Kingdom of Priests

Kingdom of Priests


“Worldview-Induced Blindness,” Intelligent Design, & the Ashes of the Red Heifer

posted by David Klinghoffer
3319924165_8096ed6372.jpg

Chuck Colson’s formulation, “worldview-induced blindness,” that I noted yesterday helps explain a lot of things. It explains, for example, why believers in Darwinism can’t open their eyes and see when presented with scientific evidence of design in nature. (Note to Darwinist commenters: This is not a blog concerned with presenting that evidence. However, if you’d like additional information on the subject, why don’t you read Stephen Meyer’s new book, Signature in the Cell. After you have read it, then I would be very curious to hear your thoughts about the evidence of intelligent design in DNA.)

Colson’s phrase also neatly captures an idea in the beginning of this week’s Torah reading, Chukat-Balak (Numbers 19:1-25:9). The reading begins with the description of the statute (chok) of the red heifer, whose ashes cleanse ritual impurity associated with having come into contact with the dead. According to Jewish tradition, the term chok, or statute, implies that the kind of law in question differs from other kinds of laws in that its rational basis is not readily apparent. To put it mildly.
Another class of Torah laws — mishpatim, often translated as “ordiances” — are “rational” in the sense that the reason behind them can be discerned without the need for revelation. Many of these are laws that humankind might have arrived at on our own had the Hebrew Bible not been revealed. Think of them as natural law. Some, though not all, of the laws in the Ten Commandments would be examples of this. 
But a chok almost seems to invite mockery from the world. On this point, the Medieval commentator Rashi on Numbers 19:2 cites the Talmud (Yoma 67b). Why does the verse speak of the law of the red heifer as “the statute of the Torah,” as nothing less than the prime example of a Torah “statute”?


Rashi answers:

Because Satan and the nations of the world taunt Israel, saying, “What is this commandment, and what purpose does it have?” Therefore, the Torah uses the term “statute.” I [God] have decreed it. You have no right to challenge it.

Sometimes a chok is called a “suprarational” law. That doesn’t mean it’s irrational. Instead, the rationale behind the law, its significance when considered rationally, can only be perceived from within the system of Torah thought — the worldview of the Hebrew Bible. From outside, it indeed appears irrational. An alien worldview, like secularism, blinds a person to being able to see the law’s sense, the insight and beauty it reflects — “worldview-induced blindness.”
I know that such “statutes” aren’t irrational because Jewish tradition has much to say about their meaning. Just yesterday I attended a circumcision and the rabbi spoke movingly about circumcision as a “chok” — brit milah is indeed mocked by many in the secular world — but then he went on to elaborate on its meaning in what seemed, to someone listening from within the Torah’s worldview, a very sensible way, having to do with the permanent engraving of God’s relationship with the Jews as a mark on the human body. Chok is etymologically related to the Hebrew word for “engraved.”
In earlier posts, we’ve been talking about homosexuality. It is relevant and interesting to glance at Leviticus 18, where many laws of sexually immoral combinations (e.g., incest, bestiality, homosexuality) are given. These laws are prefaced with the statement: “Carry out My ordiances and safeguard My statutes to follow them; I am the Lord, your God” (18:4). In other words, looking at the Hebrew, it’s clear that the passage speaks of both “rational” and “suprarational” laws — those whose sense can be readily appreciated from outside the Torah’s worldview and those whose sense cannot be readily appreciated, where worldview-induced blindness comes into play.
The verse doesn’t tell us which laws are which, but maybe we can speculate that the laws against incest would fall under the former category, and against homosexuality, under the latter.


Advertisement
Comments read comments(44)
post a comment
Glen Davidson

posted July 1, 2009 at 4:58 pm


Chuck Colson’s formulation, “worldview-induced blindness,” that I noted yesterday helps explain a lot of things.

ID and its constant blathering, while never answering the points we raise, for instance.

It explains, for example, why believers in Darwinism can’t open their eyes and see when presented with scientific evidence of design in nature.

Present some, then we’ll talk. And no, telling us to buy a dishonest book does not discharge your duty to back up your claims.

(Note to Darwinist commenters: This is not a blog concerned with presenting that evidence. However, if you’d like additional information on the subject, why don’t you read Stephen Meyer’s new book, Signature in the Cell.

I read much of the preview, and I commented on the dishonesty of his conflation the expectations of design and of evolution. The two produce very different effects, and we don’t happen to see the evidence for design in life (save where we bred or engineered life), while we have an abundance of evidence for evolution, which neither you nor Meyer dare to address. I really don’t have to deal much more with a book than to note that his central premise is completely wrong, and that it utterly ignores the many considered responses that ID has received.

After you have read it, then I would be very curious to hear your thoughts about the evidence of intelligent design in DNA.)

No, you would not be. All you ever do is promise evidence over the next rainbow, and you never properly engage in an honest discussion of the differences between the effects of design and those of evolution. We’ve told you why design is falsified, for instance by lacking evidence of rational changes occurring. In return we receive no answers at all, just a demand that we read more dissembling nonsense (send it to me for free and I will read it, though–mostly to catch all of the mistakes he makes, not just the huge ones I’ve already discussed and that you ignored, David).
Again, David, you manage to notice the problem. What you miss is your own ignorance and lack of honest engagement with others due to your “worldview-induced blindness.”
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



report abuse
 

David Klinghoffer

posted July 1, 2009 at 5:07 pm


Glen, if you don’t mind my saying so, you’d benefit from spending more time reading serious books and less time reading blogs. Just a thought from a blogger.



report abuse
 

Unapologetic Catholic

posted July 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm


“Note to Darwinist commenters: This is not a blog concerned with presenting that evidence.”
Truer words were never spoken.
When there is such evidence let us know.



report abuse
 

Glen Davidson

posted July 1, 2009 at 5:37 pm


Glen, if you don’t mind my saying so, you’d benefit from spending more time reading serious books and less time reading blogs. Just a thought from a blogger.

Seems you’d need to know how much time I spend reading blogs to make that comment honestly. Oh yeah, and how much time I spend reading “serious books,” and whether or not that is what I ought to read.
Something wrong with reading journals? I know you aren’t spending much time reading science journals, books, etc., but some of us actually like to know of what we speak or write.
Say, David, how many serious books do you suppose I have read? More than you, I’d bet, not counting sectarian religious books as “serious,” let alone the bizarre nonsense from Stephen Meyer. I mean, it would be nice if you could discuss some actual philosophy and its criticisms of free will, religion, and people who blog instead of learning their subjects (well, not specifically that).
Imagine, David, if you could engage in more than mere ad hominem attacks in order to divert attention from your continual lack of depth on the issues you raise. It might even be worth reading the writings of people that heretofore you have only attacked.
Glen Davidson
http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p



report abuse
 

Turmarion

posted July 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm


David: Note to Darwinist commenters: This is not a blog concerned with presenting that [scientific] evidence.
But what about philosophical/theological issues? I have asked you specific questions:
1. Did you bother to read the extensive series of four posts I put up awhile back regarding randomness and why it is perfectly compatible with God’s direction? If so, what response, if any, do you have?
2. Does the “image and likeness of God” imply a human form only, as you imply, but don’t state? If so, why? What of all the Jewish and Christian commentators mentioned on that thread who clearly state that this refers to man’s mind, not in any way to his body? And if intelligent life exists elsewhere in the cosmos, does it have to be human, too, then? Or could intelligent giant squid exist somewhere in Antares?
3. Do you see any difference between methodological materialism (which we all use every day) and metaphysical materialism (the view of hard-core materialists such as Dawkins)? Can you concede that one can do science as a methodological materialist without denying God or the spiritual realm? If not, why not?
The last time I asked you a series of questions, regarding the Holocaust museum shooting, you brushed them off by claiming that I was in effect calling you a “hurtful ninny”. That was not anywhere near what I was asking. In any case, with this series of questions I think you’d have to agree that there is no conceivable personal aspect involved. If you are as interested in dialogue as you say you are, you should at least take a stab at some of these questions. Certainly, they don’t deal with science, but with theology and philosophy, so they should be right up your alley re the purpose of this blog. As I’ve said before, you write interestingly and movingly on some topics, but the stuff on evolution is something where you assert, then refuse to interact or debate beyond saying, “Read a book,” or accusing someone of ad hominems. Is it so much to ask that you take someone else’s points seriously by actually speaking to them?
Glen, if you don’t mind my saying so, you’d benefit from spending more time reading serious books and less time reading blogs.
Have you, David, read The Language of God by Francis Collins, Only a Theory by Kenneth Miller, or Saving Darwin by Karl Giberson? Have you sat down and actually completely read any serious books supporting evolution in general or theistic evolution in particular? If not, I suggest that you not throw the first stone!



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 2, 2009 at 12:18 am


Ladies and gentlemen, there is no point in asking David to engage; he won’t. He throws up assertions he can’t support. His fellow travelers won’t read the comments. You are not going to get answers from him, because he has none that withstand scrutiny, and he knows it.
All we can do is explain why what he says is wrong and how he is being intentionally deceptive to anyone openminded enough to read the comments.
When he deliberately mangles a quote, show the real quote. When he mischaracterizes a theory, or a person’s opinions, present them fairly.
It’s one thing to argue against evolution; it is a different thing to lie in order to do so. David’s lies should not be allowed to stand unchallenged.
Anyone who bothers to read the comments can read and judge for themselves. One guy essentially slings mud and refuses to back up his assertions, and a bunch of other people take time out of their day of doing REAL science to patiently explain what he is saying wrong, why it is wrong, and what is right.



report abuse
 

Ted Herrlich

posted July 2, 2009 at 8:58 am


I get it, David here is just Stephen Meyer’s shill. It makes perfect sense. No wonder he hasn’t offered anything but conjecture and wishful thinking. No wonder he hasn’t even engaged even when he asks for it in a post. The funniest thing is he seems to think that Meyer’s book is an example of “serious books”.
I wonder if David has read Pat Buchanan latest rant at http://www.theusdaily.com/articles/viewopiarticle.jsp?id=2278&type=Opinion. Since the two of them are starting to rant on the same things, I bet they are buds as well. Buchanan thinks Darwin stole his ideas from Alfred Russel Wallace (refuted in Wallace’s own words) and Davie here is trying to make Wallace an Intelligent Design advocate (also refuted in Wallace’s own words).



report abuse
 

Tantalus Prime

posted July 2, 2009 at 9:28 am


“I know that such “statutes” aren’t irrational because Jewish tradition has much to say about their meaning.”
This is the genetic fallacy, pure and simple. You’ve deflected the issue by claiming that there is some special knowledge that is necessary without addressing whether or not that knowledge is at all relevant to the present day.



report abuse
 

Todd Greene

posted July 2, 2009 at 9:58 am


I wonder if “worldview-induced blindness” explains, for example, why believers in intelligent can never seem to present any actual scientific research showing evidence of design in any professional peer-reviewed science publication.



report abuse
 

Anderson

posted July 2, 2009 at 10:12 am


Since, as you have stated several times, this blog is not concerned with presenting “scientific evidence of design in nature,” this is a cheap shot:

It explains, for example, why believers in Darwinism can’t open their eyes and see when presented with scientific evidence of design in nature.

If this blog is, as you have said, truly about the social and cultural implications of belief in the theory of evolution, then stick to the social and cultural implications and leave the science out of it. You can’t just take shots at people who disagree with you about evolution/design if you aren’t willing to discuss the scientific evidence.
Furthermore, if, as you insist, you are only addressing the social and cultural implications of the theory of evolution and not the science, then you are in no position to argue about whether or not evolution actually took place. Going back to previous posts, if you truly believe that the theory of evolution is responsible for Nazism and assorted other ills and injustices, fine. If you want to compare the social and cultural implications of evolution to those of ID, fine. But you have to acknowledge that these discussions have absolutely no bearing on whether either of these theories is correct. If you aren’t going to address the science of evolution, you have no business taking shots at people who are convinced that evolution is the best explanation for the development of species on earth. You can warn them of the dangers of Social Darwinism, but you cannot say that evolution is itself incorrect (unless, of course, you are willing to deal with the scientific evidence).



report abuse
 

NLG

posted July 2, 2009 at 11:00 am


It seems to me that scientists are aware of what’s referred to here as “worldview induced blindness” so they began using a peer review system to try to filter out the resulting bias. I think your problem is that intelligent design theories are some of the things that got filtered out.



report abuse
 

Turmarion

posted July 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm


Gabriel, I think you’re right. Just for kicks, though, I’m going to ask him one more time before I give up on it and follow your advice of just refuting.
David, are you interested in proving us wrong? Or do you want to continue throwing out half-baked notions and responding to attempts at dialogue or responses with ad hominems and silence? If you really want dialogue, we’re waiting. If you don’t, then don’t ask for it.



report abuse
 

kernestm

posted July 2, 2009 at 5:29 pm


To Todd Greene, If you seriously looked at the logic. or lack of it in the rubbish you post on Evolution v Creation, you would see the lack of evidence you have for your religious belief. Take the time to study the intelligent design information that is freely available from many highly qualified scientists and seriously think through the scientific evidence, comparing it with the wild assumptions of evolution.
kernestm



report abuse
 

Olorin

posted July 2, 2009 at 5:32 pm


DK: “It explains, for example, why believers in Darwinism can’t open their eyes and see when presented with scientific evidence of design in nature.”
Michael Behe, one of two ID supporters who are practicing biological scientists, testified at the Kitzmiller trial that ther is no physical evidence for intelligent design. He answered, “That is correct, yes” to the following statement:
“There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred.” (Kitzmiller v Dover, transcript, Oct 18, 2005, PM session).
That statement is as true today as it was in 2005. In fact, the Discovery Institute has since 2005 forsaken the Wedge Document goal of producing positive evidence for design, and now devotes all its efforts to the purely negative strategy of faulting evolution. This brings back memories of the Tobacco Institute in the 1980s, when they stopped commissioning studies to show that cigarettes were good for you, and concentrated exclusively on denying evidence of harm.



report abuse
 

kernestm

posted July 2, 2009 at 6:32 pm


Further thoughts for TODD:-
Actually most of what you post on Evolution v Creation is actually “hate diatribes” against science, as the lack of logic in them shows the weakness of the evolutionary belief. By always twisting the point of view so that only the evolutionist belief is considered the weakness of the claim is masked, except to those who have realised the fallacy of evolution. You post the hatred thinking it is evidence but it has been disproved, or is a misrepresentation of the evidence.
And the rest of you evolutionists:-
If you really have evidence of evolution then explain exactly how life could have come about, how the immense complexity of the first replicating life could be organised by lifeless chemicals, in some primordial soup that would foul up any organised chemicals that occurred.
Explain how increased complexity can occur by random errors, that, as far as scientists can find out, usually cause serious damage or death.
Produce undeniable examples of transitional life forms showing the numerous small steps that Darwin said must happen. Show how the ATP motor can be produced before the specifications for it can be in the DNA, which cannot be read without the ATP the motor has to produce. In fact explain how all the complexity in life can be accidental.
ID has the explanation.



report abuse
 

Jimmy

posted July 2, 2009 at 7:06 pm


Because it’s not the point. The initial doctrine of ID isn’t to “answer questions” or present facts. It was from the beginning a ruse to bring religious teaching into public education. It’s since morphed and taken on a life of it’s own amongst the “true believers” who have conveniently or selectively forgotten the “Wedge Document” from which the ID movement was actually conceived – as it appears our friend here has done just that.
No, getting this guy to answer a question would be like getting an actual Geologist to employ himself at the Creation Museum (they actually had an job opening for one… it was quite funny). It’s not gonna happen.



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 2, 2009 at 7:16 pm


kernestm, not one thing you say is true.



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 2, 2009 at 7:29 pm


First, kernestm, you don’t know anything about biology, or you couldn’t have made the ridiculous statements you made. All you are doing is repeating lies that somebody like David Klinghoffer told you, but you don’t actually have any knowledge or expertise in this subject that you acquired yourself.
Secondly, ID CANNOT explain anything. Because it cannot explain where the “Designer” came from. All you do is refuse to answer the question of life’s origin by giving the unknown answer a name. But you don’t know where God came from.
You think life is too complex to have come about spontaneously, right? So something more complicated, God (oh, all right, a “Designer”) had to do it. But where did the Designer come from?
Did He not need a Creator? But He is more complicated than what you called on Him to explain–so if He needs no explanation, neither does life. Did God always exist, somewhere in the universe? If so, then why couldn’t life have always existed somewhere in the universe? And so your argument triumphantly defeats itself.
Even if you could explain where the Designer came from, you can’t explain why He chose to design sharks well and pandas badly. You can’t explain why God gave humans and octopus identical eyes, except that octopus eyes don’t have the retina installed backward.
ID is scientifically worthless. Evolution can at least answer many questions. ID just puts everything unknown into a box labelled “God”.



report abuse
 

John Pieret

posted July 2, 2009 at 8:27 pm


Ho, hum. Another book. IDers have been promising us the scientific evidence for design for two decades now and it always seems to be in the NEXT book ($19.13 plus shipping). As a marketing ploy it is a tried and true strategy but nobody on the side of science is holding their breath anymore.



report abuse
 

kernestm

posted July 3, 2009 at 5:14 am


To Gabriel Hanna:
(Secondly, ID CANNOT explain anything. Because it cannot explain where the “Designer” came from. All you do is refuse to answer the question of life’s origin by giving the unknown answer a name. But you don’t know where God came from.)
Evolutionists cannot explain where the first matter came from, that exploded and created everything. You only have conjecture and hypothetical unsubstantiated claims.
At least with God we do have recent updates, and healings that can only be explained by there being an intelligent entity that does care about humans, and does interact at its/his determination. Remember that when you need help that nobody can give you.
(You think life is too complex to have come about spontaneously, right? So something more complicated, God (oh, all right, a “Designer”) had to do it. But where did the Designer come from?)
I don’t know where he came from, but that he is, and you don’t know where matter came from. A speck that exploded!
We know from science that “nothing” does not explode, and also that nothing exploding does not produce everything, and definitely not life from dead chemicals.
(Even if you could explain where the Designer came from, you can’t explain why He chose to design sharks well and pandas badly. You can’t explain why God gave humans and octopus identical eyes, except that octopus eyes don’t have the retina installed backward.)
1. We know that mutations degrade, and you claim millions of years of life, some species have degraded and some have been able to keep in reasonable shape. Pandas didn’t do so well, but they did survive, though many species did not. That is the facts of evolution, degradation and loss, but no explanation of how design came about.
(You can’t explain why God gave humans and octopus identical eyes, except that octopus eyes don’t have the retina installed backward.)
2. This is the usual evolutionist lie, The human eye is assembled correctly, we have to deal with bright ultraviolet light and very dim moonlight. The blood supply has to have quick access to the colour cells, otherwise it could take several minutes for your eyes to recover from bright light, before you could see again. But the light is conducted by fibre-optics, the Meuler cells ( Sorry I can’t find the reference for spelling it) so the claims that the nerves block the light is just evolutionary rubbish.
The octopus is in the dark, needs all the light it can get, no UV to contend with, no bright flashes, and it doesn’t need high quality as it doesn’t have to read small print, just identify its pray.
(ID is scientifically worthless. Evolution can at least answer many questions. ID just puts everything unknown into a box labelled “God”.)
Another evolutionist lie, ID is highly scientific, which evolution is not, it is stuck in the 1800s understanding of a cell being just a blob of protoplasm, which was the limited knowledge that Darwin had. Evolution cannot answer any of the important questions, and fails on anything complex.
You have avoided the questions, is that because you cannot give a good answer?
If you really have evidence of evolution then explain exactly how life could have come about, how the immense complexity of the first replicating life could be organised by lifeless chemicals, in some primordial soup that would foul up any organised chemicals that occurred.
Explain how increased complexity can occur by random errors, that, as far as scientists can find out, usually cause serious damage or death.
Produce undeniable examples of transitional life forms showing the numerous small steps that Darwin said must happen. Show how the ATP motor can be produced before the specifications for it can be in the DNA, which cannot be read without the ATP the motor has to produce. In fact explain how all the complexity in life can be accidental.
Regards. kernestm



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 3, 2009 at 11:30 am


Let’s get back to the theory that Jefferson did not believe in God as Creator.
Argue with me, not straw men. I never said this. Of course Jefferson believed in a Creator–that’s what “deist” means.
I ask, is it possible that a Deist/agnostic/Atheist could have made even this one statement? How about all the others? I ask again–is there even a possibility?
Yes. Since all you know of deism comes from caricaturists like Klinghoffer, I’m sure you are surprised. If you read 18th century deists, instead of trying to cherry-pick quotes to turn them into Christians, you’d know this.
But you didn’t think about your quotes. How could a slaveowner have said that all men are born free and equal? Yet Jefferson did say it, and did own slaves. He wasn’t a saint or an angel, but a man whose ideals did not always agree with his actions–as are all men.
Know that the DNA evidence proved that Jefferson could not have fathered the first four of Sally H’s children.
Maybe if you cited some evidence I might listen to you, but given how you’ve behaved so far, I won’t take your word for it.
he openly admitted a mere flirtation with a neighbor’s wife–something that shamed him. So schtumping the slave girl and knocking her up is not worth a blip but an afternoon’s chat with the neighbor’s wife brings him to his knees–does this make sense to you?
You just made this up. He was accused of adultery, not flirting, and he doesn’t explicitly confess to ANYTHING.
Aside from that, are you seriously arguing that a man who confesses to a smaller sin cannot possibly be guilty of a larger one? This would be like saying that if O.J. admits he beat Nicole, he couldn’t have murdered her, because he would have admitted that too! I’m sorry, that is really stupid.
I don’t say Jefferson is guilty of an affair with a neighbor’s wife.
Anyway, you don’t believe anything I cite that doesn’t match your preconceptions, and you don’t cite anything, so I don’t believe you.
However, others will read what you said, and what I said, and draw their own conclusions.



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 3, 2009 at 11:37 am


Sorry, kernestm, last post is cut and paste fail. This is your answer:
I don’t know where he came from, but that he is, and you don’t know where matter came from. A speck that exploded!
We know from science that “nothing” does not explode, and also that nothing exploding does not produce everything, and definitely not life from dead chemicals.

Let’s add physics to the list of things you don’t know anything about. You do not seem to know ANYTHING about “science”. I actually AM a working scientist. Try to keep that in mind when you tell me what “we know from science”.
Do you know what a differential equation is, much less ever solved one? What are boundary conditions and why are they important? Why do the gravitational field and the electric field have the same functional form? What does energy conservation have to tell you about how physical laws change with time? Why do you think you are qualified to say that professionals are WRONG about something YOU HAVE NEVER STUDIED?
First, the Big Bang is not a “speck that exploded”, and has nothing to do evolution. To explain it here would take too long, and even if you tried to understand it you’d refuse to believe it. It’s not my field anyway and I freely confess that I would be out of my depth; I could only give you a sketch of it, and I’m not up on the latest developments.
As for the impossibility of life from “dead chemicals”, the food you eat was dead chemicals originally, converted to living tissue by plants and in your body. Oxygen in air is a “dead chemical” turned into living tissue in your cells. It is clearly possible.
you claim millions of years of life
So you don’t believe that nuclear reactors work? Of course you don’t have the education to understand how the two are connected. This is why I defend evolution even though I work in physics–because physics will be your next target, if you ever develop the ability to attack it.
We know that mutations degrade, and you claim millions of years of life, some species have degraded and some have been able to keep in reasonable shape.
So you DO believe in evolution! You just think it can only go one way. That’s a naive view but not a ludicrous one and I give you credit.
ID is highly scientific, which evolution is not, it is stuck in the 1800s understanding of a cell being just a blob of protoplasm, which was the limited knowledge that Darwin had.
Biologists haven’t talked about “protoplasm” in years:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protoplasm
The word protoplasm comes from the Greek protos for first, and plasma for thing formed. It was first used in 1846 by Hugo von Mohl to describe the “tough, slimy, granular, semi-fluid” substance within plant cells, to distinguish this from the cell wall, cell nucleus and the cell sap within the vacuole.[2] Thomas Huxley later referred to it as the “physical basis of life” and considered that the property of life resulted from the distribution of molecules within this substance. Its composition, however, was mysterious and there was much controversy over what sort of substance it was.[3] Unsurprisingly, attempts to investigate the origin of life through the creation of synthetic “protoplasm” in the laboratory were not successful.[4]
The idea that protoplasm is divisible into a ground substance called “cytoplasm” and a structural body called the cell nucleus reflects the more primitive knowledge of cell structure that preceded the development of electron microscopy, when it seemed that cytoplasm was a homogeneous fluid and the existence of most sub-cellular compartments, or how cells maintain their shape, was unknown.[5] Today, it is known that the cell contents are structurally very complex and contain multiple organelles.

So you are arguing with biological science that is about 80 years out of date, but at least you are not making stuff up entirely. It’s funny that YOU accuse BIOLOGISTS of not updating their science.

The blood supply has to have quick access to the colour cells, otherwise it could take several minutes for your eyes to recover from bright light, before you could see again. But the light is conducted by fibre-optics, the Meuler cells ( Sorry I can’t find the reference for spelling it) so the claims that the nerves block the light is just evolutionary rubbish.

Fiber optics in the human eye? You know fiber optics are made of glass right?
I’m sorry, that’s not fair. You don’t know anything about physics or biology so of course you can’t get the terms right.
If this is correct, why do other terrestrial animals have their retinas installed correctly then? They too have to deal with moonlight and ultraviolet.
If you really have evidence of evolution then explain exactly how life could have come about, how the immense complexity of the first replicating life could be organised by lifeless chemicals, in some primordial soup that would foul up any organised chemicals that occurred.
You demand that I explain what you refuse to explain. You say, “God did it”, and I am just supposed to shut up and believe you and demand no further answers. But if I said “Aliens did it” or “extremely primitive life can form spontaneously” you would demand further answers. Eventually I would get so far as the Big Bang, which you would just reject.
However, you don’t consider yourself bound by the same rule. You don’t have to explain where God came from or how He did what He did. You are not arguing honestly.
Explain how increased complexity can occur by random errors, that, as far as scientists can find out, usually cause serious damage or death.
First-ever see water freeze into a snowflake? Randomness SPONTANEOUSLY becomes ordered ALL THE TIME. Life is but one example of a universal law, the second of thermodynamics.
If even a tiny percentage of mutations lead to an organism working a little bit better, then evolution by natural selection works. Granted that most mutations are bad.
But evolution is not random. Evolution is a sieve which gets rid of bad random stuff and keeps good random stuff. The result is highly non-random.
This is why pesticides and antibiotics quit working over time.
Produce undeniable examples of transitional life forms showing the numerous small steps that Darwin said must happen.
We have done so over and over, with horse and whales and people and Archeoptyrex. But this is another dishonest argument.
There are two species I claim are related. You say, “I demand to see the missing link”. I produce it. Now you demand to see TWO missing links, one between the first species and the original missing link, and one between the second species and the original missing link. If I find them, you will demand to see FOUR. You have no intention of allowing yourself to be satisfied. You are not honest.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whale_evolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_the_horse
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_evolution
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_evolution
Anyway, you will find any number of transitional fossils in those articles. And you will just deny that they have any significance.
In fact explain how all the complexity in life can be accidental.
Evolution does not say that all the complexity of life can be accidental. it says THE EXACT OPPOSITE. None of it is accidental. Life is complex because life has evolved through non-random processes.
If only random processes operated on life–if animals only died when hit be meteors or lighting-evolution would be impossible.
Since all you know of evolution is from listening to people like David Klinghoffer lie about it, you don’t actually know anything about it and so you make confused and false statements.
Randomness provides the RAW MATERIAL of evolution, but natural selection is NOT RANDOM.
If you have a herd of gazelles, some of them will run faster and some slower. They are not all the same. That is the randomness. The lions eat the slower ones more often than the faster ones. That is NOT random, and that is natural selection.



report abuse
 

Dennis

posted July 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm


David Klinghoffer and his kind are actually doing a valuable public service for all humanity. They are living examples of the many dangers of being inflexable true believers clinging (Kling–hoffer)to ancient superstitious irrationalities. They want certainty, not ambiguity, mystery, or creative alternatives–obedience, not freedom. Have compassion–for they know not what they do!



report abuse
 

Olorin

posted July 3, 2009 at 11:43 pm


kernestm: “Produce undeniable examples of transitional life forms showing the numerous small steps that Darwin said must happen. Show how the ATP motor can be produced before the specifications for it can be in the DNA, which cannot be read without the ATP the motor has to produce. In fact explain how all the complexity in life can be accidental.
ID has the explanation.”
ID keeps promising an explanation, but so far has not delivered. Produce undeniable examples of created life forms showing the single latge step that ID says must happen. Show how the ATP motor can be created before the specifications for it can be in the DNA In fact explain in detail how all the complexity in life was created, the steps involved, the times and places when it was created, and at least some of the things that you so glibly demand that current evolutionary science do.
Here’s another problem for kernestm: List all of your ancestors, back to Adam and Eve. Don’t forget to include their birth dates and places. If you can’t do that, I will be justified in concluding that your great-great-great grandparents were in fact chimpanzees.
Turn about is fair play, right?



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 4, 2009 at 4:28 pm


kernestm–
My Jefferson comment was cut-and-paste fail–I immediately sent the new one but it has “been held pending moderation”. Let’s see if this gets through…
Evolutionists cannot explain where the first matter came from, that exploded and created everything.
No, because that subject has nothing to do with evolution; that subject is the study of physics. You can’t explain why God made the laws of nature the way We know from science that “nothing” does not explode, and also that nothing exploding does not produce everything, and definitely not life from dead chemicals.the are, either, even if you COULD explain where He came from, so it is unfair for you to expect scientists to explain something you don’t think you have to explain yourself.
The Big Bang is not really the subject here, and it’s not my field, so I wouldn’t want to tell you wrong or misleading things about it.
We know from science that “nothing” does not explode, and also that nothing exploding does not produce everything, and definitely not life from dead chemicals.
You personally don’t know anything “from science”, your crude mischaracterizations demonstrate that. Living matter is created from “dead chemicals” every time you eat or drink or breathe. Have you never thought about this? How do plants grow? They turn “dead” sunlight and “dead” minerals and “dead” carbon dioxide into living tissue which you can eat.
The human eye is assembled correctly, we have to deal with bright ultraviolet light and very dim moonlight. The blood supply has to have quick access to the colour cells, otherwise it could take several minutes for your eyes to recover from bright light, before you could see again. But the light is conducted by fibre-optics, the Meuler cells ( Sorry I can’t find the reference for spelling it) so the claims that the nerves block the light is just evolutionary rubbish.
The octopus is in the dark, needs all the light it can get, no UV to contend with, no bright flashes, and it doesn’t need high quality as it doesn’t have to read small print, just identify its pray.

Then why do other terrestrial animals have their retinas in the right way? And are you really saying that God gave us the eyes we have so we can read small print? Then why didn’t He give us eyes twice as good so we could read even smaller print? Or eyes half as good, and we would just print bigger!
ID can’t explain ANYTHING even if you believe in it!
ID is highly scientific, which evolution is not, it is stuck in the 1800s understanding of a cell being just a blob of protoplasm, which was the limited knowledge that Darwin had.
“Protoplasm” is a term 80 years out of date, which biologists no longer use. It was physicists who invented the electron microscope, which allows biologists to understand the insanely complicated structure of cells. It’s hilarious that you think the biologists are out of date! Who do you think discovered the structures of cells? Nobody at the Discovery Institute.
Explain how increased complexity can occur by random errors, that, as far as scientists can find out, usually cause serious damage or death.
Every time a drop of water turns into a snowflake, complexity is produced by random “errors”. Don’t you know ANY science? Or is every snowflake an individually created miracle?
Mutations do usually cause damage or death, but a small percentage do not, and so we have evolution. But evolution is NOT random.
Imagine a herd of gazelles; some run faster than average and some slower. Which ones are more likely to be eaten by lions? Which ones are more likely to live to produce new gazelles? Won’t these new gazelles take after their parents? What is random about it?
Randomness is the engine of evolution, it provides the variation that natural selection works on; it makes some gazelles faster than others. But evolution is NOT RANDOM.
Produce undeniable examples of transitional life forms showing the numerous small steps that Darwin said must happen.
Horse, whales, humans, birds. Read Wikipedia once in a while.
But your argument is dishonest. You say, show me the “missing link” between two fossils. I find it and show you. Now you demand that I show you TWO missing links; one between the first fossil and the original missing link, and one between the second fossil and the original missing link. If I find those two you will demand FOUR. You have no intention of ever being satisfied.
Where is your evidence? Show me God creating something from nothing. As Olorin said, show me all the “missing links” between yourself and Adam. How do you know God didn’t create different humans at different times?
ID has no answers whatever.
In fact explain how all the complexity in life can be accidental.
But nobody is saying that is all accidental. You only think that because you don’t know anything.



report abuse
 

Olorin

posted July 4, 2009 at 5:39 pm


DK: “We know from science that ‘nothing’ does not explode, and also that nothing exploding does not produce everything, and definitely not life from dead chemicals.”
David needs an update in cosmology. The net electrical charge of the universe as a whole seems to be—zero. The net magnetic polarity of the universe seems to be—zero. The net momentum of the universe seems to be—zero. The net rotation of the universe seems to be—zero. The net mass/energy of the universe seems to be, as nearly as can presently be measured—zero. (Since you ar entirely ignorant of physics, remember that gravitational potential represents negative energy.)
A recent cosmological hypothesis has calculated a total initial mass for the entire universe as less than 10kg.
Oh yes: If you think that matter can’t be created form nothing, then you are not seeing the billions of particles that appear out of empty space every second, right in front of your nose. Randomly, by the way—acausal. (You might wish to review the Casimir Effect. But probably not.)



report abuse
 

Olorin

posted July 4, 2009 at 5:45 pm


Gabriel, this is like shooting fish in a barrel. Why do we bother? Is it just for the laughs, or is there something else?



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 4, 2009 at 9:04 pm


Olorin, it’s not for amusement. It’s not because these guys disagree with me.
It is because they are lying about science so they can get the Bible taught in science class. As a scientist, I have an obligation to not let them have the debate all their own way. I do not expect to convert the True Believers–I speak to those who don’t know what to believe.
When DI people say “Science can’t deal with X”, I think we need to point out that science can and does, and has for years, and that DI knows it perfectly well since they have had it pointed out again and again. They just repeat their lies somewhere else, and hope they take root. kernestm shows that the lies do. I can’t help him, but perhaps I can immunize some people.
Astrologers and phlogiston chemists don’t have the same kind of following. I do argue with free-energy types (I don’t mean Helmholtz or Gibbs). I can’t stand the thought of John Edwards using cold-reading to pretend he can talk to dead people on TV.
I hate to see people get suckered.



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 4, 2009 at 9:16 pm


Anyhow, it is no crime to disagree with a scientist. We disagree with each other, acrimoniously in some cases. I’m not sure I believe in dark energy/matter or string theory, and I have plenty of company in the physics community. But those are new ideas and their scientific merit is still being tested.
Creation, insofar as it can be scientific, had its day and lost. I don’t feel the obligation to give equal time to astrologers or people who think the earth is flat or that the Sun goes around it.
If it weren’t that creation could end up taught in schools by political fiat, I wouldn’t care if anyone believed in it.
We had a class at this university about extraterrestrial life. It was intended for non-science majors and in the course we had to survey cosmology, planetary formation, geology, and biology. When we got to evolution I was appalled–college seniors knowing nothing about it but half-truths, slanders, and ideas decades out of date (protoplasm, “good of the species”, missing links).
I did make it very clear that neither I, nor the professor (who I believe is Hindu but I never asked), cared what anyone BELIEVED. They just needed to prove to us that they understood what the science said about it. So if they were going to say something that is not true, like evolution contradicts the second law of thermodynamics, they were going to get a bad grade.
One student, in response to a question on planetary formation, answered only “I believe God put them there”. I wrote on her paper that she was not being questioned about what she believed, but whether she’d understood what we presented in class, and that as she had given no evidence that she understood anything, she was accordingly receiving no credit.



report abuse
 

Olorin

posted July 4, 2009 at 9:38 pm


Sorry, Gabriel, the question was rhetorical. I do know why.
“One student, in response to a question on planetary formation, answered only “I believe God put them there”.
Newton discovered that his gravitational theory could produce instabilities in planetary orbits. He concluded that God nudged the planets to correct this. This answer kept him from discovering perturbation theory, even though he had invented all the mathematical tools for it. It was therefore left to Laplace to kick God out of the orbit business. Only one example of how a facile belief can impede progress.



report abuse
 

Gabriel Hanna

posted July 4, 2009 at 9:58 pm


Newton discovered that his gravitational theory could produce instabilities in planetary orbits. He concluded that God nudged the planets to correct this. This answer kept him from discovering perturbation theory, even though he had invented all the mathematical tools for it. It was therefore left to Laplace to kick God out of the orbit business. Only one example of how a facile belief can impede progress.
I didn’t hear this story. But Newton believed a lot of things, and it IS a little much to expect him to have worked out EVERYTHING about gravitation by himself. I’m glad he left SOMETHING for the rest of us to do!
I’ve been thinking about the Three Laws and it seems to me that you have to be VERY careful when you add masses together. In my education I have never heard this mentioned or seen it addressed. I’m still working on it. I’ve talked to people who know more about it and they can’t help me with it, so I am thinking that in my copious free time I will write a little something for the American Journal of Physics. But I’d like to take time and be sure that someone else hasn’t already said everything that needs to be said about it.
One more difference between science and “ID”. Newton wrote 400 years ago and we are still figuring out implications of his law of motion and gravitation, and in some cases we have vastly improved it (Hamiltonian and Lagrangian mechanics). But once you say “God did it”, discussion is pointless. God can do whatever He wants for whatever reason, and there is no way to pick and choose between varying interpretations.



report abuse
 

Olorin

posted July 4, 2009 at 10:11 pm


“But once you say “God did it”, discussion is pointless.”
yes, that’s the point of the Newton story. Newton had his hands full with many matters. Maybe he would not have had time for perturbation theory. But he didn’t even try, because he thought God-did-it.
I use 3 examples of the consequences of ideological interference with science. The religious crackdown on the falsafieh in the 11thC, which ended Islamic science and pushed it to Europe. The Lysenko affair, leading the USSR from a breadbasket into multi-year famines. German persecution of “Jewish science” (relativity and quantum mechanics), which gave the Allies the atomic bomb.



report abuse
 

freelunch

posted July 4, 2009 at 11:13 pm


Note to Darwinist commenters: This is not a blog concerned with presenting that evidence.
Nowhere in the world is anyone concerned with presenting evidence for Intelligent Design because cdesign proponentsists know there is no evidence and, when given the chance to do serious scientific work on it by the Templeton Foundation, the Discovery Institute was particularly loud in refusing to do any actual research. So, you work for people who yammer on about ID while refusing to research on it.
However, if you’d like additional information on the subject, why don’t you read Stephen Meyer’s new book, Signature in the Cell. After you have read it, then I would be very curious to hear your thoughts about the evidence of intelligent design in DNA.
Because Mr. Meyer has refused to do any scientific research to support his bogus claims. There’s nothing ‘serious’ about this book. Like Dembski and Johnson, Meyer is just selling religious dogma and trying to claim it is secular facts. You know that nothing is being done. You know the DI is a confidence organization. Why would anyone who cares about science do anything to support an organization like the DI or AIG who oppose science and lie about science while opposing it?



report abuse
 

freelunch

posted July 4, 2009 at 11:16 pm



The verse doesn’t tell us which laws are which, but maybe we can speculate that the laws against incest would fall under the former category, and against homosexuality, under the latter.

Your hubris is breathtaking. Which rabbinical school did you graduate from?



report abuse
 

Olorin

posted July 5, 2009 at 4:50 pm


“Because Mr. Meyer has refused to do any scientific research to support his bogus claims.”
That’s not the problem, freelunch. The problem is that Dr. Meyer’s degree is in philosophy, not science. Therefore he is not qualified to conduct the research that he writes about so glibly. He wouldn’t know how to turn on the fume hood in the lab.
Dembski has a PhD in mathematics. Although his epigones call him “The Newton of Information Theory,” he has yet to publish a single peer-reviewed paper in any branch of mathematics whatsoever, let alone in information theory.
Johnson is a law professor with no science background at all. This lack become appallingly evident in his book “Darwin on Trial.” He must not even be a good lawyer, because he puts Darwin on trial without the most basic Constitutional guarantee—the right to confront one’s witnesses—and without even a pretense of qualifying his “expert” witnesses against the defendant.
Jonathan Wells does have a PhD in the life sciences, which he obtained at the insistence of Sun Myung Moon for the explicit purpose of bashing evolution. Therefore, Wells is both more knowledgeable and more dangerous. He knows how to distort the research to fit his preconceived goals. This is evident in “The Design of Life,” where almost all of the “facts” are blatantly distorted but not quite totally undeniably false. Wells’ one attempt at science was an unpublished paper to show that the centriole of a cell is “a tiny turbine” and for that reason must have been designed. This was laughably slipshod; he even got the function of the centriole wrong.
So there you have it. Science and ID. Oil and water.



report abuse
 

freelunch

posted July 5, 2009 at 6:52 pm


Olorin,
I agree completely with you that Meyer is not doing science, though anyone with a PhD in philosophy should understand the basic concepts of science and be able to do it, even if they do it at a level that shows a lack of understanding of all of the science already done in the area. Meyer knows that he is not presenting any scientific evidence and that the right way to do science is to present the research to peers, not to publish a book that has not been critiqued by scientists. The problem I have with these conspirators against science is their willingness to claim that their religious doctrine of ID/Creationism is somehow science.
It becomes particularly problematic when one paid member of the Discovery Institute makes claims about the book of another paid member of the Discovery Institute that cannot be comfirmed by any actual evidence. Does Beliefnet know that they are paying David to shill for another writer? Do they understand that the author is making things up and that David has a vested interest in supporting Meyer’s indefensible publication?
I have some areas of expertise that I am capable of critiquing. I am also capable of recognizing nonsense when I see it. Either David is incapable of recognizing Meyer’s nonsense or he is joining together with him to mislead people or both. Given the history of the leading lights of the Discovery Institute that you outlined, it strikes me that they are neither competent nor honest in their discussions. Certainly Judge Jones considered them to be a corrupting influence.
One final comment. It is sad to see a once respected law professor from a very good school turn himself into a national joke the way that Phil Johnson has. That is very sad indeed, but he once had a decent reputation. The rest of this conspiracy against knowledge will end up with “We wanted people to be ignorant” as their epitaphs. Wells, of course will be worse. His will be “I learned so I could lie.” The others have their own, self-imposed ignorance as their defense.



report abuse
 

Olorin

posted July 6, 2009 at 2:56 pm


Freelunch: “One final comment. It is sad to see a once respected law professor from a very good school turn himself into a national joke the way that Phil Johnson has.”
I agree. And, as a lawyer myself, I am even more disappointed to see that “Darwin on Trial” flays the science, but disregards basic principles in Johnson’s own field of legal expertise.
I have a copy of “Darwin on Trial” and of “The Wedge of Truth.” They sit on a shelf next to von Daniken’s “In Search of the Gods” and Bauer’s “Beyond Velikovsky.”



report abuse
 

old_guy

posted July 6, 2009 at 3:16 pm


Is this the Charles Colson of Watergate fame?



report abuse
 

freelunch

posted July 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm


Is this the Charles Colson of Watergate fame?
Yes. He’s been quite a character.



report abuse
 

Vulgarian

posted July 8, 2009 at 11:12 am


There is an old Texas expression: All hat, no cattle.
Lets rephrase that to fit the context here in respects to the title of your “article”, “Worldview-Induced Blindness,” Intelligent Design, & the Ashes of the Red Heifer:
All title, no content.



report abuse
 

Donald K. Struckmann

posted July 9, 2009 at 8:48 pm


I read Dr. Meyers book and found it very well reasoned, polite, and well documented. I wish his detractors would save their cleverness for their social life and engage Dr. Meyer at his level. I urge all Darwinists to at least consider that as we learn more about life we see that it is more and more complex than we previously believed. Complexity is the arch-enemy of chance. The more complicated an outcome, the less likely it is luck. I can understand why Darwin might have seen chance as a reasonable explnation given the lack of detailed knowledge of cellular life. But as scientific inquiry reveals more and more details and spectacular and ingenius design it becomes increasinly difficult for me to believe that random chance is more likely than purposeful design. I wonder how more than a million really intricate and perfect life forms were able to “evolve” and yet not give any demonstrations of the actual process. I want to see the mechanic at work. When all the real action is behind some curtain I suspect the work of an illusionist. I believe that Dr. Meyer actually understates the case. He only addresses molecules at the level of electrons. The cosmologists have discovered that there is an even more complicated universe of particles and waves hidden within every molecule. The level of information at that deeper level is well beyond our current ccomprehension. If molecules are more complex than simple positive and negative switches, imagine the amount of information that can be conveyed by each molecule. Evolution doesn’t have a chance of explaining that level of design.



report abuse
 

freelunch

posted July 9, 2009 at 9:33 pm


Donald K. Struckmann –
If that is what Meyer wrote, he does not know what he is talking about. Such claims about chance are meaningless nonsense.
I wonder how more than a million really intricate and perfect life forms were able to “evolve” and yet not give any demonstrations of the actual process.
If you spent some time learning about biology and evolution instead of believing the anti-science nonsense that the Discovery Institute pays people to write, you would know how wrong your “wondering” is. Like David, you have demonstrated a sufficient ignorance of science to show that your opinion should be ignored by anyone who actually cares about these things.
Go. Learn. Rather than offering ignorant opinions, fix your ignorance. You and the rest of the world will be better off.



report abuse
 

Concerned Evangelical

posted July 9, 2009 at 11:38 pm


You see freelunch, the cell is so complicated that god had to design it. And everything we know about god is in a book, the bible, which is much less complicated than the simplest cell. So in order to understand complexity one is best off consulting a snake handling Applichian Christian
screw spell checking



report abuse
 

Mike McCants

posted July 27, 2009 at 2:10 am


“why believers in Darwinism can’t open their eyes and see when presented with scientific evidence of design in nature.”
Well, this gambit has been tried and found wanting for over a hundred years now. Perhaps it’s because such “scientific evidence” is not really scientific at all. Beauty and design are in the eye of the beholder when that beholder is religious. But not when the beholder is a scientist. I wonder why? Perhaps something about being “rational” instead of “having faith”?



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Another Blog To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Kingdom of Priests. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here is another blog you may also enjoy: Kabballah Counseling Happy Reading!

posted 11:24:22am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Animal Wisdom: The Voice of the Serpent
Our family watched Jaws together the other evening -- which, in case you're wondering, I regard as responsible parenting since our kids are basically too young to be genuinely scared by the film. The whole rest of the next day, two-year-old Saul was chattering about the "shark teeth." "Shark teeth g

posted 3:56:33pm Mar. 16, 2010 | read full post »

Reading Wesley Smith: Why the Darwin Debate Matters
If the intelligent-design side in the evolution debate doesn't receive the support you might expect from people who should be allies, that may be because they haven't grasped why the whole thing matters so urgently. I got an email recently from a journalist whom I'd queried on the subject. "All told

posted 5:07:12pm Mar. 15, 2010 | read full post »

The Mission of the Jews
Don't miss my essay over at First Things on the mission of the Jews to the world. This, I think, the key idea that the Jewish community needs to absorb at this very unusual cultural moment, for the time is so, so right. Non-Jews are waiting for us to fulfill the roll God gave us in the Torah. Please

posted 6:14:16pm Mar. 05, 2010 | read full post »

Darwin at the Mountains of Madness: Evolution & the Occult
Of all the regrettable cultural forces that Darwinism helped unleash, perhaps the most surprising and seemingly unlikely is its role in sparking the creation of modern occultism. Charles Darwin himself could not have been less interested in the topic. But no attempt to assess the scope of his legacy

posted 2:04:11pm Mar. 04, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.