CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

From "Is this woman the living 'Code'?":

Meet Kathleen McGowan, novelist and self-proclaimed descendant of a union between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. McGowan, who says she is from the "sacred bloodline" Brown made famous in his mega-selling novel, says she's ready to cope with people who think she's crazy or a heretic.

* * *

Think of McGowan as an Americanized Sophie Neveu come to life. In Da Vinci Code, Sophie (played by Audrey Tautou in this summer's movie adaptation) is a French woman who discovers she is a descendant of Jesus and Mary — a concept many Christians reject.

The Expected One (Touchstone, $25.95) is being published at a time when religious thrillers are a hot commodity for publishers and fans of Brown, who hunger for suspenseful novels that mix religion, history and conspiracy.

McGowan says her book is not a Da Vinci Code knockoff.

"Everyone's going to think I'm on The Da Vinci Code bandwagon, but I'm not," says McGowan, who began working on her book in 1989. The Da Vinci Code was published in 2003.

* * *

So far, McGowan is offering only her word about her lineage and only hints at her proof. In addition to the visions, she says, she has discovered that her family is related to an ancient French lineage that traces its roots to Jesus and Mary Magdalene's descendants. Legend holds that Mary Magdalene settled in France after Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. "That's all I'm prepared to say right now," McGowan says. Some members of her family, she explains, want her to respect their privacy and not discuss it.

Despite the lack of hard evidence, McGowan's supporters include her literary agent Larry Kirshbaum, who left his position as CEO of Time Warner Books in December to start his own literary agency. McGowan was one of his first clients and he helped her get a seven-figure, three-book deal with Simon & Schuster. (Her next two books pick up where The Expected One leaves off.)

I previously said that Dr. James Tabor was writing the Da Vinci Code bandwagon, and while I continue to think is book is a simply misguided, I backed off that statement. However, since The Da Vinci Code has been shown repeatedly to be a farce (and you can link to any number of websites that discuss the issue from the CADRE Da Vinci Code page), I will not hestitate to say that I do think she's riding the Da Vinci Code gravy train and merely trying to sell books.

Anyone believe her? I'd sure like to know why.

20 comments:

I thought I had a chance for a gravy train once.

I had a friend who told me he had found Jesus. I thought that we were going to be rich and famous, but it turned out he meant something else.

Steven, are you being serious? I ask that for two reasons: first, you can sometimes be rather sarcastic in tone, and I am curious if this is truly your experience with Christianity. Second, this type of teaching which is known as Prosperity Gospel is widespread in the church (look at Joel Osteen) and is damaging to the church and to the people involved. It is unbiblical, and if that is your experience with Christianity I don't blame you for turning away.

"Teach the Controversy!"

I have a list of over 300 Christians who believe in the Sacred Magdeline and have skepticism about the so-called "Theory of Christian Celebacy". My multimillion dollar think tank is funding a "Teach the Controversy" set of laws that will mandate that we teach "Both Sides" of this very core controversy in every Sunday School in the nation.

I say we teach both, and let the little tots make up their own minds.


Just kidding on the square here for a bit. I think this woman knows exactly what she's doing. That the credophiles in the world can't says more about the nature of belief than I think most Christians would care to contemplate.

I think the skeptical muscles have long since atrophied, and for many Christians it's merely an appeal to authority. Christian bookstores publish their own made-up science books, for crying out loud. Why don't they just publish some made up history books that "prove" Leonardo never existed?

Problem solved.

"Christian bookstores publish their own made-up science books, for crying out loud. Why don't they just publish some made up history books that 'prove' Leonardo never existed?"

Actually, they don't. If you are speaking of "young earth creationism" books, those are books published by scientists (note, "scientists") whose views are not widely accepted. (Certainly, I am not a young earth creationist.)

But with respect to the second statement, Christians (contrary to your insinuation and unlike the Jesus-Myth crowd) are interested in truth. They don't make stuff up. It may be that they have different interpretations of the history than you generally accept, but I can't recall seeing anything by a Christian that made up the facts to prove his or her case.

BK,

Those are several very broad statements. Before I provide counter-examples, I'd like some clarification of my understanding of what you are asserting.

"If you are speaking of "young earth creationism" books, those are books published by scientists (note, "scientists") whose views are not widely accepted."

Are you actually asserting here that there are zero young earth creationist books in Christian bookstores that are published by non-scientists?

And just for clarity, how do you define "scientist"? Is a doctor of divinity or doctor in philosophy a "scientist"? How about someone with a diploma from a diploma mill? How about someone who holds no position at a university with a biology department, does no research and is merely a pastor from a church? Are they scientists? Is a travelling church-lecturer a "scientist"?

Now these statements:

....Christians...don't make stuff up. It may be that they have different interpretations of the history than you generally accept, but I can't recall seeing anything by a Christian that made up the facts to prove his or her case.

Now it may be factually true that you "don't recall" seeing anything. It may be factually true that you haven't seen anything. I'll endeavor to make sure that you cannot say that again in full honesty. But before I do, a bit of clarity on my behalf would be appreciated.

When you said "Christians... don't make stuff up" where you referring specifically about the realm of science and biology, or were you referring to history? Or were you speaking generally -- can I use anything? Did you really mean that no Christian has ever made something up? Or merely that you cannot recall when a Christian had made something up (we'll assume you mean "and published it" so we aren't considering children who broke the cookie jar)?

And when you said they don't make stuff up, I'll need your definition of a Christian there. Because if your definition of a true Christian includes "people who never make stuff up" there's nothing I can say.

The lady is obviously out in left field, but it's interesting to speculate on how much of it she believes. I liked the bit about "I can trace my descent to some French kings, oh, but I admit there are holes in the documentation." Still, it might be true (I mean, the half about her and the French kinds. Not the French kings and Jesus.) This story is just interesting enough that I'd love to hear any new developments, but not interesting enough for me to put any effort in to finding the information myself.

Bruce,

If I were to ask you the following questions, would you think if fair?

1. Are you saying that there has never been a scientist who has written a book in support of young earth creationism?

2. Are you saying that Christians make everything up?

Obviously, you didn't say either of those things, but the questions that you ask me are much along the same lines. The answers to your questions are obvious, and I have to believe that you know the answers are obvious. So why are you asking?

But just so I don't get the usual "you didn't answer my question" that I get from so many skeptics, let me answer you this way:

1. When I speak of scientists I am speaking of people who have graduated with a degree in one or more of the typically recognized fields of science (biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc.) and who are working in scientific fields.

2. Am I saying that no non-scientist has ever written a book in support of YEC? No, of course not. I haven't seen every book ever written in support of YEC. But have some of the books been written by scientists?

3. Thank you for doubting my honesty.

4. Of course I never said that no Christian has ever told a lie about any subject at any time. I am speaking generally. I am pointing to the vast majority of work in Christianity and saying "that is not lying." In fact, to claim that all of these people are engaged in lying in their books seems an unwarranted and unsupportable conclusion. But more specifically, for purposes of this post, I was referring to the claims of YECs in support of a young earth. There may be some lies in their contentions, but in the vast majority of cases it is a different angle on the agreed-upon evidence and not some lie that is the basis for their claims.

Now, I would thank you to start with the assumption that I am a reasonable person who is capable of making a reasonable point before posting more questions that suggest that you think I have no clue. It's polite to do so.

Hallq,

Thanks for your input. I actually agree with you. :) I will keep my ears open and follow up if anything further comes into the news.

BK,

I'm not trying to be impolite, although my jesting reply could be seen as such. I'm making a direct analogy to the extremely poorly-written and poorly researched "science" books sold in Christian bookstores. If "the masses" can buy into that stuff, then the DaVinci Code is similarly an unkillable meme.

This is why I wanted clarification of your statement, because it seemed wildly broad. You said you've never seen a Christian make anything up to prove their case. Even if we assume you're just talking about science, that's pretty broad, in a world full of religious-scientific hoaxes.

Taking you at your word that you meant that "some books ARE written by scientists." I'll agree with that, obviously. I never said otherwise. I said that Christian bookstores publish books with made up science in them. This is true. There are books written by scientists and non-scientists alike who grossly misstate the scientific understanding, and then argue against them. Of Pandas and People, for example, does not merely look at the same facts and come to a different conclusion. No, it misrepresents the facts and then comes to conclusions based on those misrepresentations.

I have seen creationist material misstate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. I've seen it misrepresent neo-darwinian evolution as saltationism (nobody has ever seen a dog give birth to a non-dog). I've seen creationists ask the question "If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?"

Those are misstatements of Darwin's and Newton's theories. They are not "two ways of looking at the same data."


There may be some lies in their contentions, but in the vast majority of cases it is a different angle on the agreed-upon evidence and not some lie that is the basis for their claims.

I appreciate that you're actually trying to be more civil in this conversation than I am. Perhaps between the two of us we can keep this on-track.

But I think there's a fundamental disconnect in what I'm saying and what you're hearing. Let me try again (less sarcastically).


The deal is, there are numerous, popular books in Christian bookstores that promote a view of science that is in the extreme, extreme minority view of scientists worldwide. Probably .00001% of biologists support the biological conclusions of Dr Behe, for example. However, I think about 80% of Christian non-scientists support them.

Why? Is it the explanitory power of the mechanism he proposes? No, Behe admits that ID proposes no mechanism. Is it because the experimental evidence supports him? No, they have performed no experiments to support Behe's IC. Is it because it is a widely accepted new scientific idea that is revolutionizing biology in colleges worldwide? No, no universities with biology programs are currently doing any ID research.

So why do Christians LOVE themselves some Behe? Because he has the credentials of a real scientist, he came up with 4 things he couldn't explain in biology and said "this proves God". He attacks creationism's biggest bugbear, Darwin. He speaks as a "scientist" and an "authority" and says "x=y, Z*4 = 3 +2 /infinity plus cellular mitosis and bacterial flagellum THEREFORE GOD EXISTS!" It doesn't matter that his biology is bulldada, just as it doesn't matter that Dembski's math is bulldada. All that matters is a guy in a labcoat with a real sheepskin from a real university says "God exists".

My point being, modern "Evangelicalism" has cultivated an ethos where relativism, subjective truth, "you say tomato, I say toMAHto", teach the controversy, two ways of looking at everything -- is an acceptable way to view objective fact. "Maybe the world is 2.4 billion years old, maybe it's 6000... Both are valid." "Maybe dinosaurs died out 65mya, maybe they walked side by side with people in Glen Rose Texas.... who can tell? Isn't it fascinating?!?!"

Things like DaVinci Code madness are a direct outgrowth of creationism: Anything written in a book is an equally valid and intellectually honest way to look at the data, and the burden of disproof is on the debunker.

Re-reading, I probably overstated the number of Christians who support Behe. I don't think he's THAT widely-read.

But I do think the number is very high.

Bruce, hello again. Just to remark, I do agree that there are some Christian books out there that are full of bogus claims when it comes to science and history. Some of that stuff seems like it is written for people who are not willing to be fair to all issues concerning evidence. Evolution is good science, though I'm not saying we shouldn't test everything critically and repeatedly, including any "established" theory.

There are some very well-written books out there on history or a modern scientific viewpoint for Christians, you just have look in the right places, not necessarily the candy selling Christian store down the block.

4.5 billion years....that's where we're at for how old the earth is....based on our best evidence as of right now.

I do think Christians, atheists, Hindus, Muslims, agnostics or anybody has the potential to make something up. So....where does that get us to with anything? Should we brush away all of these belief systems because any person of any title could and probably has lied or made something up? I'm just wondering what the point of all this is.

"I'm not trying to be impolite, although my jesting reply could be seen as such."

That is something you should try and work on, from somebody who actually enjoys your posts, generally. I also agree with you, generally, on the current quality of quite a few poorly researched "science" books out there for Christians. It's not rare to find scientists who believe in God or practice a certain religion, so why should it be hard for common religious folk to be up to date scientifically and maintain their beliefs?

"Probably .00001% of biologists support the biological conclusions of Dr Behe, for example."

Stats are fun to guess at, I've never read Behe's work, but whenever you bring up God in science, it is a concept that goes beyond what science is capable of.

"He attacks creationism's biggest bugbear, Darwin."

Darwin himself was somewhat of a Deist/agnostic for the latter part of his life. He was a bright guy to have worked out natural selection through observation even though he had no knowledge of genetics yet. He made a leap like Newton did with his laws of motion and Einstein did with his general theory of relativity. I think quite a few Theists who believe in a creation via evolution have a respect for him. I think only the most conservative Christians out there think of him as an evil man. I guess I'm getting off topic, but I have much respect for Darwin's contribution to science and have no problem with feeling like we were all created at the same time (it was kind of weird he married his cousin, though).

There are Christians out there who don't trust in things without a reason and are critical of all stances. There are Christians who can make a good case for their convictions. Bruce, sometimes you come off as implying Christians are either ignorant or incompetent (note I'm not saying you are saying this directly). I think this is unfair and untrue for at least some Christians. I agree there are quite a few Christian arguments that should go away, but there can be very well-played defenses of the Christian faith.

Bruce,

Thank you for your answer. I certainly appreciate a discussion when the parties are willing to be civil with each other. I certainly acknowledge my own failings at this at times, so believe me when I say that I appreciate the civility of your tone.

With respect to what you say, I don't want to get into an answer by answer exchange. I will, however, give you some general observations.

First, I don't pretend to have read everything in the Christian bookstores. I would believe there are lies in there in the same way there are lies at the non-Christian bookstores. I do repeat my contention that most of the disagreements is not about the facts, i.e., the evidence, but rather the interpretation of the evidence.

I am not a YEC. I don't agree with their views, but I don't call them liars. I think they make some claims that I don't think make sense in light of what else I have learned which is why I reject the YEC view. (I have never read Pandas and People, and have no comment at all about the book good or bad.)

You point to ID, and I would contend that you are definitely selling short what ID claims. In fact, if you take into account the massive campaign that is launched against ID that it is "creationism in a white lab coat" it is not the least bit surprising that more people haven't accepted it -- they have tuned out the arguments before they have ever heard them.

I disagree with your assessment that ID is Behe simply claiming scientific authority for a non-scientific principal. I know some scientists in the field of biology (teaching at the University level, as a matter of fact) who believe that ID is scientific and true. They don't advocate it openly, however, because they are afraid of the repercussions.

The idea of ID is in its infancy. It is based upon observations that show that the liklihood of the complex biological structures we witness are extremely unlikely to occur naturally. The evidence is mounting of the complexity of the most simple of organisms, and it certainly makes sense that the odds of the necessary elements for the arising of life coming together naturalistically are remote to the point of being virtually impossible. It seems that every year, scientific evidence is making the idea that life arose strictly by a combination of time and chance significantly less likely. What is the standard scientific explanation? There isn't one, yet. But don't worry, we're told, one will be forthcoming. Why? Because it has to be. Sorry, while it remains a remote possibility that it will be forthcoming, the evidence seems to be mounting the other direction.

The idea that evangelicalism is touting relativism is strangely unique. I hadn't thought of it that way before. However, I think it is a highly inaccurate way of viewing the debate. Rather, it is about making sure that the truth, as seen by those opposing the standard scientific viewpoint, is given a fair hearing and not shut out without due consideration. Personally, I could care less if ID is taught in the schools, but I do think that it should be more directly admitted by the school systems that evolution is a scientific theory which, while widely accepted, has some serious holes that need filling. Based upon textbooks in today's schools, the impression that students receive is just the opposite -- it seems that evolution is better established than relativety.

'Steven, are you being serious? '

It was a joke.

"I know some scientists in the field of biology (teaching at the University level, as a matter of fact) who believe that ID is scientific and true. They don't advocate it openly, however, because they are afraid of the repercussions."

That's supposed to be what tenure is about, but we'll leave that for now.

Listen if your friends have scientific findings that confirm ID, PLEASE have them share it with the world. If they have results they are sitting on because they fear the reprocussions from the "vast secularist conspiracy" then GIVE ME their papers and I'll publish them anonymously on the internet. Have them write their papers, with their methodology and their findings, and let's start testing it!!! I KNOW we can get funding from the Discovery Institute, and let's run the experiments!!! PLEASE, let's do this. I want to win the Nobel prize for the biggest scientific discovery in the history of mankind!

But seriously, have them publish their findings on the internet anonymously. What are their experiments? What field are they in? What was the methodology and the control systems they used?

Or are you just saying you know people who think ID is true, but they have no evidence? In which case, it's just a faith belief. Science isn't "This really smart guy thinks X is true." Science is working experiments, publishing data and methodology openly where everyone can read it. Science is other people running your same tests and coming to the same conclusion.

I find it telling that in the Dover trial, Behe actually proposed an experiment that could falsify his flagellum idea. According to him it would take about two years. The lawyer asked him if he performed that experiment to see if it disproved his theory. He said no. He asked if anyone in the field of ID was performing the experiment. He said no. When asked why he didn't perform the experiment, he said that it wasn't particularly interesting to him. To my knowlege, no ID expert has performed any experiment to prove or disprove IC.

Behe apparently thinks science is about publishing books to be sold in Christian bookstores and letting other people do the pesky experiments.

"I would believe there are lies in there in the same way there are lies at the non-Christian bookstores. I do repeat my contention that most of the disagreements is not about the facts, i.e., the evidence, but rather the interpretation of the evidence."

For one example of lying, I suppose you know of the creationist tactic called "Quote-mining." For people who don't know, quote-mining is the practice of sifting through science writings to find certain phrases and then quoting them out of context. This is done to make it seem like the person you're quoting agrees with your position, when in fact they don't. For example, a scientist might write: "If there were no fossil evidence at all for evolution, scientists would believe it anyway." Their next sentences might be "This is because the genetic evidence for evolution alone is overwhelming. Happily for people who study such things, so is the fossil record." Well, a quote-miner would only quote the first sentence, saying "Even the famous biologist, Dr. Soandso, admitted that scientists are so blind to God that they'd believe evolution even if there were no fossils!"

Another tactic is to use a quote from a scientist with a big credential, like the head of the Smithsonian, or the head of the biology department at Oxford. They'll say "Even Professor Whatshisname, head of the biology department at Oxford said "There is zero evidence for Darwin's so-called-theory." But when you look it up, Professor Whatshisname has been dead for a hundred years, and said that quote back in the 1800s, back when Darwin WAS a scientific conroversy and before genetic evidence, and when the great huge bulk of the current fossil record was yet undiscovered.

I've seen creationists quote-mine too too many times to count. I call it "lying for God." To take someone's quote so far out of context that it sounds like they're saying the exact opposite of what they ARE saying... well, that's just lying or bearing false witness. Shall we take a poll of how many "science" books at a local Christian bookstore quote-mine?

It's so widespread, that it actually provides the bulk of the material in some books (short on experimental data that they are, they gotta make up the page count somehow). It's so widespread, that there are whole websites taken up with the dissection and study of Quote-mining. See The Quote Mine project for some key examples. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/project.html

That's what I'm talking about when I'm saying that these are "made up" science books. I'm not talking about looking at the same evidence through a different point of view. I'm talking about making stuff up, lying, taking wild guesses and waiting for real scientists to do your hard sweat work of experiments for you. That's the sum total of the Intelligent Design movement, the Creationist movement Young and Old Earth, the "Sudden Apperance Theory" movement, etc.


"Based upon textbooks in today's schools, the impression that students receive is just the opposite -- it seems that evolution is better established than relativety."

It IS actually better established than relativity. It also is more relavent to more fields of science than relativity is. Which is why it's taught in school more than Relativity. Relativity deals with an exotic realm of physics at very high energy levels and velocities. One can deal with physics one's entire life, and not once use relativity. Unless you work with a nuclear reactor or a supercollider, you may not get into a realm where relativity is important. Old-school Sir Issac Newton is sufficient.

But evolution is the fundamental organizing principle of all biology. Without it, nothing in biology makes sense. Without the modern synthesis of neo-Darwinism, biology is reduced to mere listmaking.

The reason neo-Darwinism is so much better established is because you have people in every field of life-science confirming the utility of the theory every single day. Every published paper in biology. Every published paper in zoology. Botany. Animal-husbandry. Medicine. Virology. Bacteriology. Ecology. Ethology. Biogeography. Micology. Paleontology. Conservation biology. Mammology, ornithology, herpetology, entymology and hundreds and hundreds of biology-related disciplines. Then you have genetics. Then you have crops and farming. Then you have medicine. Immunology. Physiology. Neuroscience. Parisitology. Developmental biology. Epidemeology. Pharmacology. Vast, VAST medical understanding... all enlightened by common descent and natural selection.

So we're talking about millions upon millions of discoveries really, coming from the two big discoveries of common descent and natural selection.

If you throw out evolution, you throw out the explanitory tools of biology. The answer to "Why are today's bacteria resistant to antibiotics that used to work a few decades ago?" Becomes "Gee, we don't know. Isn't it an amazing world we live in?"

Why do fish appear in the fossil record before birds?
Gee, we don't know. Isn't it an amazing world we live in?

Why are all fish in isolated populations in caves blind, even though they are different species?
Gee, we don't know. Isn't it an amazing world we live in?

Why are rhesus monkeys a more accurate to humans test subject for some types of experimental medicines than rats?
Gee, we don't know. Isn't it an amazing world we live in?

Why don't sea anemonies attack clownfish?
Gee, we don't know. Isn't it an amazing world we live in?


Millions upon millions of precicely interlocking facts prove evolution to so far beyond a shadow of a doubt that I cannot believe we are sitting here in the 21st century actually having this discussion.


That YOU seem to think that there IS any controversy at all, is proof that all it takes to steer Christians away from facts in into the warm and loving arms of a self-confirming theology, is some dubiously-sourced books.

Which is my point. The skeptical muscles have atrophied, because evangelicalism discourages skepticism as a practice. That I'm even having to argue with you about this proves my point.

Lurchling wrote:
There are Christians who can make a good case for their convictions. Bruce, sometimes you come off as implying Christians are either ignorant or incompetent (note I'm not saying you are saying this directly). I think this is unfair and untrue for at least some Christians. I agree there are quite a few Christian arguments that should go away, but there can be very well-played defenses of the Christian faith."

I agree with everything you're saying here. I don't mean to imply anything negative about Christians in general. I know from experience that neither ignorance nor incompetence are terms which well-describe Christians or other people of faith.

That my posts have been critical in content is only testament to the fact that my knowlege of apologetics is limited. I am likely only to post on topics with which I have some familiarity. So far, they have been questions unrelated to history or biblical scholarship.

As you said, there may very well be some well-played defenses of the Christian faith here. I think you can see that I'm drawn to the mathematical and scientific defenses, which I have found to be lacking.

But as apologetics goes, I think it may do to provide a skeptical audience from time to time. BK has written that 90% of doubt is not honest intellectual doubt. He wrote in the Dealing with Doubt thread that 95% of doubt is related to rebellion. He said that perhaps atheists hadn't thought through the issues.

So by being here, perhaps he can see that I do think through these issues. And perhaps I can help him think through the same issues with some further depth.

Apologies for the dangling participle in the last sentence.

Bruce,
I must say, I'm finding more common ground between us in certain matters. That is quite different than what I thought when we first exchanged comments.

"I think you can see that I'm drawn to the mathematical and scientific defenses, which I have found to be lacking."

I have found that science usually gets people nowhere on both sides of the issue during a debate. The existence of a deity or the possibly valid claims of a savior are somewhat beyond what science can offer. I actually love many of the areas of science, but one must realize the limitations that go along with it. I don't know anything about using equations to calculate probabilities, so no comment there.

"But as apologetics goes, I think it may do to provide a skeptical audience from time to time."

Agreed. I'm thinking that is one of the reasons this site is up, so both sides can briefly address certain areas of conflict. It's unfortunate when insults are chimed in and unfriendly tones accrete onto peoples general arguments. It's contagious :(.

Bruce,

In all sincerity, I think that you are really mistaken about ID and its effects. Your string of "Gee, I don't knows . . ." at the end of your post are cute, but in thinking that would be the result you are like chicken little screaming that the sky is falling. Many scientific discoveries were made by Christians prior to Darwin that sought explanations for the natural world, and it is simply erroneous to believe even for a second that all examination of the external world would stop if ID were accepted. (Maybe that would stop you, but it wouldn't stop any scientist I've met.)

You seem fixated on this idea that ID has to have experiments in some sense. So let me ask you a series of questions.

Explain to me what you mean when you are asking for experiments of ID so that I am clear of the scope of what you mean. What do you consider experiments?

Oh, and the idea that evolution is better established than relativety -- you need to do a bit more reading, friend.

"Many scientific discoveries were made by Christians prior to Darwin that sought explanations for the natural world, and it is simply erroneous to believe even for a second that all examination of the external world would stop if ID were accepted."

I did not mean that science would stop. I meant that eliminating neo-Darwinism would eliminate the fundamental organizing principle of biology. A theory has value if it answers "why" questions. A theory has value if we are able to use it to make testable predictions.

Since ID still cannot make testable predictions, it is useless as an explanation in biology. Biology then is reduced to a collection of factoids.

My cute strings are the very point. How does ID answer any of the "why" questions I posed? If you want to toss out natural selection and common descent, how do you then arrive at an answer for any of the questions other than "because God said so"?

What I'm illustrating is the explanitory power of neo-Darwinism. If you want to scrap that, you have to come up with something better. Which is one big reason why ID has faired so poorly in the halls of academia: it is content-free.

What does ID "theory" predict? According to ID theory, what order will the following appear in the fossil record, and why: gymnosperms, seed ferns, angiosperms.

"You seem fixated on this idea that ID has to have experiments in some sense. So let me ask you a series of questions. "

Certainly. I will as soon as you answer my questions about your biology teaching friends above.


"Oh, and the idea that evolution is better established than relativety -- you need to do a bit more reading, friend."

Nice. I listed over twenty different disciplines who confirm the utility of neo-Darwinism every day and you brush it aside with "read a book." Have any desire to respond with facts instead of attitude?

Neo-darwinism is the fundamental organizing principle of all biology. That's a fact.
Relativity is not the fundamental organizing principle of physics. In fact, there is no fundamental organizing principle of physics. We have different theories for different cases. For instance, we have classical mechanics, quantum mechanics and relativity.

If you say that evolution is poorly established, you have to explain away every scientific advance of modern biology. How is it that we can do all the things we can do today if the fundamental principle in all biology is wrong?

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