Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Of Hearts and Chisel Chesil Beach

I've joined in on a conversation here.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dembski on Dembski

There's a recent Interview of William Dembski, which reveals something of what shaped his life from his youth and later. A taste:

"I went to public schools through the start of grade seven. Fourth through seventh grade was in the Evanston school system, which was nationally regarded as very good (Evanston Township High School was at the time regarded one of the best public high schools in the nation). Nonetheless, by the time I showed up, a permissive and secular educational philosophy had thoroughly vitiated that school system. Discipline was horrible. I was constantly being assaulted and getting into fights. I remember being chased during recess outside by a boy with a baseball bat who meant to use it on me. When he threw it at me, I tried to get my hands on it and I meant to use it on him, I was so angry. My hands fumbled and I couldn’t get a grip on it, so I just ran inside. Looking back, I think it was the grace of God that I didn’t beat his head in." more

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Turn on Judgment Day

Bilbo: "I'd just like to say that I argued for the Truth against all those idiots who didn't see it, just like you wanted me to."

Judge: "When did I tell you that I wanted you to spend all your time arguing for the 'Truth'?"

Bilbo: "Well, didn't you?"

Judge: "No. I wanted you to love other people, not spend all your time trying to prove that you were right."

Bilbo: "So my life has been a waste?"

Judge: "Pretty much."

Bilbo: "Is it too late to change?"

Judge: "Not yet."

Bilbo: "So should I start trying to love other people now, instead of arguing with them?"

Judge: "Sounds like a good idea to me."

Bilbo: "Loving people that I disagree with isn't very easy. Will you help me learn how to do that?"

Judge: "Gladly."

Bilbo: "Thank you."

Judge: "You're welcome."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Waiting for a Reply to James Shapiro

There's been an interesting discussion involving William Dembski, James Shapiro, Ann Gauger, and Douglas Axe over at ENT. So far, Shapiro has the last word. I'm curious if there will be any follow up.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Deployment of U.S. Troops to Israel Postponed

According to Debka.com, Israel postponed the joint U.S./Israeli missile drill, that was supposed to result in the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops to Israel. Sounds like Israel doesn't trust the U.S. I wouldn't either.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Disagree with Behe...for once.

HT: Edward Feser

I just watched Dr. Michael Behe's lecture at the Science and Faith Conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Interestingly, in the second half of the lecture Behe tries to argue that Christianity and Darwinism are incompatible. I don't think he succeeds, as I think Dr. Daniel Kuebler, in his response, demonstrated. Merely because something is random doesn't mean that it is unintended by God. As Kuebler so excellently put it, our apparently random meetings of other people may have all sorts of transcendent purpose and meaning.

Behe tries using the example of the inventor of the kaleidoscope not knowing what the various future patterns it will display will be, and therefore could not have intended any of them. However, in the case of God, who knows the future, all random events are pre-known. Therefore, He could have intended many or even all of them. So it seems to me that one can consistently be a Christian and a Darwinist.

I'm not a Darwinist, but that's because I don't think the empirical evidence supports it, not because I think there is a philosophical or theological conflict between the two.  Let me add that much of the reason I don't think the empirical evidence supports Darwinism is due to the evidence and arguments of Michael Behe.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Latest From Michael Behe

One frequently reads or hears that Michael Behe's views in his books, Darwin's Black Box and The Edge of Evolution have been refuted. What one never hears is that Behe has responded to all of his major critics, and that they haven't rebutted him. Behe continues making his point in A Blind Man Carrying a Legless Man Can Safely Cross the Street.

Update: There's an interesting debate in the comments section here, featuring one of my favorite critics of ID, Nick Matzke.

My own comment: The discussion of whether amino acid sequence similarity can be explained by convergent evolution is interesting but besides the point. Behe was quite willing to accept the Thornton group’s (non-convergent) evolutionary explanation for the different variety of V-ATPase. The question is whether this exposes a weakness in Behe’s view that the origin of irreducibly complex systems poses a significant challenge to non-intelligently guided evolution. I think Behe is correct in maintaining that it doesn’t expose a weakness in his view. What Thornton’s group has succeeded in doing is showing how an IC system can become more complex. It does not succeed in showing how an IC system came into existence. Let’s suppose that only the fungi variety of the V-ATPase existed, and Thornton’s group was able to discover that it arose from a simpler form of V-ATPase. But this simpler form is itself IC. Would they have weakened Behe’s case? Certainly not very significantly. For they still haven’t shown how the simpler IC system came to be. So I find Thornton group’s work to be very interesting, but not very enlightening to the ID debate.

Monday, January 9, 2012

1,650 Architects and Engineers For 9/11 Truth

When I first found the website Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, back in September of 2008, 470 of them had signed the petition that doubted the official explanation of the destruction of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. That number is over 1,650. The fact that the number of building experts for 9/11 truth continues to increase doesn't prove that 9/11 Truthers are correct, but it does suggest that perhaps the evidence is at least worth looking at. You can go to their Evidence Page to check it out.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

9,000 U.S. Troops being Deployed to Israel

Or so it has been reported here. If you google it, you can see how much of a stir this is beginning to create on the internet. Luckily, the world won't end until the Lions win the Super Bowl and the Cubs win the World Series...just ask someone who thought the Lions would beat the Saints.


Saints beat Lions, 45-28. The good news is that if a Sports Fan's Eschatology is correct, then the end of the world won't happen before the Super Bowl in 2013.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I'm Wrong...

...once in a while. I predicted that the Detroit Lions would go 12-4 this season. They only went 10-6. Oh well. I guess I can't always be right. Should I predict a Lions victory tonight against the Saints? I'll just say that it's not out of the realm of possibility. The last time they played the Saints the Lions committed 11 penalties. A number of those came during critical plays on their offensive drives and limited their scoring opportunities. On top of this, Stafford was playing with a broken finger on his throwing hand; Suh was serving the first game of his two-game suspension; and key defensive player Louis Delmas was out with a knee injury. This game, Stafford and Delmas are healthy and Suh is back. If the Lions play the Saints as strong (or is it "strongly"?) as they did last time and don't commit the penalties, I think they will have a good chance of winning.