Where I confess I may have been wrong about some Mormons


Some of my earliest and best biology professors were Mormons — Latter-day Saints, or LDS — and from them and a few others I learned that LDS beliefs not only do not cut against evolution, preaching against evolution is “false doctrine” in the faith, since there has never been a revelation against evolution to the LDS prophets.

On the board of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has long sat Duane Jeffery, a devout Mormon and long-time supporter of evolution as a professor of biology at Brigham Young University.

But as we know from the Methodist and Presbyterian and Catholic and other examples, official church doctrine doesn’t prevent members of the churches from jettisoning their reason when they discuss evolution and demonstrate a failure to understand even the basics of the simple theory. Mormons aren’t immune there, either.  Alas.

Here’s an LDS blog where the authors are trying to argue that “philosophically,” creationism should be taught alongside evolution, since it’s a “better” myth than science. Or something like that. All that high-falutin’ use of six-syllable words, e.g., epistemology, makes me think that the words don’t mean what the authors think they mean, especially when the authors then go on to make foolish claims based on something they think they’ve “proven” logically. My tolerance of six-syllable words has been reduced by dealing with actual laws, I think.

Or perhaps, as I suspect, they’re just trying to claim that pigs fly.

“Knowledge is the glory of God” is what I remember* one engraving over one entrance to the campus of Brigham Young University, except when the epistemology is found to be offensive, or something.

You might do well to check out these posts, and other resources:

* “The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth” (D&C 93:36)

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22 Responses to Where I confess I may have been wrong about some Mormons

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Dennis, you ougtta take a look at this while I’m formulating replies:
    http://exploringorigins.org/

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  2. Dennis says:

    In general, not everything that is not science is religiously based. I asked you to provide any non-creationist source for the nonsense, non-science claims against evolution. Instead you say the charge is laughable — well, by all means laugh, but make sure you provide the justification for your laughter in terms of a citation to someone who makes the claim who doesn’t make the claim from a religious bias, so we can share in your laughter.

    It looks like you may have been typing this comment at the same time I was writing mine (9:43 p.m. on May 31), in which I do offer several individuals who make similar criticisms of science, for non-religious reasons. So I’ll simply point to that comment.

    Dennis, can you clarify: You’ve never responded to my noting that many creation stories are taught in most schools (check the English department; they are taught as literature). Are you arguing that creationism must be taught as science? Are you asking that evolution be taught with creation stories in literature (though evolution is not a creation story)?

    I’m glad you asked this, Ed, because I think we are talking past each other.

    First, I’ve never argued that creationism should be taught at all. I mused on a few things about how I think education might be better, but my comment is a significant social criticism as much as anything. It really isn’t saying much about evolution.

    My major point is that students should be taught to think critically about science. And the reason for doing so is not to fight against evolution. It is to acknowledge limitations where they are due, in the healthy and balanced quest for knowledge and industry. All I really have been saying, Ed, is that mainstream science is a human endeavor that has been significantly criticized (not typically dismissed wholesale, and I do not wish to do so) from a number of legitimate scholarly viewpoints, such as philosophy of science, sociology of science, anthropology, and even within the sciences (especially psychology and physics). In these disciplines, such criticisms are well known — they are not simply part of a fringe movement from a bunch of wackos. Now, if you want to simply dismiss, without much awareness, these disciplines, that’s up to you, but I think this would be hypocritical, considering your disgruntlement against people (such as creationists) who do this to science.

    The people who have made these legitimate scholarly criticisms are, in the main, not even religious, and if they are, they do not typically believe in creationism, and, if they do, they are not advocating for “equal time” (like Ediacaran is talking about). If I could recommend simply one book to read, it is Paul Feyerabend’s Against Method.

    One thing to be very clear about. I am not interested in using science to critique evolution (this is what the creationists do). Rather, I am interested in using rigorous thinking to critique science. In doing so, my motive is not to dethrone science but to reform it. The same goes for evolutionary theory. I am not particularly interested in dethroning evolution. But I do think we should think more critically about the human lens from which we make the claims that we do.

    Perhaps the biggest problem, Ed, that I see, is that so many scientists have arrogant and elitist attitudes towards any kind of criticism. Yes, many criticisms are ridiculous. But many are not, and they shouldn’t simply be cast off as “creationist” or “religious” or whatever. That is not good thinking. Like it or not, any position, any discipline, is based on inescapable assumptions about the world. Science cannot escape this, but many scientists try to by utilizing a rhetoric of objectivity and failing to acknowledge criticisms of science.

    How are they not inherently creationist? What other basis is there for any of the claims?

    Well, I think I have begun to answer this question in my comment in which I address specific creationist claims from the Index you cited. So I’ll leave that argument (that they are creationist) back to you to prove, on the basis of what I have written. The noncreationist bases in which such criticisms can be grounded are logic, philosophy of science, and simply good strong thinking. You simply need to read up on your philosophy of science. Feyerabend is a good place to start.

    There are many people in the world, Ed, who are concerned about the emerging dogma of science and scientists, not simply religious people. Dogma is dangerous in all its forms, and it is not simply enough for science to be open to change within its paradigm, it needs to be open to the paradigm itself being open to change. Hard to do this if genuine scholarly criticisms are not acknowledged.

    I think this bunch from Utah is well-intentioned, but not so well schooled in science as they think they are. Dennis is a psychologist, surely the softest of the hard sciences, if it’s a science at all. Detecting evolution isn’t the same as detecting falsehoods with a polygraph. I’m not sure they see the difference.

    Well, I’m happy you see good intentions. I would simply say that just because I am critical of science does not mean I am not well schooled in it. Your comments about psychology show, however, a naivete towards it, if you think psychology is about polygraphs. Psychology has long been established on the same natural science methods as physics, chemistry, biology, etc. I am actually critical of this, but nonetheless it means that to be trained in psychology is essentially to be trained as a natural scientist (including an understanding of biology, evolution, neuroscience, etc.). In fact, Darwinism is a foundational theory of mainstream psychology. I know more than you think. I simply don’t bow down to the altar of science.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Dennis, can you clarify: You’ve never responded to my noting that many creation stories are taught in most schools (check the English department; they are taught as literature). Are you arguing that creationism must be taught as science? Are you asking that evolution be taught with creation stories in literature (though evolution is not a creation story)?

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  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Bret, you’re right, I fear. And if you follow over to the TPM blog, they rail against post-modernism and relativism, while turning around and swallowing the whole hog on creationism. A fascinating study.

    My last tangle with Berlinski at the Wichita newspaper site was a sterling example of avoiding the issues on his part. He made false claims about science and scientist, which I called him on. Berlinski insisted that, if I’d only adopt his philosophy, the errors would no longer be errors. I didn’t realize we could erase history so easily.

    I think this bunch from Utah is well-intentioned, but not so well schooled in science as they think they are. Dennis is a psychologist, surely the softest of the hard sciences, if it’s a science at all. Detecting evolution isn’t the same as detecting falsehoods with a polygraph. I’m not sure they see the difference.

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  5. Ediacaran says:

    Ed, you seem to have run into a nest of what I refer to as Post-Modernist Creationists (PoMo Creos). My first experience was with Intelligent Design Creationist David Berlinski’s material. Like Berlinski, the PoMo Creos deny being creationists, all the while advocating that creationism and [bogus] “evidence against evolution” should be allowed “equal time” in public school science classes. PoMos generally see no inherent difference between tested-and-tried science, and the religious mythology of ancient sheep herders. Their primary occupation seems to be playing gadfly to scientists and others engaged in fields that garner respect for real-world achievements. PoMos can’t seem to understand why science gets the mantle of authority from so much of the population, and they assume that everyone else should be just as ignorant of scientific topics as they are. Here’s an old Panda’s Thumb article discussing PoMo Neil Postman, for another example: http://www.pandasthumb.org/archives/2004/04/evolution-confo.html

    Have fun swatting the gadflies.

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  6. Ed Darrell says:

    Similarly, the arguments that we have made are not inherently creationist claims just because there are creationists who use it to justify creationism. Do you disagree with this logic?

    How are they not inherently creationist? What other basis is there for any of the claims?

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  7. Ed Darrell says:

    Also, your dichotomy between scientific evidence and religion is laughable. Not everything that is not “scientifically proven” is based on religion, Ed. Nor are they positions that are held by potheads or crazy people. If you insist that this must be the case, then our conversation is over.

    In general, not everything that is not science is religiously based. I asked you to provide any non-creationist source for the nonsense, non-science claims against evolution. Instead you say the charge is laughable — well, by all means laugh, but make sure you provide the justification for your laughter in terms of a citation to someone who makes the claim who doesn’t make the claim from a religious bias, so we can share in your laughter.

    Otherwise, my case is quite solid. Do I need to point out you have no such documentation here?

    My point is simple: Even for those creationist claims that once were considered good science, the only reason anyone would bring them up today is to promote their religion, or in a desperate attempt to cling to the little bit of faith they have. There is no reason from any other discipline to repeat disproven canards.

    Sure, Paley’s claims that species are fixed (and that there are limits to variation) would be good science, if they hadn’t been disproven 100 or more years ago.

    But today, because we know better, there is no justification to make false claims. And still, people do it. In about 99.9% of those cases, the people making the claims do so for religious reasons. They are creationists, and they are trying desperately to convince others and themselves that though they have idiot positions, they are not idiots, but basing their claims on real science. The real science isn’t there, of course — they’ve taken that claim on faith, as they take other claims in their religion.

    As to the 0.1%, no one can find them. Their claims may not be based on religion, but we can’t know until we find one.

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  8. Dennis says:

    If there is no science support, they are not science claims. If they are not science claims, the only people who would use them would be creationists.

    This is laughable. News flash: There are people who don’t take much stock in science who are not creationists. In fact, many are atheists and agnostics. I have said this over and over, but you apparently can’t even imagine this possibility.

    This science vs. creationism dichotomy that you have created reflects binary thinking that is not at all in accordance with what people believe. This is why talking to you is like beating my head against a wall, Ed. You fail to recognize that to be critical of science does not mean that a person is a creationist, or even religious. Why is this so hard to believe?

    And YES, there are many people who are not creationists who make arguments against science (and by extension, many claims of evolution or even evolution in its entirety). Here’s a few scholars (none of which are religious): Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jacques Derrida, and Paul Feyerabend. I can name several more who are religious but are not creationists.

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  9. Dennis says:

    One more thing, Ed: When have I even referred to scripture?

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  10. Dennis says:

    This is hardly a response, Ed.

    I ask again:

    Which claims are INHERENTLY creationist claims? And why? To demonstrate this, you would have to show how it is a logical necessity to be a creationist given the claim.

    Make sure you stick to actual claims that I made, not made up ones.

    Still waiting here.

    Also, your dichotomy between scientific evidence and religion is laughable. Not everything that is not “scientifically proven” is based on religion, Ed. Nor are they positions that are held by potheads or crazy people. If you insist that this must be the case, then our conversation is over.

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  11. Ed Darrell says:

    Part I

    Dennis said:

    Ed, Ed, Ed, how long are we going to have to go through this?

    So long as it takes until y’all see the light or I am convinced that creationism crazies are dead or marginalized to the point that they stop posing a threat to the education of my grandchildren and my own health care. Buckle your seat belts, it’s going to be a long, bumpy ride.

    I took a look at the Index to Creationist Claims. It’s actually a very good site. Very comprehensive. I will say that very little there surprised me, because I already understand both sides of the argument (which you apparently can’t believe).

    Here’s the deal, Ed. I can be perfectly fine with the fact that creationists can use similar arguments as we have used on TMB. This, of course, might be the case with any anti-evolution argument. So, if being critical of evolution is, by definition, creationism, then we simply cannot have much more of a conversation.

    However, the Index you cite debunks this claim:

    Many noncreationist alternatives to Darwinian evolution, or significant parts of it, are possible and have received serious attention in the past. These include, among others,

    * orthogenesis
    * neo-Lamarckianism
    * process structuralism
    * saltationism

    So, one can clearly be critical of evolution without being a creationist, even if some of their arguments about evolution are somewhat similar. Do you disagree?

    One could be critical of evolution without being a creationist, if one were to use solid science arguments rather than science that has been disproven (Lamarck, for example), or claims that at this point have no basis except in scripture, or in faith derived from scripture; for example, there is no scriptural claim that Earth is a very young planet, for example, but only creationists basing their hopes on a misinterpretation of scripture make that claim. If such a claim were based on different information — an abundance of uranium and a total absence of lead, for example, or a complete absence of ancient sedimentary layers — it would be a science argument.

    Nothing you’ve posed is based on science alone. Nothing posed against evolution at TMB is not scripturally based, or not based on a misinterpretation of scripture. I cannot find a source for any of those claims outside of creationism. I suppose it’s possible that a huge team of monkeys, or another great playwright, might have come up with Hamlet’s soliloquy independent of Shakespeare. But it would be folly to claim that Hamlet’s soliloquy is not Shakespearian simply because it is hypothetically possible that someone else might have put exactly the same words together in exatly the same way. The odds are against it. At best, you’ve got a Shakespeare clone. It’s still Shakespearian.

    Are you seriously claiming that anyone outside of creationism makes such claims today?

    The claims that you bring up are not inherently creationist, then, I would argue. And the Index you cite is hardly making this point. They are simply claims that a creationist could use (the ones that we have used, anyway).

    But you cannot find scientists actively pursuing the disproven points that once were valid scientific hypotheses, nor can you cite any science efforts based on new data or new hypotheses. Everything cited against evolution is religiously based, arguments formed and proclaimed by creationists.

    I suppose I would agree that your arguments might be creationist dupe arguments, but you’re claiming there might be actual live questions to pursue. That is not so.

    So, I wish to know, Ed. Which claims are INHERENTLY creationist claims? And why? To demonstrate this, you would have to show how it is a logical necessity to be a creationist given the claim.

    Oh, I’ve run into stoned drug addicts and potheads who make the same claims. I suppose I might allow you to say they are not inherently creationist claims, but also may be held by people whose reasoning faculties are addled, either temporarily or permanently. Those are accidental creationists, and I’ll wager they can be contained nicely in a small theatre showing “Woodstock.”

    It is not enough to say that creationists also make this claim. I will state, once again, that the Quran is not an inherently terrorist book just because there are terrorists who use it to justify terrorist. Similarly, the arguments that we have made are not inherently creationist claims just because there are creationists who use it to justify creationism. Do you disagree with this logic? Let me know, because we will clearly need to set this straight or we will be at an impasse.

    If there is no science support, they are not science claims. If they are not science claims, the only people who would use them would be creationists. You’re stuck in a little bit of a conundrum: IF there were evidence to support any claim, its use would not be religious. But since faith is the ONLY support for some of these claims, they are creationist — often, faith in spite of significant contrary and refuting evidence.

    I really should you require that you respond to this last question before I respond in greater detail to some of the Index’s claims, but I will do so anyway.

    More in Part II.

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  12. Dennis says:

    Still waiting for a response. Take your time.

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  13. Dennis says:

    Ed, Ed, Ed, how long are we going to have to go through this?

    I took a look at the Index to Creationist Claims. It’s actually a very good site. Very comprehensive. I will say that very little there surprised me, because I already understand both sides of the argument (which you apparently can’t believe).

    Here’s the deal, Ed. I can be perfectly fine with the fact that creationists can use similar arguments as we have used on TMB. This, of course, might be the case with any anti-evolution argument. So, if being critical of evolution is, by definition, creationism, then we simply cannot have much more of a conversation.

    However, the Index you cite debunks this claim:

    Many noncreationist alternatives to Darwinian evolution, or significant parts of it, are possible and have received serious attention in the past. These include, among others,

    * orthogenesis
    * neo-Lamarckianism
    * process structuralism
    * saltationism

    So, one can clearly be critical of evolution without being a creationist, even if some of their arguments about evolution are somewhat similar. Do you disagree?

    The claims that you bring up are not inherently creationist, then, I would argue. And the Index you cite is hardly making this point. They are simply claims that a creationist could use (the ones that we have used, anyway).

    So, I wish to know, Ed. Which claims are INHERENTLY creationist claims? And why? To demonstrate this, you would have to show how it is a logical necessity to be a creationist given the claim. It is not enough to say that creationists also make this claim. I will state, once again, that the Quran is not an inherently terrorist book just because there are terrorists who use it to justify terrorist. Similarly, the arguments that we have made are not inherently creationist claims just because there are creationists who use it to justify creationism. Do you disagree with this logic? Let me know, because we will clearly need to set this straight or we will be at an impasse.

    I really should you require that you respond to this last question before I respond in greater detail to some of the Index’s claims, but I will do so anyway. Here are the claims that I see bearing some similarity to the Index, followed by my rebuttals. You will need to follow along with the Index to make sense of what I am talking about.

    CA201: The response overstates what the “facts” of evolution are. But that’s a minor point compared to the claim that this is not an inherently creationist claim. Where the author is dead on, however, is when people isolate evolution as being theory-based without doing so with other scientific theories. We were not doing this.

    CA202: Ditto 201. Also, when the writer talks about “facts,” it is clear he/she is doing so with a qualified meaning of “reasonable inferences based on evidence.” One could certainly continue to point out that certain points of evolution have not been proved, and doing so would not make them a creationist.

    CA211: I might have made this claim. I will admit that, yes, it is possible for evolution to be falsified. I do think, though, that there could be studies that could be interpreted as falsifying evolution which would be difficult to do so. In addition, many of the broader claims of evolution are almost impossible, in practice, to falsify simply because of the broadness of the claim. At any rate, not an inherently creationist argument.

    CA221: The author clearly makes certain epistemological assumptions in answering this question. Unless he/she can argue that there is one unambiguous interpretation of the evidence, then this response falls flat. I certainly agree that this claim applies equally as an attack against creationism and Christianity — which shows that the real beef the author has here is when people single out evolution. I have no intention of doing so, and once again, this is not an inherently creationist claim.

    CA230: OK, this is a major issue in the philosophy of science, and it is not simply something that is used to diss on science or evolution. It is absolutely not an inherently creationist argument. I agree that “all observation requires interpretation.” I am certainly not advocating for an extreme skepticism, simply advocating caution against certain interpretations (especially when they are not seen as interpretations, which would of course be contrary to this author’s very argument). The author seems to imply here that evidence for evolution certainly could have other interpretations. The real problem is creationists who single out evolution. Again, I have no intention for singling out evolution.

    CA301 (also CA601 and CA603): Here is where I most strongly disagree, and this requires an entire paper to argue. I do agree that much of science is based on naturalism, and it is not right for me to single out evolution. I certainly do not do so. This author makes black and white assumptions regarding naturalism and supernaturalism. It is much more complicated, and I don’t have time to spell this out. At any rate, this is a major issue in the philosophy of science and is hardly an inherently creationist claim.

    CA320 (and CA321): This author overlooks larger sociological issues. Many have made this argument, many of which are not interested in the least in creation-evolution issues. There are issues of power, money, authority, and so on, that go well beyond the narrow discussion the author provides here. At any rate, not an inherently creationist claim.

    Well, Ed, I am eagerly awaiting your response. But, please, do not get into the details of these claims without first addressing the issue over whether the claims are INHERENTLY creationist claims.

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  14. Ed Darrell says:

    Thanks for dropping by to answer.

    1. Multiple creation stories are taught in most public schools in America, including especially Utah. In much of America creationists object to this. While your egalitarian aims are commendable, claiming that scientists stop this cultural study is just plain hooey. This isn’t a philosophical question, unless you’re trying to weasel into a claim that this literature stuff should be taught in science classes. Then you’re just pedagogically in error. Philosophy isn’t a shoehorn for weasels use to water down hard academic subjects — or shouldn’t be.

    2. I see: You don’t know what creationism is. You assume that all the hoary old creation lines you’ve heard are accurate — because, alas, you don’t know what evolution is, either. I apologize for assuming you and the others on the board understand what you’re talking about. I won’t take such claims there at face value again.

    Each and every claim made against evolution at your blog is an old creationist canard. You can find them documented as such at Talk.origins. That site has an Index to Creationist Claims — and there is even a subsection for philosophical claims (here: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html#CA ). Do you want me to link to the rebuttal to each of the claims I noted? To each of the errant claims made?

    I had assumed you knew something about evolution and creationism. I regret my error; I could have steered you to the data had you bothered to respond even as cursorily as you do above Instead, at your blog I got the haughty answer that I was completely in error, with no specificity to what the error might be.

    Again, I understand fully now, in this case my error was assuming you have some familiarity with evolution and creationism.

    Now you can go see for yourself that each claim made at your blog is a creationist chesnut. Ignorance is no excuse before the law, but it would be an excuse here, if only you hadn’t pretended to know what you were talking about.

    The claim that human evolution cannot be observed is one that can be discussed. It’s clear you’re unwilling to discuss it. The claim that evolution cannot be observed is also one that can be discussed.

    Both claims are false. But you and your homeys are intent on saying that, epistemologically, there’s lots of room to grease around and say we can’t agree on standards. I think that’s a flaccid argument at best, and a dishonest one at worst. If we say, by definition as you try to, that evolution can’t be observed, then it can’t be observed.

    But if we are not dogmatically opposed to looking at the evidence, we find that evolution can be observed, has been observed, and is constantly being observed.

    Now, had you asked, “Why do you say that?” I could have responded. Had you asked, “What are the sources for the specific examples of observed evolution you claimed,” I’d have been happy to cite them for you.

    But when you say, “You just don’t understand,” then you’re ducking the claim.

    If you want to claim you have peer-reviewed research showing evolution is not science, is unevidenced, or is not observable, produce it, please. You do neither of us a favor pretending to know what is neither claimed nor evidenced. Of course I’m wrong if you define me as in error. Such a definition may be acceptable in the philosophical circles you move in. It’s an incorrect claim, easily shown to be wrong in almost any philosophical system you choose.

    The basic criticisms you offer may be widely published. They remain factually in error, and your refusal to discuss them in any way doesn’t improve their accuracy.

    Got citations? These comments are still open.

    Take a look at Talk.origins, tell me if any of your claims are not at least addressed there. Then, when you find they are addressed, if you wish to quibble with one, quibble.

    I won’t pretend philosophy of science is stuff made up to diss science if you won’t pretend stuff made up to diss science is philosophy of science. Fair?

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  15. Dennis says:

    Ed:

    The point of the lead post: Multiple stories should be taught in public school concerning the creation and origin of life. This is not the same as creationISM.

    I didn’t respond to your big long post before because, honestly, it was like banging my head on a wall. You can only do so much before you give up. I simply have more important things to do. You argue about my need to show you how and where you are deceived, but then argue that you have done this by simply lifting a bunch of posts and asserting that they are creationist, with providing no rationale. So all you’ve done is assert that several quotes are creationist. They are not, and I’ll leave you with the task of actually demonstrating that they are creationist rather than simply quoting them and asserting that they are. It was your claim, and it was never made, simply asserting, and so I feel no need to defend myself other than to say, no, they’re not creationist, and all you have done is simply say they are. This MIGHT be because you see anything that is critical of evolution as creationist, which is simply not true. It also MIGHT be because you see anything that talks about biblical creation, in any way, as creationist. Also not true. (There are many evolutionists who also believe in biblical creation stories, although not in a literal way; biblical literalness was certainly never advocated for on our part.) You said the claim that human evolution (that humans evolved from apes) cannot be observed is a creationist claim. This is pure baloney. It might be that there are creationists who make this claim but this hardly makes it an inherently creationist claim. The task is on you, Ed, to demonstrate how such a claim is creationist, not on me to defend that it is not. Doing so takes more than saying that it is a “play out of the creationist handbook.” It’s like saying that someone who believes in the Quran is a terrorist because belief in the Quran is held by many terrorists. This is an obvious logical fallacy.

    Let me add, also, Ed, that it appears that Matto is exactly right. It’s completely fine, Ed, that you’re not terribly familiar with philosophy of science. Just don’t pretend that it’s a nonsense made up to dis on science. THIS is nonsense. You simply don’t understand. Now, I can’t fully make you aware of this in a little blog comment any more than a scientist can do so for someone without an awareness of scientific research. I will simply say, once again, that the basic criticisms of science that we are making are very common in just about every discipline and are published in reputable books and peer-reviewed articles. Now if you want to have a blind eye to this criticism, fine, but I don’t see it as being very different than those who have a blind eye to scientific research.

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  16. Ed Darrell says:

    And where is my error, Matto? Edify us, please.

    As I thought — shallow discussion, a rant against science disquised as an inquiry into philosophy, until somebody calls the bluff.

    I called the bluff.

    A debate on epistemology is not, or should not be, an excuse to toss all standards out the window and fall back solely on a relativistic structure in which any claim is as good as any other. Creationism by any other name still stinks like a rotten fish.

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  17. matto says:

    Please don’t be deceived – I’ve been to the blog and it’s apparent that Ed doesn’t even know the meaning of the word “epistemology.”

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  18. Ed Darrell says:

    Ed, when did anyone say that creationism should be taught?

    Can you tell me, in 25 words or less, what the point of the lead post was? When a post says evolution is philosophically incorrect, and then goes on to sing the praises of teaching creationism myths, and urges that they be taught alongside evolution — and then calls evolution a myth as if it were a religious idea — a rational reader may fairly conclude that there is advocacy of teaching creationism, no?

    Please explain my error, and do more than say that I’m wrong. Tell me why. Have I misread the post? Where? How? Someone asked me to detail where creationism was advocated, and I listed more than a dozen instances. Neither you nor anyone else responded. Don’t accuse me of errors that you can’t explain, or won’t explain.

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  19. Dennis says:

    You’ve said directly in this post, as well as in your last comment, that creationism was being advocated to be taught in the classroom. This is simply not true. This is where I’m taking issue, but yet where we seem to be at an impasse.

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  20. Dennis says:

    Ed, when did anyone say that creationism should be taught?

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  21. Ed Darrell says:

    I’ll invite you to explain yourself here, Dennis, please.

    1. I never accused anyone of being creationist. I did note the creationist arguments. I regret that offense was taken at that point — I was not the one who got miffed. Here the comments are still open — please explain.

    I am particularly intrigued with explanations about why there is such great offense at my posts, considering, of course, that no one at your blog is a creationist. Personally, I think the initial post was more than just playing piano downstairs at a house of creationism. But if it wasn’t, isn’t it awfully odd that such offense was taken, exactly as creationists would take offense? I know, epistemelogically, you’re not a creationist. If we say we’re arguing epistemology, does that give us license to argue silly things without support?

    Epistemelogically, cancer might be just a metaphor. Does that reduce its deadliness?

    2. Whether I’m in the stream of your claims “epistemelogically,” no one has yet responded as to why it might be justified on any grounds to teach creationism, apart from the wholly unsupported claim that as myth, it’s better myth. Here’s your chance: Explain away.

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  22. Dennis says:

    Ed is caricaturing the post he is talking about. As one of the writers on that blog, let me simply state that no one was ever advocating for creationism to be taught in the classroom. We repeatedly said this to Ed, and he never believed us.

    I’ll simply invite you to go to the post and look for yourself. But unless Ed realizes that we are not advocating for creationism, then I’m done arguing with him.

    I also invite you to see one of my comments on that post in which I clarify Ed’s (somewhat accurate but misleading) claim that preaching against evolution is false LDS doctrine.

    Like this

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