Consistent self-contradiction

PZ Myers recounts a visit his blog had from a bunch of Hovind fanatics.

I can summarize their argument very briefly:

  • Your ability to reason comes from god.
  • Therefore, if you use reason, you prove the existence of god.
  • If you use reason to disprove god, you actually prove god.
  • If you claim any of their arguments are logically fallacious, you are using reason, which comes from god, therefore you prove them correct.

Maddening, isn’t it? But at least they’re being consistently self-contradictory. Let’s look at their argument and see what it tells us.

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ID creationists and their grasp of “reality”

The Coppedge v. JPL and CalTech lawsuit is living up to its early promise and perhaps even surpassing it. David Coppedge himself has submitted a deposition which includes—I am not making this up—a screenplay in which he fantasizes about his co-workers reduced to tears and desperately searching for a way to escape from the invincible correctness of ID propaganda. Here’s a tiny sample.


…and there was a sticky note on the DVD package. It had names on it and – I think he’s trying to keep track of who he loans his DVDs out to. I don’t want him to offer me DVDs ever again. I can’t take it. I just can’t! …

You know, I’m an ordained minister in the Metaphysical Interfaith Church and I –

[NARRATOR (or something)]

According to Weisenfelder, she “feared” Coppedge would try to loan her another DVD when she did not want him to contact her again. (Weisenfelder Dep. Tr. 159:25-161-4). This is a difficult thriller to appreciate without more information, but that’s where Weisenfelder’s dramatic confrontation with Coppedge ends.

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Heh, publicity

The creationist lawsuit against the JPL is getting better and better: the Glendale News Press reports that lawyers for David Coppedge tried—unsuccessfully—to bar the press from their client’s religious discrimination lawsuit. [Update: No, I read that wrong, it was attorneys for JPL who requested the press ban, citing privacy concerns for the witnesses.]

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest Hiroshige denied their request without explanation as the trial delved deeper into the beliefs of the plaintiff, David Coppedge, and how the space exploration agency based on scientific research can accommodate employees who wear their faith on their sleeve.

Gonna be Dover all over.

Resistance is… persecution?

This is really not going to end well for the ID creationist community…

“David Coppedge alienated his co-workers by the way he acted with them, and blamed anyone who complained about those interactions,” according to JPL in their response. “He accuses his former project supervisor and line manager of making discriminatory and retaliatory employment decision, when they had in fact protected him for years.”

via Blogs.

One of the problems with being reality-averse is that you also corrupt your ability to assess your own circumstances. I’m sure Coppedge went into this suit convinced that he was going to show the world how prejudiced and unfair everyone else was for resisting his attempts to convert them to his own beliefs. He should have learned his lesson from Bill Buckingham.

Creationist alleges “religious discrimination” at JPL

An Intelligent Design creationist is suing Caltech for allegedly firing him for espousing his beliefs at the workplace.

David Coppedge has sued Caltech, which operates Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA, claiming religious discrimination and retaliation, harassment and wrongful demotion. Officials removed Coppedge from a lead system administrator position on the Cassini mission to Saturn in 2010, and was let go in 2011. Some 200 workers were laid off that same year due to budgetary constraints.

Denying the allegations, in documents filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court, JPL officials allege that Coppedge received a written warning because Coppedge allegedly harassed co-workers about his beliefs.

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Night of the living…plants?

The Washington Post reports that a team of Russian scientists has successfully reanimated a flowering plant from some old seeds. Really old seeds.

The Russian research team recovered the fruit after investigating dozens of fossil burrows hidden in ice deposits on the right bank of the lower Kolyma River in northeastern Siberia, the sediments dating back 30,000-32,000 years.

What makes this so remarkable is that according to top scholars at, this is three times longer than the entire earth has been in existence, making it clear that the Russians have not only resurrected an extremely ancient species, but have found a way to recover plant materials from some other dimension, like maybe heaven. Or something. It’s probably quantum.

Yeah, that’s the ticket. Quantum.

Dialogs with Eric, Part 2: Does God believe what men say?

In my post on salvation by faith, I mentioned the fact that God does not behave as though He believed all the things men say about Him, particularly as concerns His alleged love for us and His alleged desire to be part of a personal, loving and real relationship with each of us. Eric takes issue with this observation, and offers a number of standard Christian responses, but also expresses the wish that I would say more about what I mean. And I’m glad to do so.

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Evidence for God’s incompetence

Writing for ID propaganda haus Evolution News, Casey Luskin criticizes scientists for claiming to have evidence supporting evolution.

In the case of Richard Lenski’s Long Term Evolution Experiments (LTEE) with E. Coli bacteria, we saw that Dennis Venema of BioLogos cited purported examples of natural selection increasing specified and complex information — but intelligent design (ID) proponents had long before critiqued these examples.

As ID proponents keep reminding us, the God of the Bible is simply incapable of creating any natural systems complex and sophisticated enough to generate genuine “complex, specified information.” It’s not surprising, since God never went to college and has no advanced degrees in biology. I rather doubt He even understands the mechanisms proposed by real biologists. But then, that’s not really His fault. You don’t get to choose your own parents, and mythical deities don’t get to choose the educational level of the primitive tribesmen who imagine Them.

Thanks to Mr. Luskin for reminding us of what the “Intelligent Designer” is absolutely and definitively incapable of. It’s reassuring to us unbelievers to know that real people are smarter than He is.