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Censorship Science

Censored Religious Debate Video Released After Public Outrage 717

Posted by samzenpus
from the on-second-thought dept.
First time accepted submitter tkel writes "On October 12, 2011 Theologian John Haught publicly debated prominent evolutionary scientist and atheist Jerry Coyne at the University of Kentucky. Although both agreed to a videotaping of the event, Haught later prohibited its release because he felt he had been treated unfairly. Coyne released blog posts addressing the matter as an offense to free speech. Reviewing their new status in the blogosphere, Haught and his associates at the University of Kentucky have decided to release the video."

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Censored Religious Debate Video Released After Public Outrage

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  • by kheldan (1460303) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @02:02AM (#37930728) Journal
    ..and one giant win for science.
    • by x2A (858210) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @02:27AM (#37930852)

      Is always good to see occasions where the saying "have you ever noticed that the less someone knows, the louder they know it?" is shown to not always be true, that sometimes, the knowledgeable can be noisy too :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      ..and one giant win for science.

      Right. Because Coyne's "win for science" advanced it so much in so many valuable ways for mankind. What a hallmark in human civilization development this was! AND - AND the best part has to be the repeatable experiments he demonstrated for the audience to prove his points.

    • by Evil Pete (73279) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @08:02AM (#37932396) Homepage

      I watched the video and I want my hour back. I thought I was going to get a Creationist being roasted but instead got a reasonable sounding theologian being attacked somewhat irrationally by Coyne. Coyne mentions stuff like the belief in angels etc ... what? Haught wasn't talking about any of that stuff. I think Coyne wrote his talk wanting to counter Creationism irregardless of its relevance to the actual talk. Lame. I thought Haught made reasonable (but sadly incorrect) arguments.

      I thought most of what Coyne said was obvious and he went on and on and overdid it. He was wrong about the necessity of having to talk fast etc. Gees.

      I was going to say more but have decided it is a waste of time.

      • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @11:16AM (#37935084)

        I thought I was going to get a Creationist being roasted but instead got a reasonable sounding theologian being attacked somewhat irrationally by Coyne.

        If you read the exchange between Coyne on his blog and Haught in the comments (comment 122 i think), you get the same impression. Haught says that the attacks and irrationality are why he did not want to release the video.

        But Slashdot scores a win here, as it can drop the word "censorship" and "religion" and out come all the militant athiests to ridicule the idiot theologians. Its a win for them, because they KNOW people cant help starting a flamewar when theres an opportunity to attack religion. I mean, how many people in this very discussion actually READ Coyne's post, and Haught's response? Or watched the video? Or even asked themselves if there was any side of the story other than Coynes? No, 80% of the posters here have an axe to grind, rationality be damned.

  • by bky1701 (979071) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @02:04AM (#37930736) Homepage
    ...but debating these people only give them credibility they do not deserve. The people who believe in creationism will never be swayed away from it, because their reasons for believing in it it are not the same as ours are for believing evolution. It is not out of an attempt to explain nature and the universe, but an egotistical need to be above it. Being descended from primates is offensive to them because they see the sum of humanity as being a jumble of biological components, rather than our arts and sciences. No wonder: religion has usually opposed arts and sciences until they gained enough traction to threaten the religion itself should it resist further.

    It's time for religion to be closed out from the scientific debate altogether. "Faith" has no place in a field based on empirical evidence and doubt. Creationism doesn't even deserve a title as a discredited theory, it belongs with mythology like Atlantis and elves, and should rightly be laughed at with impunity.
    • by LwPhD (1052842) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @02:09AM (#37930758)
      While I'm in favor of piling onto Haught, he isn't a creationist. [wikimedia.org]
      • by dadioflex (854298)
        Watching the video and reading the letter do give a fairly reasonable opposite view from the last article, that has nothing to do with the merits of science or religion. But, ya know, you would have thought a Christian would have turned the other cheek, forgiven his enemy and just released the damn video to get his message across. Christians never seem to remember the forgiveness thing.
        • by JackDW (904211) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:29AM (#37931730) Homepage

          Do we actually know Haught's side of the story? When this topic was last discussed, we only heard what Coyne and his supporters were saying about the refusal to release the video.

          An open letter [uky.edu] has been posted in which Haught says "I never gave permission before or after the panel to post the video". If this is true, then the whole matter needs to be seen in an entirely different light. In particular, I'm not sure exactly what Haught needs to seek forgiveness for? Unless thought crimes such as Christianity are themselves a sort of sin?

      • It's also interesting to read his open letter to Coyne [uky.edu] that is posted along with the video.

        He may be wrong, deluded, full of himself, or just lying, but I have a strong sense that the reporting of this whole event was very badly skewed against Haught. At least now, with the presentations and video made available, we can see how it really played out.

        • by JackDW (904211) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:48AM (#37931802) Homepage

          Well, yes. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this incident was the way that so many people automatically jumped to a wrong conclusion, without even considering that there might be another side to the story. In the last Slashdot discussion, nobody asked what Haught's opinion was. Nobody cared. They just assumed that the nasty creationist theologian had lost the debate and was trying to censor the result, which is a shameful conclusion to jump to.

      • by bky1701 (979071) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @02:28AM (#37930860) Homepage
        Well, that's what I get for not RTFA'ing. However, had I, the same argument can be adapted to gems such as (quoting from Wikipedia because I am lazy at the moment):

        "He also testified that materialism, the philosophy that only matter exists, is "a belief system, no less a belief system than is intelligent design."

        A statement like that shows that you can take the creationism out of the creationist, but not the mindset that led to it. If anything, he is smart enough not to adopt the most easily disproved position, in favor of sneakier ones like "you can't prove religion is false so our positions as just as valid." Of course, again this is me going off Wikipedia having not watched the rather long video yet. He might be a fine and reasonable man... yet something tells me that isn't to be expected.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Dahamma (304068)

          No, you are pretty close. His basic idea is "I believe in all the science you can throw at me, but that still doesn't disprove God". And though he somehow thinks that makes him different, to a real scientist it's not much different from "do you believe in Odin or does Zeus sound more believable?"

          • by meerling (1487879) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @03:35AM (#37931216)
            I think that is usually referred to as "the god of the empty spaces". It's the delusion where anything that isn't already explained by science is declared to be the realm and hand of god.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by dgatwood (11270)

              What we have here is a false dichotomy. Many folks with religious beliefs merely believe that some things that aren't explained by science might be the hand of God, which is subtly but significantly different from the position you describe. Such an attitude does not mean that we should not use science to learn what we can, but rather shows a humble acceptance that some truths may be fundamentally impossible to grasp from within the confines of our universe. They would argue that we may never be able to e

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by wisty (1335733)

                No, that's not it at all. It's the fundamentalist Christians (and at times, Catholics) that are out of hand. Fundamentalist atheists are just a reaction against them.

                Tell a Hindu that the Earth doesn't sit on a turtle. They'll either laugh, or get offended that you stereotype them as a superstitious savage. Tell a Christian that the world is over a billion years old, and they will tell you that scientists only say that to get funding.

                The scientific method *did* benefit from the immense skepticism against ne

                • Fundamentalist atheists are just a reaction against them.

                  And that makes it better somehow? Just a reaction? If you can't control your emotional reactions you have no business in this sort of debate. Neither do the Christian fundies.

                • by digitig (1056110) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @07:17AM (#37932198)

                  Tell a Christian that the world is over a billion years old, and they will tell you that scientists only say that to get funding.

                  I know some Christians online who would react as you describe, but tell any of the Christians I know personally that the world is over a billion years old and they will say "Yes, I know".

              • by icebraining (1313345) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:08AM (#37931626) Homepage

                The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. ⦠For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions.

                -- Einstein.

                • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                  by xhrit (915936)
                  Nope, you are wrong. Einstein was a good American who believed in the christian God with a capital G. Who's belief is naïve now?
              • by Slashdot Assistant (2336034) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:18AM (#37931672)

                The fundamentalist-atheist claim that religion and science are fundamentally at odds is no less a religious belief than traditional theistic religions, and more to the point, is an utterly arrogant belief that effectively spits on the countless contributions of the religious to the very foundations of science as we know it today. And although it is held with the same arrogant religious fervor as the beliefs of the most devout faithful, it is a comically naÃve belief built on nothing more solid than smugness and the believer's own desire to feel superior to someone else, usually to make themselves feel less inferior. Frankly, whenever I see such rubbish, it almost makes me ashamed of the human race as a whole.

                As Einstein put it, "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Claims to the contrary demand extraordinary proof.

                This whole discussion is muddy as Hell. I'll make my position clear:

                Religious people can do science. The church has historically supported science, mainly by virtue of it providing the only centers of learning. Religion can inspire a desire to understand creation. How much of this though is due to religion being the only game in town?

                Religion and science can be fundamentally at odds; heard of young earth creationism and Biblical literalism? How about the persistent Catholic belief of transubstantiation? What about the Scientologist's e-meter, or the claim that praying can alter physical reality? It is not fundamentalist atheism to say that beliefs such as these are incompatible with science, but even so, a creationist could do science so long as they don't insert their beliefs in to their work. That is the important distinction. One may as well ask if rape is compatible with being a good doctor? The answer is yes, so long as the doctor doesn't rape any of his patients. Bacon had a mustache. Are mustaches compatible with science, well yes, except perhaps if the scientist uses their mustache in lieu of beakers and a bunsen burner.

                Oh, and Voltaire said "A witty saying proves nothing." Einstein's beliefs are notoriously difficult to pin-down.

                These people need to be seen in their culture. Could Michelangelo have been a great artist without religion? Sure, so long as someone else was around to act as a patron.

                • by thomst (1640045) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @06:37AM (#37932002) Homepage

                  Religion and science can be fundamentally at odds; heard of young earth creationism and Biblical literalism? How about the persistent Catholic belief of transubstantiation? What about the Scientologist's e-meter, or the claim that praying can alter physical reality?

                  Er ... you're comparing apples and iPods, friend. Creationism, Biblical literalism, and belief in transubstatiation and the physical efficacy of prayer are all examples of faith in things for which there is no physical evidence. Scientology's e-meter, by contrast is a device that measures galvanic skin response. It is not based on faith at all, but on medical/forensic science, combined with a decision tree of common neuroses. That's the devilish thing about it (and the reason why Scientology is so adamantly opposed to psychiatry - because they rightly see it as their competition!): the e-meter/decision tree combination is actually pretty effective at identifying common neuroses in people to whom it is applied. And human nature is such that, having been forced to confront neuroses that they've been repressing, most folks immediately feel better about themselves - and they give Scientology the credit for that, and get sucked into the progressively-more-expensive process that leads to the revelation (at the highest and most expensive end of the scam) that Xenu entombed Thetans in an ice volcano (!) and so on.

                  Disclaimer: I am not a Scientologist, nor do I in any way endorse Scientology as a religion or a lifestyle. I do, however, prefer any discussion to be based on facts, not propaganda.

              • by Lexical_Scope (578133) <dave.one40db@com> on Thursday November 03, 2011 @06:19AM (#37931938)

                Although I'm sure many of the listed scientific luminaries were fully sincere in their faith, it's worth noting that it's only very recently that Atheism as a concept, let alone a life choice, came about. It would never have occurred to a number of these scientists that non-belief was even an option.

                It is through their work however that our knowledge of the universe has grown to a degree where belief in a deity IS strictly optional and the number of serious scientists who profess faith in a Creator has diminished accordingly.

              • by quintesse (654840)

                But when pressed on that matter Einstein also said:

                "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

                You present a list of religious scientists without ever knowing what they "really" thought,

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

        While I'm in favor of piling onto Haught, he isn't a creationist.

        Sure he is. "Intelligent Design" is just creationism with a party hat.

        From the wiki link you waved:

        He also testified that materialism, the philosophy that only matter exists, is "a belief system, no less a belief system than is intelligent design. And as such, it has absolutely no place in the classroom, and teachers of evolution should not lead their students craftily or explicitly to ... feel that they have to embrace a materialistic world-

    • Summary: Facts are non-negotiable.

    • by pwizard2 (920421) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @02:22AM (#37930820)
      Here's something that blows the creationist’s mind: vestigial organs/parts. If a creator independently designed each organism, then lots of stuff that shouldn't be there somehow made it into the finished product. This excellent article explains it better than I could: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/jury-rigged.html [talkorigins.org]

      Creationists also have a hard time talking their way around the massive problems with Noah's flood: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html [talkorigins.org]

      Full disclosure: I used to be a born again christian, (these days I consider myself an agnostic... I don't really know if there's a god or not) but sites like these really opened my eyes. Most people only believe because they are told the same things over and over again from childhood and free thought is discouraged. I don't know if ministers/seminaries are ignorant of the true history of Christianity or if they are aware and simply covering it up to maintain control over people. Bible "study" is simply re-indoctrinating yourself over and over. Once something happens in your life to make you start questioning what you've been told, your whole worldview inevitably falls apart. It's only a matter of time.
      • I don't really know if there's a god or not either, but I consider myself an atheist anyway because I would be a lot more surprised if it turned out there is. Plus it pisses off my family.

        • by pwizard2 (920421) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @02:54AM (#37931030)
          In my case, I don't WANT to piss off my family. My dad has been an atheist for years so he wouldn't care, but my mom has always been hyper-religious and I don't want to strain that relationship. I was "in the closet" about my beliefs for some time even though I continued to play the part. Eventually I just couldn't take it anymore and I came out. She took it hard and tried to "scare" me back into the fold but time heals all wounds. The Pauline doctrine is a huge part of what broke my faith... to actually adhere to it you would have to essentially stop being human, and telling yourself that you were a worthless "sinner" over and over again and perpetually begging for forgiveness is incredibly damaging.

          If there is a god, I'm very certain that it isn't the spiteful yahweh god of the old testament. Even Jesus seems to be a composite of lots of earlier pagan traditions. Lots of what he said can be traced back to earlier philosophers and the similarities are so uncanny that it's basically plagiarism. (another good site is http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/ [jesusneverexisted.com] ) Even when I was still indoctrinated I noticed lots of inconsistencies in the New testament but I was conditioned not to ask questions and just accept it.
          • by Tom (822) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:25AM (#37931708) Homepage Journal

            Even Jesus seems to be a composite of lots of earlier pagan traditions. Lots of what he said can be traced back to earlier philosophers and the similarities are so uncanny that it's basically plagiarism.

            Not just what he said. There are also stories much like his or parts of his all around the middle east at that time. Basically, The Life of Brian is probably the most accurate movie regarding the proliferance of people a lot like Jesus.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by bky1701 (979071)
        Kind of in the same manner as vestigial organs, what always kind of made me wonder was why we need men and women if humans are designed in God's image. Strictly speaking, we should reproduce by agamogenesis. Unless there is something the bible isn't telling us... it does seem fairly insistent that God is a "he" in ever version I saw. oh well, I get fridge logic from religion. At least it has a better ending than lost.

        As far as agnostic, I think the term is kind of useless. I don't think anyone takes the
      • And then there's others of us who followed the opposite path from atheism/agnosticism to being some sort of theist. In that boat, I can say that it's going to take a whole lot more than anything science has shown me thus far to change my mind. The only thing for me is that I actually believe that science and faith can and should live harmoniously; I'm not the type to discredit evolution, etc. just because it doesn't match some interpretation of the bible that I've been told all my life (actually, it matches

      • by Lazy Jones (8403) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @03:57AM (#37931324) Homepage Journal

        If a creator independently designed each organism, then lots of stuff that shouldn't be there somehow made it into the finished product.

        So? Perhaps God did it for amusement, perhaps he's artistically inclined. Look at the average painter's paintings (and the stuff the doesn't even like himself and destroys/hides), does he produce useful or aesthetically perfect paintings? How can flaws in nature be an argument against creationism any more than they can be used against evolution theory, when evolution supposedly optimizes away flawed designs in the long run?
        (before you ask, I'm an atheist/agnostic, but I find it pointless to even debate particular ideas of people suffering from a popular form of mass psychosis)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by David Gerard (12369)

        Creation science is one of the greatest sources of really concentrated stupidity to be found anywhere.

        Ladeez gemmun, I give you: baraminology [rationalwiki.org].

      • by Tom (822) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @05:18AM (#37931670) Homepage Journal

        Creationists also have a hard time talking their way around the massive problems with Noah's flood: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-noahs-ark.html [talkorigins.org]

        Really? You need a page to explain it? I always thought it'd be a ton easier:

        Look: Noah took in all the animals. Let's just accept that point. But what about all the plants? Not many of the plants we have around today would survive 40 days submerged. So either they evolved after the flood (say hi to evolution) or the bible forgets to mention a second creation (the holy book incomplete?) or it's all a big pile of nonsense.

        • Um. Seeds?
        • by argStyopa (232550)

          Or the mass of 2 of each of the 30 million animal species?
          Or the ability of him to save both salt- and freshwater fish?
          Or the time it would take 2 examples of each species or, say, snails to travel from (say) the opposite side of the world, or at least the poles, to his ark?
          Or the logical impossibility of the entire land surface of the planet being covered with water...and then not?

          Seriously, one really doesn't need much explanation to see that the Noah story simply cannot be literally true.

          Now, the idea th

    • Careful, you sound like you may fit in well with the eminent scientists who back in the day dismissed a roman catholic priest's "hypothesis of the primeval atom". Dismissing it because (1) it came from a priest and (2) it "smelled of creationism". Today we know this theory by a phrase used by these scientists to mock the hypothesis, "the big bang theory". Men of science are not above letting their personal biases and social/group norms interfere with their objectivity.

      Many religious people and some churc
      • by bky1701 (979071) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @03:09AM (#37931092) Homepage

        Careful, you sound like you may fit in well with the eminent scientists who back in the day dismissed a roman catholic priest's "hypothesis of the primeval atom". Dismissing it because (1) it came from a priest and (2) it "smelled of creationism". Today we know this theory by a phrase used by these scientists to mock the hypothesis, "the big bang theory". Men of science are not above letting their personal biases and social/group norms interfere with their objectivity.

        And yet, it is now a part of the canon of science, in spite of that. I'm still wondering when major religions will not just stop questioning, but actually declare a part of their religion, things like evolution and quantum mechanics. It seems the closest they can get is dragged by public outcry into making some sort of declaration not to talk about it anymore. Point being, science might have some bias, and doesn't everything, but it definitely overcomes it faster.

        In the end, it is what you say, not who you are, that matters. The problem I have is when people who have avowed beliefs not backed by any form of evidence begin to make claims involving them. Want to be a creationist christian and a chemist? Sure, why not. But don't act as if I am small-minded if I am more suspicious of him than of others when the same person goes into biology and begins making findings that he claims undermine evolution. Further, I am entirely within my right to laugh at every "theologian," preacher, or priest which declares he knows better than science, yet refuses to provide evidence, or says religion is on the same level as science.

        "Many religious people and some churches believe that belief in god may require faith but that understanding god's creation is done through science. That includes both the evolution the universe and the evolution of life."

        Which is all fine and good, but that doesn't give them the right to attempt to dictate what is science, should it offend them at some point. I am aware of churches that are quite admittedly progressive, but thank you, I'll still take the word of actual scientists on matters of science.

        • by perpenso (1613749) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @04:10AM (#37931388)

          I'm still wondering when major religions will not just stop questioning, but actually declare a part of their religion, things like evolution and quantum mechanics. It seems the closest they can get is dragged by public outcry into making some sort of declaration not to talk about it anymore.

          The roman catholic church operates an observatory, supports academic research into cosmology and works with leading observatories and cosmologists around the world. They seem to be actively researching the evolution of the universe, quantum mechanics, etc. Regarding the evolution of life I believe the church says there is no conflict with faith and the scientific findings regarding evolution. They teach evolution in their science classes. They don't take the book of genesis literally. I believe various other churches have similar perspectives.

          I am aware of churches that are quite admittedly progressive, but thank you, I'll still take the word of actual scientists on matters of science.

          I'm just pointing out that some folks with a deep faith are also actual scientists. A bishop, Grosseteste, helped lay out the framework for the scientific method and also did early work in optics. Another bishop, Saint Albert, did early work in chemistry and biological field research. Copernicus was a clergyman. A friar, Mendel, did early genetics research. A priest, Lemaitre, revolutionized cosmology is recent history.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_science#Vatican_Observatory [wikipedia.org]

    • by kheldan (1460303)
      This isn't entirely about people's beliefs. It's mainly about the few (being religious leaders) holding power over the many (being religious followers), and not wanting to have that power taken away from them by logic and reason. I personally know people who are one flavor of Christian or another, but they believe in evolution, and also believe that the sciences, technology, and a diverse education all are good things, and most of them are very educated (at least a Bachelor's, if not higher). For them their
  • Streisand Effect (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ebs16 (1069862)
    "Censored Religious Debate Video Released After Public Outrage"..... to an audience 20x larger than would otherwise be present.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2011 @02:42AM (#37930952)

    ...the nightmare is over. I don't know how many sleepless nights I've had since this began. Now, we can come together, as a nation, and begin the healing process, by one group of people gloating that they made better logical arguments against another group of people that don't use logic anyway.

    Truly, the long night is over.

  • by dell623 (2021586) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @03:08AM (#37931088)

    My initial views about this were similar to the popular sentiment on slashdot.

    However, it is a shame that the person at the receiving end of the criticism wasn't given a chance to present his version of things, and now that he has, it has still not received the same attention that the original controversy did here on slashdot.

    Here is John Haught's own version of the events: http://www.uky.edu/OtherOrgs/GainesCenter/Letter%20To%20Jerry%20Coyne.pdf [uky.edu]

    I am sure I will disagree with his views if and when I do read about them. And I have no idea how accurate his version of the events is, but he damned well has the right to be heard.

    • by data2 (1382587)

      As this is a PDF, here is the full answer:
      "An open Letter to Jerry Coyne:
      Dear Jerry,
      Your distorted reading of my motivation for not releasing the video of our conversation
      in Kentucky has given birth to an inordinate number of hostile letters to me. Because of
      misleading statements on your website (11/1/2011), I have received a considerable
      amount of hate mail, often laced with obscenities, though often also tempered with
      inquisitive politeness. The mail mostly complains about my “cowardly” reneging

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wvmarle (1070040)

      The blog posting by Coyne was, at least to me, also not very trustworthy. It was so full of mudslinging and name calling that he really lost credibility to me in this matter.

      Having read Coyne's blog post linked to the previous /. post, I almost start to fully believe remarks like

      I have had wonderful conversations with many scientific skeptics over the years, but my meeting with you was exceptionally dismaying and unproductive.

      by Haught. I haven't watched the video, and have no intention to do so, as both parties and actually mostly Coyne have not given me the idea that this would be a really interesting debate where people would respect one another's vi

  • by Dahamma (304068) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @03:08AM (#37931090)

    "it's release"!? For the love of... ok, refresher course...

    The Oatmeal [theoatmeal.com]

  • Wtf Slashdot... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xyourfacekillerx (939258) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @04:51AM (#37931562)
    Nothing Coyne said had anything to do with science, reason or argument. He just made a big rant online with zero intellectual content whatsoever. He even cites the fact Slashdot featured his retarded rant as evidence he "won" the argument. Won the debate? So being featured on slashdot proves God doesn't exist? Seriously editors, what is this stupidity you're posting?
    • Re:Wtf Slashdot... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tenchikaibyaku (1847212) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @07:42AM (#37932274)
      Eh, what the hell? You are complaining that his "rant" posted online isn't intellectual? Why would his rant need to be more intellectual than a simple statement of facts regarding the censorship (I use the term loosely here) of the video? And can you point me to where he ever makes the claim that being posted on slashdot proves that he won the debate?

      Based on your comment I don't think you've bothered to read more than a few random words of these stories and the associated blog posts.
  • by flappinbooger (574405) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @08:15AM (#37932488) Homepage
    I'll "come out" and chime in on this.

    I'm a Christian. There, I said it. I've been hanging out on Slashdot for over 10 years. And I'm a Christian. Hold on, I'm not done yet.

    I am a degreed engineer from one of the top private engineering schools in the country. I watch sci-fi. A lot. I believe in Evolution. I don't think humans evolved from pond scum OR monkeys. I believe in God. I believe he is on our side and is in favor of us. I believe God made the universe. I believe in the Bible. (See below) I have experienced things in my life which reinforce my beliefs. I know strict interpretation of the Bible says the earth is 6000 years old. I wasn't there then, I'm not going to argue about it. I'll leave that to people like Kent Hovind, he likes to argue.

    I hate "religion". Religion has done more to harm people and discredit belief in God more than anything. Religion does not equal belief in God nor is the opposite true either. Religion is something people created.

    I am suspicious there are important parts of the Bible that have been removed. There are things we've forgotten and not been told. I believe that there are certain parts of eastern mysticism that the Christian ought to pay attention to, such as meditation and the energy points in the body. See David Sereda regarding spirituality across religious boundary lines.

    As a Christian, an Engineer and a Technologist I point to the spooky stuff in Quantum Physics as an olive branch between the two camps. There is a God, and we don't understand enough things yet to make science agree with that.
    • by inasity_rules (1110095) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @09:23AM (#37933350) Journal

      I'm also a Christian. (And not worried about karma... :) ) I came here for the tech news and got sucked into the wars... (Vi rules! Windows Sucks!)

      But I would disagree with you, while I am not a deist, I do believe that the workings of the universe can be completely explained by science, down to the spooky stuff in Quantum Physics. If God is God, he is God of that too, but I don't think we ever need to look for a gap for God to fill in science. That to me diminishes God to nothing more than a cop out.

      • the universe cannot be completely explained by science in cases where rules break down, like in a black hole or a few peta seconds after the big bang. Science is constantly evolving as well, coming up with new theories and evidence to support our best explanations as to how the universe works. Do you honestly believe there will be a point where humanity learns all the secrets and has an understanding of everything? I think there will be a lot of good guesses, but no one will really know everything, and th

    • Yes, religions are something that people created. A massive set of mutually incompatible often warring belief sets that all proclaim they are the one true one.

      Christianity is one of those religions.

      Certainly not more than one of these views can be correct. And there is no logical way to choose one. So people tend to adhere to the one that is prevalent in their culture. Not because they have support for their belief in observable phenomena, but because they were told from birth to have faith.

      Now if there was

    • by LateArthurDent (1403947) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @11:49AM (#37935678)

      I'm a Christian. There, I said it. I've been hanging out on Slashdot for over 10 years. And I'm a Christian.

      Heh. So what? The majority of slashdot readers are christians. There's a higher percentage of atheists here, but that's because there's a higher percentage of atheists among techies. That's still not a majority, you're just more likely to come across them on slashdot and get a reply.

      I am a degreed engineer from one of the top private engineering schools in the country. I watch sci-fi. A lot. I believe in Evolution.

      Ok.

      I don't think humans evolved from pond scum OR monkeys.

      What does that mean? You're commenting on how pond scum and monkeys are bad terms for the organic material in primordial earth and our primate ancestors? Or are you saying we don't come from those things? If you're saying we didn't evolve from these things, what did we evolve from? I mean, you believe in evolution, so you believe we evolved, right? Or did everything else evolve, and just not humans. Dude, that was confusing.

      I believe in God. I believe he is on our side and is in favor of us. I believe God made the universe.

      That's your prerogative, it's fine. I don't have a beef with that.

      I believe in the Bible.

      Literally? Because we have scientific evidence that proves beyond the shadow of a doubt the Bible is not literally true. If you want to believe they are allegories, you are free to believe that. If you want to believe in the literal creation story, the flood, and all that....well, you're being intellectually dishonest with yourself by ignoring evidence that goes against your beliefs.

      I know strict interpretation of the Bible says the earth is 6000 years old. I wasn't there then, I'm not going to argue about it.

      There are other dating methods, you don't need to be there. It's like watching one of the sci-fi movies you like and going, "they say they used cgi for the special effects, but I wasn't there for the filming. I'm not going to argue whether this is real or not."

      As a Christian, an Engineer and a Technologist I point to the spooky stuff in Quantum Physics as an olive branch between the two camps.

      "I don't understand Quantum Physics, so I think God has something to do with it." Pointing out things you don't understand doesn't prove it can't be understood. Same goes for things nobody understands. We understand a whole lot more about the universe now than we did 200 years ago, and we'll understand a whole lot more 200 years from now.

      There is a God, and we don't understand enough things yet to make science agree with that.

      If you want to take the existence of God as an axiom, you are completely free to do so. Just understand that you've done that. You've made a choice and said, "I believe God exists no matter what. I take it on faith that it's true." This prevents you from using stupid arguments trying to prove the existence of God, and it prevents others from trying to use stupid arguments to try to prove God doesn't exist. It's an unfalsifiable concept, it's not the realm of science. Always believe on evidence first. For everything else, you can have faith or not. Just don't try to force the rest of us to share your faith, and we'll get along fine. If anyone tries to force their lack of faith on you, I'll side with you on that. Even if I don't share your faith, I believe you have the right to lead the life you want according to the principles you hold dear.

  • by Fished (574624) <amphigory@gmail.cPERIODom minus punct> on Thursday November 03, 2011 @08:20AM (#37932538)
    I suggest you watch the video. As I suggested in a previous post, Jerry Coyne is rather childish and launches a horrible, sneering, ad hominem argument. Haught's argument is much better reasoned and much better -- regardless of who "won."
  • by Nermal (7573) on Thursday November 03, 2011 @11:58AM (#37935806) Homepage

    I would recommend that anyone, before reaching conclusions about what occurred, read Haught's open letter to Coyne [uky.edu] (which really should have been linked from TFA) and, of course, watch the video.

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