The ID Publication Record


(Jon Garvey) #61

Patrick - I take it you retract your post about Bruno, then? Or is that not part of the made-up controversy??


(Jon Garvey) #62

A parable

In a provincial town in China, the Communist mayor unexpectedly found himself called before the local party committee. “Both your job and your party membership are at grave risk,” announced the chairman sternly.

Astonished, the mayor stammered, “Why? I have done my job to the best of my ability, and always served the party loyally.”

“But you have been associating with Pastor Chen, from the Three Self Church.”

“Of course - not only is he a good man, but has much to teach about serving the community. It was only with his advice that we avoided food shortages in the drought last year.”

“That may be so, but he is a Christian, and so is an enemy of the party, and so of the people. And if you associate with people like him, then you too are an enemy of the party and will be removed.”

That shook the mayor, because Pastor Chen had been “removed” several years before for a few months in prison, and refused even to speak about his treatment there, though he still limped slightly. The mayor stammered: “Holding me guilty, merely for association with Chen for the good of the community, seems at odds with the party’s motto, ‘Serve the people.’”

“The party is the judge of that. And we have the power over both your life and your livelihood. Listen, and learn better.”

The mayor went out trembling with fear, and, of course, immediately wrote to Chen to tell him he could no longer associate with him. Chen was arrested again a few weeks later, by coincidence. The mayor found little sympathy with the few close friends with whom he shared his painful situation. “That’s the system,” they shrugged, “We all have to live by it.”

But in his own mind, the mayor agonized. Is there nothing that counts in the world but abuse of power? he thought. Before he shut him out of his mind altogether, and embraced the party line for the sake of his survival (which he later remembered as “for the common good”) he remembered that Chen had once told him that power does not come out of the barrel of a gun, but through the nails of a cross.

Chen deserved to be in prison for that nonsense.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #63

What post about Bruno?


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #64

And that is why I fight for the separation of Church and State codified in the First Amendment of the US Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Working to prevent ID (disguised Christian creationism ideology) from getting into the public schools.


(Jon Garvey) #65

That would be the one in which you cited Bruno as a victim of the war between science and religion on Blasphemy Sunday.


(Jon Garvey) #66

Well, hope you’re fighting it in China. But it was a parable, and the application is this thread.


(Ann Gauger) #67

Much appreciated your parable. I saw another one on YouTube last night. I’ll see if I can find it.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #68

I hope you realize that Blasphemy Sunday was a complete ruse. And Bruno was part of that ruse. Bruno is not the patron saint of science nor atheism. But as far as human rights go burning a person at the stake for his beliefs however wacky they are isn’t right… To be done by the church just shows the injustice of absolute power the church had at the time.


(Jon Garvey) #69

But Bruno was an icon of the remade Cosmos series and of Neil de Grasse Tyson, whom you proposed as Richard Dawkins’ replacement in the Charir of Public Science Education at Oxford.

But don’t worry, 37.7% of my posts are just a ruse as well. Which 37.7% I only reveal when somebody catches me out in an error - then you can be sure it was just kidding.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #70

Yes the new Cosmos was great. That was the first time I heard of Bruno was from the new Cosmos. Yes I think Tyson is great person to further public understanding of science. Would he leave New York for a chair at Oxford, I seriously doubt it. My wish that in the future there will be no need for a professor of public understanding of science.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #71

I’m pretty sure @patrick was trying to defuse a conflict with a distraction. He may not have realized his distraction was another conflict :wink:.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #72

As I understand it the science in Cosmos was good but the history, for example in Bruno, was not.


(Jon Garvey) #74

Ah - you didn’t realise Cosmos was a complete spoof, then??


(Retired Minister) #75

A lot of the history on Cosmos was appalling. I was amazed that nobody fact-checked—or that they didn’t care about accuracy. I have no way to determine which it was.

Of course, the original Cosmos had very similar problems. Sagan also perpetuated various historical myths in his Cosmos book. (Neil Tyson also has a habit of repeating many of the same myths, such as the claim that religion ended the Arab Golden Age of Science. In actual fact, most historians I’ve known ranked the influence of Islam as #3 or #4 on the list of factors. Islam had relatively little to do with the end of that era of scholarship and discovery.)

@Patrick, what do you think of the negative reviews of Cosmos, especially those involving its failures perpetuating myths. As to Dr. Tyson, what do you think about his history of getting caught using fictitious quotes, such as those involving George W. Bush which got media coverage after fact-checkers cried foul. I had atheist faculty colleagues who were very irritated at Tyson’s choices because they thought he was hamming it up for his fans at the expense of factual truth.

Tyson continues to blame Al-Ghazali for the end of the Arab Golden Age of Science despite that idea having been discredited by scholars long ago. Many assume that he continues to use it because Sagan believed that and it fits his agenda. What do you think, Patrick?


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #76

I am mostly aware of the positive reviews of Cosmos and Tyson with regard to the teaching of modern science to today’s children especially when compared to Ken Ham and Ark Encounter. Regarding history, well that is subject to many interpretations. I am not a big fan of the so-called dark ages when the plaque ran wild and the official word from the Church was to pray. I do congratulate the Catholic Church for allowing cremations at least temporarily because of the lack of grave sites at churches. Regarding Islam during this time period, it was more advanced in the sciences than the church at that time.


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #77

Don’t worry, as a skeptic, I usually divide a person’s stated truthfulness index by 2 whenever a person says that they are truthful (as it shouldn’t be necessary to specify a truthfulness index.) But since there are a lot of Christians here speaking on both theology and science, I divide their stated truthfulness index by 2i. Transforming a positive real number into an negative imaginary number.


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #78

27 posts were split to a new topic: Negative Imaginary Numbers


(Kenneth Turner) #79

Finally! Thank you for taking on this arduous task.