Science & Faith -- Dr. James Tour

Via:  CB  •  2 months ago  •  75 comments

Science & Faith -- Dr. James Tour
Does anyone understand the chemical details behind macroevolution?"

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Science & Faith -- Dr. James Tour * Vid.1

original

I used to believe that my outward confession of skepticism regarding evolution was also of little consequence to my career as a scientist. Specifically, in the past, I wrote that my standing as a scientist was “based primarily upon my scholarly peer-reviewed publications.” Thirty years ago, that was the case. I no longer believe that, however. Ever since the time of the legal case referenced above [See: Seeded content], I have seen a saddening progression at several institutions—which is a further testament to the disheartening collateral damage resulting from lawsuits. I have witnessed unfair treatment upon scientists that do not accept macroevolutionary arguments and for their having signed the Dissent statement regarding the examination of Darwinian Theory. I never thought that science would have evolved like this. I deeply value the academy; teaching, professing and research in the university are my privileges and joys. Rice University, from the administration, has always been gracious and open. The president of Rice University, David Leebron, writes yearly to the faculty that a,

“core value of our university is free and open inquiry. We encourage robust debate on the difficult issues of the day, and we welcome people with many points of view to our campus to better understand those issues and the differences that can divide us. That can and does mean that we sometimes provide a forum for opinions that may be controversial — or even on occasion reprehensible — to many or a few. While we cannot and will not censor the expression of divergent opinions, we do expect those opinions be expressed with civility and with respect for other points of view.”

Hence, by my observation, the unfair treatment upon the skeptics of macroevolution has not come from the administration level, at least at Rice University. But my recent advice to my graduate students has been direct and revealing: If you disagree with theories of evolution, keep it to yourselves if you value your careers, unless you’re one of those champions for proclamation; I know that that fire exists in some, so be ready for lead-ridden limbs. But if the scientific community has taken these shots at senior faculty, it will not be comfortable for the young non-conformist. When the power-holders permit no contrary discussion, can a vibrant academy be maintained? Is there a University (university means ‘unity in diversity’)? For the United States, I hope that the scientific community and the National Academy of Sciences in particular would investigate the disenfranchisement that is manifest upon those holding a skeptical view based upon the scientific data, and thereby address the inequities. Or could it be that the National Academy of Sciences itself has turned a blind eye to the disenfranchisement, or even worse, promoted it? Shudder the thought that such a day would ever come!

DR. James Touring Speaking about Evolution * Vid.2

Based upon my faith in the biblical text, I do believe (yes, faith and belief go beyond scientific evidence for this scientist) that God created the heavens and the earth and all that dwell therein, including a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. As for many of the details and the time-spans, I personally become less clear. Some may ask, What’s “less clear” about the text that reads, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth”? That is a fair question, and I wish I had an answer that would satisfy them. But I do not because I remain less clear. So, in addition to my chemically based scientific resistance to a macroevolutionary proposal, I am also theologically reticent to embrace it. As a lover of the biblical text, I cannot allegorize the Book of Genesis that far, lest, as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof said, “If I try and bend that far, I’ll break!” God seems to have set nature as a clue, not a solution, to keep us yearning for him. And if some day we do understand the mechanisms for these macroevolutionary changes, and also the processes that led to the origin of first life, it will not lessen God. As with all discoveries, like when the genetic code in the double-stranded DNA was discovered, they will serve to underscore the magnanimity of God.

As a scientist and a Christian (Messianic Jew), I am unsure of many things in both science and faith. But my many questions are not fundamental to my salvation. Salvation is based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah), my confession in him as Savior and my belief in his physical resurrection from the dead. Indeed, the physical resurrection is an atypical example where God works beyond the normally observed physical laws of science in order to accomplish his purposes. Therefore it’s called a miracle. And thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.

* Speed videos up? Use Youtube settings wheel.
Emphases  by Calbab.

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CB
1  seeder  CB    2 months ago

"Does anyone understand the chemical details behind macroevolution?"

 
 
CB
1.1  seeder  CB  replied to  CB @1    2 months ago

How does a cell operate, chemically?

 
 
TᵢG
2  TᵢG    2 months ago

Dr Tour is certainly correct in the large.   Science does not explain everything in reality.    So one can take any aspect of reality and drill down into the details to the point of active scientific research.   This is the point where scientists say 'we do not (yet) know'.

His talk ultimately centered on abiogenesis (not evolution) and molecular chemistry (biochemical evolution is biology).    Abiogenesis, if it occurs, is not yet understood and it is quite fair to note that.  But it is misleading to suggest that this lack of understanding undermines biochemical evolution.   Biochemical evolution is all about speciation, natural selection, mutation, etc.    The research in biochemical evolution is no longer questioning if this is indeed the process that produces the variations of life - that is settled and highly corroborated.   Current research is trying to understand how this works in more detail.   So when Dr. Tour complains that science lacks a detailed understanding of the molecular chemistry of evolution he is correct.   There is plenty more work to do.    The notion of scientific understanding hitting a boundary of understanding is even more stark when one turn to quantum dynamics.   Science understands the behavior of the quantum world better than any other area of reality yet does not have a clue as to why it works this way.

Where Dr. Tour goes off the rails is (of course) his insertion of God (especially being so specific as to mean the Christian God).   He is making the classic argument of incredulity.   'This is very complex stuff with moving parts and we do not know how this came about.   That means God did it.'.    No, lack of understanding does not mean 'God' - it means we do not yet know.    

I think everyone agrees that the cell is an amazing construct.   Understanding how a cell could form is indeed the end objective of abiogenesis.   Science has a very long way to go before this is understood.   But given the level of understanding that has been achieved in physics at the quantum level (understanding how atoms themselves are formed) we have a gauge on what science is capable of doing.   It can go well beyond our senses into a reality that makes no intuitive sense and predict it with spectacular precision.   It can analyze photons that have traveled billions of light years to identify amazing cosmological constructs - including the emergence of light itself 300,000 years after the Big Bang.    So the marvelous cell will most likely eventually be understood.


In the meantime, just as ancient people pointed to thunderstorms (which was entirely beyond their ability to fathom) and claimed 'God' we will have human beings pointing to areas of reality that we do not yet fully understand and claim 'God'.   But in both cases, the running to God as the explanation is wishful thinking / confirmation bias.   Saying 'there must be a super powerful sentient entity doing this' is not an explanation.   It has no evidence and no predictive power.   It is simply a placeholder.   It introduces an hypothetical sentient entity as the 'answer' yet (of course) entirely forgets about the fact that this entity would now have to be explained.   Science does not employ the 'insert magic here' approach - gaps in knowledge are honestly noted as such.

I think we will understand the cell before we understand a sentient creator entity (or even know if such an entity actually exists).

 
 
CB
2.1  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2    2 months ago

It seems to me Dr. Tour is highly indicating the internal operations of a cell imply "thinking" of some kind. He actually uses the word, "mind" in regards to cell operations several times. As a highly trained scientist, who is steeped in the rules of science, he can not be simply being clumsy to do so. This world-class researcher, professor, and teacher appears wonder-struck by what he sees occurring at the molecular cell level. I have no way at this point and time to see what he knows. I can only share his work and thoughts.

Dr. Tour has a concern and a problem:

I have witnessed unfair treatment upon scientists that do not accept macroevolutionary arguments and for their having signed the Dissent statement regarding the examination of Darwinian Theory.

I hope that the scientific community and the National Academy of Sciences in particular would investigate the disenfranchisement that is manifest upon those holding a skeptical view based upon the scientific data, and thereby address the inequities. Or could it be that the National Academy of Sciences itself has turned a blind eye to the disenfranchisement, or even worse, promoted it? Shudder the thought that such a day would ever come!

(On the intersection of science and faith. Dr. Tour is a "wonder" to me. As I watch this highly logical man of science in the videos above and as I listen to his open confessions of faith weaved into his lectures, I am fascinated by the science, faith, and the quality of his "Jewish-ness." Dr. Tour is a Messianic Jew—not someone we get to experience this kind of passion from often.)

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.1.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  CB @2.1    2 months ago
It seems to me Dr. Tour is highly indicating the internal operations of a cell imply "thinking" of some kind.

But let's take that to its next logical conclusion. If a living cell is so complicated and seemingly "well designed" inferring some kind of thinking to produce it, how much more complex must the cells of the thinker be who created it. And if that's the case, then those God cells are infinitely more complicated to make up an all powerful omniscient spirit being capable of not only thought, but of creation.

So while you can assume Dr. Tour, as a "highly trained scientist", is immune to clumsy or errant beliefs based upon personal desires instead of rigid scientific method, it would appear he has done just that. Not only is he making the huge leap from "Hey, living cells are amazing" to "God must have done it", he's leaping straight to "The Christian God of the bible that I was raised to believe in and my parents and peers believe in must be that God". He's doing so with absolutely zero scientific method, zero experimentation and accepting only his own personal experiences and observations.

Humans came up with a story about an Irish giant Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn MacCool), from the Fenian Cycle of Gaelic mythology, who was challenged to a fight by the Scottish giant Benandonner. Fionn accepted the challenge and built a causeway across the North Channel so that the two giants could meet. In one version of the story, Fionn defeats Benandonner. In another, Fionn hides from Benandonner when he realises that his foe is much bigger than he is. Fionn's wife, Oonagh, disguises Fionn as a baby and tucks him in a cradle. When Benandonner sees the size of the 'baby', he reckons that its father, Fionn, must be a giant among giants. He flees back to Scotland in fright, destroying the causeway behind him so that Fionn would be unable to chase him down. Across the sea, there are identical basalt columns (a part of the same ancient lava flow) at Fingal's Cave on the Scottish isle of Staffa, and it is possible that the story was influenced by this.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant%27s_Causeway

This was all to explain a natural phenomenon we now call the Giants Causeway. Humans looked at something seemingly complex, an apparently designed stone causeway.  How else could such perfectly cut and orderly hexagons exist, right? We of course now know it was intense volcanic activity causing highly fluid molten basalt to intrude through chalk beds to form an extensive lava plateau. As the lava cooled, contraction occurred. Horizontal contraction fractured in a similar way to drying mud, with the cracks propagating down as the mass cooled, leaving pillar-like structures, which are also fractured horizontally into hexagon shaped "biscuits".

So while anyone can believe whatever they want, and any scientist is welcome to carry spiritual beliefs along side their scientific knowledge, that doesn't make their spiritual beliefs scientific. They can still fall prey to the desire to fill in the blanks even when facts or evidence aren't yet available.

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1    2 months ago
It seems to me Dr. Tour is highly indicating the internal operations of a cell imply "thinking" of some kind.

He has not suggested any form of consciousness.  I know his language was colorfully anthropomorphic (I tend to do that too) but he offered no argument that a cell is actually conscious.   (By the way, there are those who do argue that the cell is conscious for whatever that is worth.   See Deepak Chopra.   No evidence has been provided for this.)

Dr. Tour has a concern and a problem:

Science is a full contact sport.   It is adversarial so it is best to not make claims unless one has very good supporting evidence.

On the intersection of science and faith. Dr. Tour is a "wonder" to me.

He is a scientist who believes in the Christian God.   They exist and I am pretty sure I understand why.

 
 
CB
2.1.3  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.2    2 months ago
He is a scientist who believes in the Christian God.   They exist and I am pretty sure I understand why.

Why? Please share.

Also, I did not write that, Dr. Tour stated the cell is "conscious." He leaves it us to the listener, in my opinion.  For his part imagery like, "A cell is a factory." - "Construction." - "Deconstruction." - "Rebuild." "Operate." - is employed. Finally ending with, "It needs further investigation."

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.4  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.3    2 months ago
Also, I did not write that, Dr. Tour stated the cell is "conscious."

Thinking implies consciousness.   

Why? Please share.

Because some people want to believe in a loving God and will do so regardless of intelligence, logic and/or evidence.

 
 
CB
2.1.5  seeder  CB  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1.1    2 months ago

@5:27 in the first video it is shared Dr. James Tour grew up in a "secular Jewish home." He did not become a Christian-believer until in college (and personalized it into "Messianic Jew" at some point.)

Show me where Dr. Tour plainly states, "God done it." In fact, it is both odd and interesting to me how he speaks and writes on these two disciplines separately and distinctly in a lecture. Allowing others to draw their own ideas and conclusions.

Now to what I call, "You Could Not Resist":  Sadly, you drag an unrelated mythology story over to confront Dr. Tour's science background (logic) or his faith (wisdom); I do not know which you're after with it.

 
 
CB
2.1.6  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.4    2 months ago

Actually some people are "spiritually and faith activated" and in being so, they search for greater meaning in spiritual books and settings.

In Dr. Tour's case, he is a well-established scientist with over 350 research papers published. Surely, if other scientists value his life's work — they should value the man behind it.

You wrote this:

"He has not suggested any form of consciousness.  I know his language was colorfully anthropomorphic (I tend to do that too) but he offered no argument that a cell is actually conscious." Thinking implies consciousness.

Which is your point? Did Dr. Tour imply consciousness or not, in your opinion?

 
 
CB
2.1.7  seeder  CB  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1.1    2 months ago

Thank you for joining the group. I sure hope you stick around for the good discussions upcoming! Also, check out the other articles on the site (already)!!

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.8  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.6    2 months ago
Which is your point?

First, this is irrelevant - simply semantics.  The point of this seed is not that a cell is conscious or thinks so why dwell on this?

Second, the answer to your question is obvious - all you need do is read what you and I wrote.   Here is the sequence of quotes:

  1. calbab @2.1 - It seems to me Dr. Tour is highly indicating the internal operations of a cell imply "thinking" of some kind.
  2. TiG @2.1.2  - He has not suggested any form of consciousness.
  3. calbab @2.1.3 - Also, I did not write that, Dr. Tour stated the cell is "conscious."
  4. TiG @2.1.4 - Thinking implies consciousness.   

Note:

  1. You posited that Dr. Tour's cell description implied 'thinking'.
  2. I noted that he did not suggest any form of cell consciousness (thus no hint of thinking)
  3. You respond saying you did not use the word 'conscious'
  4. I noted that using the word thinking implies consciousness

The answer is clear in the comments.  Can we drop this tangent now?

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.9  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.5    2 months ago
Show me where Dr. Tour plainly states, "God done it."

He obviously did not use those exact words.   However, do you not recognize that Dr. Tour is arguing that the awesome complexity and sophistication of the Eukaryotic cell is not something that would come by undirected forces?  Same point made when criticizing abiogenesis or evolution not being fully described (yet) in terms of molecular chemistry.   He is arguing for an intelligent designer.   

If you do not see that then what, in your opinion, is Dr. Tour's point when he dwells on what science does not know in a talk that has his Christian beliefs as a backdrop?

 
 
CB
2.1.10  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.8    2 months ago

What do you consider this 'interplay' in the cell to be? Mechanical? (Rhetorical.)

Yes, we can drop it now.

 
 
CB
2.1.11  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.9    2 months ago

Obviously (he does not say "God done it.").

He is arguing for an intelligent designer.

First paragraph from the seeded content:

Origin of Life, Intelligent Design, Evolution, Creation and Faith
(Updated June 2018)

I have been labeled as an Intelligent Design (sometimes called “ID”) proponent. I am not. I do not know how to use science to prove intelligent design although some others might. I am sympathetic to the arguments and I find some of them intriguing, but I prefer to be free of that intelligent design label. As a modern-day scientist, I do not know how to prove intelligent design using my most sophisticated analytical tools— the canonical tools are, by their own admission, inadequate to answer the intelligent design question. I cannot lay the issue at the doorstep of a benevolent creator or even an impersonal intelligent designer. All I can presently say is that my chemical tools do not permit my assessment of intelligent design.

His conclusion to the question of ID: "All I can presently say is that my chemical tools do not permit my assessment of intelligent design."


. . . what, in your opinion, is Dr. Tour's point when he dwells on what science does not know in a talk that has his Christian beliefs as a backdrop?

Dr. Tour is a creature with two natures: so-called, "carnal" and "spirit. Thus, he feels inclined to mention both and to explain that he is unable to fully comprehend either up to now.

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.12  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.10    2 months ago
What do you consider this 'interplay' in the cell to be? Mechanical?

Yes, it is mechanical.   The evidence shows mechanics.   I do not think anyone who understands the meaning of the word 'mechanical' would disagree that the human cell is a mechanism.   Even if this was designed by a sentient entity it would be mechanical.

What else would it be?

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.13  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.11    2 months ago

He rejects being a proponent of Intelligent Design.   I can appreciate that he would not want to have the ID community implicitly define his views (the problem with labels).   But he is nonetheless arguing that the lack of explanation for observed complexity (and sophistication) indicates the hand of God.   That is an intelligent design argument.

 
 
CB
2.1.14  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.12    2 months ago
What else would it be?

So, I suggest the backdrop to the mechanical nature of a cell has overtones of a thinker of some kind. Though to be clear, Dr. Tour subtly conveys meaning without positively making the connection for the listener. Which is important!

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.15  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.14    2 months ago

Yes he clearly is suggesting that the complex machinery of the cell suggests an intelligent designer.   So we agree on this point, right?

 
 
CB
2.1.16  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.15    2 months ago

Dr. Tour has clearly explained his perspective on ID in @ 2.1.11. Also, he has explained what he sees as a scientist through the microscope would cause one to look for a thinker of some kind behind the splendor in a cell, in my opinion. His personal faith informs him such a thinker he would be God. As a scientist he can not tell others what they should consider the cell designer is.

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.17  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.16    2 months ago

I agree.

He believes that the complexity and sophistication of mechanisms such as the eukaryotic cell shows the fingerprints of an intelligent designer and the designer he has in mind is the Christian God.

So where do we go from here?

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.18  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.16    2 months ago
his perspective on ID in @ 2.1.11.

( By the way, if you put the @ sign next to the id the system will automatically generate a link for you. )    For example:  @2.1.11

 
 
CB
2.1.19  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.17    2 months ago

Indeed. He does not wish to carry any excess 'baggage' which ID defenders might be involved in per his explanation. It is a fine distinction.

Where do we go from here?

Well, there is this interesting testimony ( @05:40 - @6:60 of the first video-top of page). It seems an 18 year old comes to faith in God in 1977, becomes a world-class scientist, and firmly holds both disciplines-science and religion-in his life. This is evidence of a compatibility between the two, in my opinion. Dr. Tour mentions no experience of conflict from living with these two worldviews x number of years.

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.20  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.19    2 months ago

People are quite adept at living with contradictions.  

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.1.21  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  CB @2.1.5    2 months ago
Sadly, you drag an unrelated mythology story over to confront Dr. Tour's science background (logic) or his faith (wisdom); I do not know which you're after with it.

I was simply pointing out that when believers put up an example of a believer with a science background as proof that their faith is somehow science based it's plainly ridiculous.

"Based upon my faith in the biblical text, I do believe (yes, faith and belief go beyond scientific evidence for this scientist) that God created the heavens and the earth and all that dwell therein, including a man named Adam and a woman named Eve."

Even Dr Tour admits his "faith and belief" have no scientific basis. Going "beyond" scientific evidence is to traverse the realms of fantasy, conjecture and imagination. And that's fine, just like the people trying to come up with an explanation of the Giants causeway, but it's not science.

So even though he calls himself "Dr" his doctorate in the sciences doesn't make his faith or beliefs any more credible than any other believer and he falls prey to the same logic traps they do. Trying to use cell complexity to leap to the conclusion of a creator is simply ignorant as it ignores logic and defies sense just like leaping to the conclusions some ancient giants must have built a natural causeway because of its complexity.

 
 
CB
2.1.22  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.20    2 months ago

This is a list of Christians in science and technology. It is an expansive listing. Many life stories spanning centuries gone by and proceeding into the future. Too many 'accounts' of nature-spirit co-existing to put into a comment. Check out the link!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christians_in_science_and_technology

 
 
CB
2.1.23  seeder  CB  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1.21    2 months ago
I was simply pointing out that when believers put up an example of a believer with a science background as proof that their faith is somehow science based it's plainly ridiculous.

You are in error, DP! Who has done what you claim in your quote? Dr. Tour is one example of a person for whom faith and science are complementary.

Dr. Tour does not suggest what you claim against him. May I suggest you consider the man and his qualifications and way of life in both spheres, what his real message is, before looking for 'form-factor' ways to criticize him.

As to the rest of your comment beyond your quote above sadly, your contempt for that which for now at least you do not understand, is duly noted.

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.24  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.22    2 months ago

What is your point?   We know that many scientists are religious.   As I noted @2.1.20,  "People are quite adept at living with contradictions.".  

 
 
CB
2.1.25  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.24    2 months ago

Your ". . . contradictions." is an oversimplification. You are entitled to an opinion, nevertheless. If that is your point.

My point? Science and religion can be complementary; especially, both can be in the life of a believer in God.

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.26  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.25    2 months ago
Science and religion can be complementary; especially, both can be in the life of a believer in God.

The human mind can dream up all sorts of excuses.   People can make any contradiction complementary by changing one or both of the contradicting parts.   For example, the Bible states that the entire planet was flooded for about a year and that the water covered the mountains.

Science shows that there is no evidence of a global flood and that there is not enough water to cover the entire planet to a depth that would cover the mountains.   That is a contradiction between a religious position and science.   This can be resolved by several methods (not saying this is valid, just noting what the human mind can do when faced with cognitive dissonance):

  • The flood did not really cover the entire planet - only the part where human beings existed
  • The flood covered some mountains but not the highest mountains
  • The flood was a local flood
  • The flood story is simply a metaphor
  • The water arrived and departed by a miracle - the flood was supernatural
  • There is scientific evidence of a flood - the Grand Canyon was forged by the power of the flood
  • The evidence of the flood is there, we just have not found it yet
  • Science cannot accurately date artifacts so so-called older fossils lying below so-called younger fossils is not reliable.
  • ....

Modern engineering shows that no wooden structure the size of the ark could possible be seaworthy and would bend and twist revealing cracks.   The ark would have sunk.

  • God held the ark together - a miracle
  • God gave Noah vastly superior engineering skills so that he could create a wooden vessel bigger than anything ever built that could stand up to ~ one year in flood waters
  • Engineering is not perfect - just because we have no idea how to build a seaworthy ark of wood does not prove it is impossible

On and on with the contradictions.   I could write a book on this.

Your ". . . contradictions." is an oversimplification

Nuh-uh.   jrSmiley_80_smiley_image.gif

 
 
CB
2.1.27  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.26    2 months ago

So that is where you want to head in the direction of with your comment about "contradictions"—away from Dr. Tour, this article, and onto the Bible. The scope of this discussion does not call for a full-on discussion about "Noah's flood."  Anyway, there exist books about "bible difficulties" available for purchase:

512GCKtipvL._SX298_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg         618kr%2BCfQjL._AC_UL320_SR214,320_.jpg

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.1.28  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  CB @2.1.27    2 months ago
Anyway, there exist books about "bible difficulties" available for purchase

"Bible difficulties" aka contradictions. So what you're saying is that on the surface there are many "bible difficulties" for a scientist to get past, things that seem to contradict what he knows. That's why many theologians and bible apologists work so hard at getting around those contradictions. They hypothesize intent and interpret scripture to meet the needs of those who want to imagine their faith and science can compliment one another instead of contradict each other. A person can worm their way around any contradiction if they have enough desire to do so and give themselves enough mental wiggle room to bend logic. Like superman escaping from a jail cell they grab the bars and pull them apart to explain away things like global flood claims, humans living nearly a thousand years, half-demon/human hybrids, a six day creation, the sun standing still for an entire day and a talking snake and donkey. Sure, taken one at a time believers wiggle around the edges of each contradiction to reality, but taken as a whole it begs credulity. The only reason for trying to come up with implausible explanations for those contradictions is because people want to believe. They want to believe so badly they come up with things like claiming it was some other celestial event that caused light to shine for 24 hours straight like a bright comet or anything other than accepting the claim that both the sun and the moon themselves "stopped". But the book is supposed to be divinely inspired thus a divine being would know that the sun doesn't revolve around the earth and the physics consequences of making the sun and moon "stop" would have likely destroyed all life on earth. But, if you have "faith" you can overcome any contradiction or logical obstacle. That's what "faith" is. If you didn't have any contradictions or obstacles to logic and everything in the bible checked out in our examination and observation of the natural world, you wouldn't need to rely on faith to keep believing. So when you say "faith and science are complimentary" what you're really saying is that you like science, but to bridge the gaps of logic you inevitably run into when reading the bible, you need faith. Like wood putty, with faith you can fill in the gaps between the puzzle pieces that obviously don't fit together but that some are determined to force into the mosaic of their understanding of who and what they are.

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.29  TᵢG  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1.28    2 months ago
A person can worm their way around any contradiction if they have enough desire to do so and give themselves enough mental wiggle room to bend logic.

Emphasizing.

 
 
CB
2.1.30  seeder  CB  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1.28    2 months ago

Returning to the focus of this article, in the first video Dr. Tour, a distinguished chemist and world renown researcher in nanotechnology details his bible reading regiment consisting of two hours a day for over thirty years.

What do you suppose persuaded Dr. Tour to become a Christian and a bible-reader to such lengths?

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.31  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.30    2 months ago
What do you suppose persuaded Dr. Tour to become a Christian and a bible-reader to such lengths?

My guess (and we can only guess) is that Dr. Tour is comforted by the belief in a loving God and the promise of an afterlife (and again seeing departed people).   The comfort drives the belief.   Confirmation bias strengthens the belief.   This is just an hypothesis.   One would need to ask your question directly to Dr. Tour himself.

 
 
CB
2.1.32  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.31    2 months ago

Dr. Tour speaks:

Based upon my faith in the biblical text, I do believe (yes, faith and belief go beyond scientific evidence for this scientist) that God created the heavens and the earth and all that dwell therein, including a man named Adam and a woman named Eve. As for many of the details and the time-spans, I personally become less clear. Some may ask, What’s “less clear” about the text that reads, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth”? That is a fair question, and I wish I had an answer that would satisfy them. But I do not because I remain less clear. So, in addition to my chemically based scientific resistance to a macroevolutionary proposal, I am also theologically reticent to embrace it. As a lover of the biblical text, I cannot allegorize the Book of Genesis that far, lest, as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof said, “If I try and bend that far, I’ll break!” God seems to have set nature as a clue, not a solution, to keep us yearning for him. And if some day we do understand the mechanisms for these macroevolutionary changes, and also the processes that led to the origin of first life, it will not lessen God. As with all discoveries, like when the genetic code in the double-stranded DNA was discovered, they will serve to underscore the magnanimity of God.

As a scientist and a Christian (Messianic Jew), I am unsure of many things in both science and faith. But my many questions are not fundamental to my salvation. Salvation is based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah), my confession in him as Savior and my belief in his physical resurrection from the dead. Indeed, the physical resurrection is an atypical example where God works beyond the normally observed physical laws of science in order to accomplish his purposes. Therefore it’s called a miracle.

 
 
TᵢG
2.1.33  TᵢG  replied to  CB @2.1.32    2 months ago

Where does he state what persuades him to become a Christian and a bible-reader to such lengths? 

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.1.34  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  CB @2.1.30    2 months ago
What do you suppose persuaded Dr. Tour to become a Christian and a bible-reader to such lengths?

It certainly wasn't finding consistencies between his science education and the bibles account. I'm sure he, like I did for the thirty years I was reading the bible daily, chose to look past the incongruity by a combination of faith, interpretation and desire to believe in something more powerful than himself and to give his life supernatural meaning. That's the true reward for a believer, to be part of a superhero club. To believe your all powerful superhero deity will triumph over evil and you'll be there to reap the rewards for having been a faithful servant to the superhero. And they draw strength from numbers, the more fans of their superhero the safer and more assured they feel in the promised rewards.

I have often heard from believers that atheists must not have any purpose in their lives, that without faith in a magical super-being to give their lives a higher purpose they must not feel any purpose at all and thus are less fulfilled than believers. They often act shocked and saddened when encountering non-believers who have no relationship with a magical invisible superhero, much like a Star Wars fan when hearing about an adult on the planet whose never seen the original Star Wars trilogy. "What!?! You don't know what you're missing!"...

So no, I don't think the bible "persuaded" Dr. Tour to believe because it was simpatico with his science background, he was "persuaded" to believe because he was convinced by other believers who guided his indoctrination and initiation into the superhero club telling him about all the perks of club membership. And there's nothing wrong with that, just don't pretend that it was science that led him to his faith, it was faith that led him from his science, to where he had to admit "I do believe (yes, faith and belief go beyond scientific evidence for this scientist) that God created the heavens and the earth". While I don't mind in the slightest when people use faith to imagine something more, to fill in blanks as it were, I do mind when going "beyond" science means to give faith more weight than science, to accept the faith over the contradicting science.

 
 
CB
2.1.35  seeder  CB  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1.34    2 months ago

What means this "visionary theme tangent" you are sharing with us? You seem to be offering up 'truths' and maybe even several truth claims which are not in the writings or statements of Dr. Tour. That is improper.

That Dr. Tour is a persuaded Christian and a daily bible reader for numerous years and a world-renown researcher is not doubted. He has stated it—clearly. That you encounter one or several problems with his beliefs (science and faith being complementary) begs the question:

You should not superimpose another's lack of faith or personal support for science alone onto Dr. Tour. He has not done what you claim.

"Faith and belief" surely goes beyond scientific evidence of necessity. However, science rests on shifting new information found ("discovered" from the natural world. Therefore, science does not make truth claims against faith and belief-that is, spirituality.

 
 
TᵢG
3  TᵢG    2 months ago

You claimed @2.1.25 that my point of contradictions was an oversimplification so I responded with a rebuttal.  

 
 
CB
3.1  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3    2 months ago

When you 'hit' a difficulty in science or contradiction in science do you walk away from science? I am confident you do not, for I can often recount how many times science has set a "difficulty" aside until new information can be obtained or new ways of looking at the issue arrive. There are many "gaps" in the Bible, believers may not ever be able to give a full explanation for them. On the otherhand, over time new "discoveries" from thousands of years ago are dug up out of the dirt offering new takes on long-established problems and issues.

No Christian's faith in God is based on bible difficulties anyway. No Christian can be persuaded to trust in God, because of any one or a handful of writings s/he can not fully explain. What do you suppose persuaded Dr. Tour to become a Christian and a 2-hour daily bible-reader of thirty plus years?

 
 
TᵢG
3.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1    2 months ago

Yes, science evolves.   It keeps improving based on new evidence and constantly scrutinizing theories.

No Christian's faith in God is based on bible difficulties anyway.

Certainly.   The difficulties would dissuade, not strengthen faith.   Difficulties must be dealt with to avoid weakening the faith.

No Christian can be persuaded to trust in God, because of any one or a handful of writings s/he can not fullyexplain. 

Billions of Christians have been persuaded to believe in the Christian God based simply on the words of other human beings.   And it is easy to offer writings that a Christian cannot explain.   'God works in mysterious ways' is not a recent platitude to deal with an inability to explain some aspect of religious belief.

What do you suppose persuaded Dr. Tour to become a Christian and a 2-hour daily bible-reader of thirty plus years?

see @2.1.31

 
 
CB
3.1.2  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.1    2 months ago

I ask you:

  1. How is that not comparable to Atheist scientists use of this platitude, "There must be an answer, and we will continue to study about it."?

* Again, this is steering away from this topic of religion and faith regarding Dr. Tour onto well-traveled 'haunts' of many past exchanges.


A. When you write:

Billions of Christians have been persuaded to believe in the Christian God based simply on the words of other human beings.

I ask you:

  1. Please deliver some evidence of the simplicity involved.

B. When you write:

'God works in mysterious ways' is not a recent platitude to substitute for not being able to explain some aspect of religious belief.

I ask you:

  1. How is that not comparable to an Atheist scientist use of this platitude, "There must be an answer, and we will continue to study about it."?
 
 
TᵢG
3.1.3  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1.2    2 months ago
How is that not comparable to Atheist scientists use of this platitude, "There must be an answer, and we will continue to study about it."?

The scientists are not justifying a particular hypothesis.  They are simply stating that answers are out there to be found.  In religion the hypothesis (the belief) is of a creator God with specific attributes and history.  When faced with difficulties on this hypothesis we hear 'God works in mysterious ways'.   The scientist, when faced with evidence that contradicts an hypothesis or theory, factors in the new information.

That is the difference.   Religious hypotheses tend to be immutable - contradicting evidence is addressed with equivocation, illogic, platitudes or flat out ignoring the information.

 
 
TᵢG
3.1.4  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1.2    2 months ago
Please deliver some evidence of the simplicity involved.

You want me to show you evidence that billions of human beings believe in the Christian God based simply on the words of other human beings?    Other than the words of other human beings (and one's own imagination) how does a human being get information?   If you wish to claim a new dimension of spiritual communication you would need to evidence that.  I need not evidence human beings learning from other human beings.

Again, this is steering away from this topic of religion and faith regarding Dr. Tour onto well-traveled 'haunts' of many past exchanges.

Then why are you asking these questions?   Don't blame me for getting away from the topic when all I am doing is responding to your questions.

 
 
CB
3.1.5  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.4    2 months ago

I want to know how you know this!


  1. Time and time again it has been explained to you (on a loop of sorts) that Christians have spiritual leanings, inspiration, and organized religion besides—none of which you state a choice to take part in. So when you offer up phrasing like: "human beings believe in the Christian God based simply on the words of other human beings" I want you to tell me how you know this! Either you are you making a truth claim or simply oft-repeating personal opinion: Which is it?

  2. You understand nuance conversation better than most, sir. Better to closely hug the article above, than to attack with 'fighting words' and provocative leading statements. While I appear to be indulging you comments with further questions, simultaneously, I am expressing we do have a discussion centered 'around' Dr. Tour.
 
 
CB
3.1.6  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.3    2 months ago

Your comment does little to nothing to explain why scientists state, "There must be an answer, and we will continue to study about it." is not comparable to believers' statement "God works in mysterious ways!"

When faced with difficulties on this hypothesis we hear 'God works in mysterious ways'.   The scientist, when faced with evidence that contradicts an hypothesis or theory, factors in the new information.

You state, scientists go with new information—likewise, believers go with new information too. Albeit, new information can be slow in coming and not necessarily from a scientific community incidentally which immutably considers any answer to be 'final' until even newer information arises from even further studies!

 
 
TᵢG
3.1.7  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1.5    2 months ago
Time and time again it has been explained to you (on a loop of sorts) that Christians have spiritual leanings, inspiration, and organized religion

It has been asserted, that is all.  Not once has anyone put forth a shred of evidence that they actually gain information via a supernatural method.   So, as I noted @3.1.4: "Other than the words of other human beings (and one's own imagination) how does a human being get information?   If you wish to claim a new dimension of spiritual communication you would need to evidence that."

I want you to tell me how you know this! 

Answered and repeated.   Apparently you want me to state something different than my answer.   Sorry, my answer is my answer.  You will have to ask someone else if you want a different answer.   Bottom line, the only evidenced method for communicating religious ideas is from human to human.   No supernatural means have any supporting evidence.   Thus until you demonstrate that religious / spiritual information comes from an external source that is supernatural, you have no logical basis for claiming it exists.   And I do not have to accept your claim of supernatural correspondence any more than I have to accept someone's claim to be the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln or to have the ability to bend spoons with his mind.

Better to closely hug the article above, than to attack with 'fighting words' and provocative leading statements.

Should I cease answering your questions?   I have never witnessed a seeder ask questions and then complain about the answers to those questions being off topic.   

 
 
TᵢG
3.1.8  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1.6    2 months ago
Your comment does little to nothing to explain why scientists state, "There must be an answer, and we will continue to study about it." is not comparable to believers' statement "God works in mysterious ways!"

Really?  You did not understand that the former (given you say this is a statement from a scientist) rejects an hypothesis when the evidence turns out to be faulty whereas the latter continues to accept the hypothesis??

  • Religion declares truths and works around the inconvenient facts that contradict those truths via deceptive means.
  • Science follows the evidence to where it leads.  If a scientific conclusion is falsified by new evidence, the conclusion is discarded or reworked to conform to the evidence.

If you do not understand what I just wrote, ask someone else.

 
 
CB
3.1.9  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.8    2 months ago

I supplied the name of a several books well within the scope of your "bible difficulties," if you want you can check those out - then gripe; maybe.


The article does mention Dr. Tour's other concern:

I have seen a saddening progression at several institutions—which is a further testament to the disheartening collateral damage resulting from lawsuits. I have witnessed unfair treatment upon scientists that do not accept macroevolutionary arguments and for their having signed the Dissent statement regarding the examination of Darwinian Theory. I never thought that science would have evolved like this. . .  .

But my recent advice to my graduate students has been direct and revealing: If you disagree with theories of evolution, keep it to yourselves if you value your careers, unless you’re one of those champions for proclamation; I know that that fire exists in some, so be ready for lead-ridden limbs. But if the scientific community has taken these shots at senior faculty, it will not be comfortable for the young non-conformist. When the power-holders permit no contrary discussion, can a vibrant academy be maintained? Is there a University (university means ‘unity in diversity’)? For the United States, I hope that the scientific community and the National Academy of Sciences in particular would investigate the disenfranchisement that is manifest upon those holding a skeptical view based upon the scientific data, and thereby address the inequities. Or could it be that the National Academy of Sciences itself has turned a blind eye to the disenfranchisement, or even worse, promoted it? Shudder the thought that such a day would ever come!


  1. Do you agree or disagree with Dr. Tour's assessment?
  2. How do you interpret Dr. Tour's critique of some science academies and science communities?

  3. Have you observed through experience or exploration the National Academy of Sciences and some science communities operating without diversity and opposition to contrarian 'voices'?

 
 
CB
3.1.10  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.7    2 months ago

No Christian has to evidence anything beyond individual spiritual experiences ; we claim innocence so go ahead, deliver up any evidence in your possession which makes us guilty.


No one is asking or demanding you accept any claim you choose not to, for any reason whatsoever. You come (often) of your own volition to these discussions with similar statements mostly—you should be open and honest about that at least!

You've witnessed a great deal - neither of us can claim to be novices. The topic is Dr. Tour: Science and Faith.

 
 
TᵢG
3.1.11  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1.9    2 months ago
Do you agree or disagree with Dr. Tour's assessment?

I do not agree with his victim stance.   If people disagree with evolution then they should provide the evidence and logic supporting their objective.   They should write a paper and make their case.   It is difficult to get people to change their minds.   Scientists are human beings too, but they are persuaded by solid work.

How do you interpret Dr. Tour's critique of some science academies and science communities?

Scientific communities are persuaded by evidence and logic.   If one puts forth an argument from incredulity (what Dr. Tour has done) it will be appropriately dismissed as no value.    Science is a full contact sport, wear a cup (i.e. bring solid work)

Have you observed through experience or exploration the National Academy of Sciences and some science communities operating without diversity and opposition to contrarian 'voices'?

Human beings operate this way normally.   But in science, one does not get the right to win by sheer opinion.   Einstein had a hard time getting people to take him seriously because what he proposed was radical.  But he proposed it with a solid argument backed by physics and articulated in mathematics - and he persisted.   Max Planck read his work and was persuaded by the argument.   That is how it works.

 
 
TᵢG
3.1.12  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1.10    2 months ago
No one is asking or demanding you accept any claim you choose not to, for any reason whatsoever.

True.  What does this have to do with anything?   You are rebutting a claim I have not made.   

you should be open and honest about that at least!

You are now claiming that I have been dishonest or hiding something?   Nice poison pill for this discussion.

No Christian has to evidence anything beyond individual spiritual experiences ; we claim innocence so go ahead, deliver up any evidence in your possession which makes us guilty.

You do if you claim something to be true.   Go ahead an claim a supernatural channel of communication.   Nobody is obliged to accept that as truth unless you demonstrate it is true.   Saying it is true is irrelevant.   In the words of Christopher Hitchens:

What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. 
 
 
CB
3.1.13  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.11    2 months ago
. . . and for their having signed the Dissent statement regarding the examination of Darwinian Theory.

Note the conjunction "and."

  1. Is it appropriate for members of the scientific community to offer a 'purity test' of some sort?

    Dr. Tour says this "Dissent" statement simply expresses skepticism; asked the scientific community to concern itself farther with its claims on random mutations and natural selection. He has witnessed unfair treatment of scientists because of signing this statement.
  2. What, if anything do you know about such matters?

  3. Based on his position, do you think Dr. Tour is right in his assessment?
    Consider reading the "Dissent" (above) statement; scientifically-speaking it is rather inoffensive.

 
 
TᵢG
3.1.14  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1.13    2 months ago
Is it appropriate for members of the scientific community to offer a 'purity test' of some sort?

Evolution is one of the most highly corroborated theories of empirical science.   So if you want to take on evolution you better be prepared.    Science should not offer a purity test, it should operate based on evidence.   

What, if anything do you know about such matters?

What is that supposed to mean?

Based on his position, do you think Dr. Tour is right in his assessment?

Answered this already.   If you have a new angle then be specific.

 
 
CB
3.1.15  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.12    2 months ago
What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

And your dismissal has what bearing on Dr. Tour's position as a Christian? Dismiss all you want. No one is asking or demanding you accept any claim you choose not to, for any reason whatsoever.

Your position is you have made a conscious choice to accept what you can naturally experience —"hooray" for you! Now  do you care to specifically explain how your experience of life should carry weigh on Dr. Tour's experience of science and faith? Both of what he has mentioned in this article?

 
 
CB
3.1.16  seeder  CB  replied to  CB @3.1.13    2 months ago

Would you the "Dissent statement" is offensive or inoffensive? Accurate or Inaccurate? What is your opinion?

 
 
TᵢG
3.1.17  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1.15    2 months ago
Now  do you care to specifically explain how your experience of life should carry weigh on Dr. Tour's experience of science and faith? Both of what he has mentioned in this article?

I am not here to discuss myself nor do I care about Dr. Tour's life experience conclusions.   Facts and logic would be nice, unsupported opinion is boring.

Would you the "Dissent statement" is offensive or inoffensive? Accurate or Inaccurate? What is your opinion?

It is simply religious wishful thinking overtaking critical thinking.   Happens all the time.

 
 
CB
3.1.18  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.17    2 months ago
It is simply religious wishful thinking overtaking critical thinking.

In Vid 2, the "Dissent Statement" is agreed to by many biologists, philosophers of science, mathematicians, and geneticists. These folks are not "simply" wishful thinking. The "dissent" statement is not a religious statement.

 
 
TᵢG
3.1.19  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1.18    2 months ago

The dissent statement: “We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

It was created by the Discovery Institute - an organization that exists to promote Intelligent Design.   This is religion pretending to be science.   It basically argues that reality is extremely complex and that it is inconceivable that such complexity can simply evolve undirected.

In other words, they present an argument for an 'intelligent designer' (god) based on incredulity.    

Intelligent Design was debunked and legally deemed pseudoscience 13 years ago.   


I personally support skepticism - I think it is healthy if it is objective and based on sound evidence.   But if one pays attention to context and intent, this statement is actually arguing that evolution does not explain speciation and that a creator is required.   Because of the context (the mindset of the authors) I would never sign this statement.   It is simply a sophisticated 'God must have done it'.

 
 
CB
3.1.20  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.19    2 months ago

Where is the much vaulted diversity we are told to expect from scientists-members seeking after truth? Did Dr. Tour run afoul of a "scientific dictatorship"?


I know the background of the "dissent statement." It is this background information that is the "why" that biased some higher ups in the scientific community against Dr. Tour and other signers (effectively damaging his and their careers).

The question is this:

  1. In spite of the Discovery Institute, regardless of the fact Dr. Tour agrees with the statement even after discovering who the promoters are behind it; why do some other scientists get to 'own this truth' about the statement without career crippling consequences, and religion affiliated scientists get 'damaged'?

  2. Where is the much vaulted diversity we are told to expect from members seeking after truth? Did Dr. Tour run afoul of a "scientific dictatorship"?

 
 
TᵢG
3.1.21  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1.20    2 months ago
Where is the much vaulted diversity we are told to expect from scientists-members seeking after truth? Did Dr. Tour run afoul of a "scientific dictatorship"?

At present, evolution is so highly corroborated world-wide that one must put forth quite a bit more than 'I am not convinced'.    If someone can put forth solid evidence and logic the scientific community should indeed consider it.   Dr. Tour simply notes that science cannot answer every question - specifically he demands answers to biological questions at the level of molecular chemistry.   While that is something that science will likely eventually know, the fact that science does not know everything is not going to fly as an argument against existing evidence.

Rightly so, if one understands the scientific method and the value thereof.

I know the background of the "dissent statement." It is this background information that is the "why" that biased some higher ups in the scientific community against Dr. Tour and other signers (effectively damaging his and their careers).

Yes.   And if someone challenges General Relativity they better come to the table with more than 'it just seems implausible that time depends upon relative velocity and gravity'.

In spite of the Discovery Institute, regardless of the fact Dr. Tour agrees with the statement even after discovering who the promoters are behind it;why do some other scientists get to 'own this truth' about the statement without career crippling consequences,and religion affiliated scientists get 'damaged'?

I do not know that to be the case.   Certainly Dr. Francis Collins is not damaged goods.   Science is all about evidence and logic.   It does not matter what a particular scientist believes, it matters what the scientist can evidence.   Dr. Tour did not offer anything of value to advance science - he simply offered an argument of incredulity.  Do you not see how that is of no value in the advancement of understanding?  Dr. Collins, in contrast, advanced science.   See?

 
 
CB
3.1.22  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.21    2 months ago

Strawman argument invoke Dr. Francis Collins? Non-sequitur? Why vapidly bring Dr. Collins into this?

Dr. Tour: (Excerpt from seeded content)

So what should be taught in schools regarding evolution, in my opinion? As I wrote, I am not a proponent of intelligent design for the reasons I state above: I cannot prove it using my tools of chemistry to which I am bound in the chemistry classroom; the same tools to which I commensurately bind my evolutionist colleagues.

A better approach would include more teaching about common descent using basic genetics arguments. But there should also be coverage of legitimate scientific puzzles such as macroevolution’s weak underpinning for the origin of body plans, the unexplainable functional differences between the modern human brain and that of other hominids, the ENCODE and orphan gene findings and disagreements, the huge difficulties regarding the theories on the origin of first life, and the mystery of information’s origin in the sequence of the nucleic acids.

Such deliberations would be exciting and scientifically enlightening to students, and they would be changing with time as more data becomes available. In a secular classroom, one need not include an intelligent designer in order to provide the students with an appreciation for the science or an overview of the theories’ shortcomings. I think that, upon this approach, diverse camps could respectfully agree and lawsuits would be unnecessary.

 
 
TᵢG
3.1.23  TᵢG  replied to  CB @3.1.22    2 months ago
Strawman argument invoke Dr. Francis Collins? Non-sequitur? Why vapidly bring Dr. Collins into this?

After a lengthy response I close with a counter example of Dr. Collins to your argument of 'damaged goods' by a scientist being a Christian.   You ignore the content of my response and focus on the example to grossly reframe it as a strawman, non-sequitur argument.

Discussion over, I am out of here.

 
 
CB
3.1.24  seeder  CB  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.23    2 months ago

Run away (again). It would seem there is an exclusivity problem present (or developing?) in the the scientific community and the National Academy of Sciences, and of course a perpetual critic of world religion on NewsTalkers will not entertain any criticism of science—justified or not!


Run away then. It is clear when you can not take criticism, though you certainly make grand attempts to dish it out! Dr. Tour's career has been damaged by the scientific community and you deflect from his injury to point to a another believer-scientist who did not fair similarly?

Did it escape your notice in the seeded content, Dr. Tour and many other scientists signed what he considered an innocuous short statement and the act alone brought 'devastation' he did not anticipate from the scientific community and the National Academy of Sciences, teams which posture as friends of diversity. Even when many of the "in-crowd" agree with the "Dissent Statement," apparently a religious association (Discovery Institute) sponsoring the statement is, as you put it above a,

Nuh-uh.   jrSmiley_80_smiley_image.gif

It would seem there is an exclusivity problem present (or developing?) in the the scientific community and the National Academy of Sciences, and of course a perpetual critic of religion on NewsTalkers will not entertain any criticism of science, justified or not!

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.1.25  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  CB @3.1.22    2 months ago
But there should also be coverage of legitimate scientific puzzles such as macroevolution’s weak underpinning for the origin of body plans

What Dr Tour is suggesting here is that we teach "What we don't know" classes. For all of human history humans have focused on teaching the next generation what we do know, but this doctor wants to change that. Up till now you'd study in a field of the sciences to learn what we do know and through that process you gain an appreciation for how far we've come but also learn how far we have to go. If you simply went to a class that taught what we don't know you'd get a screwed view of the universe and the class would never end because there really is no limit to the amount of things we don't know. Though I'm sure the class schedule would focus just on those things we don't know that to the uninformed give more credence to the religious theories that try to fill in those blanks. That's really what Dr Tour is suggesting, he claims they'd be secular classes teaching what we don't know about evolution, but they'd be nothing more than prep classes for the kids to be preyed upon by religion when they leave the class rooms with all kinds of doubt after being told how inadequate science is without being told what science has actually discovered.

 
 
CB
3.1.26  seeder  CB  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @3.1.25    2 months ago

Sorry, what? Did you watch the video above in their entirety? Just wondering. . . . (Need coffee right now!)

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.1.27  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  CB @3.1.26    2 months ago
Sorry, what? Did you watch the video above in their entirety? Just wondering

Yes, I watched the video, Dr. Tour is a nice and very smart man, I've never refuted that. What I was responding to in my most recent comment was Dr. Tour's comments that you posted in 3.1.22 where he suggests teaching students the "weak underpinning for the origin of body plans, the unexplainable functional differences between the modern human brain and that of other hominids, the ENCODE and orphan gene findings and disagreements, the huge difficulties regarding the theories on the origin of first life, and the mystery of information’s origin in the sequence of the nucleic acids. ". This would be classes teaching students what we don't know, not what we do know. Teaching students all the things science hasn't explained yet does them no service unless you're wanting to try and suggest your own brand of blank filler, aka religion.

 
 
CB
3.1.28  seeder  CB  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @3.1.27    2 months ago

DP,

Dr. Tour shared this as well in the same comment:

In a secular classroom, one need not include an intelligent designer in order to provide the students with an appreciation for the science or an overview of the theories’ shortcomings.

And this from the print article above:

The president of Rice University, David Leebron, writes yearly to the faculty that a,

“core value of our university is free and open inquiry. We encourage robust debate on the difficult issues of the day, and we welcome people with many points of view to our campus to better understand those issues and the differences that can divide us. That can and does mean that we sometimes provide a forum for opinions that may be controversial — or even on occasion reprehensible — to many or a few. While we cannot and will not censor the expression of divergent opinions, we do expect those opinions be expressed with civility and with respect for other points of view.”


DP, No one should be 'sheltering' science students while simultaneously professing to be divulging all the best information, evidence, and understandings of evolution while otherwise cutting off open inquiry. Simply put: it is a great 'evil.'

For it has been proven to cause otherwise innocent people to be shunned, lose projects, and their loving careers all over a lie or set of lies. What say you to this?

 
 
A. Macarthur
4  A. Macarthur    2 months ago

I see no contradiction regarding "Creation" and "Evolution" … Whatever entity is responsible for creating the "Beginning," could certainly have then gone "hands off and let's see how it all goes."

Natural Selection and Evolution, IMO, work in tandem … I believe that genetic mutations occur both randomly, and,  as physiological/anatomical responses to environmental circumstances; some organisms/species "evolve" because their mutations/development enable them to adapt to changing environments rather than perish … while others like pathogens, mutate in response to adverse phenomena such as antibiotics.

While I personally despise organized religion and how it is used to indoctrinate, manipulate, segregate and do serious social, emotional and other great damages to humanity and the earth, much of what I see in nature through the lens of a camera, convinces me that some great spiritual entity is the hand of creation … what I do not see, is that "hand" getting involved in the every day stuff so-to-speak. 

While speaking only with regard to our tiny speck in the Cosmos, what "humanity" has hypocritically done to bastardize the very idea of a Creator … to make HIM/HER/IT a political, profiteering, power-broker, war-mongering defiler of common decency and beauty … is evidence enough for me to feel that, despite Einstein's contention that "God does not play dice with the Universe," He crapped out once He dropped Adam and Eve into a perfectly wonderful Garden.

My two cents.

 
 
CB
4.1  seeder  CB  replied to  A. Macarthur @4    2 months ago

Hi A'Mac!  I wanna say,. . .how, . . . much I appreciate you touching nearly all the 'red-hot' issues in this one comment. I, too, do not participate in organized religion though I am a "full-on" Christian believer—I have no one worship center to where I devote my attentions. From where I sit, I can sense all the problems certain segments of the Church are causing in our country and by extension throughout the world.

For example, today, in my car I listened to evangelized AM radio (I still listen in to what these millionaire leaders are telling their 'listener-flocks'), and I heard a newly 'cut' promo delivered in a word for the day format. The commenter was praising Donald Trump for pushing against and through mob rule from the 'left' - people he claims have done great damage to the Kavanaugh family and its reputation. He continued on about how there is presently rumor of a new thread to Kavanaugh—impeachment in line for post-mid-term election. You can just see the direction this announcer is heading in.

Of course, the fact that President Trump is a fraud, a daily liar, and an exposed cheater across many decades on his father and family taxes, has not altered significantly how right-wing evangelicals delight in this their 'golden boy.'  Eve while the same 'saints' despised and spited his predecessor with glee and passion! Oh, the case for hypocrisy one can make against the Right wing evangelical "movement."

Yours is a strong argument. I agree with you. And, I will just have to keep pushing back against dubious and dangerous evangelicals 'inside' already and the smug and arrogant non-believers who want to tear anything of God down!

Appreciate your sharing!

 
 
A. Macarthur
4.1.1  A. Macarthur  replied to  CB @4.1    2 months ago

He continued on about how there is presently rumor of a new thread to Kavanaugh—impeachment in line for post-mid-term election. You can just see the direction this announcer is heading in.

There is some speculation that Kavanaugh may sue some of his accusers.

I hope Kavanaugh does sue … he would then have to testify under oath and penalty of perjury, and, witnesses would have to do so as well. 

A Subpoena Duces Tecum (meaning 'subpoena for production of evidence') is a court order requiring the person subpoenaed to produce books, documents or other records under his or her control at a specified time/place in a court hearing or a deposition.

Further,

Can The Defense Counsel Ask The Court To Issue A Subpoena To A Witness Who Is Unwilling To Appear In Court But Could Testify Favorably (I.E. Providing validity for a Defendant)?

In most cases, there is no need to. An attorney, as an officer of the court, is empowered to issue subpoenas on his or her own. If a subpoena is in proper form, signed by an attorney, and properly served, the witness is obligated to appear in court (or at the deposition) bringing any documents or things that are requested.  If they have a serious issue with the subpoena, they have to file a motion to quash with the court explaining their objections. The judge will then decide if the witness has to comply. If the witness just ignores the subpoena, they can be thrown in jail for contempt.

So I say, "Go for it Brett!"

Who knows … in such a suit … that half-assed FBI "investigation" might be brought to the light-of-day with all imposed impediments revealed to the court … with a motion to proceed in order to establish the plaintiff's inability to satisfy his "burden-of-proof" while thus paving the way for a Kavanaugh impeachment for lying under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the Appearance of Impropriety while a Federal Judge …

Really, Brett … do it!

 
 
CB
4.1.2  seeder  CB  replied to  A. Macarthur @4.1.1    2 months ago

Trumpian bluff tactic: Pretend to be the 'tough guy.' Punctuate the win by threatening to impose a buffer zone around Kavanaugh. It's Trump101. My understanding is Kavanaugh is not a wealthy man to afford a high-priced "trumpian" vendetta.

 
 
CB
4.2  seeder  CB  replied to  A. Macarthur @4    2 months ago
I see no contradiction regarding "Creation" and "Evolution" … Whatever entity is responsible for creating the "Beginning," could certainly have then gone "hands off and let's see how it all goes." Natural Selection and Evolution, IMO, work in tandem … I believe that genetic mutations occur both randomly, and,  as physiological/anatomical responses to environmental circumstances; some organisms/species "evolve" because their mutations/development enable them to adapt to changing environments rather than perish … while others like pathogens, mutate in response to adverse phenomena such as antibiotics.

I agree. My experience of spiritual 'birth' gives me an additional understanding of "divine intervention." That is God can  intervene on behalf of-and interact-with the creatures for whom stewardship of this planet has been given.

 
 
CB
5  seeder  CB    2 months ago

How does a cell operate, chemically?

 
 
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