that the adaptation was part of that organisms essential make-up all along.

Even Wallace, the co-author of the theory, abandoned it during his lifetime because he realized it could not account, for example, for how an aborigine transplanted to another culture could become like his new surrounding population. That is, that the capacities were somehow innate before having been selected for.

When we look at the genetic make-up of humans and other primates, what jumps out -- if you've a mind to see it -- is not how similar we are to apes genetically but how different we are given the similarity of our genes. Selfish genes my ass.

As for materialists and consciousness, you have to be kidding. Seems like every week a new lobotomized neurologist or psychologist is writing a book about how the mind is just a big computer and there's no such thing as free will.

The way you can tell that Darwinism is a religion is that, rather than acknowledging it's increasing inadequacy as a theory, we get holier-than-thou BS from Dawkins and Hitchens about how it's been established as fact and anyone who thinks otherwise is a heretic.

Van Harvey said...

The parent article for the Danbury letter, before and after edits - quite interesting.

Anonymous said...

I guess the primary point made here is how some love to argue. It is an attachment in the Buddhist sense. It ultimately leads to the same result as all attachments.

I believe both sides have won in a mostly empty field. The Dawkinsians are few in number, if vocal and relatively effective in their media domain. Racoons are in a distinct minority too.

From a professional point of view, most scientists find the "who made the primordial soup?" question not useful for science activity and in that respect uninteresting.

From the spiritual viewpoint, one of you wrote, "science is probably unnecessary" which I took to mean we can proceed spiritually without the constraints of the scientific method. In other words, the same point. Professionally speaking, to a seeker of spiritual wisdom science may be "uninteresting".

Anonymous said...

But Christopher, you act as though ideas have no consequences. Millions of people have died as a result of some of these ideas, so doing a Buddhist skate-by seems extraordinarily irresponsible. Most of us sense, even if we don't believe it, that there is a war being waged between good and evil, light and darkness, and that we play a role in that conflict.

Gagdad Bob said...

Yes. There is an infinite difference between escaping duality from below vs. transcending it from above. Man has the right to transcend logic and rational (not to mention, moral) argument, but never to deny or contradict it.

Anonymous said...

Bob, Yes indeed there is a difference. I am presumptuous, hoping I am among those who are viewing from above.

It reminds me of the fellas from Nam and any other war in any of the other streets. They say almost to a man that grunts fight for each other, not for ideals, which are left to the politicians.

The fight between good and evil still evolves into a fight amongst us when it comes to soldiering. And then the morality becomes the love of brothers (and sisters) for each other. Oddly enough often the enemy is given the same love at the death moment.

That is the actual view from above.

Ray Ingles said...

Maineman - Can someone survive on the color blue? Would a pepperoni-and-blue pizza taste better than a pepperoni-and-cheese one?

I'll grant that the color blue, as a concept, is less concrete than mozzarella cheese, as a concept. Of course, I'm repeatedly urged here to be less abstract and more concrete, so I can't see how that could be more important...

On another note, what's your problem with natural selection, anyway? Would Van agree with you on it?

Van Harvey said...

ray said "On another note, what's your problem with natural selection, anyway? Would Van agree with you on it?"

You seem to be beginning to show your true colors, and blue ain't it.

Ray Ingles said...

Maineman - Here's a transition you can partially test on your own body. Lay your fingers on the side of your jaw. Now, trace along the edge up to the very top of the jawbone. Notice how close your fingers are to your ear canal. Inside the inner ear are three bones, the ossicles: malleus, incus, and stapes. They are carefully arranged to transfer sound energy from the eardrum to the cochlea as efficiently as possible. How could such an amazing mechanism arise? (One that's been cited, even, as 'irreducibly complex' - just Google around a bit.)

It turns out that a classification of dinosaur called the therapsids had two jaw joints. The therapsids are known (by several independent lines of evidence) to be ancestral to modern mammals... and we have a basically complete fossil record of the gradual transition of one of those jaw joints into the modern bones of the inner ear. Fossils representing over 11 separate stages have been found. Note that intermediate steps were all advantageous, though not as efficient or optimized. Some transitional forms did help amplify sound energy but didn't work while the animal was chewing. We still have problems with that under some circumstances (try to listen to someone while eating celery) but the separation is far more developed now. What, exactly, does 'natural selection' not account for there?

Now, not-life to life? I've, uh, already said that's an open problem. But that's not evolution's domain. It's a related area, certainly, but even Darwin talked about the origin of species, not of life. (It sounds like you're saying economics is invalid if it can't account for where natural resources are found...)

You, like Van, should read Wilson's EfE. It actually goes into the differences between humans and primates, and why small differences add up into such a large gap. (Did you know that humans have a high color and brightness contrast between the sclera and the iris - and other primates don't?)

And yes, I meant what I said about consciousness. Progress has been made, and startling results have been found, but that doesn't mean it's a solved problem. (However, they do seem to be on the right track. Have you had the misfortune to see a loved one afflicted with Alzheimers? The limit of consciousness as brain goes to zero is less than epsilon, sadly.)

And a member of the human species adapting to a different human environment than the one they were raised in is not evidence against natural selection. Having a member of another species doing so without genetic changes - that would be problem for natural selection.

(And, actually, many millions have died because of a refusal to accept neo-Darwinian evolution.)

Van Harvey said...

ray said "You, like Van, should read Wilson's EfE. It actually goes into the differences between humans and primates, and why small differences add up into such a large gap."

For some. You should commence to adding, and then demand to know where your gap went.

Ray Ingles said...

Van - I'm not trying to start a fight between you and Maineman, it just seems that what you say and what he says doesn't quite jibe. You say you have no problem with the science, and he says he does. I'm seeking clarification, that's all.

Van Harvey said...

ray said "it just seems that what you say and what he says doesn't quite jibe. You say you have no problem with the science, and he says he does."

Ray, Maineman and I may disagree on the mechanics, but because we don't make the error of thinking there is only flat mechanics, there is no significant or meaningful disagreement between us regarding what is True.

You prohibit yourself from that. "I mean, which is higher in the hierarchy - the color blue or mozarella cheese?", you are self exiled, or rather soph Xi'holed.

Ray Ingles said...

Petey - Of course I have a passion for truth. Unambiguous "yes".

There are things that I disagree with C.S. Lewis about, but he was right about many things. And one of the 'rightest' was that we should believe things because they are true, not because they are useful or beautiful or bold or noble or...

Ray Ingles said...

Van - I've got no problem with people believing in things 'beyond' the mechanics. My problem comes if they use that to argue against the mechanics. Especially when they don't seem to fully understand the mechanics to begin with.

I do have problems with 'universal hierarchies'. But then, I've programmed in hierarchical object-oriented languages, and seen how apparently-straightforward hierarchical models fall down when confronted with messy reality.

That's not to say that hierarchies don't apply, very well, in various domains. But when you try to join them up into a 'universal' scheme...

(I suppose it's a bit like different 'traditions' only capturing a part of the truth.)

Anonymous said...

Hey! watch that language there Van

Anonymous said...

I find I need to add on a little to my last post, since I should explain that an infinite God is infinitely involved in the particulars, designing as seems apparent as much or more from the bottom up as the top down, which is why we (gasp) are infinitely precious to Him. Thus the singular soldier is infinitely important. This is why a soldier's love is more important than politics.