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Terrell Clemmons
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I think it's a great title. Cracked me up!
Toggle Commented Jan 5, 2012 on Marriage: Hold the Malaise at Signs of the Times
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Thank you Jim. "I nominate Molech for the specific god associated with PP." Excellent, Bob. May I borrow that?
John and Jerry, I just want to thank you for this civil, respectful exchange here. It's encouraging to see. I completely agree with you both that businesses like billboard companies and Chick-fil-A should be left alone to make decisions as they choose. We may not like them, but we too are free to take our business elsewhere, voting with our dollars. I would like to add something about what entered into the billboard company's decision. Whatever you think of Rush Limbaugh as an entertainer, he does have a good track record of pointing out facts that the mainstream media overlook. The billboard read, "The most dangerous place to be for an African-American is in the womb." which is a true statement. It was taken down over concerns about the safety of the people who work in the building, which may have been the best decision, but notice who threatened violence. The abortion and pro-choice people. These are bully tactics. It's not good when bullies get their way by being bullies. Here's the Rush transcript if you want to get his full take on it.
Toggle Commented Feb 26, 2011 on Pro-Life Billboard Comes Down at Signs of the Times
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Well hi, Aaron. This is a long dormant thread, but I'd be happy to pick it back up. I get an email every time a comment is posted on here because I wrote the original post, but I don't know if anyone else is following it anymore. Anyway, I find the discussion of things supernatural, specifically the existence or non-existence of God, invigorating and interesting too. What caused you to become an atheist?
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Well, I suppose the painting should also be explained without resorting to the outdated notion of a painter, right? I mean, Voila! There it is! I don't see any painter...
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"Excluding God means that truth does not matter." Exactly. I had an interesting exchange with an atheist yesterday. I put forth the suggestion that there is such a thing as objective moral law. He said, No - the concepts of right and wrong are relative. "There is no right and wrong, only desirable and undesirable acts." Then he proceeded to tell me what was wrong with my article, Darwin's Quantum Leap from an earlier Salvo. I asked him which standard of right and wrong he was applying in correcting me: an objective standard of right and wrong that actually exists in reality or the relative standard which says there is no right and wrong, only desirable and undesirable acts? He hasn't answered.
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It made me think of the Teletubbies.
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Bob, I don't see an irreconcilable conflict between ID and creation science. I'm familiar with Henry Morris and the centrality of flood geology to creation science. The ones who cut off all other options are the atheistic materialists, the ones I call Darwinists. JM and Brad Spencer appear to fall into that camp. It'll be interesting to see if either of them takes you up on your invitation to dialogue. I, for one, will be watching...
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I have read enough of Steven Jay Gould to know about his theory of punctuated equilibrium, but that takes this discussion in a different direction. Brad, I thank you for reading through this post and considering the points it made. To sum up our exchanges, I believe we view the theory of intelligent design differently. You believe it requires inclusion of the supernatural while I believe it only allows for the possibility of the supernatural. I discern a difference between those two positions. It appears that you don't. I'd rather not to continue to argue that point. I'm content to define the point of disagreement. If you're willing to give the theory of intelligent design a fair hearing from the scientist(s) who proposed it and who can define it far better than I ever could, I refer you to the Discovery Institute and Signature in the Cell.
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Science is concerned with the natural. I agree. I said that in the original post. To reiterate the points made throughout this thread: From Darwin’s Quantum Leap, Salvo 11: “The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, and not by an undirected process such as natural selection.” Both "life from somewhere else" (the suggestion inherent to Panspermia) and "God" (or some form of supernatural being) qualify as an intelligent cause, but Stephen Hawking is open to the possibility of Panspermia, but closed to the possibility of God. This reveals his underlying atheistic presupposition. From Crosshairs: No Intelligence Allowed, Salvo 11: The NCSE opposes teaching the theory of ID alongside the teaching of the theory of evolution as an alternative theory concerning origin of life. From Blinded by Science, Salvo 7, atheism is not a scientifically derived fact, but a personal, philosophical faith choice. Conclusion: Stephen Hawking and the NCSE allow an atheistic presupposition, which is not a scientifically derived fact but a prior commitment to a particular view concerning the supernatural, to constrain their science. In other words, they allow their view concerning the supernatural to constrain their science. Yes, science is concerned with the natural. But scientists are first humans who make worldview choices concerning the possible existence of the supernatural, and those choices affect their science. I really don't think it's that difficult to understand, except for one whose heart or mind (or both) are closed to the possibility of God. My 11-year old daughter was able to understand it. For a more scientifically sophisticated explanation of ID, I refer you to the Discovery Institute and Dr. Stephen Meyer’s new book, Signature in the Cell. Click here for a review of it from Salvo 11.
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Okay, that helps me understand a little better where you’re coming from. But I think you’re still attributing to me something I didn’t say and then reacting to that. I didn’t assert that God created life in any particular way. I didn’t even assert that God created life, though you’ve probably gathered by now that I do believe there is a God and that he had something to do with life getting started. In fact, I agree with you about the impossibility of establishing for certain how life got started. It sounds, now, like you’re asking me why I pointed out Hawking’s openness to the possibility of aliens but closedness to the possibility of God. It’s a fair question. Because they expose the non-scientific atheistic presuppositions which constrain his science. I pointed it out to my daughter to help nurture her critical thinking skills and to expand her science education beyond the constraints of atheistic presuppositions. Then I wrote about it to show other parents they can do likewise and while I was at it, I pointed out to anyone who takes interest in the subject the disservice done by the NCSE to censor an alternative theory concerning the origin of life which is unconstrained by atheistic presuppositions.
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Brad, you’ve attributed to me several things I haven’t said. I can’t find anywhere in this entire thread where I said that I know God wouldn't/couldn't/didn't use any particular method. If I’m wrong and it is in here, or in anything else I’ve written, I invite you to show me and I’ll stand corrected. I also can’t explain how I know that God is inferior to “accident” because I don’t view God as inferior to “accident.” Maybe I’m just not understanding your question. I’m afraid I’m unclear about how the beliefs or knowledge of early man apply here. And I’m confused about the suggestion that belief in God compels one to believe everything that early man believed (whatever that might be). I’m sure I didn’t say that, so I can’t respond to the question about it. I’ve never thought of God having to rely on the supernatural. God is, by definition, supernatural, or he’s no God at all. The main point of this post was that an open mind will at least allow for the possibility of God, and that to allow for the possibility of alien life while disallowing the possibility of God is, at the very least, an odd position to take. Even a child can understand that.
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Yes, that response did indeed dwarf the original post. My first reaction was, Wow! That’s a lot of words! But I did sort through them to extract certain points or questions and respond. Here goes: About the term “free mind:” Stephen Hawking used it, and I echoed it. I apply a different meaning to it, but I was simply echoing his phrase. What I mean when I used the term in this post is a mind unbound by atheistic presuppositions. That's not the same as being uncritical. Yes, I agree with your suggestion that things like universes and lotteries necessitate the preconditions of their existence. It sounds like you and I and Stephen Hawking all recognize that it had to come from somewhere. But I disagree with you when you say, “That whole thing about life originating somewhere else and having been spread from planet to planet involves no intelligence whatsoever.” As I see it, self-replicating life is inherently intelligent. DNA contains intelligence. Perhaps you don’t see it that way. If so, then that’s just a fundamental disagreement between us. In response to question about where I got Dawkins’s openness panspermia, I refer you to this video, and you can hear Dawkins speak for himself. I repeat, I’m not advocating panspermia. I’m merely pointing out that at least two well-known scientists allow it as a possibility. I’m unclear why you have a problem with me pointing that out. About ID: though I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy by a consortium, you have rather accurately stated one of my main points: ID is a legitimate theory concerning the origin of life on earth, but it is being censored by scientists who have a prior commitment to atheism. I don’t think this is a science vs. religion issue. It’s science vs. science, or to be more specific, atheistic science vs. non-atheistic science. There’s a big difference between that and “science vs. religion.” I have no problem with the term “worldview” or “weltanschauung,” though when it comes to the personal choice of whether one allows or disallows the possibility of God, I prefer “faith choice.” Why, you seem to ask, does this matter to the practice of science? It matters because all those practitioners of science are human beings first. Then they are scientists. What you choose to believe about this profoundly affects your worldview. In fact, I would go so far as to say it’s one of the most foundational choices a human being makes. I’m surprised that you don’t see those three facts of life I “trot” out, the initiation of life, the information of life, and the irreducible complexity of life to have “one lick of relevance to the study of evolution.” If evolution is adduced as the best theory for the origin of life, I think they are spot-on relevant because there is no empirical evidence to support any of them emerging by materialistic processes. They represent weaknesses in the theory of evolution as the explanation for the origin of life. That’s relevant to science if the point of science is to follow the evidence wherever it leads. To sum this up, I’ll return to one of our points of agreement. Most of us intuitively realize life had to come from somewhere. Atheistic scientists are open to the possibility of it coming from somewhere else like another life form from another planet, but they’re closed to the possibility that it was created by a higher life form, like a supernatural creator. And the reason for the disconnect, as I see it, is they’ve excluded the possibility of God from their mind. I pointed it out to my daughter, and she got it. I don’t presume to know the state of your mind, but I did ask you if your mind was open to the possibility. You didn’t answer.
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One more thing, JM, if you find the suggestion of a cosmic lottery system laughable, that is something you'll also need to take up with Stephen Hawking. He's the one who suggested it, not me.
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JM, I agree with you that Panspermia isn't a seriously contending origin-of-life theory. It shouldn't be. But Stephen Hawking takes it seriously enough to mention it on his Discovery Channel show. And, as I mentioned in this article, referenced above, Richard Dawkins does too. If your goal is to object to the validity of Panspermia, then that, too, is something you'll have to take up with Stephen Hawking. He suggested it, not me. And I'd like to point out for the record, I didn't call him stupid. I think he's brilliant, and I said so. Nor did I call atheists stupid. Perhaps you needed to read the articles I referenced to fully get the point of this post, but it was this: Stephen Hawking doesn't allow his "free" mind to consider the possibility of God. That's not a scientifically-derived position, but a philosophical presupposition, or, if you will, as I demonstrate in Blinded by Science? from Salvo 7, a personal faith choice. On the other hand, Intelligent Design theory (ID) is a seriously contending origin-of-life theory, and it's being censored by certain scientists. And you're incorrect about it not having been defined. Serious scientists can look to Dr. Stephen Meyer and the Discovery Institute for a high level definition and defense of it. But even a 6th grader can grasp the basic concept if it is not censored. I defined it at a level the average high school student can understand here. It surprises me that you think I smacked my daughter upside the head. In my mind, since she already possesses a burgeoning interest in scientific matters, as evidenced by her interest in watching the show in the first place, I simply used Hawking's failure to recognize ID as an opportunity to explain it and point out how he actually employs it, in a back door sort of way (and for that matter either unwittingly or without acknowledging it), to explain his acceptance of the theory of Panspermia. Another blogger mentioned this encounter on his blog and titled his post, Is Stephen Hawking Smarter than a 6th Grader? Your words suggest that you too have ruled out, a priori the possibility of God. You are certainly free to do that, but if you do, that choice places limits on your your own mind and free inquiry. I don't particularly think my daughter is smarter than Stephen Hawking or you, but I do think her mind is more free than his, and perhaps yours. Yes, one of the great things about science is that answers inevitably raise new questions. Although the blog post didn't mention it, since you brought it up, I will point out that the concept of God is not nebulous either, and has been defined. Just like the scientific theory of ID, you are free to examine the concept or not. Your words raise a question in my mind: Is your mind open to the possibility of God?
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John FB, for what it's worth, I think what's going on in Uganda is abhorrent, and if some people who identify themselves as Christian condone it, I would take issue with them. I'm glad to hear you say the tolerance standard should be the same for everybody. I especially like your comment, "people need to develop a thicker skin and quit whining." I couldn't have said it better myself.
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I don't know Greg Quinlan personally. I quoted him and referred you to the link in response to your question. Regardless of what you think of him as an individual, the question the news item raises is this: Will "tolerance" be extended to those who identify themselves as ex-gay in the same manner in which tolerance is extended to those who identify themselves as gay? Or, as it was originally worded, Is tolerance really about tolerance?
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As I understand it, a person's take on this subject hangs on whether he believes being gay is biologically predetermined or is a choice. To answer your question, What kind of open disapproval is being experienced in the workplace? I would refer you to PFOX. There's a link in the post. Also, here's a quote and another link for follow up: Greg Quinlan, a director for PFOX, said it was about time that all sexual orientation laws and programs nationwide provide "true diversity and equality." "I have experienced more personal assaults as a former homosexual than I ever did as a gay man," he said. http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=121865
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Wow ... Profound suggestion: abortionists as pimps. Sadly, it fits.
Toggle Commented Nov 13, 2009 on Abortion Advertising at Signs of the Times
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oh, that's easy :) Thanks!
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Hi Jeff, I'm reading this book, and I also like it. Could you tell me where you got that figure of books in print of over 100K? I was google searching, trying to get a guess of number of copies sold and landed on your page. Thanks, Terrell Clemmons
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