Freedom Fighter Kevin Wirth Fights Freedom

Covering Kevin's scent

Inspired by the minor motion picture! You’ve gagged through the movie, now gag through the book! Yes, if you couldn’t get enough of the movie that is coming soon to a $1 bargain bin near you, now you can read about even more made-up stories of “Darwin-doubter” persecution!

Crackpot creatard Kevin Wirth hopes to cash in on the Ben Stein blandwagon. He’s publishing a book by one of the “hundreds” of alleged expellees, Jerry Bergman. As we saw yesterday, Bergman wasn’t “expelled” for being a creationist. He was fired for lying about his credentials.

Kevin has given his book the rather salacious title Slaughter of the Dissidents. Let’s see what Kevin says on the book’s web page:

By now you’ve probably heard about that infamous movie so many people are talking about called EXPELLED, starring Ben Stein.… I urge you to hurry up and go check it out while it’s still playing for a limited engagement at your local theatre.

It’s a limited engagement, because the auditoriums are empty! Despite a strong opening weekend (due to subsidized tickets), word of mouth killed this turd deader than Kevin’s chances of actually understanding evolution.

Slaughter of the Dissidents picks up where that movie “Expelled” leaves off.… On another front, perhaps you’ve heard about the Evolution Academic Freedom Bill making the rounds in various states these days?… The purpose of this bill is to protect the rights of students and educators to dissent with aspects of evolution without fear of reprisal. Yep, it’s become so bad we need to pass a law to protect these people! Actually, our existing laws should be sufficient, but the courts have seen fit not to uphold the rights of victims of this type of discrimination.

That’s because there are very few, if any, victims at all. The courts have found in almost all cases that no discrimination occurred.

As you read it you’ll discover that one of the most precious things we own is at risk, right here in America. What is that? In a word,

FREEDOM

Freedom to disagree without losing your job or being denied an earned degree. Freedom to tell people you dare to question any aspect of evolution on scientific grounds – without referencing any religious text.

Really, Kevin? And just what would those scientific grounds be? You never present any. Instead, you just whine that people who pretend to have some and never show it are victims.

Now How Much Would You Pay?

And speaking of religion, it looks like we live in an era where freedom OF religion has been twisted to mean freedom FROM religion.

Actually, Kevin, freedom of religion has always included freedom from religion. But that sure is a bizarre thing to bring up right now, isn’t it Kevin? I thought your whole argument for your creationism these days was that it wasn’t religious. Now you suddenly need to bring up religious freedom? Why does that cut so close to home when you’re talking about doubting evolution?

And the reaction of those who seek to harm Darwin skeptics for their crime of doubt is palpable, almost visceral.… The modern evolutionary elitist thugs leave no stone unturned in the wake of their rabid assault againt [sic] the freedoms of Darwin skeptics.

Kevin’s putrid purple prose is pathetic. People with such overwhelming persecution complexes are usually confined to mental institutions. When’s the last time you were evaluated, Kevin?

The root of this issue is freedom (not the self-serving sanctity of science as the opponents of Darwin skeptics argue…)

No Kevin. You’re wrong on both counts. It’s not about the “self-serving sanctity of science” (whatever that means). It’s that creationists like you are pretending that there is reasonable doubt about evolution, so you can sneak your disguised religion—”intelligent design” creationism—into the public schools, in violation of the First Amendment. You are the enemy of freedom here. You are trying to infringe upon our most precious freedom. The freedom of (and from) religion.

The author of this book, Dr. Jerry Bergman, has been the victim of this type of discrimination himself.

No. As we discussed yesterday, he hasn’t.

There is no one better qualified than Jerry to bring you this book.

No. Somebody who actually was the victim of this type of discrimination is better qualified than Jerry to bring us this book. Tell you what, Kevin. You go find that person, if he exists, and then we’ll read your book.

But Wait! There’s More!

Next, Kevin gives us some highlights of this book. OK, if we must. Let’s slog through them:

Which sitting jurist actually ruled on one of these cases before he was appointed to the Supreme Cour? [sic]

I don’t know, but I hope your book is better proofread than this ad.

When is it OK to teach ID or creationism at most universities?

In comparative mythology classes.

What are the landmines you absolutely must avoid if you are an educator?

Teaching creationism! (duh!)

What is the most common (but incorrect) assumption made by most Darwin Doubting educators that often leads to their termination?

Believing that there is legitimate scientific doubt about evolution.

What are the various situations that have spelled doom for the careers of hundreds of educators and scientists?

Wasting time talking about creationism instead of doing legitimate research and getting published in peer-reviewed journals.

Is it really true that there are no peer-reviewed articles published in reputable science journals written by Darwin skeptics?

No. Anti-evolutionists have been published, but they confine their articles to matters not directly linked to evolution. There have been no creationism articles published in legitimate peer-reviewed journals.

What academic institutions have had incidents where educators were let go, or were pressured to change their curricula, or were thwarted in some way from getting a degree or were marked down on their grades?

I don’t know. There sure weren’t any in Expelled.

But You Won’t Pay $300! You Won’t Pay $200! In Fact, You Won’t Even Pay $100!

As is typical in internet marketing, there’s no price listed at the end of the ad. In fact, you can’t even buy the book. He says it’s being released on May 30th. Instead, he tries to get you onto his mailing list, where he can ply you with spam after spam, extolling the virtues of the book, until he’s managed to expel every one of your brain cells and you buy the book. In exchange for getting spammed, Kevin promises to send you a free chapter of the book.

I’m taking a bullet for you people here. I gave him my email address, so I could get the free chapter. We’ll look at that tomorrow.

28 Responses to “Freedom Fighter Kevin Wirth Fights Freedom”

  1. Warren Says:

    Something I’ve always been curious about, what exactly would one teach when teaching ID? I recently completed a basic college level biology course and evolution, though echoed throughout, only dominated the lecture for about two weeks or four class periods. During this time we learned a bit about Darwin, how he arrived at his conclusion, the basics of the theory, what “fit” means, how natural selection works, the different types of selection, speciation and what causes speciation, and how environments affect speciation. There may have been more but that’s about all that comes to mind. So what was presented was evidence in support of evolution, and nothing else.

    So how could one fill more than five minutes of lecture with the evidence in support of ID? Really the only evidence I’m aware of is the idea of ineducable complexity, which has been greatly refuted but could likely still be made to sound scientific. So after you talk about that, then you say that means it was designed and that there is an intelligent designer, and that’s it. Anything else they talk about is a poorly structured and generally false attack against the Theory of Evolution. But shouting those guys are wrong because I said so doesn’t really amount to teaching does it?

  2. Parrotlover77 Says:

    The answer is they wouldn’t fill five minutes. They’d teach how biology works, then say “goddidit.” It’s silly. There is nothing to teach with ID. It’s all about NOT teaching evolution. It’s as silly and useful as teaching that the earth is flat and is resting on a giant turtle.

  3. Brian Says:

    I wonder if Kevin Wirth would be devoted enough to his perverse view of “academic freedom” to support P.Z. Myers or Richard Dawkins should they apply for a teaching position at Liberty University. If they are denied a job because the school disagrees with their views on evolution, shouldn’t Kevin Wirth decry the persecution of qualified educators as he does those in his upcoming book? I’m sure someone as god-fearing as Kevin Wirth wouldn’t succumb to such blatant hypocrisy. That would be sinnin’!

    How about it Kevin? I’m sure you’re reading this.

    By the way, Kevin. Remember so long ago when you got your panties in a wad because I dared suggest you are drawn to this stupidity because of religion? Thanks for confirming it, buddy.

    As to Warren’s question, well, its a very good one. I would very much like to see how a college-level course would fill an entire semester with such intellectually vapid tripe. Parrotlover is correct. They’d turn an institution of higher learning into a nightmare of theological credulity. Maybe Kevin can offer us a glimpse into an ID-based curriculum?

  4. Dana Hunter Says:

    I can’t believe you took that bullet for us. That act needs to go down in the history books as one of the most selfless, courageous actions ever taken by one person on behalf of humanity.

    After seeing some of these IDiots’ emails, I’m very nearly serious about that!

  5. Ron Britton Says:

    It’s not such a big bullet. Email addresses are easy to get and easy to dispose of.

  6. spinetingler Says:

    It’s as silly and useful as teaching that the earth is flat and is resting on a giant turtle.

    Infidel! You deny the four elephants???!!!

  7. Kevin Wirth Says:

    First, a response to the commentators:

    Warren:
    “So how could one fill more than five minutes of lecture with the evidence in support of ID?”

    A: I have book to recommend to you: “The Design of Life”, by Bill Dembski and Jonathan Wells, 2008. That should pretty much get you going. Oh, and uh, just for Brian’s benefit… sad to say you guys won’t find any attempt to use “religion” to make any of the key ID arguments in this book. (Geez, I would have thought a smart guy like him would have picked up on that by now…)

    Parrottlover77:
    “The answer is they wouldn’t fill five minutes. They’d teach how biology works, then say “goddidit.””

    You know, I find it interesting how folks like you take ID advocates to task for saying “Goddidit” (by the way, the wouldn’t say that). What I find interesting is that there is no difference between “Goddidit” and “Natural Selection+Time+Chance did it”.

    You can’t prove either one with science.

    Brian:

    “I wonder if Kevin Wirth would be devoted enough to his perverse view of “academic freedom” to support P. Z. Myers or Richard Dawkins should they apply for a teaching position at Liberty University.”

    Good question Brian. If they DID apply and WERE accepted at Liberty, I would pay good money to watch what happened. It would do them a world of good. I’d love to see their reaction as others dinked them for their philosophical views rather than the actual work they produced. That’s the travesty of the argument against IDers, for example. They are quite often slammed for their religious views instead of the actual arguments they make. So, to be more direct in answering your question, yeah, I would be happy to support their academic freedom rights. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing what I do.

    You also said:

    “By the way, Kevin. Remember so long ago when you got your panties in a wad because I dared suggest you are drawn to this stupidity because of religion? Thanks for confirming it, buddy.”

    I have confirmed no such thing. YOU and others like you are making this a thing over “religion”. The majority of people in the country expect to hold whatever religious views they choose withouth having to endure the dipwad comments about how that renders them unfit for the role of an educator or scientist. When people like you start telling people like me that my “religion” has anything to do with what I’m about, then it’s YOU who needs to start re-thinking his position. You have a religion too, and I don’t see anyone fastening your thumbs to the blog board over it.

    Get a life.

  8. Kevin Wirth Says:

    Now to respond to the original blog post…

    “Crackpot creatard Kevin Wirth hopes to cash in on the Ben Stein blandwagon. ”

    Ah, you give me credit (again) for something far removed from actual fact. In fact, this book has been in the works for many years before Expelled was even a twinkle in the mind of Premise or Ben Stein. So, Expelled is actually just some unanticipated icing on the cake.

    “That’s because there are very few, if any, victims at all. The courts have found in almost all cases that no discrimination occurred.”

    Well, I guess you put me in my place! I’m just a huckster trying to overhype a situation that really doesn’t exist! Wow. I wonder what all those other thousands of educators and scientists (oh – and students) will think when I tell them they just imagined being discrminated against. They earned their degrees and tenure by proving their competency, but, what was the reason again that they were denied? No, it couldn’t have been discrimination… Oh, and if the courts can’t find any discrimination, that won’t surprise me either. I’ve seen plenty of examples where the courts didn’t bother to look very hard for evidence, and many other situations where they simply chose to ignore it or dismiss it. So, gosh, I feel so put in my place now. I guess I should just stop the presses right this instant! Wouldn’t want to tell folks stuff that isn’t actually true, like, cells are simple, there is no controversy, and no creationist or ID folks have ever written any peer-reviewed articles (thanks Eugenie Scott).

    “Actually, Kevin, freedom of religion has always included freedom from religion. But that sure is a bizarre thing to bring up right now, isn’t it Kevin? I thought your whole argument for your creationism these days was that it wasn’t religious. Now you suddenly need to bring up religious freedom? ”

    Ah yes, I figured you’d see it this way. Fact is, most creationists and ID advocates DO have a religious view (not a big surprise there). And yes, ID does not require any “religious” advocacy, nor does it promote any. It might be CONSISTENT with some religious beliefs, but that doesn’t make it religous. I bring up the need for religious freedom because folks like YOU have MADE this an issue. It’s illegal, as in, it’s against the law to discriminate against people who hold to a religious view. So of course, when people are discriminated against on that basis, they need assistance, which I am all too happy to provide (as I am able). Whether or not religion is germane to the ID argument (and it’s not), the fact is, folks like YOU have made religious discrimination an issue. And, in case it hasn’t really sunk in yet, you are in the minority dude, when it comes to the position you take on this issue. I just want everyone on the planet to know that folks like you are my poster children. Yes, I admit it — without people like you, I wouldn’t have a cause.

    Doesn’t that just… make your day?

    “The author of this book, Dr. Jerry Bergman, has been the victim of this type of discrimination himself.

    No. As we discussed yesterday, he hasn’t.”

    Sorry. YES HE HAS.

    “Is it really true that there are no peer-reviewed articles published in reputable science journals written by Darwin skeptics?

    No. Anti-evolutionists have been published, but they confine their articles to matters not directly linked to evolution. There have been no creationism articles published in legitimate peer-reviewed journals.”

    There you go again – not paying attention once more. I said Oranges, and you said Apples. Go back to school and learn how to read my comment once more.

    Later.

  9. Ron Britton Says:

    Oh, and uh, just for Brian’s benefit… sad to say you guys won’t find any attempt to use “religion” to make any of the key ID arguments in this book.

    Kevin, listen very carefully. I know you’re slow, but I think even you can comprehend this if you strain your little brain hard enough: ID creationism has God as its central premise. ID creationism is religion. Just because Dembski and Wells don’t mention that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. ID creationism studies the easy parts of biology. Then when it gets stuck, it says “must be designed!”, which is a euphemism for “goddidit!”

    What I find interesting is that there is no difference between “Goddidit” and “Natural Selection+Time+Chance did it”. You can’t prove either one with science.

    Once again, you are just showing your colossal lack of understanding of science.

    That’s the travesty of the argument against IDers, for example. They are quite often slammed for their religious views instead of the actual arguments they make.

    No, they are slammed for calling their religious views science. Saying “must be designed!” is religion.

    I have confirmed no such thing. YOU and others like you are making this a thing over “religion”.

    You made it very obvious in your ad that this was about religion. Thanks for confirming it, buddy!

    The majority of people in the country expect to hold whatever religious views they choose withouth having to endure the dipwad comments about how that renders them unfit for the role of an educator or scientist.

    No, dipwad. People can hold whatever religious beliefs they want. They just can’t bring them into the classroom.

  10. Ron Britton Says:

    Well, I guess you put me in my place! I’m just a huckster trying to overhype a situation that really doesn’t exist! Wow. I wonder what all those other thousands of educators and scientists (oh – and students) will think when I tell them they just imagined being discrminated against.

    You’ll be talking into the wind. From all of the evidence I’ve seen, there aren’t any. As we’ve already established, Jerry Bergman sure as hell wasn’t discriminated against. And as I said in the article, Expelled sure didn’t come up with any.

    I’ve seen plenty of examples where the courts didn’t bother to look very hard for evidence, and many other situations where they simply chose to ignore it or dismiss it.

    No, Kevin. We’re talking about the courts, not creationists!

    Wouldn’t want to tell folks stuff that isn’t actually true, like, cells are simple,…

    There you go, making stuff up again! Nobody has ever claimed that cells were simple. Even in Darwin’s day, they knew cells were complicated.

    …there is no controversy,…

    There’s none about evolution!

    …and no creationist or ID folks have ever written any peer-reviewed articles

    I sure never said that. Go back to school and learn how to read my article once more.

    ID does not require any “religious” advocacy, nor does it promote any.

    Kevin, Kevin, Kevin! We’ve been over this! As I explained to you very clearly in my comments to the Bergman article, ID creationism is religion. By definition. And, since it obviously hasn’t sunk in yet, you are in the minority dude, when it comes to the position you take on this issue.

    “The author of this book, Dr. Jerry Bergman, has been the victim of this type of discrimination himself.

    No. As we discussed yesterday, he hasn’t.”

    Sorry. YES HE HAS.

    BUZZZ!! Wrong answer! As I explained to you very thoroughly in my comment on the last article, he very very clearly has not been discriminated against! Have you ever met a fact you liked?

    There you go again – not paying attention once more. I said Oranges, and you said Apples. Go back to school and learn how to read my comment once more.

    Since you couldn’t refute that last claim, you just changed the subject! Good, one!

  11. Brian Says:

    So, Kevin. Here’s your big chance to make a good impression. You’ve once again danced around the main point I’ve been making, so, please, clear the air once and for all. Do you deny a role for a supernatural omnipotent being, like, say god, in your ID scheme?

    You can cry and stamp your feet about how we just don’t get it here, but you are trying to have it both ways. Does god have anything to do with ID? You are getting your knickers in a twist all over again trying to hide the god that pushes you to look like an idiot on the web. So, how about it?

    I’m so relieved that if P.Z. Myers or Richard Dawkins ever fall on hard times they’ll have a staunch defender like you at their sides. I notice you can’t help rubbing your hands in gleeful anticipation at the thought of two prominent atheists having to defend themselves from know-it-all college students (worse – Christian know-it-all college students!). Actually, the reverse would be true. Most kids 18-24 still haven’t lost their minds completely, even at such bastions of lower learning like Liberty University.

    You also whine about ID “scientists” being ignored for their contributions to science and instead derided for their religious beliefs. You see, its not just me pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. If ID made any useful predictions (by all means, name one) real scientists might be a little more accepting of it. But it hasn’t, and it never will. But people like you insist on foisting a religious idea onto the work of legitimate science, and bitch and moan whenever someone with a brain calls you on it.

    Get a clue.

  12. Parrotlover77 Says:

    is that there is no difference between “Goddidit” and “Natural Selection+Time+Chance did it”.

    Wow… I guess I shouldn’t expect anything more from you. Why do I always expect all people to not be stupid? I need a drink.

  13. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Ah, you give me credit (again) for something far removed from actual fact. In fact, this book has been in the works for many years before Expelled was even a twinkle in the mind of Premise or Ben Stein. So, Expelled is actually just some unanticipated icing on the cake.

    How long can it possibly take to quote mine and write “goddidit.” Give me a weekend tops…

  14. Parrotlover77 Says:

    And yes, ID does not require any “religious” advocacy, nor does it promote any.

    B and S. Show me ANY the ID’er that believe it was space aliens and not God.

  15. Kevin Wirth Says:

    Ron Britton Says:

    May 20th, 2008 at 12:50 am
    Oh, and uh, just for Brian’s benefit… sad to say you guys won’t find any attempt to use “religion” to make any of the key ID arguments in this book.

    Kevin, listen very carefully. I know you’re slow, but I think even you can comprehend this if you strain your little brain hard enough: ID creationism has God as its central premise. ID creationism is religion. Just because Dembski and Wells don’t mention that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. ID creationism studies the easy parts of biology. Then when it gets stuck, it says “must be designed!”, which is a euphemism for “goddidit!”

    No, YOU listen carefully dude.

    Listen to the rumble of the rails for your definitely ONE TRACK mind. People who have a religious perspective do not ALWAYS PREACH THEIR RELIGION in everything they do. At least SOME people with religious views are able to separate them from their ability to competently offer scientific views. Their religious views do not and SHOULD not disqualify them from engaging competently in other endeavors. The lesson you evidently choose to ignore is that people of faith should not be deprived of any rights offered to people with agnostic or atheist beliefs.

    ID is NOT a religious view — however it IS a view that is consistent with some religious views. It doesn’t preach, require, or advocate adherenced to any religious view. There is no requirement or reference to any religious text in ID.

    Let me know when this sinks in, and then MAYBE we can have a real discussion.

  16. Kevin Wirth Says:

    Brian Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 5:38 am

    So, Kevin. Here’s your big chance to make a good impression. You’ve once again danced around the main point I’ve been making, so, please, clear the air once and for all. Do you deny a role for a supernatural omnipotent being, like, say god, in your ID scheme?

    My BIG CHANCE huh? You’re funny. SO let me clear the air for you. Regarding a “Supernatural Omnipotent being”?… I’m not here to do anything other than suggest that if the scientific evidence leads us UP TO THE POINT where an intelligent agent/designer is a more rational explanation for what we see in the inner workings of living systems, then why SHOULDN’T we consider it? Why SHOULDN’T we explore the possibility? Why are so many people so ADAMANT that such a notion can’t possibly qualify as “science”? Sure it can.

    Look, you can do plenty of good scientific investigation leading right up to the point where you say “WOW, maybe it makes more sense to suggest that these living systems had to be designed” without invoking a single, solitary thing about who the designer might be. I’m advocating for a position that stops looking at who or what the designer might be, and just contemplate whether it’s even a rational possibility.

    What I might think about such an entity is beside the point of what the scientific evidence speaks to, and my thoughts about such an entity step off the reservation of science. So, I don’t really think what I think about such a designedr is really relevant to this discussion. This is honest. Can you at least respect this?

    I’m not plugging any religion, no religious text, no mantras, no holy water, or anything like that. I’m content to stick with just what the evidence seems to indicate, without any elaboration on who the alleged designer might be.

    Fair enough? If you can’t live with that, then we are done having this discussion.

    “You can cry and stamp your feet about how we just don’t get it here, but you are trying to have it both ways. Does god have anything to do with ID? You are getting your knickers in a twist all over again trying to hide the god that pushes you to look like an idiot on the web. So, how about it? ”

    I’m not, as you say “trying to have it both ways”. Not at all. My position is logical and respects your right to hold whatever view you prefer about such an alleged designer. You have the right to hold your views about it, and I have the right to hold mine. And neither of us should be penalized in any way for whatever view we choose to adopt.

    “I’m so relieved that if P.Z. Myers or Richard Dawkins ever fall on hard times they’ll have a staunch defender like you at their sides. I notice you can’t help rubbing your hands in gleeful anticipation at the thought of two prominent atheists having to defend themselves from know-it-all college students (worse – Christian know-it-all college students!). Actually, the reverse would be true. Most kids 18-24 still haven’t lost their minds completely, even at such bastions of lower learning like Liberty University.”

    It’s not gleeful anticipation at all – it’s just desserts. They should know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of some of the garbage they spit out. It’ll build character.

    “You also whine about ID “scientists” being ignored for their contributions to science and instead derided for their religious beliefs. You see, its not just me pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. If ID made any useful predictions (by all means, name one) real scientists might be a little more accepting of it. But it hasn’t, and it never will. But people like you insist on foisting a religious idea onto the work of legitimate science, and bitch and moan whenever someone with a brain calls you on it. ”

    You’re such a know-it-all aren’t you. You’re sassy about it too. Yeah, there is a definite preoccupation with many folks to deride good SCIENTISTS (without quotes) for their religious beliefs, and yeah – I don’t like it, and yeah – it’s not right.

    I’m not “foisting a religious idea” onto science. You’re the one who’s making the big deal about promoting religion, not me. I’m not here to promote religion, I’m here to defend your right to have one (or not). As far as this discussion goes, I don’t really care one iota what you or anyone else thinks about religion, other than the point that we are all entitled to hold our own views about it without fear of retribution of any kind (unless your religion requires that you try to ruin my career or kill me — I don’t defend that right). What I care about is that we all agree to go where the evidence leads us. If the evidence suggests that chance and natural selection cannot account for “apparent design”, then why not consider the possibility that something IS designed?

    As for the Emperor with no clothes – that cuts both ways. Historical evolution is rife with assumptions that can’t be tested, yet no one seems to think that those speculations are not “scientific”. Look, speculation is speculation no matter how you slice it. So why does the speculation of the evolutionist carry more credibility than the speculations of the ID advocate?

    I’ll get back to you on the prediction matter. I’ve run out of time for today.

  17. Ron Britton Says:

    Kevin:

    Their religious views do not and SHOULD not disqualify them from engaging competently in other endeavors. The lesson you evidently choose to ignore is that people of faith should not be deprived of any rights offered to people with agnostic or atheist beliefs.

    You sure make an awful lot of shit up. Neither I nor any of the other atheists and agnostics I know have ever advocated depriving anybody of their rights based on their religion. In fact, this entire site is devoted to religious freedom. Unlike you, we understand what religious freedom is, and we fight to protect it.

    ID is NOT a religious view — however it IS a view that is consistent with some religious views. It doesn’t preach, require, or advocate adherenced to any religious view. There is no requirement or reference to any religious text in ID.

    ID creationism has God as its central premise. Any system that contains God as a principal actor is religion.

    Let me know when you finally comprehend that.

  18. Parrotlover77 Says:

    People who have a religious perspective do not ALWAYS PREACH THEIR RELIGION in everything they do. At least SOME people with religious views are able to separate them from their ability to competently offer scientific views. Their religious views do not and SHOULD not disqualify them from engaging competently in other endeavors. The lesson you evidently choose to ignore is that people of faith should not be deprived of any rights offered to people with agnostic or atheist beliefs.

    I agree. It’s too bad you are not one of those people. Additionally, there is far more evidence of being discriminated against for being non-Christian than for being Christian. For example, a majority of Americans would never elect an atheist president, under any circumstances.

  19. Parrotlover77 Says:

    ID is NOT a religious view — however it IS a view that is consistent with some religious views. It doesn’t preach, require, or advocate adherenced to any religious view. There is no requirement or reference to any religious text in ID.

    ID is NOT a scientific view — however it IS a view that is consistent with some religious views. It doesn’t predict, have evidence, or advocate any scientific view. There is no requirement or reference to any scientific text in ID.

    Those both being true… What exactly is it?

  20. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Why SHOULDN’T we explore the possibility? Why are so many people so ADAMANT that such a notion can’t possibly qualify as “science”? Sure it can.

    Kevin again demonstrates his remarkable ignorance on science.

    Science requires evidence. Where is the evidence? Irreducible complexity is what ID puts forward, but it’s full of logical fallacies, not to mention disproved by far more likely evolutionary theories.

  21. Warren Says:

    Kevin, I checked out the book excerpts from The Design of Life website and, well they don’t do much to strengthen your case. I’m aware that you yourself did not write this book, so when I say “you” below I’m speaking of ID advocates in general not just yourself.

    First there is this one from the first chapter:

    How does evolutionary ethics make sense of people who transcend their selfish genes? Genuine human goodness, which looks to the welfare of others even at one’s own (and one’s genes’) expense, is an unresolvable problem for evolutionary ethics. Its proponents have only one way of dealing with goodness, namely, to explain it away. Mother Teresa is a prime target in this regard. If Mother Teresa’s acts of goodness on behalf of the poor and sick can be explained away in evolutionary terms, then surely so can all acts of human goodness.

    I hate to break it to you, but that is a religious argument. The reason it’s a religious argument is because it speaks to morality and how evolution can’t explain morality. However, unless you presuppose an altruistic omnipotent being as the designer then intelligent design can’t explain it either. I mean, if we don’t know who the creator was then how do we know that they were moral and that they designed us to be moral? Given the societal relativity of morality how can you claim that morality was designed at all? Also “goodness” as in selflessness is not a solely human trait, altruism exists in nature as well.

    Then we have this from the third chapter:

    Gould admits that anything Dawkins really cares about regarding biological structures – their origin, function, complexity, adaptive significance – is the product of natural selection. Gould was as much a Darwinist as Dawkins.

    First off, Darwinist is not a word. Second, natural selection is the main driving force of evolution, so of course all of the biological structures of interest are a result of natural selection because natural selection is evolution. You can’t just hijack the term and crowbar it into ID and then pretend that evolution doesn’t exist.

    From chapter 5:

    Vestigial structures are entirely consistent with intelligent design, suggesting structures that were initially designed but then lost their function through accident or disuse. Nevertheless, vestigial structures also provide evidence for a limited form of evolution. From both a design-theoretic and an evolutionary perspective, a vestigial structure is one that started out functional but then lost its function. Yet, in the case of evolution, vestigiality explains only the loss of function and not its origination. Vestigiality at best documents a degenerative form of evolution in which preexisting functional structures change and lose their function.

    This whole excerpt is based on the ID assumption that evolution means forward progress, when really it just means adaptation. There is no forward and backward in evolution, just changes to fit the environment. Also the claim that evolution doesn’t explain the origination of a vestigial trait while ID does is absurd, because the evolutionary explanation is the trait arose to fit the environment the species was in. As the environment changed, the species adapted and lost the trait. Whereas the ID explanation is someone/thing designed the trait and then it adapted away. It’s like halfolution or something.

    These are the excerpts that have been selected to market the book on its official website. Given how pathetic they are, I can’t see myself making the purchase. Thanks for the recommendation, though.

  22. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Also “goodness” as in selflessness is not a solely human trait, altruism exists in nature as well.

    Altruism is easy to explain in evolutionary terms. Remember, “fitness” in evolutionary terms just means able to breed — that’s it. An altruistic species may be able to breed more than non-altruistic counterparts because everybody is helping each other to succeed (a more “fit” state for humans than not helping each other). Human altruism is nothing more than a very complex pack behavior. Wolves hunt in packs because it increases their likelihood of getting prey (and surviving). Altruism works the same way. And before somebody asks “but what about altruistic behavior to dogs and cats, there’s no benefit there” — that’s just a side effect of the deeper altruistic behavior. Our pets become a part of our “pack” and we want to help them the same as another human. Remember that as long as a behavior doesn’t hurt the species it can propogate very easily (such as how humans take pets). Evolution is very complex, “survival of the fittest” (so to speak) is but one part of a larger picture.

  23. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Vestigial structures are entirely consistent with intelligent design, suggesting structures that were initially designed but then lost their function through accident or disuse.

    I just read that. What a stupid argument. The tooth fairy is entirely consistent with intelligent design, but that doesn’t make intelligent design right.

  24. Modusoperandi Says:

    Vestigial structures are entirely consistent with intelligent design, suggesting structures that were initially designed but then lost their function through accident or disuse.

    Amusing thought: our inner ear isn’t an usable organ, it’s a vestigial part of a reptilian jawbone. This clearly means that if ID is true (and it’s not) that we were designed to be lizards. Damn us and our warm-bloodedness!

    Parrotlover77

    Remember that as long as a behavior doesn’t hurt the species it can propogate very easily (such as how humans take pets).

    …or pets take humans. While we prefer to think of our pets, like dogs, as part of our family, as head of the “pack” for the Alpha-male of your family and member of the “pack” for every other human in your family, you’re all part of your dog’s pack. He’s not just in your family; your whole family is in his.

    In a way, Fido isn’t humping your leg because he’s confused. He’s doing it because you’re his bitch.

  25. Modusoperandi Says:

    Wups. That should be “…with the Alpha-male of your family as head of the pack” instead of “…as head of the “pack” for the Alpha-male of your family…”.

  26. Brian Says:

    Kevin,

    You are a complete fool. It’s hard to know where to start cleaning up the steaming pile of intellectual feces you deposited here, but it must be done.

    I can assume from reading your latest insult to reason that you refuse to deny that god is the driving force behind your inane view of how the biological process works. Fair enough, and not at all surprising. I really didn’t expect you to defend the hard work of space aliens in crafting the tree of life on Earth, anyway. Although I wonder how keen you and your ilk would be to the idea of god suddenly becoming a quantifiable, measurable, and testable element of the universe. I’ll happily accept good evidence that a god exists, should it deign to provide us with an irrefutable miracle for all to see. Of course if that happened, god would cease to be a supernatural force and would become a mere natural force. I guarantee you that if god was an empirically observable facet of nature, science would accept it. This says nothing about the validity of Christianity, though, which would be something of a letdown for you as only Christians advocate this ID bullshit.

    Sadly, for you, this has not happened. For all of your contrived cherry picking of evidence and obnoxious blathering about “holes” in evolutionary biology, there exists not one gold-plated, impossible-to-deny shred of evidence that a god has anything to do with anything. Don’t you think if god felt it was so damned important for us to accept his existence he’d exert just an infinitesimal fraction of his omnipotence to shut us atheist and agnostics up once and for all? Oh, wait. That’s a rational objection. You wouldn’t know what that is.

    Your dullness truly shines when you claim that science can take us to the cusp of realizing that a god is behind it all, but then there’s no point in inquiring any further. You don’t care who or what your precious goddamn designer is? I suppose scientists should deem that question off-limits, even though the mechanism such a being uses in guiding the development of life is presumably still at work. How does god cause change, or poof a bacterial flagellum into existence? I want to fucking know! Oh, of course. We are supposed to take such things on faith, which has always been the rock-solid foundation of science, hasn’t it? Sorry, Kevin. I can’t live with that, and as long as you continue to espouse such drivel this conversation must continue.

    You are trying to have it both ways, and you know it. You cloak your absurd notions in the trappings of science, without actually doing any real science (Predictions? I’m still waiting) while using this whole charade to undermine real science in the service of Christianity. I don’t give a damn what you believe, and I would never advocate any measure to restrict your religious rights, nor would any other atheist. Your faith, however, is not in possession of the facts, however much you might insist otherwise. You have nothing useful to contribute to the realm of science, and therefore do not deserve a seat at the big kid’s table.

    Lastly, you scold me for being a sassy know-it-all. I’ll try to work through the pain you’ve caused me and continue. I never claimed to know everything. I do, however, have the benefit of a better-than-average understanding of science, so I can easily spot a fraud like ID with both eyes closed. If you wonder about my vehemence with regard to this subject, it is because religious dickwads like you have stunted and retarded human civilization for far too long. This overt ploy at infecting young minds, including my own children, with theological credulity is only one of a long, regrettable string of sins religion has committed without being held accountable for it. You are an agent of this malfeasance, and until you and your bretheren come to your senses (never gonna happen) scorn and ridicule are the best you deserve, not congenial debate.

  27. Ron Britton Says:
    Bay of Fundie: 2
    Kevin Wirth: 0

    You’re wasting your breath, Brian. Kevin Wirth has run away in defeat once again.

    • We demonstrated that the central premise of his book, that Jerry Bergman and others were discriminated against, is false.
    • He claimed that I wrote that Bergman had no credentials. When I proved that I actually said the opposite, and demanded an apology, he refused to give it.
    • We showed that ID creationism is religion, and he could not refute it.
    • We asked him to prove that the “designer” isn’t God, and he could not do so.
    • We asked him to provide “reasonable challenges to evolution from respectable sources” (his terms) and all he could come up with were creationism books filled with logical fallacies.
    • We then specifically asked him to provide proof for ID creationism, and he refused to answer.
    • We asked him to name just one prediction that ID creationism makes, and he could not do so.

    On that last one, he said “I’ll get back to you!” and then never did. Now he’s claiming that I’m censoring him, and using that as the excuse to not answer us. He’s unable to compete on a level playing field, so he’s taken his deflated ball and run home crying.

  28. Menierian Says:

    I have to disagree a bit with something Modusoperandi said: “Amusing thought: our inner ear isn’t an usable organ, it’s a vestigial part of a reptilian jawbone.”

    Our inner ear is not a useable organ? Ooooohhhhh–I have lost most of the function of my left vestibular apparatus, and even though my right vestubular apparatus has now compensated well enough to help me return to being a fairly normal functioning individual who no longer falls all over the place vomiting because my damaged inner ear is telling my brain I am on a wildly pitching ship rather than on solid ground, I am only too well aware that the structures in the modern-day human inner ear are very useful in their healthy state. They are encased in a bony structure that probably evolved from a reptilian jawbone.

    Regardless, Kevin has nothing useful to say. There are mountains of evidence for evolution and none for ID. This is the truth regardless of what Kevin chooses to believe. I think he’s unbalanced in ways I never was, and I’m not too hopeful he will put out the effort to recover.