Friday, September 21, 2007

A New Breed of Baptist Fundamentalist? Can You Be a Baptist Darwinian Fundamentalist?

Read this about Baylor and decided for yourself. Here is part:
My team and I (including lawyer, economist, actor, game show host and social commentator Ben Stein) have interviewed dozens of the world's top experts in biology, astronomy, physics and philosophy.

What we have uncovered in our documentary film, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, is an attack on freedom of speech and scientific inquiry that is as frightening as it is appalling.
More here. I plan to post a little more analysis soon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Origin of Morality: What Subject Area?

Yet another New York Times article suggesting that human morality evolved, with another gem of an intro:

Where do moral rules come from? From reason, some philosophers say. From God, say believers. Seldom considered is a source now being advocated by some biologists, that of evolution.

It's a gem because this idea is not just advocated but assumed by many biologists in a blatant exercise in scientism. An article on the same topic appeared in the Times six months ago, and was the subject of this post.

So what kind of evidence would establish this? What kind of evidence would falsify it? That is, what kind of evidence would establish that human morality did not evolve? Is it a scientific question? Should evidence for and against be allowed in as "scientific"?

My comments there apply equally here.

Another blatant exercise in scientism found in the New York Times was the subject of my post "Cornelia Dean: Using Pseudoscience to Proselytize For Atheism."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NY Times: Our Ignorance is a Sign of Our Maturity

A New York Times article today leads with this remarkable statement:
Sometimes the maturity of a field of science can be measured by the heft of its ambition in the face of the next daunting unknown, the mystery yet to be cracked.

. . .

In the study of human origins, paleoanthropology stares in frustration back to a dark age from three million to less than two million years ago. The missing mass in this case is the unfound fossils to document just when and under what circumstances our own genus Homo emerged.

The origin of Homo is one of the most intriguing and intractable mysteries in human evolution. New findings only remind scientists that answers to so many of their questions about early Homo probably lie buried in the million-year dark age..

Well, that is some pretty impressive spin. Paleoanthropologists look back millions of years and see no fossils clearly documenting the evolution of humans. They smugly assert a certainty that humans did evolve, despite the lack of evidence and the mystery of how and when and why. And this certainty based on ignorance is a sign of great maturity

Another NY Times laugh out loud moment.

I think that such lack of evidence and the pervasiveness of "intriguing and intractable mysteries" is an indication that we should be humble, cautious and open to alternative theories.