Re: [asa] The Assault on Reason' in America

From: PvM <>
Date: Sun May 27 2007 - 22:50:14 EDT

Let me get this straight, Janice quotes from Singer but does not
really stand behind the claims? That is of course a very smart thing
to do but any reasonable observer may have been of the opinion that
Janice actually supported these claims when she 'cut and pasted' them
into her posting. Now, it seems that Janice is reluctant to really
support these claims, other than by repeating her argument that one
should re-read them. A fascinating response which fails to address how
these claims in proper context appear to be a bit different. For
instance, Janice has failed to explain why this example shows
manipulation or intimidation by the VP?

Janice makes much of the fact that Lancaster was 'forced' to retract
his claims because of a SLAPP suit and he lacked the funds to further
defend himself, however Lancaster has fully retracted his claims. Was
Janice aware of this? Was Janice aware of the depositions? Did Janice
do her full homework?

Second of all, there is no evidence of manipulation or intimidation by
the VP in the case of Singer.
Finally, I provided you with the relevant depositions of the various
people involved, and finally I showed you an example of how Singer's
claim about Revelle's daughter failed to live up to its expectations.
I hope that this may help you be more informed the next time you 'cut
and paste'.

Read the documents before jumping to conclusions Janice. All the
necessary information is out there. That you are jumping to
conclusions based on a single document indeed supports the VP's
suggestion that we may be abandoning reason and are being manipulated
by others. That's what worries the VP and that's what worries me too.
Be a skeptic, by all means, but that means a lot of hard work (and no,
cut and paste is not considered hard work by any reasonable standard).

On 5/27/07, Janice Matchett <> wrote:
> At 04:51 PM 5/26/2007, PvM wrote:
> "..So let's focus on the Singer v. Lancaster in the issue of Veep and
> Revelle and Janice's assertions of manipulation and intimidation by the Veep
> of science and scientists: Double checking the statements and claims can be
> helpful .." ~ Pim
> @@ Two things:
> [1] They weren't "Janice's assertions", they were Singers'.
> [2] Yes, you need to do a "double check" since on your first check, you
> missed the fact that he won his case and the liar had to retract his lies
> and state in writing that others had also lied. The details are PLAINLY
> laid out here:

Nothing there to support Janice oops Singer's claims about
manipulation or intimidation by the VP.

> When the president of the United States stood before the people of this nation and invited us to
> "imagine" a terrorist attack with a nuclear weapon, he was referring to terrorists who
> actually had no connection to Iraq. But because our nation had been
> subjected to the horrors of 9/11, when our president said "imagine with me
> this new fear," it was easy enough to bypass the reasoning process that
> might otherwise have led people to ask, "Wait a minute, Mr. President,
> where's your evidence?" .." ~ AlGore (one of the three stooges in the stage
> act: Hanson, Chopak & Gore)
> "Seems quite accurate." ~ Pim
> @@ Ya think so, huh? Here are the LIARS in their own words:
> Tooooo funny!
> Hahahahahahaha.

And despite Janice's 'rebuttal' the statement still standas as quite
accurate. All Fox (you really show attempt a more credible scholarly
source for your information) has done is to show that 1) Gore
considered Hussein a threat 2) that in 2002 he stated that Hussein has
secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons stored throughout
his country.

However, the president, who did have access to top secret information
should have known better. Gore is correct, that Gore himself may have
been misled to believe the same, merely shows how the manipulation of
popular opinion is working.

We were misled and manipulated into following a poorly chosen action
which could have been easily avoided. But the smell of oil was just
too overwhelming it seems.

> "Certainly nothing close to 'a lie' let alone libelous (on the part of the
> Veep)" ~ Pim
> @@ Most everything he said was a bald-faced lie.

And yet you seem to have been unable to present much information to
show that this is the case.

Funny how Janice seems to prove how the VP's concerns are quite accurate.

But we are getting side tracked here. The thread is about how the US
has abandoned science in favor of manipulation, and combined with the
'Scandal of the evangelical Mind' , as a Christian we should be
concerned that our actions do not reflect reason but are rather being
manipulated by the media.
Just imagine the cost to the impressionable minds of our Christian
youth when they are exposed to the anti-scientific musings of YEC or
more recently ID. We should be worried.

In this context an old letter to the editor by GG seems of interest

GG appeals to the concept of 'fairness', freedom of scientific
inquiry, following where the evidence leads and other vague concepts.

Two comments stand out

<quote>Despite claims to the contrary, methodological naturalism is
neither grounded in the origins of modern science nor consistent with
the principle of free scientific inquiry.

For example, Isaac Newton had no trouble offering a design argument,
based on scientific evidence, in his greatest scientific publication,
Principia. </quote>

Neil deGrasse Tyson shows how Newton indeed introduced design when his
math did not add up and he felt compelled to introduce the helping
hand of God (only temporarily as history has shown).

<quote>Newton feared that all this pulling would render the orbits in
the solar system unstable. His equations indicated that the planets
should long ago have either fallen into the Sun or flown the
coop-leaving the Sun, in either case, devoid of planets. Yet the solar
system, as well as the larger cosmos, appeared to be the very model of
order and durability. So Newton, in his greatest work, the Principia,
concludes that God must occasionally step in and make things right:

The six primary Planets are revolved about the Sun, in circles
concentric with the Sun, and with motions directed towards the same
parts, and almost in the same plane. . . . But it is not to be
conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many
regular motions. . . . This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets,
and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an
intelligent and powerful Being.

In the Principia, Newton distinguishes between hypotheses and
experimental philosophy, and declares, "Hypotheses, whether
metaphysical or physical, whether of occult qualities or mechanical,
have no place in experimental philosophy." What he wants is data,
"inferr'd from the ph¾nomena." But in the absence of data, at the
border between what he could explain and what he could only honor-the
causes he could identify and those he could not-Newton rapturously
invokes God:

Eternal and Infinite, Omnipotent and Omniscient; . . . he governs all
things, and knows all things that are or can be done. . . . We know
him only by his most wise and excellent contrivances of things, and
final causes; we admire him for his perfections; but we reverence and
adore him on account of his dominion.

A century later, the French astronomer and mathematician Pierre-Simon
de Laplace confronted Newton's dilemma of unstable orbits head-on.
Rather than view the mysterious stability of the solar system as the
unknowable work of God, Laplace declared it a scientific challenge.

Should we really be impressed by using Newton as an example of the
'benefits of design' in science?

Back to GG: Methodological naturalism is a philosophical assumption
that some want to impose on science.

It seems to me that GG is using the same flawed logic of Johnson and
others by conflating methodological and philosophical naturalism.

GG ends 'hopeful'

<quote>The genie is already out of the bottle -- there are prominent
scientists around the world engaged in Intelligent Design research in
their disciplines. Science does not progress by imposing doctrinal
edicts, but by following the evidence of nature wherever it happens to

So far however there is NO evidence that ID has contributed in a
non-begging manner to scientific inquiry. At best it can be argued to
be stiffling, like in Newton's case, at worst, it is an approach of
ignorance and hope that our God can be detected in the ever decreasing
gaps of our Knowledge rather than admire His presence in that which we
do understand.

On Postdarwinist, Denyse O'Leary shows a similar confusion about MN

<quote>If you have evidence, you must be a materialist, for your own
safety. If you are not a materialist, you cannot have evidence. That
rule is called methodological naturalism, if you must know the fancy
terminology. It is a popular way for Christians and other theists to
sell out quietly to materialism.)</quote>

A popular way for Christians and other theists to sell out quietly to

Perhaps educating out fellow Christians about science would avoid that
which St Augustine so wisely pointed out?
Certainly, Dick Fisher has pointed out how the creation museum
provides Christians with a poor resource for science.

Or to put the issue in a question: Are we ready to abandon reason ?

All these issues in the end come together as some have referred to as
'the scandal of the evangelical mind'

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Received on Sun May 27 22:50:47 2007

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