Tom Gilson

The Case for a Creator: Naturalism and Materialism

I’m team-teaching Lee Strobel’s The Case for a Creator at church along with a college biology instructor and an engineer, each of us taking the chapters relating to our own areas of specialty. Chapter Two asks, “Is science—especially evolutionary science—opposed to God? Do we really need God if we can explain the world through science?”

Two-Part Question

Evidences in Nature

There are two parts to the answer to this question. One of them has to do with the actual evidence of science: what do we see in nature, and what’s the best way to interpret it? The definition of Intelligent Design (ID) is this: “ID holds that there are features of nature that are best explained as the product of an intelligent cause.” You’ll see other definitions of ID from opponents or the popular press, for example:

  • “ID is creationism dressed up to look as if was science,” or
  • “ID is the theory that nature is too complex to have come about by evolution so it must have come from God,” or
  • “ID is the God-of-the-gaps, the theory that what we don’t yet understand about evolution must have been God’s doing.”

None of those is correct; all of them are distortions. The class will cover this more later, or you can read more here now.

Philosophical Mindset

There is evidence, and there is interpretation. The second part of the answer to our question has to do with the mindset by which you interpret evidence. People on both sides of the debate are looking at the same “stuff” in nature but they give very different explanations. Why?

Different interpretations are nothing new in science, so there could be a lot of reasons why they happen here. I’m going to focus on one here that’s really quite unique to the Intelligent Design controversy. Lee Strobel uses two very crucial words in Chapter Two without defining them. Actually he does come back to them in Chapter Four, but they are so crucial to this whole issue, I don’t think we ought to wait that long.

These words are “naturalist” (page 22) and “materialist” (page 23 and 25). This is not about an outdoorsman/naturalist like Euell Gibbons, and this materialism is not about trying to satisfy yourself by building up material goods. They have a different meaning in this case. They’re practically synonymous, so we’re going to treat them that way here, and I’ll stick with the word naturalism to cover both of them.* Naturalism is the belief that nothing exists except for matter and energy, and their interactions according to law and chance. That’s the short version. Unpacked it means:

  • The cosmos consists of matter and energy (physicists will actually tell you the two are two sides of the same coin). Nothing else exists. Period.
  • Everything that happens is caused either by the necessity that we call natural law, or (on a subatomic scale only) by chance.

What does that leave out? God, or in fact any kind of spiritual reality at all. Naturalism is atheistic.

Where Does This Mindset Come From?

Many evolutionary scientists (not all, but many) are naturalists in this sense. Where do they get it from? I’ll speak to some of the more common answers here.

From Science?

Richard Dawkins is a great example of this way of thinking. In a marvelous book (it really is a good read) called The Blind Watchmaker, he sets out to show Why the Evidence of Evolution Proves a Universe Without Design (that’s the book’s subtitle, in fact). He says that since we can (at least in principle) explain all of reality without God, there is no God. Based on that early book of his, it appears that he had come to a scientific conclusion that there is no God. There are only two problems. One is that the evidence he presented is still very controversial, as you’ll see in weeks to come. The other is that no matter what the scientific evidence shows, it can’t show that there’s no God.

Science can investigate physical reality. Can it investigate spiritual reality? No. It’s not in science’s area of competence. Science is about what you can count, weigh, measure, observe with the five senses or with instruments, experiment on, control, repeat, etc. God doesn’t fit any of those categories. “We looked with all of our science and we didn’t find God” is about as relevant as, “We looked all over Australia and we never found Kentucky.”

Spiritual Sources

Naturalism is a belief about spiritual reality, and as such it has spiritual roots: See 1 Corinthians 2:14-15; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6.

For Science?

Some people express a naturalistic attitude for the sake of science. The classic statement is Richard Lewontin’s, from a book review (emphasis added by me):

Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.

The horrific fear he states here is that “the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.” If there is a God who works in the world, it’s all going to go haywire, science becomes worthless, everything we thought we knew turns out to be wrong, in fact we no longer have any way of learning anything about the world because science can’t be trusted any longer!

We have to take this seriously. There’s a great cartoon that shows how serious the problem is: “And then a miracle occurs.” Clearly this is not science, it’s not responsible, and it’s not acceptable. It’s wrong. It’s bad. Even Christians can agree this is foolish. Physicist Gregory Benford, quoted in a book edited by Ravi Zacharias called Beyond Opinion (page 166) said,

One can imagine a universe in which laws are not truly law-full. Talk of miracles does just this, invoking God to make things work. Physics aims to find the laws instead.

God and Science: Not Enemies

Which is exactly what physics ought to do. Is God so erratic, though? Not at all. We can take this right back to the heart of God. These are not things we made up just so he won’t be an embarrassment to science! These are core attributes of God we relied on long before anybody gave a moment’s thought to what makes science work. God wants to communicate with us, he does it through miracles, he wants us to know him, he wants us to reflect his own image, and it is precisely for those reasons that we know he will let nature run its course

  • God wants us to know him. You cannot really get to know someone whose character and behavior are erratic.
  • God created us in his image; he wants us to be responsible for what we do in the world. That means he had to design the world to be predictable, so that we could be confident that if we did x, we could count on y being the result. If I brush my teeth they will be cleaner and healthier. If doing x could result in some random set of outcomes a, b, c, … with no predictable connection to x, then how could we be responsible for the results of our actions? One day I brush my teeth and my neighbor is healed of cancer, the next day I brush my teeth and a jet plane crashes, the next day a beagle mutates into a basset hound: how am I ever going to know what brushing my teeth is going to do? And how can I be a responsible person in the world if I can’t find a way to figure out what I’m causing? So God has this reason also to make cause-effect relationships very consistent and regular.
  • God wants to communicate with us. In biblical history much of his revelation was through miracles, like the virgin birth or Christ’s resurrection. What if there were no such thing as natural law and regularity, though? What if, say, one in a million births or so were to virgins, kind of on a random basis? What if God more or less on a whim raised people from the dead, once a decade in every country of the world? What would have happened to his communication through Christ? The power of God’s communication through miracles absolutely depends on their being out of the ordinary—way out of the ordinary.
  • And God wants us to understand some of what kind of a God he is through nature (Romans 1:19-20; Psalm 19:1-6.

So there’s no reason whatever to think that having a God who runs the world would be the death of science.

Committed Naturalists (Atheists)

Still, I guarantee you that many evolutionary scientists choose to believe in evolution at least partly because it takes God out of the equation forever. Not all, but many. In their case it is a spiritual as well as a scientific issue. Atheists must be evolutionists: If you are committed to atheism, then you are committed to evolution, and no evidence that could ever be brought before you could ever make the slightest difference, because there isn’t any other idea on the table that could even begin to explain where we all came from. If you choose atheism, you have to choose evolution, regardless of the evidence. It’s your only option.

If you choose to believe in God, you’re not so constrained. There are Christian evolutionists. There are Christian young-earth creationists who take a literal 6-day interpretation of Genesis. There are Christians who take Genesis to mean what it says, but who don’t think it actually says a literal 6-day interpretation is necessary.

If you ever hear someone say that being a Christian makes you closed-minded, remind them of this:

  • Naturalists must be evolutionists, regardless of the evidence
  • Christians can believe in God-directed evolution, young-earth creationism, or old-earth creation, and they can follow the evidence where it leads.
  • Which of these is the more closed-minded?

Assumptions or Proof?

This brings us back around to the point of this whole lesson. Is science opposed to God? Yes and no. There is a certain kind of scientist who is opposed to God: the scientist who takes up the position of naturalism, who assumes that nature is the whole show, that science is the one way to learn about reality. Science itself, rightly understood, doesn’t say that at all. There’s plenty of room in science to look at the evidence and draw an open-minded conclusion. When you hear, “science proves there’s no God,” or “science proves God had nothing to do with creation,” or anything of the sort, what they’re really saying is, “my version of science, which assumes there is no God, says there is no God.” Assumptions are not proof.

*There are different accounts of how naturalism and materialism differ. One such account says that materialism is about what the universe is made of (just matter and energy, two sides of the same coin), while naturalism is the belief that everything that happens can (in principle) be explained by natural causes and laws.

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41 thoughts on “The Case for a Creator: Naturalism and Materialism

  1. Point well taken. I’ll correct it: naturalism excludes a personal God, a God who chooses, who acts, who relates to other aspects of reality (especially persons) while not being identified with the rest of reality, who has personality including intellect and emotions, who does things intentionally; a God who can be distinguished from nature.

    Naturalism still affirms that all that happens, happens within nature. In the sense that naturalism is almost universally used in this particular debate, it says that everything happens according to natural law, with no supernatural intervention.

    So even though there is a version of naturalism that admits of pantheism, that version is irrelevant to the origins debate. The naturalism that generally enters into this debate is either atheism, or sometimes some kind of “god” conception in which the gods have no effect on reality. For these purpose, that’s functionally equivalent to atheism. (And by the way, as long as we’re at it, the same could be said for deism.)

  2. Thanks for the in-depth and fascinating discussion here Tom.

    I’d like to recommend that you read the book “The Soul of Science” by Pearcey/Thaxton. It is a wonderful discussion of why science isn’t just compatible with Christianity, it was actually born out of theistic principles.

    An interesting question that arises from it is “If there is no God, then why should we expect there to be natural laws? Why should a pre-scientific atheistic culture expect to find consistency and rationality in nature?”.

  3. For all intents and purposes, atheism and pantheism have one thing in common: belief that nothing in the universe is any more or less divine than anything else. For all practical purposes, naturalism is sort of a form of pantheism – where the impersonal, universal, all-encompassing “is” causes everything.

    I’m continually surprised at how much non-scientific philosophy is being foisted on scientific discussions (on both sides, to be fair, but far more so from atheists). Even discussing issues such as those raised in “The Case For A Creator” gets tough because of the logically, philosophically wrong assumptions that are being treated as truth by anti-religious pundits.

  4. You are also forgetting about panentheism which also situates God within a natural order but also allows for a personal deity.

    I would also include the fact that there are more kinds of evolution than simply Darwinian. I could also include that there are various forms of Darwinian evolution, which doesn’t seem to be accounted for in Evangelical evolutionary criticism (though I could be mistaken…I’ve really read very little on this issue).

  5. The purpose of this discussion was not to catalog all versions of belief in God. I also left out Hindu polytheism. It was to define naturalism/materialism and some implications thereof.

    I’m not that familiar with panentheism. If it is as you say, God “within” the natural order, then it sounds like he is subject to the natural order, which puts nature in charge of God. I don’t think that’s an accurate definition; more often panentheism takes God as larger than nature, but nature as being a part of God. That’s certainly not biblical theism.

    To the point of this post, however, there are scientists who are materialists/naturalists. They are committed to a view that God does not intentionally act in nature, in any way that creates any exception to natural law. If panentheism views God as never intervening in the course of nature, it is a form of practical atheism just as deism is. That is, there may be a God, but what difference does he make?

    If that’s not what panentheism is, then I suppose there could conceivably be room for a naturalist (but not a materialist) to be a panentheist.

    Does any of this make any difference to the point of the discussion? I don’t mean that as a cute question. I really don’t know that it does, but I’m open to being corrected.

  6. This strikes me as unfair in a couple ways.

    First, naturalists are evolutionists because of an examination of the evidence. Whether you think it was a fair examination doesn’t change the fact that most have attempted a fair weighing of the evidence. You make it sound like upon deciding to be naturalists, they are then handed their handbook of naturalist rules, which includes a mandatory belief in evolution. And if there were some other natural explanation of life’s origins, we would most certainly give it a fair examination. It’s unfair to call us close-minded because there has only been one viable explanation since before any of us were born.

    Second, since it is the only explanation on the table for us, then it’s a bit like us calling Christians close-minded because the only son of god that you can believe in is Jesus. Does that sound fair to you?

  7. Jared,

    Thanks for stopping by. I’m not sure where “fair” fits in here. Certainly being fair is important in many ways. If there is a question about who the Son of God is (by the way, we capitalize proper nouns—God being one—in English), then that’s a great question to discuss. But I can’t think of what bearing that has on the question of materialism, naturalism, and evolution.

    “Naturalists are evolutionists because of the evidence.” Well, I’m sure that’s true in a great number of instances. I find it rather concerning, though, that they don’t have any other choice. Is that fair? Or should we ask a prior question: Is that true? Do they have any other options?

    Here’s a Bayes theorem version of the matter. I’ll say it in English. The probability that a naturalist will be an evolutionist, given strong, rock-solid proof for evolution, is approximately 1. The probability that a naturalist will be an evolutionist, given weak, ambiguous evidence for evolution (evidence that could be interpreted in multiple ways) is approximately 1. The probability concluding in favor of evolution is the same, regardless of the strength of the evidence. (That ought to bother you, my friend.)

    Now let’s ask whether there might be such a thing as ambiguous evidence relative to evolution (“evolution” here referring to the grand theory that all life has arisen from a common ancestor by undirected processes of variation and natural selection). It seems likely that at least some such evidence would be ambiguous. We don’t even need to review the literature to know that; it’s just in the nature of evidence in historical sciences (if not all science) to be ambiguous at least part of the time.

    We know that the probability that the strictly committed naturalist would interpret this in favor of evolution is approximately 1, so therefore the probability she would interpret it in favor of design is approximately 0.

    So know we know that strictly committed naturalists will not interpret ambiguous evidences in favor of design; not in any but the most exceptional instances. We don’t have to know anything about the evidence except that it’s ambiguous, and we already know virtually for certain how the naturalist will interpret it. Stated differently: we don’t even need to see the evidence, and we know how it will be—must be!—interpreted.

    There’s something fishy when we can always predict the interpretation without even seeing the evidence.

    Now, have I said that all evolutionists have chosen their position without any regard for the evidence? No, I have not. I have not even said that all naturalists have chosen their evolutionary belief without regard for the evidence. I have said this: that when a naturalist interprets ambiguous evidence as evidence that favors evolution, we have to look at that very closely. That interpretation may be telling us a lot more about the naturalist’s metaphysics than it is about the real meaning of the evidence.

    Theists, on the other hand, have great freedom to follow the evidence wherever it may lead. There are theistic evolutionists, old-earth ID proponents who believe in common descent, old-earth ID proponents who reject common descent, and young-earth creationists. Any one of those positions can be taken up without giving up the basic theistic stance. In other words, when a theist states his position, he has a choice. The naturalist does not. The theist can follow the evidence wherever it might conceivably lead. The naturalist cannot.

    Is that fair? No, I don’t think that’s fair at all. I’d much rather have a level playing field where everyone can follow the evidence where it leads. But that’s not the way the game is being played. I think it is fair, though, to point that fact out.

  8. The accusation of close-mindedness is ridiculous because the same can be said of young-earth creationist, old-earth creationist, and theistic evolutionists. What are the chances that a YEC will interpret ambiguous evidence in favor of a Biblically described model? Approximately 1. What are the chances that a theistic evolutionist will interpret ambiguous evidence in favor of divinely driven natural laws? Approximately 1. What are the chances that both of these would interpret ambiguous evidence as completely atheistic? Zero.

    You’re pitting the open-mindedness of naturalists against a lumped together, philosophically diverse set of groups, and then accusing the naturalists of being close-minded when each of these specific members of the latter are guilty of the exact same thing. That’s what I mean by unfair.

  9. Okay, now I see what you’re saying. Yes, you’re right, a young-earth creationist who came to that position from a metaphysical perspective will likely interpret evidence as supporting young-earth creationism.

    The other groups are not so easily pegged.

    Among the old-earth origins theists, there is much less theological/metaphysical pressure to choose one version over the other. Most of them would not consider that they have a priori reasons that they have to accept or reject common descent, for example.

    For me, there is no strong a priori reason to be convinced that ID is true, if ID is taken to mean that there are definite discernible signs in nature that show an intelligence was involved in its development. I can very easily take the position that God created the world without leaving such “fingerprints” on his handiwork. I don’t have to believe in ID, as a Christian. In fact, I’m still not completely convinced that it has made its case, in the form I stated it just now.

    Theists have considerable freedom to follow the evidence where it leads. In contrast, Lewontin, above, is a great example of a materialist who absolutely has to be an evolutionist, whatever the evidence may say. He said as much himself—read it again.

    And what are the chances that any theist would interpret x evidence in nature as completely atheistic? About the same as any competent thinker: zero. There is no such thing as drawing a valid “completely atheistic” conclusion from natural evidence. The most one could validly say is, “If there is a God, we do not see evidence of Him here.”

  10. “If there is a God, we do not see evidence of Him here.”

    That’s actually what atheists say as well. But personally speaking, I don’t view my or any other atheist’s dismissal of a supernatural world as a priori. I think we view the natural world and laws as simply a default position and no compelling reason has been given to us to add a whole other (apparently) superfluous layer on top of that.

  11. Someday I’m probably going to write on atheism as a default position… but not now. I appreciate your sharing your comments here. Not every atheist is the kind of a priori naturalist I was referring to above, I realize that. Some are, but certainly not all.

  12. Tom, OS, others:

    What I’m saying is that Tom’s assertion holds for all worldviews that necessitate some form of naturalism, since pantheism functions just like atheism, so far as most scientific issues are concerned.

    I think that’s relevant, since a pantheist is likely to treat these questions in exactly the same way as an atheist; from a position of automatic, assumed, necessary “naturalism”, although their perspectives on exactly what “natural” means would be different.

    The things I see being “foisted” on the conversation are the misuses of Occam’s Razor, assuming that anything inexplicable to science is nonexistent, and so forth.

  13. Tom,

    As an atheist I find this posting to be pretty offensive.

    You wrote:

    Atheists must be evolutionists: If you are committed to atheism, then you are committed to evolution, and no evidence that could ever be brought before you could ever make the slightest difference, because there isn’t any other idea on the table that could even begin to explain where we all came from.

    “Committed” to atheism? I am committed to being an atheist with about the same fervency I apply to not wearing a coat when it’s warm out or not eating when I’m full. Calling my lack of credence for God a “commitment” is absurd.

    The I have to ask, how would you feel if I wrote this:

    Me: Christians must be deniers of the implications of evolution: If you are committed to Christianity, then you are committed to the specialness of man, and no evidence that could ever be brought before you could ever make the slightest difference, because there isn’t any other idea on the table that a Christian mindset will allow.

    I think that would be roundly criticized here as a fairly bigoted thing to say. And both of these statements (yours and mine) read as declarations that “Your mind is closed and mine is not.”

    You wrote:

    If you choose atheism, you have to choose evolution, regardless of the evidence. It’s your only option.

    Regardless of the evidence? But don’t we close-minded atheists actually choose evolution BECAUSE OF THE EVIDENCE? Isn’t that why we’re not adherents of spontaneous generation, Lamarckism, etc? Doesn’t all the scientific evidence support Evolution better than any other biological theory that could replace it?

    To me, it looks like the denial of evidence is a necessity of Christianity. In your case, you’ve said that the implications of Evolution are at odds with your interpretation of Scripture, and that you therefore do not accept the implications of Evolution. In other words, your mind is closed to the implications of Evolutionary facts. So whose committed to a worldview here?

    On the other hand, as an atheist, I have trouble imagining anything similar where my beliefs should precede the evidence. That includes, of course, the existence of God. (What would constitute proof for the existence of God? This video is a great start – http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=atheist+acceptable+proof+god&emb=0# )

    I do agree, of course, that science has nothing to say about metaphysics or the great questions of life, starting with Why is there something instead of nothing. But to smear atheists and naturalists with statements like “Naturalists must be evolutionists, regardless of the evidence” reads like bigotry instead of analysis.

  14. Tony,

    No offense was intended.

    If your atheism is not a commitment in the sense I was speaking of, then the implications of such a commitment do not apply to you. Perhaps I was careless with this:

    Atheists must be evolutionists: If you are committed to atheism,

    That clause is valid only if being an atheist means being committed to being an atheist. For atheists who are not committed to their position, I am certainly willing to apologize for the error. (Your stance raises other questions in my mind, but I need not pursue them at this time.)

    But did you notice the large letters with which I headed this section? “Committed Naturalists (Atheists).” That was who I was talking about. Did you not notice I said “not all, but many?”

    The I have to ask, how would you feel if I wrote this:

    Me: Christians must be deniers of the implications of evolution: If you are committed to Christianity, then you are committed to the specialness of man, and no evidence that could ever be brought before you could ever make the slightest difference, because there isn’t any other idea on the table that a Christian mindset will allow.

    That would be far from the worst that’s ever been said about me! But really, how would I feel? It wouldn’t bother me a lot, because I know the statement is incorrect. I’d be a trifle bemused by the fact that the person who wrote it had missed everything I’ve already written in this post, and in the ensuing discussion, that explains what’s wrong with a statement like that. But that’s no big emotional deal, it’s just a head-scratcher, a bit of puzzle to me, as to why someone would do that.

    Sure, we’re committed to the specialness of man, so we have a prior commitment that precludes us from accepting evolution in the form of unguided, undirected common descent. I have no qualms with acknowledging that. But I’m still able to follow the evidence where it leads, in at least three distinct potential directions, as stated above. Common descent? Sure, if the evidence says so. Old universe? Why not?

    In fact, anywhere that science leads, I can follow, because science qua science cannot speak to whether natural history was guided in its processes, and guidance or direction of natural processes is the chief point of concern to me as a theist in these matters.

    Your statement is not bigoted at all. Part of it is perfectly accurate, and part of it is not; and those parts are discernible from each other by good thinking.

    To the extent that a person is committed to atheism, to that same extent that person is committed to evolution; and if that commitment is absolute, then that person’s commitment to evolution must be impervious to contrary evidence. That’s not bigoted, it’s just logical analysis.

    I can present to you the following as support for my position. Physicists are widely agreed that the universe is astonishingly well fine-tuned for complex life, to orders of magnitude so great they could not even be written down in the observable universe without the use of scientific notation. This might be seen as evidence for design. There are many who say no, however. They postulate instead that we live in a vast multiverse of trillions upon trillions of universes (some even say an infinity of universes), such that the probability of at least one life-friendly universe is not so remote; and that’s where we live.

    That’s naturalism in search of naturalist answers where no evidence exists. None. (There’s some very vague mathematical speculation, but no evidence whatever supporting it so far.) This is a wildly over-reaching violation of Occam’s Razor, in support of what? I suppose it fuels further research, which is a good thing which any person should support. For those who consider it the best answer so far, though, that conclusion serves no evidence, nothing but a metaphysical commitment to naturalism.

    Your accusuation of bigotry is a huge category error, a misguided ad hominem argument. Your contention is that I am acting in poor character. How about looking at whether I’m arguing with poor logic instead?

    Regardless of the evidence? But don’t we close-minded atheists actually choose evolution BECAUSE OF THE EVIDENCE?

    I don’t know if you do or not. Some certainly do, I know; I wrote that in the blog post.

    To me, it looks like the denial of evidence is a necessity of Christianity. In your case, you’ve said that the implications of Evolution are at odds with your interpretation of Scripture, and that you therefore do not accept the implications of Evolution. In other words, your mind is closed to the implications of Evolutionary facts. So whose committed to a worldview here?

    I’m committed to a worldview. No problem with that at all! But your charge here simply shows that you haven’t read the post, and you haven’t read the discussion prior to your comment, or else you would have seen that I am not closed-minded to what the scientific evidence might reveal.

    Your comment to me is rather full of emotion. I would ask you to calm down, let go of these ad hominems and general charges of character flaws, read the post, and respond to what I’ve written from a thoughtful perspective, please, and not just on the basis of its affect on your feelings. Consider whether it’s true before you consider whether I am a bad person for having said it.

  15. Just a hypothetical, Tom. Let’s put the topic of human origins and whether they were directed aside, and instead focus the claim of open-mindedness to other areas. You say you are committed to a worldview. So how would you treat evidence that contradicted other aspects of Christianity? What if evidence were uncovered that showed that Jesus wasn’t born of a virgin, or that the resurrection was completely fabricated in order to advance an agenda?

    I’m not trying to play “gotcha” or anything, I’m sincerely interested in how you think you would react to such evidence*.

    *conclusive evidence, for the purpose of this hypothetical.

  16. Tom,

    My statement that writing “‘Naturalists must be evolutionists, regardless of the evidence’ reads like bigotry.” is not a category error. It is a criticism of your essay. A category error would be my saying that your essay is not blue.

    My rewrite of your statement to accuse Christians of being close-minded is bigoted, because it accuses Christians of not being able to allow any kind of evidence [divine? scientific? logical? Sure.] to persuade them from a prior mindset. Because you dismiss it accuses as incorrect doesn’t change the fact that it is a bigoted statement; that would be like saying someone who feels that blacks are inferior isn’t bigoted because blacks are not inferior.

    Yes, I see that I bemuse you again as well. Do you see that you categorize my criticism as trivial? Do you understand that I read both your post and the Lewontin essay several times, and tried to make sense of what it was you were trying to say? Do you understand that I am already well aware of the anthropic principle, the failings of scientists, naturalist, atheists, and those you dismiss as close-minded, and that I still find your analysis to be incorrect in its assumptions and conclusions? And do you see how my protest might not be based on emotion or my personal feelings for you, but on your arguments?

    May I suggest to you that you re-read my post and consider whether it’s true before you dismiss it?

  17. Jared, in the case of conclusive evidence that Jesus had not risen from the dead, there is no way I could continue to believe in him. Neither could Paul (1 Corinthians 15:3-20).

    Tony, what is the definition of bigotry, as you’re using it here? That’s a sincere question.

    Please remember I was not speaking of all atheists, and that if my post incorrectly implied that I was, well, I was trying not to do that and I failed in that. I have already apologized.

    I am speaking of the type who would give full assent to Lewontin’s quote, whose “commitment to materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door.” You are not fully committed to atheism; Lewontin is absolutely committed to materialism, which is a version of atheism. I was not speaking of you, I was speaking of Lewontin and those who would agree with him.

    An absolute commitment to materialism produces the result I was speaking of. A tentative or partial or conditional or contingent commitment to materialism/naturalism/atheism does not.

    Again, I apologize for not being clear enough about whom I was speaking of.

  18. Here’s a better way to put it.

    Atheism itself is absolutely committed to evolution (in the broad Darwinian aspect, that all life developed from one common ancestor through the effects of variation and natural selection, without guidance or direction).

    Christian theism can accept all of that except for the “without guidance or direction” part; and it is also open to evidence for other explanations.

    Atheism/materialism is not open to any other interpretation of evidence.

    Therefore, necessarily and without reference to other personality characteristics, what I said last night is true: to the extent that a person is committed to atheism, to an equal extent that person will have difficulty interpreting evidence in any way other than the broad Darwinian way stated here. The parallel from cosmology is still my case in point to illustrate what I’m saying.

  19. Jared,

    By the way, you made it very easy on me by limiting the hypothetical to conclusive evidence. I had a breakfast meeting at 6:00 so I took advantage of the easy way out that offered me, when I answered at 5:47.

    The really interesting question is, “how would I respond if there were strongly suggestive (not conclusive) evidence that Jesus did not rise from the dead?” I would have to say this: the evidence that he did rise from the dead is strong, provided that one does not approach the question with anti-supernatural presuppositions. I would have to compare one evidence against another.

    Obviously I have a position on the subject already. I wouldn’t be coming at the question from a cold, uninvolved, objective standpoint. I would need to be convinced that this new evidence was powerful enough to overturn my beliefs. That’s just being realistic.

    The closer a belief or opinion is to the core of one’s whole view of life, the more it takes to overturn it. For me to give up my belief in Jesus Christ would be a big deal.

    So now let’s take this question back to the issue at hand, which is origins. (It’s very easy to lose track of the issue at hand, isn’t it?) For me to accept common descent, gradualism, an old universe, and other related conclusions would not require me to alter the core of my belief system. My worldview of theism does not lock me into one opinion on origins or natural history at all.

    Atheism, however, is committed to the broad Darwinian version of life’s development. A person who is as strongly committed to atheism as I am to Christianity could look at evidences and weigh them, but could not even consider a non-Darwinian answer without at the same time considering, “If I entertain this possibility, I’m also opening up myself to the possibility that everything I’ve believed about the fundamental nature of reality has been wrong all along.”

    There is in atheism a strict logical necessity to choose the broad Darwinian answer, at least until someone proposes an alternative naturalistic possibility, which hasn’t happened yet.

    For atheists, that strict logical necessity translates into this: to entertain alternatives to Darwinism is to entertain alternatives to one’s core worldview. I’ve seen people do this with real honesty, and I’ve seen them actually change their opinions. I’m not saying it can’t be done, or that any particular reader here is incapable of looking at the evidence for what it is. I am saying that for a committed atheist to do that would require him to surmount much greater psychological barriers than would be required of a theist.

  20. By the way, you may notice that I’m phrasing things with more nuance and care than I did at first. Some of the things I said at first were painted with too broad a brush. This is a learning process for me, and I appreciate your giving me the opportunity to think things through more carefully.

  21. I would suggest to you that atheism is committed to the most well-supported explanation of life’s origin possible, which just so happens to be Darwin’s explanation.

    I can definitely see where Tony’s complaints are coming from, because it does appear you are attempting to pigeonhole atheists as close-minded. Speaking for myself and many fellow atheists – yes, Tom, we can consider a non-Darwinian answer. We can even consider a supernatural answer, as I have personally, and I/we are open to the possibility that everything we’ve believed about the fundamental nature of reality has been wrong all along. We simply haven’t seen enough evidence to support that.

    Again, we have a strict logical necessity to choose the strongest theory, which just so happens to be Darwin. And I think the psychological barriers you speak of are real, but I also think they are justifiably erected. That barrier, to us, is essentially asking us to believe in magic when no good reason has been given to us to do so.

  22. Jared,

    You wrote,

    Again, we have a strict logical necessity to choose the strongest theory, which just so happens to be Darwin.

    That’s not a “strict logical necessity.” Persons do not have strict logical necessities to do anything, including to make the choices they make. Strict logical necessities have to do with strictly necessary conclusions to logical arguments, which is what I was talking about.

    It bothers you that, in your words, I am “attempting to pigeonhole atheists as close-minded.” But as I said, this is a learning process. It is atheism that is closed-minded, specifically on the matter of origins.

    I agree with what you have said just now: atheists do not have to follow atheism where it leads. You can evaluate evidence independently of your worldview. It’s psychologically difficult for any person to do that kind of thing, but it’s certainly not impossible.

    Lewontin quite clearly said he would never go there; he is absolutely committed to his materialistic atheism. But not every atheist is a Lewontin. We’re agreed on that, okay?

  23. Jared

    That barrier, to us, is essentially asking us to believe in magic when no good reason has been given to us to do so.

    Not magic, not a trick. We’re essentially asking you to believe in something outside the natural order of things, with the minimal facts surrounding the resurrection event being one good reason to do that.

  24. Tom,

    My definition for bigotry is along the lines of “to be obstinately (prejudicially) sure of your superiority and the inferiority of another.” (Do you really need me to justify how your original statement could read as bigotry?)

    I appreciate your apology – thank you . However, this appeared to be a well-thought out post; you had gone to the trouble of highlighting texts in sections, mentioned that you were teaching this as part of a course, were using a book as reference, etc. So I was less likely to excuse your conclusions as something that you hadn’t thought through more clearly – this post read, at least to me, like a finished draft of something like the Gilson Doctrine.

    But it’s hard for me to take this seriously, even with your corrections, because you are taking so many liberties with the subject material. Here are some examples:

    – Your definitions of materialism and naturalism are “amped up” to be prohibitive philosophical views that make absolute statements about the existence of the supernatural. These read as straw dog definitions.
    – You incorrectly state that the subtitle of The Blind Watchmaker is “Why the Evidence of Evolution PROVES a Universe Without Design.” It is not – the actual subtitle is “Why the Evidence of Evolution REVEALS a Universe Without Design.” This is not a trivial error; it sets up the rest of your paragraph so that you can one-up Dawkins with the fact that God’s existence cannot be disproven. It would be a convenient way to write off Dawkins as philosophically obtuse, if only it were true.
    – You use an enigmatic Lewontin quote (which I agree is kind of spooky) to imply that scientists are capable of issuing decrees or that scientists are capable of matching in lockstep to a dogma. The history of scientific achievement is one of competition and one-upmanship, not of conformity and blind adherence. Lewontin’s quote is a ramble, and reads like a quote mine.

    You wrote:

    Lewontin quite clearly said he would never go there; he is absolutely committed to his materialistic atheism. But not every atheist is a Lewontin. We’re agreed on that, okay?

    I agree with this. (Although I think that Lewontin would say that his commitment to materialism is a governing philosophy of how he conducts science, and that his atheism flows from his understanding of the world.) But your point seems to be that Lewontin isn’t unusual, and that atheists in general are close-minded in comparison to Christians.

    If that’s not the conclusion I should take away from the posting and your comments, then I apologize and will, on your request, re-read everything.

  25. Tony,

    But your point seems to be that Lewontin isn’t unusual, and that atheists in general are close-minded in comparison to Christians.

    My take on this is that Tom is saying the Christian worldview allows explanations that the atheistic worldview doesn’t allow by definition, and so the atheistic worldview (not the person) is closed to these possibilites. There is nothing within atheism qua atheism that is open to Christian explanations. Doing so means atheism is agnostism.

    The atheist (the person), however, is free to be open to Christian explanations. This too sounds like agnosticism but that’s another discussion for another day. Hair splitting? Maybe.

    Tom: Am I close? What did I win?

  26. Tony,

    I believe quite sincerely that in the narrow terms in which I was speaking, there is a difference between theism’s and atheism’s ability to consider the possibility of alternate interpretations of evidence regarding origins.

    Apparently in your mind that translates to being “obstinately (prejudicially) sure of your superiority and the inferiority of another.” In my mind it is a reasoned conclusion from the premises of each position.

    If we cannot follow premises to their conclusions without being charged with flaws in our character, then how are we going to proceed? How are we going to be able to discuss what it actually means to be a theist or an atheist? I think this approach can be very damaging to discourse.

    I’m sorry that you cannot see that I am learning through the process. (Is that a bigoted response on your part?)

    You say I “amped up” the definitions of materialism and naturalism. No, I did not. I gave accurate definitions.

    I was quoting the subtitle of Dawkins’s book from memory. Apparently I got it wrong. Another error for which I must apologize. But taken in view of Dawkins’s body of writings, he most certainly does consider “a universe without design” to have been proven to a confidence far better than 99%.

    I linked to Lewontin’s article. You can read it for yourself. Don’t call it a quote-mine, please, unless you can show how the section I quoted from distorts his overall flow of thought.

    But your point seems to be that Lewontin isn’t unusual, and that atheists in general are close-minded in comparison to Christians.

    The heading of that paragraph was “Committed Naturalists (Atheists).” The attitude I was speaking of is not unusual among committed naturalists. Not all atheists (or even naturalists) fit that description, but those who do, do. And naturalism itself, or atheism itself, is necessarily closed-minded to any but one interpretation of the evidence. There I stand until someone shows me otherwise, by some method other than accusing me of a character flaw for being the kind of person who would notice that this is a valid conclusion to draw from naturalism’s premises.

  27. Tom,

    Don’t take the bigoted thing so hard — I think I made a mistake in not seeing how my characterization of your statement would accost you personally. I meant for you to see that your statement could be characterized as bigoted, not that you yourself are therefore a bigot. That word probably has too many other ugly connotations for it to be fairly used in polite discourse, and I now regret having pulled it from off the shelf.

  28. Tony, Jared, and everyone else:

    I think the expressions of hurt feelings here are absolutely ridiculous. If you don’t like the conclusions, try paying attention to what has been said and dealing with it rationally. Believe it or not, reality isn’t always complimentary to everyone, all of the time. Spare everyone the “ya done me wrong” baloney unless something wrong has actually been done.

    Look at what was actually said:

    TG: “Still, I guarantee you that many evolutionary scientists choose to believe in evolution at least partly because it takes God out of the equation forever. Not all, but many. In their case it is a spiritual as well as a scientific issue.”

    Note the use of the phrase, “Not all, but many”. That’s not an expression of bigotry, that’s a limited expression of a supportable fact. Likewise, this is simply a logical necessity:

    TG: “Atheists must be evolutionists: If you are committed to atheism, then you are committed to evolution…”

    That’s not really subject to debate. Why?

    TG: “…because there isn’t any other idea on the table that could even begin to explain where we all came from.”

    That is why “no evidence that could ever be brought before you could ever make the slightest difference,” if (IF) you are “committed” to atheism. There is no other explanation consistent with atheism, and so those who are committed to atheism above all else have no choice but to defend evolution and naturalism, no matter what evidence is given to them.

    “Materialism” and “Naturalism” are what they are, and they certainly do make absolute statements about the existence of the supernatural. If you can explain how a “materialist” can believe in the non-material, or a “naturalist” can believe in the supernatural, please do. Otherwise, spare us the misplaced moral outrage. Next, you’ll be telling us that “atheism” doesn’t necessarily preclude belief in God.

    I don’t think the one-word difference in the book sub-title has any substantive impact on the point at hand. Prove…reveal…one way or another, the intent of the subtitle was to indicate that there’s sufficient evidence to make a definite conclusion…unless you think it’s possible to “reveal” that which does not exist.

    And I don’t think we need this point in order to prove (yes, prove) that Dawkins is philosophically obtuse. He’s an excellent rhetorician, but philosophically, he’s about as sharp as a ballpoint pen. Dawkins is exactly the kind of blowhard you hear saying the kind of things Tom alluded to:

    When you hear, “science proves there’s no God,” or “science proves God had nothing to do with creation,” or anything of the sort, what they’re really saying is, “my version of science, which assumes there is no God, says there is no God.”

    That’s Dawkins, no doubt.

    “Quote-mining” implies dishonestly selecting certain sentences to say something the speaker did not intend. Tom’s not doing that, either. Lewontin isn’t being mis-represented in that excerpt. In fact, that’s an assertion that’s been made, in one form or another, by quite a few atheists. For instance:

    “Therefore we disregard this possibility…. the unwelcome position of a favored location must be avoided at all costs…. such a favored position is intolerable…Therefore, in order to restore homogeneity, and to escape the horror of a unique position…must be compensated by spatial curvature. There seems to be no other escape.”

    That was Edwin Hubble reacting to his own observations of redshift. This is exactly what Tom is talking about, applied to astronomy. Hubble didn’t like the theological implications of what he saw, and so he chose to rationalize them for no other reason than his commitment to atheism. The idea that Earth might appear to be a “favored” position was a “horror” to him.

    So, Tony, your charges of “taking liberties” are just plain silly. Lewontin’s position isn’t uncommon – and I think the ample material available from Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Hitchens, Hubble, Sagan, etc. etc. make that fairly clear.

    Tom was in no way implying that atheists are by definition more closed-minded than Christians. He was making a logical, rational statement about the compatibilities of certain worldviews with certain theories of origin. The puzzling hostility to certain ideas about origins is explicable by this fact: they may not be compatible with a person’s preferred worldview.

    Jared,

    Your comment about “well supported” ideas seems to assume that there is no philosophical prejudice possible on the part of the atheist. By definition, a person who thinks that the evidence points towards a supernatural origin isn’t an atheist. Those who are committed to atheism must be committed to naturalism. If you feel that’s “pigeon-holing”, then you must feel the same about the statement that triangles must have three sides.

    Tom made it clear that the mindset leading to outright rejection of unpleasant evidence is that of the “committed” atheist. If you’re truly willing to let evidence lead where it will, even if that means towards a supernatural God, then you’re obviously not the subject of that assessment.

    Your remark about “magic”, though, says you probably are. That’s exactly what I get time and again from the “committed” atheist. To such a person, anything that seems to contradict naturalism is simply beyond belief, and cannot be taken seriously. If evidence itself isn’t “good enough reason”, then nothing will be.

  29. Hi Medicine Man,

    With all due respect you don’t set the standard for discourse here, Tom does. And he’s recently, for good reason, asked us all to refrain from turning this into an insult-o-fest. So well I sometimes share your urge to let fly I think I’m going to try and stay reined in.

    There’s a lot in your last comment — too much for one reply. Is there anything in there you’d prefer someone like me to focus on?

  30. Since it’s my place to set the standard for discourse, then I’ll ask you not to accuse Medicine Man of kicking off an insult-o-fest. I don’t think he did. He wasn’t very supportive of your ideas (yes, that’s an understatement), but there’s nothing out of the ordinary about that around here. You haven’t been terribly supportive of mine, and I haven’t accused you of insulting me, even though at one point you said I was practicing something “like bigotry instead of analysis.” (I do appreciate your more recent comment where you said you weren’t accusing me, myself, of bigotry.)

    Still, remember what I wrote above? I wasn’t exactly getting all angry at you, even before you explained your intentions more clearly:

    It wouldn’t bother me a lot, because I know the statement is incorrect. I’d be a trifle bemused by the fact that the person who wrote it had missed everything I’ve already written in this post, and in the ensuing discussion, that explains what’s wrong with a statement like that. But that’s no big emotional deal, it’s just a head-scratcher, a bit of puzzle to me, as to why someone would do that.

    There are indeed a lot of feelings being thrown in here by the atheist side. What’s up with that? We’re talking ideas, and we’re getting all these hurt feelings thrown back at us. Question: are the ideas true or supportable? If so, then that’s reality speaking, and I’m afraid it’s going to be up to you to face whatever effect reality may have on your feelings. If not, then just let us know how you disagree.

  31. Tony,

    Yes, and the standards that Tom has set don’t include reactionary accusations of bigotry or dishonesty. I would say that characterizing my response to your own statements as an “insult-fest” is more of the same. I can say with total honesty that I’ve never “let fly” here, above comment included. If you’re going to respond to every challenge to your views with a wounded attitude, I have to wonder why you bother saying anything at all.

    I’m challenging the basis and approach of your responses to Tom’s assertions. My prior comment’s not a lengthy dissertation, so if you don’t feel the need to defend your statements, I’m not going to hound you.

    Tom, et al

    I might not be able to get back to this for a bit…it’s taken me a good half-hour to get this posted. I don’t know if the problem is on my side or not, but the TK site is mind-bogglingly slow and crash-prone right now. Hope to be back in it soon…

  32. Sheesh,

    Where did I accuse Medicine Man of insulting me? I honestly thought he was telling me to lighten up after apologizing to you (Tom). And my reference to an insult-o-fest was to the last time Tom asked us all to lighten up on the heat in the rhetoric, not to this posting and comments.

    Whatever. For the record, I don’t think my feelings have been hurt. And I’m not looking for you to support my ideas. Valid criticism is what I’m here for.

  33. You didn’t. I wrote that in a first draft of my comment and then edited that out almost immediately afterward, when I realized it was inaccurate. It was only up there a couple moments, but if you’re subscribed to comments here, that’s the way it would have appeared in your mailbox.

    I think you suggested, though, that he was kicking off an insult-o-fest.

  34. Medicine Man,

    You’ve asked to be spared the baloney, so okay – I’ll respond as you’ve addressed me.

    Yes, and the standards that Tom has set don’t include reactionary accusations of bigotry or dishonesty.

    I think you need to look up the word reactionary; I do not think it means what you think it means.

    I can say with total honesty that I’ve never “let fly” here, above comment included.

    That’s amazing; so can I! MedicineMan, we have more in common than I thought.

    If you’re going to respond to every challenge to your views with a wounded attitude, I have to wonder why you bother saying anything at all.

    And if you’re going to confuse critical analysis with wounded feelings I have to wonder why you bother saying anything at all.

    Believe it or not, reality isn’t always complimentary to everyone, all of the time.

    Believe it or not, writing things down your thoughts isn’t always complimentary to the writer. (I’ve got to say, I’m warming up to this style!)

    Note the use of the phrase, “Not all, but many”. That’s not an expression of bigotry, that’s a limited expression of a supportable fact.

    Note the fact that the quote you referred to has absolutely nothing to do with the one that I pointed out to Tom.

    Prove…reveal…one way or another, the intent of the subtitle was to indicate that there’s sufficient evidence to make a definite conclusion…unless you think it’s possible to “reveal” that which does not exist.

    Prove, reveal. They are so similar. That’s why if I reveal the charges against you it’s, substantively, the same as proving them. How foolish argument must be.

    And I don’t think we need this point in order to prove (yes, prove) that Dawkins is philosophically obtuse…When you hear, “science proves there’s no God,” or “science proves God had nothing to do with creation,” or anything of the sort, what they’re really saying is, “my version of science, which assumes there is no God, says there is no God.” … That’s Dawkins, no doubt.

    So attributing quotes to someone, without his actually having said them, is proof. Again, I have to say that this saves me so much time in commenting here.

  35. That’s enough. I’m going to have the last word here.

    Tony, you said,

    And if you’re going to confuse critical analysis with wounded feelings I have to wonder why you bother saying anything at all.

    You have provided critical analysis here, yes. For me, though, the tone of this entire exchange was set by your very first words:

    As an atheist I find this posting to be pretty offensive.

    Following that, there were charges of bigotry (I appreciate your later apology), asking “how would you feel?”, blog-shouting (“BECAUSE OF THE EVIDENCE?”), a charge of smearing, a mischaracterization (“amped up”) of my definitions of materialism and naturalism, an unsupported accusation of quote-mining, and now in your most current comment, a generally dismissive, sarcastic attitude.

    I don’t think you ever acknowledged the distinctions I made (and repeated more than once), in which I said it was atheism, not atheists themselves, that is limited to one interpretation of evidence. Instead you wrote back to tell me no, what I wrote in the first place was what I really meant. No, what I wrote in the first place was restricted to “some, not all,” under the heading of “Committed Naturalists (Atheists).” But you kept insisting on what amounts to a very uncharitable interpretation, ignoring those qualifiers, and dismissing the clarifications I made along the way.

    You kept treating me as if I had said it without those original qualifiers, and as if my corrections along the way were insincere and should be disregarded. I’ll be blunt and use the same term you used: that’s pretty offensive.

    In future discussions, Tony (and others) if you accuse someone else of some misdeed and they answer you, and then you ignore their answer and yet move on to make0 other accusations, I’m calling a foul on that. I think that, more than any other single thing, is what kept this whole discussion off any productive track. Your not acknowledging my clarifications and corrections, and your moving on instead to charges of quote-mining and more, contributed greatly to my sense that you were nursing your feeling of offense rather than trying to come to a point of meeting with each other.

    Continuing: you wrote this to Medicine Man,

    Note the fact that the quote you referred to has absolutely nothing to do with the one that I pointed out to Tom.

    … I have absolutely no idea which “one” you pointed out to me. You pointed out a lot of them. This is not helpful at all. How are we supposed to figure out what you mean here?

    Prove, reveal. They are so similar. That’s why if I reveal the charges against you it’s, substantively, the same as proving them. How foolish argument must be.

    Prove, reveal, they are so similar. That’s why if I reveal—using evidence—that my wife made the cake, it’s, substantively, the same thing as proving she did. How foolish it can be not to take words in their context.

    The logical error in your rebuttal here, by the way, was this. The original statement was in the form,

    Subject S reveals fact F

    In Dawkins’s subtitle that translates to:

    (a) Evolution S reveals F a universe without design.

    In yours, it is this:

    (b) I S reveal F the charges against you.

    The fact F being revealed in (b) is “the charges against you,” (i.e., the existence and content of the charges). But you switched terms and said it referred to the accuracy or truth of the charges. That’s not the case; F does not encompass the charges’ accuracy or truth, just their content. So your rebuttal is formally invalid.

    So attributing quotes to someone, without his actually having said them, is proof. Again, I have to say that this saves me so much time in commenting here.

    Dawkins has said that, my friend, many times and in many ways. Or as Medicine Man himself said in that very context, Dawkins says “the kind of things Tom alluded to… ” You can snipe at him for not having an exact page number, but he didn’t claim it was a quote; and you have missed the point anyway, which is that Dawkins has expressed those very opinions on many occasions. Your response on this point was entirely unwarranted.

    Tony, you have thoughtful analyses when you bring them forward, and in the course of this discussion I learned at least one valuable lesson. I’m tired of all the character accusations, though.

    I’m sure you’ll want me to say something similar to Medicine Man. His 2:27 post yesterday led with

    I think the expressions of hurt feelings here are absolutely ridiculous. If you don’t like the conclusions, try paying attention to what has been said and dealing with it rationally. Believe it or not, reality isn’t always complimentary to everyone, all of the time. Spare everyone the “ya done me wrong” baloney unless something wrong has actually been done.

    I’ll grant, that wasn’t exactly the kind of language that helps de-escalate a dispute. The rest of Medicine Man’s post was a series of logical analyses, but we can all acknowledge it didn’t start that way.

    But it’s all ending this way. I’m pretty disappointed at how this has degenerated, and I’m going to put it to a halt now by closing comments.

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