Key Words turns off caps lock key

Key Words blogger Daniel MacIntyre has noticed my reference to his blog and has posted some “corrections”–of my “mistakes.”

First of all, the professor seems to think that I have a problem with the idea that God is smarter than Darwin. I don’t. God beats Darwin any day of the week and six times on Sunday. This is easily exemplified by the fact that I have attacked Darwinists before – most recently in an article posted only one month prior.

If “Darwinists” are wrong about evolution, then that means the Creator failed to equip the biological portion of His Creation with the kind of sophisticated, elegant, and ingenious design that Darwin and his successors have come up with. Evolution, after all, is a mechanism that not only provides for tremendous innovation and refinements in biological systems, it’s also a tuning and repair mechanism that allows an ecosystem to replace species killed off by disease, disaster, or ordinary extinction. What’s more, evolutionary scientists are claiming to derive their detailed knowledge of this simple yet powerful system through observation of nature (i.e. of Creation), but if God failed to create it, then that means they are inventing a superior system without His help. That would mean scientists are at least acting smarter than God, assuming a smart God might have some reason for implementing a stupid design that was inferior to what unbelievers could come up with.

So yes, I think he’s got quite a significant problem with Darwin and company acting like more intelligent designers than God, whether he realizes it or not.

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Christian Apologetics Ministries odds and ends

I suppose I’m nothing if not thorough, so let me respond to a last few errors and misconceptions in Anthony Horvath’s penultimate and final posts. Y’all are probably getting bored with this by now, so feel free to skip this one. :)

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Due regard

Anthony Horvath did make a comment which I think deserves a post unto itself.

He quotes me as saying:

Now, he continues to focus on my emphasis on the ethical indiscretions of scientists. There is a reason for it, and namely it is this: people are giving undue regard to scientists.

To which he replies,

Nonsense. That’s like citing a few examples of spectacular plane crashes and then saying that people are putting “undue confidence” in the safety of air travel.

By this he shows that he is simply out of touch with reality.

He fails to document what it is about reality that I’m out of touch with, so let’s just take a quick survey of the relevant points, shall we?

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Time well spent

I’ve certainly enjoyed my discussion with Anthony Horvath over the past few days, and it’s been gratifying to see how this exchange has altered his perception of Jim Watson. Going into this past weekend, Horvath was convinced that Watson was guilty of “putting your foot in it” with remarks that assert that racism has a basis in evolutionary theory. It’s pretty clear that Horvath originally thought that Watson’s remarks were themselves racist, since he used this case as the headliner for a post on why scientists should not receive “undue regard” (supplemented by additional examples of scientists behaving unethically), and since he assumed he was being called a racist when I pointed out that he was essentially agreeing with Watson.

His first reaction was to deny that he had agreed with Watson, except perhaps on a minor, innocuous point.

Now, I did struggle to discern where I agreed with Watson on a genetic basis for racism. I don’t see where I spoke to that at all.

Genetics, of course, being the link that is supposed to tie racism to evolutionary theory. He denies agreeing with Watson because he still sees Watson’s remarks as being embarrassingly racist. But on further reflection, a mere day or two later, Horvath seems to have completely reversed his perception of Jim Watson. Instead of being an unduly regarded scientist demonstrating a lack of ethical integrity, Watson now seems to be, in Horvath’s view, an unfairly reproached scientist who holds scientifically-based ethical views that no reasonable person ought to be ashamed to agree with.

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Fun with Christian Apologetics Ministries

Apparently Anthony Horvath is having fun with our little discussion, even if there’s a certain element of fantasy involved.

Judging from his last entry, it looks like I’ve stumped him. Always fun to stump an evolutionist and skeptic when you get a chance. :) I almost don’t want to clear things up because I like the idea that he’s been stewing in my arguments. :)

I guess if you’re a Christian apologist, it’s quite a kick to give an unclear presentation of your views and then have a skeptic reserve judgment and ask for a clarification so as not to draw unfair conclusions. That doesn’t really sound like “stumping the skeptic” to me, but I guess when Christianity is all you have to work with you have to settle for what you can get. Even if you have to fantasize about the other guy “stewing.” ;)

He does, at least, kinda sorta deny the idea that racism is justified by evolution.

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Christian Apologetics Ministries Chapter 3

Anthony Horvath cheerfully continues the discussion regarding Watson, Darwin, and racism.

I really must deal with this “Horvath is a racist insinuation” that came out of his first reply. In the article that I cited, Watson does not argue from Darwinism to racism, rather he argues that there genetics may have an effect on intelligence. Herr Professor like a lot of other skittish skeptics and scientists knee-jerked there [sic] way into describing this as ‘racist.’

Now remember, Watson’s original comment, which Horvath quoted and which he apparently finds to be entirely lacking in racism, is this:

Dr Watson said he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours – whereas all the testing says not really”.

The article Horvath linked to goes on to report that Watson

… was quoted as saying his hope is that everyone is equal but that “people who have to deal with black employees find this is not true”.

Sure, nothing racist about that, right? Not according to Horvath.

Watson was denying that he meant anything racist by what he said, and at least in the quotations in that article, there wasn’t anything particularly ‘racist.’

Hmmm, ok, let’s move on.

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“NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER APOLOGIZE TO A LIBERAL!!!”

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you “Key Words: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER APOLOGIZE TO A LIBERAL!!!

Dr. James Watson, Co discoverer of the double helical nature of dna made a statement that was a HORRIBLE mistake – he apologized.

The statement he apologized for was that human beings that are separated by geography just might not evolve identically – an assertion Darwinists maintain strongly.

Yep, that’s right. People from outside Africa never visit Africa, and people from Africa never go outside Africa. The African population is geographically isolated.

Sheesh. The lengths people will go to in order to defend the idea that God must be too stupid to have designed evolution.

What an odd argument…

Yes, I’ve already responded to Anthony Horvath’s response regarding racism. But there was something in his argument that’s been bugging me, something that didn’t quite make sense to me. Yet he seems to think that it has a significant bearing on his claim not to be a racist.

Now, I did struggle to discern where I agreed with Watson on a genetic basis for racism. I don’t see where I spoke to that at all. Allow me to go on the record. That genetics can affect intelligence I think is obvious. I have trouble believing that Herr Professor has not heard of Downs Syndrome. He is a professor, after all. That means he’s smart. Right? But just in case, here is a refresher of this genetic ailment that impacts cognizance. That genetics may influence intelligence I think is, if you will pardon the pun, a no-brainer.

He goes on to insinuate some kind of link between evolution and a variety of nasty things, so clearly he’s thinking there’s some kind of connection between genetics, evolution, and racism. But what could that connection be?
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More on racism from Christian Apologetics Ministries

That didn’t take long. Anthony Horvath has responded to yesterday’s post about his commentary on James Watson’s racist remarks. It’s an interesting (if lengthy) read, and he tries to clarify one or two points, but mostly he takes it as an opportunity to recite another one-sided litany of scientists behaving badly.

I think his list is a bit short. Scientists, like any other group of people, have their good eggs and their bad eggs–mostly good, but even a small number of bad ones can make quite a stink. That’s why it’s important to judge things on their own merits, rather than on the basis of who says them. But Horvath does not discuss the merits or demerits of racism. He just tries to fan around the stink.

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Christianity vs. natural moral sense

A few posts back, I jotted down a quick proverb, “He who praises his God, praises himself.” It’s a shorthand way of expressing the fact that God does not show up in real life, and therefore His authority has to be exercised by believers, in His absence, more or less by default. Because of this, any time believers brag about God’s authority, they’re really boasting their own, while maintaining a pose of being humble and submissive. This kind of duplicity is not merely dishonest, but can actually be harmful to the believer’s own moral and ethical sense.

Writing for Baylor University’s Lariat Online, Dr. Roger Olson provides us with a striking example of the damage one’s natural moral sense can suffer when exposed to too much Christian dogma. While he’s at it, he demonstrates a certain impairment in intellectual integrity as well.

We have to recognize atheists’ full freedom to believe God does not exist, but we don’t have to embrace atheism as a social good. In fact, I would argue that atheism has no redeeming social value.

Atheism undermines values. How? Let’s look at care for others. Yes, an individual atheist might care for other people. But when have you heard of an entire atheist organization serving the poor, the sick or the hungry?

So far, at least, atheists haven’t demonstrated their concern for others in any organized way. Read the rest of this entry »

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