Is Peaceful Science more than The Genealogical Adam and Eve?

@Tim

I don’t think I said that the theists on this forum were “disciplined”.

My point was that old habits die hard … and theists and atheists are used to arguing over the very existence of God.

But Peaceful Science is a group that is premised on the existence of God. So when a YEC tries to start a thread challenging the view that Evolution doesn’t need God, too many times too many participants get sucked into the same old disputation cycle.

And the same can be said for those who argue that Evolution works fine without the presence of deity… suddenly you get Creationists trying to prove God must exist.

These two themes are divisive and build animosity. I do not say we should ban these discussions. But I propose that whenever a thread is warned without any success, such threads should be put in the “Eternal Questions” folder.

As you know … we don’t have an Eternal Questions folder!

If Douglas Hofstadter was here, he would say that the question “Why don’t we have an Eternal Questions folder?” should be added to the Eternal Questions folder (which we don’t yet have.)

[If someone hasn’t read Hofstadter’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, that quip may not resonate.]

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Is it?

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We are explicitly not premised on the existence of God. I direct everyone to our mission and values to understand what we are premised on.

@gbrooks9 do we need to make a rule that forbids you from commenting on PS without using quotes to back it up?

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@swamidass

Okay… I stand corrected. After all, it is YOUR group.

But I have read your mission statement. It certainly doesn’t say anything like “maybe there is a God”.

How can a group devoted to God’s miraculous creation of Adam and Eve NOT be premised on the existence of God? I am not sure it is even philosophically possible to write GAE and not implicitly establishing the existence of God.

Where does it say we are devoted to the miraculous creation of Adam and Eve?

It is your group too @gbrooks9 and also many others. We have thought long and hard about inclusive ways to explain our values and mission, so many people can gather around Peaceful Science. It is to your benefit to start plagiarizing from our mission and values when describing who we are.

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@swamidass

Ahhh… interesting. I did not see this line of discussion coming! But I think it is important that we have it.

Let me retract the wording “devoted to”.

Instead, I will focus on the “what if” interpretation that you are proposing.

But aren’t you splitting a hair? Even if you yourself were an atheist, wouldn’t the PREMISE of the book be: God exists? An atheist can write a whole book of theology - - bassed on this PREMISE, without personally adopting the actual BELIEF that there is a god.

Thoughts?

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Please stop improvising. Reread our mission and values, and quote from there what we are about as pertains to this discussion.

@sfmatheson, @dga471, @Michelle, @Jordan, @Tim and many others have been able to do this just fine. Give it a shot.

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@swamidass

I went to:

You “got” me, Joshua. I never imagined a mission statement here that didn’t reference God in someway.

I owe @sfmatheson an apology. I thought he was bloviating on the goals of Peaceful Science. But now I see that I was wrong about that.

I think this might make having an “Eternal Questions Here” folder even more of a pressing matter… but I’ll ponder it all some more, and smooth out how I relate to the group’s “Civic Practice of Science”.

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I think you owe the forum/community an apology for writing about things you didn’t bother to read, including statements of mission and belief. In lieu of an apology, I would humbly suggest that you give thought to how and why you have written so many inaccurate comments about PS. My theory is that you equate GAE with PS, which is badly wrong, and that you are not very good at reading for the purpose of understanding another person.

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@sfmatheson

ONE: Your theory is smack on correct. I did equate the book GAE with PS. I have retracted that stance.

TWO: What’s more, I have also retracted my stance that GAE is premised on the existence of God… at least until I better understand semantic connections between the book and Christian faith.

THREE: You have suggested that I give thought to how I could be so inaccurate about my thoughts on PS. To best accomplish that, I don’t just need to know that I am wrong… I need to know what you are RIGHT about. If PS.org is not premised on the existence of God - - what then is the group’s premise?

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How does our mission and values document answer this question?

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What does the first and last chapter of the GAE book say its premise is? Does it require belief in God? In evolution? Or Adam and Eve? What groups of readers are addressed?

Do you see any parallels between the GAE and the organizational mission and values?

Do you see anything there about our core values/virtues? About a civic practice of science? About making space for differences?

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Why does a group need a “premise”? What does that even mean?

Maybe you should just come to PS to find out what it is. It’s really not that hard. If you find that the mission/goals of PS are a bit undeveloped, then you’re just repeating what Joshua and others have discussed openly. If you honestly can’t understand the mission as written so far, then the problem is not with PS.

I think there’s plenty of hope for you. You have now realized that you had PS completely wrong. So you can come anew to discover what it is.

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It’s a good question. It’s a question about identity and our established common ground. What is our common starting point? What are we working towards?

Of course, at least at a high level, this is addressed quite clearly in the documents we’ve referenced.

And yes, I have hope for @gbrooks9 too :slight_smile: .

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I agree, and I was being excessively pedantic* about the word ‘premise’. It is in fact important for PS, if it is to be a community, to have “common starting points” and perhaps even foundational assumptions (about reality but also about what is meant by trust and respect). PS is clearly not “premised on the existence of god,” or I wouldn’t be here, but something roughly like “respect for religious belief” might be a common starting point.

*There are some, perhaps including me, who are not sure there is any such thing as “excessively pedantic,” but I’m pretending to be reasonable here.

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@swamidass

English is my mother tongue, Joshua. If I knew the answer to how your “mission statement” relates to the foundational premises of PS … I wouldn’t have asked the question.

I think you can understand how easy it is for a person to spend two years defending the plausibility of super-natural creation of Adam and Eve - - and thinking at least one PS foundational premise is that there is a God.

So I really have no idea about what the “moving parts” of PS really depend upon.

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That is one way we lived out our values, but it would be a mistake to deemphasize the reasons why we did it and the larger vision.

@swamidass

It’s a great response … but I don’t really know what you are trying to say in it.

“the reasons why we did IT” < ??? what is “it”?

and

“larger vision” < ??? which is what?

The GAE is one way we lived out PS’s values, but there are other ways to live out those values. The larger vision is bigger than just the GAE.