Dinesh D’Souza on the scientific basis for racism.

Ooo, I almost missed this little gem from Dinesh D’Souza’s self-congratulatory screed on townhall.com:

But wasn’t Jefferson also a man of science? Yes he was, and it was on the basis of the latest science of his day that Jefferson expressed his convictions about black inferiority. Citing the discoveries of modern science, Jefferson noted that “there are varieties in the race of man, distinguished by their powers both of body and of mind…as I see to be the case with races of other animals.” Blacks, Jefferson continued, lack the powers of reason that are evident in whites and even in native Indians. While atheists today like to portray themselves as paragons of equal dignity, Jefferson’s scientific and skeptical outlook contributed not to his anti-slavery sentiments but to his racism.

Now we’ve got a bit of a problem here. If Jefferson did indeed conclude that some races were intellectually inferior to others, did he reach that conclusion through a proper and correct application of the scientific method, or did he allow his own cultural prejudices to (pardon the expression) color his application of scientific principles? If the latter, then D’Souza is being disingenuous at best when he suggests that science led to Jefferson’s racism. But if D’Souza claims that Jefferson was correctly applying valid scientific methods, then that means D’Souza is claiming that racism does have a valid scientific basis. In effect, D’Souza is not just citing Jefferson’s pseudo-scientific racism, he’s agreeing with it.

Either way, it makes D’Souza look like a slimy scumball. Occupational hazard of being a professional mud-slinger, I guess. You can’t take up that line of work and keep your own hands clean at the same time.

 
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D’Souza rewrites history (again)

Dinesh D’Souza continues his war on historical accuracy with another revision, this one giving Christianity credit for ending slavery.

Isn’t it remarkable that atheists, who did virtually nothing to oppose slavery, condemn Christians, who are the ones who abolished it?Consider atheist Sam Harris, who blames Christianity for supporting slavery. Harris is right that slavery existed among the Old Testament Jews, and Paul even instructs slaves to obey their masters. During the civil war both sides quoted the Bible. We know all this. (Yawn, yawn.)

He seems proud of the fact that he simply doesn’t care that Christianity did nothing to oppose slavery, for thousands of years. No doubt he’s also proud to flaunt his ignorance of the fact that abolitionists like Robert Ingersoll were atheists too. Anything’s good, as long as it lets him boast that Christians abolished slavery.

But what makes him so sure that’s a good thing? Sure, slavery is evil, but how do we know it’s evil? The Bible certainly does not tell us so. Such notable atheists as Moses, Jesus, and Paul did absolutely nothing to oppose or condemn the practice of slavery. Whence, then, comes this idea that all men are inherently equal in dignity and worth to all other men? For the answer to that question, we must look outside the church to secular humanism.

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The difference between creationism and science

Commenting on the “hobbit” fossils found in Indonesia not too long ago, Anthony Horvath gives us a good illustration of the difference between science and creationism.

Source Article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main…scihobbit103.xml

And here is the problem: there is no way to be sure that none of the so called ancestors to homo sapiens are not also just defective, deformed, diseased homo sapiens.

Creationists like to accuse evolutionary science of two things. On the one hand, they claim that “Darwinists” ignore the evidence and preach a dogmatic tradition that uniformly presents evolution as an unchallenged fact. On the other hand, they gleefully cite instances where “Darwinists” directly address the evidence (as they routinely do, despite what creationist slanders say), and claim that whenever evolutionists revise their understanding to better fit the evidence, this just shows that we should never trust their conclusions (!) because they might change their minds tomorrow. The above is a typical example of the latter, so let’s have a look at it in more detail.

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No True Scotsman, anyone?

Anthony Horvath has a new post entitled “Dispelling the Myth that Christians Are Hopelessly Divided on Core Beliefs.” Now, I haven’t actually read the post yet, because I want to do a little experiment. I’m willing to bet, just based on the title, that Mr. Horvath is going to define “a true Christian” as one who agrees with him on the “core beliefs” of his faith. By definition, then, no true Scotsman Christian could possibly disagree with him on core beliefs, because anyone who disagrees with him is by definition not a true Christian. The question is, will he take the long way around, by listing what he thinks the core beliefs are and then claiming that all “true” Christians agree with him, or will he take the shorter approach and just admit that this is the tautological argument he’s appealing to?

Well, let’s look at his post and see how prophetic I really am.

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Huckabee supports men abandoning their wives.

Yes, I know, but I couldn’t resist. According to this story in the Baptist Press,

Republican Mike Huckabee said Jan. 10 he stands by a Southern Baptist statement of faith about marriage…The issue was raised during the Republican South Carolina debate in reference to a 1998 full-page USA Today ad affirming an addition to the denomination’s Baptist Faith & Message that says, in part…

…based largely on Ephesians 5, … a husband “is to love his wife as Christ loved the church”…

The USA Today ad addressed Southern Baptists and said, “At a time when divorce is destroying the fabric of our society, you have taken a bold stand for the biblical principles of marriage and family life. We thank you for your courage.”

I find this ironic considering that the example set by Jesus is that his “bride,” the church, hasn’t seen him in almost 2,000 years. You do one really nice thing for your fiancée, a thing that will make it possible for you to be with her forever, and then wham, you’re outa here. And if your bride (the Church) happens to go to pieces in your absence, well, what did you expect? You never showed up when she needed you.

No, if you really love your spouse, the last thing you want to do is follow Jesus’s example.

 
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XFiles Friday: The Ciporhtna Principle

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 4)

Yes, if you hadn’t figured it out, the Ciporhtna Principle is the Anthropic Principle, backwards. I thought it was a suitable intro to this week’s topic. Geisler and Turek make quite the fuss about the Anthropic Principle and how it allegedly proves that God exists. The trouble is, they’ve got it exactly backwards.

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Unfalsifiable vs. “not false”

It seems Mr. Horvath is feeling neglected because I’m paying attention to Christian apologetics ministries other than his own. (You have to admire the ingenuity of someone who can manage to call you a stalker in a two-line complaint about how you’re not obsessing over him enough!) He even puts up a bunch of fresh new posts for me to choose from. Well, I don’t have the heart to disappoint him, so let’s take another field trip, shall we? I’ll skip over the frankly fictitious story about Mother Teresa going to heaven, and the pro-gun argument that makes a big deal about the word “Congress” being in the First Amendment without seeming to notice the word “militia” in the Second. Let’s look, instead, at his post on one of my favorite topics: evolution.

Wasn’t the ‘request’ put to the Creationist proponents that they frame their views in less theistic terms? If it the case that ID is an accommodation to the evolutionary scientist’s camp, then shouldn’t that camp respect the efforts of these alleged ‘closet creationists’ to come to them on the materialist’s terms?

No, the “request” made of creationists is the same request that is made of everybody who wants to claim to do science: Please back up your claims with objectively verifiable evidence that is more consistent with your hypothesis than it is with the alternatives. The reason ID has failed to win any significant scientific support is because they’ve failed to do that, and have instead limited themselves to recycling creationist objections to the theory of evolution (even though they know that evolution–descent with modification from common ancestors–is indeed a fact).

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You want hypocrisy?

In an article reprinted from Prison Fellowship’s “Breakpoint” rag, Mark Earley does what he can to help satisfy global demand for hypocrisy.

With all the attention the atheist agenda is receiving, doesn’t it seem strange that most Americans find heroes among those who reflect a biblical worldview?

Those who reflect a biblical worldview, eh? Tell us more!

Earlier in 2007, CNN began polling people for a list of their heroes. As the results began rolling in, it became apparent that the frontrunners had something in common. Whether or not they professed belief in God, they all lived their lives in a way that would not make sense if He did not exist. [Emph. added]

You read that right. Earley is giving Christianity credit for the heroic deeds done by people who weren’t necessarily even Christian. Oh, sure, he would have liked to claim that the heroes were all Christians, and that non-Christians don’t have what it takes to be heroes. But the facts stubbornly refuse to back him up on that one. No matter, he’ll just “name it and claim it” for God anyway, by claiming that heroic behavior “would not make sense” unless God really exists.

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The meaning of “race.”

I’ve been thinking more about the question of race, as exemplified by Daniel MacIntyre’s comments on the topic. In the post I discussed previously, he writes:

I think I found the problem! the Professor is confusing race with species! For his edification, race is a subset of species. This means not that some of us do not come from African descendants. It simply means that those “groupings of shared characteristics” in different regions are more the rule than the exception.

I’m not “confusing” race with species. I’m pointing out that “race” is a subjective and scientifically vacuous criterion for discriminating between different human individuals. I think the following exercises will help illustrate the problems with making “racial” distinctions based on superficial differences.

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Dinesh D’Souza on Christianity’s “Nazi” contributions to culture

Writing for townhall.com, Dinesh D’Souza resurrects the Hitler zombie—as an analogy for what Christians have contributed to Western culture!

In The God Delusion, Dawkins portrayed the Christian God as a wicked, avaricious, capricious, genocidal maniac. Dawkins even blasted Jesus for such offenses as speaking harshly to his mother. Yet if the Jewish and Christian God was such a monster, what sense does it make for Dawkins to embrace the cultural influence of that deity? It would be like someone saying, “Hitler was a murderous maniac, but I am a cultural Nazi. No, I don’t embrace the specifics of Nazi doctrine, but I appreciate what fascism has done to shape German culture. Let’s give up the specifics of the Hitler program, but let’s also keep Nazi culture along with the fuhrer’s imagery on our coins and monuments.”

Now, as anybody with a passable aptitude for reading comprehension can tell, Dawkins isn’t embracing the cultural influence of any deity. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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