Thursday, January 8, 2009

Shawn Boonstra is a Slimy Liar for Jesus

I confess. I couldn't leave well enough alone. The Out of Thin Air DVD was sitting on my TV and I watched the remaining 3 sessions during dinner last night. Not much to report. Just the expected quote-mining, logical fallacies and lies. And of course Goodwin's Law was confirmed. Dr. Timothy Standish was less slimy and more knowledgeable, but did nothing to stop Boonstra's lying. Nothing new was presented as I expected, and now I'm done with it.

11 comments:

Aaron said...

Slick and slithery too!

Tim said...

Standish gave a decent lecture once in an evolution/creation class I took at the Andrews seminary. The rest of the class was extremely irritating, even to someone (me) who was not, at that point, ready to dismiss creationism (Actually, it was obviously irritating to all in the class except for the MDiv students, who had no clue what was being said, anyway. There was a member of the biology faculty there in the class, and you could tell that most of the lectures really bothered her. Same for the MA students). Allowing yourself to be used as a tool by people like Boonstra and the instructors of my course counts against your honesty, I think. It certainly doesn't help.

Iron Soul said...

Yes, Tim, I agree. Standish obviously understands biology so he must know how the facts are being twisted. His participation has to be a mark against his integrity.

Herb said...

Jeff, it may be a mark against his integrity, or perhaps it's just that his behavior may be the illogical, tortured result of what happens when 'smart' people believe weird things as Shermer politely discusses in his book (which you have probably finished reading by now). I personally know some professors in the sciences who "know better" but they themselves make remarks suggestive of strong sympathy toward certain absurd ideas they know are wrong (according to their own comments). Worse, (from my point of view) these individuals typically never blow the whistle on people making absurd decree-like statements of an authoritarian nature on topics they know are wrong. If a professor tells me that ID is not science, then I don't want to see him sitting quietly as some firebrand guest lecturer with no science training goes on about how it is science. Even a polite, "Well, Brother X, it may not be quite like that," could help calm me at least a little, but I have yet to hear it happen like that. That they idly allow complete crap to be spewed out as supposed truth, while concurrently vilifying that which is true, drives me bonkers. It has the look of tacit approval for an ideology of lunacy to it. I suspect at least some of these sympathetic scientists feel that the line of argument offered for certain fallacious conclusions is indeed wrong, but the concluding point being argued is important enough to them and they are sympathetic enough to it that they are extremely reluctant to blow the whistle on the crappy arguments leading up to a conclusion that appeals to them on a powerful emotional level. These people are allowing their gut to trump their brain, then using their 'smartness' to rationalize their position in amazing and clever ways. Not a good idea when it comes to arguing logically, but people do it all the time. If you haven't yet read it, read the chapter "Why Smart People Believe Weird Things" in Shermer's book for a much better discussion than I can provide here.

Also: Tim, you left your staff/monopod here. Want me to bring it to you next time I'm over your way? Perhaps I should cast it on the floor and command the resulting serpent to slither its way southwest to you? Let me know your wishes.

Tim said...

So THAT'S where it is! My healing ministry has been severely restricted since I lost that staff. The best I can do without it is to make the lame hobble. Please do cast it on the ground and have it return to me.

Herb said...

My brother-in-law may be coming to visit this weekend. If he makes it I'll send your staff with him and get you guys in touch with each other. In the meantime, if you cannot cast out demons without the staff at least make them feel highly unwelcome with some of your moderately powerful hand gestures.

Iron Soul said...

Herb,

I have recently finished Shermer's book. The chapter on why smart people believe weird things was the best part in my opinion. I think the take home message was they believe weird things for the same reason as anybody else, they are just better at supporting their illogical choice as you said.

I still think that using his scientific training to lend legitimacy to something he knows "isn't exactly true" just because he likes where the path leads is less than perfectly ethical. I should try not to throw stones though. I can't convince myself that I wouldn't be tempted to do the same thing in the same position.

To sum up:
- I agree with what you said much more eloquently than I.
-Shermer's book is great.

BTW, I can't wait to find out who will be presenting at the next TAM. I'm ready to shop for some more books.

Herb said...

Jeff, I absolutely agree that it's not ethical behavior as you and I observe it. But unless he actually consciously knows he's "lying" it may not seem unethical to him because of his ability to rationalize about it. I think this is one of the big problems with a lot of "lying for Jesus" type topics. That's why it is extremely important to demand of oneself a thorough and rigorous examination of the validity of a favorite and appealing conviction one claims as true. And the more one likes the claim, the more critical he should be of his underlying motivations for accepting it. Awareness of ones own weakness to confirmation bias is vitally important to avoid looking like a liar and/or a fool, I think.

I'm frantic to find out the schedule for TAM7 also. It's going to be great!

Anonymous said...

Hello there people ...

You don't know me ... from a "bar of soap" .. but nevertheless, I came across your dialogue,"Blog", and in some way it amusedme 'cause I've been at the outer limits of and both ends of what you people might imagine is life.

After reading your comments about "boostra" and his everyday explaination of what life really is, and, how it's relevent to the BIBLE ... Well, I really must say ... you are not much better that he!

I freely admit to not having a particular "brand" of faith ... but having lived as I have I firmly do have a faith ...

If a requirement is .. in fact required ... I've studied many religions in what started out to be a search for a label to the faith I have. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that "a particular brand of faith, is not necessarily required to HAVE FAITH ...

There are universal laws that govern ALL that does PHYSICALLY exist and ALL that does NOT physically exist ... and believe it or not they are transmutable laws that are indefinable by a particular brand of RELIGION ... YET form the basic underpinning of ALL of them.

My question is ...
If this mans attemps explaination (by physical, or historical analogy)of his faith ... and then, to amplify his point, later draws a parallel with certain parts of the bible by way of example, does that make him wrong?

... A brain surgeon ... can cut out your "brain" ... and a "heart surgeon ... can cut out your heart.

BUT ... not one of them can cut out your "mind" or your "spirit/ soul", and YET, ALL the BEST surgons in the world agree that we all have both of those things ... and it is those very things that keep amazing them , when as best they know, and to the best of their learning,knowledge, and ability ... in trying to save life ... THE ONLY THING THAT MADE IT A SUCCESS is far beyond their control. Life ... and our souls spiritual (etheric) drive to succeed as an individual spirit ... beyond the human form it is currently bound ...

(some may call it ... accention to the side , or hand of God ... or into his CARE ...

I believe the reality is not quite so BLACK and WHITE, simply because it is a non physical transmutation for that of which we speak ... and if you can't lay your hand on it or physically decide where it goes .. then I feel that LABELLING it positive or negative, up or down,(black or white), is somewhat hypocritical. Hence, labelling another mans human explaination of what he believes ... is also somewhat hypocritical ... don't you think?


Enjoy your fragile life ...
Cheers

somacor said...

Hello there people ...

I've revisited my last post ... because I wasn't properly signed into these blogs ...and I'm not one for being "Anonymous"

You don't know me ... from a "bar of soap" .. but nevertheless, I came across your dialogue,"Blog", and in some way it amused me 'cause I've been at the outer limits of, and both ends, of what you people might imagine is life.

I would like to ask you all a question, I've already had to answer.

If, even though a part of the bible says ... "no greater love can a man have, than to lay down his life for another" ... and yet another says "an eye for an eye etc." ... how do we who have faith to diferentiate between the two when ... push really comes to shove?

I'll tell you here and NOW ... INSTICT takes over ... not the kind that says "I gotta be home in time for dinner ... but the kind that says my driving force, my soul, or, my spirit must survive to see another day in this world so that I may share with my loved ones, or my friends, or those close to me ... just one more day of this life.

After reading your comments about "Boonstra" and his everyday explaination of what life really is, and, how it's relevent to the BIBLE ... Well, I really must say ... you are not much better that he!

I freely admit to not having a particular "brand" of faith ... but having lived as I have, I firmly do have a faith ... just not your kind of label, probably.

If a requirement is .. in fact required ... I've studied many religions in what started out to be a search for a label to the faith I have. Ultimately I came to the conclusion that "a particular brand of faith, is not necessarily required to HAVE FAITH ...

There are universal laws that govern ALL that does PHYSICALLY exist and ALL that does NOT physically exist ... and believe it or not they are transmutable laws that are indefinable by a particular brand of RELIGION ... YET form the basic underpinning of ALL of them.

My question is ...
If this mans attemps explaination (by physical, or historical analogy)of his faith ... and then, to amplify his point, later draws a parallel with certain parts of the bible by way of example, does that make him wrong?

... A brain surgeon ... can cut out your "brain" ... and a "heart surgeon ... can cut out your heart.

BUT ... not one of them can cut out your "mind" or your "spirit/ soul", and YET, ALL the BEST surgons in the world agree that we all have both of those things ... and it is those very things that keep amazing them , when as best they know, and to the best of their learning,knowledge, and ability ... in trying to save life ... THE ONLY THING THAT MADE IT A SUCCESS is far beyond their control. Life ... and our souls spiritual (etheric) drive to succeed as an individual spirit ... beyond the human form it is currently bound ...

(some may call it ... accention to the side , or hand of God ... or into his CARE ...

I believe the reality is not quite so BLACK and WHITE, simply because it is a non physical transmutation for that of which we speak ... and if you can't lay your hand on it or physically decide where it goes .. then I feel that LABELLING it positive or negative, up or down,(black or white), is somewhat hypocritical. Hence, labelling another mans human explaination of what he believes ... is also somewhat hypocritical ... don't you think?


Enjoy your fragile life ...
Cheers

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