Monday, April 12, 2010

Episode 66 Creationism Vs Psychology Part 1

Not content with attacking evolution, the Discovery Institute and its cultural allies are taking aim at psychology. Believing that any naturalistic approach to psychology is inherently biased against religion they seek to overturn the "materialist paradigm" in neuroscience and replace it with their own version of mind-body dualism. For the first of a two part series, the doubtcasters critique a paper by Dr. Brent D. Slife who wishes to replace the scientific foundations of psychology with his own theistic assumptions. Also on this episode: the radical Christian militia Hutaree both shocks and amuses, the NSF pulls poll data on evolution, and somehow things manage to get even worse for Pope Benedict XVI.

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18 comments:

robert said...

Actually, Dawkins isn't planning to attempt to arrest the Pope when he arrives in the UK. That's a misrepresentation by the Sunday Times, which he's tried to put right. See http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5415.

Dawkins' full response:

"Needless to say, I did NOT say "I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI" or anything so personally grandiloquent. You have to remember that The Sunday Times is a Murdoch newspaper, and that all newspapers follow the odd custom of entrusting headlines to a sub-editor, not the author of the article itself.

What I DID say to Marc Horne when he telephoned me out of the blue, and I repeat it here, is that I am whole-heartedly behind the initiative by Geoffrey Robertson and Mark Stephens to mount a legal challenge to the Pope's proposed visit to Britain. Beyond that, I declined to comment to Marc Horme, other than to refer him to my 'Ratzinger is the Perfect Pope' article here: http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5341

Here is what really happened. Christopher Hitchens first proposed the legal challenge idea to me on March 14th. I responded enthusiastically, and suggested the name of a high profile human rights lawyer whom I know. I had lost her address, however, and set about tracking her down. Meanwhile, Christopher made the brilliant suggestion of Geoffrey Robertson. He approached him, and Mr Robertson's subsequent 'Put the Pope in the Dock' article in The Guardian shows him to be ideal:
http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5366
The case is obviously in good hands, with him and Mark Stephens. I am especially intrigued by the proposed challenge to the legality of the Vatican as a sovereign state whose head can claim diplomatic immunity.

Even if the Pope doesn't end up in the dock, and even if the Vatican doesn't cancel the visit, I am optimistic that we shall raise public consciousness to the point where the British government will find it very awkward indeed to go ahead with the Pope's visit, let alone pay for it.

Richard"

James said...

I've been very surprised how eagerly people have jumped on this Dawkins story, even though it would be really out of character for him. The various skeptic & atheist blogs I follow all -- except Pharyngula -- seemed to take the story at face value, with some thinking it's a great idea and some thinking it's an idiotic idea.

PZ Myers had the same though that I did, that it didn't sound like something Dawkins would do, and posted Dawkins's response to Pharyngula.

Insurance said...

Would you happen to have a link to the article by Slife? Sounds like a subject I would like to read about.

Anonymous said...

http://www.brentdslife.com/article/upload/religion/Theism%20and%20Method%20Biases.pdf

Taylor said...

I have to confess that I turned this one off about halfway. Hearing a string of arbitrary assertions by some religious nut makes my head hurt, and I think it serves no purpose bothering to refute them. This is the way I felt about the Robert P. George discussion, too.

Jr said...

I do not understand what the pope did wrong in the Kiesel case. Did he know that Kiesel was functioning as a youth minister?

As I understand it, his part was only about whether Kiesel should be relieved from the duties of the priesthood such as celibacy, not whether he should continue functioning as a priest.

And I really do not understand what this has to do with a hypothetical legal case against Ratzinger.

There was no cover-up, the guy had already been convicted. For that reason alone I am pretty sure that Ratzinger did not violate any law requiring report of child abuse. (Presumably you are not required to report abuse you learned from the authorities to the authorities.) Plus such a statue likely would only apply to someone in-state, not people living in Italy, and the statue of limitations would have run a long time ago.

Matt said...

My mother is strongly defending the catholic church by pointing out that sexual misconduct is much higher in public schools. If you do a google search on sexual abuse in public schools you can find lots of catholic apologists complaining about the media not jumping on the schools. Here is the best impartial info I could find. http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/research/pubs/misconductreview/report.pdf

James said...

Out of curiousity, what's the rate of public schools refusing to report abusers to the police, claiming the right to handle the whole thing internally, and transferring abusers to other school districts so that they can continue to abuse?

Matt said...

James, The link I provided is all I could find. I think I read in it that there is no comprehensive database with the info.
Not that the argument that public schools are worse is anything other than a attempt to deflect responsibility. Like a murderer in court complaining that they only killed one person where that other person killed more. Why are they picking on him?
I know it is a fallacy but for the life of me I cannot remember what it is.

James said...

There are two fallacies being used together here. One is a form of the "tu quoque" ("you also") fallacy, but the bigger fallacy here is the attempted diversion where they try to pretend the only problem here is the abuse, when the real source of the outrage -- the thing that makes the scandal in the Church more serious than, say, abuse in the public school system -- is the systemic covering-up of the crimes and the Church's protection of the criminals.

Anonymous said...

OT: Hi guys. I love the show but... why my iTunes has stopped automatically updating your podcast? I've checked everything and it all seems to be fine (all other subscription work perfectly) but it just does not update... Help!

Mel said...

http://skepchick.org/blog/2010/04/tim-minchins-pope-song/#more-13729

Love this!

Emily said...

I'm getting really impatient for part 2! I know with finals it's taking you guys longer but I miss you guys lol.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Anybody know when another Episode is coming out?

Because it's been three weeks since the last one.

Anonymous said...

come on guys! part two! you can't let us taste the crack and then take it away! we're addicted now!

Jeremy said...

I know. I know. Im sorry its been so long. End of the semester stress and scheduling problems are to blame. But we will be back in the studio Sunday. The new show will be out Monday.

Please forgive

Andrew said...

there's nothing that needs to be forgiven. you make a free podcast for us and we enjoy it quite a bit. needless to say, certain things will preempt the podcast, and that isn't anything bad.

take your time and don't stay up all night sunday editing either. we all love the show, but we can wait until tuesday. just as long as we know we haven't been abandoned by you guys.

thank you so much for doing the show.

White Rabbit said...

*Is giddy with excitement*

While it may or may not be true that I have been cursing your names every time I visit the site and see no episode two. All will be forgiven Monday...hopefully.

Yays,

W R