User talk:Philip J. Rayment

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Welcome to Wikipedia, and thanks for your contribution on Talk:List of closed Melbourne railway stations! It's good to have people here who are knowledgeable about Melbourne.

Was the station in Kororoit Creek Road itself, or just nearby? Also, have you had a look at some of the other blanks in the main list? Any assistance you could give would be much appreciated.

Ambivalenthysteria 06:40, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Just to let you know that I am watching. :) With admiration, I must say. But I am keeping my signature on the edits and comments of Creationism and its Talk page for now to a minimum--just to let things cool off a bit. I saw you changed the label again to "One point of view." Bravo! I cannot believe the steadfastness of some certain individual in insisting that the Encyclopedia Britannica is creationist! I am curious what happens next! :) Here is some data that may prove useful as you make your next decisions. There were some late night exchanges on the bottoms of the Rednblu, FeloniousMonk, and Pjacobi Talk pages that you might like to know about. I suggest you don't bother spending too much time with those orations if they don't give you ideas in how to proceed. I'll be watching. And of course, anything we say on these talk pages can and will be used against us! :)) As if we had anything to hide. ---Rednblu 00:29, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

POV Edits to Talk:Creationism[edit]

I've reverted your POV comments to the previous version that RednBlu and myself had settled on. For the sake of other readers and a fair description of the issue, please keep POV comments out of the discussion outline for Talk:Creationism, you can make your points in the discussion itself at Talk:Creationism/What_is_wrong_with_the_lead_section--FeloniousMonk 03:40, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)


NB: My responses to Adam, shown here highlighted, were originally posted on his talk page([1]), but they have been deleted from there, and for completeness I have copied them into here

Adam, I've altered the captions in Trams in Melbourne (why did you alter the caption of the one that was already there?), but you might like to add in where they were taken. I think No. 3 (and possibly No. 2 also) is in Victoria Parade, but I'm not certain enough to say so.

Also, there is a problem with the photographs. Clicking on either of the first two shows an enlarged version of a different photograph. The third one works okay. I have no idea what the problem is here, so am unable to fix it.

On your opinions regarding Wikipedia, whilst I agree with you on anonymous people not making edits, I don't agree on most of the rest. But the thing that I disagree with most strongly is your bigoted (sorry for the strong word, but I feel that it's the appropriate word) view that wikipedia should adopt one particular worldview (humanism) to the exlusion of all others (e.g. Christian)!
Philip J. Rayment 00:51, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Philip, all three photos were taken in Victoria Pde, the top two at the stop outside the Eye and Ear Hospital and the third a bit further west outside St Vincent's. The photos all click through to the correct versions for me.

On Wikipedia's world-view, I did not mean to use "humanist" to suggest "anti-Christian." To most people it means simply "reflecting broadly humane values." While I would certainly oppose articles which overtly reflected a Christian ideology, I would also oppose those which reflected an anti-Christian ideology. But I do maintain that Wikipedia must take a rationalist and secular view. Thus I would oppose an article saying "God made the world in seven days," because that is a not a proposition which can be scientifically sustained. Adam 02:46, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

In response to your comments on my talk page:
  • The problem with the tram pictures seems to be something to do with updating. For the first picture, I was still seeing the old picture that yours replaced. When I clicked through, I got your new picture. For the second picture, however, I saw your new picture and clicking through gave me the old one! It now seems to be working okay for me, but now I'll have to go back and change the captions! As they are (nearly) all at the same place, I won't include the location in the captions.
  • I notice that Wikipedia doesn't handle pictures properly in its history. Showing the Tram page as it was before you uploaded the new pictures still gives the new pictures, but with the old captions. Thus your picture of an A class tram shows up in the section about W-class trams, saying that it is a W class! (See [2])
  • Regarding "humanist", perhaps it was your use of the word in the same phrase as "secular" and "rationalist" that misled me. Your statement seemed to be very much one of excluding a Christian (for example) worldview. I wouldn't expect Wikipedia to state (as a matter of fact) that the world was created in seven days. But then neither would I expect it to state (as a matter of fact) that the universe was billions of years old and commenced from the "Big Bang", as they are also ideas deriving from particular worldviews (in this case, secular/secular humanist/agnostic/atheistic/etc. worldviews).
  • By the way, just out of curiosity, why did you create my user page?
Philip J. Rayment 03:59, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I created a User page because I dislike red links, as do most other Wikipedians. Red links cry out for articles!

I think we do have a fundamental difference in opinions about the nature of knowledge, which is a problem, since we are both supposed to working for the name knowledge-based project. The statement "God made the world in seven days" is a statement of faith. Chistians who believe it do so based on scripture, which they consider to be a revelation of the word of God. The statement "The universe is billions of years old and was created at the Big Bang" is a statement of science, based on empirical observation interpreted through reason. It might prove to be a false statement, but if it is false that is because both our observation and our reasoning are imperfect, and the path to better knowledge lies through more observation and better reasoning. An encyclopaedia has to stand for one form of knowledge or the other, it cannot really encompass both, since they are in contradiction. My view is that Wikipedia should stand for knowledge based on science and not on revelation. Adam 08:36, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

<<The statement "The universe is billions of years old and was created at the Big Bang" is a statement of science, based on empirical observation interpreted through reason>>
Rather, the statement is an interpretation of empirical evidence made in the context of a particular worldview, a worldview that doesn't allow for a young, created universe. Creationists take the same evidence and interpret it differently, because they have a different worldview. Empirical science requires observation and repeatability, neither of which are possible for past events. So all such explanations about the past are of necessity interpretations of the evidence, and applying the label 'scientific' to them is therefore dubious at best. Philip J. Rayment 15:41, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)

A simple request[edit]

Please stop your repeated characterizations of me as an "evolutionist", etc.. I have corrected you once on this already but I see you're still at it. One more time, you're misrepresenting me and my position- I'm a Rationalist and I'm asking that you stop.--FeloniousMonk 01:48, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I responded to your previous "correction" by pointing out that I was using the word to mean someone who believes in evolution. I believe that to be a correct use of the word, and I believe that you do believe in evolution. Could you therefore point out exactly how it is wrong? People can be labelled in many ways. I could be (correctly) labelled an Australian, a Christian, a protestant, an evangelical, a creationist, etc. Which one of those I would use depends on the circumstances. If the context is creation and evolution, then referring to you as an evolutionist seems entirely appropriate. When it comes to names, I generally do like to use the name that the person themself prefers (thus I like to be called Philip rather than Phil), but when it comes to descriptive terms, I would prefer to use the most appropriate term for the particular context. Please explain to me where my thinking is wrong on this. Philip J. Rayment 02:35, 27 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Because it is invalid to say someone believes in a scientific theory, since by the definition of Popper, science is based on the elimination of belief. In the academic sphere, evolutionist is given for something who studies and works on evolution as a career, not to someone who agrees currently with its principles, which is generally taken as true by default.--Fangz 00:52, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

<<Because it is invalid to say someone believes in a scientific theory, since by the definition of Popper, science is based on the elimination of belief.>>
That surely depends on your use of the word "believe". According to Merriam-Webster Online, one of the meanings is "to accept as true, genuine, or real". With that definition, it is quite proper to say that someone believes in evolution.

<<In the academic sphere, evolutionist is given for something who studies and works on evolution as a career, not to someone who agrees currently with its principles, ...>>
Merriam-Webster Online does not give a definition for evolutionist, but for -ist, it offers the following among others:

  • one that specializes in a (specified) art or science or skill.
  • one that adheres to or advocates a (specified) doctrine or system or code of behavior

The first definition is consistent with what you are saying, but the second is consistent with my use of the word. So my use would appear to be legimate.
The Oxford dictionary, however, does give a definition, and one definition only, that being:

  • a person who believes in the theories of evolution and natural selection.

This indicates that my use is accurate and yours is not!
But even if I accept your use, what word should I use instead to indicate someone that believes evolution to be true?
Philip J. Rayment 02:25, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

But not everyone who agrees with evolution at present believes in it!


  • A principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief, as by a religious, political, scientific, or philosophic group; dogma.
  • A rule or principle of law, especially when established by precedent.
  • A statement of official government policy, especially in foreign affairs and military strategy.

And so, if you do not believe in evolution, you cannot be an -ist.

Then there is the issue of acceptance. What do you mean by accept something to be true? In the general sphere of creationist, belief is taken as acceptance - without question. As in, I believe X, Y and Z are self-evident etc etc. By Popper, we never accept a theory as true. We accept there is no reason at present to believe it is false, and we accept that it is useful as a theory. We never accept something to be true, because we can never prove that to be so.

<<But even if I accept your use, what word should I use instead to indicate someone that believes evolution to be true?>>

Evolutionist. But not every scientific supporter of evolution is an evolution-ist.--Fangz 00:57, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)

<<But not everyone who agrees with evolution at present believes in it!>>
Huh? To substitute other words for "believes", you are saying that "not everyone who agrees with evolution accepts it as true, genuine, or real"! Could you explain that to me?

<<By Popper, we never accept a theory as true. We accept there is no reason at present to believe it is false, and we accept that it is useful as a theory. We never accept something to be true, because we can never prove that to be so.>>
Now you are splitting hairs and playing with words. I accept that in science nothing can ever be proved, but you are taking that concept too far. Are you saying that you don't accept that it's true that you exist, that the world exists, that science exists, that we are both typing in English, etc. etc.? Would you stand up in a group of evolutionary biologists and state for all to hear that you don't accept that evolution is true (without clarifying what you mean by that sentence)? Even if you would do that, do you really think that those biologists would understand you to mean what you have just written above?
Philip J. Rayment 01:58, 4 Nov 2004 (UTC)

according to genesis[edit]

heya -- rednblue + i have been working on an "alternative" to the creation according to genesis page , and we're gonna bring it up for a vote when we're done -- i'd REALLY appreciate your help in making it shine if you would -- i just got tired of edit-warring with mr. everything-in-the-bible-is-a-hateful-conspiracy-and-horrible-evil-lie Cheesedreams. User:Rednblu/tempMinorityOpinionPage -- thanks! Ungtss 03:26, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

great work! any other substantive ideas to put in? Ungtss 15:03, 22 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Flood geology[edit]

i don't know if it's on your watchlist, but i've started fleshing it out -- appreciate all the help i can get:). (naughty, naughty edit conflict!:) Ungtss 03:47, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)


heya! appreciate your clearing up the true YEC take on things so much of the time -- like i say, i don't go to church, so i'm kinda out of the loop with these things:). i'll try to use the preview button more often ... i find for some reason i always get errors when i use it -- either it won't upload or somebody preempts me ... but i'll try and do better when things are quiet:). Ungtss 15:21, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

flood myths[edit]

hey ... we've got censorship problems on the flood myth page ... would appreciate your help in resolving them whenever you get the chance:). Ungtss 00:22, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Another time it is better never to revert text because you don't understand it. Revert vandalism and graffiti and pov assertions made in bad faith. Post doubtful text in the Talk page to be worked on. We'll edit it so that you do understand it. Thanks. --Wetman 15:32, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)


hey bro -- i've been working on Creation biology -- care to take a look and make all the edits you feel are appropriate before i link it up to the creationism template and subject it to the usual vandalism? Ungtss 17:22, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

another one[edit]

care to work your magic on Creation geology? Ungtss 19:29, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Hi, can you try to reason with user: He isn't doing himself any favours at the moment and might be more receptive to reasoning from someone who shares his POV rather from an evil atheist scientist. Tell him he can either start to be reasonable, or we'll have to escalate it further and go to the arbcom and have him banned. Nibbling away and being polite rather than being overly aggressive would ultimately bring better results for you. (Cheesedreams didn't realise this from the opposite angle and she ended up in trouble). He could be a good contributor to your creation wiki, mind. Dunc| 21:40, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Thanks for drawing this to my attention. However, having reviewed the claims on Wikipedia:Requests for comment/, I cannot support the accusations against him, as I have now stated there. Philip J. Rayment 11:14, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Alleged inconsistencies in the Bible[edit]

I modified the text to mention Genesis 5:4 (removing the "this is utterly false" comment, though I agree with that comment).

Lilith is sometimes presented as the mother of the "other woman" who is available for Seth to marry. I think the article on Lilith goes into more detail there. Mpolo 13:59, Mar 15, 2005 (UTC)

rfc's all around ...[edit]

i've got schroeder up for rfc in response to his frivolous rfc of me. i note he continues to abuse you on young earth creationism, as i know he's been doing for months. if you're interested, feel free to contribute to the RfC. Wikipedia:Requests for comment/JoshuaSchroeder Personally, i've boycotted the creationism pages due to the seemingly endless systemic bias, so as soon as his charade of a RfC is deleted, you'll have to battle him all by yourself -- but i figured i'd let you know, it's been a great pleasure working with you:). Ungtss 16:29, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Could you look at Young Earth Creationism again?[edit]

Hey, could you look at Young Earth Creationism again? One editor has basically declared an edit war against eny editor who wants to have the full creation story in the Young Earth Creationism article. As you know, I'm no YEC, but I fully support the article having a balanced viewpoint, and I don't think YEC makes any sense unless we include the full creation story. Samboy 18:51, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

(butting in). i fear the only way this nonsense will ever end is if a number of people of your intellectual persuasion (a viewpoint which is absolutely invaluable here -- you wonderful souls who hold to the goal of fairly representing beliefs with which you disagree) stand up to him and force him to stop. One on one edit wars will never succeed with him (or his previous iterations, Bensaccount and Cheesedreams). It's gonna take a consensus effort among evolutionists and creationists alike to fight off this nonsense. otherwise, these pages will ALWAYS be a pov campaign by the latest zealot to get off the boat:(. Ungtss 19:04, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Formal invitation[edit]

Mr. Rayment, you've been invited to become a member of FACTS. If you'd like to learn more, have a look around the society: User:FACTS. Hope to see you there:). Ungtss 23:18, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Please help with vandalism[edit]

Hi there. There are articles such as modern geocentrism, created kinds and Creationist cosmologies where an anon has made perfectly good edits and one Joshua Schroeder keeps on knocking them off. 09:17, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Sadly, i'm afraid it's never going to end with him. what we need are specific policies, and the enforcement of those policies, or pov warriors like schroeder will simply continue to vandalize and suppress ideas that scare him. toward that end, i would greatly appreciate your assistance, however, at Wikiproject:FACTS, in attempting to work around his nonsense (and the nonsense of those like him) in the hope of eventually achieving npov on the main pages. Ungtss 13:45, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I see that David Cannon is a sysop now, and he has contributed to some YEC articles. I'll have a look at that FACTS project. 04:31, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hey Phillip, I like your profile. I think it is amazing to see a creationist come out of Austrailia or even a Christian for that matter. No offense to Austrailians, but it is pretty secular over down under there.

Have you ever heard of Doug Stanton? He is an evangelist from Austrailia, who comes to Minnesota to preach. Sorry, to ask you questions here, but I didn't see an e-mail address. you can reply if you like at

Beneficial Mutation and Natural Selection[edit]

If creationists believe in this stuff, then what is the difference b/w them and evolution? Also, how do you explain dinosaurs. Also, how do you know your religion is right and other people's is wrong. Do you think you are smarter than Asian buddists? Are you racist? Mike

If creationists believe in this stuff, then what is the difference b/w them and evolution?

You don't know? How is it that you seem to think that you know enough about the issue to be surprised that I believe it, yet don't know the answer to this? Perhaps you don't really know much about it at all? Perhaps you are simply bigoted.
But as you asked, I'll save you the bother of searching for the answer yourself, and point you to Genetics: no friend of evolution which will answer your question about beneficial mutations and natural selection.

Also, how do you explain dinosaurs.

What is there to explain? You haven't stated what the problem with dinosaurs is that I need to explain.
Also, how do you know your religion is right and other people's is wrong. Do you think you are smarter than Asian buddists?
I don't think I'm smarter than Asian Buddhists. People can be very intelligent but wrong. How do you know that your beliefs are right and mine are wrong?
Are you racist?
No, why would you think that? The Bible teaches that we are all descended from one original couple, that we are all children of God. That leaves little room for racism. Darwin, on the other hand, believed that the Australian Aborigines were less evolved than the white race. So are you racist?
Philip J. Rayment 06:25, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Are you saying all non-fundamentalists are racists if they believe in evolution? Wow... way to simplify the issues Phil. -- 09:32, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
Not at all. That was your simplistic conclusion. Philip J. Rayment 17:05, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Actually, it was yours Phil. see below:

Darwin, on the other hand, believed that the Australian Aborigines were less evolved than the white race. So are you racist?

-- 03:49, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

On the contrary, it was you that originally asked if I was racist, apparently solely on the strength of me being a creationist. I replied in like manner by asking if you were a racist. If you think that it is simplistic for me to ask if you are a racist on the basis of you being an evolutionist, then surely it is simplistic for you you have asked me a similar question in the first place. Additionally, because evolution and racism have strong links, such as Darwin's views on the matter, I actually had more basis for asking the question than you did. — Philip J. Rayment 04:30, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Nice... Bit weird how you manage to contradict yourself in the space of one paragraph on one point. You complain about my simplicity, yet reaffirm your own. Congratulations, I am sure it's only days until you convert the masses.
I find it a little ironic that someone who believes in the bible word for word would lecture someone else about racial division. Plus I am quite certain that your christian bretheran have committed numerous atrocities such as slavery and slaughter in the name of Christianity. I wouldn't consider it fair game to generalise that all current Christians have such warped beliefs, yet you have no problem arguing that all evolutionists believe in racial profiling. You appear to have a massive chip on your shoulder Phillipe, do you think god would be proud of you spending hours a day on the internet fighting wikipedia edit crusades? You will spend eternity in purgatory you stubborn, blinkered, zealot.

-- 13:57, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Bit weird how you manage to contradict yourself in the space of one paragraph on one point. You complain about my simplicity, yet reaffirm your own.
How did I contradict myself? How did I supposedly reaffirm my own simplicity?
I find it a little ironic that someone who believes in the bible word for word would lecture someone else about racial division.
Due, no doubt, to your own blinkered views on what the Bible teaches. The Bible does not support racism and you have offered no argument that it does. Yet you somehow presume to suggest that I'm racist because I believe the Bible.
Plus I am quite certain that your christian bretheran have committed numerous atrocities such as slavery and slaughter in the name of Christianity.
Then you would be wrong. Sure, some people probably have done such things, but anybody could do such things and claim to be Christian. The real question is whether they are actually acting according to Biblical teaching. Such people who go against Biblical teaching could not rightly be described as my "christian bretheran (sic)".
I wouldn't consider it fair game to generalise that all current Christians have such warped beliefs,...
Yet that seems to be your presumption, in asking if I'm a racist simply because I believe the Bible.
...yet you have no problem arguing that all evolutionists believe in racial profiling.
I did no such thing. What I did is say that there is a strong link between evolution and racism. I did not say that all evolutionists are consistent with that and are racist. Please read what I write and don't put words into my mouth.
You appear to have a massive chip on your shoulder Phillipe, do you think god would be proud of you spending hours a day on the internet fighting wikipedia edit crusades?
You started this with an attack on me because of my beliefs. That suggests that it is you, not me, with a chip on the shoulder. I do not spend "hours a day on the internet fighting wikipedia edit crusades", so that question is invalid.
You will spend eternity in purgatory you stubborn, blinkered, zealot.
So now you resort to insults? The refuge of one with no argument.
Philip J. Rayment 15:46, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
How did I contradict myself? How did I supposedly reaffirm my own simplicity?
You concede that both our comments were simplistic:
If you think that it is simplistic for me to ask if you are a racist on the basis of you being an evolutionist, then surely it is simplistic for you you have asked me a similar question in the first place.
And yet you then go on to reinforce your previously simplistic assertion:
Additionally, because evolution and racism have strong links, such as Darwin's views on the matter, I actually had more basis for asking the question than you did.
Is that simplistic enough for you to understand?
there is a strong link between evolution and racism
You might be interested to know, that according to the theory of evolution, by definition, nothing in the world today can be more evolved than anything else. All living things you see today have evolved over the same period of time right back to single cell organisms.
Your assertion that those who believe in evolution believe "that the Australian Aborigines were less evolved than the white race" is by definition impossible. Evolutionists believe that while organisms may have evolved along different paths, it would be impossible for one current species to be more evolved than another. To clarify, I am not suggesting Aborigines and Asians are different species, but rather that your use of evolution-theory to suggest that one could be "more" evolved than the other is utterly incorrect.
Darwin may have had racist beliefs, but it is ridiculous of you to suggest that the current bank of information regarding evolution comes in its entirety from Darwin. Darwin was a preacher of evolution, he may have discovered it but he certainly did not invent it.
And Phil, if insults are the refuge of those with no argument, how would you classify placing snarky little (sic) comments next to incorrectly spelled words? It's not like you are translating historical documents here mate.
-- 15:29, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
You concede that both our comments were simplistic
The question was simplistic, but I wasn't being simplistic in asking it; I was copying your style in order to highlight to you how silly your question was.
And yet you then go on to reinforce your previously simplistic assertion:
No, I provided evidence in support of the presumption behind the question.
You might be interested to know, that according to the theory of evolution, by definition, nothing in the world today can be more evolved than anything else. All living things you see today have evolved over the same period of time right back to single cell organisms.
Please supply a source for that, because I don't believe it. I agree that (according to the theory) everything has been evolving for the same period of time, but it does not follow from that that nothing is more evolved than anything else. Are you seriously suggesting that humans are no more evolved than blue-green algae, which is supposedly virtually identical to what it was 3.8 billion years ago?
Your assertion that those who believe in evolution believe "that the Australian Aborigines were less evolved than the white race" is by definition impossible.
You're still not reading very carefully. I didn't not assert that "those who believe in evolution" believe that. I asserted that Darwin believed that. It therefore follows that followers of Darwin might believe that, but I did not assert that they do.
Evolutionists believe that while organisms may have evolved along different paths, it would be impossible for one current species to be more evolved than another.
See above re blue-green algae.
Darwin may have had racist beliefs, but it is ridiculous of you to suggest that the current bank of information regarding evolution comes in its entirety from Darwin.
Any more ridiculous than you asking if I'm a racist simply because I believe the Bible? But yes, suggesting that it all comes from Darwin would be incorrect, if I had done that. But neither was it only Darwin who linked evolution and racism.
And Phil, if insults are the refuge of those with no argument, how would you classify placing snarky little (sic) comments next to incorrectly spelled words? It's not like you are translating historical documents here mate.
The use of "(sic)" is not limited to translation of historical documents. It can be used whenever something is quoted to indicate that the mistake is in the original.
Darwin was a preacher of evolution, he may have discovered it but he certainly did not invent it.
That's begging the question, because you can't "discover" something that doesn't exist. But I agree that he didn't invent it; the idea was around before him. Here "merely" gave it some respectability and popularised it.
Philip J. Rayment 16:21, 25 October 2006 (UTC)


my bad, just a typo, could of sworn i read it with as Meranda when i was looking it up else where. oh well i fixed all the links, and moved the Mernda station page so it should be all good now. another website u might not of come across for this stuff is [3], has the open/closing dates of lines/stations plus other important information on them. cheers mate --Dan027 15:14, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Coloured fonts in Melbourne railway articles[edit]

My mistake. I just ran across a station article with yellow, and maybe it's just my monitor, but it was hard to read. When I looked at the history, it looked like someone had just taken it upon themselves to add the color when they added the zone info, and the updates seemed pretty spread out chronologically (about one month), so I didn't think it was an assessed decision. Then I just started going down the line "fixing". I do think it's confusing with red & blue links, as well, but if the issue's been tackled already, I defer. ENeville 15:03, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Railway People Conspiring to Bring Down Wikipedia[edit]

Is it any coincidence that when Phillip P Raymond, LakeyBOY or Evan C get into an argument anywhere on wikipedia, that they all ineveitably run the opposing person down? I think there is something inherently wrong that you boys use your internet connections to win edit wars against people. Just because you all love trains and that, doesnt mean that you are pitted against the whole world. you sicken me.-- 09:35, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

LOL --Dan027 10:28, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Is it any coincidence that when Phillip P Raymond, ...
It's a pity that you can't even get my name correct.
... LakeyBOY or Evan C get into an argument anywhere on wikipedia, that they all ineveitably run the opposing person down?
Inevitably? You wouldn't be exaggerating a tad there, would you? And this coming from the person who threatened to have "you all" (presumably including me) banned from Wikipedia for not providing sources for an article I didn't write!
I think there is something inherently wrong that you boys use your internet connections to win edit wars against people.
Huh? What "internet connections"? What are you talking about?
Just because you all love trains and that, doesnt mean that you are pitted against the whole world. you sicken me.
And loving trains has nothing to do with this, just like being a creationist has nothing to do with it. But that's twice now you've raised irrelevancies as a basis for criticism.
Philip J. Rayment 17:37, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Alamein line[edit]

Thanks for correcting my non-professional use of the term 'branch line' in the article Alamein railway line, Melbourne ... I am out of Australia at the moment and away from any reference material, my addition was made from unreliable memory. As I recall in the early 70s the little shuttle service only operated on the weekends, perhaps only on Sunday (and perhaps it was always a single carriage, don't put any store in my 'two-carriage' recollection!). On the weekdays - as I recall - were the longer 'red rattlers' with the individual compartments, which had been phased out a little earlier on some other lines I think. I believe the only day the tickets could be bought from the guard (through a little window at the back of the carriage I think) was Sunday. The article doesn't quite read that way at the moment, but as (i) I don't have accces to reference material, & (ii) you seem more competent, I'd rather leave the fine-tuning up to you. Cheers. Stumps 20:27, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

Shuttle services operated on weeknights and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. All except for Sundays were operated by 2-car (M-D) sets. For much of Saturdays, and perhaps early on weekday evenings, two sets operated the service. One of the two sets included a double-ended motor carriage, and on Sundays this double-ended motor operated by itself. I don't know when the guard sold tickets. It could have been on Sundays only, but some if not all of the M-D sets were walk-through, presumably to facilitate ticket sales on 2-car trains, which, as I have noted above, did not operate on Sundays. But perhaps this applied on the other shuttle services (Altona and Hurstbridge), not Alamein? Philip J. Rayment 14:18, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

far be it from a reply[edit]

hi phil. this is not a reply to our ongoing argument. I have some serious exams coming so my response to your quotes may be a while.

just wondering your opinion on:

  1. why there are hot and cold areas on the earth?
  2. why is there such inequity? Why has my life up to this point been so much easier than others?
  3. what is the purpose of this, I really don't get it. I am a person who has been given every opportunity to pursue enrichment and intelligence, and yet I am a devout agnostic. For all my education, I cannot see why christianity is more "right" than islam or buddism or hinduism or anything.
  4. To be honest, I dont think that you could tell me that you know your "god" (inverted commers meaning no offence)is any more enlightened than anyone elses.
  5. I honestly dont think that any religious person could tell me the difference between their god and another's without referring to a religious text which relies on other people's accounts.

I would love a non-quote based reply phil. This is a completely non-provocative post Phil, or at least I mean it to be!

Mike-- 19:24, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Mike, because you want a "non-quote based reply" (by which I assume that you don't want me quoting your individual questions), I've numbered your points for easy reference.
And thanks for the non-provocative post. I'm happy to answer genuine questions. However, if you want to take either discussion much further, perhaps Wikipedia is not the place to do it. It might be better to contact me by e-mail (although you might have to be registered and logged in for that to work; I'm not sure).
  1. I'm not sure what you are getting at with this one. Hot and cold areas are due to elevation and nearness to the equator. But perhaps you are asking why God would have created it that way? One answer could be for the sake of variety; it would be a less interesting planet if everywhere had the same temperature. But perhaps more relevant is, what benefit does a variety of temperatures provide? This is not an area I've studied much, but a range of temperatures powers winds and currents, which help provide a fresh climate and the like.
  2. The Bible teaches us that this planet is not how God intended it to be. He created a perfect world (i.e. without defect), but due to man rejecting God (see The Fall of Man), the world has "run down" and is no longer the defect-free place it was meant to be. Therefore, we have death, suffering, and various inequalities, such as some people being rich and others poor, etc.
  3. I'm not sure what you are getting at when you ask about the purpose of this; what is "this"? As for why Christianity is more "right", it would seem that you are of the (common) belief that religion is merely something in one's head; nothing more than a fact-free belief. However, Christianity (and some other religions) make truth claims, i.e. claims about things being factually true. Also, some of the truth claims that Christianity makes are mutually exclusive with truth claims made by other religions. For example, Christianity claims that God is a Triune being. Other religions claim that God is a single being. When you have two contradictory claims like this, you have two possibilities: either one claim is correct and the other incorrect, or both claims are incorrect. Clearly both claims cannot be true. If follows that if Christianity is correct about its claims, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. cannot be true. Of course that doesn't actually answer which one is true or whether any are true, but it does show that they cannot all be true.
    Another point of view (aka worldview, aka religion) is the humanistic/atheistic one (which agnosticism is similar to in practice, if not in principle). But again, atheism and Christianity make contradictory truth claims, so both cannot be true. One other point to consider is that the contradictory claims can, between them, be all-encompassing. For example, Christianity claims God exists and atheism claims that he doesn't exist. There are no other possibilities—one of the two must be true. So in many respects, the option I presented above of all worldviews being incorrect is not actually an option. One of the worldviews/religions must be correct (not necessarily in every point, of course, but in at least one of their key claims, such as about the existence of God.
    So, in theory at least, it is entirely logical and possible that Christianity is "more right" than other religions. All that remains is to test the claims of each and see which one is "more right".
  4. God, by definition, is a unique being. So the question is not whether he is more enlightened than any other god (as there is no other god), but which (if any) claim of God is actually true.
  5. You question presupposes something that is not necessarily true; that all religious text are merely people's accounts. Christians believe that the Bible is actually God's account; not man's. You also seem to presume that religious texts are all totally unable to be examined for accuracy and reliability. However, in the case of the Bible, a very large proportion of the text is history, and much of this history is verifiably true. Of course it is not possible to verify every bit of it, and ultimately it is believed by faith. But think of this: How did your learn things, say in school? You believed, by faith, things that you were taught by your teachers. Why did you believe them? There are a number of possible answers to that, but one would be because you were able to check out some of the things that they said, and they were correct on those things, so you considered them reliable and trustworthy. If you found that one of your teachers was telling you some things that weren't true, you'd probably be suspicious of everything he said. It is similar with the Bible; if you find it trustworthy on the things that you can check, it is reasonable to trust it on the things that you can't check.
Philip J. Rayment 04:15, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
thanks phil
Mike-- 30 October 2006

Jonathan Sarfati[edit]

It should probably be pointed out that the article now seen is not the article nominated: When the keeps started coming in, saying to fix the POV, I realised it probably wasn't going to go forward, and had a look at how it might be fixable. This involved moving some sections to the talk page, for revision and work, to balance out the article, as I couldn't see any other way to get it near-NPOV in the short term. As it stands now, I'd say it's... well, it's at or near NPOV, despite not being a very good article.

There is quite a lot of useful material in those sections, but the article was seriously unbalanced with them in. It may be you disagree with the choices of removal, and I'm not saying my actions were necessarily right, though I hope they were at least somewhat. Adam Cuerden talk 04:48, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

I'm aware that you cut significant sections out of the article, and I had already seen the fuller version. That doesn't change my opinion one iota. Removing descriptions of Sarfati's views does not help the POV, which was already an anti-Sarfati('s views) POV. To repeat my comments in the AfD page, it is supposed to be an article about Sarfati, which includes describing his views, not an article giving "balance" to his views. Given that most scientists don't have sections with "criticisms", the very idea of trying to provide "balance" to his views (because you don't agree with them) is itself POV.
Can you provide specifics as to exactly what was wrong with the bits that you removed?
Philip J. Rayment 08:29, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

List of rail accidents[edit]

There is currently a discussion about whether we should set criteria for inlcusion of accients on the List of rail accidents page, and if so what the criteria should be.

The discussion is located at Talk:List of rail accidents/Criteria for inclusion, where your input would be most welcome. Thryduulf 00:35, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Noah's Ark[edit]

Wow I didnt realize I was such a "bad guy". I am sorry you feel that way Philip, but to be honest, Orangemarlin, myself and others do not want a nonneutral WP article either. It is a matter of POV whether a given article, or given statement in an article is neutral or not. This might have been frustrating for you. However, it is also incredibly frustrating for someone interested in NOT pushing a particular narrow religious view of some extremist groups to have articles and editors attacked as being atheists, satanic, stupid, ignorant, etc. If you want a debate by email, maybe I will drop a line on your page. However, the "physics changing" I was commenting on I realize might have been in error. Maybe not. I had thought that the rainbow was a covenant between God and Man to never Flood the earth again. Before the Flood, there were no rainbows and after, there were rainbows. What do you think causes rainbows? Rainbows are caused by the differing coefficients of refraction of different frequencies of light i.e. dispersion of light. Now to claim there was no dispersion before the Flood, and then dispersion after the Flood means that a huge number of things in physics were different before and after. Of course, there are many fantastic other things to swallow in the Flood account or other parts of Genesis, so this should not be a surprise. After some reading, I realize that at least in some interpretations, there had never been rain before the flood, since things were perfect. And only after the flood was there rain. I had never read this interpretation before, but I guess it might be one interpretation. This as well would entail a change in the laws of atmospheric physics. No evaporation of water? No water vapor? No clouds? No condensing of water vapor to form raindrops? And there was still all the same types of life before the Flood as After, more or less? Wow, that is an awful lot to imagine; in fact it is far more complicated than the change of dispersion (although the change of dispersion migth have many far-reaching consequences too). I have no problem with someone believing this. I have no problem reporting it. I think it is an interesting exercise to imagine what it means exactly and why it is unrealistic and what the consequences of believing in this are. However, to claim that this is something different than allegory or a religious myth or poetry or legend in a general secular worldside ENCYCLOPEDIA is asking a bit much. If you believe that it is NPOV to claim that the Flood story truely explains why there are rainbows, or why there is rain, then what do I say to:

  • those from thousands of other religious traditions with other creation stories of their own, and other ancient stories purporting to explain where the rainbow comes from, or the rain. How do I explain ramming aggressively some right wing fundamentalist evangelical bible inerrancy Christian bible mythology down their throats as true history? How can I or should I allow it? What do I say to them? I believe it is irresponsible to allow that. I am sorry. I am not some mean ogre. I taught Noah's Ark in Sunday School class even to my students. Do I like Noah's Ark and the Flood? Yes I do. It is the myth I was taught and I am comfortable with it. It is a beautiful story and great poetry. Everyone in our culture should know it (and the reasons it is impossible scientifically) because it is part of the cultural fabric of AngloSaxon culture and many others. But it is not the only such legend that exists. It is only one legend of thousands, and just so happens to be the myth tradition of a lot of people who speak English and have access to the internet and use Wikipedia. Is that the reason it should be described as true? Would I be allowed to teach it as true history in a US public school under the Supreme Court rules? I doubt it. So why is it so awful to abide by the standards of the US Supreme court? I do not think they are pushing some agenda, as often as this charge is made.
  • those who know the Ark and the Flood as myth, and expect an encyclopedia to be scientific in nature and about the verifiable and mainly about the dominant position of experts in that area? Do you think many meteorologists or geologists or physicists or biologists would accept an encyclopedia that claimed that REALLY TRUELY the Flood story explains where rain comes or where rainbows come from? Do you think that Encyclopedia Britannica does this? Do you think that World Book Encyclopedia does this? How serious do you think they would take Wikipedia then? Wikipedia is accused of being unreliable because anyone can edit it by Library Scientists and Academics. So what would people think if they came across articles claiming that
    • Noah's Ark is real in all biblical details
    • the Flood was real in all details
    • Rainbows are explained by the Flood
    • Rain is explained by the Flood
    • Fossils are explained by the Flood

How many major museums claim this? Ever seen any other major encyclopedias claim this? Why do you want or expect Wikipedia to claim this? How serious would Wikipedia be taken then?

  • Did you ever consider that the reason you find yourself in a minority on creationist articles on Wikipedia is that maybe, your POV is a minority? Among your friends or in your church, it might not be. But in the world at large of educated computer users, it might be a minority POV. Ever consider that?--Filll 13:03, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Orangemarlin, myself and others do not want a nonneutral WP article either.
I believe you. As I have now posted on the Noah's Ark talk page, the problem is not that either of us wants to knowingly push our POV; the problem is that what you see as neutral we see as POV, and vice versa. But you have generally argued as though it is self-evident that your POV is neutral. But it is not self-evident, and you have not backed up your claims. is also incredibly frustrating for someone interested in NOT pushing a particular narrow religious view of some extremist groups to have articles and editors attacked as being atheists, satanic, stupid, ignorant, etc.
It is also frustrating being referred to as part of a "narrow religious view of some extremist groups", when the creationist view is actually pretty widely held, not to mention the various other labels that have been used. And I have never referred to you as satanic or stupid, never referred to you as an atheist (although I may have said that your views are those of an atheist), and I don't recall claiming specifically that you are ignorant, despite the fact that you do appear to be ignorant of the creationist viewpoint.
I had thought that the rainbow was a covenant between God and Man to never Flood the earth again.
It is, but it does not follow that there was therefore a change in the laws of physics.
Ooohkay...But isnt one interpretation that there were no rainbows before the Flood, and then after there were rainbows? As a sign of the convenant?--Filll 06:17, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
After some reading, I realize that at least in some interpretations, there had never been rain before the flood, since things were perfect. And only after the flood was there rain. I had never read this interpretation before, but I guess it might be one interpretation.
I'm glad that you have reduced your ignorance!  :-). So you now have two explanations; one (the change in the laws of physics) that creationists do not use, and one (no rain before the Flood) that some creationists do use. By the way, the explanation about no rain is not "because things were perfect". You appear to be confusing this with something else. More reading needed. But there is yet another explanation, mentionedhere, that God simply used something that already existed (the rainbow) as a reminder of his promise.
That sounds decidedly reasonable and noncreationist. And poetic. It is the kind of answer I would give.--Filll 06:17, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

This as well would entail a change in the laws of atmospheric physics. No evaporation of water? No water vapor? No clouds? No condensing of water vapor to form raindrops?
We have never observed a change in the laws of physics, but we have observed climate change. Not as dramatic as going from no rain to rain, but such a climate change could conceivably occur without any changes in any laws of physics.
Well I guess so, but that would be a HUGE climate change and have huge implications for life on earth.--Filll 06:17, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

However, to claim that this is something different than allegory or a religious myth or poetry or legend in a general secular worldside ENCYCLOPEDIA is asking a bit much. If you believe that it is NPOV to claim that the Flood story truely explains why there are rainbows, or why there is rain, ...
Is it really asking too much to explain that this is what some people, including some scientists, do actually believe? Without having to put the POV that the belief is wrong?
An awfully small minority of scientists would claim it. I have no statistics yet, but it stretches the bounds of credulity.--Filll 06:17, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

To be continued... Philip J. Rayment 05:11, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
what do I say to ... those from thousands of other religious traditions with other creation stories of their own, and other ancient stories purporting to explain where the rainbow comes from, or the rain.
It's a common anticreationist tactic to claim that there are lots of other religious creation stories that would each deserve their own space, but really, how many others are there that have the wide support that the Biblical creation account has? And to the extent that there are others, why not include an article about them as well?
How do I explain ramming aggressively some right wing fundamentalist evangelical bible inerrancy Christian bible mythology down their throats as true history?
Rather, how can you explain that question when that is not being proposed?
It is a beautiful story and great poetry.
It is not poetry (it does not conform to the style of Hebrew poetry) and it claims to be history.
So why is it so awful to abide by the standards of the US Supreme court?
Because I'm not a U.S. citizen? :-)
Why do you want or expect Wikipedia to claim this?
Why do you keep claiming that this is what I want, when I have repeatedly said the opposite?
Did you ever consider that the reason you find yourself in a minority on creationist articles on Wikipedia is that maybe, your POV is a minority? Among your friends or in your church, it might not be. But in the world at large of educated computer users, it might be a minority POV. Ever consider that?
Yes, I have considered that, and I think that your last point is correct. That is, my view is a minority of educated computer users, at least those editing Wikipedia. So what? Since when is that the standard for anything? Have you considered that approximately half (if I recall correctly) of Americans believe that God created man? Have you considered that most of the Muslim world agrees? Have you considered that only a small proportion of the entire world's population believes that man evolved from animals? (Australian aboriginal creation stories, for example, have aborigines created by various beings.) Or will you, like so many anticreationists, switch from claiming support of majority opinion to support of expert opinion, when confronted with such details?
Philip J. Rayment 09:57, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

So do you believe in:

I have interspersed my replies.
  • A worldwide flood?
  • Some huge volume of Water appearing and disappearing?
No, if you mean what I think you mean. Perhaps you could clarify.
  • some startling lack of geologic flood evidence, with the correct uniform dates, all somehow gone?
How can a lack of evidence disappear???
  • rescuing animals from all over the entire earth and returning them?
  • an Ark of the prescribed dimensions?
  • caring for the animals and feeding them?
  • taking care of the fresh water and salt water creatures somehow?
Noah taking care of them? No.
  • rainbows before and after the flood, but those after the flood are somehow endowed with a special meaning?
  • no rain before the flood but rain after?
I used to believe in no rain before the flood, but I now believe that reference I pointed you to.
  • intermarriage among siblings after to repopulate the earth?
I've never seen that suggested, and I don't see why it would be necessary.
  • dinosaurs perishing in the flood?
Apart from the ones on the ark, yes.
  • dinosaurs living with man?
  • the fossils all being from the flood, and no evidence of evolution?
Most of the fossils being from the flood, not all of them. As I have said a number of times and you haven't cottoned on to yet, it is a matter of how you interpret the evidence.
  • The olive tree after growing very fast so the dove could return with a branch?
How fast would be necessary? What presumptions are behind this question?
  • the ark lasting for a few thousand years without decaying much?
I believe that, if it is above the snow line, its preservation is possible. Until/unless it is discovered, I keep an open mind on whether it has lasted.
  • the version of the flood story in genesis being the correct one, and the others with their variations being just mistaken copies of the genesis version?

and so on and so forth...--Filll 06:17, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Philip J. Rayment 10:05, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


A discussion between Filll and me regarding my comments on my user page has been archived here.

Phillip: I am not a christian[edit]

But i believe christians, muslims, atheist what ever should have their views presented clearly.

what is happening here is a travesty. only saving grace is that the ID, evolution and other articles are SO biased it is very obvious. thats what got me here. i read the ID article and said 'wow thats all wrong' then tried to make some changes. anything and i mean anything that is anything less of condemning ID will not be included in the article.

this is a failed experiment.

what is this FA all about? is there anyway that pro-IDers can treated fairly here?

raspor 15:51, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

"FA" is "Featured Article". In order to be featured on the front page of Wikipedia, it must meet certain requirements, although I've never bothered about just what those requirements are.
Pro-ID people and creationists are outnumbered on Wikipedia, and Wikipedia's enforcement of its WP:NPOV rules is in the hands of people who are, in many cases, themselves biased and often unable to see their own bias, so until something drastic changes, I don't see any hope that we can be treated fairly. See here on my user page for my views and experience in this (although it talks about creationists, the same applies to ID because the anti-ID people lump ID in with creation).
Philip J. Rayment 23:17, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I dont think i ever seen such bias as i have seen in the wiki articles . it is truly phenomenal! raspor 00:23, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Have you considered creation wiki? [4] for creationists only.--Filll 00:28, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Are you addressing that to me or Raspor? And why? I am a some-times editor at CreationWiki, but that has nothing to do with the requirement for this wiki to be neutral, which it's not in these areas. Philip J. Rayment 11:56, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
P.S. With your lack of response, I was wondering if you'd seen my replies to your comments above, but I assume from your visit to this page that you have? Philip J. Rayment 11:56, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

I have seen yes.--Filll 12:02, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

What is your definition of an atheist?

  • Are Catholics Atheists?
  • Muslims?
  • Hindus?
  • scientists?
  • people who believe in natural selection?
  • people who are not sure that there is a god?
  • people who believe in evolution?--Filll 15:01, 7 January 2007 (UTC)
That seems an odd question, or perhaps I should say that those options seem odd options, but I'm guessing that you have some reason for suggesting them. My answer, however, is that an atheist is someone who believes that there is no god. Of course, that cannot be proved (as atheists keep reminding us, you can't test the supernatural, and you also can't prove a universal negative), so atheism is a faith position. If that answer doesn't satisfy you, perhaps you could explain why you included those options. Philip J. Rayment 01:07, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Ok fair enough. You live in australia which has a different culture. I do not believe someone who is an atheist is religious, at least in my definition of religious. Maybe in yours, but not mine. Now I have had people (creationists, fundamentalists, biblical literalists, biblical inerrancy people etc) tell me that all those groups on the list are atheists. It is a common weapon of creationists and fundamentalists to call people even from other sects or faiths, atheists, satan worshippers, evil, damned, cursed, infidels, blasphemers, etc etc.--Filll 02:04, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree that an atheist is not religious according to your definition, but an atheist IS religious according to at least one of the definitions found in dictionaries. And, as I have said on my user page, a definition that requires a belief in God is arbitrary and self-serving. Both Christianity and atheism (along with others beliefs) are (a) beliefs, and (b) worldviews. I have a worldview that presumes God. An atheist has a worldview that presumes no god. The claim of many atheists that their worldview is somehow superior simply because it presumes no god is self-serving nonsense, and the term "religion" is frequently used in this way, i.e. to make a qualitative distinction between atheistic and theistic worldviews.
I can understand, up to a point at least, Christians considering your options as evil, cursed, etc., but I can't see how they consider Catholicism and the other religions as atheistic, except for Hinduism, which doesn't recognise a god as such. And I can also understand some people simplistically assuming that everyone that doesn't accept the Biblical record (e.g. evolutionists) are atheists, despite the number of Christians that (compromisingly) accept evolution.
Philip J. Rayment 02:26, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I think that people use a variety of definitions for religion so that sometimes even cleaning a toilet can be a religion. They also use a variety of definitions for atheism to use it as a weapon against people they hate.--Filll 14:50, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
what def of atheist could be used as a weapon of hate? and how can 'cleaning a toilet' be considered a relgion?? raspor 15:02, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

The definition of religion as "believing in something with passion and engaging in it with passion" will make cleaning a toilet a religion. I have had creationists use this argument on me to prove that science is a religion. And I pointed out about plumbing and cleaning toilets, and they are agreed. Ok...--Filll 15:05, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Filll, I made a case for your use not being a useful one. Do you have nothing to say in reply to that? use it as a weapon against people they hate.
It couldn't possibly be just people they disagree with, rather than "hate"?
Philip J. Rayment 01:20, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I thought I saw it, and replied. Most people do not hate. But the problem is, there are always extremists. And in the US, we have plenty of those. For example, consider [5].--Filll 01:50, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

You replied to the post, but you did not address that point, as far as I can see.
Yes, there are always extremists, but as you said, most don't hate, so perhaps it would have been better to write "...use it as a weapon against people [or even "philosophies"] they disagree with"? That way, you are being more accurate and avoiding inflaming situations.
Philip J. Rayment 02:14, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

is anyone in charge here?[edit]

they are butchering these articles. and even using false quotes and not citing. how does this work? is there anyone who can stop them? i dont understand this. raspor 13:16, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Editors are expected to work out their problems between themselves. There are sysops who can ban vandals, etc., but it has to be clear vandalism, or an agreement of a large majority of editors who vote on a particular issue. Given that the majority are pro-evolution, including many of the sysops, there is little that can be done to stop the systemic bias.
However, most editors do have some standards that they will adhere to, and clearly false quotes should not be a problem. The problem is selective use of quotes, where the quote is accurate but the bias is in judging the relevance of using a quote or not using a quote. You can put {{fact}} and {{verify source}} tags ([citation needed] and [verification needed]) on things that you believe need references or are wrong, and this should prompt them to provide a reference and support the quote, but if you overdo it, they will just accuse you of being difficult.
I planned on putting {{verify source}} tags on much of the 'Science of Noah's Ark' section added to the Noah's Ark article recently, because it is loaded with straw-man arguments and the like, if nobody else removed it first, but somebody did remove it, fortunately.
Philip J. Rayment 13:41, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
i put {fact} there and felon deleted it. so what can be done? its just bull crap??? raspor 13:45, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm, yes, so he did. I don't agree with FeloniousMonk's edit comment, but I guess that sometimes it is not clear exactly what you are looking for a reference to. Are you questioning that the Discovery Institute are at the centre of controversy, or that particular things listed are the cause of those controversies, or what? Philip J. Rayment 13:53, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
no the quote was false. it said the DI used the word 'heart' which it simply did not and the quote was not cited. i am actually amazed that such bias exists. it is scary raspor 14:21, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I was just trying (when I ran into an edit conflict with you) to add that I've just seen the discussion on the article's talk page. I also see that you have some support in Ec5618. Give it a day or so and see if they come to their senses and modify that lead paragraph.
And by the way, I agree with the thrust of your argument with Filll in that same section. His claims that accepting ID/creation means throwing out all the things that science has given us is unadulterated nonsense (are you reading this, Filll? :-) ). But lay off criticising him about the colons. As far as I'm concerned, his practice of alternately indenting and outdenting is not the norm, but there's no hard and fast rules on this, and it does at least help separate responses, which is the main aim.
Philip J. Rayment 14:26, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
phil can you show me the comments that you made about noahs ark and were moved. i really am stunned at how unethical the atheists are here. it really gives atheists a bad name raspor 14:28, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
This edit shows it being added (it was actually Orangemarlin's work, but he appeared to be having trouble doing so, so Filll added it instead). It was subsequently modified slightly (links and references for the other wooden ships, mainly), but this edit shows the substance of it. If you prefer to see the final version of it, here is where it got deleted. Philip J. Rayment 14:37, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes I am reading this. As far as I know, the colons are only supposed to let you distinguish between one reply and another. The reason scientists and others do not want to accept supernatural causes in science is that science would be damaged. As I said before, it is like having physics homework to do. It will take 20 steps to solve this problem. You know the answer from the back of the book. You can only get to step 3. So you give up, claim a miracle moved you from step 3 to step 20 to get the answer. And then expect to get full points when it is graded. And in fact, want to get a better grade than a student who works the problem fully and gets all 20 steps down. It is not that we are atheists (most arent probably). It is not that we are against religion. And that science of Noah's Ark section I did not write, but I did edit a bit. I think it is too long myself and needs to be tightened considerably, or else moved to a separate article. with a short summary paragraph in Noah's Ark with a link. But I am not sure how to do this. There needs to be far more material for a separate article I think. Stuff like no geologic record, stuff about the rainbow. Stuff about saltwater and fresh water fish. Stuff about caring for the animals. Stuff from the bible indicating how deep the flood waters supposedly were. And to make it balanced, creationist explanations for each of these. --Filll 15:01, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Filll, I've had a few occasions now to wonder if you are properly reading the things that you are replying to. Even though your use of colons is unorthodox (i.e. not the normal use on Wikipedia talk pages), I was actually defending you in that regard. Second, you point out that you did not write that Noah's Ark section. Good, I'm glad we agree, because that is what I said!
Your argument against accepting supernatural causes in science is ignoring a few factors. First, it dismisses out of hand the possibility that the supernatural is the cause of some events. Second, no creationist argues that we must invoke the supernatural as explanations of present-day repeatable observations. Apart from one-off miracles (which are not scientifically studyable anyway, being one-offs), we only argue that the supernatural can be (not must be) invoked for past events (actually, one-off events again) for which the supernatural is the best explanation. Again, given the theoretical possibility that there could be a supernatural cause in some cases, what, in principle, is wrong with that?
Your analogy of the physics homework presumes what it sets out to prove. That is, you have defined jumping from step 3 to the last step as being incorrect, so of course doing so is incorrect! But what if nobody knew whether there were more steps in between? How could anybody say that jumping to the last step was incorrect?
Philip J. Rayment 01:36, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I might use colons in a nonstandard way. Sorry. That does not mean I have not misread something however, so beware. It is quite possible there is a supernatural cause. If so, it is fine, it is just not part of science. Science cannot investigate it really, as even some of the creationists like Duange Gish acknowledge. Also, I am not alone in this. I have good company, like the National Academy of Sciences and the US Supreme Court. I am glad to be in their company and you can have Ken Ham and Kent Hovind. So science just does not include those things. I should also point out in case you do not know that:

  • Science is not about what is true
  • Science is not about what is real
  • Science is not about what is correct
  • Science does not prove things (proof is in mathematics and logic, but not science)
  • Science does not have facts, except for data, and even they have error bars

Science seeks efficient explanations; that is, science tries to find the most parsimonious natural explanations which can be used to make predictions that match observations. In most cases, this has produced useful results. So we have come to trust it. That is all. Science is just a method for finding things out, or sometimes the name for things found out by science.--Filll 01:47, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I might use colons in a nonstandard way. Sorry. That does not mean I have not misread something however, so beware.
Again, you have misread! I was not saying that you have misread because you use colons in a non-standard way. I said that you had misread because you apparently didn't realise that that I was agreeing with you.
Your claim that science is not about what is true, real, and correct is weird. I understand that science does not "prove" things, it can only fail to disprove, but if science is not about learning real things about the real world, what on Earth is it for? Also, you claim that science is not about what is true, real, or correct, but then you use it to claim that historical claims are not true, not real, and not correct! To be more specific, you are claiming that science cannot test the supernatural (and, by implication, cannot test for consequences of supernatural actions, such as a global flood), but at the same time claiming that science has tested to see if those consequences have occurred, and has decreed that they didn't! That is self-contradictory.
Philip J. Rayment 02:03, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I think I knew you agreed, but maybe I am confused. It might seem weird, but that is the a true statement about science. Because when you get into quantum mechanics etc you realize science cannot tell you about what is true. It can only make predictions that youc an check. That is what it is for. If the supernatural leaves a natural trace, this can be tested. So if the flood left a trace, then we can test for it. But if the flood left no trace, magically, then we cannot test for it. So all we can say is, according to science, it did not happen. It is more in the realm of pseudoscience. We cannot say it happened or not really; all we can say is there is no scientific evidence for it. And I never meant to claim they DIDNT happen; just that it was not scientific to say that they did. And it is more about myth or pseudoscience than science.--Filll 02:51, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

So all we can say is, according to science, it did not happen.
No, what you say then is that science is unable to test for it. You do not say, "according to science, it did not happen". That sentence itself presupposes that science can determine that, which you've said said (correctly, in the example you gave), that it can't.
However, perhaps the relevant point in all this is that nobody that I know of says that "the flood left no trace, magically". The Bible doesn't say that it left no trace, and creationary scientists certainly don't say it. So if the claim is that it would have left a trace, then what you are saying is that it is scientifically testable. If it is scientifically testable, it is not pseudoscience. And you are going further. Having agreed that it is scientifically testable, you are then claiming that there is no evidence and therefore decreeing that it did not happen.
Of course, I have disputed the claim that there is no evidence.
Philip J. Rayment 13:10, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

If the flood left no trace: If you prefer to split hairs, then we can say it is unknowable using the methods of science or something to that effect. There is no scientific evidence for it. At the moment, you have not encountered someone of import who claims the flood left no trace. However, I suspect I could find such a person, now or in the past who claimed such a thing. And would probably claim that the lack of evidence is itself evidence of a miracle of God. Having no evidence at all PROVES God! This the beauty of being a creationist! You never lose any argument! And people are so stupid they will usually buy it! And you win, and you can be as proud as a peacock. Which they are, at least in the US. If it left evidence, and that evidence is the kind of evidence that we can look at using the tools of science, then we can see if that evidence is consistent with the understanding of science. Unfortunately, according to what we know in science at present, there is NO scientific evidence for a worldwide flood of that length and magnitude, and NO evidence for the rainbow story and NO evidence for the Ark story. And NO evidence for the Ark being that high up the mountain since the water was not that deep, supposedly. Ghosts are scientifically testable and ESP etc, but both are pseudoscience. Why? Because the true believers refuse to accept the failure of the tests. Same with the ark. And you can dispute the claim that there is no evidence all you want. It is not mainstream science, that is for sure. Of more than 99% of all professional scientists with professional level employment and credentials.--Filll 13:26, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

fill, define supernatural[edit]

raspor 15:05, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Outside the natural realm. Something like magic, or god, or ghosts, or witchcraft. Those are not from a dictionary, but just my off the cuff definition. There is a famous saying, any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic, so it is not completely free from temporal bias and other biases.--Filll 15:09, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
very bad defintion. if you cant define it then how can you say it should not be considered in science. are you saying 'prayer' is supernatural. how about telepathy. see you arent thinking clearly about this. raspor 16:05, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Telepathy has been tested and never been found to exist. So yes, telepathy is supernatural. Prayer has also been tested and not been found to be helpful, however I am less anxious to call prayer supernatural. Expecting a response from the supernatural might unscientific, but there is some suggestion that prayer helps with brain chemistry. So it is more complicated.--Filll 16:19, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
well define supernatural. how can you say its bad to have in science if you cant define it raspor 16:47, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Something that is not or cannot be scientifically determined to be part of the natural world is supernatural. Want me to get a dictionary?--Filll 16:57, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

see that says nothing. now you are saying supernatural = not natural. so now define natural. have you heard of operational definitions. thats what you need here raspor 17:12, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
You might be interested in my article on creationist Harry Rimmer.--Filll 16:57, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Here is a dictionary definition I more or less agree with: 1. Of or relating to existence outside the natural world. 2. Attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces. 3. Of or relating to a deity. 4. Of or relating to the immediate exercise of divine power; miraculous. 5. Of or relating to the miraculous.

I also like the definition from wikipedia of "unexplained". I would couple that with "unexplainable". If you have something that is unexplained and unexplainable, it has a supernatural cause.--Filll 17:18, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

DUH!!! we cant use a dictionary defintion for something we want to use scientifically. now try again. this time an 'operational defintion' if you really are a scientists you know exactly what i mean. what the heck do you do as a "" scientist "" ?? raspor 17:21, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I do stuff you would not like as a scientist probably since it has to do with the natural world. But that is irrelevant here. The relevant part is, I know what a scientist is and what they do. I gave you numerous operational definitions and you did not like them.--Filll 17:28, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

So how do YOU define the supernatural?--Filll 17:29, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
frankly you sound like a college freshman or sophomore. you cant even say what you do cuz you just prob have taken chem 101 and now think you are a 'scientist' you obviously dont know how to make proper scientific defs. i am not going to teach you. look it up or take a course. you keep bitching about the ** supernatural ** but cant define it. you are looking very silly raspor 17:33, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I might be very silly but I have good company, like the National Academy of Sciences and the US Supreme Court. I am glad to be in their company and you can have Ken Ham and Kent Hovind. Be my guest. You are not willing to offer a definition, which is fine. It speaks volumes. As for someone who seems like a freshman, you never capitalize words at the starts of your sentences, as is conventional. You use words like "defs" and "cuz". Hmm...--Filll 17:36, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

i writing short hand here i know 'because' and 'definition' if you cant see that you are ignorant. who is ham and hovind? i study science. real science. you constantly bitch about the supernatural then ones some asks to tell what it is and you are dumb. look dont bring that word up again till you can define it. you have no idea how to make a proper sci def. ok give me the formula for not rolling a seven 3 times in a row with dice. should be able to do that in 1 minute. give me your answer. or go back to being a lab assist and clean the petri dishes. and we should not be doing this on phils space. do it on your own space. raspor 17:48, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

So I am ignorant huh? I see. Well I think that the facts speak for themselves.--Filll 17:52, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

you are correct. they did! raspor 17:58, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

We will see if you continue to be smug. Good luck.--Filll 18:00, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

dave gave me a gold star. so there!!! raspor 18:08, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Creationist Challenge[edit]

I would like to challenge anyone to find me 5 creationist scientists that are currently prominent scientists. The requirements are:

Before I try answering that challenge, let me get some clarification.
  • What do you define as "prominent"? And for that matter, why is "prominent" a criterion?

Prominent would be a faculty member at a leading university, like ANU in Australia or Harvard in the US. Or someone comparable

  • What do you define as "working in science"? Does that include, for example, writing papers, or teaching?

Teaching at a major university, not a community college. That is a university that is accredited and gives out PhDs for example. Definitely with peer-reviewed publications in major science journals

  • Why do they have to believe in Biblical literalism? (Many creationary scientists deny that they are Biblical literalists, for example.) Or perhaps I should be asking what form of Biblical literalism, seeing as how the linked article does allow for a form of literalism that accepts that some parts of the Bible are not intended to be taken literally.

Someone who believes that the earth was created 6000 years ago, someone who believes the Great Flood happened exactly as in Genesis, and was worldwide and all the animals were put in the Ark. Someone who believes that speciation is not from evolution. Someone who believes all language differences come from the Tower of Babel. That sort of thing. They have to believe in biblical literalism because that is a good standard for creationist to try to differentiate from the huge group of people that believe in theistic evolution.

  • Do you really want someone to name a creationist scientist who works in the field of evolutionary biology??? (Okay, I accept that they don't have to work in that area, so I suppose that question is not important.)
Philip J. Rayment 01:49, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

It is silly to have a mathematician or an engineer who never deals with evolution and has never confronted the evidence or taken a course give an opinion in this matter. I want to see someone (well 5 people) who has denied all of evolution's evidence and still is a successful scientist.--Filll 02:58, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I'm still not totally happy with your requirements, but I will give you an answer after I've explained my concerns, including a few that I hadn't mentioned before.
  1. I felt that "prominent" was too vague, and left anybody I might suggest open to be rejected on the grounds that they are not sufficiently "prominent". In your clarification, you have again used such weasel words, by referring to "leading" universities. It's a bit better, I guess, but still a bit open.
  2. You talk about people at universities, but what about people employed by scientific organisations as research scientists? You do say "Or someone comparable", which perhaps covers that, but again, it is very vague. I'm assuming that reputable research organisations are acceptable to you.
  3. Your first requirement was that they be alive. I can understand that you don't want someone from 150 years ago, but surely there would be no problem with someone who died in the past five years, for example? (Note that all the people I list are alive, but this point has bearing on my next point.)
  4. You wanted someone who "works", i.e. present tense, in science. But again, why not someone who used to work in science, but no longer does? Perhaps someone who recently retired, or etc. Also, if it must be someone who currently works in science, the requirement for them to be alive is redundant. So I'm assuming that someone who has met your requirements (all at the same time, e.g. they were creationists when they were working), even if they don't currently meet them, is okay.
  5. None of the people I've listed have "denied all of evolution's evidence". As I've told you before, creationists and evolutionists have the same evidence. It's how you interpret that evidence that they differ on. So these scientists accept the evidence—or the data, if you prefer—but believe that the evidence better fits with a young-Earth creationist explanation.
  6. I was going to ask what all this would prove, but you have answered that with your comment (paraphrased) about scientists "who reject evolution evidence and are still successful scientists".
Okay, having made those clarifications, on to the answer (and I've given six, for good measure):
  • Dr. John Baumgardner has a PhD in geophysics and has developed a creationist model of plate tectonics, while working at Los Alamos National Laboratory. A New Scientist article 'spoke highly of [his] 3-D supercomputer model of plate tectonics'[6].
  • Professor Maciej Giertych is head of the Genetics Department of the Polish Academy of Sciences at the Institute of Dendrology in Kornik, Poland.
  • Dr. John Hartnett has a PhD in Physics and works at the University of Western Australia, with a rank of Associate Professor. He has been developing a creationist cosmology that is different to Russell Humphrey's cosmology (see next scientist).
  • Dr. Russell Humphreys has a PhD in Physics and has developed a creationist cosmology. Until a few years ago he worked at the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.
  • Dr. Ian Macreadie is Principal Research Scientist at the Biomolecular Research Institute of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
  • Dr. John Marcus has a PhD in biological chemistry, and who works as a research officer at the University of Queensland.
So, once you've checked out that I'm not making these up, will you acknowledge that it is quite possible to reject evolution yet still be a successful scientist?
Philip J. Rayment 13:58, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Comment: Ian Macreadie is in the Health Sciences and Nutrition department, not a biology department. His area of expertise is diet. KillerChihuahua?!? 14:26, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Ian Macreadie works (or has worked) on viruses, including AIDS research. It is not true that "his area of expertise is diet" as though that is all he knows. He stands. Philip J. Rayment 01:48, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Ok very good. I do not necessarily accept all of those. But your claim is that those are all YEC? And interpret the extant data as supporting a Young Earth? --Filll 14:31, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes. The possible exception is John Marcus, but it is very rare for someone to believe that the world was created in six days millions or billions of years ago, and there is no indication in the chapter he wrote that he does believe that.

These all have to be examined in detail, but John Marcus, for example at a quick glance, appears to believe in natural selection but have a problem with chemical evolution/abiogenesis. He also believes in a 6 day creation. He does not necessarily believe in a Young Earth from what I can see. Well most scientists also have quite a problem with chemical evolution/abiogenesis; it is a mystery. And I think most scientists admit that. People of course will continue to attempt it in the laboratory, but it is not really part of evolution at all. Also, being a research officer is not really doing science; it is someone who has given up science to hand out money probably, but this has to be checked. The rest have to be examined carefully. When these lists of purported scientists have been skeptically examined in the past, holes have emerged. Such as scientists who sign petitions not understanding what they are. Vague petitions. Scientists who became slightly senile when retired and signed a petition. Scientists who are treated with contempt by their colleagues who only keep their job because they are tenured, but have long ago ceased to do real work. The claim is that Behe is respected by his colleagues, but his department has a big disclaimer on its web page about his work, and 20 of his colleagues in his department have all publicly denounced his work as trash. So...just pure atheist bias? or something else?--Filll 14:41, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

So what if John Marcus believes in natural selection? You already know that informed creationists believe in natural selection, which is an observed mechanism that evolutionists claim to be one of the main mechanisms of evolution; it is not evolution itself.
Your comments about abiogenesis not being a part of evolution are irrelevant as far as this challenge is concerned, but also misleading. See here, and to save reading the whole thing if you don't want to, search for "abiogenesis is not evolution".
The list of scientists surveyed by the ID people was misrepresented or mistaken as a list of supporters of ID, rather than what it really was, a list of people prepared to question the status quo, or something like that. However, it is unfair to use one example of a questionable list to throw doubt on all other lists. It is also a common urban myth propagated by anticreationists that most creationary scientists have bogus degrees. No doubt there are a few example (on both sides of the fence), but they are not the norm and it is unfair to judge such a list on the basis of a few bad apples.
I don't know much about Behe's situation, but there is the case of Dean H. Kenyon, who had co-authored a book about chemical evolution but when challenged with creationist arguments changed his views. He had life tenure at his university, so they couldn't sack him. So they banned him from teaching instead. Bias? Most certainly. For more on bias, you should find some info here.
Philip J. Rayment 01:48, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Baumgartner has a phd in mantle modeling and is working on ocean modeling. This is a far cry from evolutionary biology for sure. I would doubt that he ever studied biology past high school, and maybe not even before. He has a speculative model on how the flood could have happened; he has not published it in a standard journal or presented it at a standard conference. It is not clear that he is a YEC or believes in supernatural causes.--Filll 16:26, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Your requirements included "works in a part of science that overlaps with creationist claims". Biblical creationists claim that the world is around 6,000 years old and was ravaged by a flood about 4,500 years ago, and his work with plate tectonics certainly overlaps that, particularly given that his plate tectonics model works best as rapid plate tectonics during Noah's flood. Baumgardner met the requirements, so he stands, as do all the others so far.
Philip J. Rayment 01:48, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Update: an example of an anticreationist ducking and weaving[edit]

After waiting over a week (10 days) for Filll to respond to my answer to his challenge above, I asked him (below, under #Tower of babel) how his review of my list was going. This was his response:

I have my answer to the challenge thanks. And I never denied that one could have:
  • scientists that are retired who became creationists after they retired
  • scientists in nonbiological or nonpaleontological fields who could be creationists
  • a very few scientists who are biologists or paleontologists who are professionally active and successful who are creationists
And I see where the answers come from. I have and had before I even asked, 4 websites with 4 lists already. I can cut and paste as well as you or anyone else. So I have my answer. Thanks.

Let's see how well this response fits with the original challenge:

  • Filll said, I want to see someone (well 5 people) who has denied all of evolution's evidence and still is a successful scientist. Yet now he says, I never denied that one could have ... a very few scientists who are biologists or paleontologists who are professionally active and successful who are creationists. So first he wants evidence of just five, and now he says that he already knew of some!
  • Filll asked for scientists that work in a part of science that overlaps with creationist claims. He did also mention biological areas as examples of this, but did not limit it to biologists. So I supplied scientists covering the fields of biology, cosmology, and geology. He has not disputed that they are in areas that overlap with creationist claims, but now tries to duck by claiming, "I never denied that one could have ... scientists in nonbiological or nonpaleontological fields who could be creationists.
  • Filll also tries to muddy the waters with his claim that I never denied that one could have ... scientists that are retired who became creationists after they retired. Although I did include one or two retired scientists, I did not include any who became creationists after retiring, and I said that I would not do so. This response is a red herring.
  • Filll tries to denigrate the answer to the challenge with the comments that I can cut and paste as well as you or anyone else. He asked for a list, and he got a list. But it was not with cutting and pasting. I personally selected the scientists that I gave by way of answer, and apart from a few phrases, I wrote the brief descriptions.
  • Filll not only tried unsuccessfully to challange two of the scientists I listed, he also several times expressed doubt about my list, with, I do not necessarily accept all of those, These all have to be examined in detail, The rest have to be examined carefully, and When these lists of purported scientists have been skeptically examined in the past, holes have emerged. And on another page, as a prelude to posting this challenge, he wrote: ...can a scientist, alive today, personally believe in biblical literalism, biblical inerrancy, miracles etc and be a scientist in an area that is impacted by biblical teachings ...? I think it would be very hard to find five. And I would dispute most of the names on that list. Despite these repeated doubts and his assertion that he would dispute them, he is now unwilling or unable to dispute them.
  • Filll now says I have my answer to the challenge thanks and So I have my answer, as though it was a simple question to which he wanted an answer. But it was more than that—it was a challenge. The challenge was met, and he seems unwilling to acknowledge that there are as many scientists who deny evolution and are successful scientists as he asked for.

Philip J. Rayment 14:44, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I have just decided for the moment to devote my energies in other directions, rather than this one. I thank you for your efforts. I learned something, and maybe you did too.--14:59, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


I noticed your comment at WP:ANI#User:Raspor and took the liberty of suggesting that you're well placed to persuade raspor to follow policies and guidance. A lot of the problem seems to have arisen from him not reading or understanding advice, and it would be great if you could get him avoid disruption. .,.dave souza, talk 16:14, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, if anyone could possibly persuade Raspor to change his approach, it's probably me. The problem that I have been arguing and that you appear to have overlooked, however, is that he is being provoked by others who are opposing him. For example, one of his few article edits was reverted with the claim that he was a vandal. It clearly wasn't vandalism. Another example is when he pointed out a problem with the lead to the ID article. He was initially dismissed, then someone else (you?) pointed out that he had a point, and subsequently FeloniousMonk denied that Raspor had made a valid point at all! How on Earth am I supposed to convince someone to change their behaviour when others keep provoking him? Of course he is provoking them too, and it's become a vicious circle where each is provoking the other(s), but it should not be up to Raspor by himself to change.
It appears that Raspor appeared on the scene and appeared to others to be (a) a troll or similar, and (b) a creationist (which is probably worse, in their minds), so they reacted accordingly and not very nicely. He (over)reacted to that response, and the others reacted to his reaction, and so forth. His style certainly doesn't help matters, but the fault is not all on his side.
Philip J. Rayment 02:15, 10 January 2007 (UTC)


Do you believe in a young earth or an old earth?--Filll 04:02, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

An old Earth. Approximately 6000 years old. Philip J. Rayment 04:54, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Wow that old huh? gee.--Filll 04:59, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Request to disengage[edit]

I have requested that Raspor stop engaging in debates over Intelligent Design as they violate WP:NOT and do not help with the larger goal of encyclopedia-building. I would like to ask you to likewise disengage. If he is looking for a debate on ID, evolution, and creation science, he can find a web forum offwiki. If you have any questions, please let me know either via my talk page or e-mail. (Just ignore that big ol' Wikibreak banner--I clearly am.) -- Merope 02:37, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your kind words. I recognize that we may disagree on a number of issues, but your civility and patience have earned my respect. Please let me know if there's anything I can help you with in the future. Cheers. -- Merope 13:55, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

Tower of babel and Different kinds of creationist[edit]

A discussion between Filll and me regarding these topics has been archived here.

My views[edit]

The discussion with Filll continues here, and is still in progress.

On reflection[edit]

On reflection I have decided that everything you have stated is correct. I apologize for disagreeing with anything you have ever said and I stand corrected. That is all I have to say.--Filll 20:57, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I think I detect sarcasm. If not, we'll have to send some experts to kidnap you and remove you from the cult of Creationism.  :) Orangemarlin 14:04, 22 January 2007 (UTC)
And I think I detect sarcasm in your comment. At least I hope that it was sarcasm that caused you to refer to creationism as a cult. ;-| Philip J. Rayment 01:50, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

But of course...[edit]

I understand that we may have some differences of opinion, but you have been completely courteous, respectful, and civil in all of your discussions with me. I hope that I may continue to be of assistance to you. Cheers. -- Merope 10:08, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Encouraging trolls and similar problems.[edit]

Phil, while you have made clearly good edits to trains related articles, I've noticed that you have a tendency on the creationism related matters to be less than useful. In particular, you have on multiple occasions encouraged trolls such as Raspor. It would be appreciated if you did not attempt to encourage/support such disruptive users in the future. JoshuaZ 19:39, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

I have also made good edits to creation-related articles in the past, and the only reason that I "have a tendency ... to be less than useful" on them now is because of the overwhelming effort of fighting the anti-creationist POV that is rampant here and which is trying to impose its own bias on them (see my user page). If not for that, I would be quite useful, having a good knowledge of and many years experience with the debate.
You should also note that although I stood by Raspor as he was mercilessly attacked by the anti-ID brigade, I actually discouraged Raspor from attempting to contribute to those articles.
And please name those other alleged trolls that I have encouraged "on multiple occasions", or withdraw the accusation.
And what are the "similar problems" that the heading mentions?
Philip J. Rayment 22:05, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Maybe he means me? Am I a troll?--Filll 23:29, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Do you really think that JoshuaZ might consider you a troll? As for me, I don't know if you are a troll. The definition is vague and admitted to be difficult. It says early on that a troll is someone who deliberately and intentionally attempts to disrupt, and part of the problem is that it is difficult to determine intentions, but I don't believe that Raspor intended to disrupt, so by that definition I don't even believe that Raspor was a troll, let alone you. Philip J. Rayment 04:33, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Fill was not the concern- the two who came to mine were Raspor and Rednblu. I should possibly clarify two things: 1) in this context I am not using troll as a measure of what they intend but as merely a description of an unredeemably disruptive user 2) I didn't see you discourage Raspor from contributing to those articles and if you did that presumably makes your conduct not as problematci. JoshuaZ 17:51, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Goodness, you're digging back into the past there! So now you are calling an editor who is still here editing after three and a half years, a troll? And nobody on his talk pages has suggested that he is a troll. Calling him a troll has just reinforced my belief of a bias against editors who are not out to demonstrate how ID and creationism is wrong. Philip J. Rayment 11:05, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Discussion with Filll[edit]

Hello: Sorry to bother you. I was just following up on some of Filll's recent edits, in part out of interest in what he's been doing of late, and I noticed the ongoing "discussion with Filll" #1, 2 and 3 linked to above. While I found it very interesting, I should point out that Wikipedia discourages use of the User_talk pages for blog-like activity, and encourages users to utilize another host for this sort of thing. I think the info is in WP:NOT and a couple other places. Anyway, interesting conversation. ... Kenosis 11:17, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

As one tries to grapple with all sides of the creationism/evolution controversy, this sort of discussion throws into focus multiple areas in which each side has not made their points clear or is otherwise deficient. In this sense, it serves a valuable WP function, by illuminating both sides of this controversy with greater clarity, so more complete aspects of the controversy can be captured and rendered in articles.--Filll 13:27, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I've offered before to have this type of discussion by e-mail, and I tend to agree that it is borderline appropriate. On the other hand, it's not much different to a lot of off-topic comments on article talk pages, and if this conversation is inappropriate, what about posts about videos, which posts have nothing to do with the article content, but is just to have a laugh at ID and creationism? Hmmmm. A case of the pot calling the kettle black? Philip J. Rayment 11:16, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I will point out that some of those videos are valuable references that I have added to the appropriate articles. Some people prefer to watch videos or listen to podcasts than to read something. Is that a problem?--Filll 13:45, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

I have no problem with people watching videos or podcasts; did I say anything to indicate that? No. What I said was that they had nothing to do with the article content, but were simply to have a laugh at ID and creationism. Apart from the one with Kenneth Miller (which I only watched the first two minutes of, but appears to be a serious video), how do any of the others contribute to the debate? What is encyclopedic about them? I'm quite sure that if someone added a link to a creationist parody of evolution, it would be removed very quickly as being irrelevant. Philip J. Rayment 01:54, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Here is a good video of a preacher giving some atheists whatfor: [7]--Filll 14:30, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, right. Do you think I'm that gullible? Philip J. Rayment 01:54, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Here is a good example of [8]--Filll 14:51, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

A good example of what? A good example of a group that is the exception to the rule? It's funny how this is about the only example of bigoted Christians I can recall ever being pointed to. Philip J. Rayment 01:54, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

This is just the tip of the iceberg, at least in the US. The US is brimming with bigoted Christians. I could find you many many websites and other evidence of blatant obnoxious behavior and beliefs. As I said before, to me they are not Christians. They are just hate-mongerors and bullies who are hiding behind the label of "Christian" to spew venom and hatred. And they engage in many of the beliefs I described above and many of the reprehensible beliefs. They truly are the "Christian" counterpart of the Taliban, Al Qaeda, etc. And before you tell me that Christians are not violent etc, these "Christians" are. Maybe not in Australia, but Australia is not the US.--Filll 04:14, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't really think that you are a good one to be criticising Christians for being bigoted, spewing venom, etc., with some of your venomous rants[9] [10].
You use Fred Phelps' group as an example of bigoted Christians, and at the same time claim that they are not really Christians! You are right—they are not really Christians (judging by the way they act), so why count them as examples of bigoted Christians? And from what I've seen, even Fred Phelps' group doesn't go as far as getting violent, at least in the manner of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
I don't actually doubt that you could find me a few more examples if I asked, but that would not prove your ridiculous contention that America is "brimming" (filled to capacity) with them.
And remember, the discussion is really about the attitudes and actions of creationists and the like, but you would not be able to find any of this sort of bigotry and venom from the main creationist groups. That is, you are quoting examples from the fringe, not from mainstream creationism.
Philip J. Rayment 02:10, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

It depends on what you mean by "brimming" and "extremist". Do I think the average american is an extremist? No of course not. Do I think that there are maybe 1 or 2 percent that are sort of religious kooks? Yes I do. And are these religious extremist groups all violent? No but they do provide cover for small groups of religious extremists that are violent. The hate-filled rhetoric that becomes permitted in these contexts pushes the people at the extremes off the deep end. And I would place ALL kinds of these groups in the category of "not very Christian" if you ask me. However, if you ask them, they will claim the opposite. And this type of situation, at least in the US, includes a big dollop of creationism. NONE of these crazy extreme groups (or almost none) are not creationists. Do I think all creationists are like this? No I do not. But the statements about gays being evil and scientists being evil and minorities being evil and liberals being evil and evolution being evil and women's liberation being evil and jews being evil and catholics being evil and so on by the "Christian" religious extremists in the US give cover to the extremist groups. You have to remember, that in the US, the groups that want the death penalty are all Christians and mainly creationists, the groups that want the war in Iraq are all Christians and mainly creationists, the groups that want a bigger military are all Christians and mainly creationists, the groups that want to cut services to the poor and health care to the poor are all Christians and mainly creationists, the groups that favor removing pollution controls on industry are mainly Christians and creationists. It is a very nasty right wing thing in the US. Forget charity to the poor and a rich man is more likely to get to heaven than a camel through the eye of a needle; they ignore all that. It is about guns and money and hating those who are different in the US. Are there a lot here like that? Not a huge number, but enough to make things uncomfortable, and enough to exercise immense political pull. And I beg to differ; I have encountered these sorts of attitudes from people in "mainstream" evangelical groups.--Filll 02:33, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I think you do not get a clear picture of the US evangelicals in Australia. They are very different places and cultures.--Filll 02:36, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I will accept that there is some sort of correlation between so-called "right wing" issues and people who would believe in some form of creationism. And I'm glad that you've now clarified that "brimming" means one or two percent. Personally, I think that's is very misleading to use "brimming" to mean one or two percent. I suppose that on that basis you would agree that the scientific community is brimming with creationists!
It's hardly fair to paint all Christians with the brush of those who call themselves Christian, especially given that more mainstream Christian groups reject the claims of the extremists (as the Southern Baptist Convention has of Westboro Baptist Church).
You've included an awful lot of claims of problems in that list, and some of them are not as black and white as would seem. For example, you (apparently) think that it is wrong of the Christians to reject aid to the poor, but you are likely misreading and misunderstanding the situation. A new book has researched this and shown that the opposite is true. A reviewer wrote:
The further to the left you are - particularly to the secular left - the less likely you are to donate your time or money to charity. Imagine two demographically identical people, except that Joe goes to church regularly and rejects the idea that the government should redistribute wealth to lessen inequality, while Sam never goes to church and favors state-driven income redistribution. Brooks says the data indicate that not only is Joe Churchgoer nearly twice as likely as Sam Secularist to give money to charities in a given year, he will also give 100 times more money per year to charities (and 50 times more to non-religious ones).[11]
Note that "Joe" is opposed to government support of welfare, but this does not mean that he is uncharitable.
Please document where mainstream creationist groups (that's what I said, not evangelical groups) demonstrate the bigotry and venom that you claim.
(By the way, early tomorrow morning I will be going away for a holiday, and may not get to post again for over a week.)
Philip J. Rayment 05:21, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Here is something you might find interesting:[12] --Filll 05:03, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

In that case, you might find these interesting: [13] and [14]. Flemming gets it wrong in the opening scene when he says that "Christianity was wrong about the solar system". The Church was wrong about the solar system because it had adopted the secular views of Aristotle, but this was challenged by Christians (creationists, of course) within the church. So score one for the creationists, and zero for the secular view. And for Flemming. Philip J. Rayment 05:46, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Well you are free to believe that if you want (although I think you must be kidding). However, to my view, you are not even wrong.--Filll 05:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
What makes you think that I'm kidding? I believe it because it's true. And I don't follow your last sentence; is that what you meant to write? Philip J. Rayment 06:32, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I am NOT painting all Christians with the brush of those extremists. However, if you talk to those extremists, they would claim only THEY are Christians and all others are blasphemers and infidels and atheists etc (including you probably). That is what I am trying to tell you. And I would dearly love you to experience this for yourself. I would love you to talk to another creationist or another fundamentalist of a different kind who would let you have it with both barrels, spitting and cursing and damning you for your beliefs. Because at that point, you would start to get a good idea of what the terrain out there is like, and what it feels like to have someone with a superior attitude preaching at you from a religious position and claiming to be holier than thou. It is pretty unpleasant, and frankly that kind of attitude drives away more people from religion than anything. It is nuts. It is hair splitting over something that cannot be proven. And each group thinks they and only they are right. And is willing to engage in hate tactics towards others. I agree that Christians donate more voluntarily, probably. But I also am a bit concerned with the agendas concerning capital punishment and war and pollution. And the right wing groups HERE push the government to support Israel. Most of the foreign aid of the US goes to Israel, and often is used to attack the former residents of the land, the Palestinians. I did not say all groups demonstrate it. But enough do that it is a matter of serious concern.--Filll 05:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I've had experience with the sort of person you talk about, on an Internet discussion site a few years ago. There were several (American) Christians in the forum, and he was the only one like this. One person was supporting him, but as he grew more vitriolic, that person ended up rejecting the person concerned.
Part of your problem may be in the way you conduct yourself. None of the following tips are guaranteed to work in all cases, of course, but they are common problems which often tend to inflame discussions.
  • Remain civil yourself. Name-calling is likely to anger the other person.
  • Don't presume that because the person has opposing views, or is a Christian or a creationist, that they are stupid. So don't talk down to them.
  • Don't argue that they are wrong by quoting or referring to others whom your opponent rejects. The different views of others is not an argument against the view that your opponent is arguing for.
  • Don't argue that their view is wrong on the grounds that it doesn't fit with your view. I've seen many times, including on Wikipedia talk pages, where creationist views were portrayed as wrong simply because they contradict evolutionary views. Instead, argue how opposing views are internally inconsistent, contrary to their source (e.g. contradict the Bible), or contrary to evidence. On this last point, be careful to distinguish between the actual evidence and interpretations of the evidence. For example, rocks are (sometimes) dated by calculating an age based on measurements of isotopes according to a theory about how the two are related. That is, the dates themselves are not directly measurable. So quoting dates as actual evidence is not going to convince any young-Earth creationist, not because he rejects evidence, but because he rejects (some aspects of) the theory about how the two are related.
  • Don't use straw-man arguments. This is another very common one (which you've used) and which I've written about on my user page. Be sufficiently aware of the view which you are arguing against.
Philip J. Rayment 06:32, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Well I do not think having an experience on the internet is quite the same, IMHO. But that is fine.
  • You are free to believe all my experiences have been because I am a jerk.
  • I do not think creationists or fundamentalists are stupid. I do think they are dangerous.
  • It is impossible to know what will or will not be rejected by the other person. In person, I mainly just say nothing and let them have their say, unopposed. I am very reluctant to say anything.
  • I will not acquiesce just to make them feel better on the internet, however.
  • All creationists pick and choose what they believe out of the bible. It is impossible not to. So anyone who starts to use biblical literalist arguments I realize is in some very strange place intellectually, and probably is undereducated about their own faith.
  • Nothing will convince a YEC. I do not want to even bother trying because there are an endless number of excuses that can be invented. For example, I recently read that the reason there are no human remains in the old rock strata along with other fossils is that volcanic magma intruded into those strata and vaporized all the human remains after the flood. Ok, if people want to believe this, then be my guest.
  • HOWEVER, whatever people believe, they do not have the right to force their minority views on the majority. Should the Muslims in Australia be allowed to force you to pray in a mosque several times a day? Believe me, they are as sure they are right as you are. They are confronted with Christian symbols in Australia all the time, just as you see information about dinosaurs and evolution all the time.
  • What the public thinks about scientific issues does not carry a lot of weight. If you had a sore throat, would you go to the plumber to have him look at it? If you wanted a weather forecast, would you go to your auto mechanic ?

--Filll 14:32, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Last post for a while...
You a jerk? Nooooo... Rather, I've seen the way that you argue, and at least some of those points apply to you. I'm not saying all of them do.
  • I am fine with people thinking I am a jerk. That is how it goes. It is almost impossible to prevent.--Filll 15:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Do you think that creationists and fundamentalists are dangerous in an intellectual sense, or a physical sense. If the latter, you are still generalising from the exceptions, even if the exceptions are more numerous that I think they are.
  • Both, actually.--Filll 15:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Then as I said, as far as the first goes, you are generalising from the exceptions. Philip J. Rayment 08:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Saying nothing is a good idea. Asking questions is better. Once I asked a person a series of questions that took him around in a circle back to where he started, but contradicting himself. It showed up the inconsistency of his view without me having to tell him he was wrong.
  • In person, it is not up to me to show them they are inconsistent. All it will do is make them angry and dangerous and threaten me. They scare me.--Filll 15:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Is your opinion that it will make them angry based on experience? That is, experience of showing them that they are inconsistent by asking them questions? Philip J. Rayment 08:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
It's impossible to not pick and choose? Why is this? And what is intellectually strange about Biblical literalism (not the mainly-hypothetical extreme version that takes even metaphors literally)?
  • You are free to believe it is possible to avoid picking and choosing. And not everyone agrees on what is metaphorical and allegorical.--Filll 15:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Please answer the questions. Your response avoids answering the question. Philip J. Rayment 08:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I find that evolutionists can invent endless excuses also. Like why creatures either did or did not evolve. Or why sex (gender) is an advantage and a disadvantage. And so on. It's a very slippery idea that can explain almost anything.
  • Science does not claim to explain anything. And you have to distinguish between accepted scientific theories with data supporting them, and assorted conjectures, hypotheses etc. Even the accepted theories are only provisionally accepted and probably will eventually be discarded.--Filll 15:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Of course science claims to explain things! The rest of your answer is hand-waving. Philip J. Rayment 08:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
It's okay for the majority to force their views on the minority though is it? And it's okay for the minority to force their views on the majority if the minority are the self-appointed experts? I'm not sure that its all that relevant, but most of the opposition to Christianity, in Australia at least, comes from the atheist types, not the Muslims. For example, preschools might ban nativity scenes supposedly because it will offend those of other faiths, yet the Muslims say that they have no problem with them. It seems that it's only the atheist types who do.
  • You are forced to believe evolution? How? You are not forced to study it in school here. I never studied it in school. Even if you are required to take it in school, I am sure you do not take more than a few minutes of classtime to discuss it, unless you want to be a biologist. It is true that evolution is everywhere in the dominant culture, depending on how you define it, just as Islam is everywhere in Saudi Arabia. Some claim that seeing a picture of a dinosaur offends them. Some claim that seeing pictures of DNA offend them. Some claim that hearing about primate relatives to man offends them. So, I do not know what to say in those cases. It is impossible to avoid offending people. I do not agree with the removal of creche scenes myself, or menorahs. I am more of the "live and let live" camp. And just as antismoking sentiments might be dominant in a certain society and offend some people, based on the the advice of a minority of specialists, society has decided to discourage smoking.--Filll 15:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I didn't say that I'm forced to believe evolution. But it is "forced" on me in various ways, including (in a peripheral way) in school over 30 years ago (and it was not as widespread then as now). Society decided to discourage smoking because a majority of experts advised it, and because there was enough support in the general community for it. Philip J. Rayment 08:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
If I had a sore throat, I'd go to a doctor. And for a weather forecast, the TV station (just kidding). And for what the Bible teaches, a theologian or similar, not an atheist like Flemming or Dawkins. And for the history of the world, the God who was there and recorded for us what happened, not a scientist who wasn't there and is speculating about what happened after first of all ruling out that God could have been involved. Your point?
  • For the history of the universe, I look for the evidence that God left us. Not a book written by men that has a wide range of problems when used as literal truth or a science text. And i have no problem with using that evidence for things that happened long ago, just as the police and legal system have no problem using evidence of a past crime.--Filll 15:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
You look for the evidence that God left us, but specifically reject some of that evidence, the Book that He wrote (using human "ghost writers"). Your assertion that it was written by men and that it has problems being taken literally, you have not substantiated, and I don't believe that you can substantiate them. Philip J. Rayment 08:00, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Now, who would you go to in each case?
  • Very funny.--Filll 15:22, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Philip J. Rayment 14:55, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

If you want a bit of a taste of beliefs of a prominent American creationist[edit]

Take a look at Jack Chick and Chick Publications.--Filll 15:36, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Consider the following scenario[edit]

Now how would lawyers feel if the following were pushed by the public and by members of some small eccentric religious sect:

  • All criminals that had not been seen committing a crime by the jury had to be released immediately. DNA evidence was ruled inadmissable, and confessions, and fingerprint evidence, and circumstantial evidence and eyewitness accounts were all thrown out. Unless the jury sees the crime for themselves, there is no proof it did not happen, so we have to just assume the opposite.
  • Any criminal defendent is allowed to use miracles as part of his defense. So if my neighbor saw me killing the postman and burying him in the backyard, I can claim that he did not see me, he saw a vision, or that I was miraculously in Cleveland on the day of the murder, even though I have no evidence to support me being in Cleveland and in fact there are 30 pieces of evidence that I was home in Rochester instead.
  • Questioning a "miracle" defense, or questioning the discarding of DNA evidence or fingerprint evidence will cause the judge, jury or lawyers to be condemned and cursed roundly, and told by the general public that they are damned and will burn in hell forever for questioning the word of God himself-They are in fact, defaming God almighty by questioning the miracle defense or introducing evidence from the past which no one saw.
  • There were rumblings about changing the laws to require the introduction of the miracle defense, and the discarding of all past evidence. Anyone who disagrees with these principles is automatically suspect. Politicians opposed to the miracle defense and discarding of past evidence will be voted out of office. Judges opposed will be impeached and removed from the bench.
  • Lawyers and judges who disagree will be viewed as nonbelievers and atheists and blasphemers for doubting the word of God himself
  • The expertise of lawyers and judges will be called into question since it is irrelevant-they are all atheists anyway, so who can trust them?--Filll 21:40, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

More American views[edit]

Pat Robertson:

  • He calls church-state separation a “lie of the left”
  • thinks Christians like him should lead the world.
  • His 1991 book The New World Order was based on a host of anti-Semitic sources, although Robertson has always been pro-Israel for end-times theological reasons.
  • The same book opines that former presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush may have been unwitting dupes for Lucifer.
  • On his TV show, Robertson once charged that Methodists, Presbyterians and Episcopalians represent “the spirit of the Antichrist.”
  • In a Sept. 13, 2001, diatribe, he asserted that the terrorist attacks on America happened because of the Supreme Court’s rulings in favor of church-state separation.
  • Over the years, the failed presidential candidate has often dallied with brutal dictators. He celebrated Guatemala’s Pentecostal strongman Efrain Rios Montt, lauded Frederick Chiluba of Zambia as a model for American politicians, hunted for gold with Liberia’s Charles Taylor and did business with Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire. (He was caught using relief airplanes owned by his charity, Operation Blessing, to ferry diamond-mining equipment in and out of Zaire.)

Robertson Quote: “The fact that [the courts] are trying to ignore this country’s religious heritage is just horrible. They are taking our religion away from us under the guise of separation of church and state. There was never any intention that our government would be separate from God Almighty. Never, never, never in the history of this land did the founders of this country or those who came after them think that was the case.”

Dr. James C. Dobson:

  • lauded corporal punishment for children at a time when many child-rearing experts were recommending against it.
  • refers to church-state separation as the “phantom” clause in the Constitution.
  • He frequently lambastes gays, legal abortion and the teaching of evolution in public schools.
  • In a 1996 radio address, he attacked the concept of tolerance, calling it “kind of a watchword of those who reject the concepts of right and wrong….It’s kind of a desensitization to evil of all varieties.”
  • Two years before that, an FOF magazine attacked the Girl Scouts for being agents of “humanism and radical feminism.”
  • More recently, Dobson lashed out at a pro-tolerance video produced for public schools that featured popular cartoon characters, among them SpongeBob SquarePants, because the group that produced it put a “tolerance pledge” on its Web site that included gays.

Rev. D. James Kennedy:

  • His “Coral Ridge Hour” mixes fundamentalism with strident attacks on public education, gays, evolution, legal abortion, “secular humanism” and other Religious Right targets.

Alan Sears:

  • He was the first Religious Right figure to assert that the cartoon character SpongeBob Square­Pants might be gay
  • has criticized the 1959 comedy film “Some Like It Hot” for promoting cross-dressing.

Sears Quote: “One by one, more and more bricks that make up the artificial ‘wall of separation’ between church and state are being removed and Christians are once again being allowed to exercise their constitutional right to equal access to public facilities and funding.” (January 2004 e-mail alert)

Donald Wildmon: Wildmon, 68, has flirted with anti-Semitism, suggesting that Jews control the entertainment industry. The AFA’s Journal has also reprinted articles from The Spotlight, an anti-Semitic newspaper. In December, Wildmon said evangelicals may stop supporting Israel if Jewish leaders don’t stop criticizing the Religious Right.

Wildmon Quote: “Anti-prayer/Anti-Christian groups – like the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State – have teamed up with liberal judges on the U.S. Supreme Court and are stripping away our religious freedom.” (Fall 2000 fund-raising letter)

Family Research Council:

  • Recently, it has led the Religious Right effort to attack the federal courts and strip judges of their ability to hear church-state cases, sponsoring a series of anti-court rallies called “Justice Sunday.”

Quote: “The [Supreme] Court has become increasingly hostile to Christianity. It represents more of a threat to representative government than any other force – more than budget deficits, more than terrorism.” (“Confronting the Judicial War on Faith” conference, March 7, 2005)

Jerry Falwell:

  • His newspaper labeled the children’s show character Tinky Winky a stalking horse for the gay-rights movement in 1999. *He has asserted that the Antichrist is alive today and is Jewish.
  • Two days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Falwell appeared on Pat Robertson’s “700 Club” and opined that God had lifted his protection and allowed “the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve.”

Falwell Quote: “Separation of Church and State has long been the battle cry of civil libertarians wishing to purge our glorious Christian heritage from our nation’s history. Of course, the term never once appears in our Constitution and is a modern fabrication of discrimination.” (“Falwell Fax,” April 10, 1998)

Rev. Louis P. Sheldon:

  • . He has been criticized for acting as a front for gambling interests on at least two occasions. An aide to disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff once called Sheldon “Lucky Louie” in an e-mail when the two worked together on a lobbying project on behalf of the legalized gambling industry.
  • For many years, Sheldon carved out a niche for TVC by engaging in unrelenting gay bashing. When other Religious Right groups began moving in on this turf in the 1990s, Sheldon diversified, ramping up his assaults on church-state separation, public education and the federal judiciary.

Sheldon Quote: “A dangerous Marxist/Leftist/Homo­sex­ual/Is­lamic coalition has formed – and we’d better be willing to fight it with everything in our power. These people are playing for keeps. Their hero, Mao Tse Tung, is estimated to have murdered upwards of 60 million people during his reign of terror in China. Do we think we can escape such persecution if we refuse to fight for what is right?” (“The War on Christianity,” column, TVC Web site, Dec. 13, 2005)

Source: [15] --Filll 16:42, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Great Examples of who is on the creationist side[edit]

These are posts to the comment page of a pro-evolution website in Australia:

"Creationism is not the alternative to Evolution, ignorance is", John Stear, No Answers in Genesis--Filll 23:02, 12 February 2007 (UTC)


So what are you getting at with those last few sections about creationists and others? None of the things that you list indicate that creationists are violent or physically dangerous. It mainly seems to be a list of views that you disagree with, with the implication that it is self-evident that the views are somehow wrong. But it is not self evident, and I have no dispute with many of those views. Perhaps you should actually spell out what you believe the problems to be, and why. Philip J. Rayment 08:04, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

So sorry that some editors who do not believe as you do will go to the point of referring to you as 'Rainman'. You have shown over and over again that you are the superior person. 22:52, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
To explain, the above comment is in reference to this edit, and likely made by a former editor heavily criticised for misusing other editor's user names. Philip J. Rayment 12:07, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

The fact that you do not see anything wrong with these quotes speaks volumes. What starts out as pure rhetoric ends up encouraging the fringe elements to violence. It is pure undiluted hatred. We found some more good examples this week in a bill introduced in the Texas legislature. More stuff about how awful Jews are by creationists, and how evolution is an evil Jewish plot. This is just pure crap and dangerous. For example, take a look at this section --Filll 15:20, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

The fact that you are not demonstrating any evidence of hatred or violence, but merely asserting that these comments will lead to such without any substantiation, speaks volumes to me about the validity of your argument and your ability to actually provide evidence of your claims. Also, that you malign all creationists with the reference to the Texas legislature, despite the link you provided talking about a politician (not a spokesman for any creationist group) who mistakenly (if carelessly) promoted that stuff and later offered to apologise, speaks volumes about how you are prepared to paint all creationists with any fault you can find. Philip J. Rayment 08:03, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Biased editing of Railpage Australia[edit]

Please do not remove legitimate, factual and verified information from Railpage Australia. If you don't agree with the content, that's fine, Please add your opinions and comments on the talk page. But don't remove factual information about the site operators. The comments on this page show that your POV is questionable. 03:31, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

There was nothing wrong with me removing the information. It is not legitimate to expect information to stay simply because it is correct. I removed it on grounds of relevance, as I stated in my edit comment. And I think it's rather presumptuous for an anonymous editor with hardly any edits to instruct me on what I can and can't do, especially when they are wrong in that.
You accuse me of biased editing, yet have provided no justification for that, nor for your accusation that my POV is questionable based on the comments on this page. What on Earth does that mean? That because my views differ to yours that my POV (in contrast to yours) is therefore somehow questionable? How arrogant. I won't get into an edit war with you over this, but I still believe that the addition is not relevant to the article. And your determination on this combined with this being virtually your only contribution to Wikipedia suggests that it is you that has an agenda.
Incidentally, as the Herald Sun web-site requires a subscription to view the article, I am unable to even check your reference to verify that you have accurately and fairly represented the facts.
Philip J. Rayment 08:58, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Nuvola apps important.svg Please stop. If you continue to delete or blank page contents or templates from Wikipedia, as you did to Railpage Australia, you will be blocked.

On what grounds?
And please sign your (talk page) posts. Philip J. Rayment 12:21, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Railpage Australia[edit]

Well, I have only a little experience with WP:BLP, but this doesn't appear to be a violation of it. It does appear to be sensationalizing a trivial detail for the purpose of discrediting someone who is not the subject of the article, and that doesn't fly. Wikipedia is not a tabloid, for one. I'll look over the diffs; maybe the IP can be reported for WP:3RR violation.

I'm sorry I haven't been quick on my responses lately -- I've been overwhelmed by the amount of real life stuff going on. -- Merope 16:43, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Careful with your editing!!!, for various reasons, they definately don't want Craig Dewick as a notable person, even if he is well known in NSW.

But what do they expect? If you start citing "notable" people who use their forum, you have to expect someone else will cite a "notable" person who does use their forum and is not to their liking.

Tezza1 12:20, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

How "notable" is he? The article said that he was a "union activist". Is he a union official, and how high up? And why would would "they definately [not] want" him? Or can't you say on an open forum? Philip J. Rayment 14:09, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Okay, as for the notability of one Craig Dewick amongst Railfans in NSW, I did the following quick search.

1. Column 8, Sydney Morning Herald[16], November 27 2002, Craig and his website get a mention.[17] 2. Historic Electric Tracton, mentioned in links page, as "The famous (infamous??) Craig Dewick established what was probably the very first NSW Railway bulletin board service waaaaaay back in 1991" [18] 3. Australian Model Railway Magazine, wrote an article titled "Rail on the Internet", AMRM Issue 196, February 1996. [19] & [20] 4. He gets a mention on Neetys website, another well know Sydney (female) rail gunzel.[21] & [22]

I think the reason why they don't like him maybe could be some of those dates cited and other things.

Have a good day,

Tezza1 08:54, 13 March 2007 (UTC)


Would you mind including any formal qualifications (i.e. degrees awarded by recognised universities) in your user page where you attempt to establish your credentials? Thank you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

What are you talking about? Philip J. Rayment 13:26, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Well you spend a bit of time discussing your "credentials", e.g. my parents taught me to read the Bible, I did a safeworking course with such and such required reading, etc. You appear to be passing yourself off as something of an expert, I think it would be good for you to list your formal qualifications to give some credibility to the contributions you make. Thanks.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)
You first, Mr. Anonymous. You tell us a bit about you. I've told you lots about me, but I know next to nothing about you.
And now that you've had the Railpage article protected with instructions to discuss it, how about you actually discuss it?
Philip J. Rayment 14:31, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
If I may interject, those statements seem perfectly fine to me, and a better self-representation than many Wikipedians offer. Unless someone actually claims to be an expert on a topic, declaring or even having any "formal" qualifications (notably, safeworking is one) is far from compulsory. --Evan C (Talk) 14:22, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
There's no need for me to tell you anything about me, I'm not the one running around making "contributions" everywhere. Are we to assume from your refusal to describe your formal qualifications that you do not have any formal qualifications? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)
No more than we are to assume from you refusal to tell us anything about yourself that you don't exist. Philip J. Rayment 15:03, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Crabcage: he appears to be passing himself off as an expert on several things, from the long-winded bio. Perhaps he should point out that he is a self-taught reader of Biblical Hebrew rather than a scholar, so that we may attach the correct weight to his interpretations of Biblical Hebrew. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)
Where do I claim to be a reader of Biblical Hebrew?
And please sign your posts.
Philip J. Rayment 15:03, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, Mr. Anonymous Railpage user (keno cards, anyone?), perhaps you should point out which contributions Mr. Rayment has made that require a formal qualification. Looking at the most recent page of his contribs list, I can't see any for which a formal qualification (presumably you're referring to a university degree or similar here) is even available for!
Like he said, you first. --Evan C (Talk) 14:54, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

<arbitrary indent reduction>Although some articles might benefit from the contributions of experts, there are many amateurs that can compete with professionals in many instances. And in the articles that I have seen Rayment edit, the professional credentials either do not exist, or are of less importance. For example, I am not sure having a degree in divinity really gives anyone much authority in many cases when editing religious articles. On the other hand, having a degree in astrophysics might be of assistance when discussing stellar modeling. Even in this case, there are nonexperts that can help with an article on stellar modeling. Although I disagree with Rayment in many instances, I think he is under no obligation to display or exhibit any credentials to establish his bona fides.--Filll 15:23, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

All this stalling. Maybe you should simply state that you have no formal qualifications in Theology or Divinity and do us all a favour.

while i likely do not share your assessment of the validity of Intelligent Design as science...[edit]

... i must agree with you about the politically correct systemic bias here at Wikipedia. it's pretty blatent (the lead sentence of Intelligent design is proof) and can only be cured by a quantity of editors that come here and fix it. neutrality and reasoning are insufficient because these guys will not look at themselves from a POV outside of themselves. it's a echo chamber. r b-j 07:09, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the best chance of improving the neutrality of the articles is by having a higher ratio of editors who are not pushing their own (usually anti-ID) POV. However, I can't see that changing in a hurry. A concerted attempt to get more editors who are prepared to be neutral would only result in a concerted attempt by others to get more editors pushing the anti-ID POV (of course, they would see it the other way around). The outcome will largely reflect the proportion of viewpoints amongst existing or future Wikipedia editors, and given the systemic biases in the article you linked to, that's likely to end up similar to now.
A better approach might be to tighten up the policies. We have policies on NPOV, references, reliable sources, etc., but we don't have any policies on how much prominence can be given to an idea in an article about that idea. There is the "due weight" clause in the NPOV policy, but like I saw someone write recently (but I can't find where), the due weight clause is (or should be) intended to not give undue weight to a minority view about the subject in question. It should not be used to justify giving a lot of weight to criticism of a minority view. Changing/clarifying the policy on these points might lead to some improvements.
And you know, it's interesting the number of anti-ID people who agree that the article is biased, and the (total?) lack of pro-ID people who think it's okay as it is. That in itself says something.
Philip J. Rayment 09:26, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

A word on intelligent design.....[edit]

Hi Philip...

I hope you don't mindme popping up here, but I saw you were having some frustrations at the Intelligent Design page, and thought i'd drop you a line. You mentioned that the article referred to Intelligent Design as a concept - which it used to, but hasn't done for a while - did you happen to save an older version? Anyways - i was one of the editors who pushed for a change to the article to reflect basically what you've been saying, which is that the concept of Intelligent Design is not the same as the DI.

What is verifiably true though is that the only notable use ever of the phrase 'Intelligent Design' that would warrant an encylcopedia article is the DI argument. Kenosis is very clear at explaining why this is so on the talk page of the article at the moment.

The frustrations start because those regular editors have to deal with all sorts of strange people, and they perhaps take it for granted that the above paragraph is both true and accepted. Perhaps you don't accept it as true, and if you can clearly state and support your point of view (ie. but this source refers to 'Intelligent Design' in a completely non DI way....) then i think you'll get more recognition of the problem as you see it.

I found the page a bit of a minefield to start with, but now feel i understand it all a bit better - and I'm interested to talk with you about it anyways! - best - Petesmiles 01:55, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi Petermiles, and welcome to my talk page.
As I explained on the ID talk page, "concept" was my word to indicate that the article was not about a movement or a name, but (for lack of a better word) the idea of ID.
That's probably a symptom of a wider problem, that various editors are not understanding exactly what each other means.
When I started that section, I did not understand why the article seemed to be ignoring intelligent-design type arguments from places other than the Discovery Institute, although I did recall seeing a reference some time ago to this being deliberate. However, I accepted that there could be some rationale for this, so I asked two questions: (a) Why is it just about the Discovery Institute, and (b) if there is a good reason, is it really clear in the article, particularly the introduction.
Kenosis pointed me to previous discussions, and it quickly became clear to me that there did seem to be valid reason for the article to be limited to the Discovery Institute. I accepted (lacking any evidence to the contrary) that the term "Intelligent Design" was effectively coined by the Discovery Institute people, and that ID is effectively their version of the teleological argument.
However, having accepted this, I still had the second question, about whether this is adequately clear in the article. In one sense, it's a foregone conclusion that it is not clear, because if it was, there would not be so many people asking why the article is just about the Discovery Institute.
Yet despite me asking the question in various different ways, nobody gave me a satisfactory answer, in the sense of pointing out that this is clear in the introduction. The nearest that Kenosis (the only editor who really replied at all) came was in pointing out that the introduction says that all the leading proponents of ID are from the Discovery Institute, which to my mind is not saying the same thing.
If all that's not enough, some of the recent comments are only serving to confuse (me) even more about how synonymous ID is with the Discovery Institute. I'm referring to the replies to you in the section "A Spade is a spade after all...." and FeloniousMonk's comment just above that, about Tomandlu's suggestion creating a false dichotomy.
Philip J. Rayment 08:18, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

As I have said before, intelligent design was a term that was around before the DI, but it was not widely used. The DI grabbed the idea and the name and have run with it and promoted it extensively. By virtue of this fact, they essentially "own" this term, at least in the public discourse at the moment. If I walk on the street and ask 100 people. about 99 of them will come back with something related to the DI. When I have heard interviews by people from the DI, they deny that ID is connected with the previous incarnations of ID or teleology and claim that they have seized on something new and unique, although this clearly is not quite accurate. I suspect they would take out copyrights if they could on the name. For this reason, ID is effectly welded at the moment to the DI. This might not be true in the future, and it certainly was not true in the past. It is a tribute to the power of the media and the extensive efforts of the DI to popularize the term.--Filll 18:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

And yet FeloniousMonk has argued that ID is essentially synonymous with creationist teleological arguments and Guettarda says that ID predates the Discovery Institute. My point really is that the reason that the article concentrates on the Discovery Institute is not clear in the article's introduction. Philip J. Rayment 10:10, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi Philip - and sorry it took me so long to check back in.... i've left a further comment at the ID talk page, and would welcome your thoughts...... perhaps my suggestion makes the ID DI synonymity clearer... best, Petesmiles 02:17, 14 March 2007 (UTC)


Your attention to this article is urgently needed.--Filll 18:06, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't see how I can help with this article (it's not anything that I know anything about), let alone see what's urgent about it. Philip J. Rayment 10:11, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


To say that creationist don't come onto science sites pushing POV, where have you been? Daily, ranging from straight vandalism, to trolling comments on talk pages, to qualifying edits, to complaints about POV, it goes on and on. So yes I occasionally snap. As for biological scientists yes I think a handful is a suitable description. Outside the US, probably less than 100. I've never come across one, and I work on a daily basis with professional biologists. Inside the US probably more, although there were very few even on the broadly framed petitions people like the DI get up. And one final comment - if religion conflicts with science (and plenty of people of faith are completely comfortable with science) bad luck. Religion and science are not equivalent. Best I can suggest is that where there is conflict the religious can believe that future scientific discoveries may prove them right. Personally I doubt it, but I'm willing to admit it is possible. -- Michael Johnson 12:40, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

There you go another example. Nice case of homophobia as well. -- Michael Johnson 12:44, 14 March 2007 (UTC)

So vandals are creationists, are they? As for the rest, what you describe as POV-pushing may well not be. I've seen many claims of POV-pushing by anti-creationists who are, in my opinion, pushing their own POV.
Of course not all vandals are creationists, and probably only a small percentage of creationists on Wikipedia probably vandalise evolution articles. But most vandalism is creationist-related. It may be that some so-called atheists are largely responsible for vandalism of religious articles. I don't know as I don't edit those articles, as I don't feel I have enough background to contribute constructively. -- Michael Johnson 06:38, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
So are you saying that your belief that creationists are doing so much vandalising is the result of a non-random sampling? That is, the ones that you tend to encounter? Philip J. Rayment 11:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I wonder if any of the biologists that you work with are in fact creationists who have not admitted as much to you. Considering the condemnation, name-calling, outright discrimination, etc. that they have to endure, many simply keep quiet about it.
Well maybe, and there is no way we could tell either way. Not that I think they would be treated as you describe, most animal people are quite accepting. I do know of a couple of biologist friends who maintain involvement with churches while not believing in God, basicly because of social pressure. -- Michael Johnson 06:38, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Regarding the treatment, it depends. I doubt that in most cases, creationists would be treated that way by their colleagues who know them well, but they probably want to keep quiet about it because of potentially negative treatment by others who don't know them so well. I know a (now retired) science teacher who was telling his students (in a government school here in Melbourne) about the creationist views when they asked about them in class. His principal was aware of what he was doing, and had no problem with it. But the sceptics, trying to drum up publicity for an anti-creationism meeting they were having, told the press about it, with the result that the Education Department instructed the principal to put a stop to it. Now that's not necessarily a great example of bad treatment, but illustrates what I was saying about close colleagues vs. others. I also know a university lecturer at a Melbourne university who is forbidden by the university from mentioning who he works for when he gives talks on creation. More seriously, I also know of an Australian geologist who another geologist tried to have stripped of his qualifications, because the former is a creationist. That's just examples from Oz. There was the case a few days ago where a teacher in the U.S. was sacked for giving his students some creationary material to expose them to a different viewpoint. And I could quote many other examples of discrimination. Philip J. Rayment 11:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
P.S. I just came across this (again):
My reluctance to pursue these matters is based on my experience that nothing causes greater panic among many of my colleagues than any criticism of evolution. They seem to fear that someone might mistake them for Creationists if they even remain in the same room while such talk is going on
—Rodney Stark, in The Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-hunts and the End of Slavery (see here).
Philip J. Rayment 12:00, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that religion and science are not equivalent, but I don't agree that the Biblical record is in conflict with science. What the Biblical history is in conflict with is the religious (often atheistic) views of scientists passing their worldview off as science.
Philip J. Rayment 04:39, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Just a small question for you, Phillip. I am quite willing to say that there is a possibility that my understanding about the creation of life is wrong, and that yours is right, indeed that someday it may be proved to be so. I have to say it is a very small chance, and I'm pretty sure that I am right, but nethertheless I am open to it. Can you agree with me on this? Can you agree there is a chance you are wrong? -- Michael Johnson 20:16, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Just like you, I don't think I am wrong, but I don't claim omniscience or infallibility, so there must be the possibility that I'm wrong.
A question in return: If you agree that there is a possibility that I am right (no matter how small), then what is unscientific about investigating that possibility? Or do you take the line (as many seem to) that the creation model of history* cannot be considered from a scientific perspective even if true?
*—I'm referring here to (claimed) historical events such as the Earth appearing before the sun, birds appearing before land animals, rapid plate tectonics, a global flood, etc. I'm not referring to an attempt to scientifically study God.
Philip J. Rayment 01:49, 16 March 2007 (UTC)
In principle, there is not a thing wrong with endevouring to find the truth. So no. However to try and constantly prove something against all the evidence to the contrary, strikes me as being "a fool unto yourself". I can just think of many more profitable, and interesting, lines of enquiry. The whole question of "why are we here" interests me far more. -- Michael Johnson 00:32, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Okay, so if I find someone claiming that creationism cannot, by its very nature, be considered scientific, can I count on your support in disagreeing with them? Philip J. Rayment 01:14, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
You can certainly apply scientific method to investigate creationist claims. The problem for you is the scientific evidence that exists, in massive volume, is against you. So yes we can investigate a claim that birds appeared before land animals scientificly. But I would not support including this claim in an article on evolution. There simply is no scientific evidence to support it. One problem is that there is no research from creationists. I don't mean reading papers trying to find gaps in the scientific evidence. I mean actually getting out there in the field or in the laboratory researching and writing papers. It simply doesn't happen. As a side point, I find it interesting that many proponents of creationism seem to come from mathamatical or analytical backgrounds, my thoughts are maybe they don't have a very close relationship with nature. I'm not a scientist (I only have a Masters in Applied Science) but I find evolutionary theory a very useful way to explain the natural world. For instance, I can easily use evolution to explain why my quolls produce thirty young yet the female has only eight teats, leaving to 22 of her young to die within hours. I would find it much harder to understand why an "intellegent designer" would do so. Couldn't count? Maybe not so intellegent? Maybe you have some thoughts. -- Michael Johnson 01:37, 19 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for avoiding a direct answer. Why am I not surprised?
Your ignorance of the research that creationists have done does you no credit. The same applies to your ignorance of the creation model. If you really had much idea of the concept that you so readily mock and reject, you would know that creationists argue that what we see in nature today is not how it was created, but a corrupted, degenerate form of the original perfect creation. I guess that also explains your belief that there is no evidence supporting the creation model.
By the way, what is the evolutionary explanation of the quoll? Did it evolve from something that had more teats, or from something that produced fewer young? If the latter, why did evolution select for this variation that is obviously less efficient?
Philip J. Rayment 09:09, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Re the quoll the former. Giving birth for a marsupial is possibly less stressful than passing stools. Much easier to loose a few teats than a few embryos. But this is just my personal hypothesis. Re your accusation of my ignorance, well maybe. However I have not noted any research in scientific textbooks or journals, or in general books or magazines, or even newspapers. I rarely encounter anything to do with creationism, besides what is on the web. I did encounter a group with a wooden ark model at the Show last year, but all they had were religious publications, and the old ladies behind the counter hardly looked up to a scientific discussion (I may have been wrong) so I left them in peace. But you are more than welcome to point me in the direction of research that points to evidence of birds appearing before land animals. That one because I have some background in ornithology. -- Michael Johnson 06:38, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Regarding the quoll, if it lost teats, why did it have the teats in the first place? Why did it evolve to have so many teats if they are such a burden?
Nevertheless, taking your answer at face value, what you are describing seems to be a case of the quoll losing genetic information. As I mentioned earlier, creationists propose that living things were originally created without flaw, but have degenerated since. So superficially, losing teats seems to fit that model quite well.
Creationism is such a "dirty" concept in academia and the media that, basically, they refuse to give it an airing (except to rubbish it) (for example, the ABC's Science Show has on quite a few occasions had segments critical of creationism, but never, to my knowledge, had a creationist on to put the creationist point of view positively). Therefore, you shouldn't expect to find it there. I agree that you have to go looking for information on it (although with the Internet, that's not hard), but that doesn't excuse anybody rubbishing the idea whilst now knowing much about it.
The model ark at the Show was there by invitation of the Christian group who had the stall; the stall was not primarily about the ark nor creationism. Nevertheless, the bloke with the ark did have some scientific information there. I know, because I was there helping out for a few hours. That bloke (the builder of the model) could have had a scientific discussion with you. Perhaps he was busy talking to others at the time, or perhaps he was on a break, and you were just unlucky in your timing.
I can't off the top of my head think of any evidence (other than a particular historical record) of birds appearing before land animals. But what I could point you to is evidence that land animals could not have evolved into birds.
Philip J. Rayment 11:31, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Been absent for some time, and don't have a lot of spare time at the moment. However if you would like to point me in the direction of original research by creationist scientists, I would be interested. As for the quoll, it is all guess work, but sometimes having lots of babies works for a species, sometimes it doesn't. Having lots of babies might have been a good strategy for Dasyurid ancestors. --Michael Johnson 00:41, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
I haven't been around much either, but as a general answer, have a look at many of the papers in the Journal of Creation. In order to avoid a charge of elephant-hurling, here is a specific paper by way of example.
As far as the quoll is concerned, it sounds like you can "easily use evolution to explain why my quolls produce thirty young yet the female has only eight teats" because evolution is so flexible that it can explain anything, which means that it really doesn't explain anything at all.
Philip J. Rayment 13:22, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
No, it is just that the theory that best explains the known facts is most likely to be correct. You would propose an intelligent designer. Why would a designer do this? Was it an error? Or a trick? If I were to accept an intelligent designer I would have to think the designer either incompetent or a trickster. Do you? And it is not just quolls, it is thousands of cases across biology. In the meantime I'll look at the papers you have referred me to with interest. Cheers, --Michael Johnson 02:28, 16 May 2007 (UTC)
The Designer could have initiated the process of life and then let it go on on its own intervening at certain points to guide life to the goal the designer has. ID theory does not specify a designer. It could have been aliens, beings from another universe, time travellers. For instance when contructing a building scaffolds are used and discarded. ProtoCat 11:41, 17 May 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunatedly that is a geology article, and I have really dont have the knowedge to put that into context. I'll check out the other site for biology articles. --Michael Johnson 11:30, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

RE: JS talk page[edit]

Hi Philip! I've gone ahead and made some more changes. Give the talk page a look now and see if I've done what you were asking about. If I haven't, feel free to get back in touch and let me know gaillimhConas tá tú? 16:34, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

conservapedia to wikipedia[edit]

I've inserted my comments into Myles325a's post below: Philip J. Rayment 05:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Hi Philip, Myles here. I'm the guy who wrote the piece "Conservapedia to Wikipedia" in the talk page for the main page of Conservapedia, and to which you had some objection. I emailed another bloke who wrote in to defend me. When I looked you up, blow me down if you aren't an Aussie, just like me, tho you reside in Melbourne, and I in Sydney. Anyway, here is a copy of what I wrote the other chappie. Make of it what you will. Haven't had time to look at all the interesting stuff here, but I will

Thanks for your support on the main page re: my "conservapedia to wikipedia" article. I HAD noticed that the customary strategy used by creationists et al in answering some critique, is simply to post a two line objection to some part of the material, often peripheral to the main argument, and itself very vague.

My response was brief because I was only answering a couple of points you made, not the entire post. I don't see a problem with that. My answers were vague because the claims I was answering were vague. I can back them up, however. Philip J. Rayment 05:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

My main point would be that no one should try to sabotage or vandalise Conservapedia for ideological reasons, tho a bit of good-natured ragging and pranking can hardly be condemned - and such would only keep the editors on their toes. My thesis is that any attempt to compile a comprehensive encyclopedia will quite naturally and inevitably lead to pluralistic and liberal viewpoints predominating, because of the essentially syncretic and comparative nature of encyclopedias.

I wasn't objecting to your main point; just to a couple of "peripheral" points. Not that I necessarily agree with your main point, though. Philip J. Rayment 05:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

A lot of the simple-minded stubborness of SOME conservative positions lie in avoiding a thorough-going evaluation of the material available. When such is undertaken, it is difficult to see how the verities of good "ole - time religion" can persist.

I might agree with your first point there that some people (though on both sides of the fence) avoid a proper evaluation. I reject, however, that your conclusion has to follow. Philip J. Rayment 05:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Consider two examples.

1. The Christian Science Monitor is a news analysis publication that is respected around the globe. Yet, its founders would be suprised that the paper has virtually no trace of its rather radical religious gestation. In attempting to be a good newspaper, it is now a Christian Science publication in name only.

You know, that argument presupposes that being a good newspaper is incompatible with its religious origins. I would actually agree—because of the particular religious origins that it had, not because they were religious per se. Philip J. Rayment 05:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

2. Opposition to the Vietnam War mounted when the increasing casualties amongst CONSCRIPTED American troops (many hardly out of their teens) led many American citizens to examine closely the reasons for engagement in and pursuit of war in that region. With this knowledge came increasing objection and protest against the war. If the U.S. were to instigate conscription for the war in Iraq, then, I believe, there would be a massive groundswell of opposition that would make the Vietnam moratoriums and marches look mild. When people have a direct stake in matters, then there is a concommital concentration of the mind. Until such a time, many people will simply not want to know about what is going on.

I can't see that this example is particularly relevant to the issue. Philip J. Rayment 05:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Those who have embarked on Conservapedia have staked themselves on providing an alternative encyclopedia to Wikipedia, conservative and christian in character. Fair enough. But if their product is not to remain a collection of howlers openly advertising the essential "don't know and don't wanna know" attitude of many conservatives, then they will be forced to try to match, in depth and quality of the material found in Wikipedia. And where will that lead? The very process of compiling and assessing involved in such an endeavour will lead to the opening up of the mind to many views OTHER THAN THE ONES that have prevailed hitherto.

Up to a point I agree. That is, it does appear to me that there is an element of stomping on alternative views instead of exposing them. Having said that, however, I reject that this is inherent in the conservative or Christian worldviews, and therefore that it will necessarily lead to another Wikipedia. Philip J. Rayment 05:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

That is what I meant by saying that the essential "liberality" of Wikipedia is to found in the very process of compiling from many sources a comprehensible and comprehensive encyclopedia" The Medium is the Message. And this is not to be derided or feared. It is insularity that largely maintains many "conservative" views, which should rightly be called reactionary in many places. What could be less insular than the process of trying to compile a Book on the World itself?

I believe that Conservapedia is too hard on Wikipedia. Some of their criticisms of Wikipedia are of things that are unavoidable, and Conservapedia will struggle with the same issues. On the other hand, there is a "liberal" bias here that remains unchecked. You probably won't see the it the same way as I do, but I've seen many examples here of people arguing, in effect if not explicitly, that the "scientific" point of view is the neutral point of view, so all opposing views (opposing the majority view of scientists) are not given a fair hearing. Conservapedia is doing its best to avoid at least that problem. Philip J. Rayment 05:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I have sent a courtesy copy of this to the gentlemen who provided the initial objection.

BTW, I have looked at this, and no I DON'T think that creationists have significantly altered their views on the general history of the world. It is still 6000 years old, and created in a single week, and the whole Noah's Ark fable, quite impossible as it is, is STILL asserted to be factual.

I never claimed that they have altered their core beliefs, but then have evolutionists? They still believe that all life has developed from the first life, that fish evolved into amphibians into reptiles, etc. So does that mean that they "admit of no revision" also? Philip J. Rayment 05:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Myles325a 12:47, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

Philip J. Rayment 05:12, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Are objections to being called an "evolutionist" valid?[edit]

Again, my responses are inserted into Myles325a's post. In this case I have broken into his paragraphs:

Look, Philip, I think this comes down to the nub of the matter. I don’t really mind being called an evolutionist – I guess I am one. But here is how I see it. Entertain a thought experiment. Suppose that whenever you bought an airline ticket, or talked about the world in general, people called you a Roundworlder. How would you feel? Not insulted, just a bit irritated, I would imagine. And why would you feel like that? Probably because you would think that the question of whether the world was round or flat had been settled some time ago, that there was widespread consensus on the subject, and that there was a massive amount of evidence to show that the world is and has always been round.

(broke into paragraph) Your analogy only work if the matter of evolution is settled. Of course, I reject that it is. Philip J. Rayment 05:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

You would probably object to people seeking to have your son’s or daughter’s school teach “the other side of the question”, because they felt “the jury was still out on the matter”. You would probably, and I think fairly surmise that the people who had not been convinced by now that the world was round would NEVER be so convinced, and that it would be useless to argue with them. I imagine you would probably also not think all that well on the idea that, on every occasion the roundness of the world was mentioned, a separate disclaimer stating it to be “only a theory” had to presented, and that copious amounts of medieval stuff on the flatness of the world had to be given in order “to present a balanced point of view”. You would most certainly look askance if every historical view of the shape of the world, and the hundreds of creation myths (sorry, “accounts”) still extant, all had to be given a fair go.

There is a difference. The roundness or otherwise of the Earth is a matter of direct observation, and the matter is easily settled. This is not the case with goo-to-you evolution. Nobody has observed a fish evolving into an amphibian, for example. And the matter is clearly not settled in the minds of the general population. How many believe that the world is round? 99.999? How many believe that evolution is fact? More like 50%. The fact that the figure is significantly different among scientists is relevant, but doesn't change the fact that a lot of people reject or question evolution. But let's look at the scientists also. How many scientists believe that the world is flat? Probably near enough to zero. How many believe that evolution is not false or questionable? Probably in the thousands. There is a big difference between the two examples.
As for teaching medieval ideas on the flatness of the world, are you aware that most people never thought that the world was flat? That the "people used to think the world was flat" idea was invented to discredit Christians?
Furthermore, I, along with some of the leading creationist organisations, do not think that teachers should be forced to teach creation in schools.
Philip J. Rayment 05:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, that is how I feel about being an “evolutionist”. It is a dead letter, a non-issue. The jury has decided this question a hundred years ago. I do not intend to pursue the charade that this is still an open question, that the “jury is still out” or anything of the sort. Especially when the protagonists of this are simply putting forward the words of ancient book. Be honest. If the Bible said the world was 2000 years old, you would argue for that. If it said the world was 120 billion years old, you would be quite happy with that, and announce to all and sundry that that was the absolute truth and that any amount of evidence could be found for it.

You might feel that it's a dead issue, but it's not. The "protagonists" are not "simply putting forward the words of an ancient book". First, you are subtly disparaging what the Bible is; it is not just "an ancient book", but the revelation of the omniscient creator Himself. Okay, you don't believe that, but that's sort of my point. You are basing your claim (of what creationists are doing) on your belief about what the book is. Building an argument on an unsubstantiated belief. Second, creationists also produce much scientific evidence to support their view. To characterise it as if they are only using the Bible as evidence is deceptive.
Your hypothetical question about the Bible saying the world was 2000 or 120 billion years old is also invalid. We don't believe what the Bible says because it is "the Bible", but because it is the revelation of God, and by definition, must be correct. Your question presupposes that it would be saying something incorrect that we would therefore believe.
Philip J. Rayment 05:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

So you see, I do think Wikipedia is in the right for knocking you back. You have your religious hang-ups. Conservapedia is the place for them. If you really think that kangaroos skipped all the way from Mr Ararat to Australia about 4000 years ago, be happy in your delusion. And what did they carry in their pouches? The other marsupials, like the koalas? Can’t you see how tortuous and unlikely and weird the whole thing is? There were large advanced CIVILIZATIONS in 4000 BC, complete with armies, writing, and architecture. Agriculture has been going on for 10 thousand years, at least!

You criticised me for a "vague" response, so why didn't you offer a solid refutation of the idea of kangaroos travelling to Australia, instead of just mocking the idea and insulting me? Your claim that there were civilisations and agriculture predating the flood times is based itself on a worldview that rejects the biblical record to start with, so amounts to circular reasoning. Philip J. Rayment 05:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

So no, you can’t depend on the democratic tendency of people to forever give you a fair hearing. Especially when you see the type of “tolerance” that is meted out at Conservapedia. My point is simply this. You wouldn’t want an educational system that had to pay lip-service to Flatworldism in order to pacify a band of no-nothings who have been determined that they never will compromise on their faith. And likewise, neither I nor nearly every educated person on the planet wants to go over and over this business of Noah’s Ark and Young Creation, and how stars were just seem to be really far away, and how tectonic plates were really fast and then just suddenly slowed down when people arrived to see them in action, and about 1000 other examples of tomfoolery.

Again, you mock the ideas and their proponents instead of refuting them. The fact of the matter is that these ideas are supported by some people who are just as educated and just as intelligent as people with opposing views. Dismissing them as tomfoolery is simply a bibliosceptic tactic of avoiding answering them. Philip J. Rayment 05:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Radio-carbon dating? It’s wrong. All the other kinds of dating? All wrong, too. And the tree rings, and the ice cores, and the limestone deposits, and the astronomical observations of craters, and the life cycles of the stars, and the rest of it. ALL WRONG! And not only that, but wrong in such an interesting way, that all these “wrong” indications just accidentally and coincidentally all point to the SAME wrong scenario – a world about 4.5 billion years old, life that is about 3.8 billion years old, and a universe that is about 13 billion years old. Now compare that with the figure of life created in “a week”, and about 6000 years ago. Do you seriously think that the people who have got two Mars rovers trundling around that planet, and have decoded the human genome, could really mix up the evidence for 13 billion years and 6 thousand years? I mean how could anyone make a mistake that large.

Creationists don't claim that carbon dating is always wrong, but again my response above applies, that you are mocking rather than answering. And you grossly exaggerate how much in concordance the methods are. If they were so reliable and unambiguous, why do they keep changing the dates? I'm not suggesting, by the way, that there is no logic or agreements to the dates at all, but that there is not as much as you imply.
They make a mistake that large because they base their views on a worldview that rejects a creator out of hand. Having rejected a creator, there is little choice but to come up with something like 13 billion years. But why reject the creator in the first place?
Philip J. Rayment 05:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

No, enough is enough. I have a look at the “Creation Science” sites occasionally, and do you know what I notice. No science.

(Breaking into paragraph several times) Do you look at them with your eyes closed? It is utter nonsense to claim that they have no science. Philip J. Rayment 05:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

No, even with all those filthy rich republicans, there is no research, ...

Again, utter nonsense. Have you not read, for example, articles from the CRS Quarterly or the Journal of Creation? And I guess that you are not aware of the RATE project. And I don't know how filthy rich the Republicans are, but creation science gets virtually no funding from government sources, unlike evolution, and the private funding is a drop in the bucket compared to funding for evolution. It is hard to do much research without much funding. Philip J. Rayment 05:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC) teams out there patiently trying to see how Noah’s children managed to disperse around the globe, no one trying to build a replica of the ark with life size replicas of animals, nothing.

I'm not sure how building a replica of the ark and the animals qualifies as research, but again, you are wrong to claim that there is no research. Philip J. Rayment 05:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

You know what science is? It is forming hypotheses about how things came to be, and then TESTING them, and RESEARCHING them. Not sitting down and writing pamphlets about science, like Ken Ham does. I mean, really, this is the sort of guy who actually puts BSc, DipEd after his name, like that gives him cred! And what “Science” as opposed to propaganda and empty assertions has he done. Nothing at all. Myles325a 13:30, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

He has scientists working for him and who he is quoting. And Ken Ham's writings tend to be on worldview issues rather than science anyway. And what is wrong with showing his qualification, especially given the common sceptic canard that creationists don't have qualifications? Philip J. Rayment 05:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Phil, I do not think you deserve the above. You have always been kind and considerate. You have the right to believe what you want without persecution. 15:51, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

O.K. I went overboard. It was late and I was tired. I'm sorry. But I will write in later to ask you how Creationists have changed their beliefs. Myles325a 08:46, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Evolutionist Revisited[edit]

As I commented over on Theory of Evolution discussion, I'm sorry that you don't understand that "evolutionist" is a slur. Just read the nonsense over on the "evolutionism" page if you don't understand why (and take a look at my quite reasonable edits that got me slurred as a vandal and banned for a month by BenjaminS). "Evolutionist" is a term created by creationists and used only by creationists, and used to reduce the life efforts of thousands and thousands of people to the status of an unjustifiable belief system. At the very least, remember a common rule of courtesy: it's the receiver that gets to decide what is a slur and what isn't. There are words you don't call black people, even though you can point out that they are easily derived from the Spanish word for "black." There are words you don't call Jews, even though you can point out that they are just abbreviations for "Hebrew". You certainly wouldn't walk into a room (or a website) and start using them just because you decided that they were convenient. Same way for "evolutionist": you shouldn't use it for the simple reason that many of the people you describe with it are offended by it. Generally, when you want to use it, you can substitute "scientist" (or "mainstream scientist", if you must).

By the way, the earlier statement that there is no science on "Creation Science" websites was factual. AnswersInGenesis is simply painful to read, and always leaves me wondering whether I am reading something written by someone that is genuinely self-deluded or someone that is tricking the masses for profit. It sometimes is extremely hard to tell the difference. They even state at on their site that they are not doing science and have no intention of doing it: they are assuming the Bible is true and then force-fitting their theories to justify it. You cannot study evidence and then force fit it to an answer that you have predetermined is true. If examination of evidence shows that a literal reading of Genesis is false (which it does), then the only rational conclusion is that a literal reading of Genesis is false. It isn't that the speed of light varied, and that fossils got deposited in a layered pattern across the world according to how fast they could outrun rising flood waters (try to sort the fossil record by running speed, sometime, and you will see how ludicrous that is), that animals got blown by volcanoes until they reached Australia and Antartica while the sloths were riding vegetable mats across the Atlantic, and the pile of unreasonable assumptions they pile upon other piles of unreasonable assumptions. Those sites don't have science: they have sciency-sounding religion. Kww 04:47, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Phil please do not take this person's comments seriously. You are a kind and considerate person who seems to be beseiged by some unstable people. No where can I find that 'evolutionist' is a slur. Of course some people if called 'human being' will some how find offense. You have the right to believe what you do. Good luck. 11:15, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Kww, I'm going to end up repeating some stuff here that I've said elsewhere, but as you've raised it here also, I'll answer it here also.
I'm sure that "evolutionist" is not used only by creationists, but I've acknowledged that it's used mainly by them, but I strongly reject that it is used to denigrate. (I can't help wondering if this attitude comes from evolutionists using the term "creationist" to denigrate, so impugn the same motive to creationists using an equivalent term.) It is simply an accurate descriptive term, and I've yet to come across a better one.
What you don't understand is that many people, myself included, find any suggestion that they are acting according to faith or belief systems to be highly offensive.Kww 17:52, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
There's not much I can do about you being offended by the truth. Philip J. Rayment 03:18, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I could be offended at your suggestion that a suitable alternative is "scientist". It is simply false that "scientist" is synonymous with "evolutionist", because a quite small but still significant percentage of scientists are not evolutionists. This is very reminiscent of anti-creationist charges that you can't be both a creationist and a scientist, which is why it could be considered offensive.
At the present time, one cannot be both a creationist and a scientist. Creationism can be believed only if enormous masses of evidence are discarded. The percentage of people that identify themselves as "scientists" that embrace creationism is trivially small.Kww 17:52, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
You must have some weird (or at least self-serving) definition of "scientist", because I know people who have scientific qualifications, do scientific research, and are accepted as scientists by their peers, who are creationists. Your second sentence is merely unsubstantiated assertion. The number is small, but not trivially small. Philip J. Rayment 03:18, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
"Mainstream scientist" is better, but not specific enough. I don't always use "evolutionist"; I sometimes use "uniformitarian", and I think other terms at times. It depends on whether the topic of discussion is evolution, long ages, cosmology, or etc. "Mainstream scientist" doesn't convey which one is being referred to.
Your claim that the AiG web-site is painful to read is nothing more than your own subjective opinion, no doubt based on your disagreement with their worldview, so in no way supports your claims of it having no science.
It is based on seeing nonsense presented as logical, because they have rejected all the logical conclusions a priori. Kww 17:52, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
They have done no such thing; that is merely the way you choose to see it. Philip J. Rayment 03:18, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
And if you are offended by "evolutionist", what am I supposed to make of your assertion that the contributors are "someone that is genuinely self-deluded or someone that is tricking the masses for profit"? Why are you so close-minded that you can't accept that they might actually be intelligent and honest people?
That falls under the category of "genuinely self-deluded". That would describe someone that honestly and sincerely believes rubbish.Kww 17:52, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
So they are quite intelligent, but because they don't agree with your point of view, they are self-deluded? In other words, your conclusion is not based on the evidence, but on your own point of view, which does not even allow for the possibility of them being correct. Philip J. Rayment 03:18, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
"They even state at on their site that they are not doing science and have no intention of doing it". That is absolute rubbish, and I expect a direct quote and link, or else an apology.
"Proverbs tells us that the fear of God, not science, is the beginning of knowledge. In a biblical worldview, scientific observations are interpreted in light of the truth that is found in the Bible. If conclusions contradict the truth revealed in Scripture, the conclusions are rejected." One cannot reject conclusions based on contradicting a book, and still be said to be practicing science.Kww 17:52, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
That they are "not doing science" is your interpretation of that statement; it is not something that they "stated". You have been caught out misrepresenting them.
What they are saying is that science is not the arbiter of all truth. They also go on to point out that naturalistic scientists do the same.
Philip J. Rayment 03:18, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
"You cannot study evidence and then force fit it to an answer that you have predetermined is true." No, but you can study the evidence and demonstrate how it fits the answer you expected, because it does. Your argument assumes the position you are taking without demonstrating it, the very thing that you criticise AiG for!
The purpose of studying evidence is to determine the answer, not to fit it to an answer. The consensus of the age of the earth and the lack of a global flood was reached by people that were raised Christian and sincerely wanted to believe in a young earth and Noah. Kww 17:52, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
If it's not to "fit it to an answer", then why do so many scientists rule out even considering a supernatural explanation? The secular age of the Earth and no global flood was pushed by non-Christians such as James Hutton, who simply declared uniformitarianism to be the interpretive framework; it wasn't on the basis of evidence.
"If examination of evidence shows that a literal reading of Genesis is false (which it does)...". Yet you fail to provide any examples.
Any mainstream science text covering biology or geology contradicts Genesis.Kww 17:52, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
In other words, repeat the claim but still supply no evidence.
Is this the part of the discussion where I am supposed to try to educate you on dating techniques while you keep bringing up cases where dating techniques were misapplied or misinterpreted? Or should I try to educate you on the geologic record while you keep shouting "could have been a big flood!" Or should I try to educate you the correlation between fossil records coding errors in DNA, while you keep claiming that no one can be sure that every point mutation, inversion, and Robertsonian translocation may have some mysterious purpose? Boring games, each and every one. If you have spent your adult life avoiding an education, you might as well continue that way.Kww 21:14, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
"Those sites don't have science: they have sciency-sounding religion". That sounds like a good description of evolution sites to me! Your comment is nothing more than rhetoric without any substance.
Philip J. Rayment 13:39, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
The did not practice science, because they assumed the answer. They did not reach logical conclusions, because they rejected the logical ones because it contradicted the answer they sought. Kww 17:52, 14 May 2007 (UTC)
You have a very rosy view of secular scientists. They are human and they also often try and reach preconceived answers, especially including rejecting God as a possible explanation before considering the evidence. Philip J. Rayment 03:18, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

A Fundalutionist[edit]

Yes Phil they are out there. They think that any word with ist on the end is a slur. Hmmm Physicist, a slur? Biologist? A slur. The scary thing is that this person claims to be an anthropologist. I do not believe it but it would be frightening to think a Fundalutionist would be teaching in a respectable college. 13:11, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

Bilby from that other wiki encyclopedia here - I noticed that a great number of articles and discussion pages are locked - even the Australia one which I wrote a great deal of and gave the basic structure to. Any idea why they are locked and how one might go about contributing further to them?

Bilby-- 13:15, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Religious belief test[edit]

[23]--Filll 18:22, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Intelligent design FAR[edit]

Intelligent design has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 20:08, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

um hey again...i got blocked on conservapedia[edit]

so whats up? hows it going? im very glad to see that you are a part of both wikipedia and conservapedia. i love when you say "Your claim that there were civilisations and agriculture predating the flood times is based itself on a worldview that rejects the biblical record to start with, so amounts to circular reasoning", i love it because you admit you are a minority here, that the rest of the world thinks that people existed befor a "great flood". its even better that you call that circular reasoning. I mean come on! there are writtings of people more than 6000 years old. - 24k -, read that website it talks about peruvian civilizations predating the great flood. cave paintings occured long long long beofre the great flood, but yeah lets ignore them too.

ok, i also see from your writtnigs here that you are not really a fan of evolution, ok yea i see where you are comming from, its a theory, it pretty much goes against christianity and creationism, but i think you have the idea of evolution kinda screwd up. evolution is based on natural selection. Natural selection states that favorable genes get passed on, and the weak genes die off. if we took two cats and seperated them, one in an environment like northern russia and one in an environment like mexico, in 10,000 years, even 5,000 years they will not even look they same, they adopted to the environment they were put in, they mutated to survive. modern day sines of that is the fox, the artic fox has small ears so he doesnt give off alot of heat, however the central american fox has large ears to realease heat and stay cool. and yes we dont see major species evolving quickly, they have seemed to stay the same for quite some time, but evolution occurs over 1000's of years. however there are modern day exaples of evolution. we look to insects for this example. when we spray fruits with pesticides alot of flys die, however some flys dont die, they seem stronger, they seem more resistant if you will, when they have children their children will be resistant to the pesticides, then when they get sprayed they wont die because they are already resistant, they will just grow more resitant, then when they have children they will be even more resistant to the gene. they are not gaining new genetic information they are just perfecting and mutating the gene that alows them to become more resistant to the pesticide.

now look both macro and micro evolution exist, a good example of microevolution would be the flys becomming resistant to the pesticides, my cat example would be macroevolution, eventuly they wont be the same species, or another good example would be chmipanzees and humans, we do share 98% of our dna, somewhere evolution took place and we became humans look at: - 48k -. ( its very interesting) Now another very great example of macroevolution would be the fact that the closest living realtive to a t-rex is a chicken, the t-rex completly changed!,,2056218,00.html - 41k - >>> read it! but yeah, you dont have to belive in evolution, and even tho i have given you quite a bit of evidence that evolution exists and is happening today, i doubt i changed your mind, but what ever to each his own

so any way do you think you can let me back on conservapedia, i would really enjoy making fun of those ignorant conservatives again

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Shaneifer (talkcontribs)

My comment about civilisation and agriculture predating the flood was in the context of claims that extant evidence of such exists. I do actually believe that civilisations and agriculture predated the flood, but not that claimed evidence of post-flood civilisation continues back to pre-flood times.
The dates of writing, etc. supposedly older than 6,000 years are based on assumptions that preclude the biblical account. I didn't go into detail on this, but that being so, it is circular reasoning to then claim that those dates prove the biblical account wrong. Cave paintings are evidence. Dates of cave painting are not evidence, but conclusions based on a combination of assumptions, measurements, and calculations. We don't "ignore" the evidence (e.g. the cave paintings), but we do reject the assumptions, so come to different conclusions.
Natural selection (described by a creationist before Darwin) is not in dispute. But natural selection can only select from existing genetic information, and does not explain the origin of that information. The new information that natural selection selects from is supposed to come from mutations, but mutations do not provide new genetic information. Pesticide resistance has been shown to be selection for creatures already having resistance. As you say, there is no new genetic information.
You say that your cat example is an example of macroevolution, but note that your cat example is merely a retelling of the evolutionary story; it is not something observed, but a story that may or may not be true.
Arguing that human and chimpanzee DNA is very similar is an argument that similarity implies common ancestry, but ignores that similarity can just as readily imply a common Designer. As such, it is not an argument that favours evolution over creation. The T-Rex/chicken similarity is also an argument from similarity, but even so the similarity is not as close as you suggest.
As you didn't give your Conservapedia user name, I can't take the matter of your blocking from there any further.
Philip J. Rayment 12:30, 9 August 2007 (UTC)


Hey, this is that annoying guy from here. I spent about 2 hours writing a reply to what each of you said, but I lost it when I submitted and the talk page was locked from editing. My reply to you was about how I regret that you met an unfaltering opposition in the FAC discussion and that you did not in any way deserve to be referred to as a "troll". I also noted that it was perhaps the ambitions of the core group of people who worked the ID article to near-FA status that were to blame for your virtually ignored complaints, and perhaps less of their actual views. I hoped that you would accept that these examples are isolated incidents of left vs. right, and that Wikipedia does not have an overall subconcious goal for a left slant.

But gosh darnit, it's gone now. >_< I hope you get this, because I respect what you tried to do and, frankly, also dislike Intelligent design's introduction. Carry on. - Boss1000 06:00, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't agree that the supporters of the FAC were merely trying to get FA status; there is a history of those editors defending their POV in that and other articles. Note that I fully expected the sort of reaction I got, because of that history. It wasn't something out of the ordinary. As such, I reject your suggestion that these are isolated examples, although my observations have been more of a creation/evolution-type bias rather than a left/right bias, as the former is the area that I was active in. Philip J. Rayment 12:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

I was surprised and disappointed to see the low quality of language/linguistics articles on CP. Now I know why they're so bad -- if anyone tries to improve them, you ban them and call them 'vandals'! CP will never live up to its potential as long as you act like that. Jul.Reyes 00:11, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Are you accusing me personally of that, or is that a generalisation? If it is directed at me personally, I most certainly reject the accusation. Philip J. Rayment 12:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Why are you blocking me from conservapedia[edit]

Dear Phil, As a fellow Aussie, I was disappointed that you blocked me from Conservapedia because of alleged "vandalism" on the emu article. As you know, stories of emus knocking down farmhouse dunnies are common in Australia. Perhaps I should have provided more atribution, but that is hardly a hanging offence. As for the Origins material, I stand by it, as should you. I saw in a vision that it is no accident that the marsupials came ALL THE WAY DOWN from Noah's Ark and settled in Australia, with not one species deciding to stop somewhere on the long and perilous road. In my divinely inspired vision, I saw this small group of intrepid marsupials, helping each other along the way, with the kangaroos carrying the koalas in their pouches, the emus giving a piggypack to the quolls, the platypus scouting ahead, and so on. That is the only way they could have come down as one coherent group of marsupials, all that way. That makes sense, doesn't it? So why should I be banned for what is almost entirely the line you and your people have been pushing?

Give us a break. I don't deserve to be banned for this. Look at the emu article in Conservapedia now. It has a 2 line summary of the bird, less than you would get in most dictionaries, and a section on Origins, which has been pasted over from other sources. Myles325a 01:40, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

My email is

For the benefit of others reading this correspondence, Myles325a contacted me by e-mail, and I have responded by e-mail. Philip J. Rayment 12:39, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Conservapedia block again[edit]

Hey Phil - seems I've upset someone! In all innocence I reset an article that I truly thought deserved to be there as a balanced article - yes, it does criticise the US policy somewhat but not unduly and not without true cause. I didn't actually write most of what I reset, I did so on behalf of the original authors. So now TK has blocked me. I don't mind the block so much as the insult that has been heaped with it - to criticise my teaching credentials or to assume that because I do not totally agree with the Bush Administration would make me a poor teacher is verging on libel. If there is some forum in which I could ask to be reinstated as an author on the site I promise I will stick to Australian pages that have nothing (as much as possible) to do with politics - some literature and music and a few animals and keep my face out of the paranoia that seems to be becoming more and more rampant on that site. If not, I'll play here instead...

Finland School Shooting[edit]


I guess its perfectly acceptable to exploit the tragedy that befalls others in order to score a cheap political point, to dehumanise the deaths of both the victims and the shooter in labelling them as being motivated by a scientific theory rather than considering the intricate web of emotions involved. How about you have a bit of respect for the many who were harmed by this incident, how do you think the parents of those who were killed would think if they realised that the memories of their children were being manipulated by those who call themselves Christians in order to push their agenda, you criticise Fred Phelps for protesting at funerals but you're not much better yourself. And it disgusts me that you would engage in such action while boasting about how you are an Australian on your user page. Not that I believe in the whole concept of absolute Australian vales, but I thought that at the least unlike America we didn't let religion and politics take over every aspect of our lives and require us to force it upon others in their darkest hour. I hope you read your Bible again sometime soon Phillip, particularly the verse about not judging others unless you're without sin because trust me, you've got plenty of it, and when you finally go and meet your maker he's going to hold you accountable for every one of these actions, every time you have exploited a tragedy in order to score a cheap point, and I hope you have a very good explanation for him because there is no way that you would ever be able to convince me or any other rational, empthetic individual, that it is acceptable to hijack someone's grief to push forward your agenda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:36, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

(This is the first time I've looked at my talk page for some time).
It would appear that you don't think it important that the cause of something like this is pointed out in the hope that something will be done about the cause to prevent such tragedies happening again. Either that, or you simply don't believe that to be the cause (which appears to be the case), in which case you are using the situation to promote your own view that I am wrong about this being the cause. To put it another way, if you identified a specific cause for this tragedy (e.g. drugs), would you keep silent, or "use" the occasion to speak out against drugs?
The comparison with Phelps is invalid. He is blaming the dead person, and doing so directly to the friends and relatives of the victim. I was not blaming the shooter (despite him being clearly guilty of something atrocious), but the worldview that influenced him, and I was not doing so directly to the friends and relatives.
"...unlike America we didn't let religion and politics take over every aspect of our lives...": One of the definitions of "religion" (see my Wikipedia user page) is "A set of beliefs on which one bases one's life". So it can't help but, to use your words, "take over every aspect of our lives".
"...require us to force it upon others...": This is nonsense. Expressing a view is not "[forcing] it upon others".
"...the verse about not judging others unless you're without sin because trust me, you've got plenty of it'": Yes, we are all sinners, and that includes me. But you are misunderstanding the verse, which in context is talking about hypocritical judgements, not all judgements. We are told elsewhere to judge with a righteous judgement.
Philip J. Rayment (talk) 00:14, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Sorry to bother you on this wiki, but...[edit]

...all my attempts to edit any page on Conservapedia, even my own user page, result in a "page blocked" message. I have not been told I have been blocked, and there is certainly no reason I should have been. I apologize for coming here, but I know you are a sysop there, in fact the last one to edit the page I was working on. By the way, the "contact us" page on Conservapedia is blank. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gaohoyt (talkcontribs)

Probably the result of overnight (U.S. time) editing being shut off. See here. Philip J. Rayment (talk) 00:17, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

This is a different sort of cookie.[edit]


I see some others have commented on this, but here is my perspective - I do indeed perceive "evolutionist" to be questionable - maybe not intended to be a direct slur, but it's inappropriate because it implies an identity, group affiliation or personal philosophy where none exists. Evolution is a scientific theory and fact. Gravity is also a scientific theory and fact, but you don't go calling people who believe in gravity "gravitists".

Also, scientists do not confuse evolution for general change or growth, as you claim. Evolution is very clearly defined in biology as changes in allele frequencies from one generation to the next.

Hope that helps you understand a bit.VatoFirme (talk) 15:49, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

" implies an identity, group affiliation or personal philosophy where none exists": I disagree that "none exists". There may be no formal group affiliation, but by virtue of believing in evolution, you are affiliated with other people who believe in evolution.
"Evolution is a scientific theory and fact." That's begging the question, because I reject that it is a fact, and even that it strictly conforms to a scientific theory, so much of it being unfalsifiable.
" don't go calling people who believe in gravity "gravitists"": No, but you probably would if not everyone believed in gravity. Not everyone believes in evolution, so that's a different situation; the comparison is invalid.
"scientists do not confuse evolution for general change or growth, as you claim": I think you've misread what I wrote. That is not what I said that they confuse.
"Evolution is very clearly defined in biology as changes in allele frequencies from one generation to the next.": That is a modern definition that fails to acknowledge that evolution also refers to the entire "family tree" of living things. See here for more.
Philip J. Rayment (talk) 00:31, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Page Blocking on Conservapedia[edit]

Philip, I note that you have blocked your Talk page on Conservapedia, as has BrianCo. Both of you contributed on that Talk page in the last 48 hours. BrianCo has also blocked his talk page there. I can't talk to you (or him) there! I am a contributor on both. How can I talk to you? What I want to talk about is the inaccuracy and incompleteness of the Conservapedia entry for Kevin Rudd (which page on Conservapedia is also blocked, along with its Talk page, which is where this trail really stared!) Best wishes, - Peter Ellis - Talk 05:45, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

By the way, I had skipped over all of the above to insert the previous comment/request. I've now skimmed the previous comments, and realise that page blocking at Conservapedia is a 'thing' and not just recent or personal for me. How can I get edit rights back, there, please? - Peter Ellis - Talk 22:50, 26 December 2007 (UTC)
I have replied by e-mail to Peter. Philip J. Rayment (talk) 00:32, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

RFC, and You're my hero[edit]

Hey, could you take a look at the Rfc? Thanks. P.S. You're my hero. Pernicious Swarm (talk) 05:14, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I've had a look. But this sort of bigoted nonsense from the same old gang of evolutionists pushing the evolutionary view as "neutral" (ha!) is what turned me off Wikipedia, and I just don't have the time, and perhaps not the energy, to spendwaste on butting my head against their concrete (you know, "all mixed up and permanently set") wall.
I see my old sparring partner Filll is wanting a reference for the claim that the article presents opinion as fact, yet effectively rules out anything from a creationist! Someone correctly replied to him that he was stacking the deck, but apparently all's fair in trying to impose your POV on others. Effectively he's saying that the only reliable source for a creationist view is an evolutionist! (Although I'm not surprised, as it's not the first time I've seen that.)
I was initially suspicious of you, seeing that you "retired" from Wikipedia in less than a day of joining, but having now seen the headache you incurred in butting your own head against their wall, I can understand.
Philip J. Rayment (talk) 13:59, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

PJR, I saw this heading and wanted to tell you that I greatly appreciate and respect and enjoy your words and efforts. Thank you for the encouragement you give! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:46, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Maybe you can help me over at Conservapedia?[edit]

I wrote to Ed Poor with the following passage yesterday. Shortly after posting it on his talk page I had several other wikipedians writing and stating that they had similar experiences with the site. Please look over my situation and tell me if there is any accountability over there. Thank you in advance for your help! Cheers!--Sallicio\color{Red} \oplus 23:49, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

"Who is Jpatt??? I went on to my conservapedia account and started looking at the different articles. I surfed into the Barack Obama article and saw that it said he was "allegedly" born in Hawaii. Looking at the history it appeared that a vandal (i.e., Jpatt) kept inserting the "allegedly" into the first sentence. Whenever another user would undo the edit and inform him that the information was correct, he would immediately revert it back. I undid the last edit by Jpat with the edit summary, "Please do not vandalize" and was immediately blocked for three days with no warning. The official reason given was "edit war" and Jpatt added the two cents, "Behave or be gone for good." Now, I may not be familiar with Conservapedia's policy as far as blocking users, but I think this was a gross abuse of authority. If that were to happen here he would have been desysoped for abuse of power. In this block he violated WP:BITE, WP:GOODFAITH, and WP:CALM among others. Can you please tell me if I have lost my mind on this? I think that his authority should be reevaluated. I have done nothing but honest contributions to the (Conservapedia) site and am absolutely appalled at this. Please help me. Thank you for your assistance!"]

I don't wish to make another section for this, but I'd like to commend you for the sheer crap you put up with on CP from the other sysops. I can't say I agree with your viewpoints, and I can't really defend you as much as I'd wish to (blocked at the moment, and we both know how Andy deals with logical dissent), but it saddens me when parodists like TK and Bugler crush the aspirations of people who genuinely believed in the project such as Tim and RonAbdul.

Anyways, good luck dealing with the barbaric, and remember that free speech must be defended, no matter who's it is :) TheGoodNameWasTaken (talk) 03:20, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

PS- feel free to come over and say "hi" on my talkpage. I lost the info for my old account, and decided I disliked the old username anyways.TheGoodNameWasTaken (talk) 03:24, 6 January 2009 (UTC)


Evolution is a fact. Gravity is a fact. You don't "believe" in evolution, in much the same way you don't "believe" in gravity. What's your problem? (talk) 12:21, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Gravity is observable, measurable, and testable. Goo-to-you evolution, or the evolutionary family tree, is not observed, measurable, nor testable. You're comparing chalk and cheese. Philip J. Rayment (talk) 10:20, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

CP Help?[edit]

Hi Phil. Having a minor issue over at CP. DeanS has me blocked because I used the word "asinine" on the main talk page. He labeled it vulgarity and blocked me for it. Was having a hard time finding how I can contact him, so here I am asking you here on Wiki. I won't waste anyone's time arguing with him why "asinine" is not vulgar (I suppose he assumes since it phoenetically starts off with "ass"?), and indeed if CP has some standing rule specifically about the word "asinine" then I retract its usage... However how was I to know? Could I possibly be unblocked, or at least have it shortened? Thanks for taking the time to hear me out. Jersey John (talk) 17:12, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

Please help with CP problem.[edit]

Hi, you don't know me and I apologize for bothering you over here at wikipedia. I am a user over at CP under the name of NicholasT. Today my account was blocked, my page deleted and protected, my talk page deleted and protected and my e-mail function was blocked by TK. TK listed as his reason "Last Wordism". I sincerely have no idea why he did this and did not see it coming at all. I was engaged in a discussion with Andy on a talk page and Andy had actually reverted an edit critical of my argument and blocked the user for a day, citing "disruptive, silly remark that interfered with a debate". So I don't think that it was Andy's wish that my account be burned and the ground salted.

My user page was deleted then protected and I have no idea why. The only change I made to it today was announcing that I asked my girlfriend to marry me last week.

My user talk was deleted and protected. The only conversation on there was one that I had just started that day with Ed Poor who was interested in my edits to the Batman article. We were actually discussing our mutual love of Super Heroes.

I have no way to contact anyone at CP. If possible could you please forward this message to someone at CP as I don't have any of their e-mails? If possible, I would appreciate a forward to Ed Poor as he can verify the former contents of my user talk page to the powers that be.

Thank you for your time. --XDarkwingpuckX (talk) 02:05, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm not here[edit]

Several posts above have not been answered by me simply because I haven't looked at this page in quite some time. I probably still won't look at it all that often, but I have now enabled e-mail notification of changes to this page. Also, the E-mail this user link has always worked.

For the record, I am no longer with Conservapedia, so can't help with any problems there (and could not have done anything or much for the last few requests above anyway). I have explained my reasons for leaving Conservapedia here. I have now started my own alternative Wiki encyclopaedia, A Storehouse of Knowledge. You can find me there.

Philip J. Rayment (talk) 10:19, 26 June 2009 (UTC)


I'd like to raise an issue about me being banned at conservapedia... I made a few edits (with sources) on the conservapedia page about "truth". I was banned for adding the word "Christian" to define the truth in question and adding examples with reference to sources (the article had 0 sources in total... against conservapedia commandments) I was banned three times without being able to respond by email (account completely blocked...). I am quite sure the entries were not in conflict with conservapedia's "non-bias". "Truth" article contains unreferenced and absolute statements, that sound like opinion and original research. It would be ok if it were a right wing christian ESSAY. -- (talk) 02:31, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

See my post above ("I'm not here"). Philip J. Rayment (talk) 11:41, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Atheism is not a religion[edit]

Since I'm sure you've been involved in a lot of religious debates online, I'm sure, you've heard the saying "Atheism is a religion as much as not collecting stamps is a hobby, or as much as bald is a hair color"

So, why do you refer to atheism as a religon? It's simply the lack of belief in God, or gods. You don't believe in fairies I'm sure, so would you say that afairyism is a religion as well?

Atheism isn't a religion, and neither is theism for that matter. The only thing in common with ALL atheists is that they don't believe God exists, period.

There is not one single other belief shared among atheists, necessarily. There are plenty of atheists who don't believe in evolution, or the big bang, or even the scientific method. There isn't one statement besides "I don't believe God exists" that will connect two people together just via atheism.

Would you call "theism" a religion? Obviously not, since you specifically mentioned "Christianity is my religion" and not "theism is my religion". So, therefore, it's not accurate whatsoever to call atheism a religion. Again, you need at least a SET of beliefs shared among a group to be considered a religion, and as I've just explained, there is no idea besides the singular one of "I don't believe God exists" that any two atheists must share in order to consider them atheists.SuperAtheist (talk) 18:12, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

My thinking on this has changed a bit since I wrote my user page, and I would agree that neither theism nor atheism are religions, but they are still "religious". For example, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are theistic religions, whilst Secular Humanism, Buddhism, and Marxism are atheistic religions. So atheism is more of a category of religions than a religion itself. However, there is of course the difference that most followers of theistic religions don't describe themselves as "theists", whereas many followers of atheistic religions do describe themselves as atheists.
But having said that, I don't really agree with most of the rest of your claims.
"Atheism is a religion as much ... as bald is a hair color". You've probably heard it said that black is not a colour either; it's a lack of colour. But unlike technical use, in popular use black is a colour. That is, to say that A is not B simply because A is not B in a particular context does not mean that it's never B. Atheistic philosophies fit a definition of "religion", so atheism is effectively a religious view.
"[Atheism is] simply the lack of belief in God, or gods." Technically, perhaps, but frequently not in practice. Thomas Huxley coined the term "agnostic" to cover this view because "atheist" was being used to indicate a belief in no God. And to quote from here (because it's stated so well):

There is a vast difference between the friendly atheist next door and the activists. Generally, even the activist types who are typified by the New Atheist movement will define “atheism” as a mere lack of belief in God. However, it is important to note that their activism demonstrates that their atheism is anything but mere lack: it is an anti-“religion”, anti-“faith” and anti-“God” movement.

"There is not one single other belief shared among atheists, necessarily. There are plenty of atheists who don't believe in evolution..." There are? Like who? And what do they believe? This is actually a key point, because both a belief in no God (as held by many atheists) and a lack of belief in God necessarily means believing that things came to be naturalistically (excluding the alternative that such people simply have no idea at all, and are therefore open to believing that God created), and evolution is the only naturalistic explanation for the diversity of life on serious offer. That is, this belief about the existence of God (and it is a belief, even in those cases where the belief is that they can't know for sure) cannot be held in isolation. One can't logically believe that there is no God and at the same time believe that God created us, that we are owned by Him, that we are answerable to Him, and that He defines standards of right and wrong. That is, other beliefs have to follow from this basic belief. Can you cite me any atheists who believe that the world is "young" (i.e. its age is measured in thousands of years) or who believes that God sets standards of right and wrong? Realistically, I'm sure you can't, which means that the beliefs that these things are not the case is something "shared among" atheists, as part of their "SET of beliefs". Sure the Big Bang is not the only explanation on offer; there are a few who like to cling on to some sort of eternal universe, but whatever explanation it is, it has to be naturalistic in their thinking. And by the way, the existence of differences in belief does not mean that there are not a common set of beliefs, any more than in Christianity, where there are differences in thinking on various topics.
Philip J. Rayment (talk) 03:01, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Your intelligence is allowed[edit]

Hi, Philip, I'm a fellow Christian. Wikipedia isn't Christian; we're in foreign territory here in one sense. However, I do agree with all the pillars, though sometimes not with the way they're applied. On paper Wikipedia is great, but since living, breathing human beings implement it, it gets messy. I'm quite certain the Earth is far more than 6,000 years old. Astronomy tells us that, if we reject all the geology. (I don't reject it.) Populist publications like the National Geographic can be infuriating with all their leaps of evolutionary faith, but there's lots of honest science that's far beyond me that shows a very ancient Earth. The Bible doesn't say the Earth is 6,000 years old. It does say it was created in six days. There is no reason to believe that is literally so. Did God make man first or last of all creation? It depends if you read Genesis 1 or Genesis 2. God is a Spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth. The Bible is a spiritual book. Genesis 1 and 2 are talking about the first and the second Adam Paul later preaches of. That's the point of those chapters. Natural history isn't.

Most of the Bible is written from a local viewpoint. When "all the world" went to be taxed just before Jesus was born, we can't assume that includes the Incas and the Chinese. The history in the Bible is recorded for religious purposes. Look at the difference in Matthew's and Luke's genealogies. People say one traces Mary's line and the other Joseph's, but that's not what the Bible says at all. It says they both trace Joseph's. One shows his royal line and one his priestly line, but they can't both be literally true as written.

But my main point isn't about the literal truth of the Bible. My point is that believing the Bible and then going to look for facts to support its claims is not science. It's interesting, but it's not science. Science starts with a question and never ends, but does make tentative conclusions. Some scientists go at it backwards, I'm sure! They try to prove instead of disprove their theory. That's not science, either! But just as the fact that all Christians are not honest Christians doesn't change Christianity, so the fact that all scientists are not dispassionately honest doesn't lessen science as an objective, empirical, rational investigation. Upon that Wikipedia stands, and when the science or the MSM is in error, WP will be, too.

I didn't understand reliable sources and verifiability until I went to mediation. You may wish to see the struggle I had to understand them. And no, they're not always fairly applied; there's a lot of wiki-lawyering to keep things out. . .or in. The only place I'm aware of this policy being utterly flouted, though doubtlessly there are more, is in the refusal to call the Climatic Research Unit email controversy "Climategate." It's what the mainstream media calls it, but the editorial consensus is to reject the MSM's term, or more precisely, to refuse to acknowledge it. I agree with you that the Expelled article tries to make the movie look bad. But then, the MSM did, so that's fair, you see. Michael Moore gets a lot of criticism at WP, too, because the MSM gave him a lot of criticism.

God bless. Yopienso (talk) 09:43, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Welcome to my talk page! And thanks for your sincere comments. I must point out, though, that astronomy and geology "tell" us nothing; we make observations and interpret those observations according to our worldviews. The Bible does tell us that the world was made about 6,000 years ago. Not directly, but by adding up the timespans given. Even if it didn't, the whole of creation from the beginning of the universe to the appearance of mankind is declared to be, as you admit, only six days. That in itself rules out the secular timescale. As for it not being literal, why on Earth not? There is nothing in the language to indicate that it's not literal, and clearly it was meant to be understood literally. Jesus himself obviously accepted this. See Mark 10:6 for example, and note when it says man was created. Genesis 1 is chronological and has man created on day 6. Genesis 2 is not chronological, and trying to use it in a way that appears to contradict the order of Genesis 1 is therefore inappropriate.
You claim that the Bible is a spiritual book. Is it your point that it's not also a history book? So perhaps Jesus didn't really live and die? Abraham didn't really travel around the Middle East? David wasn't really a king of Israel? If the first Adam was not literal, perhaps the second Adam wasn't either? The Bible is about God's relationship with man, and that is demonstrated in history. In particular, the history that man was originally created perfect but rebelled against God provides the explanation of why an omniscient, omnipotent God seemingly created this world with so many bad things. And how God judges evil but provides a way out, as in the events around Noah. That's not done without impact on the natural world; it affects it (Romans 8:22). Hence what the Bible records includes references to natural history.
The reason that people say that Luke's genealogy traces Mary's line is because that is what the context and language indicate. See here, section 6.2. I'm a bit surprised at your thinking here. I'm used to Christians denying the literalness of the creation account, but they generally accept the history in the New Testament. Yet here you are claiming that parts of the New Testament are not literally true for no better reason, it appears, that you can't understand how they can be. Some people make a similar argument about the virgin birth and even Jesus' resurrection: science tells us that virgins don't give birth and truly-dead people don't come back to life, so those bits can't be literally true either. Do you go that far? Or inconsistently stop short of that?
You say that "My point is that believing the Bible and then going to look for facts to support its claims is not science. It's interesting, but it's not science." I agree that that's not the scientific method. But then I wasn't claiming it was. If God is giving us history, then surely we would expect the history He gives us to be correct. And surely, then, we should expect it to agree with what we know from extra-Biblical sources. So when sceptical archaeologists said that the Bible was incorrect in talking about an empire with the name of "Hittite", this indicated that the Bible was in error. But subsequent discoveries showed that the Hittite empire did exist and the Bible was right after all. Christians should never have doubted that the Hittite empire existed (and many didn't doubt it), because they have a reliable source of such information. Exactly the same applies to creation: we have a reliable source of information and when sceptics and compromising Christians question it, we should stick with what God has told us. After all, He knows more than they do. And as Jesus said, "I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?" (John 3:12) and "If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?” (John 5:46-47). If we reject what the BIble says about history, why accept what it says about spiritual things?
Yes, science is an objective, empirical, rational, investigation. But this is because it involves observation and repeatability. So it's terrific for studying things in the present where we can observed them, measure them, run tests on them, etc. But when it comes to evolution and the age of the Earth, it's talking about the unobservable and unrepeatable past, and it's based on a presupposition (uniformitarianism) that emphatically rejects the biblical account. I repeat: it presupposes that the Bible is wrong, and then uses its conclusions to argue that the Bible is wrong. Clearly, this is a circular argument.
"Upon that Wikipedia stands, and when the science or the MSM is in error, WP will be, too" Exactly. Which might almost be acceptable, if in taking that side it didn't also claim to be neutral. It can't (legitimately) have it both ways.
Your mediation case is interesting. I've been having a discussion on another page about reliable resources. Wikipedia claims a particular journal to be not a reliable source, but fails to justify that claim. I was told that the rules about using only reliable sources applies to articles, not to their policy and guideline pages where they can declare something not a reliable source simply by majority opinion!
Your point about Michael Moore only serves to highlight the hypocrisy. The article about his movie Fahrenheit 9/11 has essentially no criticism within it, quite unlike Expelled. This was achieved by removing it all to the separate article you linked to. A typical reader would not notice the link within the article about the movie under the word "controversy" in the introduction, and may not bother reading all the way to near the end where the link is obvious. Also unlike Expelled, both the summary in the main article and the controversy article has almost every criticism followed by a response by Moore or a statement that Moore has answered the criticism.
Philip J. Rayment (talk) 12:28, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your warm and courteous reply. I see the Bible as primarily written for our spiritual enlightenment and growth. It does contain a great deal of history, all written from an angle intended to persuade the reader of God's greatness, of his choosing of Israel, and of his redemptive plan through Jesus Christ. All history is selective; the Bible selects what supports those truths.
The age of the Earth cannot be computed by adding generations since they are often telescoped, with many being omitted.
Regarding Genesis 1 and 2, I agree with the documentary hypothesis, which is the only way I can make sense of the first half of the Old Testament in a straight read-through as opposed to picking out individual verses or stories. Gen. 2:18-19 looks chronological to me, saying after Adam was made God made the beasts and birds in order to find a helpmeet for him.
"Exactly the same applies to creation: we have a reliable source of information and when sceptics and compromising Christians question it, we should stick with what God has told us. After all, He knows more than they do." Then we should believe the Earth is at the center of the Universe. Ask Galileo about that.
Jesus' genealogies have engendered disputes almost since they were penned. We can't be sure of the Mary-Heli connection. The Catholic Church and early documents say Mary's father was Joachim.
Jesus' birth and resurrection are central to my faith, and I take them strictly as articles of faith with no scientific support or any historical support outside the New Testament. (Josephus may mention his death, but not the details of his birth.) The apostles' witness is crucial in this, and the fact they died, sometimes hideously, rather than recant tells me they fully believed. Jn. 17:20; I Jn. 1:1.
Here's an historical question for you: on the Damascus road, did Paul's companions hear or see what he heard and saw? Acts 9:7; 22:9.
"Upon that Wikipedia stands, and when the science or the MSM is in error, WP will be, too" Exactly. Which might almost be acceptable, if in taking that side it didn't also claim to be neutral. It can't (legitimately) have it both ways. WP defines neutrality as what the mainstream says.
I think WP's treatment of Moore is consistent with the MSM's. I've not seen F. 9/11, but know it was generally well received despite generating considerable controversy. The controversy was originally included in the article on the film until the article grew to be too ungainly and was split.
On most cultural points I disagree with the MSM. At WP I must stay within their bounds. John 17.
Thank you for extending me the right hand of fellowship instead of writing me off as "not a true Christian" because of seeing things differently than you do. Yopienso (talk) 19:34, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
"It does contain a great deal of history, all written from an angle intended to persuade the reader...": And if that history is found to be false, then it will, rightly, fail to persuade.
"All history is selective; the Bible selects what supports those truths.": Agreed, but nobody is claiming that the history is comprehensive, only that it is true.
"The age of the Earth cannot be computed by adding generations since they are often telescoped, with many being omitted.": Actually, your reference only shows that one genealogy (Matthew's) was telescoped, and that was not one with chronological information. (The Genesis reference is irrelevant to this discussion.) Your reference explains that Matthew's readers would realise that it was telescoped, which is true. How would they know that the Genesis genealogies were telescoped? What is the point of having the age at which the offspring is born if there are missing generations? Further, a few missing generations is not going to make that much difference. You'd need to miss thousands, and proposing that on the basis of Matthew's few missing ones is like saying that because cows can jump, we can assume that they can jump over the moon.
"Regarding Genesis 1 and 2, I agree with the documentary hypothesis, which is the only way I can make sense of the first half of the Old Testament...": Yet most people can make sense of it without resorting to that idea. And it contradicts Jesus' obvious acceptance of Moses' authorship.
"Gen. 2:18-19 looks chronological to me...": It depends on how you translate it. The NIV, for example, translates it as "Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air." If you use this to argue that it's non-literal, what are you arguing it to be? Metaphor? Poetry? Parable? What? And on what linguistic basis? Study of the language shows that the text here is narrative.
"Then we should believe the Earth is at the center of the Universe. Ask Galileo about that." Why? The Bible doesn't teach that, despite the tortured claims of modern geocentricists. Your link lists numerous verses, but most clearly are non-literal. For example, Isaiah 66:1 Thus saith the Lord: Heaven is my throne, and the earth my footstool. would have been understood as metaphorical by the original readers of it. That can't be argued for Genesis. The account of the sun and moon standing still actually suggests that the Israelites knew that it was the Earth that rotated, as it records the moon "standing still" also. If everything was rotating around the Earth (and not synchronously), why not have just the sun stand still?
"We can't be sure of the Mary-Heli connection." So we can't be sure that there's a conflict, and therefore don't have a good reason for rejecting their accuracy.
"Jesus' birth and resurrection are central to my faith, and I take them strictly as articles of faith with no scientific support or any historical support outside the New Testament." Yet the resurrection is considered one of best documented events of ancient history, and you overlook the historical evidence of the effect that Jesus' resurrection had on civilisation[24]). But you've missed my point that science says that it can't be true, yet you believe it anyway. But don't apply the same reasoning to Genesis, despite considerable evidence in support of it, such as extensive water-laid sediments, as would be expected from Noah's Flood.
"The apostles' witness is crucial in this...": But Jesus' witness to creation (Colossians 1:16: "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.") is not important?
"Here's an historical question for you: on the Damascus road, did Paul's companions hear or see what he heard and saw? Acts 9:7; 22:9.": Not exactly. What is your point? 9:7 says that they heard the sound but didn't see anyone. 22:98 says that they saw the light, but didn't understand the voice. What's the problem?
"WP defines neutrality as what the mainstream says." As we've discussed elsewhere, WP defines neutrality as what the mainstream media says, which is often not the mainstream. Isaiah 5:20 may have some relevance here.
"I think WP's treatment of Moore is consistent with the MSM's." True, I guess. Which is saying that WP is inconsistent because the mainstream media is inconsistent. Hardly a principle worth defending.
"The controversy was originally included in the article on the film until the article grew to be too ungainly and was split.": It was 57,514 bytes when split.[25]. Expelled is 96,721 bytes.[26]. Editors suggested that Expelled should be similarly split, but this was not agreed to.
"On most cultural points I disagree with the MSM. At WP I must stay within their bounds.": I agree that we must stay within their bounds. But their bounds are user-defined and we are free to point out inconsistencies and argue for improvements.
"Thank you for extending me the right hand of fellowship instead of writing me off as "not a true Christian" because of seeing things differently than you do.": You're welcome. I don't know enough about you to suggest that you are not a (true) Christian (and ultimately it's not for me to declare anyway), and certainly disagreeing on some (very important but non-crucial) points does not mean that you are not a Christian.
Philip J. Rayment (talk) 12:35, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Melbourne meetup[edit]

Hey all, just a reminder that there's a meetup tomorrow at 11am in North Melbourne. There are more details at the meetup page. Hope to see you tomorrow! SteveBot (talk) 04:55, 24 March 2012 (UTC)


Hi, I enjoy the discipline of staying within Wikipedia policies because it sharpens my critical skills. When my own opinions differ, I usually keep them to myself, but here I'll let a few slip out.

I do think professional discrimination against creationists exists. The Expelled article used to have Rep. Souder's report on the Sternberg investigation, but it was wiki-lawyered out. (Souder, however, has since made himself of very ill repute morally. If that matters.) Still, the film is way too heavy-handed and exaggerates claims. It is clearly designed for the unthinking conservative Christian masses who watch the film on Sunday night at church and cluck about it. That bothers me.

I also think there is more of a Darwin-Hitler connection than our article allows, but it developed from later extrapolations by sociologists and political scientists, not from Darwin's personal opinions or agendas. (I don't think he had any sinister agenda. I think he followed where the facts, as he perceived them, led. And his perceptions seem to have been largely confirmed over time.)

But I don't want you to infer from this friendly note that I think ID is based in solid science; I don't. I think its critics are, for the most part, correct.

What I see as the biggest ideological flaw in Expelled is making evolution an expression of atheism and blaming it for the evils of the 20th century. The biggest moral flaw, of course, was duplicity as presented in the article.

I see much to admire in Eugenie Scott, but not in her reaction to Expelled. Most of the writings at NCSE and the interviews I've seen have impressed me that her work is framed within the scientific method, which I believe is the surest way of accurately understanding the material world. She is knowledgeable and courteous, a rare combination. Still, she is an activist, not a research scientist, and imho, WP should treat the NCSE as the antithesis of the Discovery Institute, not as an equal of the AAAS.

Regards, Yopienso (talk) 18:58, 7 October 2012 (UTC)

Expelled is, in a sense, just the teaser. If you want to see much more documented evidence of discrimination against people who disagree with evolution (and even some who don't), see the book Slaughter of the dissidents by Jerry Bergman. ("Some who don't" refers to cases like the Harvard student who took a pro-creationist debating position in a term paper. His lecturer thought it reflected his actual views, and marked it with a D-. When the lecturer realised that the student actually accepted evolution and merely took a creationist debating position, he immediately remarked the paper as an "A".) While the film may make some claims in a less-than-rigorous way, I don't accept that it exaggerates the situation at all. Rather, by concentrating on a few examples, it understates the size of the problem.
I'm sure that Darwin would have been shocked by what Hitler did, but that doesn't mean that the connection is not solid, and no, it wasn't just sociologists and political scientists, it was evolutionists who, prior to Hitler, were firmly on-side with eugenics that Hitler took a bit further than expected.
The evolution-atheism connection is quite real, and, again, Expelled didn't really go into it very far (being a movie, you can't include references, lots of evidence, etc.). In a sense it started with Hutton, who introduced the idea of uniformitarianism, which is an assumption about the past that diametrically opposes biblical history. That is, it was not deduced from the scientific evidence, and it was not religiously neutral. His ideas were popularised by Lyell the lawyer, who saw this as "free[ing] the science from Moses"—i.e. explicitly not religiously neutral. Lyell's views heavily influenced Darwin. The evidence that Darwin found did not contradict the Bible. Rather, it contradicted the then-current idea of a fixity of species that originated with ancient Greek thought. But Darwin nevertheless realised that his ideas contradicted the Bible. Gould said that evolution is inherently anti-purpose, and that Darwin intended it to be materialistic (i.e. not allowing for God). Michael Ruse says that evolution is a substitute for Christianity, and that Darwin intended it that way.
When an Australian researcher was asked why Australia is not as religious as other countries, part of his response was "I certainly find a lot of people who say to me that since Charles Darwin wrote Origin 150 years ago that the basis of religion has been undercut, therefore it's untenable.". Sherwood Taylor wrote that "I myself have little doubt that in England it was geology and the theory of evolution that changed us from a Christian to a pagan nation.". And an American professor of religion wrote that "One reason education undoes belief is its teaching of evolution; Darwin’s own drift from orthodoxy to agnosticism was symptomatic. Martin Lings is probably right in saying that “more cases of loss of religious faith are to be traced to the theory of evolution … than to anything else.". Then there are plenty of testimonies of evolution destroying faith, including from Dawkins. That evolution is anti-Christian in effect is indisputable.
Mass-murderer Jeffrey Dahmer explained "If a person doesn’t think that there is a God to be accountable to, then what’s the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges?" That's not to say, of course, that every atheist will behave like Dahmer. Most will conform to society's norms. But there is nothing in atheism that says that they should (unlike in Christianity, which says that we are answerable to God), hence we've had atheists with power slaughter millions because, to use Stalin's reported justification, "killing a million people was no different from mowing a lawn". Whilst being an atheist doesn't mean that you will become a mass-murder, being an atheist means that you no longer have God's standards to adhere to, and instead man can make his own standards.
So... Darwin proposed an idea that replaced God. Replacing God removed the basis for standards, values, and morals generally accepted by Western civilisation. Removing the basis for those standards has led to various 20th-century evils. The chain of events is quite clear and, in my mind, indisputable. Expelled took this line, but I believe that it had good reason to.
I take it that you are referring to the "duplicity" of allegedly misrepresenting what the film was about. I take these allegations with a grain of salt. Dawkins claimed similar regarding an interview for "A From to a Prince", but his claims were shown to be false, beyond the point that the producers didn't tell him up front that they were creationists. But they didn't misrepresent themselves either. He didn't ask, they didn't tell. Again, similar claims were made around the documentary Voyage that shook the world. Three of those interviewed complained that they weren't told that they were being interviewed by creationists (although they didn't actually claim overt misrepresentation in that respect). But they conceded that "the producers do have a point: if academic historians refuse to participate when movements they don’t approve of seek historical information, these historians can hardly complain if less reputable sources are used instead.". And this is important: Any "deception" is a consequence of the evolutionists discriminating. I'm not saying that justifies overt deception (it doesn't), but it's a bit rich for interviewees to refuse to be interviewed by people not friendly to their views and then to complain that the interviewer wasn't up front with their views.
I agree with your last sentence, of course, but will make my final response with your comment about the scientific method. Surely science is about finding facts, not playing games with arbitrary rules. So if God did create the world, why should science be excluded from proposing that? Saying that science must assume material/natural explanations is to arbitrarily rule out what might be the correct explanation. I agree that science is incapable of measuring/testing/directly-studying the supernatural, but there is no reason in principle why it can't conclude that a supernatural explanation best fits the evidence. Keep in mind that what we are talking about here is not just, to use your words, "the material world", but the unobservable, untestable, unmeasurable, unrepeatable past. No creationist (or IDer) has an issue with science's ability to work with what it has; the issue is over it's ability to definitively speak on unique past events, which it doesn't "have" to work with. That doesn't mean that it is impotent—it can make predictions on the basis of hypothesis and test those predictions, for example, but its ability in this regard is limited. And, by the way, it is entirely possible to make predictions on the basis of the idea that God created per the account in Genesis, and test those predictions, and this has been successfully done. So why isn't this considered "science"? Simply because of an arbitrary rule that supernatural explanation are ruled out of consideration even if the evidence supports them, simply because they are supernatural.
Actually, I'll make one more comment, on the issue of ID not being inherently scientific. As Dawkins conceded in Expelled, if we were intelligently designed (even by aliens, which was the only agency he would accept), then it should be possible to see evidence of that. And it's that logic that I've not seen refuted, and which is the very point that means that ID is not inherently unscientific, despite all the ideologically-driven claims of critics.
Sorry that was rather long, but thanks for reading all this (assuming you have, of course!).
Philip J. Rayment (talk) 03:15, 8 October 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I did read it all. And looked up Jerry Bergman and Michael Ruse.
I personally see science as dealing strictly with the material world. My church taught me miracles occur only when God supersedes his natural laws. Evolution doesn't deal with origins of life, but of species.
Webster--the classic American dictionary--defines science (the kind I'm referring to)--as:
3a : knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method
b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : natural science
the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment
To me, to add religious beliefs to that makes it no longer science but faith.
Paul differentiates between the spiritual and the natural in I Cor. 15: 40-50. (Also Gal. 4:22-26.)
Here's an example of religion intruding into science. Alaska Natives believe a scarcity of game animals results from hunters who don't "respect" them, whereas game management sees a shortage as caused by some natural phenomenon. Our state is sensitive to their religious beliefs. I thought, "How dumb! Teach those Natives some science!" Then I realized that's exactly what evolutionists say about creationism in schools.
I've been on the other side of the fence from the "expelled"--I had to be quiet about disbelieving ID in order to keep my job. :P Yopienso (talk) 02:14, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't disagree with saying that science only deals with the material world. That's not the issue. The issue is, can it propose supernatural explanations to explain aspects of the material world? If the the supernatural explanation happens to be the true explanation, why shouldn't it allow it? If the evidence supports a supernatural explanation, why shouldn't science endorse it?
I would say that your church taught you wrong (it depends on your definition of "miracle", but God can also perform miracles within the scope of His natural laws. See, for example, God using a landslide (something that occurs within natural laws) to temporarily stop the flow of the Jordan to let the Israelites cross), but that's beside the point. What relevance to this discussion does it have if God does at times supersede His natural laws?
"Evolution" can be used in a number of different ways, including limiting it to the evolutionary family tree, but it's false to claim that it "doesn't" deal with the origins of life. In fact Theodosius Dobzhansky said that "Attempts to restrict the concept of evolution to biology are gratuitous." See here for more.
"To me, to add religious beliefs to that makes it no longer science but faith." You should explain your use of those terms. "Faith", as used in the Bible, is trust based on evidence. You know, the sort of thing that allows you to believe scientists: the evidence is that their pronouncements (about things they can measure, at least) are reliable, so you have faith about what they say without having to check it for yourself. Does that mean that it's no longer science? "Religious belief" insofar as this topic is concerned, is eyewitness testimony to historical events, such as the flood of Noah and creation itself, even if the eyewitness is God. Eyewitness testimony is scientifically acceptable for historical events.
Your example of "religion intruding into science" is irrelevant. I've no intention of defending "religion", but I'm happy to defend Christianity (or, more specifically, the Bible). To criticise religions generally on the basis of claims or actions by some religions that don't apply to all is illogical.
Do you have a job in a government education system?
Philip J. Rayment (talk) 12:36, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Well, I think the crux of the issue is that science deals with the material world. Exclusively. Therefore it cannot propose or endorse supernatural explanations of anything. It can say, "Beyond this point, we can't explain any natural process that would account for the phenomenon." Which is precisely what Dawkins says about the origin of life.
My point on miracles was that God doesn't break natural laws--he supersedes them, or, as you point out, he uses them.
When editing at Wikipedia or using it as a reference, "evolution" means "the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations."
Faith isn't based on evidence, it is evidence of unseen things. Get out your Strong's and Vine's to refresh your memory on the Greek for "substance" and "evidence". This isn't the empirical evidence science requires.
The trouble with God as an eyewitness is that he can't appear in court, swear on the Bible, and give his testimony. (Eyewitness testimony given by humans, btw, is notoriously unreliable.)
"Religion intruding into science" is what the Discovery Institute is all about.
No, like Robert Marks, I taught in a Christian school. Yopienso (talk) 00:20, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
science deals with the material world. Exclusively. Therefore it cannot propose or endorse supernatural explanations of anything. That is a non-sequitur. It's like saying that a biologist employed to study plants cannot propose that the reason the plants are disappearing is because animals are eating them because animals are outside his mandate.
Actually, it's like saying the biologist can't say angels came and reaped them.
When editing at Wikipedia or using it as a reference, "evolution" means "the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations." Incorrect. As creationists have said, if that's all evolution was, all creationists would be evolutionists. But the WP article doesn't stop there. It also talks about descent from a common ancestor, which is what evolution is really about.
Agree evolution is also about common descent. Abiogenesis investigates the origin of life.
Faith isn't based on evidence, it is evidence of unseen things.Strong's lists one of the meanings of ἔλεγχος (evidence) as "conviction", and ὑπόστασις (substance) in a number of ways, but it's also translated (in the AV) as confidence. In fact the NIV has for Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. But from where does that confidence, that assurance, come? It comes from evidence. See here. We have evidence that God is reliable, so we have faith that what He tells us is true.
I cannot make my point clearer, so I won't repeat it.
The trouble with God as an eyewitness is that he can't appear in court, swear on the Bible, and give his testimony. He can give His testimony, and has. That's what the Bible is. And written testimony is acceptable in court. That's what a will is. True, God can't be cross-examined, but then neither can a deceased person who's will is being contested. That doesn't mean that his testimony (will) doesn't count.
Do you realize this is beyond silly? No U.S. court (and I'm sure no Australian court) would accept the Bible as the written testimony of a reliable eyewitness to O.T. events.
Eyewitness testimony given by humans, btw, is notoriously unreliable I believe that the case is overstated. Courts to this day remain heavily reliant on eye-witness testimony.
They prefer physical evidence. When I served on a jury less than two years ago, the first thing we were told was that eyewitness testimony has been shown to be the most unreliable kind presented in court.
"Religion intruding into science" is what the Discovery Institute is all about. So you say. Your previous example was supposed to demonstrate that the "intrusion" was a bad thing. My previous dismissal of that example was not that it was not a bad thing, but that that particular example was irrelevant. You've provided no new example to show that "Religion intruding into science" is necessarily a bad thing. All you've done is give an example of "intrusion", but without demonstrating that there's anything wrong with that case.
Are you saying it's OK for Christianity to intrude on science but not OK for Native beliefs to intrude on science? (I'm asking for clarification, not as a challenge.)
So what's wrong with a Christian school requiring you to accept ID? The issue that creationists and IDers have is that supposedly-neutral government schools take a partisan view. They do not object to atheist schools taking a partisan (evolutionary) view. The point being that your case is not comparable to those highlighted in Expelled.
Nothing's wrong with it; it's just ironic. (My acceptance was assumed, not required.) Secular public schools (along with many Christian schools) take the scientific view. That's not accurately called "partisan." I'm not aware of any atheist schools, although there may be some in Australia or somewhere else or even the U.S. I thought it was doubly ironic that a Christian university "expelled" Robert Marks, to whom I compared myself.
Philip J. Rayment (talk) 02:42, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
Yopienso (talk) 08:44, 11 October 2012 (UTC)
Actually, it's like saying the biologist can't say angels came and reaped them.That's a non-answer. You didn't even attempt to refute my analogy, and your analogy is silly, although not for the reason that you assume. That is, just what is wrong with a biologist proposing angels reaping them if the evidence supports that view? Your attempt at a silly analogy fails simply because it's circular: it presumes what it attempts to demonstrate.
Do you realize this is beyond silly? No U.S. court (and I'm sure no Australian court) would accept the Bible as the written testimony of a reliable eyewitness to O.T. events. Yes? Because...? See here.
They prefer physical evidence. When I served on a jury less than two years ago, the first thing we were told was that eyewitness testimony has been shown to be the most unreliable kind presented in court. Perhaps the person who told you that has been convinced by modern claims along that line, but I find it hard to believe that this is really as bad as made out. I could offer in return the Azaria Chamberlain case (the dingo that took the baby) where the eyewitnesses turned out to be right and the scientific evidence wrong.
Are you saying it's OK for Christianity to intrude on science but not OK for Native beliefs to intrude on science? (I'm asking for clarification, not as a challenge.) I'm saying that the claims should be considered on their merits and not arbitrarily excluded because they are labelled "religious" by some, and that biblical claims, unlike other religions, can be relied on as being true. Implicit in this is the rejection of a common atheist fallacy that all religions can be lumped in together. If you have n religions, and they all say different (incompatible) things, then it's obvious that they can't all be true. It does not follow, however, that they must all be false. Either zero or one of them is true, so any attempt to dismiss Christian claims simply because claims of other religions are false is logically invalid and also quite silly.
Nothing's wrong with it; it's just ironic. Ironic compared with Marks, I guess, but not ironic compared to the cases in Expelled, because they are not the same situation.
Secular public schools (along with many Christian schools) take the scientific view. Utterly false. They take the atheistic view (yes, despite some of them being Christian). "Science" is not a synonym for "evolution", which is the atheists "origin myth", not science.
That's not accurately called "partisan." Yeah? Let's see: Partisan: showing strong and usually unfair support for one particular person, group, or idea. Yep, that fits perfectly. "Evolution" is also not a synonym for "correct".
I'm not aware of any atheist schools... I'm not saying there are. It was a hypothetical, to point out that it would be okay for an atheist school to be biased towards evolution. But government schools should not be.
I thought it was doubly ironic that a Christian university "expelled" Robert Marks, to whom I compared myself. As you point out, many Christian schools teach evolution. That is, many Christian schools have compromised with atheism. But while I agree that's ironic, at least that's all it is. Here in Oz and also in Europe, there have been moves to ban Christian schools from teaching creation (even alongside also teaching evolution). That's not ironic—that's atheists imposing their views on others by. It just goes to show that they are so incapable of arguing their case on its merits that they have to resort to censorship to keep their partisan view accepted.
Philip J. Rayment (talk) 12:56, 11 October 2012 (UTC)

Possible continuation[edit]

Discussion moved to /Discussion with BRPierce

Noah's Flood[edit]

What date do you assign to Noah's Flood? Yopienso (talk) 18:25, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Around 2350 B.C. is the date that can be calculated from the historical record. Philip J. Rayment (talk) 02:21, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Philip. Yopienso (talk) 05:45, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Notes from a kibbitzer[edit]

Hi, I've been skimming through your dialog with BRPierce. I'd just like to comment on the identity and nature of the Word of God. I understand Psalm 19 and Romans 1:19-20 to demonstrate that the Word of God is manifest in the physical world with no language other than example (type and shadow). One of my understandings about the Transfiguration is that Jesus was there as the Living Word, Moses as the written Word, and Elijah as the spoken Word (Jn. 1:1; Rev. 19:13; I Kings 17:16, 24, etc.) A search of the N.T. for "word of God" shows the phrase most often refers to spoken, not written, words. Sorry to say, we don't know for sure which writings should be called the Word of God. Each of the main branches of Christianity has a slightly different canon, and there is no such thing as an "original Bible." The Textus Receptus is "received" only by those who favor it. Yopienso (talk) 22:56, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I think the whole thing is a red herring anyway. BRPierce basically argued that Scripture is not what is referred to as the "Word of God", therefore it's not inerrant. But even granting the premise, that's a non-sequitur. Philip J. Rayment (talk) 12:29, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I beg to differ, Philip. The entire doctrine of inerrancy is predicated on the idea that Scripture is the Word of God, and therefore inerrant. If Scripture is not the Word of God, then on what other basis may we make the argument that it's inerrant? Divine inspiration? It's a fairly trivial matter to demonstrate that simply being inspired by God does not confer inerrancy; the most blessed prophets in the Bible erred, some quite grievously. Even if we were to assume that inspired authorship confers inerrancy, what guarantee do we have that those who compiled the canon of the Bible were likewise inerrant? Was Origen, for instance, inerrant? (Let's keep in mind that he thought the notion of a six-day Creation was ludicrous!) As Yopienso quite rightly pointed out, different Christian traditions consider different books canonical; which of those traditions is correct? Are the Catholics correct, in which case we should embrace the deuterocanon? Is the Ethiopian Orthodox Church correct, in which case we should hail Enoch? And that's to say nothing of the Bibles which historically contained Apocryphal accounts. Which tradition was inerrantly guided by God in the assembly of the proper canon? --BRPierce (talk) 15:11, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
Is this higher criticism or lower criticism? All hail St Enoch, sadly missed these days. . . . dave souza, talk 15:56, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Meetup invitation: Melbourne 26[edit]

Hi there! You are cordially invited to a meetup next Sunday (6 January). Details and an attendee list are at Wikipedia:Meetup/Melbourne 26. Hope to see you there! John Vandenberg 07:38, 27 December 2012 (UTC)

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