Former astronaut Julie Payette to be Canada's next governor general

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Pondering

WWWTT wrote:

i don’t believe this is a new debate subject for anyone here? This subject of science versus religion I’m going to guess started around the time of Darwin’s  manuscripts of evolution and natural selection.

That's not the debate. The debate is whether or not the GG should have declared the notion of divine intervention as the equivalent of astrology and sugar pills for cancer. She was very mocking and disparaging.

After watching the video I'm surprised it hasn't caused more outrage even though I agree with her.

Rev Pesky

WWWTT said:

This subject of science versus religion I’m going to guess started around the time of Darwin’s  manuscripts of evolution and natural selection.

Oh it started long before then. Giordano Bruno was burned by the Catholic Church in 1600 at least in part because he said believed that those funny little lights in the night sky were objects similar to the earth's sun, but far distant. He also believed there were many more 'worlds' out there. Obviously such thinking was dangerous to the church.

​Then there was Galileo Galilei who believed the earth was not the centre of the universe. That too was a problem for the Catholic Church. As Wikipedia tells us:

The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was "foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture." Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated him and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy", and forced to recant. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

Galileo's trial took place in the early 1600's, so the argument the Catholics have with some science goes back about 400 years.

Bear in mind though that the church advocated science, and went along with the findings as long as they didn't contradict scripture. That's still true today.

JKR

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:

Religions tend to have both a right-wing literalist branch and a left-wing metaphorical branch. I think Payette was criticizing the right-wing literalist approach to religion, specifically evangelical Christianity, that is antagonistic to science and has no problem with things such as global warming.

That was probably what she meant to say but it isn't what she did say.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2o4Q7M5cBY

From 17 seconds to 34 seconds is where she made her mistake in her position as GG.

She says incredulously - we are still questioning whether life was a divine intervention (raised eyebrows) or whether it was coming out of a natural process let alone oh my goodness (eye roll) a random process.

Her mistake was in making her statement too broad and in her tone. The eye-rolling would make a great GIF but was not a good look.

I think if you review a person's statements with a fine tooth comb you will usually be able to find mistakes. Is Donald Trump being held up to this standard? 

I think Payette's speech was obviously about fundamentalist religions distructive attacks on science. She probably should have been more even handed and said that science and religion aren't enemies, that one can accept science and belong to a mainstream religion. However her overriding point that magical thinking is dangerous was an important message to get across. With modern communication spreading magical thinking, the whole world is in danger.

As far as Singh goes, my guess is that he believes that there is no contradiction between Sikhism and science. I think Trudeau also sees his Christian religious beliefs not being in contradiction with science. Scheer on the other hand might well believe that his evangelical Christian beliefs rightly contradict and supersede science. It would be interesting to hear the leaders' take on the science vs religion question. Maybe in the 2019 leaders debates?

Rev Pesky

Pondering said:

The debate is whether or not the GG should have declared the notion of divine intervention as the equivalent of astrology and sugar pills for cancer.

That's true. There is at least a small amount of evidence that sugar pills actually work as part of the placebo effect. There is no evidence anywhere for any God. 

WWWTT

Pondering wrote:

WWWTT wrote:

i don’t believe this is a new debate subject for anyone here? This subject of science versus religion I’m going to guess started around the time of Darwin’s  manuscripts of evolution and natural selection.

That's not the debate. The debate is whether or not the GG should have declared the notion of divine intervention as the equivalent of astrology and sugar pills for cancer. She was very mocking and disparaging.

After watching the video I'm surprised it hasn't caused more outrage even though I agree with her.

oh Don’t get me wrong I had to see the video several times and through YouTube and another link I found. The you tube clip I found had the better quality an was longer. It included her bouncing between French and English. My French isn’t the best but what she said in English and her eye rolls I found very disturbing! Her condescending tone is very much out of place for a Governor General. Shes no doubt shaping out to be the worst GG ever in my opinion. She has beliefs, good for her! So does everyone else.  She actually made several other points towards the end of the her speech in English that I found didn’t exactly sit right with me either. 

But anyways the comment I made you replied to is part of the debate as well in my opinion.  

WWWTT

Rev Pesky wrote:

WWWTT said:

This subject of science versus religion I’m going to guess started around the time of Darwin’s  manuscripts of evolution and natural selection.

Oh it started long before then. Giordano Bruno was burned by the Catholic Church in 1600 at least in part because he said believed that those funny little lights in the night sky were objects similar to the earth's sun, but far distant. He also believed there were many more 'worlds' out there. Obviously such thinking was dangerous to the church.

​Then there was Galileo Galilei who believed the earth was not the centre of the universe. That too was a problem for the Catholic Church. As Wikipedia tells us:

The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was "foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture." Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated him and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy", and forced to recant. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

Galileo's trial took place in the early 1600's, so the argument the Catholics have with some science goes back about 400 years.

Bear in mind though that the church advocated science, and went along with the findings as long as they didn't contradict scripture. That's still true today.

Nice cut switch and bait job! I didn't know that being accused of heresy was how that the church opened the floor to debates. LOL!

I don't think any posters here on this site would question the fact the Roman catholic church saw math and simple science as a challenge to their authority. Another example was the ancient Greeks 2500 years ago knew the world was a sphere and roughly how big using math, angle's, lengths of shadow and distances etc etc (or something like that).

I'm refering to actual debate where people/parties actually took sides without being burned to death or some other form of torture/death.

6079_Smith_W

Though to give them a bit of a break, the Roman Catholic Church did not invent geocentrism, even if they assumed that it aligned with creationism. They adopted the system (which is named after Ptolemy) from the Greeks. It's not that hard to see why people would assume that the earth was the centre of everything .

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

Pondering said:

The debate is whether or not the GG should have declared the notion of divine intervention as the equivalent of astrology and sugar pills for cancer.

That's true. There is at least a small amount of evidence that sugar pills actually work as part of the placebo effect. There is no evidence anywhere for any God. 

Not for cancer they don't.

cco

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Though to give them a bit of a break, the Roman Catholic Church did not invent geocentrism, even if they assumed that it aligned with creationism. They adopted the system (which is named after Ptolemy) from the Greeks. It's not that hard to see why people would assume that the earth was the centre of everything .

It's okay for the G-G to say the earth goes around the sun now, though, right? Because not enough Canadians sincerely believe in geocentrism?

Perhaps we can work to establish a constitutional convention and a minimum threshold of public belief in scientific fact that enables the G-G to open her mouth about it. Are there enough Scientologists in Canada to impose an effective gag on Payette saying human life wasn't brought to Earth in DC-8s by Xenu?

6079_Smith_W

Yeah. Well to look at the comment sections it seems to be okay with a lot of us. Not so sure about the Globe, Huff Po, and the other media who for some reason think she should not challenge anyone. Fortunately not everyone does.

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/cohen-heres-why-payette-was-...

Rev Pesky

WWWTT said:

I'm refering to actual debate where people/parties actually took sides without being burned to death or some other form of torture/death.

These were trials which are a debate. The only difference was the level of punishment for being wrong.

Rev Pesky

Pondering said in response to my comment on the placebo effect of sugar pills:

Not for cancer they don't.

That's true, just like it's true there was no divine intervention in the creation of life. 

Rev Pesky

cco said:

It's okay for the G-G to say the earth goes around the sun now, though, right? Because not enough Canadians sincerely believe in geocentrism?

Very good point. I'll just add that if Payette had really wanted to 'speak truth to power' she could have pointed out that the Catholic church was a sanctuary for child rapists for hundreds of years. This is the church that is claiming the moral high ground, and telling people how to live their lives!!!

Pondering

JKR wrote:
  However her overriding point that magical thinking is dangerous was an important message to get across. With modern communication spreading magical thinking, the whole world is in danger.

I agree and this issue merits being her signature issue as GG. This speech was a set back to that. If I present seven points to support an argument here, even if six of them successfully prove my point if the seventh is weak everything else will be ignored as if the failure of one point destroys the entire argument.

 Now she is on the radar of the evangelical types and for the rest of her tenure they will be waiting for her to put another foot wrong. If there is any way to put clips together to make it look like Trudeau agrees that divine intervention is a fairytale for the gullible, therefore he is an atheist, it will be done.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/in-atheists-we-distrust/

They thought it equally probable the culprit was an atheist or a rapist, and unlikely the person was a Muslim or Christian.....It wasn’t just the highly religious participants who expressed a distrust of atheists. People identifying themselves as having no religious affiliation held similar opinions. Gervais and his colleagues discovered that people distrust atheists because of the belief that people behave better when they think that God is watching over them......

So being an atheist makes us as untrustworthy as being a rapist. Talk about prejudice.

They gave participants two versions of a fictitious news story: one describing Canada’s current political situation as stable, the other describing it as potentially unstable. After reading one of the two articles, people’s beliefs in God were measured. People who read the article describing the government as potentially unstable were more likely to agree that God, or some other type of nonhuman entity, is in control of the universe. A common belief in the divine may help people feel more secure. Yet when security is achieved by more secular means, it may remove some of the draw of faith.

Neoliberal think tanks are made up of really smart people who are probably well aware of the above and use it to achieve power. Destroy trust in government, push religion and individual rights. Neoliberal heaven.

The left wins skirmishes but has lost the war and been taken captive. The mainstream political left doesn't dare oppose neoliberalism except in a whisper. The public in general accepts neoliberalist myths as common wisdom. (If you tax rich people too much they will move away, they won't be able to invest creating jobs, it's not fair because they earned it, the government wastes money, taxes are too high).

The left cannot afford to be naive and righteous. Neoliberalists didn't transform supporters into neoliberalists they bamboozled them into believing the myths necessary to achieve the goals of neoliberalism. The left does not need to transform voters into leftists or atheists, just get them to support scientific and economic facts instead of neoliberal myths.

Mainstream religion, the basic premise of a God that created mankind, is very far down the list of things the left needs to address. As long as the science of climate change is being accepted and science in general is accepted as authoritative we need to focus on the aspects of neoliberalism that are impoverishing people. Once the money is freed up it suddenly becomes much easier to treat people fairly, to tackle racism and sexism and fund generous social programs that lead to a more educated population that no longer rates rapists as more trustworthy than atheists.

In many Scandinavian countries, including Norway and Sweden, the number of people who report believing in God has reached an all-time low. This may have something to do with the way these countries have established governments that guarantee a high level of social security for all of their citizens.  Aaron Kay and his colleagues ran a study in Canada which found that political insecurity may push us towards believing in God. They gave participants two versions of a fictitious news story: one describing Canada’s current political situation as stable, the other describing it as potentially unstable. After reading one of the two articles, people’s beliefs in God were measured. People who read the article describing the government as potentially unstable were more likely to agree that God, or some other type of nonhuman entity, is in control of the universe. A common belief in the divine may help people feel more secure. Yet when security is achieved by more secular means, it may remove some of the draw of faith.

To a great extent religion is a response to fear and insecurity. Addressing the cause is more effective than trying to address the symptom.

cco

Pondering wrote:

 Now she is on the radar of the evangelical types and for the rest of her tenure they will be waiting for her to put another foot wrong. If there is any way to put clips together to make it look like Trudeau agrees that divine intervention is a fairytale for the gullible, therefore he is an atheist, it will be done.

...Mainstream religion, the basic premise of a God that created mankind, is very far down the list of things the left needs to address.

I'd say that religious extremists policing the speech of scientists and public servants is a thing the left should definitely address. It's not like evolution is the only issue they want us to shut up about. The fact the Canadian public considers atheists less trustworthy than rapists is a direct result of letting religion control the entire discussion for so long, putting facts outside the realm of polite society. Running away from the issue so as not to offend the Scheers of the world just entrenches the problem further.

Pondering

cco wrote:
I'd say that religious extremists policing the speech of scientists and public servants is a thing the left should definitely address. It's not like evolution is the only issue they want us to shut up about. The fact the Canadian public considers atheists less trustworthy than rapists is a direct result of letting religion control the entire discussion for so long, putting facts outside the realm of polite society. Running away from the issue so as not to offend the Scheers of the world just entrenches the problem further.

Why is the response to the criticism always strawman arguments? It suggests you have no rebuttal to the actual criticism. Same goes for this:

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/cohen-heres-why-payette-was-...

(it isn’t clear Payette attacked religion)

Yes it is clear. Doesn't he know the meaning of the words "divine intervention"?

Who is she to wonder that “we are still debating … whether life was a divine intervention or whether it was coming out of a natural process let alone, oh my goodness, a random process”?

Divine intervention is a purported miracle caused by a deity's active involvement in the human world.(Wiki)

That is exactly what religion is all about. That is the only point she is being challenged on, not climate change and not evolution.

I have seen no criticism of her comments concerning climate change or defending the theory of evolution as fact. As others have pointed out even the Pope agrees with the theory of evolution. He also agrees that climate change is happening. He is also critical of neoliberalism. He can manage all of that while still being religious.

Religion is not the enemy. People turn to religion out of fear and insecurity. Attacking the religion does not reduce fear and insecurity therefore will fail and even increase the devotion people have towards it. That plays directly into the hands of neoliberalists. Attacking religion only convinces people even more that atheists and the left can't be trusted.

Evolution and climate change are accepted as truth because they have been proven. You cannot prove there is no diety and if you could, without first changing the ills of society, you might just doom us to a dog eat dog world because they restrain their actions due to belief in God and an afterlife during which they will be punished.

6079_Smith_W

No one has said this is about proving whether there is a deity or not. Nor did she.

Pondering

6079_Smith_W wrote:

No one has said this is about proving whether there is a deity or not. Nor did she.

Strawman arguments and semantics. She cannot prove that there was no divine intervention in the creation of mankind. It is a topic outside of science because it is faith-based. Topics inside of science include man-made climate change, the age of Earth and evolution.

 

6079_Smith_W

No. in fact she didn't say anything about whether there is a god or not. That is just people looking to find insult reading stuff into her words.

If you think otherwise, well ante up.

 

 

cco

Pondering wrote:

Religion is not the enemy. People turn to religion out of fear and insecurity. Attacking the religion does not reduce fear and insecurity therefore will fail and even increase the devotion people have towards it. That plays directly into the hands of neoliberalists. Attacking religion only convinces people even more that atheists and the left can't be trusted.

Saying "Religion is awesome, it's just not for me" doesn't seem to have done much to convince religious people to trust atheists over the years. You may not feel religion's your enemy, but they sure feel I'm theirs. If thousands of years of pogroms, torture, massacres, inquisitions, holy wars, crusades, jihads, etc. haven't made you worried about the power of religion, maybe flipping on the news from Syria will do the trick. Or not. Some people manage to absolve religion of any and all crimes.

Quote:

Evolution and climate change are accepted as truth because they have been proven. You cannot prove there is no diety and if you could, without first changing the ills of society, you might just doom us to a dog eat dog world because they restrain their actions due to belief in God and an afterlife during which they will be punished.

I'd love it if someone could do a study and come up with hard data on how many people have said "Man, I'd love to murder my neighbour, and I could do it without the police catching me, but I'd go to hell." People seem to take it on faith (heh) that the ol' sky fairy's the only thing keeping us from Lord of the Flies. Yet few people consider all the people murdered because "God says I have to kill you". All the evidence we have demonstrates that less religious societies have lower crime rates, and more religious societies have higher crime rates. I grew up in the South. My wife grew up in the Middle East. Religion's not doing a great job of stopping people from killing each other in either place.

If religion left me alone, I'd be willing to leave it alone. It won't. It demands tax exemptions, exemptions from the law, other laws rewritten to enforce its precepts upon non-adherents. All I'm demanding is the right to exist, openly and in public. I want to participate in Canadian society to exactly the same extent the religious do. Yet every day, religious people are telling me that I need to shut up and go away, because my existence offends them, and in some cases is a danger to society (and now I'm hearing the latter from a self-proclaimed atheist!).

So yeah, about that: I'm not going anywhere. I hope Julie Payette isn't, either.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
She cannot prove that there was no divine intervention in the creation of mankind. It is a topic outside of science because it is faith-based.

I hope you don't mind if I just keep on asking this, but what religion promotes the notion that their deity created a bacterium or a strand of RNA or a little bipedal frog or whatever, and that organism evolved into humans, and that's their cosmology?

Because you keep insisting that large swaths of (offended) people believe that, when in fact the holiest of holy books -- almost all of them -- seem to agree that a God created everything out of sheer will and dust, including very non-"evolved" humans.

This "oil and water" mix of Creationism and evolution seems to me very much like "intelligent design 2.0".  The ominipotent God created a wee creature and just HOPED it would evolve into something in His image??  That's the explanation now??

Rev Pesky

And just in time to add to this debate, we have the Alberta Home Education Association inviting Ken Ham to be the keynote speaker at their convention.

Top U.S. creationist's invitation as keynote speaker for Alberta homeschooling convention

An Alberta homeschooling group that came under fire in 2016 for booking controversial reality-TV couple Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar for its annual convention is again facing heat...for inviting a leading U.S. creationist to speak. 

Ken Ham is listed as one of three keynote speakers at the annual Alberta Home Education Association (AHEA) convention next April in Red Deer.

...Ham, an Australian native, has built a thriving ministry in Kentucky. He is the president and CEO of Answers in Genesis ministry

...In describing itself on its website, Answers in Genesis says: "We also desire to train others to develop a biblical worldview, and seek to expose the bankruptcy of evolutionary ideas, and its bedfellow, a 'millions of years old' earth (and even older universe) ... the Bible — the 'history book of the universe' — provides a reliable, eyewitness account of the beginning of all things, and can be trusted to tell the truth in all areas it touches on."

...Ham isn't the only creationist on the bill for the convention.

The bio of Calvin Smith, who is also speaking at the convention but not as a keynote speaker, says he has "personally witnessed the devastation brought to our youth by the teaching of evolutionary rationalism. But he also saw the life-transforming effect of biblical answers that encourage people to know that God's Word can be trusted from the very first verse."

Smith will be speaking about "dinosaurs and the Bible."

NorthReport

I just wish there would be hundreds more prominent Canadians that would reiterate what Payette said. Pandering to the looney tune elements in society needs to stop.

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:
 I hope you don't mind if I just keep on asking this, but what religion promotes the notion that their deity created a bacterium or a strand of RNA or a little bipedal frog or whatever, and that organism evolved into humans, and that's their cosmology? 

I don't mind the question if it's sincere.

Mr. Magoo wrote:
 Because you keep insisting that large swaths of (offended) people believe that, when in fact the holiest of holy books -- almost all of them -- seem to agree that a God created everything out of sheer will and dust, including very non-"evolved" humans. 

Could you quote where I stated large swaths of people are offended?

Mr. Magoo wrote:
 This "oil and water" mix of Creationism and evolution seems to me very much like "intelligent design 2.0".  The ominipotent God created a wee creature and just HOPED it would evolve into something in His image??  That's the explanation now?? 

I'm an atheist so if you really want to talk theology you will have to speak with someone else. I only know the rudiments.  This is how Pope Francis explained it. (The Pope is the leader of the Catholic Church worldwide)

"God is not a demiurge or a conjurer, but the Creator who gives being to all things. The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos that owes its origin to another, but derives directly from a supreme Origin that creates out of love. The Big Bang, which nowadays is posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creating, but rather requires it. The evolution of nature does not contrast with the notion of Creation, as evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve."

And:

Today, many religious denominations accept that biological evolution has produced the diversity of living things over billions of years of Earth's history. Many have issued statements observing that evolution and the tenets of their faiths are compatible. Scientists and theologians have written eloquently about their awe and wonder at the history of the universe and of life on this planet, explaining that they see no conflict between their faith in God and the evidence for evolution. Religious denominations that do not accept the occurrence of evolution tend to be those that believe in strictly literal interpretations of religious texts.

— National Academy of Sciences, Science, Evolution, and Creationism[23]

 

Pondering

cco wrote:
Saying "Religion is awesome, it's just not for me" doesn't seem to have done much to convince religious people to trust atheists over the years.
 

I'm fine with condemning all religion as a private citizen. I'm fine with the GG defending evolution and all other science against misinformation. It's just not the place of the GG to mock Canadians that believe in divine intervention.

cco wrote:
I'd love it if someone could do a study and come up with hard data on how many people have said "Man, I'd love to murder my neighbour, and I could do it without the police catching me, but I'd go to hell."
 

Well I did reference a study. Can you think of another reason why people would be so distrustful of atheists?

 

Yes, that is what the study I quoted said but they didn't achieve that status by attacking religion. They achieved it by having strong social supports so people don't turn to crime or religion to deal with adversity.

cco wrote:
 If religion left me alone, I'd be willing to leave it alone. It won't. It demands tax exemptions, exemptions from the law, other laws rewritten to enforce its precepts upon non-adherents. 

 I am against tax breaks for Churches and funding for religious schools.

cco wrote:
 Yet every day, religious people are telling me that I need to shut up and go away, because my existence offends them, and in some cases is a danger to society (and now I'm hearing the latter from a self-proclaimed atheist!). 

If religious people are telling you that I join you in your condemnation of them.

Where is the atheist telling you that? I haven't said anything that could even be misinterpreted to mean that.

I too hope Julie Payette isn't going anywhere. As GG she can defend science against the overwhelming amount of unsubstanciated claims and educate people on what science is and how it is build on evidence from repeated tests designed to prove or disprove theories.  She could explain that even though the word "theory" is used it doesn't mean there is no factual evidence. It just leaves the door open for the theory to be tinkered with as more information is obtained. I would love for her to use her position to bring greater focus to science education as key to the future success of the country.

 There will be no repeat of this incident and i don't think many people know the details. It's been a big news week what with the Paradise Papers and the latest mass shooting. The evangelicals will be all over it but most people tune them out. The comment was buried in the centre of a larger statement, it isn't a constructed sentence, so maybe most people simply won't hear about it. It's background political noise. The only people paying attention are political pundits looking for something to say and people who are into politics.

I hope that I'm right and this will just go away. There will certainly be people that will try to find a way to use the clip against Trudeau.

Rev Pesky

Pondering stated:

I too hope Julie Payette isn't going anywhere. As GG she can defend science against the overwhelming amount of unsubstanciated claims and educate people on what science is and how it is build on evidence from repeated tests designed to prove or disprove theories.  She could explain that even though the word "theory" is used it doesn't mean there is no factual evidence.

The problem is that's already been tried, over and over again.

It's been 157 years since the publication of 'Origin of the Species', and 92 years since the Scopes monkey trial. And where are we today? As I posted above, we are still fighting that same old battle. No amount of reason or logic or persuasion will make any difference.

And even while the Pope accepts 'evolution', he doesn't accept it as a random process. After all, to the church humans are still made 'in God's image'. Even if that image is arrived at by evolution, it presupposes that God oversaw the process, and guaranteed the outcome.So while the Pope says he accepts evolution, he doesn't really, because he doesn't accept an integral part of the process, that is, the contingency.

We should also be very clear that the argument over evolution has an effect across the board. Part of the reason it's so difficult to get people to understand climate change is that they cannot associate it with evolution. And those creationists don't just create uncertainty about biology, they create uncertainty about all science.

Evolution is the single most important discovery in biology (and in fact in all of science). It tells us about what earth was like millions of years ago, it shows how the climate has changed over the millenia, how the earth's crust has changed over millions (billions) of years. And there is literally a mountain of evidence supporting it.

The denial of evolution presents a clear and present danger to humanity, and to every living thing on this planet. It is long past the time someone should have rolled their eyes at the willful ignorance and intransigence of those who won't accept it for religious reasons. And if the religious are offended, too bad. As Salman Rushdie said, 'No one has a right not to be offended'.

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

Pondering stated:

I too hope Julie Payette isn't going anywhere. As GG she can defend science against the overwhelming amount of unsubstanciated claims and educate people on what science is and how it is build on evidence from repeated tests designed to prove or disprove theories.  She could explain that even though the word "theory" is used it doesn't mean there is no factual evidence.

​The problem is that's already been tried, over and over again.

It's been 157 years since the publication of 'Origin of the Species', and 92 years since the Scopes monkey trial. And where are we today? As I posted above, we are still fighting that same old battle. No amount of reason or logic or persuasion will make any difference.

And even while the Pope accepts 'evolution', he doesn't accept it as a random process. After all, to the church humans are still made 'in God's image'. Even if that image is arrived at by evolution, it presupposes that God oversaw the process, and guaranteed the outcome.So while the Pope says he accepts evolution, he doesn't really, because he doesn't accept an integral part of the process, that is, the contingency.

We should also be very clear that the argument over evolution has an effect across the board. Part of the reason it's so difficult to get people to understand climate change is that they cannot associate it with evolution. And those creationists don't just create uncertainty about biology, they create uncertainty about all science.

Evolution is the single most important discovery in biology (and in fact in all of science). It tells us about what earth was like millions of years ago, it shows how the climate has changed over the millenia, how the earth's crust has changed over millions (billions) of years. And there is literally a mountain of evidence supporting it.

The denial of evolution presents a clear and present danger to humanity, and to every living thing on this planet. It is long past the time someone should have rolled their eyes at the willful ignorance and intransigence of those who won't accept it for religious reasons. And if the religious are offended, too bad. As Salman Rushdie said, 'No one has a right not to be offended'.

So your solution is to give up on education because "The problem is that's already been tried, over and over again." and roll our eyes in the hopes that will convince people there is no God?

 Science has not yet proven the existence of randomness. That the Pope doesn't accept that evolution is random does not contradict science. You seem determined to paint everyone who believes in God as the equivalent of Evangelical creationists. They are a minority.

Canadians pay the GG's salary so she has a responsibility to treat Canadians with respect and to not mock or belittle people who believe the science of climate change and evolution yet also believe in God as creator of the universe. In fact I will take it farther. There is never any reason for the Governor General to mock and belittle anyone for their beliefs even if she must publically oppose them. That includes people who believe in astrology etc.

JKR

Has the Pope said that he believes that evolution is not random? Einstein seems to have given credence to there being a pantheistic "God" similar to what Spinoza articulated.

cco

Pondering wrote:

Can you think of another reason why people would be so distrustful of atheists?

Other than the debunked myth that atheism leads to the collapse of societal morals? Hmm, let's see. Could it be because religions see atheists as the greatest threat of all? If someone belongs to another religion, after all, you're still fighting them on the same playing field. "Magic is real, my book tells me I'm right, and God(s) will punish you in the afterlife." People who don't accept the ground rules and insist upon building their worldviews based on what can be verified upend the whole debate.

Quote:

Yes, that is what the study I quoted said but they didn't achieve that status by attacking religion. They achieved it by having strong social supports so people don't turn to crime or religion to deal with adversity.

They didn't achieve that status by making religion immune to criticism, either.

Quote:

Where is the atheist telling you that? I haven't said anything that could even be misinterpreted to mean that.


Pondering wrote:

You cannot prove there is no diety and if you could, without first changing the ills of society, you might just doom us to a dog eat dog world because they restrain their actions due to belief in God and an afterlife during which they will be punished.

Pondering wrote:

 Science has not yet proven the existence of randomness.

Evolution, in a nutshell, is the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators. This has been as thoroughly proven as any scientific fact ever has been. "You can't prove God hasn't just made it look random!" is the rallying cry of creationists.

Quote:

Canadians pay the GG's salary so she has a responsibility to treat Canadians with respect and to not mock or belittle people who believe the science of climate change and evolution yet also believe in God as creator of the universe. In fact I will take it farther. There is never any reason for the Governor General to mock and belittle anyone for their beliefs even if she must publically oppose them. That includes people who believe in astrology etc.

Canadians pay Brad Trost's salary, too. He gets to go out in public and say he's "not comfortable with the gay thing". Every religious politician in Canada's allowed to proclaim how true their religion is and how wrong everyone else is. Religious people get treated with respect automatically, no matter how ludicrous their beliefs are. Again, it's only atheists who need to stay quiet, lest we be accused of "belittling".

WWWTT

NorthReport wrote:

I just wish there would be hundreds more prominent Canadians that would reiterate what Payette said. Pandering to the looney tune elements in society needs to stop.

LOL! Don't hold your breath for even the first one to actually say something of significant value. Unless you mean a person who holds a prominent colonist position that uses an insulting mannerism?

I think your problem in thinking, along with a lot of other posters here, feel that somehow a western style democracy born out of colonialism such as Canada can somehow be a leader/model in atheist scientific socialist belief.

Julie Payette's speech was nothing more than a barely coherent rambling intended to insult an implied less intellectual peoples to bolster a self inspired feeling of superiority. Obviously she's not going to win over any new followers with any such rants.

If you're looking for inspiration from leadership, don't look to a western prominantly white European country for shit!

Social scientists and philosophers should make new contributions to enrich Marxist theory, Xi said, adding that scientific development is an open system that allows further development.

“Marxism ... does not end the truth, but opens the door and paves the way to reach the truth,” he said.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1946621/academi...

There's a lot more out there as well if you're willing to look. Just don't look in the toilet!

Sean in Ottawa

I get the right wing complaining but the complaints here about Payette have a couple problems for me. First I must admit that I am not a fan of any royal vestiges in Canada.

That said the role is to pluck people out who are not trained politicians and put them before the public in this role. These may not be ordinairy Canadians but they are not experienced and have no graduation through lower political positions with less attention.

Payette would have seen herself and be encouraged to be the defender of science. She was speaking cleary in this direction. Her comments were intended as a defence of science and evolution. She did not think about the effect those words would have on the deeply religious. That is a political calculation. Many could say the same thing. To expect her to speak differently mean that she would have to understand that and make a political calculation that would not be part of her past experience. She is new and we should expect that this would take time. The alternative is to use career politicians for GG.

Until Canada has an elected President appointments are out of the context of the appointed people's lives. If we want to raise up non politicians in this way then it is time to give her slack.

Those with religious views can suck it up with a minor complaint. They know that their views are contradicted by science and that a majority of Canadians are either athiest or live with a contradiction that they reconcile based on their faith and philosophy. It is a small minority who cannot see the point here. Most of this is politics and hypocrisy along with a purposeful blindness to what she meant in order to construct an offense. Yes, from a career politician you could see a willingness to offend because they are expected to know better.

The context being ignored is the people (many who are the most offended by what she said) who place their religious views above all science discovery in an attempt to impose that view on others. I also notice that many who complain the loudest are men -- I wonder how many men just don't like being literally told how it is from a woman. When having this discussion, let us not pretend that this is not part of it.

So yes, she got it wrong but where the heck is the understanding of what she meant and a little understanding of the context?

WWWTT

Pondering wrote:

You seem determined to paint everyone who believes in God as the equivalent of Evangelical creationists. They are a minority.

Canadians pay the GG's salary so she has a responsibility to treat Canadians with respect and to not mock or belittle people who believe the science of climate change and evolution yet also believe in God as creator of the universe. In fact I will take it farther. There is never any reason for the Governor General to mock and belittle anyone for their beliefs even if she must publically oppose them. That includes people who believe in astrology etc.

Good points!

Rev Pesky

Pondering said:

So your solution is to give up on education because "The problem is that's already been tried, over and over again." and roll our eyes in the hopes that will convince people there is no God?

 Science has not yet proven the existence of randomness.

I don't care if people want to believe in a God. People will  believe all sorts of idiotic things. At the same time, I don't see why we have to tiptoe around those beliefs, in the fear that somehow we may offend the believers. To state again what Salman Rusdie said, "No one has a right not to be offended".

I'm not sure what you mean by 'give up on education'. What I pointed out is there is no education against dearly held belief, and the evidence for that is all around us. So there's not much point trying to convince people whom we already know will reject the teaching.

One area that is in great need is the area of school textbooks. In the USA, the two biggest buyers of school texts are California and Texas. As one can imagine, the creators of textbooks are anxious to have these states onside. In Texas, each school district can choose which books they want, but they can't get the state to pay for them unless they're approved by the state. As late as 2013:

The Texas Board of Education on Friday delayed final approval of a widely used biology textbook because of concerns raised by one reviewer that it presents evolution as fact rather than theory.

So while we tiptoe around religious belief, those with religious belief are busy trying to wreck our education system.

As far as the randomness of evolution, yes, that is very much proven. No one can know beforehand what evolution may 'create'. And that's why the Pope still doesn't believe in evolution, because all the life forms on this planet, including humanity, are contingent upon a long trail of contingencies. (cco made the point that the selection is non-random. My thanks to cco for that clarification.)

If evolution were re-wound, there is almost no chance that any existing life form would re-appear. It's also very, very unlikely that a life form with a similar intelligence to present day humans would appear. But where would the Catholic church be without humans? 

So either God knew what the outcome of evolution would be, or God rolled the dice, perhaps gazillions of times, before humanity popped up out of the evolutionary hopper. My guess is the Pope opts for the former.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

The outrage isn't really about relgious faith being denigrated or ridiculed, although that's how some of our most cynical right wing politicians and pundits would have it. It's that religion isn't being privileged in the way that it normally is. Part of the outrage is that relgion is being lumped in with other forms of magical thinking like astrology and other new age dumbfuckery, which most people seem to think is okay to call out even though they have their sincere adherents.

It's considered rude to point out that established religious beliefs are factually incorrect. But at this point in time, there are religious beliefs that are getting in the way of us dealing with an existential threat and that means that we need to stop privileging beliefs over facts. 

In short, I'm glad Payette implied it's silly to debate evolution. It's long past time someone did. I hope she continues.

Sean in Ottawa

Timebandit wrote:

It's considered rude to point out that established religious beliefs are factually incorrect. But at this point in time, there are religious beliefs that are getting in the way of us dealing with an existential threat and that means that we need to stop privileging beliefs over facts.

I think this is really the whole point for me.

cco

Robin MacLachlan doubled down tonight on saying the GG represents the Church of England in Canada. I'd be interested to know whether Jagmeet Singh agrees with him.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Robin MacLachlan doubled down tonight on saying the GG represents the Church of England in Canada.

Is it kind of like math?  If B represents A, and C represents B, then C also represents A?

Anyway, whatevs.  The only reason there's a "Church of England" is because some English dick wanted rilly bad to divorce his wife.

But anyway, speaking of "doubling down", I guess the Queen could probably fire her.

If Her Majesty doesn't, then it can't be that bad.

And just for the record, CCO, I get that you also wash your hands of this silly.

NorthReport

 

Very well said!

Timebandit wrote:

The outrage isn't really about relgious faith being denigrated or ridiculed, although that's how some of our most cynical right wing politicians and pundits would have it. It's that religion isn't being privileged in the way that it normally is. Part of the outrage is that relgion is being lumped in with other forms of magical thinking like astrology and other new age dumbfuckery, which most people seem to think is okay to call out even though they have their sincere adherents.

It's considered rude to point out that established religious beliefs are factually incorrect. But at this point in time, there are religious beliefs that are getting in the way of us dealing with an existential threat and that means that we need to stop privileging beliefs over facts. 

In short, I'm glad Payette implied it's silly to debate evolution. It's long past time someone did. I hope she continues.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Robin MacLachlan doubled down tonight on saying the GG represents the Church of England in Canada.

Is it kind of like math?  If B represents A, and C represents B, then C also represents A?

Anyway, whatevs.  The only reason there's a "Church of England" is because some English dick wanted rilly bad to divorce his wife.

But anyway, speaking of "doubling down", I guess the Queen could probably fire her.

If Her Majesty doesn't, then it can't be that bad.

And just for the record, CCO, I get that you also wash your hands of this silly.

However, The Queen’s role with the Church of England is only of consequence in Great Britain. In Canada, she plays no role in promoting any religion.

http://store.monarchist.ca/en/myths

Pondering

There are too many different points being debated at once for me so I'll restrict this post to the role of the Governor General. 

The governor general is also tasked with fostering national unity and pride.[78] Queen Elizabeth II stated in 1959 to then Governor General Vincent Massey "maintain[ing] the right relationship between the Crown and the people of Canada [is] the most important function among the many duties of the appointment which you have held with such distinction."[79] One way in which this is carried out is travelling the country and meeting with Canadians from all regions and ethnic groups in Canada,[76]continuing the tradition begun in 1869 by Governor General the Lord Lisgar.[80] He or she will also induct individuals into the various national orders and present national medals and decorations. Similarly, the viceroy administers and distributes theGovernor General's Awards, and will also give out awards associated with private organizations, some of which are named for past governors general.[76] During a federal election, the governor general will curtail these public duties, so as not to appear as though they are involving themselves in political affairs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governor_General_of_Canada#Ceremonial_role

The Governor General is addressed Her/His Excellency the Right Honorable <name> and also represents the Queen and Canada on state visits worldwide. This is argueably the highest level diplomatic role in the country. Aside from residences and servants the Governor General also recieves a salary of about $270,000. It also doesn't hurt the resume after leaving office. This is a position of great power, honour and privilege. Decisions made by the Governor General shape the nation.

The person appointed is expected to be non-partisan and diplomatic.

I will withdraw from the topic of religion for the moment and turn to astrology. 

During the 20th century and following the wide-scale adoption of the scientific method, astrology has been challenged successfully on both theoretical[7]:249;[8] and experimental[9][10] grounds, and has been shown to have no scientificvalidity[5] or explanatory power. Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, and common belief in it has largely declined.[11] While polling studies have demonstrated that approximately 25% of Americans, Canadians, and Britons say they continue to believe that star and planet positions affect their lives,[12] astrology is now recognized aspseudoscience.[13][14][15][16][17]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology

%25 of Canadians believe that stars and planets affect their lives. 

Turning back to religion:

http://nationalpost.com/holy-post/religion-not-important-to-most-canadia...

Belief in God was expressed by 71% of women and 64% of men. Seventy per cent of respondents in both Ontario and Atlantic Canada said they believe God exists, while agreement on the question was slightly lower in Alberta (67%).

I will get more into religion in my next post. The point in this one is that the governor general is supposed to inspire unity between Canadians and represent Canadians diplomatically around the world. 

Mocking the sincerely held beliefs of people, no matter how foolish, is offensive not diplomatic and not unifying which is the job description. 

 

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Use of words like "religion" and "science" are very lacking in context of the array of their meanings.

 

Even "science" construes as facts that of which has only peer-consensus.

 

Too many determinant ideologies and failure to think.

 

"Science" should not be politicized

 

 

Rev Pesky

There was an op-ed piece in the Globe & Mail yesterday by Peter McKnight on this issue. I will quote the last paragraph:

Stop the turf wars

Rather than engaging in turf wars, as Ms. Payette and Mr. Scheer seem destined to do, perhaps we should consider how science and religion can co-exist and, indeed, complement each other. Science, after all, teaches us about the nature of life, about what we are and how we came to be, while religion teaches us about the nature of living, about who we are and how we ought to behave. And we need both. In their rightful places.

Really? Religion teaches us how we ought to behave? Honestly, any religion that engaged in the Canadian residential school system has got nothing to teach anyone about how to behave.

But this brings up an important point. Science has to be constantly justifying itself. It's value is measured strictly by it's success. If airplanes didn't fly, if hospitals couldn't repair heart valves, if cars didn't drive, if vaccination failed to prevent disease, we would say that science had failed.

What constitutes failure for religion? 

NorthReport

!!

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Pondering, the idea that facts are partisan is exactly what's wrong with where we are today.

Facts don't care if you believe in them or not. We have to stop privileging magical thinking - and that includes religion as well as new age spiritual beliefs - in the name of diplomacy. There's no easy way to say that your beliefs are delusional if they lead you to reject the idea of evolution or climate change, but it needs to be said. If religious adherents are offended by that, so be it.

We can't afford to give religion the privilege of being given a pass when it comes to physical realities anymore.

Sean in Ottawa

At one time religion only hurt those who were believers or who had it imposed directly on them. Now its views threaten the planet affecting everyone -- including those they will never meet.

Pondering

JKR wrote:
Has the Pope said that he believes that evolution is not random? Einstein seems to have given credence to there being a pantheistic "God" similar to what Spinoza articulated.

Do you honestly believe that the Pope thinks God created Man accidently? I quoted the Pope in post 125. 

JKR

Pondering wrote:

JKR wrote:
Has the Pope said that he believes that evolution is not random? Einstein seems to have given credence to there being a pantheistic "God" similar to what Spinoza articulated.

Do you honestly believe that the Pope thinks God created Man accidently? I quoted the Pope in post 125. 

Looking at the quote made by the Pope in your post 125, I think it is possible that the Pope thinks that the events and objects within space and time (names and forms) are the random events of evolution, while divine creation takes place on a higher plane than space and time through something he called in his quote, "love." In any event, the Pope does seem to believe that evolution and divinity are mutually inclusive with divinity being the higher reality.

Rev Pesky

fPondering, responding to JKR:

Do you honestly believe that the Pope thinks God created Man accidently? I quoted the Pope in post 125. 

​Which is why I mentioned this in the first place. When people say the Pope has accepted evolution, it is only partially true. What the Pope believes is that God created the process of evolution, but that the outcome was pre-determined, at least as far as humans are concerned.

​But a major factor in evolution is the the randomness of it. I've said this before, but it really needs repeating. If evolution were run again from zero, it is extremely unlikely the exact same organisms would arise. If it weren't for the asteroid collision with earth, there's a good chance mammals would never have got beyond the little furry creatures stage. But Christianity is very clear that humans were made in 'God's' image.

Therefore, the only way the Pope could believe in evolution is if it was a process directed by God. 

I should also speak to the randomness. The randomness arises during the reproductive process, especially in the case of sexual reproduction. No offspring is a clone of the parent. When a variation arises that helps the offspring have better reproductive success, that variation spreads through the population in question.

It's also well to remember that almost all of the life that has existed on earth is extinct. Life on earth today is merely the result of a long, long, line of life forms, most of which failed. Eventually, we will fail as well.

The environment chooses those variation which will succeed. Most of the time, it doesn't have a variation to work with.  That is the chance factor, and I doubt very much whether the Pope believes that to be true.

Pondering

Timebandit wrote:

Facts don't care if you believe in them or not. We have to stop privileging magical thinking - and that includes religion as well as new age spiritual beliefs - in the name of diplomacy. ..

Why is it you have to use strawman arguments? No one has critized Payette for standing up for evolution and climate change. Everyone agrees that it is something she should do. 

The complaint is about mocking people for what they believe in, be it astrology or telling fortunes in a crystal ball or that evolution occurred as science dictates but it was guided by divine intervention, something science cannot prove didn't happen. 

Makayla Sault, the 11-year-old Ontario First Nation girl who refused chemotherapy to pursue traditional indigenous medicine and other alternative treatments, has died.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/makayla-sault-girl-who-refused-chemo-f...

So would you be fine with the Governor General rolling her eyes in disbelief that anyone could possibly believe in indigeous medicine (sugar pills for cancer) over science based treatment?

I think it would be great if the GG gave speeches on the threat of choosing alternative healing including herbal and indigenous medicine over science-based medicine for life-threatening illnesses. 

I don't think she should mock people who have chosen alternative medicine or are considering it no matter how ignorant it is to let your child die from a curable condition. It isn't deliberate ignorance. It's heartfelt belief.  

We do need to improve science education, a wonderful cause for the GG to take up. Many famous scientists believe in God and evolution and climate change. As long as people are science literate they balance their religious beliefs against what they know and accept as facts about the universe. 

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/10/1018_041018_science_rel...

Evolution and Religion Can Coexist, Scientists Say

"There's no way that scientists can ever rule out religion, or even have anything significant to say about the abstract idea of a divine creator," Greene said.

...40 percent of U.S. scientists said they believe in God—not just a creator, but a God to whom one can pray in expectation of an answer. ....

"Even as science progresses in its reductionist fashion, moving towards deeper, simpler, and more elegant understandings of particles and forces, there will still remain a 'why' at the end as to why the ultimate rules are the way they are," said Ted Sargent, a nanotechnology expert at the University of Toronto.

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

Which is why I mentioned this in the first place. When people say the Pope has accepted evolution, it is only partially true. What the Pope believes is that God created the process of evolution, but that the outcome was pre-determined, at least as far as humans are concerned.

Yet many accomplished scientists agree with the Pope not you.  (a human geneticist a neuroendocrinologist , a molecular biologist, among others)

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/17232/title/Religi...

Many of these researchers--though by no means all--hew to fairly conventional scientific lines, even about the subjects in which science treads closest to religious teachings, such as the origin of the universe and of life. ...

In interview after interview, however, the shibboleth of religious scientists is the notion of purpose in human evolution. No matter how orthodox they might be in most of their scientific views, many of them cannot abide the notion that chance and randomness may play a significant role in the rise of humans. Elving Anderson, a human geneticist at the University of Minnesota who is a Christian, sees the critical difference between religious and nonreligious biologists as whether they "believe the universe and various forms of life happened by itself--that is, by chance--or is there any indication of purpose?"

Likewise, evangelical Christian Joan Y. Summy-Long, a neuroendocrinologist at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, says: "Ac-cording to the word of God, man was created in God's image with a purpose. Evolutionists say man evolved by chance, without purpose. I definitely believe the word of God."

... A molecular biologist, Tendler favors the episodic school of evolutionary biology--which maintains that evolutionary change happened in infrequent, large jumps, a position that has emerged from a fringe viewpoint 10 years ago to a mainstream belief today--over gradualism, whose proponents believe that species appeared by gradual change from precursors.

In any case, Tendler feels the process of evolution has no religious significance. "How God did His work is His business," he declares. "I'm perfectly happy to accept slow, Darwinian evolution as long as you don't leave God out of the picture. We believe there was a guiding hand."...

For some religious physicists, the fact that the universe appears governed by physical laws and is not a chaotic jumble of phenomena is strong evidence for the hand of God.

Plasma physicist D. Gary Swanson of Auburn University, a Christian, acknowledges that he must reconcile his belief in miracles with what physics teaches as the uniformity or lawfulness of nature. "I have a kind of proof," he says. "If you assume uniformity of nature, you're accepting that as a faith statement. If you accept a slight difference, that nature is uniform almost everywhere, you accept that on faith, too. I'm comfortable with nature being almost uniform. I don't expect miracles, but I believe God has injected Himself into the world with a finite number of miracles. The world, by and large, runs the way physicists think it does. But not always."

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