Sunday, December 12, 2010

God's Quality Control 3.4

Here I continue my review of the discussion guide published by the Prestonwood Christian Academy as a companion to the Hitchens-Dembski debate on November 18, 2010. We're still working our way through the essay written by Steve Lee, instructor of theology and philosophy at the Academy, purportedly a summary of the primary arguments for the existence of Yahweh.
  • p.9 If there is no supernatural, "then mankind is some reflection of this impersonal force called the Universe. What does that tell us about ourselves?" The implication here seems to be that if there is no god, we're worthless, our lives are meaningless. You guys come up with these claims, but you usually fail to apply them consistently. Let's say that your god does exist, and you're going to spend eternity worshiping it. How is that meaningful? What is the purpose of eternally worshiping something, even if it is the greatest conceivable being? Who benefits from that? What's the point? And while I'm thinking about it, why would the greatest conceivable being want to be worshiped? Why can't it just be happy with itself as it is? If it wants to share its love, why can't it be genuine love rather than this eternal boot-licking?
  • p.9 Apparently Charles Darwin is "the dean of evolution himself." Mr Lee seems not to realize that Mr Darwin died about 130 years ago. We've managed to learn a couple of things since then. Darwin had a great idea, but the science didn't stop with him. The average modern evolutionary biologist knows far more about evolution and natural selection than Darwin could have guessed. Further, you guys seem to think that the idea of humans evolving from non-humans is necessarily based on something Darwin formulated. We could throw out the theory of natural selection entirely and we'd still conclude that humans evolved from non-humans, simply based on our understanding of DNA, the fossil record, embryology, biogeography, etc. Forget about Darwin. Evolutionary biology does not depend on him. It depends on facts. Superstitionists get this wrong a lot: they think that we worship Darwin in the same way that they worship Jesus. They don't understand that truth is bigger than people, and way bigger than their desert wraith.
  • p.9 Darwin "didn’t develop a theory for the origin of the species." My dictionary tells me that the word theory means "A supposition or system of ideas intended to explain observed facts." What did Darwin do, according to Mr Lee? He "developed a concept...that could serve as the explanation... for... adaptation." Mr Lee, do they really allow you to teach at that so-called Academy of yours?
  • p.10 "Authors have written incredible descriptions of the inadequacy of evolution to explain the incredible complexity we see today." Perhaps, but were those authors qualified to write on the subject? Did they have the proper education and training? Were their incredible descriptions published in peer-reviewed journals and subjected to the criticisms of other experts in the field?
  • p.10 "A tornado hitting a hanger and constructing a working 747 aircraft is one of my favorite descriptions for the absurdity of believing that random chance and time have combined to create something as complex as human DNA or the brain." How many times do we have to hear this? Who is trying to claim that evolution is analogous to this ridiculous tornado idea? No one. Well, I take that back. Plenty of superstitionists are saying it, but not any asuperstitionists. Students, truth-seekers, please, rather than listening to these lies, just go get a book from the library. Read about evolution. Read about natural selection. Or even easier, watch some of the fantastic videos on the potholer54 channel, especially "Natural Selection Made Easy" and "The Theory of Evolution Made Easy". They're short, simple, and fascinating. I've watched them all a dozen times at least. Potholer54 even provides references for his claims, unlike Mr. Lee. Evolution is nothing like Mr. Lee's preposterous analogy, and no rational person says it is. Don't let these people hide the truth from you.
  • p.10 "The complexity we witness is evidence for the mind of an intelligent being." You simply do not know this. You do not know whether anything we see requires a creator. You have no basis for making any such claims. You have no experience with universes, how they work in general, how they come into being. You also seem to know very little about science.
  • p.10 "Now there is a third party that both God-supporters and Universe-supporters are trying to persuade into their camp – ID." A lie. A particularly egregious lie. We "universe-supporters," i.e., asuperstitionists, want nothing at all to do with Intelligent Design or its shyster proponents. They're all liars and con-artists. Intelligent Design is not science. If it were, then its claims could survive being made publicly, truthfully, and clearly. But everyone knows that Intelligent Design cannot be argued with honesty. Well, not everyone. All the asuperstitionists know it, and all the people making money by promoting Intelligent Design know it. Unfortunately the snake-oil salesmen have a lot of decent people fooled. With any luck, their victims will cross paths with people who love truth, and free themselves.
That's 3.4. Thanks for watching.

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