Manawatu 5: the end of the road?

I’m not sure how much longer the Admin at Manawatu Christian Apologetics Society can hold out, but it looks like he’s reaching the point where he’s not getting as much satisfaction out of witnessing as he expected.

I don’t have the time to engage in cheap-shop comments from you, Professor. You can post what you like on you website and gain a few comments from your followers, however the facts march on.

Indeed, it seems he’s not willing/able to engage my comments at all. His tactic here is the same as it was before: apply a dismissive label, and then drop the subject. He throws in some vague, triumphalist-sounding rah-rah, but the real point is clear: my comments aren’t giving him the opportunity to promote his beliefs, and therefore he’s beginning to question the value of the time he’s devoting to the discussion.

This, as I’ve mentioned before (in the “About” link above) is what the trained Unapologist should be working towards: “to confront the superstitious with the real world, often enough and convincingly enough that it takes all the fun out of defending superstition.” Mr. Admin has made it quite clear that he has no intention of changing his beliefs, and it would be a waste of time for us to try. Our goal is to see to it that Christian apologists learn, through repeated experiences, that it is a waste of their time to try and confront the real-world evidence in a way that makes Christianity look real.

Mr. Admin continues:

You mention suppressing evidence.

Well, no. Mr. Admin is the one who keeps bringing up the charge that evidence is being suppressed. I’m merely documenting the fact that the evidence is not being suppressed.

Have you not watched the Peter May versus Stephen Meyer debate. Your guy lost. Or get the MP3s or watch the video here. It is plain to see who wants the evidence suppressed.

And he’s right. It is quite plain that one does not suppress the evidence by debating it in public. Once again Mr. Admin raises the charge and then documents the fact that his charge is untrue.

Notice, too, that no actual science was conducted during that debate. This was not an academic debate, but a rhetorical/political/social debate. Meyer “won” in the sense that he did a better job of affirming the naive and superstitious conclusions that Mr. Admin has already embraced. Meyer won a social popularity contest conducted among friends–hardly a surprise. His attempt at actual science, however, fared much worse.

Mr. Admin posts another comment that refers to an interesting unwritten “law of nature” that creationists and ID’ers seem to believe in.

If you want to see how the EVIDENCE is working against evolutionism, have a look at this page. This describes the hopelessness facing evolutionism and the dismay at the levels of complexity that could not possible have evolved by RM + NS.

The unwritten “law of nature” goes like this: in the natural world, there is some invisible, undetectable force that continuously monitors the perceived complexity of the results of natural processes, and magically shuts down any process whose results are too complex to be unraveled by a few minutes of armchair philosophizing by a 12-year-old with an average public school education. Any observed phenomenon that is not immediately and intuitively obvious to the average observer, therefore, must be the result of some kind of magical being with human-like intelligence.

Yes, I know it sounds kind of silly, but that’s pretty much ID in a nutshell. (It’s also primitive animism in a nutshell. Coincidence?) The fact is that simple, interdependent, interactive natural processes do produce results that are subtle, sophisticated, and nuanced. Take weather for example: it’s extremely complex, predictable yet unpredictable, with a wide range of “behaviors” so apparently moody and capricious that virtually all primitive religions regard(ed) it as the product of an intelligent weather god or gods. Yet it’s basically the interactions of temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, airborne particles, and the tilt and rotation of the earth–simple natural processes that interact in subtle and complex ways to produce the weather.

Or take organic chemistry. All the myriad manifestations of life, all the intricacies of life processes, are ultimately the consequences of the electrostatic attractions and repulsions of protons and electrons. All the different molecular combinations and chemical reactions occur because of a small number of attractive/repulsive forces that exist and interact between subatomic particles. (That’s oversimplified, I know, but I’m just giving a broad illustration here.) How can such simple, fundamental properties produce such a wide range of complex behaviors? Well, that’s just nature for you. Naive laymen like Mr. Admin jump to the conclusion that nature can’t make complex results out of simple processes because the average layman really has no clue how much nature can accomplish with just a few simple interactions.

It’s amazing, but more importantly, it’s understandable, if you take the time to study it scientifically. That, however, is precisely what ID advocates like Meyer don’t want us to do. Intelligent Design is an argument from ignorance, an attempt to find a gap in human knowledge big enough to assert as the place where God is hiding. If science were to delve into the complexities of life, and trace out the specific interactions that allow simple natural forces to produce such apparently complex results, it would undermine the ID assertion that such results can only be produced by intelligent design.

So yes indeed, Mr. Admin, it is quite clear who wants to suppress the evidence. It’s people like Stephen Meyer who want to want to appeal to human ignorance as a justification for jumping to the conclusion that God did it.

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