Calvert’s Audio Part 1

July 17, 2006 at 6:43 pm | Posted in Journal of Anti-Science meetings | 2 Comments

I’d really like to thank Harry Gregory, a retired school teacher, a member of KCFS, and a very nice man for making the audio possible. We need more like him.
You can stream and download here in m4a:

John Calvert’s Wichita Visit p1.1 7/16/2006

John Calvert’s Wichita Visit p1.2 7/16/2006

John Calvert’s Wichita Visit p1.3 7/16/2006

Or just download in mp3 (WARNING: These files are MUCH larger than the m4a above):

I’ll post Part 2 of the meeting as soon as I get it.

I should note that there is a very strange noise about 5 minutes in to part 1.2. That noise is that of a speeding airplane which Calvert felt necessary to add to his September 11 slide.

The audio is generally a bit difficult to hear clearly, so I recommend headphones.

I’m working on getting an embedded player on here.

Thanks to Bascule for hooking me up with the free podcast service.



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  1. My blow-by-blow take on part 1:

    This man’s quest to rearrange science started when he likened DNA to a telegraph (for some inane reason) and asked himself a question about the genetic code in DNA:

    Q: How does science explain the code itself, which arises before the replicating organism?

    Somehow he missed the fact that he was also making a frivolous assumption as part of his question. Because according to what we know, the genetic code did NOT arise before the organism, it appeared and diversified WITHIN it.

    But like I said, this guy missed that fact. So he goes out looking for a book to back up his frivolous assumption and finds Robert Shapiro’s book, which contains the unsubstantiated claim:

    “The existence of bacteria implies a creator, because only a creator could design bacteria to be so perfectly suited to their environment.”

    Which logically is a statement like, A implies B because B is implied by A. So the guy says, “Extraordinary, he reached the same conclusion! I feel so much better.”

    So he reads the book some more, and when the author says, “But we cannot explore the existence of a creator scientifically”, he says to himself, “Well that sounds unscientific!”, because he’s playing stupid word games with himself at this point, independent of the scientific process.

    He’s on a roll now with his word games, so next he declares that anyone who is practicing science is implicitly stating a belief that “man can only have arisen from material causes”. And that, he opines, is a statement denying the existence of God.

    So now he’s conveniently demonized everyone who doesn’t think his way.

    Since everyone’s a demon, he goes on a demon hunt. He says that science contains an “unwritten rule”, kind of like a secret handshake, that says you cannot “infer a creator” from your data, even if the data somehow point to one. The question of HOW any particular data could possibly point to a creator, aside from inspiring a spooky gut feeling, is completely abandoned.

    Then he tells an outrageous story about a disingenuous play based on this “unwritten rule”. Frankly, this play makes me sick. But he likes this play because it describes science as an insular bureaucracy that dispenses commandments and shuns questioning. Pretty much like an old-world church organization.

    To paranoid people like this I would simply say, “You poor emotionally troubled man; isn’t it clear by now? It’s not that SCIENTISTS reject YOU. It’s that SCIENCE rejects YOUR IDEAS. Nothing personal, but these ideas stink.”

    So anyway he shows a slide of a van that’s run into a tree, and asks members of the audience whether this is evidence of design. He reveals, in one ingenious stroke, the utterly subjective nature of the determination of intelligent intent behind a given action. Is the tree itself evidence of intent? How about the van? Is there something about their configuration that’s intentional? Or perhaps the intent is completely unrelated; maybe the designer of the scene meant to create a certain color in the sky, and the whole forest is incidental.

    The point is, the question is unanswerable because the only way to imply design is to first make a hypothesis about the intent of the intelligence … which requires that, as part of the experiment, you ASSUME that an intelligence exists.

    In other words, a belief in god allows a basis for intelligent design, which in turn allows it to be inferred from the natural world. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. NEVER the other way around.

    He doesn’t even know it, but he’s asked a question that lays bare the rampant intellectual dishonesty that those pursuing evidence of intelligent design must maintain.

    Such a pity that his “lecture” goes on for another two hours and has all the internal integrity of a prolapsed rectum.

  2. […] Audio Part 1 July 17, 2006 at 12:00 am | In Defending Science |  This was originally posted here on July 17, 2006 at the “Defending Science, Scientists, and Non-Scientists” blog. Comments are […]

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