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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ray Comfort is a filthy quote miner...

...anyone surprised? Anyone?

As par usual, he has the reading comprehension of an ADD inflicted 3rd grader who's all hopped up on half a jug of craft glue. The quote in question is mined from a book review of Dr. Carl Sagan's "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark."
Of course, Dr. Richard Lewontin wasn't stating that science will believe anything simply so they can denounce god. Sagan's book deals exceedingly little with any deity, and focuses on skepticism, irrational belief and pseudo-science in a more broad manner. Lewontin was discussing how although some claims of science may be counter-intuitive or hard to believe, that we are forced to accept them because of the evidence presented to support them.

I encourage all of you to read the article, but it is rather lengthy, so I'll quote more in context here. What Ray posted will be bolded so you can be as baffled as I am at the sheer scope of his dishonesty.

"With great perception, Sagan sees that there is an impediment to the popular credibility of scientific claims about the world, an impediment that is almost invisible to most scientists. Many of the most fundamental claims of science are against common sense and seem absurd on their face. Do physicists really expect me to accept without serious qualms that the pungent cheese that I had for lunch is really made up of tiny, tasteless, odorless, colorless packets of energy with nothing but empty space between them? Astronomers tell us without apparent embarrassment that they can see stellar events that occurred millions of years ago, whereas we all know that we see things as they happen. When, at the time of the moon landing, a woman in rural Texas was interviewed about the event, she very sensibly refused to believe that the television pictures she had seen had come all the way from the moon, on the grounds that with her antenna she couldn’t even get Dallas. What seems absurd depends on one’s prejudice. Carl Sagan accepts, as I do, the duality of light, which is at the same time wave and particle, but he thinks that the consubstantiality of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost puts the mystery of the Holy Trinity “in deep trouble.” Two’s company, but three’s a crowd.

Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen."

5 comments:

  1. Cue the xians over there to come up with all the excuses in the world as to why what he said isn't a quote mine. *sigh*

    Your comment over there was really good. No, of course he hasn't read it. He might have read a brief review. He might have read the book cover. He might have even gone so far as to read the table of contents. But that's it.

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  2. After I posted he added that retarded disclaimer about quote mining. As if the length of the quote has ANYTHING AT ALL to do with whether or not it's taken out of context. o0

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  3. Hey, all he did was remove all the irrelevant soil surrounding the gold nugget of truth in the passage. What's the big deal?

    What a dumbass.

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  4. He did that AFTER you posted??? What a sorry loser that guy is!

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  5. Lewontin is however saying that they believe what they believe because of prior commitments to materialism, wouldn't you say?? The following is ostensibly clear even in its full context??

    "We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."

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