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PZ Myers, Jennifer Michael Hecht, and Chris Mooney - New Atheism or Accommodation?
Posted: 11 October 2010 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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George - 11 October 2010 02:20 PM
KiwiDon - 11 October 2010 11:57 AM

1000 Needles - that’s non-sequitur, are you saying Newton and Albert Einstein are non-credible? That was the measure, I’m saying that their are some credible where PZ was saying their aren’t any!

That is certainly what PZ was not saying. He said that Miller’s science was admirable but his religious beliefs were not. The same would apply to Newton and Einstein: their science was good, Newton’s ideas on alchemy and Einstein’s ideas on pacifism were nonsense.

Hello George, what PZ actually said 10 minutes into the podcast was “Name the person whose religious beliefs does not conflict with science… I would say their aren’t any.”  He talked about Miller much later on, which became a special pleading to his earlier statement.  Hey he said it not me, go and listen to it again if you like.

Don’t get me wrong I like PZ and I have listened to many podcast’s where he has been a guest. However, I just felt he said some silly things in this one as quoted above, he could have just been playing devils advocate to open up debate. 

Which side was he on again? wink

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Posted: 11 October 2010 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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George - 11 October 2010 02:20 PM
KiwiDon - 11 October 2010 11:57 AM

1000 Needles - that’s non-sequitur, are you saying Newton and Albert Einstein are non-credible? That was the measure, I’m saying that their are some credible where PZ was saying their aren’t any!

That is certainly what PZ was not saying. He said that Miller’s science was admirable but his religious beliefs were not. The same would apply to Newton and Einstein: their science was good, Newton’s ideas on alchemy and Einstein’s ideas on pacifism were nonsense.

Another example would be Einstein’s hypotheses regarding quantum mechanics. Some of Einstein’s ideas were correct when matched with evidence, and they were accepted. Some of Einstein’s ideas were incorrect when investigated, and the ideas were criticized.

It appears that Ms. Hecht and Mr. Mooney feel that the tone of the Gnu Atheists is too loud; based on their behaviour on this podcast, it seems any criticism above a hushed whisper is too loud. Kudos to PZ, Dawkins, Coyne and Hitchens for raising the volume of religious criticism to a firm voice.

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Posted: 11 October 2010 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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George - 11 October 2010 01:46 PM

Since I consider this type of debates almost a sport event, I see the score here as Accomodationism 0, New Atheism 1.  grin

I can’t wait to listen to it….

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Posted: 11 October 2010 03:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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sharkey - 11 October 2010 02:54 PM

Another example would be Einstein’s hypotheses regarding quantum mechanics. Some of Einstein’s ideas were correct when matched with evidence, and they were accepted. Some of Einstein’s ideas were incorrect when investigated, and the ideas were criticized.

Well, there are wrong ideas and then there is “crap,” as PZ would refer to it. Einstein’s ideas on quantum mechanics were not crap—just like Lamarck’s theory of evolution, for example, was merely a wrong idea—but Einstein’s explanation for the need of pacifism, Newton’s alchemy, or, indeed, Miller’s religious beliefs, are nonsense.

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Posted: 11 October 2010 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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sharkey - 11 October 2010 02:54 PM
George - 11 October 2010 02:20 PM
KiwiDon - 11 October 2010 11:57 AM

It appears that Ms. Hecht and Mr. Mooney feel that the tone of the Gnu Atheists is too loud; based on their behaviour on this podcast, it seems any criticism above a hushed whisper is too loud. Kudos to PZ, Dawkins, Coyne and Hitchens for raising the volume of religious criticism to a firm voice.

I’m happy with firm too. The feeling I have is that PZ is beginning to sound more like the people on the dark side of the force, as “quoted” above. Digressing into Newton or Einstein is going off topic, they were provided as examples of where I felt he was mistaken in his earlier statement 10 minutes into the podcast. George seems to agree he contradicted himself on later by saying something different. This was sloppy of PZ and not his best work. (Please correct me if I’m wrong in this observation George)

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Posted: 11 October 2010 03:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Sorry, KiwiDon, that is not what I am suggesting at all.

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Posted: 11 October 2010 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Chris, take the mic back please. Jennifer Michael Hecht needs to remember that when you’re the host, you’re not part of the debate, especially when you can’t make up your mind what you want to be or whose feelings your more in tune with. The host should ask a question and get out of the way and keep the discussion on track. Unfortunately, she did neither.

I understand the reasoning behind Chris’ strategy, but I have to side with PZ on this one. The reason we can’t ignore the religiosity of those who also support science is the political and social power they wield and the preferential treatment they get for holding that religious view.

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Posted: 11 October 2010 03:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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George - 11 October 2010 03:33 PM

Sorry, KiwiDon, that is not what I am suggesting at all.

So you don’t think that PZ contradicted himself by saying “that Miller’s science was admirable but his religious beliefs were not.” Having categorically stated “Name the person whose religious beliefs does not conflict with science… I would say their aren’t any.” 

I believe the issues are non sequitur and PZ should have known better.  Belief in religion doesn’t make you a bad scientist or vice versa.

Sorry that I misinterpreted, I thought you had seen this too.

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Posted: 11 October 2010 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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KiwiDon - 11 October 2010 03:49 PM
George - 11 October 2010 03:33 PM

Sorry, KiwiDon, that is not what I am suggesting at all.

So you don’t think that PZ contradicted himself by saying “that Miller’s science was admirable but his religious beliefs were not.” Having categorically stated “Name the person whose religious beliefs does not conflict with science… I would say their aren’t any.” 

I believe the issues are non sequitur and PZ should have known better.  Belief in religion doesn’t make you a bad scientist or vice versa.

Sorry that I misinterpreted, I thought you had seen this too.

I don’t see how that is a contradiction. Miller’s religious beliefs conflict with science; those beliefs include his acceptance of the resurrection and theistically-driven evolution. Miller just ignores these and other non-scientific beliefs when he’s in the lab; PZ wants him to ignore those beliefs outside the lab as well.

Every religious belief held by actual people conflicts with our understanding of reality; I’ve never met an actual deist, just slippery Christians.

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Posted: 11 October 2010 05:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I just want to add one more thing: Einstein actually changed his position on pacifism as soon as Hitler invaded Poland, so my comparison here was not fair. Indeed, were Newton brought to life today, I am sure he would quickly change his position on alchemy. The same would be probably true of, say, Kepler, Aristotle, Freud and others. The fact that people like Miller, Collins, and the seven percent of the NAS believe in God today is absolutely mind-boggling.

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Posted: 11 October 2010 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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KiwiDon - 11 October 2010 03:49 PM

So you don’t think that PZ contradicted himself by saying “that Miller’s science was admirable but his religious beliefs were not.” Having categorically stated “Name the person whose religious beliefs does not conflict with science… I would say their aren’t any.” 

I believe the issues are non sequitur and PZ should have known better.  Belief in religion doesn’t make you a bad scientist or vice versa.

Sorry that I misinterpreted, I thought you had seen this too.

You seem to be missing either the word ‘religious’ or ‘beliefs’ when reading the sentence “Name the person whose religious beliefs does not conflict with science… I would say their aren’t any.”.

He is asking for a religious belief, held by anyone, which doesn’t conflict with science. He is not asking for a religious person who has ideas that don’t conflict with science. There is no non sequiter here.

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Posted: 11 October 2010 06:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Unfortunately, Hecht losing track of her position isn’t uncommon. She gave a very good talk at TAM this year, but other than that, every time I’ve heard her speak she has sounded a bit lost.

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Posted: 11 October 2010 11:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Tufty - 11 October 2010 06:27 PM
KiwiDon - 11 October 2010 03:49 PM

So you don’t think that PZ contradicted himself by saying “that Miller’s science was admirable but his religious beliefs were not.” Having categorically stated “Name the person whose religious beliefs does not conflict with science… I would say their aren’t any.” 

I believe the issues are non sequitur and PZ should have known better.  Belief in religion doesn’t make you a bad scientist or vice versa.

Sorry that I misinterpreted, I thought you had seen this too.

You seem to be missing either the word ‘religious’ or ‘beliefs’ when reading the sentence “Name the person whose religious beliefs does not conflict with science… I would say their aren’t any.”.

He is asking for a religious belief, held by anyone, which doesn’t conflict with science. He is not asking for a religious person who has ideas that don’t conflict with science. There is no non sequiter here.

The whole passage was; “Name the person whose religious beliefs does not conflict with science, lets be very specific here. What set of religious beliefs beyond just sort of a vague Deism are compatible with scientific thought. I would say their aren’t any.”

The non sequiter as I see it is that - I don’t believe in totum that all religious beliefs are in conflict with science… their are many good scientists who also hold religious beliefs.  It is my opinion that aggressive criticism should only be leveled at religious beliefs that contradict science ie the age of the Earth only being a couple of thousand years old, not all religious beliefs because a name doesn’t exist for this group. There would be thousands if not millions who if asked would not feel any conflict… My old science teacher for one, who I recall made such a statement in my 6th form.

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Posted: 11 October 2010 11:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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KiwiDon - 11 October 2010 03:49 PM
George - 11 October 2010 03:33 PM

Sorry, KiwiDon, that is not what I am suggesting at all.

So you don’t think that PZ contradicted himself by saying “that Miller’s science was admirable but his religious beliefs were not.” Having categorically stated “Name the person whose religious beliefs does not conflict with science… I would say their aren’t any.” 

I believe the issues are non sequitur and PZ should have known better.  Belief in religion doesn’t make you a bad scientist or vice versa.

Sorry that I misinterpreted, I thought you had seen this too.

People can do good science in one area and hold completely ascientific beliefs in another. Or do you think Peter H. Duesberg’s work on AIDS is good science?

Scientists are perfectly capable of holding views that conflict with science - after all science covers a lot of different things, to the point where calling someone a scientist verges on being meaningless.

Do you seriously not get this?

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Posted: 12 October 2010 12:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Bruce Gorton - 11 October 2010 11:58 PM
KiwiDon - 11 October 2010 03:49 PM
George - 11 October 2010 03:33 PM

Sorry, KiwiDon, that is not what I am suggesting at all.

So you don’t think that PZ contradicted himself by saying “that Miller’s science was admirable but his religious beliefs were not.” Having categorically stated “Name the person whose religious beliefs does not conflict with science… I would say their aren’t any.” 

I believe the issues are non sequitur and PZ should have known better.  Belief in religion doesn’t make you a bad scientist or vice versa.

Sorry that I misinterpreted, I thought you had seen this too.

People can do good science in one area and hold completely ascientific beliefs in another. Or do you think Peter H. Duesberg’s work on AIDS is good science?

Scientists are perfectly capable of holding views that conflict with science - after all science covers a lot of different things, to the point where calling someone a scientist verges on being meaningless.

Do you seriously not get this?

I perfectly get that they can but unlike what PZ stated I don’t accept that they all are.  That’s my my point that you seem to be making back to me… Did I not express it clearly enough for you? I didn’t use Duesberg as an example so you are being disingenuous with your question by ‘poisoning the well’,  you have also changed the structure to ‘Scientists can do bad science’ from what PZ actually stated regarding ‘religious beliefs being in conflict with science.’ Any reason for this???

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