Turn off irony meters if you’re on your way to townhall.com

Mine died laughing. Writing for townhall.com, Marvin Olasky has come up with the ultimate slam against modern evolutionary theory: Darwinism is “Too Old-Fashioned To Be True.”

Reporters pretending to referee the origin debate used to have it easy: slick evolutionists vs. hick creationists, progress vs. regress. Now, Darwinism is looking fuddy-duddy, and sophisticated critiques of it are becoming more diverse.

Yep, the reason why we ought to reject modern science and go back to believing Bronze Age creation myths is because “Darwinism” has become “old-fashioned.”

I warned you about turning off those meters…

Key Words: More on Evolution

Daniel MacIntyre wants to continue our discussion on evolution and racism.

I have never stated that there is no evolution. fully believe that species change and that natural selection is a great way to winnow out the defects that crop up. My argument has been that Darwinists haven’t shown that this is sufficient to explain the full picture. Specifically, that the Intelligent design is still a valid competing theory. The link the Professor either failed to follow or ignored is but one example of my arguments in this area. Oh, and as far as ID being a “stupid design that was inferior to what unbelievers could come up with,” not knowing the reason for the design is not the same thing as knowing that the design was inferior.

Notice the careful word choice here. “I fully believe that species change,” not “I fully believe that new species can and do arise by descent with modification from common ancestors,” and “natural selection is a great way to winnow out…defects” not “variation plus natural selection is a powerful mechanism for generating novel structures and behaviors.” Not to read too much into what he didn’t say, but it does sound like he’s appealing to the guarded and reluctant admission by creationists of the fact that some evolutionary mechanisms do exist. The typical creationist demurral, however, is that these mechanisms are much more limited, and far less capable, than evolutionists describe them as being.

And that’s my point. It’s not that the creationist design is inferior because we don’t know what purpose a designer might have had in mind. It’s inferior because anti-Darwinism is defined by the idea that Creation lacks the sophisticated capabilities that make it possible for new and innovative species to evolve. Read the rest of this entry »

XFiles Friday: The “free will” argument for why there is no evidence of God

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, p. 30-31)

Ok, we’re 30 pages into the book, and so far Geisler and Turek have worked hard to stack the deck in their own favor whilst confidently boasting that it is non-believers who suffer from that most shameful of disabilities, having faith. You might think by now they’d be ready to start showing us some of the incontrovertible evidence they claim to have, but no, we’re still stuck trying to spread the insinuation that non-Christians secretly know that Christians are right, and simply refuse to admit it because they’re not willing to live moral lives.

While many non-Christians have honest intellectual questions, we have found that many more seem to have a volitional resistance to Christianity. In other words, it’s not that they don’t have evidence to believe, it’s that they don’t want to believe…

The skeptic might then ask, “But why would anyone want Christianity to be false? Why would anyone not want the free gift of forgiveness?” Good question, but we think the answer lies in the volitional factors we touched on earlier. Namely, many believe that accepting the truth of Christianity would require them to change their thinking, friends, priorities, lifestyle, or morals, and they are not quite willing to give up control over their lives in order to make those changes.

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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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