Side Comments on Glenn Morton

I’m not attacking anyone. Or is that you attacking me? I can’t tell. Don’t you realize that you’re doing just what YECs do, starting with your conclusion and trying to support it? That isn’t good science, and I don’t think it’s good apoogetics either. It’s certainly not a good way to find out what’s true.

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That is funnnnnnnny! :rofl: Every scientific article starts with a title and an abstract both of which state the conclusion and then follows the body of the article which has all the data they say supports their view. Are they not doing the same in their write ups as YECs do in theirs. You don’t notice it with scientists, you only notice it with those you don’t like.

You are streeetching my friend.

No, not in the slightest. You have confused the writeup with the actual process. A research program in science doesn’t start with assuming a conclusion and finding support for it. It starts with framing a hypothesis and testing it; sometimes it just starts with a question and no hypothesize answer. In either case, one considers evidence without regard to whether it supports a pre-determined conclusion. Your comment is disturbing, as it suggests you are unfamiliar with science. That seems odd, but I don’t know how to interpret your claim otherwise.


Glenn did not decide ahead of time that the location of Eden, the rivers and the Mediterranean flood fit the several scriptures.

Exactly what he did.

…with reading and recognizing sequences well?

Nope. He assumed that the bible must be true and then tried to find an interpretation that would agree with his scenario. That’s exactly backwards.

Not clear on what you were saying there. I assume it’s some kind of attack on me, but I don’t know what.

Actually, I think he recognized that the geophysics of the Mediterranean basin was compatible with scripture hand in hand with believing scripture is true. You, on the other hand (speaking of hands), as an evangelical atheist, assume scripture is false and dare anyone to prove otherwise. But we have already had discussions about why there is no proof for God, nor will there be (you might recall that proof of God negates love). That is one of the mistakes that ID makes, that there is proof of a Designer.

I probably should not argue this with you. Waste of time. But we disagree on everything here, apparently.

As usual, John doesn’t even ask what my methodology was, he just assumes he knows and then charges me with it. He didn’t see the 15 years of serious doubt I went through, doubt about Scripture before I became convinced that at least part of it could be true. He is just seeing my final piece fall into place. I am used to that kind of behavior from atheists. Convict first, concoct the charges and never ask if they are true.

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We agree on that! :grin:

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Poppycock. Atheists do not assume scripture is false.

Some of scripture is true. Some of scripyure is false, but that’s a conclusion based on comparing scripture against other evidence, not an assumption. Some of scripture is unconfirmable either way, and the onus is one anyone who claims it is true or false.


Some do. In fact, the convinced atheist, the one who feels sure there is no God, to the point where he bases all his theoretical reasonings and all his ethical and social decisions on that assumption, has no choice but to assume that any scriptures that treat God as real, are false, insofar as they do so. They might incidentally convey some truth (e.g., about the location of Jericho or the empire of Nebuchadnezzar), but what they say God did can’t be true, since there is no God.

An agnostic is in a different position. He can remain open regarding the truth of scripture.

I don’t believe there is any such person. Sounds like a fanatic.


“Lack of belief” atheism

//I’ve been an atheist for my entire life and I have got to say, these “lack of belief” people are extremely irritating. It’s part of the whole douche bag new atheist neckbeard culture.// - Paul Trevey

Here’s a good explanation of why it’s wrong… ca. timestamp 13:10:00 – “Lackheism”
nontheism, ca. 22:00
28:15 no burden of justification
31:55 hide the ball with the burden of justification

I think that was intended as a reply to me, but for the life of me I can’t figure out why. I don’t think there’s anyone in the world who “bases all his theoretical reasonings and all his ethical and social decisions on that assumption” (that there is no God).

Still being pedantic? You’ve never met an atheist who treats the non-existence of God as a practical certainty (even if in theory he grants some slight, distant possibility that God might exist)?

I assumed you would read that in a common-sense context, i.e., all his theoretical reasonings and ethical and social decisions, insofar as they depend on a decision about the existence of God. Obviously I did not mean to include all theoretical reasonings and social decisions whatsoever. But when we are talking about origins, it obviously makes a difference if a person, out of a gut rejection of the very idea of God, is considering whether there might be a designer of the universe. His theoretical judgment will not be completely untouched by his existential commitments; they will bias his thinking. Similarly, if we are talking about abortion, or slavery, someone who does not believe that man is made in the image of God will have to find other reasons for opposing abortion or slavery than someone who does believe that. And it’s patently obvious that someone who has for all practical purposes decided that God does not exist is going to look at the Bible as a work of fiction (or delusion) about a non-existent being called “God”, and is not going to take seriously the claim that its teachings about God are true and lay obligations on us.

Again, an agnostic is a different case. He does not at the moment believe in God, but he is very open to believing in God tomorrow if new evidence occurs. He does not at the moment believe that the Bible is the word of God, because he is not even certain that God exists. However, he might be persuaded of both propositions. He in theory has no inclination against them. But the atheist who has decided that God does not exist does have such an inclination.

Of course even the most hard-boiled atheist will usually say, “I’m open to the idea of God, but I want PROOF!” Nobody is going to admit, “I’m so narrow-minded that I’m not going to even listen to any evidence.” Everybody will claim to be open to the evidence. But in many cases, that’s purely a rhetorical ploy, to appear non-dogmatic. I’ve heard Jerry Coyne say he’d believe in God if God appeared and did some spectacular miracle (which neither Coyne nor any religious believer expects God would do); but the ploy isn’t sincere. Coyne decided as a teenager that there was no God, and he’s never seriously flinched from that position, nor is he ever likely to. Dawkins, too, is for all practical purposes a decided atheist. Neither Coyne nor Dawkins pick up the Bible (if they ever do), with a genuinely open mind. And there are plenty like them. If that doesn’t fit you, don’t worry about it. But it fits plenty.

Sure. I’m such a person. I just deny the consequences that you go on to state. Non-existence of God is not the basis of my every thought and action.

I don’t think there are any such decisions. Would your ethics really change if you stopped believing in God? I suppose some social decisions might change, i.e. you might stop going to church, if that’s what you mean.

I thought ID wasn’t religious, and the designer isn’t equated with God (wink, wink).

This gets into a whole other issue. If your sole reason for treating people as worthy of life or freedom is that they were created by God, I find that somewhat reprehensible.

I’d say quite the opposite: the greatest source of bias in reading the bible is the assumption that it must, read correctly, be true in every particular and that all its parts must be mutually coherent.

I marvel at your ability to detect insincerity at a distance.


Thank you. So, given that you treat the non-existence of God as a practical certainty, when you read the Bible, are you actually approaching it in the frame of mind of “I’m not sure whether to believe in this God or not, but I’ll try to keep an open mind?”

It’s a conclusion, not an assumption.

It’s a conclusion, not an assumption.

Every time you say that atheists assume there is no god, you’re propagating a falsehood.

Oh, and no atheist that I’m aware of bases their ethical and social decisions on that conclusion, any more than you base your own ethical and social decisions on your knowledge that there are no leprechauns. That’s ridiculous.


That the Bible’s statements about God are false can, in some cases, be a conclusion reached by a metaphysically open-minded investigator. But if someone starts reading the Bible confident that no God exists, then the person will assume that the Bible’s statements about God are false, or at best nonsensical.

There are many Jews who lived through, and lost families in, the Holocaust, who decided, on the basis of that experience, that no God existed. When such a Jew picks up the Bible and reads about the miracles of the Exodus, that Jew, having already decided that no God exists, will not be open to considering the Exodus story true, or the God depicted in the story as real. At the most the Exodus story could have some sort of anthropological value, instructing the Jewish reader about the erroneous religious (or “superstitious” to use Romanes’s prejudicial term) beliefs of his Israelite ancestors. And there are Christian parallels to this, and doubtless probably Muslim parallels, as well, regarding the Quran. (We have an atheist contributor here with a name that could well indicate an original Muslim family religious background; if so, I wonder if, when he reads the Quran (if he reads it), he reads it open to the possibility that the God described there is real. It would be interesting to hear him describe the intellectual attitude with which he approaches that text.)

No. The same applies when I read about Thor spending the night in a giant’s glove. But I do try to read and understand what it actually says, rather than trying to make it fit my preconceptions of what it ought to say. And anyway, the bible is not very strong evidence, by itself, of anything it describes.

Certainly one approaches the bible with certain prior probabilities, and priors influence the posteriors. But when the evidence is very weak, it’s unlikely that the probabilities will change much. There’s no need to accuse anyone of bias against the evidence to account for that.

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