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Hobbes
2002-Apr-29, 05:03 PM
Alrighty then, I just bought the book "Bad Astronomy" because I was looking for some solid evidence to refute the moon-hoax people, and I came across the chapter on creationism. Then, for sh*ts and giggles, I visited ICR's website, and they actually offer web-based classes. And not to mention the "grad school" section. I quote ICR's site:
The purpose of the ICR Graduate School is to discover and transmit the truth about the universe by scientific research and study, to correlate and apply such scientific data within the supplemental integrating framework of Biblical creationism, and to implement them effectively in traditional graduate degree programs with standard core curricula in science and education.
This absolutely blows my mind.
Does anyone have any input, or opinion regarding ICR, because I'd love to refine my own...

Lisa
2002-Apr-29, 07:58 PM
Hope this link works.
http://www.skepticfriends.org/articles/showquestion.asp?faq=2&fldAuto=35

Nice discussion of ICR and its political aims.
Lisa

Hobbes
2002-Apr-29, 08:02 PM
Thanks Lisa, that article was eye-opening. Any idea of how much success they are having?

Lisa
2002-Apr-29, 08:22 PM
On 2002-04-29 16:02, Hobbes wrote:
Thanks Lisa, that article was eye-opening. Any idea of how much success they are having?

You'll have to ask. We can discuss this more over at SFN so we're not cluttering up Phil's board with too much non-astronomy stuff. BTW, you have a PM over at SFN.
Lisa

Hobbes
2002-Apr-30, 12:39 PM
Alrighty then, I've got another topic going under General Astronomy about the Big Bang vs. young earth creationism. Oh, and i wrote back. Thanks Lisa

Major Billy
2002-Jun-30, 02:22 PM
Does anyone have any input, or opinion regarding ICR, because I'd love to refine my own...


On their forum, if anyone posts evidence that is favorable to Darwin's Theory, it is immediately deleted.

xriso
2002-Jul-01, 11:57 AM
On 2002-04-29 13:03, Hobbes wrote:
Does anyone have any input, or opinion regarding ICR, because I'd love to refine my own...




Well, it seems that by looking at their site, they have given up on putting a serious defense of their young-earth interpretation, and are now concentrating on attacking Darwinism/neo-Darwinism (what some people define "evolution" to be). They don't have much astronomy-related stuff.

Then again, that's just a glance.

Cloudy
2002-Sep-15, 04:49 AM
They dont have much astronomy related stuff
because it is MUCH harder to make the case for a young universe than it is for a young Earth. The evidence for an old Universe is simpler to explain and more widely known.

I dont know if I would call Young earth creationism science. Their writtings (that are intended for creationist audiences) tend to discuss how to best present the evidence for a certain point of view, USING science. It does not often propose any new tests or research. Competing creationist theories are evaluated on the basis of their persuasive power- not on the basis of evidence, fulfilled predictions, etc.

This may be good lawyering or politics, and politics is a good calling.
But it is not science.

That being said - political influence is only a secondary aim of most creationists. They aim instead to influence people to accept their theories of biblical interpretation to be true, and hopefully lead some to Christ. Laudable aims, but it is wrong to claim evangelism-oriented theorizing as scientific work. This tactic will not help them further these goals in the long term. One shouldnt
"Do evil so that good may result" - Romans 1.

Much "Environmental Science" suffers the same problem. A great deal of environmentalist "research" is done for the purpose of furthering a political/social agenda.

I favor Inteligent Design myself, but I hope ID proponents such as Behe can start to do some more original research and come up with some competing scientific theories - rather than "unite against the enemy" as Steven Johnson seems to suggest. Mr Johnson is a good lawyer/philosopher but a poor scientist.

roidspop
2002-Sep-23, 03:04 AM
For whatever it's worth, I've been carrying on a correspondence with a YE/creationist/hollow earther for several months now. Frequently we have discussed the agenda of creationists and he admitted that they were not interested in attempting to produce anything of scientific merit concerning their claims but only in obstructing or destroying whatever "evolutionists" taught. It is a war, as far as they're concerned, and all tactics are fair. Certainly, he's no spokesman for creationists, but his take on their purpose seemed to be very close to the mark...if you can't refute it, then lie, cheat, resort to cheap rhetoric and tie their shoelaces together while they're not looking. Wonderful folks, the creationists.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: roidspop on 2002-09-22 23:06 ]</font>

Cloudy
2002-Sep-26, 05:39 AM
Roidsprop,

I don't know why your creationist correspondent seems to link creationism to hollow earth - I have never heard of this linkage before. (Though there are a FEW young earthers who go for geocentrism and some other wacked theories). The ones I know do not deliberatly lie - they believe their own arguments + factual claims. Some will even abandon arguments and change their minds on certain issues when told about certain facts. I personally know one ardent and very active young earther (the statistician David Sack) who happens to be a very honorable man personally.

You do, however, touch well on one legitimate problem of young earth creationism. They do not often seek to do their own research, and the reasearch they do embark on is done for the sole purpose of advancing a preconceived point of view. If any research (by themselves or others) leads in the "wrong" direction, it is discounted or even abandoned.

This is a great method if you are a lawyer presenting a case - but it is not science.
Neither, I may add, is "methodological naturalism " - the a priori assumption that some scientists use that says that nothing outside the physical world can exist. Or at that least nothing outside the physical world should be recognized by science.

I want to be lazy /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif and believe what the available data makes it easiest to believe - and not try to make the data fit into any presuppositions regarding the supernatural.

Peter B
2002-Sep-26, 07:40 AM
Cloudy

Creationists I've had contact with *do* lie and cheat. They deliberately misrepresent other people's research. The only research they do is to find tracts of text they can quote out of context to "support" their position. They are caught out and told not to use certain arguments, then use them again to fresh audiences.

I recommend a visit to the "No Answers in Genesis" site for some examples of where they've been caught out: http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/default.htm

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Peter B on 2002-09-26 03:45 ]</font>

Cloudy
2002-Sep-26, 06:43 PM
Peter B,

You probably have seen different young earthers than I have.

Quoting people out of context is not limited to creationists... I've seen allot of otherwise honerable people do it. And there is allot of grey area regarding what counts as "out of context".

As to using arguments that they have been "told not to use" - just because an argument sounds convincing to you and the other side doesnt come up with a good answer does not mean you have actually convinced them that it is a faulty argument. They may still use it and remain honest because they still believe in it themselves. Indeed some people unconciously follow the fallacy "If something is true than all the arguments for it must be valid."

This brings up another problem with Young - Earthers - they venture to far outside of their own fields of study. Often times, the creationist(or "evolutionist") does not really know enough science outside of his/her field to understand the disproof of some argument. So they continue to use bad ones. I warned one creationist organization that using the laws of thermodynamics to promote creationism(ie...energy and complexity always decline in a closed system) is dangerous if you don't know what you are doing because scientific laws are often ALLOT more narrowly defined than they appear on first reading. Scientific laws are often expressed terms with different meanings than you use in ordinary language. You have to know allot of basic concepts in order to apply them. Yet they did not pay to much attention.

Also - every time I have heard someone I strongly disagree with giving a speech (or writting a webpage) INTENDED for an audiance much LESS INFORMED than I. I get mad and nearly always think the speaker is being dishonest. etc /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif. Either those who disagree are all cheating scum, or there is something in human nature that makes me always want to throttle the speaker /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif. I suspect the later.

When speaking to the less informed - you have to simplify things. You have to "pack down" arguments into packages that they can understand. In the process, you have to use (or even assume) facts/arguments that an informed opponent would have no trouble comming up with a "Prima Facia" refutation for. Your emotional appeals (and all competent speakers use them) are allot more transparent and only serve to make you look bad. To an informed person who is set against ya from the beginning, you will look dishonest. There is only one way arround this that I see....

IMHO the best way to talk about a controversial issue to the uninformed is to talk about only ONE ARGUMENT and aim to MAKE them informed about one VERY NARROW issue. This will make you look more honest to an informed observer. Unfortunatly - NEITHER SIDE of the Young Earth Creation vs Naturalistic Evolution debate seems to do this often. They give you OJ Simpson defense style "shotgun" speaches - throw at ya anything that they themselves believe and that they think may work. This limits the depth of their arguments and makes them look like scum to the informed opposition - even when they are being reasonably honest.




<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Cloudy on 2002-09-26 14:43 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Cloudy on 2002-09-26 14:45 ]</font>

Peter B
2002-Sep-27, 03:07 AM
On 2002-09-26 14:43, Cloudy wrote:
Quoting people out of context is not limited to creationists... I've seen allot of otherwise honerable people do it. And there is allot of grey area regarding what counts as "out of context".

Point taken, but I made the point to show that there are plenty of dishonest creationists out there, and I've encountered some of them.


As to using arguments that they have been "told not to use" - just because an argument sounds convincing to you and the other side doesnt come up with a good answer does not mean you have actually convinced them that it is a faulty argument. They may still use it and remain honest because they still believe in it themselves. Indeed some people unconciously follow the fallacy "If something is true than all the arguments for it must be valid."

Sorry, I didn't explain myself here.

The situation was that the creationist gave a talk, then allowed questions. A skeptic in the audience demonstrated that one of the arguments used by the speaker was wrong, and was able to prove his point. The speaker agreed that the argument was mistaken, and agreed that it shouldn't be used as a pillar to support creationism.

At the next talk, the speaker used the argument again.

It's situations like this that give the impression that Christians are allowed to lie to atheists, simply because they're atheists.

Cloudy
2002-Sep-27, 08:19 AM
I'll have to conceed your point regarding this speaker, Peter.

If the speaker indeed admitted that he was convinced of the falsity of a certain argument and then used it again in front of a different audience it is intellectual dishonesty.

Its worse than intellectual dishonesty - I'm sure we all are guilty that from time to time. It is PERSONAL dishonesty - a form of breaking one's word.

It is also a sign of weak faith. If he feels he has to lie for to protect God, than methinks he doesn't trust in God all that much. Or maybe the God he trusts in isnt the real God - but more of an intellectual construct or ideology.

The connection with hollow earth seems really weird to me. How does he link that with creationism?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Cloudy on 2002-09-27 04:21 ]</font>

Peter B
2002-Sep-27, 09:05 AM
On 2002-09-27 04:19, Cloudy wrote:
The connection with hollow earth seems really weird to me. How does he link that with creationism?


Over to you, roidspop.

Cloudy
2002-Sep-28, 04:47 AM
Sorry, Roidsprop. Had you confused with Peter B for a moment. I'm sure your both flattered though. :0)

Doodler
2002-Oct-10, 08:17 PM
All the dirty pool these young-earther creationists play these days remind me of the old Inquisitors that tortured Galileo. It is a war, a war in the arena of ideas. A war in which we stand on an important battle front. Space science offers us a look into the reality of the "heavens" and puts forth some of the ultimate challenges to antiquated dogma. We find there that we are on a very ancient planet, that has hosted life for billions of years longer than they would have us believe. We see worlds orbitting other stars in direct contradiction to the utterly incredible belief that all things orbit the Earth. We see the universe itself, vaster than humanity has words to truly descibe, we speak in lightyears as standard of measure, but how clinical it seems for the reality of such vastness.

Knowledge is the key to free mankind from dependance on any god for answers to anything, hence their intense fear of any independantly discovered knowledge that challenges existing dogma. Don't believe me? How about a REAL answer in Genesis, Adam and Eve got booted out of Eden for eating fruit of the Tree of what???

The question of how astronomy and religion relate is central to the issue of humanity's future. It is a well known statement among believers "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inheret the Earth", it is truth, but only by default. Those of us strong enough to accept the reality of the universe will one day go out and live among the vastness of the universe, leaving them behind.

CJSF
2002-Oct-10, 08:41 PM
I wasn't aware that Galileo was tortured. I thought he was put under rather comfortable house arrest.

CJSF

Donnie B.
2002-Oct-10, 09:02 PM
He wasn't tortured. He was shown the instruments of torture, and decided on the better part of valor.

Doodler
2002-Oct-10, 09:06 PM
My error.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Doodler on 2002-10-10 17:08 ]</font>

Cloudy
2002-Nov-08, 11:21 AM
Galileo wasn't put on trial for questioning Christian doctrine. His was a political trial. Like Al Quaida- his persecutors were distorting and twisting religios thought in order to achieve a political purpose. There were allot of Catholic theologians of that time, perhaps a majority, who had no problem with his beliefs. This is despite the fact that allot of the theology of that time ("scholasticism") heavily relied on the Greek philosophers he criticised.

From what I remember - he was asked to write an evenhanded work comparing his theories to accepted ones at the time and what he wrote tended to make his opponents look stupid. I would have done the same. Human nature makes it really hard to do otherwise even when one's opponents DO have a good case. Eg..he named his geocentrist "simplisticus" .

Also..this is what I remember from a college Rennaisance history class... even then he probably wouldn't be in that much trouble had he not ticked off the pope. Don't remember exactly how he did it(It was not a scientific claim, that much I remember), but that was not a smart thing to do in those days. Particularily since Popes were known to do things like hire Altar boys to kill people.

Even when this brazen hypocrisy was exposed (and it was, many times) it did no good since there was no legal way to remove a pope and many other high church leaders did the same sort of thing. You could oppose the Pope only if you were in the territory of a rular hostile to him.

Most Jewish religious leaders in Christ's day shared many of the same traits and are roundly denounced in the gospels because of it. Yet the source of such evil is not the lack of respect for scientific investigation. It is the tragic worship of power and money rather than God - culminating in the blasphemous use of God's name to cover up and excuse evil.