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  1. #16
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qpawn
    Surely it does no credit to Sarfati's views that opposition, dissent, questioning and criticism will not be allowed at his talk.
    <snip>
    I feel sorry for Sarfati that he is conducting his talk in such a closed way.
    Who said he wasn't allowing questions? If you read my response to KB I said that I would ask Jon about this ... but I haven't yet gotten a reply.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  2. #17
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McTaggart
    qpawn,don't feel sorry for Sarfati, Frosty and all the others that will attend this meeting because they will be happy in their beliefs. Their explanation for the external world satisfies them although it really strains our credulity. Don't waste your time using logic or other commonsense arguments,they just won't work. It is not that they do not understand what you are saying it is just that they don't want to hear it. Their model of the universe reassures them and I do not think we should endeavour to take it away from them. Primative civilisations looked on at the wonders of Nature and tried to provide an explanation for it all and you will no doubt have noticed that all over the world where any kind of religion prevails,those religions have all got a common theme, ie,the "great God in the sky ", who of course, cannot be seen but take my word for it, started everything. Countless millions through out the ages have been enslaved by these ideas and it is only through the spreading of knowledge can the myths of ignorance be dispelled.
    A wonderfully condescending post.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  3. #18
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    Thank you, Frosty, I really meant to be kind. Really, we have no right to destroy others beliefs. If you want to believe in Bishop Usher or whatever that's fine as long as you don't frighten the horses or insist that we have to follow suit. I guess that is the real progress that mankind has made over the last few centuries. But try to explain that to the Muslims! The trouble with them is that they never had a Renaisance followed by an Age of Reason,agreed?

  4. #19
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    I can't speak for others ... but for myself, I don't require nor expect others to think nor believe as I do. I think it would be great if they did, but I'm sure many of them don't see it that way. I was probably a bit harsh with the condescending comment, so I apologise for that.

    We all get tarred with a generalist brush. Theists, a-theists, whatever. One thing that I have learned from my chats with KB over the past year is that its impossible for me to categorise someone with having a particular set of beliefs. Repeatedly, KB has had to correct my misconceptions about his particular "flavour" of beliefs. Perhaps, more than anything, this has had a profound effect on me ... and as a result I am far more prepared to ask questions of others and to actually LISTEN to their replies ... then discuss constructively.

    It might appear at first blush that because I am the organiser of a meeting where a non-evolutionary point of view is to be put, that I fit a certain profile ... well, nothing is as simple as that, is it? Most of my life I have been an evolutionist, at least, in terms of the science of origins. I am a theist in terms of the philosophy of origins. Recently however I have decided to allow non-evolutionist science-of-origins points of view a hearing, and I have found some of the arguments to be persuasive. So I am certainly going to enjoy hearing what Jon has to say.

    Nobody has bothered to ask WHY I organised for Jon to come down to do a public meeting ... given that the topic is controversial.

    1) Evolution gets a very good run in the media ... naturally, its the leading origins theory (daylight for 2nd place) ... it is presented as fact and accepted by the majority of people as fact. likewise, all the accompanying theories such as the Big Bang get treated as fact, despite the increasing number of problems that the big bang has. that ticks me off. I think it is healthy for alternative points of view to have an opportunity to be aired, because creationism and intelligent design are poorly understood. I think it is appalling, for example, that many theists go through life without confronting the difficult issue of origins (this was my situation). So best get it out in the open and talk about it.

    2) Jon is a chess player, so I was able to kill two birds with one stone and get him to do a simul to help promote the chess club ... since our church is sponsoring the public meeting and paying for Jon to come down from Brisbane, the chess club in effect gets Jon "for free" (thanks to his preparedness to help us out, for which I thank him as its a very generous offer). I am committed to building Croydon Chess into a long-term successful club, so this was one way of helping build our membership for basically zero cost.

    3) Having read a number of pro-ID and pro-Creationist books recently, it was a great opportunity for me personally to spend some time with someone who knows this subject area well. I have many questions for Jon.

    If the universe is as big as science says it is, and if it is as old as science says it is ... then we humans know a vanishingly small amount about all that there is to learn about our universe. The confidence with which people (on both sides of creation/id/evolution discussions) make pronouncements about what is and is not a "fact" takes my breath away.

    When all is said and done, I remain a committed theist ... but that is a discussion for the Does God Exist thread.
    Last edited by Spiny Norman; 08-02-2006 at 05:35 PM.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  5. #20
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaun
    That is such a lengthy and generally one-sided bio and reads so much like it is what the man himself would write that I suggest someone more acquainted with Wikipedia protocol than I am improve it or report it for NPOV violation. For instance the "critics" link links only to his rebuttal of criticism and not directly to any of his critics.

  6. #21
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    That is such a lengthy and generally one-sided bio
    It didn't read one-sided to me. e.g. the somewhat controversial "Moral" section.

    But if its lacking in criticism content, all that needs to happen is for someone to provide the content to Wiki? Isn't that how its supposed to work? If nobody can be bothered to supply the content, the content simply doesn't exist.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  7. #22
    CC Candidate Master pballard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    That is such a lengthy and generally one-sided bio and reads so much like it is what the man himself would write that I suggest someone more acquainted with Wikipedia protocol than I am improve it or report it for NPOV violation. For instance the "critics" link links only to his rebuttal of criticism and not directly to any of his critics.
    I agree it needs more critical content, but you're wrong on that last point. The one link in the critics section, while a Christian site, is indeed critical of Safarti and young-earth creationism.
    http://www.peterballard.org

  8. #23
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    I will try to suspend my cynicism

    First, I feel that there are some misunderstandings in thses posts about the finality of science.

    I agree that the big bang and astrophysics in general are aspects of science that are highly problematic. I have been a member and librarian of the Mornington Peninsula Astronomical Society for over 5 years. We have had many talks from highly qualified astrophysicists including Dr Andrew Prentice and Dr Tanya Hill. Last year an astrophysicist began his talk by saying that everything he was about to say could well be seen as nonsense in a few years' time! He said that astrophysical science was changing so fast that the sound of textbooks being ripped up could almost literally be heard in every research dept.

    I would view most science, evolution theory included, as being an attempt to learn about the world in which new observations, ideas and data could at any time change, or even supersede entirely, the current prevailing scientific thinking.

    It is a common mistake among creationists to atatch far more finality to evolution theory than what reputable scientists would do.

  9. #24
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pballard
    I agree it needs more critical content, but you're wrong on that last point. The one link in the critics section, while a Christian site, is indeed critical of Safarti and young-earth creationism.
    I stand corrected - read it too quickly and assumed that was an AiG link not an "Answers in Creation" link which turns out to be something very different.

    The site linked to is actually quite interesting, as apologetics sites go.

  10. #25
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty
    Who said he wasn't allowing questions? If you read my response to KB I said that I would ask Jon about this ... but I haven't yet gotten a reply.
    For those that were wondering ... I have checked with Jon ... yes, there will be time allocated for questions "from the floor" at the end of his presentation.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  11. #26
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qpawn
    While I admire the chess abilities of Mr Sarfati...
    To be fair I should point out it is Dr Sarfati as pointed out in Frosty's introduction of him to this thread. I believe his PhD was in the field of physical chemistry (perhaps someone could correct me if I am wrong, I'm away at the moment and time for research of the facts is limited and so I'm relying on my memory here) and as such it is interesting that he is billed (and I believe accurately so) as a leading creationist author. To me physical chemists would be one of the last professions to be motivated to write on creationism as it would have little or no impact on their field of study. Thoughts...
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  12. #27
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    To me physical chemists would be one of the last professions to be motivated to write on creationism as it would have little or no impact on their field of study. Thoughts...
    This actually seems to be a trend - those scientists who are creationists tend to have expertise in areas largely unconnected to points of issue in the controversy. Presumably knowing enough about relevant scientific issues is an effective barrier to becoming a Creationist, and becoming a Creationist is an effective barrier to studying under those meanie Darwinists in the life sciences and geology departments.

  13. #28
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    ... it is interesting that he is billed (and I believe accurately so) as a leading creationist author. To me physical chemists would be one of the last professions to be motivated to write on creationism as it would have little or no impact on their field of study. Thoughts...
    When I refer to him as a "leading creationist author" (which seems correct, based on sales of more than a quarter of a million books) this is based on what I would call his populist writings. It is much the same as with a guy like Richard Dawkins as a "leading evolutionist author" (his technical field is, I believe, zoology, I don't know how far outside of that field he goes). Or you might consider popular figures such as Attenborough, or whatever.

    There are many creationists who publish research papers (e.g. in the Creation Technical Journal) but as these are highly technical pieces of work, I wouldn't regard them as "leading authors" on that basis, only on what I would term their publicly-accessible writings. Life is too short for me to be bothered with reading such technical materials, whether evolutionary, i.d. or creationist.

    There are creationists who publish both research papers and popular books (e.g. physicist Russell Humphries ... I have his little paperback book entitled "Starlight and Time").
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  14. #29
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    This actually seems to be a trend - those scientists who are creationists tend to have expertise in areas largely unconnected to points of issue in the controversy. Presumably knowing enough about relevant scientific issues is an effective barrier to becoming a Creationist, and becoming a Creationist is an effective barrier to studying under those meanie Darwinists in the life sciences and geology departments.
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home...os/default.asp

    Plenty of life sciences represented there ... I see Biology, Botany, Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, Genetics and many others. Perhaps there are other negative factors at work (e.g. there are a number of cases of quite vocal creationists who are confident to speak out because they have tenure ... perhaps those that don't have tenure fear for their jobs if they speak out?).
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  15. #30
    CC International Master Rhubarb's Avatar
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    Perhaps because they're mavericks, perhaps because they're stupid, perhaps because they're insane...

    Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...

    Time deals the cruelest fate to the faux-scientists. They are forgotten.
    Last edited by Rhubarb; 08-02-2006 at 05:06 PM.

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