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  1. about 20 hours ago on Back to B.C.

    I’m not sure Wiley’s particularly devout at this point.

  2. 1 day ago on The Fusco Brothers

    Tell that to the NSA. And turn around and face the camera. Face the camera, blast you!

  3. 1 day ago on Speechless

    If you use #2, you have to try harder.

  4. 1 day ago on Real Life Adventures

    Who grinds benches? That’s worthless! It’s like those “hand blenders” in stores—who’s that masochistic?

  5. 1 day ago on In the Bleachers

    The strategy still has its points.

    There. I said it. I’m not proud.

  6. 2 days ago on Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

    It’s rather late for me to wade through all this now, but I shall do so. However, I believe I have run into some of this material before, and it is why I referred to the tendency to confuse the positions. Basically, CS seeks to validate scientifically certain ways of interpreting Genesis and the Bible in general. This is why such people tend to believe that creation occurred only a few thousand years ago. Now, I could easily imagine someone pursuing ID who had never even heard of the Bible. The ID crowd tend to sound a lot like other scientists, except that they accept the possibility and even reality that the appearance of design is more than mere appearance.

    Have you actually read these people’s books? I’m not asking you to believe everything they say, just to know what they say. For ID, I would suggest Dembski and Behe (you can find lectures and interviews on YouTube). For CS, it’s more chaotic, and frankly, I don’t advise studying the positions in depth. The link with pseudo-science is (and always has been) strong. You might find this interesting: It’s one of the major CS sites explaining why ID has good points but is still suspicious.

    Anyway, my point is not that ID (to say nothing of CS) is the Herald of Truth. It is that we should find out what people actually say before ranting about them.

  7. 2 days ago on Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

    Can you be specific, or is this a general-purpose mini-rant? I acknowledge (and I think always have) that the physical sciences are out of field for me. My background is in the social sciences (primarily linguistics) and humanities.

    But I have actually read the works of CS and ID people and listened to their talks. I know their positions extremely well, and I also know that they are frequently and prejudicially misstated. I have also noticed that in legal settings, people who are not in fact experts in any relevant field (though in theory they consult with those who are) wind up pronouncing on matters beyond their competence. (This also happens in legislatures, which explains a lot.)

    Oh, and a further relevant datum: scientists have a bizarre habit of making philosophical claims that for some reason they think are statements of Science.

    Anyway, if you have a definite claim, I will entertain it.

  8. 2 days ago on F Minus

    I think most of us found that obvious. Not everyone, evidently, but most.

  9. 2 days ago on Back to B.C.

    Water you scared of, Wiley?

  10. 2 days ago on Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

    I don’t think creationists generally believe that fossils can appear spontaneously. Creation Science people generally say fossils are produced by rapid burial (especially during a flood)—not spontaneous appearance. There is a less common view that God created the world mature, with all the features a several-billion-year-old earth-like planet ought to have—including fossils. In this view, the fossils aren’t there to provide historical information, any more than the genealogies in Genesis are meant to provide chronological information, but are merely part of the back-story of the planet. But even so, they wouldn’t have appeared “spontaneously”; God would have put them there as necessary features of the artwork as a whole.

    On the other hand, the idea that life could arise without significant help from a super-intelligent and effectively omnipotent agent seems to me extremely improbable. Life is complex and fragile, and would have arisen under adverse circumstances. The last time I checked, there really wasn’t a scientific account of the origin of life. There are only guesses that come across as increasingly desperate.

    After all, what mechanism is there to provide increasing complexity? Evolution can’t be invoked, because it requires life to work. So how can we have a gradual increase of complexity in a single quasi-organism (there is no descent with change possible)?