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CFI Portland Meetup Group Message Board Announcements › Questions about the evolution debate scheduled for Mon. 9-12-11

Questions about the evolution debate scheduled for Mon. 9-12-11

A former member
Post #: 18
You have presented the following as evidence that I misquote you:

David Galiel said:
"Bernie promotes specific fallacies related to both cosmology and biological evolution. (BTW, whale fossils do not prove cosmological evolution, which Bernie has defined as "matter evolves from energy", a definition he continues to defend.) "

Did you or did you nor write the following?
"evolution has much more to do than with just biology. For example, there is cosmological evolution, which explains how energy evolves into matter."

(Source: Bernie Dehler comment here: http://www.meetup.com...­

1) Have I misquoted you? If not, please withdraw your false accusation. Try again.

2) How does cosmological evolution, let along the statement that "matter evolves from energy", pertain to a debate titled, "Does the whale fossil record show evolution?"


Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,038
David Galiel said:
"I would be happy to participate in an open public debate with Bernie Dehler, in a mutually agreed upon time and place, between the viewpoints of religious naturalism and the Epic of Evolution, on the one hand, vs metaphysical naturalism and the scientific consensus vis a vis evolution and physical cosmology, on the other hand. For a succinct, provocative title, how about "Does Evolution have an arrow?""

Does evolution have an arrow??? If you weren't so rash, you'd know that we agree already. We both think evolution has no specific arrow. I'm tired of entertaining your delusions of me. Let's meet with CFI leadership to resolve this nonsense.
Dave D.
dcdinucci
Portland, OR
Post #: 46

Let's resolve this in a personal meeting with CFI leaders. Do you agree? Online, it is a big time-waster.

My deja vu is getting so strong, I'm ready to start predicting the future. :-) But since it's a matter of record how this gambit worked out at HGP, maybe I should just watch this time to see how it compares. Still, it makes me wonder if you (Bernie) asked the "CFI leaders" before offering to draft them into service for your proposed "personal" meeting, concerning a debate that CFI is not even sponsoring. (Based on Kurt's recent message, I'm going to guess the answer is "no".)

I see David looking to published science for answers. You seem to be looking to authority. I will try not to generalize further -- but it's tempting.
Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,039
David D. said:
"But since it's a matter of record how this gambit worked out at HGP, maybe I should just watch this time to see how it compares."

David- I don't think you should bring-up previous problems with me and HGP. Almost 100% of it is because of a clash between you and I. I'm still an HGP member. I have some friends in HGP leadership too.
A former member
Post #: 1,439
Hi David, I have interspersed my comments among yours below.

David said:

Gavin, ...

In the context of a debate titled, "Does the whale fossil record show evolution", to excuse Bernie's muddying of the waters vis a vis evolution and pretend he isn't talking "just about biology" is, to but it kindly, collapsing the truth into a singularity.

In any case, Bernie makes unscientific statements specifically about biological evolution on his YouTube videos (including recordings of similar past debates), web comments and mailing list discussions such as,

"humans evolved [from animal]" (sic)
"we have been bred (sic)" with animal instincts,
and "This is something Jesus said, and it's recorded in the bible."

Sometimes when people have given up belief in Christianity and theistic creation relatively recently, we relapse into using words with the meanings of what we used to consider them to mean. For example though I now believe in biological evolution (at least tentatively) I still have a tendency to think of humans as not being animals. I thus have to work at using the term "non-human animals" when speaking of those animals which are not humans. I think that Bernie also has the same tendency at times. The problem is harder to overcome because the primary popular meaning (including one of the dictionary meanings) of the word "animal" excludes humans and that is also the meaning that most creationists have for the word. Since creationists are Bernie's targeted audience, it is understandable that when speaking to them that he would use words with the meanings which creationists associate with the words.

As for the words "bred" and breed, there are multiple definitions in the dictionary. The first one listed in one dictionary for "breed" is "to give birth to (offspring)". I think Bernie was using the word "bred" in the past tense sense of that meaning, and if so , then he is correct. But because of the other meanings of the word (such as when humans do selective breeding of livestock), it would have been clearer for him to say "we have genetically inherited animal instincts" or to say "we have been born with animal instincts". Regarding his comment about Jesus I don't know what the context was for that comment, thus I don't know how to interpret it. Maybe it had to do with inheriting base desires or animalistic instincts from our ancestors, I think that is something which the Bible claims the Apostle Paul said.

David said regarding Bernie's quotes:

Other quotes promoting the "Epic of Evolution":
I find the epic of evolution, from the "Hot Big Bang" to Homo sapiens, an illumination of how the Creator God is and has been creating." ~ Arthur Peacocke, Biochemist and Priest
"It has taken millions of years to make preparations for what we are now to accomplish in this one lifetime. . . . such is the amazement of GOD’s hand . . . known to us as evolution". ~ Guru Singh
"The problem of survival is not fundamentally technological. It is spiritual and moral. It is evolutionary."
~ David Grinspoon


...

This is not science. This is a New Age religion that preaches the smushing together of religion and science. Are you aware that the original name of Bernie's Westside Meetup Group was "Sciligion"?

I read something about the book on Wickipedia but I don't remember if the book was using the word "God" as a metaphor or not. However one of the things you quoted about the book did say "New Thought" and "Theistic Evolution". "New Thought" is a religion which "evolved" parallel to Christian Science and "Religious Science" (or is related to it) and it is a concept which I think is greatly flawed, except that there is some health benefit to positive thinking. Yes I know that Bernie's Westside and Vancouver groups were originally called "Sciligion", I joined the Westside group when it was such. At the time I was Christian who thought that true science and true Christianity were compatible with each other, though I had begun to question the claims of Christianity and the Bible. Bernie was a Christian evolutionist at the time he created the group I think that he also thought that science and theistic religion could be compatible. But I remember Bernie saying he changed the name of the group because he said some people thought it was the name of a religious cult. While the name "Sciligion" could be interpreted as him trying to use the group to promote his form of religion (which he now says is the same as Secular Humanism), I don't think that was or is his purpose for that group. But maybe it was on some level, he now does promote Secular Humanism in that group.

David said:

I do question his efforts to disguise his theology and to imply that CFI-Portland endorses it in any way, or thinks that he represents a credible proponent of science, critical thinking, defender of evolution or "the atheist side".

"Energy evolves into matter" is not a scientific definition of physical cosmology."

I do think it is surprising that the meetup event about Whale evolution got posted in the manner that it did on CFI (instead of simply as an announcement in a forum discussion thread) without the approval of those who operate the CFI-Portland meetup group. But I have heard Bernie participate in a number of debates about evolution and I thought that therein he mentioned a number of good points in support of evolution being true.

Regarding his comment about energy evolving into matter, I think he speaking of the moment very shortly after the big bang in which energy transforms/condenses/cools into matter. As such it is part of the very early stage of the cosmology of the universe.

Bernie's religion does seem to have some New Age elements to it, but I think it is possible that some force (or collection of forces), whether directed by an intelligence or not, might be causing the universe (as a whole) to gradually become conscious (to evolve consciousness in that sense) to an increasingly greater degree.
Dave D.
dcdinucci
Portland, OR
Post #: 47

David- I don't think you should bring-up previous problems with me and HGP. Almost 100% of it is because of a clash between me and you. I'm still an HGP member. I have some friends in HGP leadership too.

Problems? I didn't mention problems, just that I'm seeing a lot of things happening that I've seen before (about a year ago). I find the similarities interesting, in part precisely because so much of the pattern is repeating even though I was in no way involved this time. (Calling it a "gambit" could even be considered complimentary.)

The "CFI leaders" question was primarily to understand whether you were offering a viable alternative to David's proposal.

Bowing out again now (back to work).
A former member
Post #: 1,440
You have presented the following as evidence that I misquote you:

David Galiel said:
"Bernie promotes specific fallacies related to both cosmology and biological evolution. (BTW, whale fossils do not prove cosmological evolution, which Bernie has defined as "matter evolves from energy", a definition he continues to defend.) "

Did you or did you nor write the following?
"evolution has much more to do than with just biology. For example, there is cosmological evolution, which explains how energy evolves into matter."

(Source: Bernie Dehler comment here: http://www.meetup.com...­

1) Have I misquoted you? If not, please withdraw your false accusation. Try again.

2) How does cosmological evolution, let along the statement that "matter evolves from energy", pertain to a debate titled, "Does the whale fossil record show evolution?"



Hi David, I don't think Bernie's comment was meant to directly pertain to whale evolution, I think it was simply in response to your comment of "Evolution is a process, not an origin story." However I am not certain since the discussion posts on the CFI-Portland meetup page (about the Sep. 12th event) are quite numerous.
Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,040
An interesting update:

Dennis Marcellino (a Christian motivational speaker) was going to moderate the event. He has a conflict, so the replacement will be Howard Mudder, a member of the Design Science Association (DSA), a young earth creationist group. I'm pleased to be making inroads into the Christian community. It seems to me that there are way too many Christians and atheists who seem to be deathly afraid of each other, so it is good to build bridges.

Sometimes it is harder to get Christians to attend these debates, so by holding the events in a church or other favorable ground, it helps to get their attendance. This bothers some atheists, but I think they need to deal with that as their problem.

As for the other criticisms of me prior to this post (from David G.), I'm ignoring it. It is mostly nonsense, and a waste of my time. And I hope to resolve it later with CFI leadership.
A former member
Post #: 19
None of this is really surprising. Just sadly familiar.

I don't think our society can tolerate faith-based thinking or conmen who think the sacred end justifies deceptive means any more, whether they are selling Olde Time Religion, New Age Mysticism, economic voodoo, deadly adventures on foreign soils, climate change denial, evolution denial, or anti-medicine, anti-Enlightenment, anti-"Western" Big Placebo.

The underlying problem is not Christianity or theism or even religion. It is not authoritarianism or theocracy or fundamentalism or terrorism. All of these things thrive because of one, overriding pathology -- the failure to think.

If we don't help people learn HOW to think, they will always turn to those who will tell them WHAT to think.
Will I.
spblat
Portland, OR
Post #: 4
I asked:
Time for you to answer a question David. :-)

How would you plan and structure an event whose purpose is to demystify and educate about evolution, which would be likely to attract theists and Christians as well as Humanists and atheists, and which would present the subject of evolution in a manner consistent with your (our) priorities?
David responded­ with a reading suggestion (and a good one), but that doesn't answer my question. David, how would you plan an event that would be likely to draw in Christians and would create the conditions for information exchange? Telling me what they should read is too easy. :-)

Bernie said:
I would love to have a confrontational meeting with him and some CFI leaders to put it to rest.

David wrote:
I would be happy to participate in an open public debate with Bernie Dehler, in a mutually agreed upon time and place...

David added some conditions that I'd suggest he be flexible on. But I would attend the daylights out of this event. Call it a Meetup Throwdown.
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