Saturday, August 30, 2008

Response to Kitty Foth-Regner

This is my response to a comment left by Kitty Foth Regner, author of the book Heaven Without Her.

Original comment is here.

You mentioned several different topics in your comment to me, which you probably realize have already been addressed and answered hundreds of times by more qualified people than me, and that the responses are available for you to see on the internet and have been for a long time.

Clearly if the answers were enough to change your mind, you would have, just as if your arguments were enough to change my mind I would have already done so. Your arguments and mine are not original thoughts, but things that have already been thoroughly discussed by many qualified people.

So these answers are not really for you, because I know you are aware of the responses to your arguments and that they will do nothing to change your mind coming from me. But I have decided to try to provide responses to your arguments point by point mainly because I want those responses to be available to anyone who happens to see your comment.

Now, I am the first person to admit that I am no scientist, and I believe that you are not either. But I spent a lot of time researching the arguments you referenced against evolution and I will try to either answer them or refer you to existing responses:

Why do so many people oppose evolution? Is it because they do not like its implications? Regardless of whether we like the conclusions, the evidence overwhelmingly points to this. Just because it makes many people uncomfortable, does not make it any less true.


…children are not learning “differing viewpoints.”… They are learning only evolutionary fairy tales.


Intelligent design does not deserve equal standing in a science classroom with evolution because it is not a science. Science is a system of acquiring knowledge and intelligent design is based on personal religious belief.

Equal time would mean teaching every other creation story that mankind has believed in (Muslim, Hindu, Native American, and countless others). But they obviously do not want fair and equal time, because that would be ridiculous. What they really want is for the intelligent design to get preferential treatment simply because the Christian faith is dominant throughout the western world. But that does not give it any more validity.

The main argument for intelligent design is that the world seems like it was created. If that is the case, then why, necessarily, was it created by your creator? You have no specific proof that it was created by the God of the Bible.

Intelligent design is creationism disguised as a science in an effort to get it taught in schools, after the Edwards v. Aguillard made it unconstitutional. It is promoted by Christian groups because its main purpose is to promote the idea of the Biblical God as designer.

For more information on why intelligent design is creationism visit Talk Origins.

Another reason intelligent design does not deserve equal footing with evolution is that it has no evidence. On the other hand, evolution has mountains of evidence, and many other fields of science support the fact of evolution. Evolution is one of the most heavily criticized theories of science, and yet it has stood up to all of this intense criticism. If the evidence for evolution were not extremely strong, people would have succeeded long ago to refute it. But they cannot because the evidence is there.

Instead its proponents merely try to poke holes in the theory of evolution. But just because you think you can disprove Theory A, does not necessarily prove Theory B. You have to provide evidence for the “theory” of intelligent design, not just try to poke holes in evolution.

No taxpayer-funded teacher or professor ever mentions, for instance, that before he died, the late great evolutionist Stephen J. Gould of Harvard resorted to resurrecting the “hopeful monster” theory of our origins – “punctuated equilibrium,” he called it to give it more dignity – because, as he admitted, the transitional fossils that evolution theory requires simply do not exist.


This is an example of quote-mining and a misrepresentation of what Gould actually said in his essay “Return of Hopeful Monsters”.

Please visit Answers in Genesis Busted for more info on the misuse of this quote.

"Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists--whether through design or stupidity, I do not know--as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups. Yet a pamphlet entitled 'Harvard Scientists Agree Evolution Is a Hoax' states: 'The facts of punctuated equilibrium which Gould and Eldredge...are forcing Darwinists to swallow fit the picture that Bryan insisted on, and which God has revealed to us in the Bible.'"

That was a quote from Gould’s essay “Evolution as Fact and Theory”

And you can visit Talk Origins for more discussions of misquotations commonly used by antievolutionists.

No taxpayer-funded teacher dares to look at the irreducible complexity or at the fact that positive, additive genetic mutations do not occur.


Irreducible complexity implies that a system cannot function if one of its parts is missing, therefore it couldn’t have evolved by the addition of single parts without a loss or change of function. But there are still other evolutionary mechanisms that have been observed in genetic mutations:

• deletion of parts
• addition of multiple parts
• change of function
• addition of a second function to a part
• gradual modification of parts

Even if irreducible complexity did provide difficulty for the theory of evolution, intelligent design does not necessarily follow. This is an argument from incredulity or “god of the gaps”.

For more information on irreducible complexity: Talk Origins.

Here are Responses to Michael Behe

And here is more about the argument from incredulity, or “god of the gaps”.

No taxpayer-funded teacher dares to even wonder aloud how the laws of thermodynamics or biogenesis fit into evolutionary thought.


Intelligent design supporters believe that the second law of thermodynamics does not permit order to arise from disorder, therefore showing that macroevolution is not possible. But the second law of thermodynamics says no such thing.

“It says that heat will not spontaneously flow from a colder body to a warmer one or, equivalently, that total entropy (a measure of useful energy) in a closed system will not decrease. This does not prevent increasing order because: the earth is not a closed system and entropy is not the same as disorder.”

“The only processes necessary for evolution to occur are reproduction, heritable variation, and selection. All of these are seen to happen all the time, so, obviously, no physical laws are preventing them. In fact, connections between evolution and entropy have been studied in depth and never to the detriment of evolution”

For more information on the second law of thermodynamics and entropy check out Talk Origins: here and here.

The law of biogenesis states that modern organisms do not spontaneously arise in nature from non-life.

“The spontaneous generation that Pasteur and others disproved was the idea that life forms such as mice, maggots, and bacteria can appear fully formed. They disproved a form of creationism. There is no law of biogenesis saying that very primitive life cannot form from increasingly complex molecules.”

For more information check out Talk Origins Abiogenesis FAQs

Essentially, “no taxpayer-funded teacher dares to even wonder aloud” about these things, because they have already been addressed many times over by scientists. It is not as if these points are being hidden, they are discussed in the open and not viewed as a threat to evolution. These issues require a lot of background in biology to even understand, and that is why they are not taught to beginning students.

Also, attempting to expose weaknesses in the theory of evolution does not in any way make intelligent design more viable. This assumes that evolution and intelligent design are the only two possible models, which is false. Problems with one model do not imply that the remaining model is true. Another unknown explanation could be correct.

… why are evolutionists afraid of having the arguments for intelligent design and creation science presented alongside their proofs for evolution?


Scientists are not afraid of intelligent design. Intelligent design does not even qualify as a scientific theory because all of its claims of evidence have been shown to be invalid.

The threat is not to science, the threat is to education and the separation of church and state in this nation.

I am afraid of having the arguments for intelligent design presented alongside evolution in science class because I am concerned with children learning about the actual scientific method and learning critical thought. Intelligent design is simply a wedge used to get religion into schools. They only attack evolution because they see it as a threat to their Biblical explanations of the world. When intelligent design is given equal standing in science classes with the theory of evolution, it will mean that the nation’s children are not learning what actual science is, and they are not being taught to use their critical faculties.

Intelligent design relies on supernatural explanations. But science is about finding natural, reproducible, testable explanations. Teaching our students otherwise is harmful to their development of critical thinking. It is also harmful to our nation’s scientific and technological development.

The truth is, real science confirms Genesis, not Darwin. But real science does not get a hearing in our schools these days. That was my point: For nearly 50 years, our schools have been teaching that evolution accounts for the universe, that anti-Christian worldviews are intellectually sound, and that tolerance is the highest virtue. Our courts have in fact outlawed any mention of Christianity in our schools. So who’s closed-minded?



Please explain to me what your notion of “real science” is?

Distinguishing science from pseudoscience requires a definition of its methodology:

Science is a method of acquiring knowledge that uses observation and experimentation to describe and explain natural phenomena. It must be testable and reproducible.

Intelligent design is not based on any of these things, but simply on the desire for the Biblical explanation to be true. But wanting does not make it so.

…Our schools have been teaching…anti-Christian worldviews…


This may come as a surprise, but there are many different worldviews that differ from your own. A person who can’t see the value in learning to view the world from a different perspective is being closed-minded and ignorant. The Christian worldview has as much validity as any other worldview out there, and to claim that it is superior merely because it is dominant in the western world, would be arrogant.

In science, worldview is irrelevant. Worldview should not be taught in science class because science is fact regardless of one’s worldview. The vast majority of scientists from all over the world with many different worldviews all come together in agreement on the fact of evolution, as well as on many other scientific facts.

As I mentioned before, just because science does not fit your worldview or because you don’t like its implications is not enough reason to disqualify it. You must provide other valid alternatives that are based on more than religious beliefs and emotions.

…our schools have been teaching that…tolerance is the highest virtue…


Are you advocating the teaching of intolerance to our children in schools? Would it be better to teach our children to hate and disregard those that are different? We have seen the kind of hatred and violence that results from intolerance too often during our recent history and I honestly cannot believe that you would suggest that the teaching of tolerance is a bad thing.

Do you consider it a good thing that some Muslim children are being taught religious intolerance? Is racial intolerance a good thing? I honestly don’t understand where you are coming from on this one. Is it your idea that Jesus promoted intolerance?

Our courts have in fact outlawed any mention of Christianity in our schools.


“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.”

That was the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which prohibits the government from establishing a religion, from showing preference to one religion over another, or from showing preference to religion over non-religion.

Any mention of Christianity is not outlawed in our schools, but the promotion of Christianity above other beliefs is. This is the right that our founding fathers fought for, and this is a right that also protects Christians, so I honestly cannot understand why they would want to get rid of it. If ever in the future Christianity is not the majority religion in the United States, Christians would surely lament the loss of this freedom in the event that someone else’s religious beliefs were being imposed on them.

These rights were set out from the beginning, so to imply that they are something that has been imposed on you and other Christians or that religion has been “taken out” of schools or the public sphere, is blatantly false. These are rights that protect us all and rights that we should try very hard to preserve for future generations.

For more information about the First Amendment and the freedoms it provides us, look here.

In conclusion, I would like to remind the reader that I am not an expert, but I was able to find all of these answers online and you can do the same yourself. All of the typical arguments of antievolutionists have been refuted. Unfortunately this fact does not prevent them from being continually used.

The best source by far, and which I relied heavily upon for this response, is Talk Origins where you can find a long index to creationist claims and responses and tons of other helpful information about evolution.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

20 comments:

DB said...

Wow, great response! You have much more patience than most to deal with this nonsense. The way I see it is a matter of considering the source. Scientists near universally accept evolution. Only conservative Christian and Muslim preachers and their followers dispute evolution. Now, if there was a bunch of scientists against evolution and all Christian preachers were against it I would maybe think twice. But this isn't the case. Consider the source.

Plus, if evolution wasn't valid, what is the alternative without quoting the Bible? There is none.

Adrian Hayter said...

A load of the links are busted. Could you fix so I know the context of this :D

The Amiable Atheist said...

bummer!

let me get on that right now...

The Amiable Atheist said...

thank you so much for the heads up, adrian! i have no clue what happened, but it's fixed now.

Kitty Foth-Regner said...

Wow, Amiable, reading your response was just like reading something I might’ve written years ago, if I’d cared enough to comment. (I didn’t.)

I won’t answer all your points, because they all really require more than a sound bite. But I would like to address some.

•Re "consider the source," I will just reiterate that I was for 25 years a feminist atheist. It was the evidence that led me to the truth of Christianity.
•I may not have a degree in a science, but I have been a science copywriter for 30 years and have ghost-written scientific papers for a number of brilliant physicists, physicians, and medical researchers. I also have a great interest in the things of science, and have studied it extensively over the years in connection with my work, and know how to research, read and interpret scientific data.
•The main argument for Intelligent Design is not that the earth “seems” created. And indeed there is overwhelming proof that it was created by “my” Creator. (He is yours, too, even if you don’t want to admit it.)
•Intelligent Design (ID) is indeed science; its starting point is scientific data, not a religious creed. (You are correct that creation science views scientific data through the lens of the Bible. ID does not.) In fact, ID is more scientific than evolution theory, because evolutionists (and most of today’s mainstream scientists) begin by ruling out a whole realm of possibility – the supernatural.

Allow me to quote the charmingly frank evolutionist Richard Lewontin, who wrote in the January 9, 1997, issue of The New York Review (emphasis, if it survives your blog, is mine; and this is just one example; others, like Huxley, admitted that sex was their motive for ruling out God):

"We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to … produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive … Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door."

•Lewontin underscored the fundamental difference between evolution theory and Intelligent Design: ID does NOT rule out the supernatural; evolution does. (Again, creation science starts from the biblical perspective; however, ID’s findings consistently confirm those of creation science. In fact, some creationists object to ID as a cop-out compromise.)
•The evidence does not overwhelmingly point to evolution; it overwhelmingly points to the book of Genesis. Even a relatively superficial (but objective) study of basic genetics, molecular biology and geology points to special creation. Honestly, no one could have been more surprised by these things than I was.
•The reason people have NOT “succeeded” in refuting evolution is obvious: Because of the atheistic news media (remember, this IS my area of academic expertise, and media bias is an obvious fact of life; I recognized this long before I became a Christian) and the scientific establishment in our universities. I don’t suppose you have seen Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled? I highly recommend it; he is not making the case for ID, but against the suppression of academic freedom – suppression that has been well-documented for decades, but who’s going to report it? Not our news media!
•There is a wealth of evidence for both ID in general and creation science in particular. I recommend a visit to the Institute for Creation Research (www.icr.org) or, for presentations that non-scientists can perhaps better appreciate, www.answersingenesis.org. Or check out the ID story at http://www.discovery.org/ .
•By the way, I know of many scientists who became creationists after studying the data; I know of none who started out embracing the biblical point of view and later abandoned it, having found the evidence pointing elsewhere.
•“Every other creation story”? Actually, the only worldviews that have one, other than an evolutionary “just so” story, are Christianity, Judaism and Islam; and they all trust Genesis. This would explain why no one else is asking for equal time. So it would not be difficult to teach them all, because there are only two fundamental approaches: special creation or time + chance (evolution).
•I fully agree that truth is not determined by the majority. In fact, Jesus Christ Himself said that most people would trot down the wide path to destruction, and that the gate to eternal life is narrow and used by relatively few.
•I know the late Stephen Gould (who now knows the truth) denied that punctuated equilibrium was an admission of evolution’s failure as a theory (I didn’t quote him at all, by the way – just recited the facts). So what? In resurrecting the hopeful monster theory, he was admitting that no transitional fossils have been found, and that therefore slow, gradual change could not have happened. The only evolutionary alternative is hopeful monsters/punctuated equilibrium.
•Look at your list of genetic mutations – not one even hints at the addition of genetic information that would be required for a critter to evolve new parts on its way to being a new kind of creature. And in fact, I would love to see an example of a change of function or addition of a second function or gradual modification of parts; there are plenty of theories out there, but no proof.
•You need to be careful: evolutionists point to the variety of breeds of dog and call it evolution. But that is only “microevolution,” or “variation within kind,” not “macroevolution” – they are all still dogs. God programmed amazing genetic variety into every living creature, so that natural or artificial selection could cause variations within kinds – but not new creatures. They have also allowed people to believe evolution is only about “natural selection,” but it’s not; natural selection (which no one denies) is like quality control, and is never creative.
•Disorder IS a result of entropy.
•Evolution requires biogenesis, at least initially – life coming from non-life. It has never happened. No one has even claimed to have seen it happen. The Miller-Whoosie experiment did not create life. Biogenesis would have been a necessary driver of evolution, but it has never been demonstrated or seen and in fact has been shown to be mathematically impossible, because there is no such thing as a simple life form. Even the simplest cell is complex beyond our wildest dreams.
•Evolution also requires the ADDITION of genetic information. This has never been observed. (Delving into this subject was one of the first things that blew me away – it is, quite frankly, a lie that reproduction, heritable variation and selection are all that are needed for evolution.)
•If you believe that mainstream scientists and the media are so willing to report truth, how come you have never heard about the anthropic principle? Yet it has been discussed behind closed doors in scientific meetings for some 40 years, with nary a report by our news media. (See Patrick Glynn’s God the Evidence for an excellent discussion.)
•Actually, evolution and special creation ARE the only two possibilities. To cite another – like seeding by aliens – simply moves the problem farther away. I know, this came as a great surprise to me, but I was never able to refute it.
•Did you know that “separation of church and state” is not in the constitution? It appeared ONCE in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, and he was promising them that the federal government would not interfere with their church – not vice versa! It is our modern courts that inserted it into the law. This is called legislation by fiat and it is the first step towards tyranny. (By the way, did you know Hitler was an occultist and evolutionist, and in fact evolution was his justification for eradicating “lesser” races? Just thought you might find that interesting, being in Germany. There are in fact lots of parallels between Germany in 1933 and our country today.)
•Amiable, our educational system TELLS us they are teaching “critical thinking.” Then they train pupils to ask questions tantamount to “Are you still beating your wife?” Seriously – if you could only see it objectively, you would be amazed at what passes for “critical thinking” and “scientific method” in our textbooks.
•Christians object to teaching evolution alone because they see what it has done to people like you and me: I was an agnostic until evolutionary teachings persuaded me I didn’t even need to concede the possibility of a God, that God- and morality-free living was within my grasp in straightforward atheism.
•“Real science” is, just to cite one example, geology determining that the Grand Canyon was more likely carved by lots of water in a short period of time, rather than by a little water over vast ages – the Genesis flood vs. evolution. As you can imagine, this is a complex topic, and the evidence is overwhelming and clearcut; if you’re interested, I would recommend a visit to icr.org; its president (along with many of its members) is a Ph.D. geologist. And yes, they are familiar with and use the scientific method; they certainly understand the need for testability and reproducibility.
•Note that last clause, Amiable. When have evolutionists successfully tested or reproduced evolution? They haven’t. Nor have creationists tested or reproduced special creation. No one can do either. The point is, they are both theories; the question is which theory is best supported by the data? Hint: After I thoroughly examined this question, I went from being a died-in-the-wool atheist to a doubt-free Christian.
•Worldview is not irrelevant among evolutionists. They embrace and apply across the board the worldview of naturalism.
•I must “provide other valid alternatives that are based on more than religious beliefs and emotions”? Well my goodness, that’s just what I have done in Heaven Without Her.
•No, I am not advocating intolerance. I was implying that tolerance is not the highest virtue, that there are far more important virtues that, if embraced, would make tolerance irrelevant. For example, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Add in traits like honesty, humility, service and generosity to replace greed and covetousness, and you can see – a population largely governed by these qualities (as the U.S. was until the late 19th century) would not need to worry about tolerance.
•(And before you point to slavery, let me point out that it was Christians who led the charge against this millennia-old practice; for an inspiring story, read about John Newton, the ex-slave trader who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace.)
•Our Constitution forbids the establishment of religion because our founders did not want to live under the religious persecution they’d escaped from in England and other European countries. This was the uniqueness of the American experiment: true religious freedom, not freedom FROM religion. The fact is, almost all our founders were devout Christians; if you’re interested in learning more about this, http://lc.org/ would be a good place to start.
•Until 1963, the Bible was still taught in American public schools, and the days were still opened in prayer. I know because I lived through this transition.
•Just saying, over and over again, that science has refuted the arguments of antievolutionists does not make it so … although I certainly agree that this is the mantra.

Again, I challenge you to read my book and/or some of the 45 described in my bibliography. It describes in some detail how I, an atheistic feminist for more than a quarter century, answered these questions:

1)Is there a God? (Remember, I did not believe there was.)
2)If so, which God? For this part of my journey, I did examine all the major religions and many of the minor ones.

For the second question, I set up mental “proof” buckets which I fully expected to fill, for later comparison and analysis, but came up empty. Finally, I was left with biblical Christianity. I approached the Bible reluctantly, not really wanting it to be true because the God of the Bible had been trying to ruin my good time my whole life. Turned out I was wrong. I pray for the sake of your immortal soul that you will investigate the facts with an open mind, because they point in one direction only.

And if you think I am unintelligent or undereducated or brainwashed, I suggest you visit the web site of a woman named A.S.A. Jones, who is one of the most brilliant I’ve ever come across. She in fact once read the Bible for sport, to torment Christians. And then one day, she adjusted her focus a bit. Her web site is www.ex-atheist.com.

If you post another reply and I don't respond, it's simply because I've run out of time -- I have a ton of work sitting here awaiting my attention. But the resources I've provided should give the honest seeker of truth a good start.
I am your servant in Christ,
Kitty

DB said...

Oh, I have "considered the source" alright, and time and time again I come to the same conclusion. Now, since you seem to have all the answers, please indulge me.

If I were to concede there is a creator, why would that creator be the Christian one?

If such a creator is the Christian creator, then why would he concentrate on what I think rather than my actions?

If such a creator is the Christian creator, then what happens to non-Christians when they die?

If such a creator is the Christian creator and you have to be "saved" to enter heaven, where does the other 68% of the world's population go? Is heaven full of mostly Americans and Europeans? What happens to the Asians, (Japanese for instance) who don't practice Christianity yet seem to live better lives then many Pastors and Priests in America?

Finally, which branch of Christianity should I follow to be most correct? Catholic? Mormon? Baptist? They all seem to say different things...yet it is always the "truth".

Kitty Foth-Regner said...

You ask, DB, “Why would the creator be the Christian one?” I suppose it wouldn’t have to have turned out to be. But I looked – and found no other explanation. And then I learned that the Bible contains scores of scientific and prophetic truths that were not known – could not even have been imagined – when they were written. (And yes, there is solid proof of when virtually every book of the Bible was written – the ms. evidence, if that’s an area of interest to you, is overwhelming and is carefully documented in a variety of books.)

At a certain point, as you’re seeing truth after truth unfold before your eyes, you stop attributing everything to coincidence or lucky guesses and begin acknowledging that this book couldn’t have been written by men working alone - they had to have received inspiration from Someone outside of time. And then everything starts falling into place. Again, visit www.ex-atheist.com – A.S.A. Jones’ article “learning to think spiritually” is a particularly interesting approach to this question.

“Why would [the Christian creator] concentrate on what I think?” That’s a really great question. How about this: Because all sin (which is to say, rebellion against His law which He has written on our hearts and in the ten commandments) begins in the heart and mind. Before we lie, we think the lie up. Before we act hatefully, we hate in our hearts. The place to stop sin is where it starts.

“What happens to non-Christians when they die?” Another excellent question – you have cut to the chase with it, because this is the heart of the gospel. Let me see if I can sum it up very briefly (visit www.markcahill.org for a much more thorough explanation).

We are all condemned, because we have all sinned repeatedly against God – i.e., we have all broken the Ten Commandments practically non-stop. See Exodus 20. We’ve all failed to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and minds; we’ve all worshipped other gods (eg our hobbies or our intellects or other people); we’ve all taken His name in vain; we’ve all failed to keep the Sabbath holy; we’ve all dishonored our parents, and lied, and most of us would admit to having stolen something in our lives. We’ve certainly all coveted (America is built on coveting goods!). And Jesus said that if we have hatred in our hearts, or have lusted after another, we have committed murder and adultery in our hearts already.

So – we’re all condemned and deserve to spend eternity in hell. There’s no way we can pay the penalty for our countless sins, and surely not through good works; a murderer washing the judge’s car on his way into court is not going to find himself excused because he did a nice thing on the way in. Only the perfect sacrifice can pay the penalty for our sins against an infinite God.

(We can ask “why,” but that’s irrelevant. It’s the way God has set it up and the way He revealed it to us in the Bible.)

That’s what Jesus did. God the Son and the Son of God, He came to earth as fully man and fully God, lived a sinless life to be the perfect sacrifice, and went to the cross bearing all the sins of mankind – taking our blame and punishment. God paid the price personally, because only He could.

When those who are “washed in His blood” stand before God in judgment , we are able to say “Jesus paid it all,” in essence. He looks at us and sees Jesus’ perfect life. And hence, we are welcomed into heaven.

This is salvation, and it is the gift of God – by definition, a free gift. To receive it, we need to repent of our sins (acknowledge and turn from them) … and believe that Jesus has paid for them, calling upon His name. We must be born again, He said – which is what happens when we repent and believe. We become “new creatures in Christ.”

What happens to non-believers? They have to pay for their own sins against an infinite God for all eternity. Luke 16 provides one chilling preview.

“Is heaven full of mostly Americans and Europeans?” You might be interested to know that the Christian church is apparently growing fastest in China these days, and not through the officially “approved” church but through the underground church. Jesus died for the world, and He made it our mission to see that every tribe and nation would hear the gospel. I believe that is very close to having happened.

“What happens to the Asians, (Japanese for instance) who don't practice Christianity yet seem to live better lives then many Pastors and Priests in America?” Please note that “living better lives” isn’t what saves you – it’s repenting and believing in Jesus that saves you. However, that said, if you have been saved, your life is going to reflect it – you will no longer be able to stomach stealing or cheating or blaspheming His name (and so on) because the Holy Spirit changes your heart. Not that a Christian is sinless in this life, but the pattern of sin is broken. That’s why you see that true Christians’ lives are revolutionized by their relationship with Christ – just ask a Christian ex-drug addict or ex-drunk … or ex-feminist atheist.

“Finally, which branch of Christianity should I follow to be most correct? Catholic? Mormon? Baptist? They all seem to say different things...yet it is always the ‘truth.’” Another outstanding question! It depends on what your authority is. Since my investigation led me to see that the Bible is truth apart from any opposing idea a mere man or woman might have, I follow the Bible, and am in a church that acknowledges and teaches it as the inspired and inerrant word of God. It happens to be an independent Baptist church but I am sure there are other denominations that preach the gospel and teach the Bible.

The question to ask is who or what is a given church’s authority, and how do they know it’s true? Considering that your eternity is at stake, it’s well worth investigating the answers with even more fervor than you would devote to planning an education, career, family, vacation, or retirement!

You can become acquainted with truth, and build discernment, by reading the Bible and getting accurate teaching. One excellent site is this: www.gty.org.

This is a very quick answer to questions that warrant entire books. I hope you will find them worth pondering and pursuing. May God bless you by revealing His truth to you, DB.
Kitty Foth-Regner
Heaven Without Her

DB said...

Thanks for your responses and I appreciate the time you spent. Good luck with your book. :-)

The Amiable Atheist said...

Thank you for your reply. I will answer some of your responses, the rest I will leave by saying that I have already provided you with a link to Talk Origins where all of your doubts about evolution have already been cleared up. “…the resources I've provided should give the honest seeker of truth a good start.” But I am aware it will do nothing to change your mind. I only want to respond to provide any potential readers with answers.

Re "consider the source," I will just reiterate that I was for 25 years a feminist atheist. It was the evidence that led me to the truth of Christianity.

With all respect, that doesn’t do a thing for me or the credibility of your argument. I was a Christian for 18 years and I became an atheist through critical thought and evidence. Does that lend power to my argument for you? No, probably not.


I may not have a degree in a science, but I have been a science copywriter for 30 years and have ghost-written scientific papers for a number of brilliant physicists, physicians, and medical researchers. I also have a great interest in the things of science, and have studied it extensively over the years in connection with my work, and know how to research, read and interpret scientific data.

In no way was I trying to insult you with this, I was just noting that neither of us are experts and that a large part of our arguments are not original thoughts. I only wanted to demonstrate that people should not take my word for it or yours, but look to the source.

The main argument for Intelligent Design is not that the earth “seems” created. And indeed there is overwhelming proof that it was created by “my” Creator. (He is yours, too, even if you don’t want to admit it.)

Well then I’m really unsure what their main argument is, because that’s the one I always hear. Are they keeping it secret?

Intelligent Design (ID) is indeed science; its starting point is scientific data, not a religious creed. (You are correct that creation science views scientific data through the lens of the Bible. ID does not.) In fact, ID is more scientific than evolution theory, because evolutionists (and most of today’s mainstream scientists) begin by ruling out a whole realm of possibility – the supernatural.

I will have to disagree here. Intelligent design is nothing more than a disguise for creationism in order to get the idea of it in schools even entertained in court.

Science, by its definition does not deal in the supernatural realm. Science works on the basis that all things have natural, physical explanations. This is why science does not consider it, and this is why ID is not a science.

More info here on why intelligent design theory most certainly is religiously motivated


Allow me to quote…

I could also find quotes supporting my view but they are nothing more than another person’s opinion and don’t amount to evidence.

Lewontin underscored the fundamental difference between evolution theory and Intelligent Design: ID does NOT rule out the supernatural; evolution does. (Again, creation science starts from the biblical perspective; however, ID’s findings consistently confirm those of creation science. In fact, some creationists object to ID as a cop-out compromise.)

Again, there is no evidence of anything supernatural ever occurring. Evidence does not point to this, and I would be curious about these “findings” of ID. Where are they? Why don’t an overwhelming number of scientists accept them, if there are such findings? Is it a big conspiracy? Doubtful.

The evidence does not overwhelmingly point to evolution; it overwhelmingly points to the book of Genesis. Even a relatively superficial (but objective) study of basic genetics, molecular biology and geology points to special creation. Honestly, no one could have been more surprised by these things than I was.

The evidence absolutely does not point to the creation story in Genesis. You keep referencing this “evidence” for ID, neither I, nor the majority of scientists are aware of it.

The reason people have NOT “succeeded” in refuting evolution is obvious: Because of the atheistic news media (remember, this IS my area of academic expertise, and media bias is an obvious fact of life; I recognized this long before I became a Christian) and the scientific establishment in our universities. I don’t suppose you have seen Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled? I highly recommend it; he is not making the case for ID, but against the suppression of academic freedom – suppression that has been well-documented for decades, but who’s going to report it? Not our news media!

This is nothing more than a conspiracy theory. If the media were atheistic, then why is it that they totally misrepresent atheists? If we were running the show, don’t you think we would portray ourselves in a more favorable light, and don’t you think we would have a lot more power? Anyone with a brain who watches television, especially Fox News, knows where the bias lies.

And yes, I have heard of Ben Stein’s film. Check out Expelled Exposed if you think this film was anything but deceitful and ridiculous.

There is a wealth of evidence for both ID in general and creation science in particular. I recommend a visit to the Institute for Creation Research (www.icr.org) or, for presentations that non-scientists can perhaps better appreciate, www.answersingenesis.org. Or check out the ID story at http://www.discovery.org/ .

I don’t consider these to be credible sources. They all have the agenda of promoting their religious beliefs, not of displaying actual objective evidence. Don’t you think it’s odd that virtually everyone who opposes evolution is religious, but on the other hand there are lots of religious people who accept evolution?

By the way, I know of many scientists who became creationists after studying the data; I know of none who started out embracing the biblical point of view and later abandoned it, having found the evidence pointing elsewhere.

I find it very hard to believe that a journalist would be incapable of finding a single person who started out embracing the biblical point of view and later abandoned it. There are many, many people who have started out with the Biblical point of view and later abandoned it; a quick internet search would tell you that.

A quick look through my bookshelf:

Paradigms on Pilgrimage by Stephen J. Godfrey & Christopher R. Smith
Leaving the Fold by Edward T. Babinski
Losing Faith in Faith by Dan Barker

And there are many, many more!

Look here for more information on why an overwhelming majority of scientists accept evolution and why a tiny percentage reject it: not because of the evidence, but because of their religious beliefs.

“Every other creation story”? Actually, the only worldviews that have one, other than an evolutionary “just so” story, are Christianity, Judaism and Islam; and they all trust Genesis. This would explain why no one else is asking for equal time. So it would not be difficult to teach them all, because there are only two fundamental approaches: special creation or time + chance (evolution).

This is clearly ignoring countless other religions. I’m sure many groups would be upset with your sweeping claims. Your creation story is not the only one that exists. But because the western world is predominately Christian, you think it is superior.

A quick look on wikipedia Creation stories will show you the many that vary from yours.

I know the late Stephen Gould (who now knows the truth) denied that punctuated equilibrium was an admission of evolution’s failure as a theory (I didn’t quote him at all, by the way – just recited the facts). So what? In resurrecting the hopeful monster theory, he was admitting that no transitional fossils have been found, and that therefore slow, gradual change could not have happened. The only evolutionary alternative is hopeful monsters/punctuated equilibrium.

Yes, and I provided a link to an essay where he clearly says that he didn’t. Unless you personally knew him and were there at his death bed with a recording device, this is not evidence.

I meant that this whole idea of Gould recanting his theories was based initially on quote mining. I didn’t mean to say you were quote mining, but you were quoting quote miners.

Disorder IS a result of entropy.

Why, because you say so? I found many credible sources that said otherwise. It is very much possible for order to arise in a subsystem (like the Earth) when entropy increases.

If you believe that mainstream scientists and the media are so willing to report truth, how come you have never heard about the anthropic principle? Yet it has been discussed behind closed doors in scientific meetings for some 40 years, with nary a report by our news media. (See Patrick Glynn’s God the Evidence for an excellent discussion.)

I never said that the mainstream media always report the truth. Obama is not a secret Muslim or the antichrist, despite Fox News’ attempts to spread those rumors.

This is a conspiracy theory thinking that the media is hiding truth from us. The news media fails to report on many important things because they would rather go for sensationalism, not because there is some vast cover-up.

Did you know that “separation of church and state” is not in the constitution? It appeared ONCE in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists, and he was promising them that the federal government would not interfere with their church – not vice versa! It is our modern courts that inserted it into the law. This is called legislation by fiat and it is the first step towards tyranny. (By the way, did you know Hitler was an occultist and evolutionist, and in fact evolution was his justification for eradicating “lesser” races? Just thought you might find that interesting, being in Germany. There are in fact lots of parallels between Germany in 1933 and our country today.)


No, but it’s in the amendments to the constitution and I’m sure you wouldn’t disregard all of those rights (first amendment proposed in 1789).

Hitler was absolutely not an evolutionist. We have much evidence pointing to the fact that he was a believer in God and creation, and motivated by his hatred towards the Jews, not Darwinism. Your use of the “Hitler Card” is a little bit tacky and also overused. It has been responded to many times over, in fact I also did a blog entry on it.

Evolution is about nature naturally selecting the better candidates, not about man selecting.

Look here for more info on why Hitler was not an “evolutionist”


Amiable, our educational system TELLS us they are teaching “critical thinking.” Then they train pupils to ask questions tantamount to “Are you still beating your wife?” Seriously – if you could only see it objectively, you would be amazed at what passes for “critical thinking” and “scientific method” in our textbooks.

I don’t understand what this one is referencing. But by your response in general I would say that your idea of critical thinking is flawed. I also acknowledge that the education system is seriously flawed and children aren't taught to think critically enough.

Christians object to teaching evolution alone because they see what it has done to people like you and me: I was an agnostic until evolutionary teachings persuaded me I didn’t even need to concede the possibility of a God, that God- and morality-free living was within my grasp in straightforward atheism.

Well you are coming from the assumption that lack of belief in god is a bad thing. I disagree.

Many scientists will tell you that evolution does not preclude a belief in God. Ask Ken Miller, for example.

More info here on why evolution is not atheistic.

“Real science” is, just to cite one example, geology determining that the Grand Canyon was more likely carved by lots of water in a short period of time, rather than by a little water over vast ages – the Genesis flood vs. evolution. As you can imagine, this is a complex topic, and the evidence is overwhelming and clearcut; if you’re interested, I would recommend a visit to icr.org; its president (along with many of its members) is a Ph.D. geologist. And yes, they are familiar with and use the scientific method; they certainly understand the need for testability and reproducibility.

“Longstanding scientific consensus has been that the canyon was created by the Colorado River over a period of six million years, but research released in 2008 suggests a much longer 17 million year time span.”

A quick look at Wikipedia told me that. I’m sorry, but I don’t accept your theory and neither do most scientists. There is no overwhelming evidence in your favor.

More info here on why the Grand Canyon was not created by The Flood.

I would point you to a cartoon in my original post where the scientists look at the evidence in order to draw the conclusion while the religious look at the conclusion (the Biblical explanation) and try to find evidence to support it. These scientists are all pushing a biblical agenda and blatantly ignoring anything that contradicts it, and this is why their “evidence” is so widely rejected.

Note that last clause, Amiable. When have evolutionists successfully tested or reproduced evolution? They haven’t. Nor have creationists tested or reproduced special creation. No one can do either. The point is, they are both theories; the question is which theory is best supported by the data? Hint: After I thoroughly examined this question, I went from being a died-in-the-wool atheist to a doubt-free Christian.


Look here for the overwhelming certainty scienctists have in evolution

Calling ID a theory shows a misunderstanding of what a scientific theory is. Please see here for an explanation of why ID is not a scientific theory.

Worldview is not irrelevant among evolutionists. They embrace and apply across the board the worldview of naturalism.

Not just evolutionists, but scientists embrace naturalism when doing science because that is all science deals with. They might still be Christian, but when doing science they are naturalists.

Look here for why science deals with the natural

And here for why it does not deal with the supernatural


No, I am not advocating intolerance. I was implying that tolerance is not the highest virtue, that there are far more important virtues that, if embraced, would make tolerance irrelevant. For example, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Add in traits like honesty, humility, service and generosity to replace greed and covetousness, and you can see – a population largely governed by these qualities (as the U.S. was until the late 19th century) would not need to worry about tolerance.

You are ignoring the fact that women and blacks were denied rights for a long time despite our nation promising equal rights. To imagine that our country’s history had been all roses before atheists and evolutionists came along is a gross misrepresentation of history.

(And before you point to slavery, let me point out that it was Christians who led the charge against this millennia-old practice; for an inspiring story, read about John Newton, the ex-slave trader who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace.)

And let me point out that Christians were also involved in trying to maintain slavery. What God did the slave owners believe in? What God did the confederate soldiers pray to? This doesn’t prove any point. Just because some people came to their senses and some of them were Christians, does not mean the idea was purely a Christian one.

Our Constitution forbids the establishment of religion because our founders did not want to live under the religious persecution they’d escaped from in England and other European countries. This was the uniqueness of the American experiment: true religious freedom, not freedom FROM religion. The fact is, almost all our founders were devout Christians; if you’re interested in learning more about this, http://lc.org/ would be a good place to start.

Yes, and because they wanted to ensure religious freedom for their people they realized it would require keeping the church and the state separate and not endorsing any particular religion. This means that everyone is free to believe what they like, even if it means atheism. These rights protect both me and you from religious tyranny.

It makes no sense that the founders would want to turn around and impose their own religion on the people just like England had to them. It makes no sense, and it’s exactly what they wanted to stop from happening. They decided the best way to ensure their freedom to believe was to ensure everyone’s.

Until 1963, the Bible was still taught in American public schools, and the days were still opened in prayer. I know because I lived through this transition.

And this was in clear violation of the first amendment to the constitution. Because of the overwhelming majority of Christians, people were afraid to stand up and say something until recently. For a long time our country also denied rights to many of its citizens because of their race or gender. I would hardly use that as an argument because we have obviously made lots of mistakes in our past.


Just saying, over and over again, that science has refuted the arguments of antievolutionists does not make it so … although I certainly agree that this is the mantra.

You are right. Just saying it doesn't make it so, but all of the evidence I pointed you to does. Just because you do not like the conclusions that the evidence points to, does not make it any less valid.

Again, I challenge you to read my book and/or some of the 45 described in my bibliography.

At the moment I have a long list of great books that I’d like to read. The thing stopping me is finances. I would not pay money to read your book, but perhaps if it was free I might skim it. I doubt that you would go out and buy the books I could suggest you read. We both have other things to do.

Thanks for praying for my immortal soul, but it really doesn’t do much for me and I’m sure you’re aware of how condescending it sounds.

Critical thinking involves looking at all of the evidence and then drawing conclusions from it. This is what good scientists, good journalists, and rational people do. ID supporters are only looking for the evidence to support their Biblical stories and ignoring the overwhelming evidence that leads to other conclusions.

It is apparent that we are both facing a brick wall.

If you have any further replies I suggest you go to Talk Origins where you are sure to find them already addressed in their list of creationist claims and responses to them.

Kitty Foth-Regner said...

Thank you, DB, for your kindness – as well as your insightful questions. Wish I’d asked them myself decades ago.

Okay, Amiable, I give up. I have studied, in considerable depth, both sides of the origins issue – the evolutionary side in school and on the job for approaching 40 years, and the special-creation side on my own for the last eight years. I'm even very familiar with sites like Talk Origins, because in the course of my search for the truth I checked both sides of the issues continually. (You don’t need to be an expert to understand any of it, if you’re reasonably intelligent and make the time to do the research.)

Sad to say, most of us raised on evolution need a Big Reason to make the time to investigate. That’s why you see so many broken people eventually coming to Christ – not because we’re grasping at straws, not because we’re ready to believe anything, but because our sorrow or desperation forces us to address the questions that philosophers have recognized, for thousands of years, to be the only ones that ultimately matter:

1. Where did I come from?
2. What am I doing here?
3. Where am I going?

For decades I was perfectly satisfied with 1) from primordial slime, 2) pursuing pleasure with every ounce of my being, and 3) into a cold dark grave, so I’d better eat, drink and be merry while I can. It took the loss of someone I loved dearly to realize I hadn’t actually explored any other possibilities … and was then amazed to learn that there are much better, thoroughly vetted answers to those questions, and that we can know the answers to be true beyond the shadow of any doubt.

I’d send you a copy of Heaven Without Her, but I’m sure you know how expensive it is to ship even one volume overseas. Plus I do have to pay for the book itself. So I wouldn’t want to invest all that money unless you were ready to read it thoughtfully and with an open mind. Let me know if you ever find yourself with a Big Reason that would inspire you to do so, and I’ll send you a copy. (You can reach me through my publisher, Thomas Nelson in Nashville, as long as I’m still on this earth.)

In the meantime, thanks for listening!
Kitty

The Amiable Atheist said...

Yes, thank you for your time!

falagar said...

Somehow your claim of having researched this issue thoroughly does not seem plausible when after all your research you have not found one person, who used to be fundamentalist and is now accepting the fact of evolution.

As Amiable pointed out, there are plenty. I am shocked that you would write a book like that without talking to any of those authors, or at least reading them.

Is your bibliography available online?

Did you talk to any respected scientists(possibly even Christians) who disagree with ICR and the DI? Are all those 99% of scientists stupid and/or part of a big conspiracy?

And you even admit yourself, that an emotional event forced you to look for a supernatural explanation. This is not how science works however and makes your argument much less convincing.

Please, believe in your sky daddy all you want, but don't come out here all high and mighty, claiming the evidence lead your there and you've done the necessary research. Because that is a flat out lie.

ytseone said...

AA. I'd breifly scanned this most recent post of yours and just thought I'd point out something that seems a bit contradictory. You say, "In science, worldview is irrelevant."
But earlier you say, "But science is about finding natural, reproducible, testable explanations."
I'm not claiming one thing or the other about reality. But this statement of yours does seem to say that you feel that science *does* promote a worldview. Because if reality is natural then it precludes the supernatural--which is what a created universe would be. This worldview would be what philosophers would call a "naturalistic" worldview. And so this would be philosophy of science rather than science itself.

:-)

The Amiable Atheist said...

ytseone:

"The naturalism that science adopts is methodological naturalism. It does not assume that nature is all there is; it merely notes that nature is the only objective standard we have. The supernatural is not ruled out a priori; when it claims observable results that can be studied scientifically, the supernatural is studied scientifically. It gets little attention because it has never been reliably observed. Still, there are many scientists who use naturalism but who believe in more than nature. "

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA301.html

Hope that clears it up.

Thanks for your comments and falagar, I admire your enthusiasm, but please keep it amiable! :)

ytseone said...

AA:

I understand this is what you meant earlier. And I certainly agree that many scientists are also not entirely atheistic. Newton himself was an adherent to the Christian faith. Even in modern times I'd reckon that a great deal, if not a majority of scientists are theistic in some way. However this has little bearing on what science is or ought to be. And I still think my point stands. Methodological naturalism isn't neutral by any means. I assume that you, being a former Christian, are familiar with Probverbs 1:7. This is obviously in stark contrast to what Basil Willey said was required of science--that it must be "provisionally atheistic."

Anyway, thought you might find that interesting. Take care.

Buggy said...

I find it frankly disturbing that despite claiming she's researched the origins issue for years (and to know talk origins well), nay decades, Ms Foth-Regner kept repeating fallacious arguments that had already been refuted many times over, attempted to dodge the question or use sweeping generalisations when confronted with an irrefutable counter-argument (sure, Christianity may be growing in China, but she still claims those cheerfully infidel Japanese deserve an eternity of torture, no matter what lives they lived, just because they don't believe in an undead Jew ...) and generally made me almost suspect her to be a case of Poe's Law in action.

If I weren't so opposed to the idea of funding a creationist, I'd love to get to read that book of hers, just so I could find out what turned a self-proclaimed atheist feminist into a devout creationist woo-peddler.

anubis said...

We need define 'a scientific approach' Newton hypothesized how the dimensions of motion might be calculated; first an hypothesis, then a test. For centuries after Isaac's 'discoveries', people believed they 'knew' the 'laws of motion' .... until, a few centuries later, an equally famous(?), Jew; Albert Einstein, hypothesized Newton's laws were inaccurate and inadequate; be replaced with the more comprehensive 'world-view'. Relativity theory answered vital questions that Newtonian physics couldn't handle... Had we stayed with Newton there would be no 'nuclear age', no 'man on the moon' ....

However, from day one, Einstein realized 'relativity theory' is also inadequate - today's science with it's multitude of 'new concerns' is focussed on 'quanta', 'dark matter', 'strings'. Were Kitty battling Newton, I can imagine her writing, "multitudes of scientists have rejected Newton's theory". (Of course, if she DID write like this, scientists would soon, like Dawkins, not waste time continually answering her, Newton's theory has only been 'disproved' in a trivial sense (he remains one of the giants who founded modern science!) - in EXACTLY the sense that Darwin's "Origen" is full of inadequate speculations on a trivial level (Darwin himself has described how he actively sought facts that disconfirmed aspects of his work!)

That's what science is about -- it's about joining the exciting venture to learn more about this wonderful world ... by casting hypotheses, testing them, almost hoping the tests DON'T work out as expected, simply because we will then be forced to modify our speculations ... and learn more and more and more.

P.S. Ytseone, Newton was certainly NOT a Christian (if you define a Christian as one who believes in 'the risen Christ'). I am amazed this myth continues (largely perpetuated by Christians) ... Newton spent much time in Bible studies and I'll leave it to you to do your own research, READILY AVAILABLE - he believed the Bible corrupted by mistranslations, he DID NOT accept the Trinity and DID NOT ACCEPT the resurrection of Christ, In his day his views had to be kept secret- else he would NOT have been given a post at Cambridge. A similar problem continues to this day - when asked by the UK's 'Sunday Times' about the final sentence in his 'Brief History of Time', which refers to the 'mind of God', Stephen Hawking replied that by concluding his book with that phrase he anticipated doubling its sales, especially in the USA.

Whenever fundamentalists produce a 'new book', I never turn down a chance to read it (obviously the time available forces some selection). If I decide to write something by way of criticism, I would never dream of 'misrepresenting' the text I am opposing - misrepresentation can never be justified (do some fundamentalists believe their God requires a dishonest argument?) Yet, when I read the books/scribblings of Behe, Kitty, Watchtower etc., they frequently tear quotes out of context. On several occasions when the JWs have banged on my front door, they have produced literature offering a devastating quote from Charles Darwin - and are quite 'put out' when I produce the relevant text and read it IN CONTEXT -- generally demonstrating Darwin says the opposite of what they are claiming.

To those of you who are supporters of Sister Kitty -- take a look at her review of 'Slaughter of the Dissidents', read the first paragraph including a 'quotation' from Richard Dawkins, look up the source of this quotation and READ IT IN ITS CONTEXT. Draw your own conclusions!

anubis said...

My first encounter with Gerald (‘Jerry’) Bergman was in the mid-nineties. My doctoral thesis on the psychology of fundamentalist Christianity (partly focusing on the Jehovah’s Witnesses, to my knowledge, the first psychological study of that sect conducted with their agreement!) was noted by several journals. Bergman wrote for a ‘free’ copy of the thesis, promising me ‘publicity’. It was unpublished and hence 90,000 words on A4 paper; too much for my postal costs, so I mailed him a single page summary. In return I soon received a small printed ‘newsletter’, referring to my research, giving the impression my full text had been studied by the reviewer, who attached my university’s catalogue reference – all this as an attempt to justify Bergman’s claim to me he was a genuine researcher deserving a ‘free’ copy.

I obtained a copy of Bergman’s CV. You will find his latest version of this in Foth-Regner’s review of ‘Slaughter of the Dissidents’. If you are not yourself involved in further or higher education, you could have been fooled by this misleading detailing of alleged academic achievement – demonstrating this man is a “real scientist”, as Kitty would have it. Currently, Bergman claims just nine degrees and only two PhDs – but the majority of his awards detailed in the version of ten years ago included THREE PhDs (not two!), all qualifications currently claimed, along with physics, maths, mechanical engineering, sociology, correctional (marriage, rape & drug counselling), psychotherapy, librarianship, photography … and many more. Back then he had taught in 14 colleges, was an active member of 21 professional organizations – all this plus hobbies including carpentry, stamp collecting and restoring antiques. (One can appreciate how inferior I feel with only the one D Phil!)

Needless to say, the first thing that struck me reading Foth-Regner’s updated listing of the author’s qualifications was the glaring absence of his third PhD. Had the institution who granted him this gong undergone ‘second thoughts’ and withdrawn it? Was it simply an omission by Sister Kitty? Or was it a confirmation of the old saying, “Liars require good memories”?

As a UK resident, who has spent many years teaching in further and higher education, my inclination is to view Bergman’s credentials as telling more about aspects of the American ‘degree granting’ system than anything about Jerry Bergman. (I have tremendous respect for American academia – but The ‘free enterprise’ structure of society does provide, in some respects, opportunities for fraudsters to ‘purchase’, with money or religious patronage, academic status).

EriK said...

You like talkorigins it seems. You should check out a few debunks of that site.

http://www.trueorigin.org/isakrbtl.asp

http://trueorigin.org/steiger.asp

There is no rebuttal (though there are 4 attempts linked).

Evolutionism loses, spoiler alert.

Buggy said...

I'm sorry, EriK, but what you call a "debunk" evidently does not agree with the commonly accepted definition of the word. I read through a few sections of the first link, and already face had met its old companion palm.

Sadly, I could not bring myself to read through all of the article. Rough skimming gave me a good impression of the sort of dead horses being flogged there. Also, it's charming how Tim Wallace presents his comments on Wayne Duck's critique of your first link as "The Truth" and "More Truth". I wonder who is the more dogmatic thinker of the two here.