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Barton's 'Jefferson Lies' book yanked
David Barton's book attempted to dispel the popular notion that Thomas Jefferson was a secular politician.
August 10th, 2012
05:15 PM ET

Barton's 'Jefferson Lies' book yanked

By Eric Marrapodi and Dan Gilgoff, CNN

(CNN)–A best-selling book is getting boxed up and returned to the publisher after complaints of historical inaccuracies.

Publisher Thomas Nelson has withdrawn 'The Jefferson Lies" after a lengthy review found the author, David Barton, had included "historical details that were not adequately supported," said Brian Hampton, a senior vice president and publisher for Thomas Nelson.

Hampton said the move was "extremely rare" and he could not recall a time in the publisher's history when it had recalled a book in this manner. "We’re disappointed for everyone concerned," Hampton said.

Barton is the founder and president of the Texas-based WallBuilders, a group that describes itself as "dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious and constitutional foundation on which America was built – a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined," according to its website.

"The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You've Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson," was published in April.  In it Barton attempted to dispel the popular notion that Thomas Jefferson was a secular politician who pioneered the idea of strict church-state separation.

It was Barton's first book with Thomas Nelson and was released to great expectations.  By May 13, 2012, the book landed on The New York Times Best-Sellers list.

But even before the book was published, Hampton said Thomas Nelson began receiving complaints.

"First concerns came our way from people who hadn’t read the book," he said.  The publisher thought the complaints were from people on the opposite ideological spectrum from Barton, a conservative political star who has long billed himself as an evangelical historian.

"We still took them seriously and began a review process," Hampton said.  Despite the complaints, the book still went to press.

As Thomas Nelson was conducting its own review, so were academics.

Warren Throckmorton, an associate professor of psychology, and Michael Coulter a political science professor,  both at Grove City College, a conservative Christian school in Pennsylvania, were also conducting their own review.  They published their own e-book that fact checked Barton called "Getting Jefferson Right."

Barton had written off other critics as "liberal elites," but this was a searing attack from within the evangelical community.

Hampton said there was no outside tipping point for the publisher.

“We were monitoring everything that was happening out there,” he said.

He said concerns were expressed about the book from a variety of sources. “What was most compelling to us was engaging with the manuscript.”

“The first thing we did was go back to the book and see what was a matter of opinion or analysis,” Hampton said.

After the internal review of Barton's book, Hampton said, “We became convinced there were parts of the book that were not historically supported.”

“Both withdrawing it from the marketplace and reverting the rights back to him seemed like the best thing for us to do,” he said.

Barton told Bob Smietana, a religion reporter for the Tennessean, a Nashville-based newspaper, “All I got was an e-mail saying it was canceled,” he said. “It was a complete surprise.”

In a statement issued by WallBuilders late Friday night Barton said, “while Thomas Nelson may have ‘lost confidence’ in the work, others have not and thus the book has already been picked up by a much larger national publisher and distributor. Even at the time Nelson dropped the work, they admitted that it was still selling very well.”

A representative for WallBuilders would not name the new publisher, suggesting the details were not final and the final word would come through their website once those details could be worked out.

Barton’s statement pushed back hard against Thomas Nelson’s review of his material.
“As is the case with all of our published items, we go above and beyond with original source documentation so that people can be thoroughly confident when they see the truth of history for themselves,” the statement read.

“We find it regrettable that Thomas Nelson never contacted us with even one specific area of concern before curtly notifying us they had dropped the work. Had they done so, we would have been happy to provide them with the thorough and extensive historical documentation for any question or issue they raised; they never asked,” the statement continuted.

“The Jefferson Lies has not been pulled from publication and it will continue to sell nationally,” it concluded.

The book is still available through Barton’s website. Amazon.com was no longer carrying the book on Friday through its regular processes, instead was directing customers to used booksellers who carried the book.

Barton told the Tennessean he thought some of Throckmorton's critiques were off base.

“This is one of the cases where he is just nuts,” Barton told the Nashville paper.

Barton wears a variety of hats in Republican and conservative circles. He is a former top official in the Texas GOP and a sometimes consultant with the Republican National Committee, a behind-the-scenes political operative who advises presidential candidates and coordinates trips to Israel for the likes of Glenn Beck, and a prolific author, speaker and Washington tour guide on the evangelical circuit.

Beck wrote the forward to 'The Jefferson Lies."

Barton and his work were also featured prominently in former "Growing Pains" star Kirk Cameron’s movie “Monumental,” about the role of religion in American history.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Books • Christianity • Church and state

soundoff (861 Responses)
  1. Richard Huge

    So Thomas Nelson (the publisher) began it's review of Barton's work around May of this year, and after 3 months on the NYT Bestseller's list decided to remove the book from circulation?

    So they waited till they were pretty much through their inventory of printed copies and then made this decision?

    What about all the money they made from selling a piece of fiction? Are they going to refund those funds to those of us who now own a book good only as a doorstop?

    August 13, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Caveat Emptor.

      Well played by the publisher. They took the money and got to play the 'high road' card.

      It's a neat trick to have your cake and eat it too!

      August 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  2. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,
    Proven

    August 13, 2012 at 6:06 am |
    • kindless

      Oh dear, you are like a bad cow trying to eat some of the poisonous root vegetables.

      Atheism is find and dandy for all kinds of folks. It makes one responsible and not trying to hide their misdeeds by confessing them and not even getting a slap on the hand. Get yourself a cup of tea, dear, and get a good newspaper and find out what's going on in the world.

      heavenSnot RIF

      August 13, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Jesus

      You're a proven liar. Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! '

      August 13, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  3. Tom, Piper'Sr.

    Does anybody see my son Tom Tom? He had been missing his meds and skipping meals for quite a while. He has been thinking likewise pretending a woman and trying to molest every male creatures he comes-across with.

    We must find him or else, he will cut again his toe nails using his two front teeth.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  4. Rufus T. Firefly

    Okay, Chad, against my better judgment I am going to take your bait. You keep demanding to know what falsehoods you have ever uttered. In thinking about them, it occurs to me that David Barton's and your falsehoods really are very much alike. For example, both of you appear to proceed from the same unscientific (and dishonest) method of assuming you already know the conclusions and going about searching for facts to cherry pick in support of them; and (2) when you can't find the facts you want, either bending them or outright fabricating them to suit your argument. This, by the way, is the opposite of honest research wherein one begins with the facts and remains open to what conclusion they might lead to.

    That said, it occurred to me that the five kinds of deceptions identified for Barton apply to your arguments as well. Here they are, followed by a corresponding example of one of your assertions (chosen off-the-cuff and paraphrased, I strongly encourage others to reply with better examples):

    1) complete falsehoods – There are no transitional species in the fossil record.
    2) misleading falsehoods – Piltdown Man is still presented in textbooks.
    3) true, but entirely irrelevant and ultimately misleading statements – Phyletic gradualism is dead.
    4) statements with a “kernel” of truth but blown so far out of proportion as to end up being false – Punctuated equilibrium means that species appear fully formed instantaneously, and supports that species are created.
    5) baffling assertions that are so far out of the realm of reality as to be neither “true” nor “false,” but simply bizarre – Remember that there is no past, present and future for God, as he lives outside out time/space (capable of entering it).

    There are two more that apply specifically to you:
    6) Ignoring or dismissing facts that undermine your argument – I can't say about those other fossils, with Piltdown and other forgeries it's hard to know which ones are real.
    7) Twisting, editing, exaggerating or quoting out of context other people's statements to your advantage – So what you're saying is that everything is random and the entire universe just happened to come about by chance.

    Now, I know that you will proceed to lawyer each of these one by one, and attempt to deny them through loopholes and tedious semantic arguments. In writing this I am not promising to have the patience to participate in that, so if you want a chance to defend yourself (which is only fair), I might recommend simply doing so rather than responding with a series of hyper-specific questions intended to lay semantic traps or to subtly redirect the issues.

    August 12, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Chad

      🙂

      one by one:

      @Rufus "1) complete falsehoods – There are no transitional species in the fossil record."
      @Chad "first you're going to have to define "transitional species" for one thing (micro or macro), but more importantly, as a theistic evolutionist, I believe that God used the process of change across successive generations in the inherited characteristics of biological populations (that's the definition of evolution BTW..) to create humans across millions of years from that first proto-cell (which He created).

      Sounds like you are confusing me with a young earth creationist that believes God materialized new species out of thin air.

      ========
      @rufus "2) misleading falsehoods – Piltdown Man is still presented in textbooks."
      @Chad "interesting.. dont think I have EVER even discussed piltdown man.. never challenged it..
      hmm.. I am starting to see a pattern here.. your examples dont seem to have any thing at all to do with my posts on this board...

      ======
      @rufus "3) true, but entirely irrelevant and ultimately misleading statements – Phyletic gradualism is dead."
      @Chad "LOLOL
      how
      precisely
      can a true statement be labeled "irrelevant and ultimately misleading statements"
      (unless it directly refuted something you were trying to falsely claim that is...)

      =====
      @rufus "4) statements with a “kernel” of truth but blown so far out of proportion as to end up being false – Punctuated equilibrium means that species appear fully formed instantaneously, and supports that species are created"
      @Chad "hmm.. once again you are guilty of not reading my posts 🙂
      I dont say that species appear fully formed (as in materializing out of thin air, remember, I am a theistic evolutionist), I say that they appear in the fossil record fully formed, which directly supports the theistic contention that God at regular intervals uses natural processes to create new species.

      =======
      @rufus 5) baffling assertions that are so far out of the realm of reality as to be neither “true” nor “false,” but simply bizarre – Remember that there is no past, present and future for God, as he lives outside out time/space (capable of entering it)."
      @Chad "do some reading on Einsteins theory of relativity and spacetime if you dont understand that concept..
      dont blame me if you cant understand something, do some reading!!!

      ===
      @rufus "6) Ignoring or dismissing facts that undermine your argument – I can't say about those other fossils, with Piltdown and other forgeries it's hard to know which ones are real."
      @chad "see above about theistic evolution/piltdown.. no idea what you are really talking about here..

      ======
      @rufus "7) Twisting, editing, exaggerating or quoting out of context other people's statements to your advantage – "So what you're saying is that everything is random and the entire universe just happened to come about by chance."
      @Chad "so.. how, precisely is that not EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE SAYING?
      🙂

      dont blame me if you dont like your positions stated in plain english

      August 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Gadflie

      I love the "species appear fully formed" argument. It reveals either the desperation or the ignorance of the Creationists more than just about any other except the "it's only a theory" argument. Every animal and plant ever is part of a group called a "species". All of them. Period. But, this obviously does not mean that they aren't an intermediate step between one species and another.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Technically, you're right with regard to Piltdown Man. Technically the comments about Piltdown Man were submitted under the name "Topher" Can you swear, with your God as your witness, that you do not also submit comments under the name "Topher?"

      August 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Chad

      well, you'll have to take that observation up with atheist Stephen Gould, paleontologist, evolutionary biologist.. and decidedly anit-creationism.

      Now, virtually every atheist I have ever met immediately accuses any Christian that quotes Gould of quote mining (regardless of the context), the reasoning being that a person can not propose a different cause for a particular observation (in this case, stasis and the appearance of new species fully formed in the fossil record). Which is of course nonsense..

      I use PE as strong evidence pointing to divine orchestration of the formation of new species. I do NOT believe that they appear "POOF" out of thin air and start eating..

      "Paleontologists have paid an enormous price for Darwin's argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we almost never see the very process we profess to study. We believe that Huxley was right in his warning. The modern theory of evolution does not require gradual change. In fact, the operation of Darwinian processes should yield exactly what we see in the fossil record. It is gradualism we should reject, not Darwinism. The history of most fossil species includes tow [sic] features particularly inconsistent with gradualism:
      1. Stasis. Most species exhibit no directional change during their tenure on earth. They appear in the fossil record looking much the same as when they disappear; morphological change I [sic] usually limited and directionless.
      2. Sudden appearance. In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and 'fully formed.'" (Gould, Stephen J. The Panda's Thumb, 1980, p. 181-182)

      August 12, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Chad

      I swear on a bible, and the heads of my children that I have never once posted under the name "topher", and as far as I can honestly remember, never once under anything other than "chad'..

      period.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      If you'll pardon my skepticism (it's based on experience), by "a bible" are you referring to "The Holy Bible?" and by "topher" do you also mean "Topher?"

      August 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      OK Chad. You see (a reference to) punctuated equilibrium and immediately think "divine orchestration". Why is that? What points to that at all? When I think "What does evolutionary biology say?" or "What's the molecular mechanism?" and actually start looking I find some satisfactory answers. Give it a try.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      I can't help myself here.

      If you do believe in evolution (being directed by God as his mechanism for his "creation'), which is, I think, a very reasonable way to sythesize a belief in God with the preponderance of scientific evidence for the theory, and (excepting the fundamenalist Evangelical Protestants) many Christians believe this way, why on earth do you go on about it so much?

      August 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Chad

      dude, seriously

      Big 'B' , Topher/topher whatever.. I have never posted under a different name than "Chad/chad". period.

      sheesh

      just look at the text of the posts for crying out loud.. do you have any idea at all what a "theistic evolutionist" believes??
      clue: we believe in a common origin of all species, divinely wrought about by God, as it says in the Bible "

      the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2

      August 12, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      And secondly, why are we talking about evolution here, in a topic devoted to the happy exposé of a religious con-man trying to pervert history for his revisionist agenda?

      August 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer "If you do believe in evolution (being directed by God as his mechanism for his "creation'), .... why on earth do you go on about it so much"

      =>to illustrate that the God of Abraham is real, this is His creation.
      To combat this nonsense false dichotomy that "if you believe in science, you dont believe in God".

      utter nonsense, as demonstrated.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Hmm... Christians don't usually swear on anything, much less a Bible. Perhaps actual Chad will come on in a bit.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • Chad

      @GOPer " why are we talking about evolution here, in a topic devoted to the happy exposé of a religious con-man trying to pervert history for his revisionist agenda"

      => Rufus brought it up.. scroll up...

      August 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, okay then. I stand corrected and withdraw my Piltdown Man example.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "Christians don't usually swear on anything, much less a Bible. Perhaps actual Chad will come on in a bit."

      =>I immediately regretted it..
      not because it wasnt true (it is true, I havent posted under any different name), but because we are enjoined not to swear on anything, but to let our yes be yes and our no be no...

      August 12, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Then I'm curious. What is your definition of theistic evolution. Francis Collins set that term aside in favor of "biologos" because it sounds too much like "intelligent design".

      August 12, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly [I] withdraw my Piltdown Man example."

      =>so, what does that leave you with?
      #1 and #4 look like they are you not understanding what theistic evolution is
      #2 and #6 you withdrew because I never made that statement
      #3 and #7 is you complaining about me making true statements..
      #5 is you not understanding relativity

      August 12, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Sorry ... that was a ?

      August 12, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, that is the lawyering part I was predicting...

      August 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Chad

      theistic evolution: God uses evolution(change across successive generations in the inherited characteristics of biological populations) to create species. Directed genetic mutation and natural selection.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @Chad,

      of course people can believe in both science and God. Clearly lots of people do this. Why waste any energy on that topic at all? It's entirely futile.

      I think your're confusing the issue with the simple challenge to belief in God, not both at the same time.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad you have to admit that sounds a lot like intelligent design.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      If that version of theistic evolution is all you're on about, why does punctuated equilibrium support that any more or less than phyletic gradualism (which is a straw man, I might point out, that even Darwin doubted)? Why go on and on about PE and about everything thing being either a fish or an amphibian with no intermediates and so on and so on? If the argument is simply that God oversees it, why do you argue so adamantly against such basic observations of evolutionary biology?

      August 12, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Chad

      @Tom, Tom, the Other One "You see (a reference to) punctuated equilibrium and immediately think "divine orchestration". Why is that? What points to that at all"

      =>that's pretty easy..
      genetic mutations are random (unless orchestrated by God), environmental conditions can cause mutation, but whether a particular mutation happens or not is unrelated to how useful that mutation would be.
      so
      what the fossil record shows is stasis, the gene pool "wobbling about the genetic mean" for millions and millions of years. Which is what one would expect, as it has been demonstrated that mutations are in the VAST majority of cases actually detrimental to the host, and are quickly weeded out.
      so
      we see no gradual genetic change from one species to another.. none.. we just dont see it in the fossil record (that's the observation of PE)
      so
      then all of a sudden.. every single time, for BILLIONS of species.. BILLIONS.. stasis is interrupted by this explosion of necessarily reliant mutations, creating complex new features..

      Darwin said such a thing would be impossible to occur.

      and it is, with out God that is..

      August 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • lol

      Your moronic trolling isnt funny even as a parody of a moron.
      Drown yourself.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I think we should all wonder why a creation of God would require constant tweaks and interventions. Are you familiar with Conway's game of life? That and similar cellular automatons, and, well, heuristic algorithms etc. all behave in the ways you mention WITHOUT God's intervention. Nothing much happens until bang! the suitable path, pattern or rule comes up and suddenly everything changes. Can't you imagine that this is what is happening with life?

      August 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      "we see no gradual genetic change from one species to another.. none.. we just dont see it in the fossil record (that's the observation of PE)
      *#1) complete falsehood

      then all of a sudden.. every single time, for BILLIONS of species.. BILLIONS.. stasis is interrupted by this explosion of necessarily reliant mutations, creating complex new features..
      *#4) statement with a “kernel” of truth but blown so far out of proportion as to end up being false

      Darwin said such a thing would be impossible to occur.
      #2) misleading falsehood

      August 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Excellent analogy, Tom Tom. Well stated.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      So your argument is that because you can't think of any other way it could have happened, or refuse to contemplate any other way, your god (and of course, only yours) must have done it. You completely fail to establish how any of these phenomena prove your god had anything to do with them. All you have is your assertion that it must have done this.

      You also fail to establish why a god would use such methods as you describe. What would the reason be for a god to leave the population "wobbling about the genetic mean for millions and millions of years", and then adjust the genetic mean? Was the first attempt a failure? Did the experiment fail to produce the desired result? Did your god fuck up?

      August 12, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Chad

      rufus.. the big problem here is your lack of any familiarity with the aspects of paleontology we're discussing...

      one by one..
      @Rufus T. Firefly: "we see no gradual genetic change from one species to another.. none.. we just dont see it in the fossil record (that's the observation of PE). *#1) complete falsehood
      @Chad "sorry, you are just incorrect... what I said was absolutely true..
      Phyletic gradualism is a hypothesis about the pattern of evolution. In contrast to the theory of punctuated equilibrium, it states the following:
      • Evolution has a fairly constant rate.
      • New species arise by the gradual transformation of ancestral species.
      • The rate of evolution during the origin of new species is much like that at any other time.
      For gradualists, the fact that fossil evidence shows species suddenly appearing with little signs of any transitional forms[referring to micro, not macro for which there are transitional forms] is due to the incompleteness of the fossil record.

      as an exercise, try to find someone that disagrees with it 🙂
      you'll then see..

      =======
      @rufus "then all of a sudden.. every single time, for BILLIONS of species.. BILLIONS.. stasis is interrupted by this explosion of necessarily reliant mutations, creating complex new features.. *#4) statement with a “kernel” of truth but blown so far out of proportion as to end up being false"
      @Chad "sorry, again you are 100% incorrect, my statement is accepted fact.
      see above, Gould, Stephen J. The Panda's Thumb, 1980, p. 181-182.

      also Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory. The explanation lies, as I believe, in the extreme imperfection of the geological record. Charles Darwin

      as an exercise, try to find someone that disagrees with it 🙂
      you'll then see..

      ========
      got to run, will find the darwin quote later tonight...

      rufus, DO SOME READING!!!

      August 12, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Did Chad just fail to see LinCA's post, or did he purposely ignore it and run off?

      August 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Well, maybe he will be back later. Maybe with something interesting.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're quite the optimist!

      August 12, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, you blazing idiot, should I select readings from my own archaeology and geology classes that I teach at a state university, or my own publications in peer-reviewed journals? I mean, I always hesitate to throw that out there because debates should be about ideas and evidence, and not about authority. But for you to smugly suggest I don't have the background to understand your misinformed, half-cooked drivel?!? I can't stand it.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      @Rufus T. Firefly

      Take a deep breath, in out in out in out in out....

      August 12, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'd love to help you out, Rufus, but I gave all my painkillers and whiskey to Damocles last night....

      August 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      I know, sorry. Thanks, Vocal. This is what Chadwatch tries to warn us about....

      August 12, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Thanks, Tom Tom. Of all the things that don't make Chad go away, I find whiskey works best.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Yes, Chad's in rare form tonight,

      1,600 words or so to actually agree (for the first time that I have seen) that based on the evidence, evolution is a pretty good way to describe the process of 'creation' – as opposed to the 'abra cadabra' of the fundies.

      Not directed at anyone in particular but I always thought the choice of the term 'intelligent design' odd. I have posted my thoughts on it a couple of times but nevertheless I'll bore you with the particulars.

      Design (engineering if you will) includes a lot of trial and error and incremental (dare I say evolutionary) changes.

      Take airplanes. Starting from the beginning of the 20th century, the fundamental physics of lift and aerofoils are the same but the transition from 'the Flyer' to a Boeing 787 in terms of incremental improvements in materials, control and powerplants over time is indistinguishable from an evolutionary process.

      In choosing the term intelligent 'design' are the creationists tacitly admitting that God 'tinkered' along the way and actually evolved his 'intelligent designs'?

      August 12, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      notGOP, I usually hold my tongue with regard to things like the "no painting without a painter" argument, or the " if you find a watch on the beach" argument, but there's a pretty good case to be made that manufactured things actually do undergo a form of evolution (the difference of course being that they don't mate, and that they undergo cultural rather than natural selection). There's a school of thought in anthropology known as "Selectionism" that defines technology as an extension of the human phenotype (just like nest-building is to birds), and aims to explain changes in objects as a result of evolutionary processes. I'm not sure I buy into it wholeheartedly, but there's some good stuff there.

      August 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad " then all of a sudden.. every single time, for BILLIONS of species.. BILLIONS.. stasis is interrupted by this explosion of necessarily reliant mutations, creating complex new features.. .Darwin said such a thing would be impossible to occur.
      @Rufus "#2) misleading falsehood"

      @chad : rufus, you need to do some reading... my statement is accurate.

      as promised:

      He who believes that some ancient form was transformed suddenly through an internal force or tendency into, for instance, one furnished with wings, will be almost compelled to assume, in opposition to all analogy, that many individuals varied simultaneously. It cannot be denied that such abrupt and great changes of structure are widely different from those which most species apparently have undergone. He will further be compelled to believe that many structures beautifully adapted to all the other parts of the same creature and to the surrounding conditions, have been suddenly produced; and of such complex and wonderful co-adaptations, he will not be able to assign a shadow of an explanation. He will be forced to admit that these great and sudden transformations have left no trace of their action on the embryo. To admit all this is, as it seems to me, to enter into the realms of miracle, and to leave those of science. Darwin, C. (1872) The Origin of Species

      August 12, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly "should I select readings from my own archaeology and geology classes that I teach at a state university, or my own publications in peer-reviewed journals?"

      =>not sure which is worse.. .the thought that you might actually be a teacher demonstrating the unfamiliarity you have with gradualism/PE etc... or the thought that you are just lying..

      wow.. just wow..

      August 12, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Chad

      now, if you really are a teacher, it's going to be trivial for you to provide a ton of articles backing up your statements that my assertions are inaccurate, how exactly, why exactly.. easy.

      on the other hand, if it's just going to be "you're an idiot I cant be bothered" or some variation on that.. I have to doubt your vocational claim..

      August 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Chad

      I missed LinCAs post..

      as an aside, be sure to answer my response to your Horus nonsense 🙂
      https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/12/evangelist-billy-graham-hospitalized/comment-page-6/#comments

      ========
      @LinCASo your argument is that because you can't think of any other way it could have happened, or refuse to contemplate any other way, your god (and of course, only yours) must have done it.:
      @Chad "no.. my argument is that because God said He did it, supported by cosmology/paleontology/history, all the evidence points conclusively to the God of Abraham.

      ============
      @LinCA You also fail to establish why a god would use such methods as you describe. What would the reason be for a god to leave the population "wobbling about the genetic mean for millions and millions of years", and then adjust the genetic mean?Was the first attempt a failure? Did the experiment fail to produce the desired result?"
      @Chad "no idea why He did it that way, when I see Him perhaps I'll remember to ask"

      August 12, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "as an aside, be sure to answer my response to your Horus nonsense"
      I saw it. I'll look into it. If it pans out, I'll not use the Horus comparison anymore.

      You said, "no.. my argument is that because God said He did it"
      So your argument reverts to: "Because the bible says so". In other words, no argument at all. Thanks for clarifying that.

      You said, "supported by cosmology/paleontology/history, all the evidence points conclusively to the God of Abraham."
      How again does this support the notion your god did it? You still haven't establish anything that ties any of it to your god, other that you wanting it to.

      You said, "no idea why He did it that way, when I see Him perhaps I'll remember to ask"
      Wow, just wow. Just remember to bow deeply when you meet Thor. He might take pity on you.

      August 13, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Sim34

      Rufus
      Species do not appear fully formed "instantaneously" vis punctuated equilibrium. They appear "suddenly" in the fossil record, say within a few million years, but not in a "poof" overnight like Chad and his creationist buddies like to insinuate. Archaic H0mo sapiens can be pointed to an a possible example of punctuated equilibrium.

      August 13, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      First, your Darwin assertion is a misleading falsehood because his use of "sudden" in the above quote was clearly not referring to the 10,000-50,000 year scale that Eldridge and Gould were referring to. Darwin was clearly referring to sudden in the sense of "immediate." The way you typically use it also carefully leaves out that PE refers to "sudden" in the sense of a geologic time scale (see #6: dismissing or ignoring facts). You try to game it both ways, where you phrase things to suggest that EandG are arguing for immediate changes, and only when cornered do you admit that they are referring to geologic time scales in which there is plenty of time for natural selection to operate (as they also make clear – funny how you never wave THAT quote around either).

      Further, it is misleading because you constantly refer to Phyletic Gradualism as a theory as if that's what "atheist" evolutions have always assumed, when in actuality you will not find that in the literature at all previous to Eldridge and Gould's seminal paper. Actual biologists (including Eldridge) recognize this as a simplified model constructed for comparative purposes; Dawkins went so far as to refer to it as a strawman. No paleontologist or biologist I have ever met has ever assumed that all evolution was at a steady, gradual rate. Even Darwin himself (and here is the evidence that you are again being misleading via #7: quote mining), wrote that, "the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured in years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retain the same form." This is from On the Origin of Species (5th edition), and anyone who can read will understand that he is describing stasis with periods of relatively rapid change. RELATIVELY rapid – not "all of a sudden...explosions" as you selectively describe it. So, sorry to inform you, but the PE model doesn't mean that Darwin had anything fundamentally wrong in that regard. As a matter of fact, it doesn't prove anything – it's a model. You might benefit from learning what that means in science.

      And as for mountains of professional literature addressing your particular views – don't flatter yourself, creationist misinterpretations are not the important issues being debated in the journals among real scientists – especially not your uniquely creative misuse of information. There's some out there, especially in the skepticism literature, but that's typically not what research scientists are spending their time on. It's like saying, "well, if you're a real physicist you should be able to point me to mountains of literature on my particular ravings about cold fusion." Sorry.

      But, my earlier question remains: If the simple theistic evolution you described above is all you are trying to assert, then why does it matter so much if evolution is punctuated or gradual? Why is it so important to you to argue that there are no fossils of transitional forms? If God is omnipotent, I would think he could do it any way he wanted. So if evolution is simply the way God creates, why do you find it so important to argue that the overwhelming consensus on modern evolutionary biological and paleontological observations is wrong? Can't it be right, and still (to you) be the mechanism by which God creates?

      August 13, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Thanks, Sim, but I think you misinterpreted my comment – I was quoting Chad.

      August 13, 2012 at 1:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, the Chard's argument all comes down to one thing: Goddidit. Chard believes this because the Bible says so. There is not one shred of evidence other than the bible that any such thing is true.

      Same old, same old.

      Chard can't think of any other way that this could have occurred, so it MUST have been divine intervention.

      August 13, 2012 at 10:36 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard: "no.. my argument is that because God said He did it, supported by cosmology/paleontology/history, all the evidence points conclusively to the God of Abraham.
      ---
      Just put a period after "it", because you have no proof at all. You simply believe.

      August 13, 2012 at 10:40 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      @Chad,
      " my argument is that because God said He did it,"

      No, a few long-dead Hebrew men *said* that "God" *said* it. There is no verified evidence than any god actually spoke to any of those ancient Middle Eastern desert dwellers. None.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Chad

      @LinCA "You said, "no.. my argument is that because God said He did it" So your argument reverts to: "Because the bible says so". In other words, no argument at all. Thanks for clarifying that."
      @Chad ""because the bible says so" is certainly an adequate argument, but note that you also chopped up my sentence ...
      😉

      ======
      @LinCA You said, "supported by cosmology/paleontology/history, all the evidence points conclusively to the God of Abraham." How again does this support the notion your god did it? You still haven't establish anything that ties any of it to your god, other that you wanting it to."
      @Chad "Bible says the God of Abraham did it, cosmology tells us it MUST have been a force external to our universe, the bible checks out as authentic in every respect..
      now, nothing is stopping you from positing some other force.. but what force are you actually positing (that is external to our universe)?

      August 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Chad

      be back tonight to answer rufus...

      August 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Chad sings "God made all the earth I know, 'coz the Bible tells me so. No more proof is needed now; I have nothing anyhow.

      August 13, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, ""because the bible says so" is certainly an adequate argument"
      Yes, in exactly the same way as the Harry Potter books are adequate to establish the existence of wizards. It's an unsupported fairy tale.

      You said, "Bible says the God of Abraham did it, cosmology tells us it MUST have been a force external to our universe, the bible checks out as authentic in every respect.."
      What's the source for your claim that cosmology establishes that there must have been an external force? Wishful thinking doesn't make it so. Most high school science books check out in more respects than your bible does.

      You said, "now, nothing is stopping you from positing some other force.. but what force are you actually positing (that is external to our universe)?"
      Dismissing other possibilities doesn't in any way provide any credence to your particular pet theory. Unless you can establish that there is something like that god of yours, you have no argument. Just speculation.

      August 13, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly “First, your Darwin assertion is a misleading falsehood because his use of "sudden" in the above quote was clearly not referring to the 10,000-50,000 year scale that Eldridge and Gould were referring to. Darwin was clearly referring to sudden in the sense of "immediate."
      @Chad “LOL, no, sorry.. Darwin was all about gradual change, that was the ENTIRE theory. Lets look:
      Charles Darwin viewed the fossil record more as an embarrassment than as an aid to his theory. Why, he asked (1859, p. 310), do we not find the “in-finitely numerous transitional links” that would illustrate the slow and steady operation of natural selection? “Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links ? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the gravest objection which can be urged against my theory” (|859, p. 280). Darwin resolved this dilemma by invoking the great inadequacy of surviving evidence (1859, p. 342): “The geological record is extremely imperfect and this fact will to a large extent explain why we do not find interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views on the nature of the geo-logical record, will rightly reject my whole theory.” Gould quoting Darwin.

      ===
      Rufus T. Firefly “The way you typically use it also carefully leaves out that PE refers to "sudden" in the sense of a geologic time scale (see #6: dismissing or ignoring facts). You try to game it both ways, where you phrase things to suggest that EandG are arguing for immediate changes, and only when cornered do you admit that they are referring to geologic time scales in which there is plenty of time for natural selection to operate (as they also make clear – funny how you never wave THAT quote around either).”
      @Chad “LOL, example please? That always kills the discussion…”

      =========
      @Rufus “Further, it is misleading because you constantly refer to Phyletic Gradualism as a theory as if that's what "atheist" evolutions have always assumed, when in actuality you will not find that in the literature at all previous to Eldridge and Gould's seminal paper.
      @Chad “are you seriously claiming that phyletic gradualism does not describe the gradualism Darwin espoused????
      Or,, are you disingenuously saying that since Darwin didn’t use the term “phyletic gradualism”, that somehow means anything?
      Lol…
      Nice try, but no.. sorry..

      =====
      @Rufus “Actual biologists (including Eldridge) recognize this as a simplified model constructed for comparative purposes; Dawkins went so far as to refer to it as a strawman. No paleontologist or biologist I have ever met has ever assumed that all evolution was at a steady, gradual rate. “
      @chad “rufus, you are trying to re-write history.. you dishonest little thing you!..I see it a lot.. Dawkins is the most blatant re-writer… But, don’t take my word for it, I’ll let Gould refute you directly, he goes to great length to excoriate his fellow paleontologists for holding to gradualism though there was no support of it in the fossil record. .
      The expectations of theory color perception to such a degree that new notions seldom arise from facts collected under the influence of old pictures of the world. New pictures must cast their influence before facts can be seen in different perspective. Paleontology’s view of speciation has been dominated by the picture of “phyletic gradualism.” It holds that new species arise from the slow and steady transformation of entire populations. Under its influence, we seek unbroken fossil series linking two forms by insensible gradation as the only Complete mirror of Darwinian processes; we ascribe all breaks to imperfections in the record. Gould

      More to come later.. I encourage you to read “PUNCTUATED EQUILIBRIA: AN ALTERNATIVE TO PHYLETIC GRADUALISM” it’s an excellent read, the first time I read it I was astonished at how much ink they devoted to scolding their colleagues for dogmatically holding to a failed theory because they wanted it to be true..

      August 13, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Still no proof of a god. None, nada, zilch.

      August 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Chad

      @LinCA "What's the source for your claim that cosmology establishes that there must have been an external force?"

      =>you should really do some reading....

      Standard cosmology, or what was considered standard cosmology twenty years ago, led people to the conclude that the universe that we see around us began in a big bang, or put another way, in some very hot, very dense state. And if you think about the characteristics of that state, in order to explain the evolution of the universe, that state had to be a very low entropy state, and there's a line of thought that says that anything that is very low entropy is in some sense very improbable or unlikely. And if you carry that line of thought forward, you then say "Well gee, you're telling me the universe began in some extremely unlikely or improbable state" and you wonder is there any explanation for that. Is there any principle that you can use to account for the big bang state?

      you can read the entire article here.. note that ALL theories proposed posit our universe as having it's origin from another universe or state exterior to our current universe..

      http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/01/what-happened-before-the-big-bang-the-new-philosophy-of-cosmology/251608/

      Note that there can not be an infinite number of past universes, so at some point, even if you buy into the theory that our universe was created from an earlier one, there must be an initial starting event, the "uncaused cause"
      see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument

      August 13, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Still no proof that the "cause" was an invisible being.

      Got proof?

      August 13, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Chad

      Rufus, I guess my favorite part of your attempts to re-write history, was your claim that stasis and rapid change was not a new notion at all when Gould/Eldridge wrote...
      well, here's some reality:

      In 1972, paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould published a landmark paper developing this theory and called it punctuated equilibria.[2] Their paper built upon Ernst Mayr's theory of geographic speciation,[3] I. Michael Lerner's theories of developmental and genetic homeostasis,[4] as well as their own empirical research.[5][6] Eldredge and Gould proposed that the degree of gradualism commonly attributed to Charles Darwin is virtually nonexistent in the fossil record, and that stasis dominates the history of most fossil species

      Punctuated equilibrium originated as a logical extension of Ernst Mayr's concept of genetic revolutions by allopatric and especially peripatric speciation as applied to the fossil record. Although some of the basic workings of the theory were proposed and identified by Mayr in 1954,[3] historians of science generally recognize the 1972 paper by Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould as the foundational doc ument of the new paleobiological research program.[7][8][9] Punctuated equilibrium differs from Mayr's hypothesis mainly in that Eldredge and Gould placed considerably greater emphasis on stasis, whereas Mayr was generally concerned with explaining the morphological discontinuity (or "sudden jumps")[10] found in the fossil record.[7] Mayr later complimented Eldredge and Gould's paper, stating that evolutionary stasis had been "unexpected by most evolutionary biologists" and that punctuated equilibrium "had a major impact on paleontology and evolutionary biology

      note the use of the phrase "sudden jumps".. I'll be sure to pa ss along your accusation of dishonesty to anyone that uses it..

      @Rufus "No paleontologist or biologist I have ever met has ever as sumed that all evolution was at a steady, gradual rate"
      @Chad "sorry, just cant help it.. read this:"
      Before Eldredge and Gould alerted their colleagues to the prominence of stasis in the fossil record, most evolutionists considered stasis to be rare or unimportant.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You really don't get it, do you? You claimed that cosmology conclusively established that your fairy tale was correct. You did that on the basis that cosmology allows for the possibility of an external trigger, and then simply glossing over the fact that the mere possibility of an external trigger doesn't in any way establish that there actually was an external trigger.

      Of course, your ramblings still don't link this external trigger, if it existed, to any gods.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @LinCA "You did that on the basis that cosmology allows for the possibility of an external trigger, and then simply glossing over the fact that the mere possibility of an external trigger doesn't in any way establish that there actually was an external trigger."

      =>you didnt read the article did you 🙂

      read it, what are you afraid of? An external trigger isnt a "possibility", it's the ONLY option.. That's the point.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Chad

      oh and by the way.. how did your 'horus' research go?

      sorry.. couldnt help myself...

      August 13, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      Nope. Still no proof there was a god behind the Big Bang. None presented. At all.

      August 13, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, I have to hand it to you, I could not come up with a more effective and definitive display of #7) Twisting, editing, exaggerating or quoting out of context other people's statements to your advantage (Gould was famously infuriated by this tactic too). I have read Punctuated Equilbiria, and I too would recommend it, but you seem to elevate it to the status of Holy scripture (seems that tendency is ingrained in you). It is one argument (constructed as a polemic, as many effective articles are), not the Gospel truth of biology to be quoted as proof of anything.

      If Gould's words are to be taken as you present them – as gospel truth, as absolute proof of the ideas they convey – then I offer the following quote, " No rational order of divine intelligence unites species. The natural ties are genealogical along contingent pathways of history. (Dinosaur in a Haystack)" See, Gould said it! It is therefore true! If Gould's quotes constitute factual evidence, this ends the argument.

      Again, this is all neither here nor there. Please do not respond with some ongoing needling about details of PE. I suspect Gould is largely correct and most speciation is indeed allopatric. I'm not arguing against it (I am denying your manipulation of its meaning, of course). My question remains this – and please, please answer it now that I am asking a third time:

      Why does it matter? If all you are arguing (as you claimed above) is that "God uses evolution(change across successive generations in the inherited characteristics of biological populations) to create species. Directed [by] genetic mutation and natural selection." the why are you so obsessed with evangelizing PE and with arguing against transitional fossils? If it is all orchestrated by the magical intervention of god, then why does it matter if he did it slowly or in spurts? The logic is the same either way. What is your obsession with jousting at the windmills of basic science if ultimately all you're asserting is that basic science is the result of God?

      August 13, 2012 at 11:57 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "you didnt read the article did you"
      I did.

      You said, "An external trigger isnt a "possibility", it's the ONLY option.. That's the point."
      You may want to take your blinders off. You should read it again, but read it for comprehension this time.

      The fact that Maudlin only provides examples that employ some sort of external trigger doesn't in any way imply those are the only options. He even explicitly says there are others.

      Now, I realize that you would want nothing more for me to just go away and leave you and your half-truths and lies be, but you and I both know that isn't going to happen. You've completely and utterly failed to link any of your arguments back to your god. All you have is some speculation and hopes that it could have been your god. And, of course, you have your fairy tale. Don't you think it's time to cut your losses and quit while you're behind?

      August 14, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      A congratulations from Chadwatch: You are calling one of The Chad's classic bluffs. He huffs and puffs and makes a big show out of demanding that you should read something, but he's actually counting on the fact that you haven't or that you won't. Because if you have (as appears to be the case for both LinCA and Rufus T.) then you understand that it doesn't really say what he claims it does, or that he's strategically exaggerating or leaving some part out.

      He probably hasn't actually read them, he has only read summaries from creationist websites. Peace, and beware The Chad.

      August 14, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Chad

      @LinCA "You said, "An external trigger isnt a "possibility", it's the ONLY option.. That's the point."
      You may want to take your blinders off. You should read it again, but read it for comprehension this time.

      @Chad "try again 🙂
      this time, remember that if our universe was created from another.. that other universe IS THE EXTERNAL TRIGGER.
      that's the important part..
      the trigger MUST come from something external to our universe, since our universe had a beginning..
      get it?

      ==========
      @LinCA "The fact that Maudlin only provides examples that employ some sort of external trigger doesn't in any way imply those are the only options. He even explicitly says there are others."
      @Chad "he says that there are other options than the ones he discusses, but they would by necessity ALSO be external triggers.

      It's very, very, very, very simple. There are only 2 options:
      1. Our universe began
      –1a: our universe had no "trigger", it came from nothing, caused by nothing
      –1b. out universe had a "trigger" external (by definition, since our universe had a beginning)
      2. Our universe is eternal in the past

      that's it.

      If you go with 1b, multi-verse, then remember that there can not be an infinite number of past universes, so there must have been an initial starting "uncaused cause".

      ======
      @LinCA "You've completely and utterly failed to link any of your arguments back to your god. All you have is some speculation and hopes that it could have been your god. "
      @Chad "again, read the above, understand the necessity of the uncaused cause, read the cosmological argument, then you will understand that there is BY DEFINITION, a requirement for an eternal uncaused cause.
      That is God.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:43 am |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly "Gould ... is one argument (constructed as a polemic, as many effective articles are), not the Gospel truth of biology to be quoted as proof of anything."
      @Chad "rufus... you are trying to re-write history again to make it seem as if stasis/rapid change is not as revolutionary an idea as it was..
      bad boy... 😉
      Before Eldredge and Gould alerted their colleagues to the prominence of stasis in the fossil record, most evolutionists considered stasis to be rare or unimportant.[7][19][20] George Gaylord Simpson for example believed that phyletic gradual evolution (called horotely in his terminology) comprised "nine-tenths" (90%) of evolution.[21]

      Good luck trying to make the case that Eldredge and Goulds ideas werent dramatically different

      =====
      @Rufus "Why does it matter? If all you are arguing (as you claimed above) is that "God uses evolution(change across successive generations in the inherited characteristics of biological populations) to create species. Directed [by] genetic mutation and natural selection." the why are you so obsessed with evangelizing PE and with arguing against transitional fossils?"
      @Chad "You have to define "transitional fossil" prior to saying that I argue against them.. that term is used with two meanings micro/macro, and atheists LOVE to purposefully manipulate the two.
      What does it matter? stasis and rapid change characterizes the development of life on earth, there is no valid naturalistic explanation for that. Darwin was wrong, supernatural intervention is necessary.

      God could have chosen to do it slowly, but He didnt. The way He did do it demonstrates that His hand is behind the process. stasis and rapid change is a development process that cant be explained by random mutation and natural selection. That's my entire point, and why I bring it up repeatedly.

      "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1

      August 14, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You have to laugh. The upshot of the entire exchange here is that because Chard can't think of any other explanation, it must have been God.

      And then has the gall to smirk about it.

      LinCA is absolutely spot on. You have not in any way shown that a god was involved. You simply don't have an explanation for the events that have occurred, so you take the Deus ex Machina stance as the truth.

      Great job proving nothing, Chad. Again.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      Chad, it would seem that the bulk of knowledge on evolution was obtiained through the scientific method. If God manipulated the laws of science to change the rate of evolution, He in effect performed supernatural process inbetween natural processes. How can you trust the outcome of a scientific study or expirement (such as those that let us study evolution), if there is a possibility that God temporarily broke said scientific laws and changed what the outcome would have been?

      August 14, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Chad

      @lunchbreaker "If God manipulated the laws of science to change the rate of evolution, He in effect performed supernatural process inbetween natural processes. "

      @Chad "once again.. for the perhaps 12 millionth time.
      I am a theistic evolutionist
      I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GOD MANIPULATED THE LAWS OF SCIENCE

      August 14, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • lunchbreaker

      So God set a plan in motion, that's it?

      August 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad said "there is no valid naturalistic explanation ... supernatural intervention is necessary"

      exactly 15 minutes later Chad yelled, "I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GOD MANIPULATED THE LAWS OF SCIENCE"

      Well, which is it Chad? Both cannot be true. You have again reached the point in your directionless arguments that you have circled around and bitten your own ass. What I am beginning to suspect is that you are not really sure what you believe, except that scientists just HAVE to be wrong because they don't talk about god. That really is all that your entire ocean of verbosity distills down to.

      August 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly "Chad said "there is no valid naturalistic explanation ... supernatural intervention is necessary"
      exactly 15 minutes later Chad yelled, "I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GOD MANIPULATED THE LAWS OF SCIENCE"
      Well, which is it Chad? Both cannot be true.

      @Chad "absolutely both can be true, here's how:

      Suppose I told you "start walking to New York (from LA), when you get to the Mississippi you will walk across with dry feet.
      3 weeks into the walk, you are a day away from the Mississippi, that night a massive earthquake occurs causing the river to divert to the west of you.
      The next day you walk across the dry riverbed of the (old) Mississippi.

      was the supernatural required? absolutely.

      Your problem is you are on here spouting off against a position you are completely unfamiliar with. Once again, you need to do some reading to understand what theistic evolutionist believe.

      Did God violate the physical laws (that He set in place) that govern the universe when He over threw Sodom and Gomorrah? When he "parted" the "Red" sea? When Elijah "caused" the Jordan river to stop by striking it with his cloak?
      no, in all cases God supernaturally orchestrated those events, and never violated any physical laws.

      In the same way, God is able to orchestrate genetic mutation and natural selection to accomplish his creation of all the life forms on earth.

      don't you think it's necessary to become familiar with a position before attempting to critique it?
      perhaps not.. that's pretty common among atheists..

      August 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      ROTFLOL. You seem to be getting desperate.

      Let me start with your last statement. You said, "That is God."
      That's a really simple solution, but only for a simple mind. It's your basic "goddidit".

      It is also very convenient because it deflates the entire argument. It means that it doesn't really matter what caused the start of the universe, because in effect you state that it, whatever "it" was, is your imaginary friend. That means that all your huffing and puffing about "The origin of the universe", "The fine tuning of the universe", "The origin of life", "Punctuated Equilibrium" and "The empty tomb" is just smoke and mirrors. It all reduces to "it is because of my god".

      As an aside, I haven't seen you use the "empty tomb" fallacy lately. Did you abandon it? 😉

      But that's all well and good, and you are free to believe that, but with that statement you tacitly admit that you can't establish a connection from any of that to the megalomaniacal micro-manager described in your holy book.

      Wouldn't it be easier to just come out and say that you believe that? Wouldn't it be easier to admit that you have no case to tie the two together? Isn't it easier to just simply accept that you believe that in spite of it lacking a rational basis? It's OK. I don't think anyone would think any less of you (how could they, right?).

                  ----------------------

      While your final statement really makes this entire discussion moot, let's get back to your post anyway.

      You said, "this time, remember that if our universe was created from another.. that other universe IS THE EXTERNAL TRIGGER." (emphasis mine)
      Key word here is "if". It is just an assumption on your part that there was such an external trigger.

      You said, "the trigger MUST come from something external to our universe, since our universe had a beginning.."
      That's the core of your misunderstanding (willful or otherwise). You claim that it must have been external. There is no need for that, and there certainly isn't any evidence for it.

      You conveniently ignore that our universe could have been internally triggered. It appears that time itself started with the start of the universe. There may not be a "before". Our universe only has a "beginning" within our universe itself.

      There may have been an external trigger, but there is no evidence or consensus that there was. For our current universe, we can't say whether the trigger was internal or external. Our universe may be one in a long line of universes, other other phenomena, or it may be the first and only one.

      But the fact that there is something, rather than nothing means that very "first" phenomenon must have been internally triggered.

      You said, "get it?"
      Sure, I get it. I get that your entire "argument" relies on there being an external trigger. I get that to "support" that you are willing to ignore or dismiss possibilities that don't fit (but just because you elect to ignore them doesn't mean they aren't there). I also get that your argument is really just smoke and mirrors. I get that you hope to obfuscate the argument and force it into the unknown, or the unknowable, just to get your opponents to give up so you can claim that your "argument" won the debate.

      You said, "he says that there are other options than the ones he discusses, but they would by necessity ALSO be external triggers."
      You assume they would be. That's where you take one of your leaps of faith.

      You said, "It's very, very, very, very simple. There are only 2 options:
      1. Our universe began
      –1a: our universe had no "trigger", it came from nothing, caused by nothing
      –1b. out universe had a "trigger" external (by definition, since our universe had a beginning)
      2. Our universe is eternal in the past
      "
      You "forget" option 1c. There could have been an internal trigger. Or option 1d. It was triggered by its own collapse. Or option 1e, or 1f, or....

      You said, "again, read the above, understand the necessity of the uncaused cause, read the cosmological argument, then you will understand that there is BY DEFINITION, a requirement for an eternal uncaused cause."
      There is no need for the uncaused cause to have been eternal, or external. One internal cause, somewhere along the line will do. But even if it was eternal, or external, there is no need for an entity of your description to have caused it.

      You said, "That is God."
      Feel free to believe that. But that does leave the original question unanswered. How does that prove anything from your fairy tale?

      August 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      I'll just chalk all that up to "(#5) baffling assertions that are so far out of the realm of reality as to be neither “true” nor “false,” but simply bizarre."

      So, what exactly are your beliefs, Chad? For comparison, the physical matter (DNA), the mechanism (mutation and natural selection), and the mathematical modeling (population genetics) of evolution are all pretty well-defined, experimentally demonstrated, and agreed upon, but you are insisting that it is a hopelessly inadequate explanation. So, whatever you claim to be a vastly superior explanation should be expected to be at least be as clearly, if not more clearly, articulated.

      Please describe the specific physical matter involved and how it is affected by supernatural intervention, the natural mechanism by which "orchestration" takes place (you insist it violates no physical laws), and the mathematical models that explain when and where it occurs. Remember, in order to replace naturalistic evolution, t would need to exceed it in detail and explanatory/predictive power. So, please detail the mechanics of Supernatural Orchestration.

      August 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, perhaps your ridiculous example of crossing the Mississippi without getting wet would make a good case study. Please detail the process by which a supernatural force causes a giant earthquake that diverts one of the largest rivers on the planet without intervening in the natural order. What is the causal mechanism and how does it operate? What specific processes translate supernatural will into physical tectonic activity? (remember, you need to describe it in roughly the same level of detail as our current understanding of evolutionary biology, or plate tectonics)

      August 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly "perhaps your ridiculous example of crossing the Mississippi without getting wet would make a good case study. Please detail the process by which a supernatural force causes a giant earthquake that diverts one of the largest rivers on the planet without intervening in the natural order. "

      =>:-)
      by knowing in advance when it would happen
      earthquakes happen all the time.. right?
      When the universe was created, the initial conditions completely determined all subsequent events, every natural occurrence. The fact that it's raining today is a deterministic thing, obviously a complex interaction of billions of different forces, but deterministic.

      the creator of the universe, the force that fine tuned it, orchestrated all subsequent events.

      right?

      August 14, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Chad

      @LinCA “Let me start with your last statement. You said, "That is God."”
      @Chad “you are straying from the topic, I’m sure it isn’t on purpose 😉 I know you would never try and derail the conversation..
      That statement was speaking to the necessity of the first uncaused cause, here it is again..
      @Chad "again, read the above, understand the necessity of the uncaused cause, read the cosmological argument, then you will understand that there is BY DEFINITION, a requirement for an eternal uncaused cause.
      That is God.
      ============
      @LinCA “It is also very convenient because it deflates the entire argument. It means that it doesn't really matter what caused the start of the universe, because in effect you state that it, whatever "it" was, is your imaginary friend. “
      @Chad “read the post again,, what I clearly laid out was the uncaused cause is God, if in fact our universe was created by another previous universe, that’s fine. But there has to be an initial uncaused cause..
      You are not following the conversation…
      =================
      @LinCA “As an aside, I haven't seen you use the "empty tomb" fallacy lately. Did you abandon it? “
      @Chad “?
      Not at all, wasn’t aware we were discussing it here..
      Not another attempt to obfuscate/derail? No.. I’m sure not…

      =================
      @LinCA “You said, "this time, remember that if our universe was created from another.. that other universe IS THE EXTERNAL TRIGGER." (emphasis mine). Key word here is "if". It is just an assumption on your part that there was such an external trigger.
      @Chad “sigh..
      Read the post again.. I was walking you thru the two options,
      First: our universe was created by the uncaused cause (God)
      Second: our universe was created by an earlier universe, which was created by God.

      =================
      @LinCA “You conveniently ignore that our universe could have been internally triggered”
      @Chad “you don’t know what you are talking about 😉
      Give me an example of ANY theory of the creation of our universe that has an “internal trigger”
      Do some reading…

      August 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Not even close to answering the question. Orchestrated how? What is the process by which supernatural will becomes physical matter or action?

      If you asked what is the process by which natural selection operates, there are piles, volumes, libraries of details that explain the process. What is the process of "orchestration?"

      August 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      How does supernatural "fine-tuning" work? Are there knobs? Does god's brain emit gamma rays? If you don't know then your level of knowledge is roughly equivalent to a neolithic peasant's understanding of the sun. Oh yeah, the understanding is exactly the same – magic!

      You'll have to do better than that, Chad.

      August 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly "Not even close to answering the question. Orchestrated how? What is the process by which supernatural will becomes physical matter or action?"
      @Chad "sigh.. you didnt read my post did you...

      answer this question: If I set an alarm clock, do I know in advance when the event of it ringing will occur?

      August 14, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Chad

      Regarding "what is fine tuning"...

      Physicist Paul Davies has asserted that "There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the Universe is in several respects ‘fine-tuned' for life".[2] However he continues "...the conclusion is not so much that the Universe is fine-tuned for life; rather it is fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires".[2] He also states that "... 'anthropic' reasoning fails to distinguish between minimally biophilic universes, in which life is permitted, but only marginally possible, and optimally biophilic universes, in which life flourishes because biogenesis occurs frequently ..."[2] Among scientists who find the evidence persuasive, a variety of natural explanations have been proposed, e.g., the anthropic principle along with multiple universes. The proposition is also discussed among philosophers, theologians, creationists and intelligent design proponents.

      please do some reading..

      August 14, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I've lost track. Has the Chard actually connected his god to evolution, the big bang, or anything else today? I'm too tired to bother wading through =====> ';) and "please do some reading" crap. Just fill me in on the high points.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Still ducking the question. I didn't ask "what is meant by fine-tuning?' I asked "how does supernatural fine-tuning work? What is the mechanism?" And please don't paste another quote. Explain to me in your own words the physical process of supernatural orchestration – the translation of supernatural will into physical activity or matter. How does it work?

      August 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Let me try to make it clear for you. When you said "If I set an alarm clock..."

      Perfect. So, when you set an alarm clock you are turning a key that sets a metal trigger adjacent to the gear position corresponding to the time in question. When that time arrives, the trigger is tripped and releases a spring that rings a bell.

      Now, with this an example of an explanation, explain to me the mechanisms God uses to "tune the universe"....

      August 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • redzoa

      "God could have chosen to do it slowly, but He didnt. The way He did do it demonstrates that His hand is behind the process. stasis and rapid change is a development process that cant be explained by random mutation and natural selection."

      Not true. The time spans reflected in PE species-level change (20-200 thousand yrs) provide sufficient time for mutation and natural selection to operate, even within a classical "gradualist" mode. We know this from observing speciation events occurring in present day organisms in the lab and in the field. Species-level changes are not large scale changes requiring wholesale genetic remodeling, particularly when considering the impacts of contingent mutational history (silent, neutral mutations which lay the framework for a lynchpin mutation) and the impacts of minor mutations within genetic regulatory networks. The Pod Mrcaru lizards offer an excellent example.
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080417112433.htm

      God could still be behind the changes, either in "front-loading" or via undetectable intervention, but to claim known processes are inadequate is simply not accurate.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly "I didn't ask "what is meant by fine-tuning?' I asked "how does supernatural fine-tuning work?
      @Chad "It cant possibly be explained any simpler than this (and PLEASE note, NONE of this is original thought on my part, it is basic cosmological/teleological/theistic evolution argument premises.. your stubborn refusal to get educated in any way shape or form is a real pain in the neck).

      fine tuning means adjusting the initial conditions of the universe such that specific physical events (like earthquakes for example, or stars/planets forming) would occur at specific predetermined times.

      again, the best example is this: If I set an alarm clock, do I know in advance when the event of it ringing will occur?

      PLEASE DO SOME READING
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleological_argument
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe

      for crying out loud, at least you should read this to get a LITTLE understanding..
      http://atheism.about.com/od/creationismcreationists/p/theistic.htm

      August 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Sorry, Tom Tom but he is farther away than when he started. In my biased opinion, he reached the point of no return here:

      "Chad said "there is no valid naturalistic explanation ... supernatural intervention is necessary"
      Exactly 15 minutes later Chad yelled, "I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GOD MANIPULATED THE LAWS OF SCIENCE"

      Well, which is it Chad? Both cannot be true. You have again reached the point in your directionless arguments that you have circled around and bitten your own ass."

      Tom Tom, it might be worth reading, there is some especially slippery Chad logic sprinkled liberally throughout the string...

      August 14, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad, are you looney? This is not a complicated question. If god fine tunes the universe just like setting an alarm clock, how does he set the alarm clock??? What happens BETWEEN god willing something and it happening?

      You don't know. It's magic. right?

      August 14, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad, I would guess from what you've been posting that you have learned and are learning new things that challenge the strain of Christianity you developed in your earlier thinking (in childhood perhaps?). Your views are changing and you're resisting that. I don't think you're a liar, or that you are disingenuous as some troll-watchers suggest. You're just trying to hold onto parts that don't fit and don't work – shards of ideas that have failed you. My advice: back up a bit, re-examine things and try to see where self-deception may be at work in you.

      August 14, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Chad

      wow, finally someone that can follow an argument and present relevant counter points!!!!!!
      outstanding.

      ok
      =======
      @redzoa "Not true. The time spans reflected in PE species-level change (20-200 thousand yrs)"
      @Chad "10k to 50k is the time frames that I have read, it definitely has an upper limit because it needs to be a short enough period that it escapes fossilization every time and creates the "sudden jumps" in the fossil record.
      Arguments that appeal to an incomplete fossil record are unpersuasive..

      =====
      @redzoa "provide sufficient time for mutation and natural selection to operate, even within a classical "gradualist" mode. We know this from observing speciation events occurring in present day organisms in the lab and in the field. "
      @Chad "there is speciation, then there is speciation.. dogs turning into different kind of dogs is vastly different than fish turning into amphibians.. The speciation events your are talking about are of the dogs turning into dogs variety (please provide example if otherwise).

      ==
      @redzoa "Species-level changes are not large scale changes requiring wholesale genetic remodeling, particularly when considering the impacts of contingent mutational history (silent, neutral mutations which lay the framework for a lynchpin mutation) and the impacts of minor mutations within genetic regulatory networks. "
      @Chad "my point exactly.
      I have debated the "hidden non-morphological (and therefor not revealed in the fossil record) genetic change accumulating then WHAM" argument.. I dont find it compelling.. random genetic mutations are random.. if you start positing anything else you are talking designer.. IMO.

      =========
      The Pod Mrcaru lizards offer an excellent example.
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080417112433.htm

      I'll take a look

      August 14, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      That's right, Chad. Run away from the question and settle into another tedious regurgitation of your quotes on Punctuated Equilibrium. Chad, even Gould didn't just say "phyletic gradualism is inadequate" and walk away. He provided in detail a better explanation that fit the observations better. If you are going to argue that natural evolution is inadequate, you've got to provide an alternative.

      How does God fine-tune things? Not does he. HOW does he?

      August 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Chad

      you need to do some reading Rufus...

      PLEASE DO SOME READING
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleological_argument
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe

      for crying out loud, at least you should read this to get a LITTLE understanding..
      http://atheism.about.com/od/creationismcreationists/p/theistic.htm

      August 14, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • redzoa

      @redzoa "Not true. The time spans reflected in PE species-level change (20-200 thousand yrs)"
      @Chad "10k to 50k is the time frames that I have read, it definitely has an upper limit because it needs to be a short enough period that it escapes fossilization every time and creates the "sudden jumps" in the fossil record.
      Arguments that appeal to an incomplete fossil record are unpersuasive.

      Even considering the 10K-50K frames, we know this is sufficient time to allow speciation. As you correctly note, these time frames are refractory to the capture of the very-fine grained changes between species, whence the "sudden appearance" in the context of geologic time. This is not an appeal to an incomplete fossil record, rather it is an appreciation of the nature and rarity of fossilization, as noted by Gould and Eldridge themselves.
      =====
      @redzoa "provide sufficient time for mutation and natural selection to operate, even within a classical "gradualist" mode. We know this from observing speciation events occurring in present day organisms in the lab and in the field. "
      @Chad "there is speciation, then there is speciation.. dogs turning into different kind of dogs is vastly different than fish turning into amphibians.. The speciation events your are talking about are of the dogs turning into dogs variety (please provide example if otherwise).

      There is only speciation. Speciation is the change from species to species (dog to dog), not class to class (dog to amphibian). Class to class changes are discernible after the fact, following changes up through genus, family and order level divergences where each of these levels are comprised of many, many smaller species-species level changes. Whereas species-species level changes occur quickly in the context of geologic time, higher level changes are readily apparent over longer geologic time scales and this fact was specifically noted by Gould in his response to creationist misappropriations of PE.
      ==
      @redzoa "Species-level changes are not large scale changes requiring wholesale genetic remodeling, particularly when considering the impacts of contingent mutational history (silent, neutral mutations which lay the framework for a lynchpin mutation) and the impacts of minor mutations within genetic regulatory networks. "
      @Chad "my point exactly.
      I have debated the "hidden non-morphological (and therefor not revealed in the fossil record) genetic change acc-mulating then WHAM" argument.. I dont find it compelling.. random genetic mutations are random.. if you start positing anything else you are talking designer.. IMO.

      I fear you misunderstand. Species-species level changes are the smallest changes between two related organisms and do not require large scale changes. A single mutation may result in reproductive incompatibility between a subpopulation and its parental population. It frankly doesn't matter that you find silent, neutral mutations leading to sudden appearance of novel traits uncompelling. If you've debated this topic before, then you are aware of the many examples demonstrating this process. Some of the research supporting this was conducted by none other than Michael Behe in his work looking at multi-residue protein-protein interactions. At the Dover trial, he effectively conceded that these processes exist and contribute to evolutionary changes. Protein-protein level changes can directly impact species-level reproductive isolation events (particularly when considering gamete binding proteins) and would not be captured in fossilized structures.
      =========
      The Pod Mrcaru lizards offer an excellent example.
      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080417112433.htm
      I'll take a look

      When you do, note the time frames from introduction to the observation of the morphological changes. All of which transpired well within the lowest limits of the PE time frames.

      Science will simply not support any claim of supernatural intervention. It cannot be detected or discerned from otherwise natural mechanisms (see Dembski's flawed Design Filter) and is beyond the ability of science to measure. Similarly, science cannot support claims that supernatural intervention did not/is not occurring. I'm not responding to whether or not God intervenes, this is a question of pure faith and one for which I have no opinion either for or against the proposition. My response was strictly limited to the original quoted claim. With that, I must return to real life...

      August 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Still dodging the question. The reason is, you have no answer whatsoever and you are trying with all your might to avoid the only possible answer, which is:

      because He's magic.

      And magic by it's very definition does not fall within natural laws or the realm of science. With all your bluster and bluff, and all your cutting and pasting the carefully selected words of scientists, and all of your adopted science vocabulary, you are still simply arguing that it's all the result of magic, and magic is right out as an acceptable explanation.

      You are ultimately making the same old god of the gaps argument, only you've narrowed that gap to the tiniest fissure imaginable but ultimately you are saying that everything in the universe – every event, every particle of matter and anti-matter – is the result of the supernatural magic in that tiny gap.

      This is why you're not talking about science, Chad. Magic disqualifies you from scientific debate.

      August 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What, what, what???!!

      You mean *gasp* Chad hasn't proven that there's a god connected to evolution and the big bang???

      You're sh!ttin' me.

      August 14, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
    • Tom. Tom, the Other One

      I'd like you to do some reading Chad. Carefully read over the weak anthropic principle (e.g. Brandon Carter, http://arxiv.org/pdf/0708.2367.pdf).

      August 14, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Tom. Tom, the Other One

      Hers' another, a bit shorter and more descriptive: Anthropic Principle in Cosmology, http://arxiv.org/pdf/gr-qc/0606117.pdf

      August 14, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Oh come on, Tom Tom. Those aren't even from Wikipedia. They only cite a bunch of peer-reviewed journals and academic publishers.

      August 14, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Hmm... Do you think we need to find a pop-up book on this?

      August 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, for freak's sake, come ON, Chard! How long are you going to take to post proof? You claim you have it. You say you're going to post it. You use rilly, rilly great sources, like, um, Wikipedia but you keep pulling out before you come.

      What's the dealio?

      Where's the friggin' beef-ring, dude?

      August 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Chad

      So, couple things right off
      – I am a theistic evolutionist, if you dont know what that is, please do some reading.
      – I have no problem with common ancestry
      – I do not believe that "the lack of transitional fossils proves that God place fully formed creatures on this earth" (which is what Gould/Eldridge found a "particularly infuriating" use of their work by special creationists (those that believe that all life in it originated in its present form by unconditional fiat or divine) as you noted.

      The core issue (IMO) between a theistic evolutionist and a believer in atheistic evolution (AKA evolutionism, modern evolutionary synthesis), is NOT that speciation occurred (we both accept that), rather the manner in which it occurred, and the ability when examining it to see the supernatural at work orchestrating it.

      I would hope that we can both agree on what is stated above..

      rather than jumping off from that point just yet, I'll sit tight until you acknowledge it (if you do agree)

      August 14, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you admit you have no proof that goddidit, then, Chard?

      Thanks for admitting it, finally. You held out for a long while. Glad you can finally admit you're without evidence.

      August 14, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I guess you want to insist without evidence or even discussion on "the creator of the universe, the force that fine tuned it, orchestrated all subsequent events" the centerpiece of your cosmology – or run away from the topic altogether. Fine. I'm curious. Is there room for a believer that does not see the supernatural behind every rock and toadstool or use it to explain things that don't require it? Or do you believe only atheists find science to be properly atheistic?

      August 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Chad

      BTW, I agree with this portion of your statement .
      Science will simply not support any claim of supernatural intervention. It cannot be detected or discerned from otherwise natural mechanism and is beyond the ability of science to measure

      This is a point that I have made endlessly, especially in response to nonsense like: "If God was real, He would be measurable and testable"

      August 14, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, Chard, I don't know what you've made, but you've certainly made it seem endless.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad: "rather than jumping off from that point just yet, I'll sit tight until you acknowledge it (if you do agree)"

      Not so fast, Chad. That is not the point we jumped off from. You have been over and over that stuff with me and countless others already. Yes, I know what a theistic evolutionist is (though you seem unclear on what the modern synthesis is, but please let's not get into debating that). You have talked us to death down this path.

      The point we jumped off from is you being asked to quit dancing around the issue and step up with a coherent explanation. Please explain in detail the process of supernatural orchestration. It is your ultimate explanation for everything, and it is the crux of our differences as you describe above. So, how does it work? You said it is just like setting an alarm clock, and I described the specific steps involved in setting an alarm clock, so now please describe the specific steps involved in supernatural orchestration. If it is something other than "magic" then please explain how it works.

      And please don't generalize about how God just fine tunes everything – that would be skipping over my question. HOW does he fine tune things? Does he use fingers? Is there a machine? Does he just think it into existence? Does he use a remote control device? These may sound silly, but those questions can be answered about an alarm clock.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad, you have insisted that God, supernatural, intervenes in the natural world. A statement about the natural world is a statement about things that can, at least in principle, be evidenced. If it is something you want people to believe you must be able to produce evidence.

      August 14, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad: God fine-tuned the universe so everything would turn out this way.
      RTF: Okay, how did God fine-tune the universe?
      Chad: By fine-tuning the universe.
      RTF: Yes, but HOW?
      Chad: By fine-tuning it, like I said.

      See the problem?

      August 14, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And the Chard answered Rufus thusly: PLEASE, do some reading!

      August 14, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Sorry, Tom Tom, I left that part out.

      August 15, 2012 at 12:02 am |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "you are straying from the topic, I’m sure it isn’t on purpose 😉 I know you would never try and derail the conversation.."
      I wasn't straying. It was to the heart of the conversation because it was there where you assigned your god to be the trigger. It was there where you jumped from whatever triggered the universe to it being your god. It was there that you made the leap of faith, and jumped from a philosophical argument to a religious one.

      But if you are confused, let me try again to put you back on track. How, exactly, does anything you've said prove anything about your imaginary friend? And to be clear, I'm talking specifically about that mass murderer from the bible.

      And, by the way, regarding you uncaused cause argument, an internal trigger for the universe is an uncaused cause. And you can repeat your claims until the cows come home, but there is no consensus that there must have been anything "before" the start of the universe. You may want to do some reading yourself. In particular counter arguments to your pet theories. By claiming that there must have been an external trigger, you draw conclusions from an extrapolation of causality beyond what is possible from experience. It is therefor speculative at best.

      August 15, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      'Sokay, Rufus–I live to serve.

      I am relishing your battle with the empty-headed vegetable!

      August 15, 2012 at 12:24 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Tom Tom, my namesake has given me good practice. This is like bantering with Chico ("Well, who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?'). Unfortunately it's time for beddie-by, which god has supernaturally orchestrated to be right next to the night table.

      Chad, meanwhile, this is the question that remains unadressed:
      Explain to me in your own words the physical process of supernatural orchestration – the translation of supernatural will into physical activity or matter. If as you say, it's not magic and it's not outside the laws of nature, how does it work?

      Rest assured I will check back in tomorrow for the answer.

      August 15, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • Chad

      @Chad: God fine-tuned the universe so everything would turn out this way.
      @RTF: Okay, how did God fine-tune the universe?
      @Chad "When the universe was created, the initial conditions completely determined all subsequent events, every natural occurrence. The fact that it's raining today is a deterministic thing, obviously a complex interaction of billions of different forces, but deterministic.
      The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is presently understood. Fine-tuning refers to the surprising precision of nature’s physical constants, and the beginning state of the Universe.
      For more information please read http://biologos.org/questions/fine-tuning
      Or google fine tuned universe, or anthropic principle. None of this is original thought on my part, you just need to do some reading and get familiar with the position.

      @RTF you are dodging the question, I still don’t understand, how did God fine-tune the universe.. don’t you get it?

      Yes, I understand the problem rufus, that’s why I keep telling you to do some reading..

      August 15, 2012 at 10:59 am |
    • Chad

      @LinCA "How, exactly, does anything you've said prove anything about your imaginary friend? "
      @Chad "as I have said a million times, the fact that the creation of our universe requires a trigger external to it doesnt "prove" that the God of Abraham is that trigger. The trigger could have been another universe previous to ours, but that needed an trigger and so on and on. Since the number of previous universes can not be infinite in the past, there must have been an initial uncaused cause. The necessity of that initial uncaused cause is conclusive evidence for the God of Abraham.
      Do us both a favor and get familiar with the cosmological argument.

      ==========
      @LinCA "an internal trigger for the universe is an uncaused cause."
      @Chad " there is no such thing as an internal trigger, as before PLEASE PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE.. (that's always the killer..)

      and, how's the Horus research going?
      😉

      August 15, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      "the initial conditions completely determined all subsequent events, every natural occurrence"

      Chad! Read this closely: HOW does God orchestrate the initial conditions? This is the basic part of any valid explanation, and the readings nor the quotes address this. HOW is this orchestration of conditions done?

      August 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      There are volumes of step-by-step details about precisely how galaxies form, about how natural selection works, about how plate tectonics work, about how alarm clocks work.

      So please give a similar step-by-step summary of HOW God adjusts initial conditions. Do you really not understand the question, or are you just dodging?

      August 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Chad

      rufus, it mystifies me why you are obstinately refusing to understand the fine tuning/anthropic/teleological positions..

      I'm really sick and tired of atheist refrain of "I dont need to understand your position to prove it wrong!!!"

      well, sorry.. you DO need to understand something if you want to discuss it.. that's just the way it is, get used to it.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

      2 Peter 2:18

      Amen.

      August 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      I am familiar with the philosophical arguments, Chad. What's more, I have read about them in actual books, not just on Wikipedia. You are again (over and over) trying to divert attention away from the simple question of how God's will becomes reality – the answer is not "by setting the initial conditions" because the question is "how does He set the initial conditions?".

      The reason you must attempt diversions rather than answering the question is that you have no idea whatsoever, and you are trying with all your might to avoid the only possible answer, which is:

      God uses divine magic.

      And magic by it's very definition does not fall within natural laws or the realm of science. With all your bluster and bluff, and all your cutting and pasting the carefully selected words of scientists, and all of your adopted science vocabulary, you are still simply arguing that it's all the result of magic. Magic is of course right out as an acceptable explanation. Magic disqualifies you from scientific debate. So unless you can describe a non-magic process, you have no argument and the debate has reached it's conclusion.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “I'm talking specifically about that mass murderer from the bible”
      =>let me assume you refer to the flood story where the wicked generation of Cain was blotted out of existence. I use the word blotted out as that was the original Hebrew term used. Blotted out was to erase as if the Creator took out a wash cloth and made pure that which was not pure. You can glean what you will from the flood story but murder is not an option. The story is about cleansing impurities from creation and far removed from Stalin who was a mass “murderer”.
      Even those who look at the flood story in a literal sense and in order to suit your bias against God claim these people were drowned. These people drowned by natural calamity no different than an earthquake swallowing up some people. Now you make the assumption that God is behind all natural events in detail and Moses was not just telling the story as the Greeks did with say Zeus tossing out lightning bolts. The God of Thomas Jefferson that sat back and allowed natural calamity is not a murder but a God that directs calamity might be squeezed into your bias view. The God of this limited biased view is not a murderer either because that same source (the Bible) you base your opinion on states there is a physical death followed by judgment. The physical death which as an atheist is all you accept and the other is life everlasting in unity with God or separated from God. Where is the murder as the soul which the Bible concerns its self with does not suffer physical death. The murderer is not God but the evil one that takes you away from life eternal with God.
      In short if you are going to make statements about God then you must stick with the story as given.
      =>if you are speaking about the Amalekites, Canaanites or Moabites you assume Moses was directed by God not just using God as a reason do what the warring people of his day did. The image of God as presented by Moses is in stark contrast with the “full representation of God” as seen in Jesus. There is no evidence for the atheist that God orchestrated these murders thus you have no evidence that God is a murderer. Note that I said no evidence for the atheist.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Three Hurrahs! for the ability to justify any attrocity. Mental gymnastics on the olympic level.

      August 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus "God uses divine magic. And magic by it's very definition does not fall within natural laws or the realm of science... "

      =>ah.. couple points:
      1. That is a very common attempt by atheists to exclude the discussion of the supernatural(Attributed to some force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature) by definition (since science only concerns itself with the natural).

      It's really a lame attempt because it precludes discussion of ANYTHING that exists outside our universe by definition.
      right?
      So, using your definition of what can be discussed, limits it to what exists in our universe ONLY, and refuses consideration of anything else..
      right?

      2. Importantly real scientists dont attempt to stick their fingers in their ears in this manner, as cosmologists routinely speculate on forces external to our universe, that's what the entire multiverse debate IS.
      right?

      3. Another common variant of this fingers-in-the-ears approach, is to say "well, if God were real, He would be measurable and testable", since He isnt, science cant discuss it.
      which is fine, if you want to take that approach.. in which case Science cant discuss whether or not I am real, nor if Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg address.

      right?

      silly stuff...

      August 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      Correct in the same way I justify drinking water to avoid dehydration. In the same way I justify eating 3 meals a day to maintain health.
      Now, I was not justifying atrocities I was presenting a case against calling God a murderer which is not an accepted or given attribute of God in the Bible. Events recorded in the Bible are recorded for a purpose. That purpose generally relates to the theme of bringing a people through to a promise of a new land / new heaven and earth. You and LinCA must take the events out of context in order to justify your atheistic conclusion. One must be godless or have a bias against God in order to paint a picture so removed from what the author presented.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Like I said last time we had a talk about this. I don't care what you say anymore. Especially since it's the same nonsense answers with the same fallacies, and the same mental gymnastics. I don't give a shit how you word your justifications since it's all the same bullshit anyway.

      August 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
    • fred

      Hawaiiguest
      No, you simply realize that the only way you can call God a murderer is to misrepresent what the Bible actually says and you cannot face that reality. You have created your own bible version and in your version god kills babies with a small club fashioned out of Popsicle sticks whenever she is moody. According to your bible your god is a murderer. Your opinion and your version has no bearing on God of the Hebrew Bible.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      You said, "as I have said a million times, the fact that the creation of our universe requires a trigger external to it doesnt "prove" that the God of Abraham is that trigger. The trigger could have been another universe previous to ours, but that needed an trigger and so on and on. Since the number of previous universes can not be infinite in the past, there must have been an initial uncaused cause."
      So since there is no need for an external trigger, your argument falls apart. And by your reasoning that must therefor mean that there is no need for gods.

      You said, "The necessity of that initial uncaused cause is conclusive evidence for the God of Abraham."
      Jesus H. Fucking Christ! Flunk logic much? Your reasoning is almost, though not quite, as solid as saying "apples are Jonagolds, therefor it must be Wednesday". Even if there was an uncaused cause, which of course isn't a given, you've got nothing to link that to your imaginary friend.

      I understand that you will assign any initial cause to be an act of your god, but you do so only because you believe that to be the case, and not because you have a causal relation. There is nothing to link the two, other than your belief.

      You said, "Do us both a favor and get familiar with the cosmological argument."
      You should do yourself a favor and read some of the counter arguments. It isn't nearly as solid as you portray it to be.

      You said, "there is no such thing as an internal trigger, as before PLEASE PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE.."
      May I suggest you read: Quentin Smith (1999). The Reason the Universe Exists is that it Caused Itself to Exist.
      Philosophy, 74 , pp 579-586

      Or read what Stephen Hawking says, "Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.". Gravity, according to Hawking, is the internal trigger.

      Are you now going to claim that gravity must be your god of the bible?

      You said, "and, how's the Horus research going?"
      Great.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Thank you for providing yet another example of what I was talking about.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "let me assume you refer to the flood story where the wicked generation of Cain was blotted out of existence."
      Among others.

      You said, "The story is about cleansing impurities from creation and far removed from Stalin who was a mass “murderer”."
      So it fucked up and "corrected" its mistakes by wiping out the entire world population. I bet Stalin thought he had some valid reasons to clean up.

      You said, "Even those who look at the flood story in a literal sense and in order to suit your bias against God claim these people were drowned. These people drowned by natural calamity no different than an earthquake swallowing up some people. Now you make the assumption that God is behind all natural events in detail and Moses was not just telling the story as the Greeks did with say Zeus tossing out lightning bolts."
      Since this flood is said to have covered all land, by rain, in 40 days, it would have to reach the tallest peak in the world in that time. This peak is currently about 8848 meters above sea level. It would have to rain everywhere on earth at a rate of 221 meters per day, or some 6 inches per minute.

      Six inches. Every minute. Every day. For forty days.

      It would take some 4 quintillion (4E+18 or 4,000,000,000,000,000,000) cubic meters of water, or roughly one sextillion (1E+21 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) US gallons.

      That water must have come from somewhere, and gone somewhere. There have been no natural events (since this flood) that come even close to this. This much water is so ridiculous, that only a god could produce it, wouldn't you agree? Making it the murderer.

      You could, of course, come to your senses and toss the garbage altogether. Your god is no more likely to exist than the Tooth Fairy. Even Santa Claus is far more likely to still roam the earth. It just seems really, really hard for some adults to shed their infantile beliefs.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad – well, after all that you finally come around to admitting out loud that and in writing that , yes, you are indeed simply talking about magic.

      That's fine, and I can at least respect that as a more honest description of your perspective. But, you're going to have to drop the part of your arguments where you insist that no natural laws are suspended or that there is nothing unscientific about your claims. Like all the other religious arguments, somewhere in there no matter how deeply buried, there is an explanatory black box that relies upon supernatural magic as part of the explanation. And if that is any part of ones explanation – no matter how tiny – then the whole argument carries no more weight than simply saying "God did it with magic" in the first place.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Silly stuff indeed.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA\
      At a minimum we cannot assign the word murder since a key part is an unlawful act. The victims were endlessly wicked such that their wickedness made God relent creating life in the first place. Jesus said no one is good but God. We can say the Easter Bunny puts 25 cents under your pillow for a lost tooth but that would be out of character for the Bunny. In the same way removing wickedness is in character with God while murder is not.
      The story line is God creating out of goodness and love since all known time. In keeping with that story line God brought Noah safely over the worst imaginable natural disaster and most wicked life mankind could imagine and placed man on high ground. High ground is where God symbolically resides and the flood story written in symbolic picture language clearly represents the goodness of God.
      The Bible reveals Gods plan for bringing man into eternal relationship in a perfect safe place. In context God is not a murderer. If there is no God you would not call mass extinction of one species for another a murderous act. The word simply does not fit.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Chad

      @Rufus T. Firefly "well, after all that you finally come around to admitting out loud that and in writing that , yes, you are indeed simply talking about magic."
      @Chad "LOL
      so, any force that exists outside our universe is magic?
      that's your definition?
      LOL
      better alert all of the people currently working in the field of cosmology.. 🙂

      August 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Lay translation:

      God does what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants, and it cannot be bad because he said so.

      August 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Red Herring count for Chad as of 6/10/2012
      55

      August 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Chad

      @LinCA " Or read what Stephen Hawking says, "Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.". Gravity, according to Hawking, is the internal trigger."

      @Chad "no..
      please try again, in the conditions "preceding" the big bang, there was nothing (the absence of everything), there was no gravity. Indeed the conditions that Hawking and Mlodinow discuss as that which gave rise to our universe is vacuum space (most certainly not nothing), presupposing energy and space.

      The notion that being can arise without a cause from non-being is absurd, that's precisely why Hawking presupposes the existence of gravity.

      a more complete treatment:
      There they explain that there is a constant vacuum energy contained in empty space, and if the universe’s positive energy associated with matter is evenly balanced by the negative energy associated with gravitation, then the universe can spontaneously come into being as a fluctuation of the energy in the vacuum (which, by a clever sleight of hand, they say “we may as well call . . . zero”). This seems to be a very different account of the universe’s origin, for it presupposes the reality of space and the energy in it. So it’s puzzling when Mlodinow and Hawking conclude, “Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing in the manner described in Chapter 6” (p. 180). Here it is said that the nothingness spoken of in Chapter 6 is not really nothingness after all but is space filled with vacuum energy!

      August 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Whatever, Chad. You had opportunity after opportunity to present a valid explanation that did not involve appealing to magical forces. You couldn't. Instead of even trying, you evaded the question over and over – and now what? You are actually trying to insist that magical thinking is acceptable logic in mainstream science?!? Game over. The house of cards has fallen.

      August 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Chad-> 3. Another common variant of this fingers-in-the-ears approach, is to say "well, if God were real, He would be measurable and testable", since He isn't, science can't discuss it.

      If God interacts with the natural world (I think that's what you mean when you say he is real with respect to the natural world) then when he does so there should, in principle, be evidence that he does so – measurable and testable. If God leaves no trace then he has not interacted with the natural world. We reasonably expect evidence to support claims about the natural world and you haven't shown evidence that God interacts with the natural world. That limits the discussion.

      If God is entirely supernatural, has only parts that exist outside of the natural world and doesn't interact with it, then we can't reasonably expect evidence for God and then it's legitimate for you to believe in God without evidence if that's what you want. Which is to say you can play in your own backyard Chad.

      August 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Chad

      I think you need to give up on the whole attempt to classify any force external to our universe as "magic", don't you think?
      You seem to be surprisingly unaware of the current state of cosmological debate on that precise question.

      lastly, there is a reason that the your portrayal of any force external to our universe is "magic" and therefor cant be discussed, is NEVER brought up in serious debates on the topic.. the reason is.. it's a silly argument..

      good article here discussing some of the issues.. note that it is an atheist site..
      http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/quentin_smith/universe.html

      August 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      It is impossible to measure anything outside our spacetime, if there is anything there. If something outside our spacetime manifests and interacts within our spacetime, then evidence should exist (hint: saying "look around at the universe" isn't evidence)

      August 15, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Chad: "I think you need to give up on the whole attempt to classify any force external to our universe as "magic", don't you think?"

      That was never what I said – this is back to (#7) Twisting, editing, exaggerating or quoting out of context other people's statements to your advantage.

      I've never said that any force external to our universe is automatically magic. I am saying that your idea of a supernatural being that exists outside of space and time that possesses a consciousness and an ability to "fine-tune" the entire universe using only his own supernatural will constitutes magic. This is what you are ultimately arguing for, and that is the silliest of magical thinking.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • fred

      hawaiiguest
      “God does what he wants, when he wants, and how he wants, and it cannot be bad because he said so”
      =>Scripture clearly states man’s ways are not God’s ways. You have described mans ways and used terms such as he, it and wants. God simply is or as the Bible put it to Moses when asked whom shall I sent me “tell them I AM sent you”. We attempt to ascribe attributes to what is unknowable and unsearchable. Fragments of Gods glory are simply revealed. Man then attempts to express what was revealed. The Bible is a collection of these revelations that generally point towards goodness as an attribute of God.
      In contrast Hawking is limited in perspective because he despises a personal God and rejects any god. Because of this limitation he inserts materialistic or physically knowable terms for that which cannot be quantified. Most recently he re-inserted gravity for the previously unknown causation after multiverse label came under attack. This complete lack of perspective is driven by inability to see revelations of God that are self-evident to 80+ percent of the population. As a result only cold, hard, dark physical matter occupies the default position of the unknowable.

      August 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @fred

      Thank you for agreeing with my translation of might makes right, and adding in an ad populum fallacy. You do my work for me sometimes.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So Chard still has not connected his god to the beginning of the universe? I'm shocked.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "At a minimum we cannot assign the word murder since a key part is an unlawful act."
      Thank you for acknowledging that your god killed virtually the entire population.

      I disagree with your assertion that we can't call it murder. The Nazis enacted quite a few laws that legalized their persecution of Jews (and other "undesirables"). That does nothing to mitigate their crimes.

      You said, "The victims were endlessly wicked such that their wickedness made God relent creating life in the first place."
      Wicked? Are you serious? That's worthy of a blanket death penalty?

      There is no justification for mass murder. None. If you can't get yourself to shed the silly belief in it, I urge you to at the very least stop worshiping this monster.

      You said, "Jesus said no one is good but God."
      There you go. That make him at least complicit.

      August 15, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • fred

      LinCA
      “I disagree with your assertion that we can't call it murder. The Nazis …”
      =>The Nazis did not create man they do not have the right of the Creator to modify the product, the knowledge of future path of those no longer living and they violated with evil intent life formed by a loving God.
      The Bible speaks to the eternal soul of man which the Nazis could not kill. As I mentioned it is not killing from the biblical perspective as the purpose of creation was the making of man for eternal unity. We do not know the final disposition of these souls only God does. It is the atheist that believes life is only in the physical. Believers or the words of the Bible say otherwise. You are again mixing up Easter Bunny stories with the Bible story.

      “Wicked? Are you serious? That's worthy of a blanket death penalty?”
      =>operative word is all were filled with wickedness day and night (for all time). We really do not know what blotted out means (never existed, erased or drowned) as that was not the purpose of the story.

      “There is no justification for mass murder.”
      =>agreed but this was not mass murder.

      “stop worshiping this monster.”
      =>I worship God as revealed in the fullness of Christ not the symbolism of 3,400 years ago that pointed towards Christ.

      You said, "Jesus said no one is good but God."
      =>Jesus referred to God who is (not the various revelations of Moses etc. that was influenced by mans thoughts.)

      August 15, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "The Nazis did not create man they do not have the right of the Creator to modify the product, the knowledge of future path of those no longer living and they violated with evil intent life formed by a loving God."
      So, after already having admitted that your god is a ruthless killer, you now acknowledge that it is incompetent. It wasn't able to produce a less evil or wicked people and had to wipe them out and start over.

      You said, "agreed but this was not mass murder."
      I guess we'll never agree on that.

      August 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Chad

      Still flunking in the logic department, and still nothing to link anything to your god, I see.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      ;P LInCa.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Lin, I'll keep checking back here to see if the Vegetable has posted anything that connects his GAWD to evolution and the big bang (or anything else). How frequently do you think I should do so? Once every 6 hours? Oh, wait, that won't give the Chard enough time to equivocate, will it? How about every 24? Do you think the Chard might come up with something resembling evidence by then?

      Oh, wait. It's already BEEN at least thrice that long a time, and the little dweeb hasn't managed it yet.

      Never mind. I'll as sume that when the Chard actually finds evidence/proof/a reasonable explanation, the universe will stop and pause to listen to his Eminence, proclaiming the Truth as only HE, the One and Only CHARD, knows it.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      The only way to learn the truth is to open your heart to the FSM, and to shave your head to better feel his Noodly Appendage, and it makes wearing a Pirate bandanna or hat less stuffy.

      August 15, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • Chadwatch, a public service

      I guess Chad had to go. It seems he had his ass handed to him so many times in this string that his arms are full. Be forewarned, he may return if he figures out somewhere to put all that burnt Chadass he's been handed.

      August 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      He'll do what he always does. Disappear from this thread and go argue one of his other issues elsewhere for a bit. Then he'll propose EXACTLY the same arguments all over again, as if this one never happened.

      August 16, 2012 at 10:45 am |
    • fred

      LinCA
      How is it possible we cannot agree? Sticking with the flood story as written God looks at the wickedness of the world and brings justice to the wicked. This is Gods judgment on the ungodly and unrepentant world. That is the story of the Bible God will judge souls with some put in a new heaven and earth while other souls are eternally separated from God. God is the judge because according to the story everything that can be known is known by God. There is no question that eternal souls could possibly end up in the wrong place with such a perfect judge.
      In a symbolic oration Noah is brought into that new heaven and earth while the world faces judgment. The judgment is swift, harsh and long overdue as a patient merciful judge gave the wicked all the time they needed to change their ways. How wicked “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time”. Taking this wicked bunch off life support was not murder.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I was napping. Did Chad prove god exists yet?

      August 16, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • LinCA

      @fred

      You said, "How is it possible we cannot agree?"
      Simple. I don't think that the death penalty is warranted for anything but the most heinous crimes. You apparently think otherwise. I find that morally repugnant.

      You said, "Sticking with the flood story as written God looks at the wickedness of the world and brings justice to the wicked. This is Gods judgment on the ungodly and unrepentant world. That is the story of the Bible God will judge souls with some put in a new heaven and earth while other souls are eternally separated from God. God is the judge because according to the story everything that can be known is known by God. There is no question that eternal souls could possibly end up in the wrong place with such a perfect judge.
      In a symbolic oration Noah is brought into that new heaven and earth while the world faces judgment. The judgment is swift, harsh and long overdue as a patient merciful judge gave the wicked all the time they needed to change their ways. How wicked “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time”. Taking this wicked bunch off life support was not murder.
      "
      Are you serious? Everyone, including the newborns, were wicked? Do you actually believe that bullshit? Wiping out the entire population is somehow justifiable? You worship a monster like that? You appear seriously deluded. Please seek help.

      August 21, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  5. Goo Goo

    Wow. Religious people are utterly useless. Go pray or something. Leave writing history to those of us who are not brainwashed tools.

    August 12, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
    • timmy t

      Maybe, maybe not but if you think religious people are "utterly useless", pray tell, what are you doing on a religion blog?

      August 12, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Manda

      @timmy t – let's put it this way: many people who don't like cancer frequent websites where cancer is the topic of discussion.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • haha

      timmy got pwnt haha

      August 12, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  6. Chadwatch, a public service

    "It is an interesting exercise to look at how... people can become so wrapped up in wanting to believe something is true that they seem to quite literally suspend critical inquiry on some topics.
    They interpret what they read to fit what they want it to be."

    Oh my freaking God, Chad. How can you say this with a straight face, and not see how it applies to your rantings on creationism? Can you really be that self-unaware?

    August 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Are these rhetorical questions?

      Chad is completely convinced that his beliefs are facts.

      August 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  7. Chad

    It is an interesting exercise to look at how otherwise honest, intelligent people can become so wrapped up in wanting to believe something is true that they seem to quite literally suspend critical inquiry on some topics.
    They interpret what they read to fit what they want it to be.

    It's irrational, but it's pretty common. Some people become so invested in wanting a particular world view to be correct, that their minds just transform every fact to be in agreement with it, and if the facts arent there, they are invented.

    Probably the most trustworthy indicator that a person is engaging in this behavior, is when challenged on some presented "fact", the response is typically "well, you can't possibly believe that your view is correct, do you?"
    it's a fallacious response, demonstrating an inability to examine and challenge ones own preconceptions.

    And it isnt only atheists that do this, it sure looks like Barton got caught in this trap as well.

    August 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Thinking atheists don't delude themselves into believing that they are right. Barton replaced the truth with his beliefs. BIG difference!

      August 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wow. This is an interesting exercise in how far Chad will go to defend an out-and-out liar, just because that liar is a christian. I guess if you're lying for Jesus, that commandment about "not bearing false witness" doesn't count.

      August 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
    • Chad

      @Chad " it sure looks like Barton got caught in this trap as well."

      @tallulah13 Wow. This is an interesting exercise in how far Chad will go to defend an out-and-out liar, just because that liar is a christian"

      @Chad "see above.. I'm not following your "logic" there...."

      August 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Chad

      @Really-O "How can you say this with a straight face, and not see how it applies to your rantings on creationism? Can you really be that self-unaware?"

      @Chad "well, your statement would have a lot more credibility if you somewhere, at some point, detailed which "rantings" contained specifically what inaccuracies..

      I know, you're just to busy, or I'm just to stupid, or "it's been pointed out so many times" really, where? "oh, I cant be bothered to show you"... lol

      presenting data causes credibility to increase, absence of same causes credibility to decrease...

      August 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Today's diversion tactic brought to you by Chad.

      August 13, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Looks like Chad is starting to understand the delusional mind of all believers. He's making progress towards becoming a right thinking atheist!

      August 13, 2012 at 2:42 am |
  8. Hypatia

    The joker is one of those idiot Texas rewriters, who've been trying to rewrite American history for the past 25 years so it suits their right-wing fascisti agenda. A pox on him and kudos to the publishers for pulling his trash.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  9. TheVocalAtheist

    Call me crazy but I don't see anyone coming to Barton's rescue. Where's Beck and Bachmann, Newt and all the rest?

    Let's face it, Barton is TOAST.

    August 12, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      Well that's what is a little dangerous about this weasel is that he evidently operates as a lobbyist, well I guess he has described himself as a someone who provides reference to key figures. And of course that is often hidden activity, so why wouldn't someone like Bachmann continue to use his services to try and bolster wacky views amongst her supporters? I'm at least glad there is some light being shed on this snake.

      August 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  10. onehippypoet

    Tom Tom the Piper Son
    Stole a pig and
    Away Tom run
    Directly to a Doctors office
    Where Tom sat down with the pig on its lap
    The pig says
    Hey Doc can you remove
    This cancerous lump from my ass?

    August 12, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • OneDippyPoet

      good to see you believe in recycling. now you just need to find some funny material

      August 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • onehippypoet

      Tom Tom the Pipers Son
      Is as funny as they come
      Running with a stolen pig
      And sucking on its thumb

      August 13, 2012 at 5:59 am |
  11. Reality

    ADDED INFORMATION:

    WallBuilders' founder and president, David Barton, resides in Aledo, Texas (just west of Fort Worth), with his wife, Cheryl, and their three children. David spent eight years as an educator and school administrator before founding WallBuilders. "

    So how did he become a scholar in US history and religion? Anybody know?

    And let us review MR. Barton's finances as per guidestar.org (See Wallbuilders).

    Salary: he pays himself = $108,049 (he, his wife and his mother make up 50% of the board of directors),

    Then there are those other unspecified salaries of $288,872 (his mother and wife?),

    He billed Wallbuilders travel expenses of $67,000 in 2009.

    And then there is the securities portfolio of $1,149,239 where he/Wallbuilder pays no tax on interest, dividends or capital gains because Wallbuiders is a "non-profit".

    Hmmmm???????

    August 12, 2012 at 8:43 am |
    • ....

      BULL SH IT AVOID THE HMMMMM JOB AT ALL COSTS

      August 12, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • save the world and slap some sense into a christard today!

      .... wrote:
      "BULL SH IT . . ."

      knowing that this David Barton is a snake, why don't you tell us why you refute what Reality posted?

      August 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • ....

      You don't refute BULL SH IT you shovel it or in your case eat it

      August 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  12. Dan Scott

    An evangelical is rewriting history to suit an agenda. Disappointing, yes; shocking, no.

    August 12, 2012 at 7:54 am |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    August 12, 2012 at 7:41 am |
    • kindless

      Atheism is fabulous for children and people of all ages. Strong-minded atheists take responsibility for themselves and don't try to hide their misdeeds within their religions.

      Prayer, as it turns out, is mostly a time-sucker-upper. Use meditation to collect your thoughts, and try not to bring imaginary ent.ities into your thoughts – they will just cloud and weaken your thinking, making you less productive, less able to contribute to society.

      Break the matrix of deception. Break the fallacy of revelation. Be a do-bee.

      RIF heavenSnot

      August 12, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!* .

      August 12, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  14. James Edgar

    This book, and it's sketchy author, mirror the problems we encounter with the far right on most issues. For whatever reason Barton felt it necessary to acknowledge what any historian knows – that Thos. Jefferson was totally secular in his vision of government and life – and then he makes up facts to dispel the truth, only further proving that Jefferson was secular. Certainly, I disagree with him, but I have to think that his point of view is so desperate he has lost touch with reality. As the far right does with other issues. The facts, which he would not like if he ever spent the time to learn them, are that Jefferson, Washington, Hamilton, Franklin and a host of others were Diestists. They believed a god created the universe and then disappeared.

    August 12, 2012 at 7:01 am |
    • exlonghorn

      James,

      What the Founders believed personally is almost entirely irrelevant. The important thing to take away is they they kept their beliefs out of the Const.itution. They made a specific point of promoting religious freedom. They did not include "In God We Trust" on our currency. They did not put "under god" in the pledge of allegiance. These things appeared much later. Maybe folks like David Barton should understand that the Founders separated religion and the foundations of our government for a very good reason.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:08 am |
  15. onestarman

    It is called Jefferson LIES After all

    August 12, 2012 at 2:11 am |
  16. Timbo

    It's embarrassing to realize that CNN reporters writing about book publishing don't realize the proper spelling for Beck's contribution is a "foreword," not "forward."

    August 12, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gah. I missed that one.

      August 12, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Timbo & Tom, Tom,

      Ewe sea, they knead to higher us!

      August 12, 2012 at 2:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Eye dew belive your right!

      August 12, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      (I like the sound of Timbo and Tom Tom. But I think it should be "Tom Tom and Timbo". Why don't I get top billing?

      August 12, 2012 at 2:15 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      )

      I are to tired too rite write. Nite night!

      August 12, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • Damocles

      'Tom Tom and Timbo'.... sounds like a great morning radio show. I'd listen!

      August 13, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hi Damocles! Hey, do you have any of those painkillers left? Any whiskey? Rufus just had a go-round with Chard, and is in dire need.

      August 13, 2012 at 10:33 am |
  17. TOOL Tom

    "INSIGHTS"

    How sweet it sounds to hear the word (w/ matching all-caps) coming from someone who doesn't have an ounce of it.

    August 11, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You can hear words on this site?

      August 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
  18. TOOL Tom

    "INSIGHTS"

    How sweet to hear the word (w/ matching all-caps) coming from someone who doesn't have an ounce of it.

    August 11, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      Confirmed, reply button doesn't work.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you can't give me a review of the book, TOOOOOOOOOL?

      What, were there some hard words in it? You got discouraged?

      August 11, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TOOOOL: "Confirmed, reply button doesn't work."

      Worked just fine for me. You must be defective.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL, you say you bought the book? Can you tell me what you thought of it? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not? Did you think it was accurate? Based on what?

      August 12, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, that's what I figured. You either never bought the book as you claimed, or you never read it, or you don't have a clue what it was about.

      So much for YOUR "insight", TOOOOOOL.

      August 12, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • TOOL Tom

      I don't have a copy of the book(I won't lend you if I have one). I had already spelled out to you my point. But I guess, you haven't grown a brain (even half the size of a quark) yet to grasp that it was my other way of saying that your reply to "nobel" was M-O-O-T. So sad and disappointed.

      But it seems that little Tomitina is having some fun. Now it's my turn, do you agree that your reply to "nobel" in the other thread was M-O-O-T, don't you?

      August 12, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Here's your post, liar:
      TOOL Tom
      "Which book? Because the one discussed here has been pulled. I doubt you've read it-your post doesn't scan like that of a literary or literate person."

      Let me help you Tom Tom, you can borrow mine. I've purchased a copy before it was "yanked". Just e-mail me @tom.tom_isatool@yahoo.com. Or, you may borrow from somebody else, it won't be hard to find one. The book was bestseller.

      ----

      I never said that the book wasn't available to purchase before it was pulled. Never said the moron hadn't read it.

      Look up the word 'doubt', TOOOOOOLIE.

      August 12, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      "I never said that the book wasn't available to purchase before it was pulled. Never said the moron hadn't read it."

      Tomi, Tomi, Tomi...TSK! TSK! That was EXACTLY my POINT! The book was AVAILABLE for SALE BEFORE it pulled. Then why you seemed to have a problem of which book.

      I'm sorry if I troubled you with my punning in my first few reply. I thought you have the IQ over 61 to get it.

      And you know what Tomi? Your a huge TOOL but sadly, such a WUSSY!

      August 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Azzhole, you have lied up, down, and sideways, and it's obvious now that you intend to continue to do so.

      And that you haven't a fvcking clue what a pun is.

      August 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "I never said that the book wasn't available to purchase before it was pulled. Never said the moron hadn't read it."

      Tomi, Tomi, Tomi...TSK! TSK! That was EXACTLY my POINT! The book was AVAILABLE for SALE BEFORE it pulled. Then why you seemed to have a problem of which book.
      --

      Read very slowly, Tool Tard. Move your lips if you have to.

      August 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      "I never said that the book wasn't available to purchase before it was pulled. Never said the moron hadn't read it."

      Tomi, Tomi, Tomi...TSK! TSK! That was EXACTLY my POINT! The "book was AVAILABLE for PURCHASE BEFORE it was pulled". Then why you seemed to have a problem of WHICH BOOK?

      I'm sorry if I troubled you with my punning in my first few replies. I thought you have the IQ over 61 to get it. But I apparently over-estimated your intellect and thought you're a worthy opponent but end up soo disapointed.

      And you know what Tomi? Your a huge TOOL but sadly, such a WUSSY!

      Reposted and Edited: To show respect the lone skill Tomi has.

      August 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Says the bonehead who can't figure out the difference between "you're" and "your" and has no clue what the word 'moot' means. Why don't you explain what your "pun" consisted of, Tool Turd? Or are you simply going to continue to ignore what I wrote and pretend that you don't understand its meaning?

      Really, were you dropped on your head?

      August 12, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      A few examples of the Tool's literary skills: "To show respect the lone skill Tomi has" Then why you seemed to have a problem of WHICH BOOK?" I don't have a copy of the book(I won't lend you if I have one). I had already spelled out to you my point. " I thought you have the IQ over 61 to get it. " "Your a huge tool."

      Say "hi" to Natasha and Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Boris. And don't forget Bullwinkle.

      August 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      It seems that the word "PUN" is SO VERY foreign to you, Tomi.

      Congratulations, Tomi! You're doing a helluvah job in letting us know that your cranium surpasses your appendix as the most vestigial part of your body.

      You've just changed the basics of anatomy, Tomi. Keep it UP!

      August 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Unless you can produce the "pun" you claim you made, defend your execrable grammar, and come up with some sort of argument that merits any serious consideration, why should I waste any more time on your drivel, Brophy?

      August 12, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      "execrable" Thank you, Tom Tom, for exhuming one of my favorite underutilized words. 5 points for vocabulary.

      August 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks, Rufus. That's great compliment coming from you.

      I meant to give Observer props for "acerbic" and "persp icacious" the other night, but I believe I was being scolded, so I didn't offer the praise that she/he deserved.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And I see Toolie has taken a powder, which is all to the good.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • onehippypoet

      Tom Tom the Pipers Son
      Stole a pig
      And away Tom run
      Right to the vet
      Who said to the pig
      That is about the ugliest growth
      I've every seen attached to a pig.

      August 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      "Unless you can produce the "pun" you claim you made"

      Thanks for proving me over and over again. Here you go:

      First, let me quote and review some statements from our previous posts.

      Yours
      Statement A.

      "Which book? Because the one discussed here has been pulled. I doubt you've read it-your post doesn't scan like that of a literary or literate person."

      Statement B.

      "I never said that the book wasn't available to purchase before it was pulled. Never said the moron hadn't read it."

      Mine
      Statement C
      "Let me help you Tom Tom, you can borrow mine. I've purchased a copy before it was "yanked". Just e-mail me @tom.tom_isatool@yahoo.com. Or, you may borrow from somebody else, it won't be hard to find one. The book was bestseller."

      So where's the "pun" there? Okay, let me show you. Pls. bear with me.

      I was planning to discuss the above quotes in details to help you out with your learning difficulties. But I think it will be more help to you if I'd rather make that oozing something at the end of your neck to work. So I decide to give you some hints.

      (My) statement C was just another version of (your) statement B but has the latter basically has the same purpose with the former, that was to answer your concern for (your) Statement A.

      Still don't get it?

      Okay, (I give in) in other words, I said my statement in C just to let you know that the book existed and was in fact a bestseller, okay, best-seller befor it was pulled. Hence, your question of "WHICH BOOK?" should have not been made at the very start, therefore, it was I-R-R-E-L-E-V-A-N-T.

      I just wish that statement B has already came-across your mind prior to statement A has been made, you might not have made statement A. And I shouldn't have made statement C either.

      Again, I admire your eloquence with the English language. But it never astound me a bit coz I knew it already, it's the only subject you've passed during 5th grade. (pun intended) You might as well asked if we both went in the same school in 5th grade. LOL!

      BTW, My 26-yr. old neighbor has been doing also quite well with grammar and spelling. Too bad he has an IQ level of a 7-yr. old.

      Again, I salute you skills and abilities when it comes to grammar and spelling and so as Rufus. Would you mind if my neighbor joins your club? His name was Joseph, he's 26 yrs.old and and also excels in grammar and spelling. LOL! Oh, wait!!! (eheem) I almost choke myself with a slurpeee. LOL!

      August 12, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      should have said: *for proving me right. (Mind was to fast while fingers were to slow)

      August 12, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Pun Stir

      TOOL Tom,

      You do not know what a pun is.

      It is a humorous play on words. Not every humorous remark is a pun.

      - "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." - Groucho Marx

      TOOL Tom is an unemployed punster because he makes no cents.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      Oh sorry pun stir, was engaged into something earlier. I really love to chat with you but our CEO has just arrived and we're having BULs meeting in a minute. So bye, don't forget to claim your welfare coupon to have something for meal. CHAO!

      August 13, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Pun Stir

      TOOL Tom,

      Well, I guess if you are there it'll be a bored meeting.

      August 13, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • u'rsteer

      @Pun Stir

      Board meetings, really are "bored" meeting. Unless otherwise, clowns like you, Rufus D'OOFUS and Tom, TomSUCK are invited are sent in.

      August 13, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Thanks for proving you're a wa nker who doesn't know the meaning of the word "pun".

      When you figure out how to use "to" and "too" correctly and grasp the solution to your "you're/"your" problem, start working on your comprehension skills.

      You should be able to graduate from elementary school in five years or so.

      August 13, 2012 at 10:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      By the way, it's "ciao", dearie.

      Try not to fall over your pubic hair on the way out.

      August 13, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Because I care about your education, Tool Turd, I'm going to attempt, one last time, to explain this to you: The original poster (probably your imaginary pal, "Joseph" said: "Sure not one posting here as ever read David Barton's book to critique his book objectively."

      I responded: "Which book?" Do you know why? Because Barton has written several. Since the poster didn't specify what book, it appeared he didn't realize this, or that the particular book being discussed wasn't one a majority of those posting (regardless of their religious views) had likely read because it was yanked. I questioned whether the poster had even read it or knew much about it at all, since he a s sumed no one else had done so. Considering the lousy writing in his post, I doubted he had seen or read the book.

      I don't know what part of this is so far above your understanding, but based on your posts, it appears everything after the first word has confused you completely.

      Sorry to have boggled that thing "oozing at the top your neck" (and that was a dead giveaway as to your identi ty–you've used it numerous times).

      August 13, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • TOOL Tom

      "I responded: "Which book?" Do you know why? Because Barton has written several. Since the poster didn't specify what book,"

      That was the lamest argument I've read since I ever entered into a forum.

      So, when the author of an article TALKS ABOUT your IQ </= 3-yr. old, those who will comment must SPECIFICALLY say that "Tom, Tom, Piper's Son is an IDIOT, coz it could be Rufus, Pun Stir and whole lot of idiot commenters on this board? that's what are you trying to say?

      I just wish I could read something lamer that that, Tomi (but I guess not for a week or two, even for months or years) . It really made my day. Thank You!

      August 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      "I responded: "Which book?" Do you know why? Because Barton has written several. Since the poster didn't specify what book,"

      That was the lamest argument I've read since I ever entered into a forum.

      So, when the author of an article TALKS ABOUT your IQ </= 3-yr. old, those who will comment must SPECIFICALLY say that "Tom, Tom, Piper's Son is an IDIOT, coz it could be Rufus, Pun Stir and other "several" idiot commenters on this board? That's what are you trying to say?

      I just wish I could read something lamer that that, Tomi (but I guess not for a week or two, even for months or years) . It really made my day. Thank You!

      And...

      "The original poster (probably your imaginary pal, "Joseph" said:"

      It was "Nobel", NOT Joseph. Memory gap, Tomi? It seems that old age and spending too much time on that squeaky arm chair, or I may say rocking chair has taken its toll, Tomi? Or...oh no! Don't tell me it's Alzheimer's already?! Oh, poor Tomi, I really feel guilty. I have high regard and respect for the elders. I shouldn't have been that hard on you.

      BTW, Joseph was my 26-yr. old neighbor, he was also good in spelling, proper extraction, grammar etc. too bad for him it didn't make him graduate elementary. Lucky you, that's IF, you've graduated elementary coz it absolutely isn't that obvious in (the way you're doing) here.

      And again thank you (but this time) for your concern about my education. I appreciate you care a lot about the educations of people here, specially those who don't agree with you. But let give you an (unsolicited) advice, take it easy pal! It became more obvious that you've completely disregards your own (education).

      August 13, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      English isn't your first language, is it?

      August 13, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • TOOL Tom

      I wish you have better than a parrot, Tomi. BUT...gadako lang nang kalimutaw nimo, naapay imong ilong galisngag lang murag palwang gakulob!

      And your head was meant to be there just to grow some hair while your brain serves as fertilizer. UTOK PARA BUHOK! LOLLOLOLLOL!!

      No one amuses me like you do, Tomi. A milion thanks for the good laugh!

      August 15, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  19. TheVocalAtheist

    The Tennessean caught up with Barton to get his reaction to these developments and the criticism that his work has been receiving and he offered up the most perfectly Bartontonian defense one could have imagined:

    Barton said he met with a different group of scholars recently and they approved of his work.

    “I can’t tell you how many Ph.D.’s were in the room,” he said.

    But he would not give any names, saying the scholars hadn’t given their permission for him do so.

    August 11, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  20. TheVocalAtheist

    And claims:

    The Southern Poverty Law Center called him a "domestic terrorist."
    There are no grocery stores within the city of Detroit.
    An elementary school student was yelled at for praying before lunch.
    Mentions of Jesus were banned at military funerals.
    Hate Crimes legislation was designed to imprison pastors.
    Abstinence will make you richer.
    God created our system of elected government.
    The Const*itution quotes the Bible "verbatim."
    Again claiming the Const*itution quotes the Bible "verbatim."
    Many of the clauses in the Const*itution are "direct quotations out of the Bible."

    August 11, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
    • TheVocalAtheist

      "One of the main keys to Barton's success as a right-wing "expert" is that nobody on the Right ever bothers to check anything that he says ... or hold him accountable for all of the things that he gets wrong."

      August 11, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      @TVA.

      fundies do not believe in critical thinking. It's a tenet of their religion. They believe everything their pastors tell them to read.

      August 11, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • exlonghorn

      Yeah, if you're a big believer in the bible, fact-checking and critical thinking isn't your strong point.

      Having said that, people can believe whatever they want as long as they keep it away from me, public schools, government, and law.

      August 12, 2012 at 11:13 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.