Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why Barbara Forrest Is a Bad Philosopher

This from Socrates:
The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.

If you watch the PBS Nova show on ID (and see previous posts) recently, you could see Barbara Forrest using the term "creation" as if it had the same meaning as "creationism." In other writings she calls ID "Creationism's Trojan Horse." She and others of her ilk want to convince others that intelligent design is the same thing as young earth creationism.

One of her tricks is to use the word "creationism" in two different ways. It can sometimes be used broadly, and with a broad meaning it includes Ken Miller and Francis Collins, who are well known proponents of evolutionary theory (for the most part- Francis Collins does not believe that Darwinian theory fully explains all aspects of biological life). However, it usually refers to young earth creationists or "creation science" proponents. She uses a fairly broad definition when she wants to convince you that ID proponents are creationists, and she uses the narrow definition when she wants to scare you and make you paranoid. She uses both definitions to convince you of her conspiracy theories.

In all this, she shows little interest in exploring the important differences between ID and young earth creationism. Another mark of a bad philosopher, a bad historian and a bad thinker.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What Is Richard Dawkins' Favorite Christmas Carol?

From the BBC:

Prof Dawkins, who has frequently spoken out against creationism and religious fundamentalism, replied: "I'm not one of those who wants to stop Christian traditions.

"This is historically a Christian country. I'm a cultural Christian in the same way many of my friends call themselves cultural Jews or cultural Muslims.

"So, yes, I like singing carols along with everybody else. I'm not one of those who wants to purge our society of our Christian history.

But shouldn't he clarify that singing Christmas carols with your children is child abuse? Is he talking about "Jingle Bells"? The "Batman smells, Robin laid an egg" version? I am trying to picture Richard Dawkins standing outside my door with scarf and ear muffs heartily singing "Joy to the World." My head is spinning.