connected: ezChat version 0.54
Chris OConnor:: Howdy folks
garicker:: Howdy, Chris
Chris OConnor:: Be right back...have to get some food
out of the oven before I burn my house down.
Chris OConnor:: Hey Merlot
Frank 013 joined
Chris OConnor:: brb
Chris OConnor:: Frank!
Frank 013:: howdy
merlot5401:: Hi Chris - you're my favorite person today
Chris OConnor:: haha
garicker:: I haven't read Dr. Scott's book yet, although
I plan to in the future. So I'm probably going to be
very quiet once the discussion gets under way.
Chris OConnor:: I'm back. Went downstairs to get some
spinach pies from the oven.
Chris OConnor:: You can still ask questions and interact.
Have some fun. She is a really cool person. We spoke
on the phone several times and she is super nice.
Chris OConnor:: Rika! welcome
Chris OConnor:: Frank - do you know how to record a
Chris OConnor:: I plan on copying and pasting it, but
there is always the chance I will accidentally log myself
out, which would mean that all of the chat transcript
up to the log out point is lost.
Chris OConnor:: So I have to be delicate. Our other
chat room is much more sophisticated, but this one is
ideal since it forces people to log in under the same
names as their ezboard account.
Chris OConnor:: Travis - is this your first time on
BookTalk? How did you learn of this author chat?
#Travis Vocino:: Chris, yes it is. A friend of mine
thought I would be interested in this particular session.
#Travis Vocino:: So she sent me the information about
an hour ago.
Frank 013:: Sorry I do not have much experience with
chat rooms or how they work. So, no I do not know how
to record this stuff.
Federika22:: How did you record the others?
Chris OConnor:: Travis - cool
#Travis Vocino:: I've been looking around though, and
I have to spend some more time your forums in the future.
#Travis Vocino:: Grr, typos, sorry
Chris OConnor:: To record the transcript all you do
is click on the "use text mode" and then copy
and paste everything into a Notepad file.
Chris OConnor:: Typos are fine.
Chris OConnor:: We will edit for typos before a transcript
Chris OConnor:: Eugenie actually requested this!
Frank 013:: I'll bet she heard about zombie dog.
Chris OConnor:: Man, these spinach pies are good. If
anyone wants one I will send one thru their CD drive
Chris OConnor:: haha I wonder how much she read of the
Evolution vs. Creationism forum. She said she was going
to read it.
garicker:: I don't think it would go with the gin and
tonic I just poured.
Chris OConnor:: Does anyone have any questions in mind
Chris OConnor:: She will log in under the name "Genie"
Chris OConnor:: My main interest is in what we can all
do to support the teaching of evolution in our public
#Travis Vocino:: I agree.
Frank 013:: I want to know how she can be so polite
#Travis Vocino:: Frank, I think it's very important.
Chris OConnor:: And this is of interest to our author,
as she is the director of the NCSE
#Travis Vocino:: But I do understand, sometimes it's
Chris OConnor:: Frank - me too
Chris OConnor:: I battle with that frequently...as if
anyone didn't know that
garicker:: I think in order to do that, we need to increase
the general public's education as well.
#Travis Vocino:: Good point.
Chris OConnor:: I see her on the site
Frank 013:: I think part of the problem is that religious
groups have had their way for far too long.
Chris OConnor:: I hope you all think of some questions
Chris OConnor:: don't be shy
Chris OConnor:: She is very cool
Chris OConnor:: You don't have to have completed the
book to ask her some questions about the Evolution vs.
Chris OConnor:: then again...it isn't a controversy
for the educated
#Travis Vocino:: Chris, this chat application is not
very fun in Mac OS, even running Firefox rather than
Chris OConnor:: What is happening?
#Travis Vocino:: Every time a new line is posted, the
color gets messed up.
garicker:: I'm using a Mac also, but it seems to be
working well enough.
merlot5401:: I'm running on Mac OS 10 and not having
Chris OConnor:: Travis - I'm not sure why that is happening,
but do you have any rum and Coke? That usually gets
my mind off annoying things
#Travis Vocino:: I do actually.
#Travis Vocino:: Anejo and Coke
garicker:: There you go.
Federika22:: Can you send me one of those?
Chris OConnor:: No problem
#Travis Vocino:: Fixed.
Chris OConnor:: Anejo? hmm not familiar
#Travis Vocino:: Anejo is 8+ years aged rum
Chris OConnor:: Oh wow...I'll take two
#Travis Vocino:: Pronounced "In-yey-ho"
Frank 013:: is it moldy?
Chris OConnor:: Rum is my favorite
Chris OConnor:: no Frank
Chris OConnor:: lol
#Travis Vocino:: Definitely not moldy, it's actually
smoother than regular rum
#Travis Vocino:: I can drink it like water, haha
Chris OConnor:: Hey Eric - welcome
ecstian:: Hello Chris
Chris OConnor:: I usually drink Bacardi and Diet Coke
Chris OConnor:: I love it
#Travis Vocino:: Chris, are you the owner of Booktalk.org?
Chris OConnor:: Yes
#Travis Vocino:: Bacardi has an Anejo
Chris OConnor:: We've been around for about 5+ years
#Travis Vocino:: Sorry I haven't been here before.
#Travis Vocino:: I frequent evcforum.net, if you're
familiar with that.
Federika22:: Travis, where are you in the world?
#Travis Vocino:: Palm Beach, Florida
Chris OConnor:: I bought my car down in Palm Beach
garicker:: Ha .. I'm in Palm Bay, Florida. Hi neighbor.
Chris OConnor:: Actually, bought it off of eBay
#Travis Vocino:: Hi
Federika22:: wow, lots of Floridians!
Chris OConnor:: I got a deal
Chris OConnor:: Yes, Floridians are awesome.
Chris OConnor:: lol
Frank 013:: one less Floridian soon
Federika22:: where are you going?
Frank 013:: New York state
Frank 013:: up state
Federika22:: job change?
Frank 013:: yep
Chris OConnor:: One second....be right back
Federika22:: Have you lived up there before?
Chris OConnor:: Frank, if she enters say hello!
Frank 013:: ok
#Travis Vocino:: So is BookTalk.org basically pro-evolution
Frank 013:: and no I have lived in Florida all my life
except when I was in the army
Allan W Janssen joined
Federika22:: Hello Allen
Frank 013:: welcome Allan
Chris OConnor:: Ok, back. Someone sent us Poinsettias
Chris OConnor:: well, actually Tina sent them to us.
Chris OConnor:: lol
Frank 013:: dont eat them!
Frank 013:: yucky!
Frank 013:: hey mad!
MadArchitect:: hello all
Chris OConnor:: Travis - we are a community devoted
to reading and discussing quality books. Not all of
our members are pro-evolution
Chris OConnor:: Welcome Mad!
Frank 013:: thats for sure
Chris OConnor:: So does anyone have questions ready
for Genie Scott?
#Travis Vocino:: I'm sure I'll think of something
MadArchitect:: Is anyone apart from Asana pro-evolution,
that we know of?
Frank 013:: what is her shoe size?
MadArchitect:: I plan on asking a little about the NCSE,
of which she is executive director
geniescott:: hello everyone. This is Genie
#Travis Vocino:: Hello Genie
Chris OConnor:: Welcome Dr. Scott! Thank you for joining
us tonight. We all really appreciate you taking time
out of your busy schedule to chat with us tonight!
Chris OConnor:: Shall we call you Genie?
geniescott:: I've been looking forward to it. Nothing
quite so delightful as talking to people who has actually
read my book! Yes, I'm perfectly happy with being called
Chris OConnor:: Mad - I think Asana is the only member
that has issues with evolution
Chris OConnor:: There really isnt a format for
this. We try to do things a little more casually around
here. You can get interviewed in a formal setting anywhere,
but this is an opportunity for your readers and hopefully
fans to interact with you in a more relaxed atmosphere.
geniescott:: OK. Just let me know what you want me to
geniescott:: OK. I assume I just respond to questions?
Frank 013:: Chris must be typing
Chris OConnor:: We'll all just chat about your book
and views on the evol vs creationism controversy
Chris OConnor:: I type rather fast
Chris OConnor:: I was actually wiping spinach pie off
geniescott:: sounds good -- remember, it's dinner time
here in California!
Federika22:: Yes! Another Californian!
Chris OConnor:: What I'd like to know is what you think
we can do, as individuals without much pull, to further
science education in the United States
Chris OConnor:: Oh wow...we're dealing with a hungry
MadArchitect:: For some of us, it's dinner time here
on the East Coast as well...
geniescott:: if any of you are teachers or professors,
then the most important thing to do is teach evolution
better. I have some ideas for that. If you are a parent
with children in the schools, then you need to support
teachers so that they feel comfortable teaching evolution.
Chris OConnor:: BookTalk is dedicated to reading and
discussing quality books. Science has always been our
focus. But we struggle so much with attracting people
that actually enjoy reading quality books.
If you are living in a community
where there are letters to the editor coming in about
how weak evolution is, or how schools should be teaching
"both views" (as if there were only 2) then
sensible, responsive letters are called for. You can
get help with all of these ideas on the NCSE web site
Chris OConnor:: We do have some teachers as members.
Tara, one of our moderators, teaches elementary school
Chris OConnor:: I'll post the link in a second
MadArchitect:: Can you tell us a little about NCSE?
Allan W Janssen:: Allan is here. Are there really any
creationists in this chat?
geniescott:: cool. Elementary school teachers who teach
science are to be cherished. So many elementary school
teachers are more interested in reading or math, and
tend to be science phobic.
geniescott:: NCSE is a nonprofit that supports the teaching
of evolution in public schools. https://www.ncseweb.org
Chris OConnor:: Be careful on clicking on this link
as it might take you ought of this chat room. Always
hold down the shift button to launch a new window
Chris OConnor:: https://www.ncseweb.org/
Chris OConnor:: Welcome Allan.
Allan W Janssen:: I'm back and forth with my blog.
Chris OConnor:: I fell in love with science in 7th grade
due to the passion of my Biology teacher.
geniescott:: re: NCSE. We have about 4000 members, most
of whom are scientists, and probably the next largest
group is composed of people concerned about church and
state separation. Third largest group is probably teachers,
or perhaps "science fans" -- non professionals
who just love science. We have a newsletter (a good
one!) and the aforementioned web site
Chris OConnor:: But I agree that there seemed to be
few teachers with the required interest or passion for
the sciences. Some of us get our science fix by reading
authors like you, Dawkins, Sagan, Pinker, Ridley, etc...
geniescott:: having a great teacher is truly a treat.
I'm afraid I didnt' have any great science teachers
(my h.s. chemistry teacher was fun, but I didn't learn
anything, I'm afraid). Still, I managed to remain interested
in science anyway.
garicker:: I think one of the problem's is that for
too long the ID - Evolution controversy has been presented
as a scientific controversy when it's really more a
public relations and political controversy. Am I wrong
about that? It seems there is very little controversy
among most scientists about the validity of evolutionary
theory, though there is certainly controversy over some
of the details.
Chris OConnor:: Genie - can BookTalk join as an organization?
I have the paperwork here, but it would be nice to be
able to join as a group that supports your mission
MadArchitect:: Does NCSE involve itself in any legal
actions, or is it devoted mostly to research and commentary?
Can you give us a sense of how it does most of its work?
Allan W Janssen:: I hope there are some Creationists
here because I'm in the mood to insult someone tonight
#Travis Vocino:: garicker: I agree. Only in the media
of course, for the scientific community, we've always
pretty much seen it the same.
geniescott:: No, creationism (I include ID) is not a
scientific issue but a political one. Scientists have
looked at the claims of creation science and of ID and
rejected them (for cause!) But traditional creationists
and ID proponents nonetheless continue the fight in
the public arena
Chris OConnor:: Allan - ROFL
geniescott:: We are just thinking of having organizational
memberships -- I'll have to get back to you on that
Frank 013:: Genie, after reading your book I found your
description of creationism to be honest and respectful,
how did you manage the respectful part?
Chris OConnor:: Genie - I'd appreciate that
geniescott:: Re: NCSE's legal actions... we have served
as advisors to legal teams (as in Kitzmiller v Dover,
the ID trial in PA) but we are too impecunious to bring
suit ourselves -- and besides, that isn't what we're
good at. We're good at the science and the politics
Allan W Janssen:: but seriously I have some thoughts
on I.D. from my book The Plain Truth about God-101 (what
the church doesn't want you to know) that you might
Allan W Janssen:: what does ROFL mean?
Chris OConnor:: It means "rolling on floor laughing"
Chris OConnor:: chat lingo
Chris OConnor:: I have to be careful because not everyone
knows what those statements mean
geniescott:: Thank you for the kind words on the book.
I am respectful of the people involved in the creationist
movement -- we should always give people the benefit
of the doubt until proven wrong -- but I do not believe
their ideas are either good science or good theology.
But it was my goal to present their ideas accurately,
and I am pleased that creationists have complimented
me on that
Chris OConnor:: Yes, that is something to be proud of
Federika22:: Do you think a lot of creationists have
read your book?
Frank 013:: so part of the goal is good PR?
MadArchitect:: If you feel comfortable lodging an opinion
on this, why do you think people take Creationist positions,
and why are they so eager to make a public issue of
garicker:: Are you having much success getting the media
to report the issues accurately, with less hysteria
and more basic information?
geniescott:: chris: yes, I got a nice letter from Henry
Morris telling me that the book was fair and accurate.
But of course he felt that the creationist selections
Chris OConnor:: have you ever done any debates with
the big names in the ID world? Or are you more in line
with Stephen Gould's opinion that science and faith
can coexist in harmony as they don't overlap
geniescott:: Federica: I really don't know. The few
who have read it (other than some negative Amazon reviews)
have pretty much agreed w. HMMorris
Chris OConnor:: LOL of course he liked those sections
geniescott:: Mad: I think people take creationist positions
mostly because evolution is incompatible w. their religious
beliefs. If you are a biblical literalist, evolution
isn't going to be able to be true
Allan W Janssen:: If we can learn to distinguish between
the metaphorical and the
geniescott:: garicker: the media has great variation
in accuracy of reporting of this issue. The biggest
problem is those who treat the creos as if they have
a legitimate scientific alternative to evolution
#Travis Vocino:: Genie: Having commented about your
balanced opinion for respect. Not to say he is disrespectful
necessarily, but do you think figures like Richard Dawkins,
who are in some ways extreme in their outspoken ways,
help or hurt the NCSE's mission?
Chris OConnor:: Genie - exactly, which is what scares
me. That fact that billions of people reject evolution
and good science because of ancient myths is frightening.
Chris OConnor:: Welcome Rose
irishrosem:: Hey all, just observing
MadArchitect:: so you think that, on average, Biblical
literalism precedes Creationism? Reading the historical
sections of your book, I sometimes wondered if it weren't
vice-versa -- that people were invoking literalism as
a defense for what was more important to them: creationism.
Frank 013:: Hi, Rose
geniescott:: Richard's goal is to spread free thought.
NCSE is not an antireligious organization, and our goals
are to support evolution education. Richard is for the
latter, of course, but his interest in promoting disbelief
is counterproductive to increasing the number of people
who accept evolution.
garicker:: Unfortunately, I think they consider that
Chris OConnor:: interesting
Chris OConnor:: You're referring to Richard Dawkins
MadArchitect:: yeah, interesting. How is it counterproductive?
Because it polarizes?
#Travis Vocino:: Yes, in response to my question, Chris
Allan W Janssen:: If we can learn to distinguish between
the metaphorical and the historical aspects of the scriptures
then it makes it all the easier to differentiate between
the divergent aims of scientific and theological schools
of thought. Just as the far right claims biblical truth
and rejects scientific evidence, the Darwinists are
at a loss to explain how the Universe (The Big Bang)
came into being from absolutely nothing. It s like comparing
apples and oranges. Both are different and have a different
purpose. To attempt a comparison is the same as looking
for common ground when talking about two totally different
things. With this in mind there is no real conflict
between religion and science. God is by God s very nature
unknowable. What I object to is the human trait of forming
special interest groups whose sole job is giving only
their explanation of God and even making proclamations
and laws in God's name. This to me is the height of
human arrogance and self-deception. We do not know how
God interacts with our universe and should not use one
philosophy (religion or science) to try and explain
the other. Render therefore to Cesar the things which
are Cesar's, and to God the things which are God's.
In other words, I am all for teaching Creationism in
school; as soon as they start teaching evolution in
Chris OConnor:: I guess I have a lot in common with
Dawkins and his approach. Perhaps he is just an emotional
person that doesn't suffer fools very easily.
Chris OConnor:: Allan - please use smaller chunks
geniescott:: Mad: Remember that Bib literalists believe
that everything in the Bible has to be true, hence if
one is to take Genesis metaphorically, what does that
do to Revelations? If Genesis isn't true, how
can I believe Revelations ?, as one preacher said
to me. So it has to do with salvation. If Genesis isnt
literally true, how do you know you will be saved? And
worse, if your kid learns evolution, they believe, he/she
will give up believing in God, and then TRULY be lost
to salvation. So it is a very important issue to them
Allan W Janssen:: ok
Federika22:: good point
Chris OConnor:: Biblical literalists conveniently ignore
MadArchitect:: I think that ties in to some points made
by (I think it was) George Steiner...
Chris OConnor:: Nick! Welcome, but you're late.
misterpessimistic:: I know...life gets in the way once
misterpessimistic:: Is she here?!!!
Chris OConnor:: Yes, under Geniescott
MadArchitect:: to the effect that Creationism was about
maintaining the validity of a view that says, all you
heathens are going to pay when the Rapture comes
#Travis Vocino:: Allan, how are the Darwinists at a
loss in not explaining pre-Big Bang events? Darwinism
or Natural Selection has nothing to do with pre-singularity
misterpessimistic:: Ah I see now.
misterpessimistic:: Hello Eugenie!!!
#Travis Vocino:: Not having evidence for the pre-singularity
physics in no way makings Natural Selection or Darwinian
Evolution any less evidence
MadArchitect:: Biblical literalists conveniently ignore
a lot of stuff, Chris. They're more about emphasis than
they are about consistency.
Frank 013:: they have to be
MadArchitect:: I think they'd rather be.
Frank 013:: both then
Chris OConnor:: Genie, not necessarily right now, but
I'd like to hear your opinion on how BookTalk might
be able to better reach the people that most need to
read books like yours. If that is something you need
to think about then we could discuss it later, but I'd
really like to figure out how we help the world of science
MadArchitect:: but that's a topic we can canvass in
the forums, unless Dr. Scott has something to add
geniescott:: Chris: I don't think Dawkins is especially
emotional, but he has strong views and truly believes
that religion is an evil. Where we differ is that I
do not believe that all theistic views are injurious
-- some inspire people to achieve great things, and
to make the world a better place. I also think that
humans are wired to learn religion (beliefs about a
non-material reality, as I define it in my book) very
quickly and easily , and the prospects of extinguishing
this from humanity is small. Better to promote those
more benign forms . I think I'm just more practical
than he is!
Chris OConnor:: Ahh good point. I think many of us here
would agree with you.
#Travis Vocino:: Genie, good points
misterpessimistic:: I agree to an extent, but I still
try to do my part to 'extinguish' the malady from humanity!
geniescott:: Chris -- that's a tough question. I think
your offering my book as a BookTalk issue is a huge
compliment, and I appreciate it.
Chris OConnor:: perhaps a God Gene
MadArchitect:: Would you say you're more in line with
Daniel Dennett on that point? If you're familiar, of
geniescott:: Mad: I've had some correspondence with
Dennett, but I wouldn't say that he and I are eye to
eye. And I am not sure I know his full range of beliefs
on this topic. He's a wonderful writer, though, like
Chris OConnor:: The feeling is mutual. I'd just love
to be doing more for this world and I can't seem to
get a handle on how to increase the scope of our reach.
Imagine a world where science education replaces blind
geniescott:: Chris -- critical thinking over blind faith
would be a huge improvement over our current situation,
misterpessimistic:: Well Chris, the fact is that we
are up against immense numbers of the who believe. And
most have fingers in the ears. If they cannot or will
not hear what is being said, how can we reach these
MadArchitect:: I guess what I was getting at is, do
you think that religion is part of our make-up such
that we're predisposed, either culturally or biologically,
towards religious belief?
Chris OConnor:: What worries me about extinguishing
faith entirely is that a HUGE segment of the faithful
derive their morality and drive to do good things from
misterpessimistic:: I feel we might have to be content
to find those who we can and focus on quality not quantity....for
Federika22:: Good question, Nick
Chris OConnor:: We'll edit out typos so type comfortably
Allan W Janssen:: Now, Dr. Dawkins is right when he
states that we don't know the answer to consciousness,
but I believe he is dead wrong in saying that a religious
explanation has no merit. We have to look upon consciousness
as our link with the Divine - since this seems to be
the root of its purpose.
#Travis Vocino:: Genie, I've often wondered if NCSE
has come across actual scientists that have a real understanding
#Travis Vocino:: , that perhaps support the teaching
of Intelligent Design under the term that String Theory
is not falsifiable, but is still considered science
by most of us.
misterpessimistic:: Thanks. I cannot type quick and
correctly at the same time!
misterpessimistic:: There is no Divine though...so to
someone like me, that phrase makes no sense Allen
garicker:: Nor to me.
Federika22:: nor to me.
irishrosem:: me neither
Frank 013:: sorry I got nothing
misterpessimistic:: I am conscious and have no connection
to the 'Divine'...
Allan W Janssen:: Hard to put into words, without our
consciousness there is no God! At least as far as we
MadArchitect:: I think we're kind of losing the thread
here. Let's focus on Dr. Scott while we've got her!
geniescott:: Travis: I haven't come across any scientists
knowledgeable about evolutionary biology who believe
that ID should be taught. The issue is not so much falsifiability
but testability. Consider: the basic proposition of
ID is that "evolution can't do the job, so the
"intelligent agent' did it". In other words,
"natural cause can't explain complexity, so Poof".
Now, if you are positing an omnipotent agent, how would
you test this? Any outcome of a test is compatible with
the actions of an omnipotent power, so as science, ID
doesn't make the grade. It's untestable.
misterpessimistic:: But what then is Divine?
Chris OConnor:: Ahh I have a question. And I'll sum
this up as best as possible. My opinion is that the
study of certain subjects tends to lead to non-belief.
These subjects are science, critical thinking, history
and comparative religion. Most of us have seen the results
of the National Academy of Science study that shows
that 93% of NAS members indicate they lack the belief
in a god or gods.
misterpessimistic:: Genie: Why cannot everyone SEE THIS
misterpessimistic:: Well said
misterpessimistic:: very simple
#Travis Vocino:: Genie, I absolutely agree with you,
I just wonder if such a thing has happened.
misterpessimistic:: Hey PC
#Travis Vocino:: A lot of creationists like to play
the "Creation Science" card, and claim vast
amounts of conversions from pure scientific reasonable
Chris OConnor:: I believe that anyone educated in critical
thinking will have a high probability of not being able
to accept faith. I'm interested in putting together
an independent study of Critical Thinking college professors,
similar to the NAS study, to find what sort of correlation
exists between critical thinking education and the god
#Travis Vocino:: I often wondered if NCSE or other organizations
actually saw this.
geniescott:: Chris: take the NAS survey with a grain
of salt. There are only about 700+ members of the NAS,
and only about 25% (if memory serves) responded to the
questionnaire. This is a pretty small sample to base
decisions about the religious views of eminent scientists.
In another study, about 40% of scientists expressed
a theistic evolution view (members of American Men and
Women of Science -- also not representative of scientists
as a whole.) We don't have good data on the religious
views of scientists
geniescott:: But I agree w. you on those topics being
a challenge to traditional, literalist, dogmatic religion.
Chris OConnor:: Yes, I believe it was 200 members, but
statistically this is a solid sample set.
Allan W Janssen:: I don't think a belief in science
has to preclude a belief in the Divine. They are mutually
pctacitus:: just tell me what experiment(s) I can run
to disprove that there is a creator or creators
geniescott:: Especially comparative religion. There
is a reason why anthropology is not taught in high school!
(think about it -- all the other social sciences are...
history, sociology, even psychology in larger schools.
misterpessimistic:: I think another error in the idea
of "Creation Science" is that many people
who forward this idea are thinking of science as some
sort of other belief system, rather than a process of
Chris OConnor:: PC - do you have a blender, space helmet
pctacitus:: mixer for protein drinks, thats it
Chris OConnor:: Genie - but do you think there is an
inverse relationship between science education and the
Saint Gasoline joined
geniescott:: Pctacitus: I don't believe that you can
disprove the existence of a creator(s).
Chris OConnor:: Welcome Saint <-- that might look
strange on the transcript LOL
pctacitus:: then how is it science?
Saint Gasoline:: I'm certainly no saint.
misterpessimistic:: How is what science?
geniescott:: Chris: I would not be surprised that there
would be fewer people w. science training who disbelieved
-- but we don't have the data. In general, belief decreases
w. education -- that is well documented in many studies
#Travis Vocino:: pctacitus: That is why it's NOT science.
pctacitus:: creation science Mr. p
Chris OConnor:: Yes, pctacitus...not sure I'm following
MadArchitect:: Do you consider yourself an atheist,
Dr. Scott? Or is that too personal a question?
pctacitus:: exactly Travis
Chris OConnor:: Genie - ahh ok
#Travis Vocino:: pctacitus: OK, I thought you were a
trolling creationist for a second
geniescott:: I do not believe in God, but I don't call
myself an "atheist" because the connotation
of atheist is "antireligious" and I am not
misterpessimistic:: Oh yes...it is NOT science. but
"Creation Science" doesnt seek to disprove
the existence of a creator...does it?
pctacitus:: Chris vouches for, doesnt he?
Chris OConnor:: Travis - he is definitely no troll.
I'm surprised he is here though as he is now in the
Saint Gasoline:: I'm curious, genie, what do you call
#Travis Vocino:: I'm curious as well.
garicker:: Besides, when we start talking about "god-belief"
we have to remember the tremendous variety that exists.
Lots of people plug "God" in as the answer
to all our unanswered questions but, on close examination,
really have no idea what the word means.
MadArchitect:: the public relations of atheism and freethinking
has been a topic for debate lately...
#Travis Vocino:: I often call myself Agnostic, but that
sometimes implies that there is some hope that I may
convert to Christianity or some historic religion.
#Travis Vocino:: Which obviously is not the case.
geniescott:: mister: creation science doesn't seek to
disprove the existence of a creator -- they are convinced
that the creator is real, and that "he" specially
created. Creation science is dedicated to disproving
evolution, with special creationism being the default,
misterpessimistic:: I for one do not care what connotations
a word has. But I care little about what people think
about me. I try not to call myself anything, but atheist
kind of explains it...so I use that when cornered.
Chris OConnor:: Mad - go for it. Ask her. lol
misterpessimistic:: Genie: I knew that
I was just
not sure what Pctacitus was getting at...
geniescott:: what do I call myself? A nontheist. Then
people have to ask!
Saint Gasoline:: You're right Mad--there is a sort of
schism arising between atheists who want to be vocal
and passionately anti-religious and those who want to
geniescott:: Agnostic is also good
Chris OConnor:: Genie - yes, leave it open for discussion.
Personally, I love discussing the subject and leaving
it open invites questions.
Saint Gasoline:: I figured you would say "nontheist",
that name seems to be gaining popularity among those
who don't want to be associated with the negative connotations
geniescott:: remember I come from an anthropological
background. Religion is part of being human. Religion
doesnt speak to me, but that doesnt mean
that it is wrong, or maladaptive, or that people are
irrational for believing in it.
pctacitus:: I am just too strict in my definition of
science to accept certain things as science
MadArchitect:: I think the trio of controversial books
that have come out in the last year -- "Breaking
the Spell", "The God Delusion", and "The
End of Religion" -- speak to that schism as a national
misterpessimistic:: genie: what are your thoughts on
the Brights? Offensive moniker too?
#Travis Vocino:: Ooh, I like the Brights
misterpessimistic:: I joined, but not actively
#Travis Vocino:: But I never use the term, so I'm not
MadArchitect:: do they sound anything like Franz Ferdinand?
#Travis Vocino:: I do enjoy their newsletters.
misterpessimistic:: I hope not Mad
Allan W Janssen:: I seem to have the wrong opinion about
I.D. since I never thought is proves or disproves anything.
Chris OConnor:: I was there at the Atheist Alliance
International Convention in Tampa, FL when they rolled
out that new term. I didn't like it then and I don't
now. Personally, I am proud to be an atheist, provided
we define "atheism" as "the lack of belief
in a god or gods," and not some sort of hard atheism
#Travis Vocino:: Allan, have you read any Behe?
geniescott:: um, well, consider that the goal of the
Brights is to convince others to be like them. It doesn't
strike me as a very persuasive approach. "Be a
Bright, but right now, you're a Dull". Atheists
aren't very good salesmen, I'm afraid....
misterpessimistic:: It proves or disproves nothing...except
that creationists are still trying to get a foot in
Allan W Janssen:: yes
#Travis Vocino:: hah
misterpessimistic:: good one Dr Scott
#Travis Vocino:: I like that Genie
Chris OConnor:: Who do we get to represent us? Michael
misterpessimistic:: I am usually distrustful of any
Chris OConnor:: Penn Gillette?
pctacitus:: isnt I.D. just a retread of the blind
misterpessimistic:: I like Shermer...Penn is ok..
Chris OConnor:: Or how about YOU Genie? Can we nominate
you as our fearless leader?
geniescott:: ID is a retread of William Paley's Argument
misterpessimistic:: You can dress it up, but it is the
same old dullard!
Saint Gasoline:: What do you think the next plan of
attack for creationists will be against evolution, Genie?
I've always wondered why they didn't go the post-modern
route and try to argue that science is just a "cultural"
way of knowing--as good as any other.
Chris OConnor:: and the watchmaker is blind
Allan W Janssen:: blind watchmaker is one belief used
to explain the other, doesn't work!
misterpessimistic:: I see that approach sometimes Saint...I
think our own Mad offers that up sometimes, no?
Chris OConnor:: It is an analogy used to destroy an
MadArchitect:: not I, Mr. P
misterpessimistic:: Sorry, I do get that from you...science
is just another way of knowing and all
pctacitus:: I blame Marx for degrading the name of science
geniescott:: Yeah, ID really doesn't add much to Paley,
just reduces the complexity of the vertebrate eye, an
anatomical structure, to the complexity of the bacterial
flagellum, a cellular structure. It's the same old 'evolution
can't do the job, so God did it" argument. Confusing
unexplained with unexplainable. And note that ID proponents
don't pick on any of the complex structures for which
we have good evolutionary explanations!
MadArchitect:: Dr. Scott, you've mentioned your background
in anthropology a few times. Did your work always involve
the evolution/creation debate, or did you start off
with a different topic?
geniescott:: Saint G: the next plan is to just bash
evolution and ignore a religiously-based alternative.
If you can get students to believe that evolution didn't
happen, or it's "just a theory" then students
will automatically twig to the idea that God did it.
Saves you problems w. the 1st amendment
misterpessimistic:: Dr Scott: Do you think we are seeing
a retreat of ID and creationism, as shown by a few recent
beatings it took in PA and...there was somewhere else
MadArchitect:: Mr. P: we can sort out the confusion
in the forums later on.
Chris OConnor:: So Genie, you're not concerned that
religion will be our species eventual downfall? Granted,
much good comes out of belief in a loving creator, but
what about the dangers? Don't the dangers outweigh the
positives? If we could establish and maintain a distinct
separation of state and church some of us would not
care so much about the beliefs of others.
misterpessimistic:: Ok...I was not going to add any
more anyway Mad
geniescott:: MAD: I'm a recovering college professor.
Taught at the univ level for a dozen or so years, and
then moved to nonprofit work. Taught physical (biological)
geniescott:: which has a lot of evolution in it!
geniescott:: Chris: our species will eventually become
extinct, like all of them. And I don't think it will
have much to do with whether there is or is not a loving
geniescott:: most species become extinct
geniescott:: "recovering" joke.... ;>)
misterpessimistic:: Genie: extinct huh? Do you think
we will make it off the planet eventually? I know it
is far fetched, but can we eventually plant our seeds
geniescott:: MisterP: I don't think the ID/creos are
going to retreat. They specialize in evolving in response
to negative environmental stimuli, mostly legal
misterpessimistic:: I will settle for a reprieve!
pctacitus:: please explain the joke
#Travis Vocino:: I like the use of the term "evolving"
in that sentence
misterpessimistic:: Just got that
Chris OConnor:: Genie - I can't help but hope that we
can get all of our eggs out of one basket, so that our
species doesn't have to go extinct just because our
planet experiences another mass extinction. If we increase
science education and passion we might get the drive
to get off this rock and venture out into the galaxy
MadArchitect:: so, do you foresee an end to the controversy,
or is it just going to keep changing forms until there's
no longer an educational system to argue over?
garicker:: Don't you also think their real target isn't
just the biological sciences but all science?
#Travis Vocino:: Genie, this might be somewhat off topic,
but I sort of collect signed first editions of science
books such as yours. Is there somewhere I could order
geniescott:: joke: "recovering" tends to be
an adjective modifying "alcoholic", or "drug
user", or "smoker" or someone who has
overcome some adversity, generally negative. Sometimes
when I talk at colleges I joke about being a "recovering
college professor" which at least the people there
find amusing. It isn't that good a joke.
misterpessimistic:: garicker: good question...'they'
do not attack the other disciplines with as much fervor
Allan W Janssen:: Evolution seems to be our purpose
and if we are good enough at it then we get off this
misterpessimistic:: pc...just laugh!!
pctacitus:: my dad is a college professor so i had to
Federika22:: Where did you teach?
MadArchitect:: I thought it was funny.
Chris OConnor:: I miss Carl Sagan so much
Allan W Janssen:: yea
Chris OConnor:: What an awesome man
MadArchitect:: but then, I'm also typing this from a
university library... go figure.
geniescott:: Travis-- sure. First edition is available.
You can order from us (we have some at the office) and
I can sign it and send it to you. Or you can send me
a copy and I'll sign it. Or if I'm speaking in your
area, I can sign it if you come to my talk! Check our
"events" button on our web site (which alas
isn't very much up to date now, but soon...)
#Travis Vocino:: I will do that, thanks.
geniescott:: I also miss Sagan. He was amazing in his
ability to communicate science, as was Gould, and R.
Dawkins. Try Sean Carroll as an up and comber.
Chris OConnor:: Ann Druyan is doing a fantastic job
of continuing Carl Sagan's passion
misterpessimistic:: Does anyone else here think that
creationists are after the other sciences too?
geniescott:: creos are after astronomy because of age
of the universe and big bang
geniescott:: and geology, of course
Saint Gasoline:: mister--of course!
Chris OConnor:: Yes, we have tossed around some Sean
Carroll books - we will one day read one
misterpessimistic:: exactly what I would think too
misterpessimistic:: But it is just not that visible...
Allan W Janssen:: these guys are after anything that
doesn't fit inerrant bible
Saint Gasoline:: I think the tax-evasion creationist--(either
Ken Ham or Kent Hovind)--often argues against the Big
Bang and cosmology
misterpessimistic:: I guess biology wins out because
it involves humans...and god forbid we aint that special!
Chris OConnor:: Gould was an incredible educator, but
he was very harsh and abrasive
#Travis Vocino:: I don't see them attack astrology
#Travis Vocino:: attacking*
geniescott:: Kent Hovind, bless him. Yes, Kent goes
after virtually all of modern science
Chris OConnor:: Kent was arrested again last month
Saint Gasoline:: Also, the fact that they are attacking
evolution also means they are indirectly attacking physics,
geology, and other sciences, because all of these sciences
are somewhat involved in it.
misterpessimistic:: I just got nauseas...can we not
mention Hovind please!
geniescott:: Hovind is in jail as we speak
Chris OConnor:: lovely
Allan W Janssen:: yea
geniescott:: OK, no more on Hovind! But he sure is a
Chris OConnor:: I saw Kent Hovind on Da Ali G show and
I almost peed my pants
Saint Gasoline:: Sorry to make you sick, Mister P
pctacitus:: hey, Dawkins made south park recently
#Travis Vocino:: Hovind being in jail makes me question
the existence of a God for a moment
MadArchitect:: Dr. Scott, have you or anyone else at
NCSE done any work on the Enlightenment and the background
it's provided to modern science and the creationist
geniescott:: question or accept ?
#Travis Vocino:: Just kidding... as in "there IS
Chris OConnor:: Travis LOL
misterpessimistic:: At least I know my nausea reflex
Saint Gasoline:: Ali G tore into Hovind for leaving
a "floater"--that was hilarious
geniescott:: Mad: re: enlightenment. Probably best person
would be Susan Spath, who has a Ph.D. in history of
science. But most of us are familiar with the outlines
Chris OConnor:: Saint - I had to pause that episode
about 6 times from laughing so hard
geniescott:: The Enlightenment is feared by literalists,
#Travis Vocino:: Genie, do you have any book recommendations
(besides your wonderful book, of course) that you might
want to offer us?
Saint Gasoline:: Yeah, the Enlightenment not only brought
about science that contradicted the physical claims
of the Bible, but it also brought about Biblical Criticism
MadArchitect:: I would imagine so. In my experience,
though, most people avoid the Enlightenment, even when
that where their beliefs are rooted.
#Travis Vocino:: I'm interested in anything actually,
geniescott:: Travis: books on what subject? c/e?
misterpessimistic:: What is wrong with the Enlightenment?
#Travis Vocino:: or c/e
Chris OConnor:: Genie - we're going to create some pages
devoted to authors that represent our mission, such
as yourself, and maybe they will drive a little bit
of traffic to the NCSE
#Travis Vocino:: Anything you think is special.
MadArchitect:: Nothing's wrong with the Enlightenment
-- there's just aren't very many people who care to
learn about it.
misterpessimistic:: Genie: I first discovered you in
the pages of SciAm...a Evo/Creat article. Thank you!
Chris OConnor:: Travis - excellent question. I'd love
to hear some book recommendations. Maybe even some anthropology
geniescott:: the classic book on history of c/e is Ron
Numbers "The Creationists", which is now in
its third edition -- just out. Legal history: Larson's
"Trial and Error"; best single book on ID
is Rob Pennock's "tower of Babel"; best on
science of ID (Rob gets into a lot of philosophy of
science) is "Why Intelligent Design Fails"
misterpessimistic:: Genie: Shameless self promotion
here...but I would love for you to check out a cartoon
I drew. It is my favorite (of mine...which are only
ok compared to most!)
Saint Gasoline:: That's probably my favorite of your
cartoons, Mr. P
Allan W Janssen left
Allan W Janssen joined
geniescott:: I'll check out your cartoon -- thanks.
misterpessimistic:: Thanks Saint!
Chris OConnor:: I absolutely loved my Anthropology class
in high school. When the teacher showed a video of the
"peaceful" Tasaday I remember saying that
I thought there was something wrong with such a social
group. ALL animals compete for limited resources, including
man, so I knew something was wrong. I felt relieved
to learn 10 years later that the Tasaday were a hoax.
misterpessimistic:: Thank you Genie!
Allan W Janssen left
Allan W Janssen joined
Chris OConnor:: Thanks for those suggestions! I'll make
them links in the transcript
geniescott:: friends, I hate to say this, but I have
to leave. I have to take an early flight tomorrow. A
very nice thing is happening this weekend: I am getting
an honorary D.Sc. at my old alma mater the Univ of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
So I had better get some work done! Thanks all, for
an interesting chat.
geniescott:: oh -- one more book
Chris OConnor:: I was about to say that Genie
Chris OConnor:: lol
geniescott:: Scott and Glenn Branch - Not in Our Classrooms
: why intelligent design is wrong for our schools ,
published by Beacon Press.
geniescott:: bye all!
Saint Gasoline:: have a good flight
Chris OConnor:: Genie, we sincerely appreciate your
misterpessimistic:: Genie. Congrats and thank you much
for chatting with us!
Chris OConnor:: Thank you very much!
#Travis Vocino:: Thank you Dr. Scott!
Federika22:: Thank you very much!!
MadArchitect:: thank you, and please drop by again
Chris OConnor:: And thank all of you for coming.
Chris OConnor:: This was quite fun tonight
Frank 013:: Bye and thanks for dropping by!
misterpessimistic:: Yes. Sorry I was late!!!
misterpessimistic:: I am gunna hafta run guys. See ya
MadArchitect:: better late than never
#Travis Vocino:: I have to run too, nice meeting you
garicker:: Enjoyed it. Great fun. Good night to all.
#Travis Vocino:: I'll have to drop by your forums and
argue with you sometime
Allan W Janssen:: bye :-)
MadArchitect:: good turn out, and I thought that the
conversation held together much better than some of
the past chats
#Travis Vocino:: I mean.. discuss
Allan W Janssen left
Chris OConnor:: This was a lot of fun.
Chris OConnor:: What did you all think?
Saint Gasoline:: It was good for the little part that
I witnessed. Damn work, making me miss the majority.
Chris OConnor:: We had 14 people tonight
Federika22:: Is that a little or a lot?
pctacitus:: well, I came in late, but I didnt
see any problems
Chris OConnor:: What do you do for a living, Saint?
MadArchitect:: she did a great job. Getting fired at
from all directions can be frustrating, but she was
very gracious, and made an effort to address as many
comments as she could
Chris OConnor:: Well, I was hoping for over 20
Saint Gasoline:: Ha, I work at a fucking grocery store.
Federika22:: I agree Mad
Chris OConnor:: But 14 was enough to have an awesome
Chris OConnor:: I will never complain if we have 14
in an author chat
Saint Gasoline:: So it's not really a "living"--more
like a slow death.
Federika22:: I'm surprised more people didn't show
Chris OConnor:: Yes, she was awesome. Richard Dawkins
got a bit frustrated with the format.
Chris OConnor:: Me too Rika
Chris OConnor:: And Michael Shermer went and ate some
pizza and had a beer during our live chat
Chris OConnor:: LOL how strange
Frank 013:: I have to run as well, I suddenly have a
lot to do.
pctacitus:: men are destined for short nasty brutish
lives, women long miserable ones
Frank 013 left
Chris OConnor:: LOL
pctacitus:: who remembers where that came from?
Federika22:: Would Dawkins return, do you think?
Chris OConnor:: Ok folks...I am logging too. Vote for
the next group of books tonight if you havent!
Chris OConnor:: Yes, Dawkins would return. I am sure.
Saint Gasoline:: That's from Leviathan, I think.
MadArchitect:: did anyone find any of her answers somewhat
surprising or particularly interesting?
Saint Gasoline:: If not from Leviathan, it's definitely
a Hobbes quote, Pctacitus.
Chris OConnor:: I will call him the moment we know for
certain his book wins...I havent checked in a
Federika22:: I was surprised she didn't find religious
Chris OConnor:: Mad - yes, I did.
pctacitus:: no, its a paraphrase
pctacitus:: it was in Lucifer principle
Chris OConnor:: I was surprised she felt that religious
belief wasn't irrational or didn't render the believer
MadArchitect:: Fed: I thought she might go either way
on that one -- I wasn't sure based on the book what
Chris OConnor:: to be honest
Saint Gasoline:: I was surprised she was an atheist--I
thought for sure she was an enlightened theist
Chris OConnor:: Rika - hah! We read each others minds!
pctacitus:: it was one of the opening quotes from one
of the chapters
Chris OConnor:: It takes all kinds to make the world
go around. I respect her views, but don't necessarily
Saint Gasoline:: wait, that quote is a play on Hobbes',
MadArchitect:: I hesitated to ask that one. But I felt
like she was dropping so many unintentional clues that
it would be best to bring the topic out into the open
Saint Gasoline:: I didn't read it very closely
Chris OConnor:: Mad - always good to just ask...I loved
Chris OConnor:: One sec
MadArchitect:: I would have liked to have known what
other anthropological topics she's worked on
Federika22:: Do you know where she taught?
pctacitus:: Hobbes when he said it, included lonely
Chris OConnor:: You can read about her on Wikipedia
and on the NSCE site
Chris OConnor:: I will create a single page devoted
to her soon
ecstian:: i thought the chat went well - much less sporadic
Chris OConnor:: Ok, I have to go see my fiancé.
We both worked all day and I am ignoring her.
ecstian:: and yes Chris, at least she didn't leave to
eat dinner for 20 minutes
Chris OConnor:: Eric - yes, I agree
Chris OConnor:: I think it has a lot to do with how
the author handles things
Chris OConnor:: She was great
Federika22:: ok, thanks for a great chat!
Chris OConnor:: LOL
ecstian:: makes me want to read her book
Chris OConnor:: Ok, night guys
ecstian:: goodnight Chris
Chris OConnor:: Eric - good! That is good to hear
Chris OConnor:: Adios peoples
MadArchitect:: Berkeley, I think? Or... the book is
published by U. of California Press, so maybe there
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