Our Common Ground in This Group Here

Continuing the discussion from What is "Reconciliation"? What is "Peace"?:

What are the forums thoughts on this. I agree with this as a starting point. I wonder what is mean by all the words to @Agauger, and how these words are interpreted by others. I am in particular interested in how those who most disagree with another here understand this. Is this our common ground?

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@swamidass @Patrick and I are still back where we started. Maybe you can invite a few people?


@swamidass and @moderators (? Or is it @moderator ?):

I think the logical first step to PEACEFULNESS is to prohibit polarizing discord that grievously misrepresents the central issue of this site: namely, what is the reasonable balancing point between:

[1] Accepting God’s miraculous ability to design the Universe ,


[2] Accepting God’s specific (!) use of Evolution to execute a portion of His design!

Every time we allow arguments between Anti-Evolutionists and Anti-Theists… it disrupts efforts to achieve this important balance!

Can any interested Christian deny this ?

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We need to completely BYPASS discussions regarding I.D. … and replace them with the more fruitful discussions regarding Design in general!

The former topic is toxic and tricks us into falling headlong into our opponent’s “forensic trap” (and away from Joshua’s work!)…

… while the latter can actually be a unifying point of consensus!

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I think there is also merit in everyone discussing what their position is within a productive conversation.

However you think God may be involved in the universe around us, what we can come to agreement on is what the science looks like. That is something atheist and theist scientists have been doing for centuries now.


Interesting idea. If implemented, I think it would be extremely important to have a carefully prepared ID FAQ page to which we would constantly refer newcomers who want to advocate “ID theory”. It would address all of the usual PRATTs and explain how rejecting intelligent design as a scientific theory is not the same thing as rejecting intelligent design philosophy and theology. Of course, it would also explain that advocating and preaching ideology is not what Peaceful Science is about. We are pursuing mutual understanding and education. Big difference. PS is trying to be different from most other forums: Finding a Better Way.™ (Dr. Swamidass probably already has a trademark on that slogan. :wink: )

That said, I do think it essential that Peaceful Science provides a place for serious critique of such things as the science claims and even the theological claims in new books by Intelligent Design authors, for example. Now, I do realize that it could be very difficult to avoid the most obnoxious debates over the traditional PRATTs while also allowing for genuine education and peaceful engagement when people have sincere questions. I may be wishing for the impossible. I don’t know. Education and engagement over complex and controversial topics gets messy.

Perhaps we could reserve a special section of Peaceful Science for ID education. (In looking for an analogy, my first crazy thought came from my software engineering background: a sandbox security environment where special controls are in place.)


@T_Aquaticus wrote: “I think there is also merit in everyone discussing what their position is within a productive conversation. However you think God may be involved in the universe around us, what we can come to agreement on is what the science looks like. That is something atheist and theist scientists have been doing for centuries now.”

Mr. T., I know you think this is the “obvious approach”, but frankly, that’s not what I see on these boards.

I see Christian Creationist and Non-Theist Evolutionists tearing away at each other - - in complete disagreement, and in mounting cycles of tension and frustration.

What you are recommending is the OPPOSITE of PeacefulScience.

PeacefulScience is about the agreement and consensus that Christian Evolutionists and Christian Creationists can construct… and what I mostly see (whenever a non-Theist Evolutionist shows his true colors) is disruption and discontent.

And the biggest contagion for all this is when non-Theists cannot resist a discussion about “randomness” and “un-guided evolution”… most of you folks just can’t resist… which makes you PART of the problem.

I would rather seek constructive discussions rather than not allowing the discussion at all. If the mere existence of someone disagreeing with you is a problem then I don’t see how constructive discussions could occur.



Yes, yes… that rhetoric is the “winner” in almost all situations… except the one in which we find PeacefulScience !

It’s like insisting that a cannibal help negotiate a menu agreement between a Vegan and a Beef-Eater!

There’s no reason for the cannibal to be in the conversation … in particular since no Vegan is ever going to truly trust a self-avowed cannibal.

Why is it that you don’t think a Christian Evolutionist is not able to represent the science sufficiently well for the situation?

Where have I ever said that a christian evolutionist is not able to represent the science accurately? I think @swamidass does a great job of accurately describing the science. We may have disagreements about theology, but any time we seek a peaceful meeting of people who disagree there are going to be disagreements.



When you said the above, the implication is that if you don’t answer the anti-evolutionist’s charges on randomness… then a Christian Supporter of Evolution may in fact agree with the criticism (as far as God as Designer goes) … which would not be how you yourself would answer the question.

But the Christian Supporter’s answer should be to agree with the Creationist that God is the designer of all things. That is the right answer for a group like PeacefulScience.Org.

The Christian supporter of Evolution is free to disagree on the limits of Science proving design … but the ideal answer for everything else is “pro-Design”!

Mr. T, maybe I’m wrong about how I remember things … but at BioLogos there was a time when it seemed (to me) that you were able to speak on behalf of such a Christian believer of Evolution. Maybe that was just me “reading into” your answer what I wanted to see… instead of what you actually were saying.

What do you think my views on randomness are? Here is an excerpt from a thread I started on that very subject:

Do you find anything objectionable in there?

Who is stopping them from doing so?

Perhaps you could go to the thread I started on random mutations and see if there are any points you would like to discuss. In my experience, @swamidass and I strongly agree on what the science says and what it can’t say, including the interaction between science and religious belief.


@gbrooks9 Are you linking atheists with cannibalism?


George has all kinds of ideas about who is and isn’t able to be in the same room together. Seems to me he just wants his own “types” to come to peaceful agreement, and for the rest, “off with their heads!” --metaphorically, of course. He does so with the best of intentions. though.
Time for another cup of coffee, anyone? : )

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Given what some Christians believe about the Eucharist, that wouldn’t be my first guess. :wink:

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@Guy_Coe and @T_aquaticus

What I have a problem with is this:

Every morning I wake up and hope to see consensus being built at Peaceful Science with Christian Creationists who just wished that SOME scientists would accept that God might make one human out of dust.

Or with Christian Evolutionists who just wished that SOME Creationists would accept that God could use Evolution, especially if some Evolutionists allowed for very limited special creation.

But what do I see, every dang morning? More disputes on whether Evolution can work without God… and more endless disputations on whether Intelligent Design can be proved or not.

And the constant mantra that what we just need to do is talk about all the things we disagree about … and THAT will finally solve our problems!!!

Except it does NOT solve our problems. It prolongs them… it polarizes them. It makes them worse.

Because you widgets are talking about the wrong things… and you don’t have any interest in talking about anything else.

Go into a sound-proof section of Discourse (with a door that can’t be locked) and do your circus routines there please… there is some serious consensus work that needs doing and you guys are getting in the way.

The only dispute I have is with the claim that the natural mechanisms we observe are inadequate for producing the biodiversity we see today. I think you are misinterpreting this to mean that God is not involved.

I get the feeling that you would prefer a consensus of 1.



Oh brother. THIS is why we can’t have nice things… :frowning:

If I have misinterpreted your sentiments, please show me the error of my ways.

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