Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the anti-science Eagle Forum now in Wisconsin

They're heeeere.

Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum is the same street gang who pushed through the law that put labels inside biology textbooks in Alabama "warning" kids about evolution and who believe that 'social justice' is simply code for un-American.

-- because kids shouldn't be taught that science works or that America should be a just society. Science and Justice are, after all, dangerous ideas.

For more: Eagle Forum of Wisconsin


Non-Censor said...

Wow...just the links from the WI Eagle Forum site are enough to tell you those people are nutjobs. Creation science, anti-vaccine, abstinence only, and anti-global-warming, all in a couple of clicks.

Kevin Scheunemann said...

So faith and belief in science---even if that science is wrong---is OK?

Why is the worship of questionable "science" OK, but not the worship of creationism in the public square?

I'm just curious why leftist athiesm and the war on God is a more favored public square religion.

Maybe my favorite philosophy professor can clear up my "confusion"....

Kevin Scheunemann said...

I'm a little concerned that if I decide to worship Obama as the "Messiah", I might get into trouble doing that in the public square...

Wouldn't those opposing that kind of worship of Obama be racist?

So if I were to claim Jesus Christ is "African American", then would leftisits find Christianity to be acceptable in the public square?

Kevin Scheunemann said...

Video of ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDS in B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, N.J worshiping and singing praises to Obama.

I can't help but think had this been about George Bush instead, we might be scrapping up the exploded brain matter of left wing athiests everywhere!

Will the Motely Cow have the courage to denounce the worship of the president as state sanctioned religion?

Remember, the Motely Cow editor does not like hypocrasy.

(P.S. This video is far more disturbing than anything the Eagle Forum puts out!)

Mpeterson said...

lol, Kevin. Stop teasing.

You're equivocating on the use of the term "faith."

Frankly, I'd argue that even the Fundamentalists who trot this term out as if they know what it means haven't read Kierkegaard's /Fear and Trembling/ and, therefore, they don't really understand the term themselves. Anyway, I'll bet you $100 they can't explain it to me. :^)

So, I have no faith in science because science doesn't depend on my having faith in it. I have beliefs grounded in probabilities. Period.

But I love that video of Bush being saluted in that kind of Christian Aryan Nazi adoration. I think it says everyone we need to say about the dangers Fundamentalism poses to any democracy.

Kevin Scheunemann said...

So "beliefs grounded in probabilities" would not happen in a religion like Christianity?

a strong likelihood or chance of something.

–noun 1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.
2. confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.
3. confidence; faith; trust: a child's belief in his parents.
4. a religious tenet or tenets; religious creed or faith: the Christian belief.

So explain to me, based on your phrase, how YOU DON'T HAVE SOME SORT OF FAITH IN SCIENCE?

I know---its dangerous to tease a philosophy professor this way.

I just take issue with the idea that Mark Peterson can be the great unblemished prognosticator of what is exactly is "science" and what is "religion" in the public square.

In a nutshell, what is "favored" vs. "disfavored" speech in the public square.

So it is O.K. for me to worship Obama, but not Christ in the public square?

Is Obama just more scientific?

Mpeterson said...

Dictionary definitions are for high school Kevin. Use the etymology...

To answer your question, read Elaine Pagels book _Beyond Belief_ for a good account of what happened to knowledge and belief in early Christianity. The answer to your question, at this point, is no.

It's certainly no for fundamentalists.

Mpeterson said...

Oh, and TANSTAAFL, so that'll be $400. I'll accept a check. :^)

Ooh, or ice cream.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, You know there are plenty of decaf brands on the market that are just as tasty as the real thing.

Non-Censor said...

Faith in Science? That's confusing confidence (based on experience with what works) with stubborn belief in "absolute" truths, even when there is contradictory evidence.

I have confidence in science, not faith in it.

You could shatter my confidence to the core: perform one certifiable miracle under controlled, laboratory conditions. Maybe just a little water turned into wine, inside a sealed, transparent container, with the lights on, with the high-speed cameras rolling, etc.

Kevin Scheunemann said...

Thats a pretty harsh "speech code" you advocate.

Having to sort through and review faith, science, and religion in public speech before we determine acceptable vs. unaccpetable.

science=accepatble speech

religion=unaccpetable speech

Thats about the only thing I'm sure about in this debate.

But we just don't have a clear definition of just what is "science" and just what is "religion".

However, since this determination exclusively lies in the vast labrynth UWWC philosophy department, may I suggest a clearer press release explaining it.

Some of us are confused by the acceptable and very public nature of the worship of Obama as "the messiah".

(Is public square religion making a comeback?)

Mpeterson said...

On the contrary, there are perfectly concise and concrete definitions of 'science' and 'religion'... it is the confusion of these definitions, and taking intentional advantage of the ambiguities in people's understanding of them, that has allowed this anti-evolution nonsense to persist.

Wittgenstein got this much right: if you state the problems clearly enough, they usually dissolve.

But that's all you get from me from now on until I start seeing some ice cream.

Anonymous said...

a dairy queen manager debating a philosopher. heh.

Kevin Scheunemann said...

I'll mail you some Gift Cert. But that would entail you to burn some Co2 to attain the Capitalist Pig treat.

And in the public realm, the public square, the public school, and the world of politics, "religion" and "science" are always clear?

The Peterson "utopian world of crystal clear distinction" must be a fun place.

Parents are "outraged" at the NJ school when they found out their kids were forced to worship Obama.

Will you label the outraged NJ parents "heros" in the war against religion in public schools OR "racists" for inhibiting and chilling future worship of Obama as the new "messiah" president?

The "tea baggers" want to know which name you will use for these parents in NJ.

The Motely Cow needs to tackle this issue. I'm seriously curious when religious worship in public is OK and how "African American" my gods have to be to make public worship just dandy.

Anonymous said...

Whoa, how did a post about an extreme right-wing group turn into the denouncement of Obama being worshiped as a messiah? Changing the topic never solves the debate Kevin. It does muddy the waters though.

First off, you assume too much based on your expectations of the majority. You are assuming that the majority agrees that worshiping Obama is acceptable, that the all of the 'left' equates disagreement with racism, and that creationism draws ridicule. That is a lot of assuming, and you know what happens when you assume... Anyway, how acceptable things are just depends on WHERE you are. Having just moved out of West Bend myself, I find it hard to believe that you wouldn't find a great deal of sympathetic compatriots among your neighbors.

This makes trying to understand your points of 'questionable science' being worshiped in the public square difficult, but I'll try to respond more or less directly. Science has more weight in academia (because sciences knows that it doesn't know everything). And academia has a lot of weight with the public because of its accomplishments, you know medicine, moon missions all that good stuff.

Religion on the other hand, has a more spotted history and is often associated with things like genocide and bigotry. These things, along with dogmas adopted by religion tend to hinder progress (hello Galileo!). And academia needs progress to survive, so it doesn't give a lot of credence to religion except as a subject of study.

Besides alienating academia, religion has spearheaded campaigns to deny rights to whole subsets of our population. Now when people start denying rights (that they themselves enjoy!) to other people that they don't agree with, the people who are slighted tend to feel... angry. And anger is, along with academia's opposition, always loudly heard. This leads to a more volatile public square.

What I find entertaining in your posts is YOUR outrage at the 'public squares' outrage. You do know that much of the public's outcry against religion is a knee jerk reaction after years of abuse, right? I'm not trying to justify it, just make it more understandable, so that you can look at your own actions, and the actions your beliefs have brought about in a new light.

But perhaps you are right and the gay lobby, Obama, and everyone on the left is just out to proselytize and convert you and your children. Just don't expect to be taken very seriously while using such an inflammatory debate style.

James Dionne said...

I believe in the principals of science, as it is the only logical way to prove something right or wrong. Scientific method contains a continuously questioning feedback loop, constantly forcing itself to prove or disprove the conclusions it discovers. I also support true capitalism, as it too, contains a continuous, questioning, and self correcting feedback loop (in the scientific theory of supply and demand) and is the only logical way for an economy to prosper. I personally cannot fathom how one could support the notion of science and not of capitalism. That, to me at least, is the definition of a hypocrite. Faith is another issue, better left to the philosophers.

Anonymous said...

Updated: Fox News altered 'Obama praise' story to exclude 'death threats

wbman said...

I love the constant yammering about Obama being "worshiped" and treated like he's the "Messiah". I wish I had taken psych in college. There must be a term for this practice of giving someone false attributes and then mocking them for it.

Mpeterson said...


Well said. But theologians get a say about 'faith' as well... although they usually have a lot more invested in the outcome.

As for the logic of capitalism, I could urge you to have another look at Marx on alienation and labor or, barring that, note that the problem with capitalism, like Christianity, isn't that it's wrong, but that it has simply never been tried.


Kevin Scheunemann said...

Great comments.

There is one problem. Everyone is assuming the distinction, and sorting, of the speech content between "science" and "religion" is rational.

Prof Peterson demonstrates his irrationality on the subject on this blog.

He posts an obscure example of right wing religion permeating into the public square, (and comments how non-desirable that is) but then says nothing about the OVERT example of extremist left wing religion forcing 5 year old children to worship our "dear leader" permeating into the public square in the NJ school. (which I find to be really undesirable)

I just want to point out that, not only is Prof. Peterson not rational in sorting out which examples of religion to denounce, but there still is not a rational basis to determine just what is legitimate science.

As an example, (alleged) global warming is constantly mislabeled as "legitimate science", there is constant conflicting data on clmate change.

Scientists say there is building "scientific consensus". This means there is conflicting scientific data and scientific opinions, so to take one side or the other, one has to do it on "faith" in one set of data or the other. Or an irrational denouncement and rejection of the opposite set of scientific data.

So if we are going to attack public religion as undesirable, lets start with the religion of global warming.

Global warming is, by far, the mosst dangerous and most permeating religion in our society today!

What this religion, carried out to its extreme, will mean for our daily lives, will make Islam look like pro-active feminism!

Mpeterson said...

I'd say that Capitalism is the most dangerous religion we face, but okay.

And since you believe in capitalism, you won't respect my opinions unless they cost you more so, again, $400 in ice cream or no more comments from me. ;^)

Kevin Scheunemann said...

Capitalism as religion? I can accept that "belief grounded in probabilities."

What will really bake your brain is: If I can figure out a way to purport the gods of capitalism to be as African American as Obama. (since you seem to be OK with forced public worship of Obama by 5 year old NJ kids with no choice in the "worship".)

At that point, I would be excited to see and celebrate your public worship of capitalism.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, science and religion are different things (science uses the scientific method, religion uses faith) so people talk about them differently. They are also governed by different laws. Most people here in America advocate for a separation of church and state.

Also, please realize that the two things you are comparing (the Eagle Forum, and the NJ school incident) are completely different things. More specifically, the latter is NOT religion. Political indoctrination? Perhaps. I would argue not as it was apparently done as a Presidents Day/Black History Month celebration, but each to his own.

Please also consider that the good Prof chose not to publish the school incident here because he chooses not to watch Fox News and perhaps didn't hear about it, or perhaps thought that he could not find another more reliable source for it, or perhaps he just didn't care because its not that big of a deal and its not about state religion.

I find it odd that you insist that belief in science and belief in religion are the same. They operate under different principles, and while the scientific method occasionally uses wild guesses this isn't the same as faith. Faith is notoriously untestable.

Ta ta,

Your Local Anon

PS: Please do some actual research on Global Warming before calling it into question.

PaulyW said...

Lets get together and discuss junk science climate change over Ice Cream with the prof and anon.

Anonymous said...

Considering your attitude Pauly, I think it would be a waste of time.

Kevin Scheunemann said...


Could take I could take the lyrics of that NJ school song take out "Barack Hussein Obama" and insert "George Bush" with no issue and have my local public school kids sing it?

This is the problem with the left wing war on religion in the public square...

the left wing does not have a clear definition of what exactly is religion...

and you don't understand the dangerous and chilling "speech review" consequences your war on religion has on debate in the public square...

By excising religion out of the public square, everyone's speech is "subject to religous review". The NJ school a perfect case in point!

The NJ school case personifies the destructive results of left wing war on religion and free speech.

The left wing has caused all speech to be screened and filtered for "religion". And in the NJ case, the left wing has decided religion is OK...if the god being worshipped is African American enough.

We don't need to fear the Eagle Forum, we need to fear the irrational left wing "speech review for religion".


PaulyW said...

Because you have closed your mind??????ok, you stay home.

Kevin Scheunemann said...


Have you been watching Ken Burns special on PBS on National Parks this week?

Its Excellent.

It makes no bones about the essential role religion, faith, and spirituality played in the public and private lives of those setting aside these "cathedrals" of our nation.

How did PBS glorify and credit faith, religion, and spirituality in the public square without denouncemnt of the Motely Cow?

Faith and spirituality brought us our National Parks. We now want to shun those ideas in the public square?

Mpeterson said...

I don't think you were paying attention: it was the potential for profit from railroad and automobile traffic that got the industrialists online. Without them, no national parks.

Religion and cathedrals were just the marketing scheme.

kevin scheunemann said...


So it was capitalism and self interest that was responsible for establishing National Parks.

Why are you so quick to diminish the role religion played that you are willing to give credit to those pesky capitalists?

lol...I'm glad you are willing to credit capitalism for one of this nation's greatest achievements.

Other Side said...

lol...I'm glad you are willing to credit capitalism for one of this nation's greatest achievements.

Er, don't you mean greed?

Kevin Scheunemann said...

Other side...

"Greed", "self interest", "capitalism", "industrialists"... whatever term you want to call it, Prof. Mark "Capitalist" Peterson was willing to credit greed vs. religion as the driving force behind the establishment National Parks.

I have to admit I played on the fact that I know Mark Peterson dislikes religion more than capitalism.

However, its just a good day when one can get the Motely Cow editor to credit capitalism for one of our nation's best ideas...

Mpeterson said...

Kevin, anything with an "ism" on the end of it *is* a religion... and I'm completely in favor of religion when it's understood as (transliterating here) "that which links you back" to the ground of your existence.

If money is the ground of your existence, capitalism for you then.

For some people, it's the Packers.

That little tidbit pushes your tab for my educational consultation fee over $1200.

This probably explains the current economic disaster... people kept putting themselves into debt without thinking they'd have to pay. :)

Tell you what: I'll give you a former-student discount and we'll knock it down to $1000 even.

But I'm afraid that, until you've forked over the money you owe me, we'll have to suspend your posting privileges here.

Sorry, it's just business.

I'd take it out in trade, but Dairy Queen doesn't sell real food, so you'll have to get me coupons for Toucan's or Jumbo's here in town.


Kevin scheunemann said...

So that $100,000 in forced taxes I've already paid to federal, state, and local authorities this year doesn't count for anything?

Mpeterson said...

That's your share of the total state tax burden, it's not a consultation fee. :^)

kevin scheuneamnn said...

Consultation fee?

So I have a choice not to to consult or to refuse to pay the "fee"?

I'm very "pro-choice" on taxes, how about you?

Are you anti-choice on taxes?

(Careful, you don't want to diminish your "free society" persona with your response.)