Carnival of the Godless and more Vox

kellym78's picture

 

I am officially announcing that the next Carnival of the Godless will be hosted here, on my blog, beginning April 13. Be on the lookout for that. I have gotten a bunch of good submissions already.

 

The following is a "response" from a Vox Day fan. It is relatively devoid of anything intelligent, but I address it because everybody cries if I don't.

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I have some agreement with your comment. However we are not talking proof here, just a suggestion. Correlation implies causation. It is hypothesis generating.


No, correlation does not imply causation, and a hypothesis should be generated before any experimentation is undertaken. The hypothesis comes from pure observation, and is then proven or not by experimentation. Perhaps you should study the scientific method.


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But a brief survey with biases may still be hypothesis generating, it is the more detailed study that confirms or rejects this. And my comment about the onus being on the person denying it is because no matter how good a study is there will always be flaws, and your suggestion allows people to continually say that correlation does not equal causation.

 

Seriously, have you ever studied statistics and research methods? If so, you should ask for a refund. A good study should not have flaws or major confounding factors, but even so, science requires it to also be reproducible, and the true test is proven over time by many experiments that result in the same conclusion. Correlation does not equal causation. Period. Ever. That is the first rule that you apparently never learned.

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Fine, deny it, but give a feasible explanation. For a weak study (Vox's humourous tally) you can give a general response (self selection of autistic types on forums), for a strong study you need to give a better response. No response is a cop out.

 

His “tally” was not presented as humorous. Nonetheless, I fail to see the relevance here. What “strong study” have I dismissed?

 

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Summarising my various responses

kelly78 wrote:Because of this, I find it necessary to give you the actual definition of “science”:... There are other, more precise definitions, but this is a decent general overview. Notice the emphasis and repetition of words like “systematic,” “knowledge,” and “facts.”

Notice the lack of the word "naturalism"

The word “naturalism” is inherent to concepts such as fact, knowledge, and systematic. No matter how strong your belief, these things are only observed within the natural world and the supernatural is a priori excluded.

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kelly78 wrote:Experimentation is the foundation of science and without it, science is merely a naturalistic philosophy with no real answers or solutions.

What? Without experimentation science does not exist! It does not reduce to naturalism. Naturalism is not even part of it, save for naturalists poisoning the well: "naturalism is true because science is true and, um, science is X, Y and Z and, um, naturalism."

Science is also tied to naturalism by definition. Any other definition is not science, but is an attempt to label nonsense as science. Science is by always a study of natural occurrences, not supernatural.

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kelly78 wrote: Vox “…The very existence of the Intelligent Design movement is a testimony to a respect for scientific methodology…” (p. 33) Excuse me? Their attempt to redefine science to include supernatural explanations is “respect,” but Karl Popper’s falsifiability criterion was a useless distortion of science? Interesting.

No, that would be your artificial definition which, rather than having a concise applicable definition, has a list of convenient exclusions that say X is science except when it could be applied to God and that part is excluded, and Y is science, except when the supernatural may be suggested and that is excluded too.

Unlike Vox, I think Popper's criterion is useful, though incomplete.

And the IDer's are not redefining science, the evolutionists are by insisting on an unnecessary addition of naturalistic philosophy. Given that science was invented by theists, and the definition had nothing to do with naturalism, your accusation is both false and anachronistic.

The very definition of science excludes those things. Get over it. I didn't invent the terminology.

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Further, the idea that some design is permissible if the designer is natural and not permissible if they are supernatural is special pleading. How can seeing design in a plane be acceptable but not that in a bird? Archaeology is acceptable because we know the designers of arrowheads were Indians. How much do we need to know about them? They existed, their name, how many kids they had, their favourite colour?

Completely untrue. We have examples of airplanes being designed and manufactured; we have no such example for birds. It is not special pleading at all.

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If something seems to be supernatural is that outside science until we discover the designer was in fact natural then the same topic suddenly comes within the domain of science?

In some sense, yes. Once evidence is presented that demonstrates a particular cause, there should be no assertion as to what such cause may be.

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kelly78 wrote:His rhetorical question about the hazard posed to science by religion and the resulting “hostility” betrays his lack of awareness of just how detrimental religion has been to science. He busts out this gem: “Some of history’s greatest scientists are known to have been men of great Christian faith.”(p. 34) Well, if I lived in a time period during which I could be tortured, killed, or otherwise persecuted for my lack of belief, I’d likely be a “christian” as well.

Except that they were men of great Christian faith. Which means that didn't just say yes God is real and attend the odd mass to keep everyone happy, they were great defenders of the faith. They strongly believed in God, more than the average man. They claimed science was them thinking God's thoughts after him. The wrote defences of the existence of God, Euler debated heretics, Pasteur opposed Darwin and performed experiments to disprove abiogenesis, Newton (though slightly unorthodox) wrote more on theology than science.

And that has what to do with anything? If Pasteur believed it, it must be true? Please, pretend to be more rational, especially considering your own accusations of fallacious argumentation. That is called an argument from authority.

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kelly78 wrote: The “monolithic church” was one that varied from country to country or region to region—nobody I know of ever asserted that one church had power over the entire known world. The fact remains that religious motivations and prohibitions caused most of what was essentially a millennium-long scientific void. Pointing out the various sects of christianity does nothing to disprove that.

More historical ignorance, the dark ages were not scientifically void, they were pre-science. Prior to science there was just technology, and the dark ages were far from technologically void. Christian Europe had great advances in technology during the dark ages (which the non-Christian continents, while having some minor gains, failed to match).

Oh, so the pre-christian Greeks contributed nothing to science and knowledge in general? And you accuse me of ignorance.

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In his defence of the Dark Ages, Day mentions that an Italian Christian actually “coined” the term, so to speak, and that its meaning has been perverted by those who assign an anti-religious bias to it. I don’t know that there is a fallacy specific enough here, but it would seem to be similar to an etymological fallacy in that he is using a definition that has no support or relevance in modern society. The term “Dark Ages” may or may not have been anti-Germanic in origin—it is not now.

This appears to miss the point. The original meaning meant something. The adopted meaning implies something else but is not reflective of history.

Do you just believe whatever somebody tells you? If so, I have a bridge in Brooklyn... The religious association is clear when one takes into account the chronology of the establishment of a state religion, ie christianity, and the resulting destruction of knowledge and subversion of science.

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kelly78 wrote:He finishes off the chapter with more seemingly unrelated arguments concerning the (apparently) evil Enlightenment, never realizing that the reason why modern atheists seem to share so much with them is because that was essentially the birth of rationalism and empiricism, not some kind of ancient idol worship.

Except that empiricism pre-dates the Enlightenment.

Obviously. Empiricism is a method of determining truth from falsity—a philosophical stance. But empiricism as a “movement” did in fact present itself during the Enlightenment.

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kelly78 wrote:the fact that there’s no proof for the existence of god and science just doesn’t apply to the supernatural

We have already been here, but the supernatural can be examined indirectly. If the supernatural has effects in the material, these effects can be examined after the fact the same way that other historical events are examined.

But the determination that the cause is supernatural cannot be determined through scientific methodology. You really need to study some more before your next attempt. No offense, but this was pitiful.

 

Atheist Books

ronin-dog's picture

Do your research properly

Do your research properly before going up against Kelly!

Correlation and causation: visit the church of the flying spagetti monster. Apparently the decline in pirates is causing global temperatures to rise.

Three reasons many scientists were "christians": fear of persecution, funding and belonging to a monestary etc gave plenty of time and resourses for study.

Zen-atheist wielding Occam's katana.

Jesus said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." - Luke 12:51

Quibbles

Not a bad article overall. I didn't read future toddler chopper Vox Day's original article, and I'm sure the guy defending him is an idiot, but I do have to quibble with some of your statements.

No, correlation does not imply causation, and a hypothesis should be generated before any experimentation is undertaken. The hypothesis comes from pure observation, and is then proven or not by experimentation.
This is not quite accurate. First, the commenter seems to mean "implies" in the sense of "suggests", which is reasonably accurate. Furthermore, hypotheses are generated all the time, in response to observation, experiment, intuition, or just plain guesswork.
these things are only observed within the natural world and the supernatural is a priori excluded.
It's more accurate, I think, to state that the word "supernatural" is incoherent and meaningless. It's just a fancy word for ignorance.
DJ's picture

Stupidity

Some of the things he said were absolutely stupid. The dark ages being pre science? I'd have to say he's never even heard of the Greeks, becase generally any refrence to them includes the word "advanced."

"Life Is Far Too Important A Thing Ever To Talk Seriously About" Oscar Wilde

HeyZeusCreaseToe's picture

More cherries anyone?

Yes, all his arguments seem to be based in one fallacy or another and a lot of his ideas just seem to be falsifiably wrong, ie. correlation=causation, dark ages a misnomer meaning only prescience. I know we need people to refute this idiotic ideas because there are so many different semi-respected people putting them out there, but this almost seems futile at times. The cherrypicking of "smart Scientists were Good Christians and since they were smarter than you, you should believe their religious convictions too" is absurd reasoning at best.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda

kellym78's picture

The Barefoot Bum wrote:Not a

The Barefoot Bum wrote:
Not a bad article overall. I didn't read future toddler chopper Vox Day's original article, and I'm sure the guy defending him is an idiot, but I do have to quibble with some of your statements.

No, correlation does not imply causation, and a hypothesis should be generated before any experimentation is undertaken. The hypothesis comes from pure observation, and is then proven or not by experimentation.

This is not quite accurate. First, the commenter seems to mean "implies" in the sense of "suggests", which is reasonably accurate. Furthermore, hypotheses are generated all the time, in response to observation, experiment, intuition, or just plain guesswork.

I see what you're saying, and I'm not saying that it is impossible to develop a hypothesis from an experiment, but technically, the scientific method starts with hypothesis, and that is tested by experimentation. Also, the correlation/causation thing isn't quite the case as many different correlates are in no way related to the cause of x phenomenon. Therefore, one cannot broadly state that correlation implies causation at all.

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these things are only observed within the natural world and the supernatural is a priori excluded.

It's more accurate, I think, to state that the word "supernatural" is incoherent and meaningless. It's just a fancy word for ignorance.

True, but in relation to science, the supernatural cannot be tested and isn't involved by definition.

HeyZeusCreaseToe's picture

Future Toddler Chopper

That is just sick and unjustifiably so. To say killing two year olds for no reason other than the guy in the sky made me is flat out the very definition of evil. I read some of the comments agreeing with it too and was literally floored. Stuff like that actually makes me sad, and that is hard to do.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda

lpetrich's picture

 This argument from admired

 This argument from admired religious scientists is strange when it comes from a fundie, especially since many of their pet examples believe in lots of heresies.

These fundies think that Mary-worshipping, saint-worshipping, mackerel-snapping Papist idolators like Louis Pasteur are True Xians when they are admired scientists.

And they also think that about Trinity-deniers like Sir Isaac Newton. BTW, that's something that he tried to keep secret for fear of endangering his career.

And finally, since the fundies are so insistent on taking vicarious credit for science, I wonder when they are going to start taking similar vicarious credit for the idea of evolution.

greek goddess's picture

That was a poor response

That was a poor response from Vox. Even the entertainment value was lacking.

And that "future toddler chopper" blog entry was thought-raising. My favorite comment on the entry:

"Nigger, *please*. Right is right, wrong is wrong, and if God ordered me to do wrong I'd spit in that sumbitch's eye."

Amen.

rdmiller3's picture

Why "Vox"?

Step back and look at your blog from the viewpoint of a new reader who is looking for something "rational".  The majority of this post was big blocks of text from a nut.  If I wanted to read that crap, I'd go to their web site.  I've never heard of this idiot outside of your blog yet 5 of your last blogs are "Vox"-related.  You're just giving him the attention he wants.

He's not going to change his mind any time soon.  People who like his crap aren't likely to change their minds either.  You can point out the same flaws in their reasoning again and again and it won't make any difference because they'll just do it some more, with tedious verbosity.

Can't you just ignore Vox like everyone else seems to be doing?  I mean how many people ever even heard of him?  And who can take anything seriously from a guy whose name is "the voice of god"?

You've given him enough rational response.  Please, just get over him.

nigelTheBold's picture

kellym78 wrote: Quote:More

kellym78 wrote:

 

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More historical ignorance, the dark ages were not scientifically void, they were pre-science. Prior to science there was just technology, and the dark ages were far from technologically void. Christian Europe had great advances in technology during the dark ages (which the non-Christian continents, while having some minor gains, failed to match).

Bwaa?

During the Dark Ages, the Middle East was a center of knowledge and intellectualism. Muslim scholars of the time were busy inventing algebra, and expanding astronomy, and so on. Their accomplishments were a tad more important than "minor," and dwarfed any similar advance in knowledge from the Christian world of the time.

Then they fell into fundamentalism, and all the great advances in culture were lost, but hey. That's how it goes. That's our future, too, it seems.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers

HisWillness's picture

nigelTheBold

nigelTheBold wrote:

Bwaa?

During the Dark Ages, the Middle East was a center of knowledge and intellectualism. Muslim scholars of the time were busy inventing algebra, and expanding astronomy, and so on. Their accomplishments were a tad more important than "minor," and dwarfed any similar advance in knowledge from the Christian world of the time.

Then they fell into fundamentalism, and all the great advances in culture were lost, but hey. That's how it goes. That's our future, too, it seems.

I like how not only the middle east, but also the WHOLE OF ASIA can be discounted in the guy's response. Indian mathematics would be a good start.

Don't give up hope, nigel. There are probably more reasonable people than you think.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence

WOW...I really didn't think

WOW...I really didn't think I'd see someone as hot as kelly on this blog, but there you are, greek goddess!