Karl Giberson defends Hedin, decries outsiders interfering with Ball State

Well, I never thought I’d see the day when Karl Giberson criticized the Scopes Trial as a waste of time, an unwarranted incursion of scientific carpetbaggers into a sleepy Southern town best left to its own business.

But in his latest PuffHo piece, “Teaching about God and science revisited,” that’s exactly what Karl says. Giberson draws a parallel between the activities of people like me and the lawyers of the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) in trying to prevent creationism from being taught at Ball State University (BSU), and “carpetbaggers” like Clarence Darrow and other members of the defense and prosecution in Dayton, Tennessee. As he says,

The situation at Ball State is reminiscent of the Scopes Trial, where a tiny non-event in Dayton, Tennessee, was enlarged by early 20th century culture warriors — Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan — into an unhelpful national distraction that provided nothing but entertainment.

Non-event? Really, Karl: do you think that the Scopes trial provided nothing but entertainment?

It is statements like this that make me think Karl has completely lost the plot. When the Scopes trial is taught today, it’s not seen as pure entertainment. True, there there were entertaining aspects of the trial, as when Bryan complained that the evolutionists had man descending “not even from American monkeys, but Old World monkeys.” Or when a flustered Bryan, subject to a withering cross-examination by Clarence Darrow about whether he believed in Biblical tales like Jonah and the large fish (yes, the defense lawyer cross-examined the prosecution lawyer), said, “I do not think about things I don’t think about.”

But the Scopes Trial was far more than entertainment. It was a watershed moment in American culture: the first nationally-publicized clash between Christian fundamentalism and emerging evolutionary science. And although Scopes lost (he did violate the law by teaching about human evolution), in the end the prosecution—the creationists—were the real losers. For they came out looking scientifically ignorant and reactionary, due largely to the scathing reportage of H. L. Mencken. (Go have a look at some of Mencken’s hilarious pieces here.)

Because creationists in effect lost a nationally publicized trial, the Scopes case was certainly “helpful” in promulgating science.  Does Giberson seriously think that the reams of analysis written about Scopes rest solely on its entertainment value?

Anyway, Karl, who is clearly conflicted by the Hedin case (he doesn’t like ID but is an evangelical Christian), says other dubious things in his PuffHo piece, and I have neither the heart nor the time to discuss them. In fact, they’re self-refuting, so I’ll just give a few excepts and my brief reactions:

However, I also reject the atheist claim that there is no room for discussion of God at the “boundaries of science,” as the beleaguered Dr. Hedin is trying to do. Coyne and the atheists simply don’t understand — or at least pretend to not understand — that such discussions are not necessarily religious. Nor do they understand the depth of the arguments thoughtful philosophers continue to make for the existence of God. The non-existence of God is far from a settled truth.

Discussion of God as involved in the universe isn’t necessarily religious?  How can that be? And doesn’t Giberson know that Hedin’s class was a required science class (actually one of three on offer to fulfill honors students’ science requirement), not a philosophy or religion class?

As for the “depth of argument thoughtful philosophers continue to make for the existence of god,” that is arrant nonsense. There are no deep arguments, because there is no evidence for God. Which “thoughtful philosophers” are Giberson thinking of? Alvin Plantinga? John Haught? Paul Tillich? Karen Armstrong? Please, Karl, tell me which philosophers have made deep and thoughtful arguments for God.

There is in fact no new evidence for God unless Karl wants to believe the ID arguments (which he doesn’t) or the “fine-tuning” argument, which I don’t think he buys either. The non-existence of God may not be 100% certain,but I’m happy with 99.23%. I wonder if Karl could give us his figure. To my mind, the non-existence of God is as settled a truth as the non-existence of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or the china teapot orbiting the Earth.

Karl adds this:

The “God” invoked at the “boundary” of science, of course, is not the God of Christianity or any religion for that matter. This “Boundary God” is the God of deism and deism is aggressively rejected by Christianity: “Deism is belief in God based on reason and nature. The differing alleged revelations of the various revealed religions are conspicuously absent from Deism.”

In Hedin’s class the “God” invoked was clearly the Abrahamic god, not some Hindu monkey god.  For crying out loud, one of Hedin’s three textbooks was explicitly Christian, and had a picture of a cross on the cover, while another other was explicitly Jewish, trying to comport science with the Old Testament. In both cases Hedin’s textbook God was personal and interactive, not deistic.  Has Karl been paying attention to the contents of Hedin’s class. Did he see that book by C. S. Lewis on the reading list?

More from Giberson:

Exploring the question of whether a transcendent intelligence of some sort might be a better explanatory foundation for the world that we encounter than a purely mindless materialism is not a religious quest in any traditional sense. No religion could possibly be built on such a foundation. It seems to me that such an exploration would be akin to asking whether humans are better understood as “minds” that work top-down or “brains” that work bottom-up. Science roots for “brains,” of course, but there is certainly wiggle room in this conversation.

The notion that the existence of a “transcendent intelligence” behind the universe is not a religious question is idiotic. And plenty of religions have that idea as part of their foundation, but of course not their complete foundation.

Anyway, such an “exploration” should occur in a religion or philosophy class, not in the one science class that Honors students at BSU have to take. And about that “wiggle room”—there isn’t any, for there are no observations about science that require us to invoke a divine mind. By “wiggle room,” Giberson simply means this: “I want to believe in God, so I’ll try to fit God in anywhere that science can’t yet provide a materialistic explanation.”

Finally, here’s why, says Giberson, carpetbaggers like me and the FFRF should ride out of Muncie:

Let me speculate and reiterate why I think Hedin’s critics should back down. The minority agnostics in Hedin’s class are going to feel left out, just as southern evangelicals at Harvard or Brandeis might feel left out or Muslim students at almost any university. The minority agnostics will be socially disconnected from their largely Christian classmates who love having the professor on “their” side, even though Hedin is not promoting their shared religion in class. So the agnostic reaches outside the university for allies and ends up with some major culture warriors on his or her side — people looking for occasions to assault religion — or something close enough that they can pretend is religion.

This paragraph is complete opaque to me. I see no argument here for why Hedin’s critics should back down. Do you?

First of all, we know that Hedin is promoting the shared Christian religion in his class. There is plenty of evidence for that. The idea of the First Amendment is that nobody should feel left out—certainly not in a science class.  Our intention has never been to assault religion, but to keep it out of the science classroom, particularly the public science classroom. That is simply reinforcing the U.S. Constitution. Our other aim is (and I presume Karl agrees) to keep intelligent design from being taught as respectable science.

Would Giberson feel the same way if Christians objected because Hedin was pushing a Muslim view of creationism in his classroom, and saying things like “Of course Allah was the creator. Do you think some God who can’t even decide if he’s a father, a son, or a see-through spirit could create a universe?”

Giberson wants to have his cake and eat it too. He objects to ID being taught in science classes because it’s a scientifically unsupported theory derived from religion; but when it is taught, and secular people object, Giberson tells the secularists to back off. What were we supposed to do given BSU’s initial refusal to even examine the issue?

Giberson seems to have no idea what he’s talking about. In fact, the whole article looks as if he’s confused, caught between his evangelic Christianity and his antipathy to ID, and is trying to work out his thoughts in a public essay. I’d urge him to bring coherence to his ideas before he publishes them.

h/t: SGM


  1. Posted June 26, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I think that Karl G. sees the Scopes Trial as a waste of time, just because the creationist were the losers in the long run. KG might believe that if the Scopes Trial never happened “evolutionism” was not widespread these days. (Of course this line of reasoning is ridiculous, but when was the last time that a fundamentalist christian did not use a ridiculous argument to defend their core beliefs?)

    • Posted June 27, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Karl is has a mental problem. Just like a guy who has Alzheimers, he has a physical defect.

      He is ill. Why waste time parsing his remarks?

      • Posted June 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, I have better things to do.

      • pulseteresa
        Posted June 27, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        You don’t know this at all. You have no basis for your assertion that Karl Giberson’s brain is structurally damaged.

        I disagree with the guy wholeheartedly, but I’ve no reason to assume that he’s brain damaged. He, like so many religious people, just has a massive blind spot when it comes to his religion and that is what’s most likely causing his muddled thinking.

        • Larry Gay
          Posted June 28, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

          Well said, pulseteresa.

  2. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    What was awesome with this article is so many of the comments were against what Giberson proposed and saw right through this distraction of his to talk about deism – who cares if it was deism Hedin was pushing (which it doesn’t look like it was), deism isn’t science either.

    He does seem confused – this is a good illustration of what happens when a Christian (usually these are moderates) sees there is commonality with those strange godless folk and gets creeped out with agreeing with them.

  3. Hempenstein
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Karl – it’s time to find a different day job, or at least find people worth defending. The course description and the course were two different animals.

    If you buy a used Buick and the salesman assures you that the transmission has been completely rebuilt, but several weeks down the road it goes belly-up and the mechanic shows you that various factory seals have never been broken and that the fluid and clutches are cooked in a way that could only come from years of neglect and abuse, you have grounds for complaint. If everyone in town knows that that dealer is notorious for that kind of thing, they’ll be snickering at you.

    Same with the Ball State students. As those with a degree in biology go forth and try to use it, they’re likely to encounter someone familiar with this, who will at the very least ask if they took the good professor’s course. At worst, someone else will get hired since their diploma is regarded as damaged goods.

    • Posted June 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Recognize that Karl Gilberson is mentally defective. Heck, my late father suffered from dementia, and I’d call that a “mental illness” because it affects the mind’s functionality.

      Karl’s mind is not capable of functioning rationally, or reasonably, except in special circumstances. Reminds me of the hoarder who could not find anyplace in his house to sleep. His king-size bed was covered with junk, in layers totaling three feet.

      But he acted in a reasonable manner. He bought a twin mattress, and hoisted it on top of the three foot layer. Where to sleep? Problem solved (for today).

      Karl Gilberson is like that guy. His underlying problem is not being recognized.

      • Posted June 27, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Much as I disagree with Karl, PLEASE don’t describe him as “mentally defective”. You may characterize evangelicals that way, but I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t use those kind of slurs on this site.

        I don’t see religiosity in most forms as a mental illness, but rather as a delusion, like believing in Santa.

  4. Posted June 26, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    This need not even be a debate about curriculum. It’s legal. If BSU accepts any student with Federal loans, or takes Federal support in any form what-so-ever, then the school and its representatives may not endorse, advocate, or otherwise enforce any religious views on their students or employees. This is basic Constitutional law and immediately trumps state law or institutional practice. The South lost the Civil War challenging this supremacy of Federal law over state and local law, therefore if the state’s institutions violate that law, they are inviting interference, or so-called “carpet-bagging” on the Federal level. Tedious.

  5. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    On the one hand, Giberson could have improved his case that religion is not !*necessarily*! being taught by noting that !*before*! the advent of monotheistic religion, there were strictly philosophical monotheists, notably Aristotle, who argued for God on philosophical grounds. (I wonder if KG actually knows this or not).

    Ono the other hand, Aristotle called the book in which he argued this “Metaphysics” (after physics) precisely because he understood that he was stepping outside the bounds of empirical science in making this argument!!

    Furthermore, Aristotle relies heavily on teleological arguments which have been highly discredited by both Newtonian physics and by Darwinian theory, and there is plenty of literature on the philosophy of science that points this out, and so a fair-minded college course on this subject would have to ALSO include David Hume’s “Dialogues on Natural Religion”, Voltaire’s “Traité de métaphysique”, etc.

    And as JAC has pointed out many times, all the theistic readings in the class are Christian-specific not generic defenses of God. That problem !*could*! have been fixed by including Karen Armstrong’s “Case for God” (which I very much disagree with) in the syllabus (she calls herself a “freelance monotheist”) or any works discussing Greek philosophical monotheism, but the absence of such generically theistic works is also quite telling as (as JAC has pointed out many times) the absence of books by Richard Dawkins on the subject.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      As a matter of historical record, this is unfortunately wrong.

      The “Metaphysics” of Aristotle is called that simply because the ancient librarians placed it after the works on nature (“physics”) on the shelf. Aristotle never once uses the phrase himself. In fact, it might be the work is a composite of several; we don’t know, and is likely lecture notes to boot. The whole business of “empirical science” is, to the extent that it is correct, is a modern (Descartes or so) invention.

      As for the rest, yes, that’s correct.

  6. ladyatheist
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Funny how nobody is criticizing the Discovery Institute for their petition. Aren’t they an “outside” entity?

    • Richard Page
      Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Yes, and outside reality, too.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Yes good point; probably because the side that would argue that in their favour wouldn’t because it’s such a weak argument. I’ve seen a pattern of various “outside” groups being told they have no right to comment no matter whether those being criticized reside within country or institution borders.

  7. Brygida Berse
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Jerry, could you remind us why you ever valued Dr. Giberson’s opinions in the first place? He obviously represents the very frame of mind against which you fight tirelessly on this website, and yet you always seem to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  8. jdhuey
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    “…deep and thoughtful arguments for God.” that are unsound are still just unsound arguments – and no sound arguments for God have been presented.

  9. Larry Gay
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    As far as I can tell, Giberson’s logical thread in the “opaque” paragraph is: evangelical students at Harvard and Brandeis don’t make a fuss over their minority status, so agnostic students at BSU should likewise not stir up trouble. Carpetbaggers unneeded.

  10. Emerson
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    “Let me speculate … back down. Do you?” It seems to me that the man makes this situational description where the agnostics find support (outside the class) by culture war’s groups in order to diminish the criticism’s value. He seems to be really convicted that Hedin’s class has nothing to do with any religion specifically (therefore accusations are false) and there are people who are just “fussing over minor occasional offenses (Hedin’s mention to the monkey god) or perceived slights (Coyne + FFRF and their warnings and letters)” generating what mr. Giverson considers as an “unhelpful distraction”.

  11. Sastra
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Exploring the question of whether a transcendent intelligence of some sort might be a better explanatory foundation for the world that we encounter than a purely mindless materialism is not a religious quest in any traditional sense. No religion could possibly be built on such a foundation. It seems to me that such an exploration would be akin to asking whether humans are better understood as “minds” that work top-down or “brains” that work bottom-up. Science roots for “brains,” of course, but there is certainly wiggle room in this conversation.

    Oh ffs. Define “religion.”

    And do NOT define it by focusing on irrelevant details like churches or texts.

    ALL religions rest on belief in the supernatural and the ‘supernatural’ is best understood in terms of the skyhook “mind” Giberson is talking about. That’s the fundamental divide between naturalism and supernaturalism. As Richard Carrier put it

    If naturalism is true, everything mental is caused by the nonmental, whereas if supernaturalism is true, at least one thing is not.

    That. Is. Religion. And every religion is built on ‘such a foundation.’ When you start getting to the “religions” where the supernatural is optional that’s when you get into legitimate arguments over whether such-and-such is a religion or not.

    If science “roots for” mind/brain dependency and rejects mind/body substance dualism then there is no “wiggle room” in a science class for arguing that a rejected hypothesis can be brought back through pseudoscience. Shimmy all you want. It won’t squeeze through.

  12. Diane G.
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 1:32 pm | Permalink


  13. Leigh Jackson
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Giberson is a one man train wreck. He is talking to himself.

    Making *arguments* for the existence of x is a putrid waste of time if there is no possible way of testing for positive evidence of existence of x.

    An *argument* for the possible existence of many universes: Why should there only be one universe if our universe is not created by God, entirely sufficient for His/Her purpose? Nothing in science forbids the existence of other universes: there is no known reason for the anthropic constants having the particular values they have. So it is entirely possible that other universes do exist: universes with different values for the *anthropic* constants – universes without the possibility of creatures anything like life as we know it, existing in them.

    Where does that argument lead? Answer: nowhere or, perhaps, anywhere. One can go on to dream up all kinds of other universe scenarios.

    More interesting, however, is the fact that several independent scientific theories predict the existence of a multiverse. Quantum mechanics, inflation theory and string theory. In the light of this fact, the anthropic constants may be construed as indirect evidence for the existence of other universes.

    So can the anthropic coincidences be construed as indirect evidence for the existence of God?

    The scientific theories which predict the multiverse are founded on equations which describe the fundamental nature of our universe. We know that our universe exists and the equations which best describe it, predict the existence of others. Science progresses through mathematics from observations within one universe to the predicition of others.

    Science has no equations to describe the fundamental nature of God – unless this universe is representative of the fundamental nature of God – pace Einstein and Spinoza. And so all that is left is to dream up mere *arguments* or claim priviliged direct revelation. Dross. The anthropic constants are not indirect evidence of God, they are merely another argument for God.

    What Giberson needs, in order for *arguments* for the existence of God to have any value at all is a science of God to back it up. Theology ain’t science; theology is mere argument.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted June 26, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      We know that physics as a rule doesn’t make unique objects as a result of a process. One electron field yes, but many electrons.

      So unless there is a specific constraint forbidding it, even an Einsteinian uniquely constrained field-like Theory Of Everything would result in many similar universes.

      I thought Weinberg’s test of anthropic theory in predicting the cosmological constant was the best classic test. But today I learned that there is a similar result of Barr et al from 1997, 10 years later. on the Higgs field. Its particles can only be up to 5 times the now observed mass, or there would be sterile helium-like nuclei with baryons heavier than protons. Or if much lighter, they would instead be sterile hydrogen protons only.

      And the supersymmetry that can nail the Higgs boson(s) masses are not yet seen. So there are at least two classical tests that now directly threatens non-multiverse theories.

      [Of course there are a lot more tests of direct application of scanning over multiverses. Bousso et al has earlier derived 5 other parameters from multiverses, that only multiverse scanning has predicted as of yet.

      And a few weeks ago Bousso et al added a prediction of the DM/BM coincidence, i.e. why is the mass of dark matter comparable with (5 times more than) baryon matter? AFAIU supersymmetry can’t predict that despite providing particle candidates, but multiverse scanning can!]

      • Leigh Jackson
        Posted June 26, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        The multiverse proposition makes testable predictions – as well as being theoretically predicted. God is purely a proposition.

    • Leigh Jackson
      Posted June 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      The anthropic constants are only an argument for the existence of God, in case there is only one universe; which is not demonstrated. So it’s a lousy argument.

  14. Posted June 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    “…a non-rational foundational starting point that grounds the rest of the discussion”. How can you make a statement like this?? Please go over the words several more times: “non-rational” starting point that “grounds” the rest of the discussion. Mutually exclusive.

    That and: “Is belief in a “God” of some sort necessary in order that the world be rationally understood?”
    You are asking if “faith” (aka: pretending to know things you don’t know) is necessary to understand reality.
    Professor Giberson, do you honestly think this is helping you in any way?

    • Posted June 27, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Gilberson is mentally defective, like the person who has a fear of clowns, the person who is fearful of leaving their house, separation anxiety, etc.

      Like any phobia, such a person as Gilberson will go to seemingly rational, yet totally unreasonable lengths to defend their mental phobia as “OK”.

      His phobia? Fear that there is no afterlife, and once you die, there is nothing. Fear that he will lose his grip on the promise of eternal consciousness.

      • pulseteresa
        Posted June 27, 2013 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        So which is it? Does Giberson suffer from organic brain damage? Or is it dementia? Or some sort of phobia?

        You are obviously not a mental health professional and thus not qualified to diagnose any mental illness, which can’t be done via the internet anyhow. It requires an in person assessment by a mental health professional.

        As someone who worked as a mental health professional for 18 years with people suffering from schizophrenia and given that I have 3 diagnosed mental illnesses myself, I find your repeated comments asserting that someone you read about on the internet is mentally ill not only profoundly ignorant, but deeply offensive as well. You quite obviously don’t know what you’re talking about so I’m asking that you please cut this out. It’s hurtful and simply inaccurate.


  15. Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I would say that Giberson would be totally uninteresting if not for what Jerry notes, he is stumbling into incoherence. Maybe he will get to grips with reality in the end of his sore conflict with it.

    The non-existence of God may not be 100% certain, but I’m happy with 99.23%.

    And unless we specially plead for magic, we can arguably start to handle this as a fact. The existence of the Higgs field may not be 100 % certain, but I’m happy with 5 sigma considering look-elsewhere effects.

    Really, Giberson wants to hide this as a “thoughtful philosophic” gap at some imagined boundary of science. But existence or non-existence is not settled by philosophy.

    Nor is magic especially hard to research, e.g. intercessory prayer studies or the Higgs field exclusion of “souls/afterlife/rebirth” interactions with biochemistry. The boundary of science is a contingent, ever changing front. By definition actually, or we would have no more science.

    Really, as an area that has been around for many millenniums, but let us humor Giberson by conservatively taking 2 millenniums, it has had a history 20 times longer than any area that has become, or not, science. It isn’t even the zombie it used to be, it is a dead idea.

    Giberson, this idea wouldn’t “voom” if you put four million volts through it! ‘E’s bleedin’ demised!

    [Giberson: No no! ‘E’s bleedin’ at the feet of atheists!]

    This idea is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the pew ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies!

    ‘Is empiric processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-IDEA!!

  16. Posted June 26, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Of course Allah was the creator. Do you think some God who can’t even decide if he’s a father, a son, or a see-through spirit could create a universe?

    That is actually a much sounder theological argument than what one usually hears.

  17. eric
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    I also reject the atheist claim that there is no room for discussion of God at the “boundaries of science,” as the beleaguered Dr. Hedin is trying to do. Coyne and the atheists simply don’t understand — or at least pretend to not understand — that such discussions are not necessarily religious.

    Seems to me a ‘boundary of science’ is an area of study where science might be able to find something out, but we’d have to tweak the rules or do things a bit different to possibly succeed. If an idea (like the deist God) is considered empirically untestable in principle, then its not at the boundary of science, is it? Its way beyond it.

    Saying God belongs in a boundary of science class is sort of like saying planck-scale events belong in a ‘boundary of Biology’ class. Um, no. Small molecules are the boundary of biology. Arguably hydrogen chemistry is a boundary of biology, but pretty much any way you want to define it, planck-scale events are nowhere near the boundary.

  18. MikeN
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    My university once offered a course in 4th-year philosophy on “The Existence of God”, basically examining all the classic arguments- ontological, cosmological, design- from a for-and-against standpoint.

    The second year they offered it they added the disclaimer
    “Not a Bible study course.”

    The next year in bold: [b]Not a Bible study course[/b]

    The year after, in bold and all caps: [b]NOT A BIBLE STUDY COURSE [/b]

  19. harrync
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    “To my mind, the non-existence of God is as settled a truth as the non-existence of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or the china teapot orbiting the Earth.” I knew, per Bertrand Russell, that there was a teapot orbiting the sun between Earth and Mars; I did not know there was one actually orbiting the Earth too. Learn something new every day.

  20. Posted June 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Karl Gilberson is mentally ill. Just like a hoarder seems, for all external cues, to be just another Joe, etc etc, hoarders have this mental/mind flaw that will not let them rationally consider huge piles of “stuff” in their dwellings, as worthy of action. I like the one where the guy couldn’t sleep on his king-size bed because the shit was piled three feet high, everywhere on the bed. So, he got a twin-size mattress, and threw it on top of the whole pile. Where to sleep? Problem solved.

    Sounds reasonable. So does Karl Gilberson. But he has a mental defect. Enough said.

  21. Ian Belson
    Posted June 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Bless ceiling cat for Jerry’s clarity of vision. All Ball State has to do is move the course from the science division to philosophy or reliois studies and then we would have nothing to argue about. Anybody who defines science by its methodology, as it should be defined, should see that the course is philosophy or religion not science. None of the books or references listed for the course are evidence based. They are based on opinions that are not supported by any peer accepted evidence. Science by its very nature must be “materialistic”. It can’t posit unseen forces for which there is no evidence and for which there is no way of proving or disproving. Imagination is not evidence.

    • raven
      Posted June 27, 2013 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      That was my thought also.

      Heldin’s course isn’t science.

      Move it to religious studies or philosphy where it belongs. End of problem.

      This is not a hard concept to figure out.

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