User talk:Philip J. Rayment/Archive 8

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Need a little help

Hi Mr. Rayment, I am a relatively new user (haven't had time & until recently forgot my password) and need a little help. I am not too familiar with how wiki's work (tho I am learning) but I can't quite figure out how to add citations to an article. Any help would be greatly appriciated. Thanks. --Jaster 19:11, 13 September 2008 (EDT)

We've never managed to agree on a particular style, and there are several possible ways of doing it, but they way I do it is this:
  • Where you want the reference in the article, put a pair if reference tags: <ref>{citation reference goes here}</ref>.
  • Between the tags, put the author (surname first), the article name, the publication name (in italics), issue, page number, and publisher. If the article is on-line, link it by using this format: [{url}{space}{article name}].
  • Near the end of the page, if it's not already there, put a References heading: ==References==. Under this put {{reflist|2}}. The "2" indicates that the references will be listed in two columns on browsers that can handle this.
As I said, we've never agreed on a style. Some don't put the surname first. Many couldn't be bothered doing all this and put only the url in the Ref tags. And of course what I've listed above has to be modified depending on the source, such as if it's in a book rather than a periodical or etc.
I hope that's some help, anyway. If you need more information, come back and ask again.
Philip J. Rayment 09:19, 14 September 2008 (EDT)

Thank you for your response, although I have another rather dumb question. Is there any way to make a practice page of some sort so I can keep tips like this as to not mess up existing articles? Thanks again --Jaster 19:10, 16 September 2008 (EDT)

A good idea for this is to create a sub-page to your user page, such as user:JasterMereel/sandbox (although you could call the sub-page anything you want). Philip J. Rayment 22:06, 16 September 2008 (EDT)

Discussions with Benp

Biblical Inerrancy


I enjoy our discussions, and would like to continue discussing the issue of Bible inerrancy with you. However, the Dinosaur talk page is probably not the best place to do so; I'm a little uncomfortable with the length of my last response there already, given that it has nothing at all to do with the topic of the page. Would it be possible to continue the discussion here, or elsewhere? I'm hoping you can understand why I am skeptical of the tenets of inerrancy, despite the fact that I accept the Bible as revealed Truth. --Benp 10:22, 14 September 2008 (EDT)

You are welcome to continue it here, but I can't understand why you are sceptical of inerrancy, especially given your comment here. If it is revealed Truth, from the omniscient God, wouldn't you expect that He gets it right? Philip J. Rayment 10:43, 14 September 2008 (EDT)
Certainly. But the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy, in a practical sense, isn't just about whether God gets it right; it's also about whether we get it right. I'm absolutely confident of the former, nowhere near as confident of the latter.
Allow me to explain. First, though, I'm going to set down the foundational postulates from which I proceed, to make sure we can agree on those.
One: the Bible is revealed Truth. (I am not as convinced that the entire Bible should properly be called the Word of God, but that's another discussion.) I accept that as an article of faith.
Two: The Bible conveys truth in different ways. Some of the truth it conveys is literal; some is metaphorical, allegorical, or otherwise figurative. This is demonstrated by the Bible itself, which affirms that Jesus (and thus God) sometimes teaches in parables.
Three: It is difficult to be sure that one has precisely understood the whole and original intent of an author. This is demonstrated constantly even today, and even in situations where the author and reader share a common language and cultural context. Look at how often people fail to recognize humor on the Internet. It is possible, even within a common framework of language and culture, to miss or otherwise misunderstand figurative language.
Four: It becomes more difficult to be sure that one has precisely understood the whole and original intent of an author if he or she is writing in a different language. It also becomes more difficult if he or she is the product of a different culture. The two together make it much more difficult, particularly if no interpreter with a native understanding of the language and culture is available.
Five: These difficulties apply to the Bible as well, unless God intervenes to ensure that the Bible is understood correctly.
Six: We cannot conclude that God intervenes to ensure that the Bible is understood correctly, because history shows that men...even very sincere, intelligent, and diligent students of the Bible...have misunderstood it in the past, sometimes with significant consequences. While it is possible that God intervenes at times, assuming that he has done so in any specific case is unwarranted; assuming that he has done so in our particular case is both unwarranted and prideful.
Can we agree on these points? --Benp 12:41, 14 September 2008 (EDT)
Yes, I agree on those points, with the following qualifications:
  • I don't see that whether or not we get it right affects inerrancy. The Bible can be inerrant but we still might get it wrong. However, I do note that you said "in a practical sense", so perhaps we do agree here.
  • I agree that there can be difficulties in understanding what other people are saying, and that this applies especially with different languages and cultures. However, I also think that this problem can all too easily be overstated. Communication has the prime purpose of conveying information, and although we have to be careful to ensure that we have understood it correctly, we can't have the attitude that a correct understanding is impossible. In the case of the Bible, everything you say about language and culture is correct, but fails to mention that it has been extensively studied my very many people, so we should be able to understand it better than we understand most other communication that has similar issues. There's also the matter of a confidence level. How certain are you of when you were born? Presumably both your mother and your birth certificate are clear, but can you be 100% certain that they are correct? Perhaps the clock in the hospital was fast? My point is that if we want to be difficult, we can argue that we can never be certain of anything. But in many cases we can be sufficiently confident that what our understanding is correct. This is what I would argue for many aspects of the Bible: we can be sufficiently confident that we understand it correctly to claim something as certain.
Philip J. Rayment 22:50, 14 September 2008 (EDT)
P.S. When I wrote my penultimate message here (dated 10:43, 14 September), I hadn't realised that you had already replied on the Dinosaur talk page. I will get to that when I have time. Philip J. Rayment 22:58, 14 September 2008 (EDT)

Thank you for the response, Philip. I think we're in agreement on the essential point, here: the Bible reveals truth, but man is capable of misunderstanding that truth. I believe we differ largely in degree: you seem to believe (as, I would say, do most inerrantists) that modern Bible exegesis and textual criticism have rendered an understanding of the autographic texts that is essentially correct, with only minor and insignificant areas of uncertainty. I am by no means convinced of that.
It is indeed true that the texts have been extensively studied--indeed, scholars have studied them and debated the meaning almost since the autographic texts were penned. Consider, for instance, the Arian heresy; the issue of Christ's precise relationship to God the Father, something that is now considered to be at the absolute heart of faith, was in dispute a mere handful of centuries after His death.
I agree that we can be sufficiently confident of God's message in general--certainly, it is unlikely that someone is going to discover an error in translation which establishes that Christ did not rise again on the third day, or that it's the moneylenders and hypocrites who were really in God's good graces. Modern scholarship HAS made a great deal of progress, after all; in particular, modern scholars have access to a far wider range of texts than did their forebears.
I disagree, however, with the idea that we can be totally certain of which passages in the autographic texts are meant to be taken literally and which metaphorically. Certainly, there are sections of the Bible which are clearly related in a poetic mode, and certain sections which are clearly related in a more straightforward historical narrative--but figurative language is not exclusively confined to the poetic. Likewise, I remain profoundly skeptical that our grasp of idiom and cultural context is sufficient to be certain that we will invariably recognize metaphor.
Consider, for instance, the following statement: "Buffalo is a very cool place during the fall; however, during the summer, it's too hot for me." How is the word "cool" meant in that sentence? Did I, the author, mean to make a comparison of temperatures, or did I mean to express my preference for Buffalo during the fall? Can you say with certainty which it is? If not, consider that that's a relatively simple statement in our common native tongue, and that we have the advantage of a common frame of reference when it comes to colloquialism. A commentator a hundred years ago wouldn't even have recognized that "cool" had a possible alternate meaning; a commentator a hundred years from now might similarly miss the alternate meaning.
Consider, too, the profound effects which can result from a single mistranslated word...for instance, interpreting "raquia" as "firmament" as opposed to "expanse," resulting in the steadfast belief of many generations of great scholars and thinkers--men who most earnestly studied the Bible--of a solid dome above our heads. Martin Luther, for one, believed that Scripture mandated a solid firmament on which the stars were fixed, with waters above and below, and earnestly argued that evidence to the contrary should be rejected.
Can we be certain that no such words exist in the Bible today? I would suggest that "yom" is a very likely candidate, and there are quite a number of Bible scholars who agree. There are also, of course, Bible scholars who insist that "yom" in Genesis cannot refer to anything but a 24-hour period. I don't doubt their sincerity or their scholarship...but Martin Luther was also a great scholar of the Bible, to be sure, as was St. Augustine. Even great scholars can be in error. --Benp 17:02, 15 September 2008 (EDT)
"Consider, for instance, the Arian heresy; the issue of Christ's precise relationship to God the Father, something that is now considered to be at the absolute heart of faith, was in dispute a mere handful of centuries after His death.": It is still in dispute now. My understanding is that it was never in serious dispute. Rather, like now, there was then a small fringe group (or groups) that disputed it.
(From the Dinosaur talk page): "When an assertion is made concerning the original meaning of the Bible, and when this assertion conflicts with observed evidence, it is likely that the assertion is in error.": Perhaps I should have answered this in the sub-section below, but it seems to fit into this discussion better. Although this is true to some extent, I think it is misleading. First, much of what we are discussion is not "observed", often because we are talking about past events. Second, just as it is possible to misunderstand someone's words, it is also possible to misread the observed evidence.
"I disagree, however, with the idea that we can be totally certain of which passages in the autographic texts are meant to be taken literally and which metaphorically.": Apart from a pedantic total certainty, I don't really agree with this. For most practical purposes, we can be certain.
"...interpreting "raquia" as "firmament" as opposed to "expanse," ...": This site seems to suggest that this was more of a translation error rather than an interpretation error, and I'd add one that was likely reinforced by pagan cosmologies rather than simply misunderstanding what the Bible itself was saying.
"I would suggest that "yom" is a very likely candidate, and there are quite a number of Bible scholars who agree.": This is actually a very poor example to run with. You say that " is unlikely that someone is going to discover an error in translation which establishes that Christ did not rise again on the third day..". I would argue that yom meaning an ordinary day is a much stronger case. (Although all acknowledge that it can mean an indefinite period of time in the right context.) Reasons to think that yom refers to an ordinary day in Genesis 1 include the following (just mentioned briefly):
  • It is defined as an evening and morning.
  • When used with "morning", "evening", or a number, it always means an ordinary day. In Genesis it is used with all three.
  • Creation week (six yom plus one yom of rest) is the basis for our week (Exodus 20:11).
  • Adam was created on the sixth day, lived through the seventh, and died around 900 years later. This means that a yom cannot be millions or even thousands of years.
If that's not enough, I would point out that, despite your reference to "Bible scholars" (a rather vague grouping), the experts are in agreement that it means an ordinary day. See Creation week for a quote from James Barr.
Further, those that argue that yom is not an ordinary day in Genesis 1 do so for extra-biblical reasons! (And not "observations".) See old Earth Creationism for supporting evidence.
For a more detailed explanation of this particular issue, see Chapter 2 of the Creation Answers Book.
So when we look at a supposed "likely candidate" in support of your point, it actually supports my contention that we can be sufficiently certain.
Philip J. Rayment 09:37, 16 September 2008 (EDT)

I'm not sure of what those extra-Biblical reasons would be, Philip; I would be curious to hear them. Most of the arguments I've heard in support of a day-age interpretation of Genesis do, in fact, focus on textual cues--largely those in the sixth day, and the language employed to describe the creation of plants. I suppose one could say that the arguments concerning Adam and how fast he would have had to talk to name all of the creatures in one day could be considered extra-Biblical, but I don't really think they are; they're simply asking if it's reasonable, given what we know, that it could be accomplished in the period of one day.
"Bible scholars" is indeed a nebulous term. On the other hand, so is "the experts"--there's a good reason for the old joke saying "The experts are the ones who agree with me, and the crackpots are the ones who disagree with me."
Errors of translation frequently result from errors of interpretation (as opposed to, say, errors of transcription.) As for the issue of whether views on the firmament and geocentrism were influenced by non-Christian cosmologies and worldviews, I'd say that they absolutely were...but that's yet another reason we should be cautious in our own conclusions. People don't exist in a vacuum, and neither do worldviews and interpretations. We have preconceptions that shape our entire mode of thinking, and those preconceptions are very different from those of someone living a thousand or two thousand years ago. How much do those preconceptions skew our perceptions when it comes to the intent of the original authors of the Bible? Frankly, I don't know the answer to that. --Benp 16:19, 16 September 2008 (EDT)
Arrgh! People who don't read references! Those extra-biblical reasons were in the link to Old Earth Creationism. No, I would not consider Adam naming the animals to be an extra-biblical reason, but that particular objection is covered in the link to chapter 2 of the Creation Answers Book. And I agree that "experts" is also nebulous (good term; I wish I'd thought of using that one), but the link I gave was more specific as to who those experts were.
As to your final point, this is where good scholarship and the counsel of many comes in; to keep things on track. Again, the link to Old Earth Creationism shows that the old-Earth view is extra-biblical; I don't believe that the same can be said for the YEC view (which is not to deny that YECs use science etc. to "flesh out" the biblical framework). Philip J. Rayment 22:25, 16 September 2008 (EDT)
Ah. My apologies. I did, in fact, read the article, but it seems to me that the majority of the "reasons" boiled down to the principle I voiced above: when an interpretation is in conflict with observed evidence, it calls the interpretation (not the Bible itself) into question. I suppose the fact that I hold a similar belief may have blinded me to the fact that it would be viewed as an "extra-Biblical reason."
I'm curious, though, as to your opinions on the sixth-day arguments, if you're familiar with them. If not, I'll see if I can find some solid sources explaining the line of reasoning. --Benp 16:59, 17 September 2008 (EDT)
I can sort of see where you are coming from with the "observed evidence" reason, but only because of the bit about you being blinded. The point is, we are talking about things that happened thousands or millions and billions of years ago (depending on which you believe), and as such it is not "observed" evidence.
I'm not sure what you are referring to by "the language employed to describe the creation of plants", but as for Adam naming the animals, that, and more, is covered in the link I provided above to chapter 2 of the Creation Answers Book.
Philip J. Rayment 05:45, 18 September 2008 (EDT)

(unindent) If I understand your point to be that we can't observe evidence of things that happened thousands or millions of years ago, I'm afraid I'm going to have to politely contest that; clearly, we can. We can't observe the phenomenon itself; likewise, we cannot prove that a past event happened in a certain way. We can certainly observe evidence, though; with enough evidence, we can say with some confidence that the phenomenon probably happened in a certain way.

If I hear a crash and walk into the kitchen, only to be greeted by a shattered dish of ice cream on the floor and a guilty-looking cat on the counter, I have evidence that the cat probably knocked over the dish. I don't have proof, but I do have observable evidence. Of course, it's also possible that something else knocked over the dish and the cat came out to investigate the noise; thus, it would be foolish of me to be absolutely certain that I have correctly interpreted the evidence. --Benp 17:10, 19 September 2008 (EDT)

My point is that we can't observe the thing occurring thousands or millions of years ago. We can certainly observe evidence that resulted from those events, but what caused that evidence is open to interpretation. For example, was ...
  • [the evidence] the Grand Canyon formed by
  • [a possible causal event] a little bit of water (the Colorado River) over a long period of time (gradually eroding away the canyon),
or ...
  • [an alternative causal event] a lot of water (either Noah's Flood runoff or a later breach of a natural dam) over a short period of time?
That is, there can be more than one different interpretation of the evidence.
As for your shattered ice cream dish example, suppose your brother told you that he knocked over the dish. Would you then say, "sorry, but the evidence is that the cat did it. I must interpret your claim in the light of the 'observations' that I have made of the evidence". That is a more accurate analogy of what we are talking about. God has told us what He did, and you are saying that we must understand His account in the light of "observation", but which is not actually observation of the causal events occurring, but an interpretation of the results of the causal events, and furthermore, an interpretation that specifically rules out God's claim a priori!
Philip J. Rayment 20:02, 19 September 2008 (EDT) opposed to the a priori assumption that it is God's claim, based on a number of further a priori assumptions...including the assumption that the Bible is inerrant (as opposed to infallible,) and that the Bible was intended to be a guide to literal truths about the physical world.
Moreover, the scientific method doesn't rule out such claims; it simply rules out attributing them to God. If the evidence strongly supports a global flood, it strongly supports a global flood regardless of whether it was caused by God or by strictly natural causes. If the evidence indicates that the world is six thousand years old, then it indicates that the world is six thousand years old regardless of causality.
But the evidence doesn't support that...or, if it does, then the vast majority of scientists are either conspirators or utterly incompetent. A conspiracy of that size is difficult to credit, given that scientists tend to be a rather self-centered lot, squabbling for recognition and funding. The incompetence is difficult to credit because...well, because things work. It's hard to reconcile "Scientists are so badly misled about how radioactivity behaves that they misinterpret decay rates by a factor of a million or more" with "Nuclear reactors work." It's hard to reconcile "Scientists have misinterpreted the speed of light" with "Every measurement taken confirms predictions based on the idea that the light's more than six thousand years old."
If my brother says something in ancient Aramaic, and I happen to know that in the past, when he's said something in ancient Aramaic, it's been misunderstood from time to time, AND what I think he's saying doesn't mesh well with the evidence, then I'm going to wonder if he's actually saying "I broke the dish."
God has told us what He did, but I will always remain uncomfortable with the unspoken codicil "...and we understand his instructions perfectly." I have faith that He exists; I don't need Genesis to be literal truth for that. --Benp 21:15, 19 September 2008 (EDT)
So now you are moving right away from interpreting the Bible on the basis of observations to finding any reason that you can to doubt what the Bible is, in many cases, clearly saying.
"as opposed to the a priori assumption that it is God's claim": I'm not sure what you are getting at here. In stating that "the Bible reveals truth" and "we can be sufficiently confident of God's message in general", I took it that you were agreeing that there is an a priori assumption that it is God Who is saying these things, and the only question left is 'have we understood Him correctly?'. I'm making no a priori assumption that we have understood Him correctly. Further, I also took it that you were agreeing that what the Bible (and therefore God) appeared to be saying (e.g. six ordinary days) was the starting point, and we only deviate from that if there is good observational evidence to think otherwise. Yet absolutely nothing in your last post constitutes observational evidence contradicting a straightforward reading of the Bible.
What on Earth is the distinction between "inerrant" and "infallible" in this context? If the Bible is infallible (incapable of error), then it is inerrant (without error).
"...the assumption that ... the Bible was intended to be a guide to literal truths about the physical world.": Assumption? A very large part of the Bible is history, that is, "literal truths about the physical world", including that Jesus (the incarnate God) existed in the Roman province of Israel about 2,000 years ago, that He was crucified, and that He rose again. And as Paul said:

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 1_Corinthians 15:13-17

And Jesus Himself said:

I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? John 3:12

He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses [which includes the creation account—PJR] and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' Luke 16:31

So the Bible is clearly claiming to talk about "literal truths about the physical world". It is no "assumption". Further, Jesus and others such as Paul specifically referred to various events in Genesis, such as the creation of man and woman, the flood of Noah, etc. as real events.
"...the scientific method doesn't rule out such claims; it simply rules out attributing them to God...". First, there is no reason for the scientific method to rule out attributing claims to God. Second, my point was that many scientists (not science itself) rules out the claims themselves. That is, scientists rule out a priori that there was a great flood. See for example the carbon dating article.
"If the evidence strongly supports a global flood, it strongly supports a global flood regardless of whether it was caused by God or by strictly natural causes.": Except that, as I've already explained, the evidence is interpreted, and this interpretation is done according to one's worldviews. Furthermore, it is obvious that many scientists reject outright almost any explanation that agrees with the Bible, simply because it would provide support for the Bible's claims.
"But the evidence doesn't support that...or, if it does, then the vast majority of scientists are either conspirators or utterly incompetent.": Or, as I would argue, blinded by their worldview.
"The incompetence is difficult to credit because...well, because things work.": As far as evolutionary explanations go, no they don't. And that's what we are talking about here—explanations about the past, not observations, which is what the scientific method is concerned with.
"It's hard to reconcile "Scientists are so badly misled about how radioactivity behaves that they misinterpret decay rates by a factor of a million or more" with "Nuclear reactors work."": Except that nobody is claiming that they are "misinterpreting decay rates by a factor of a million or more". That is a straw-man argument. Rather, they are basing their views on uniformitarian assumptions, because they don't, as Lewontin admitted[1], want to "allow a Divine Foot in the door".
"If my brother says something in ancient Aramaic, ... I'm going to wonder if he's actually saying "I broke the dish." ": You previously said that you would question the understanding based on observation. Yet in this analogy, you did not "observe" the dish being broken. So you are questioning what was said on the basis of something external to the source (your brother/the Bible) for reasons other than observation.
"...I will always remain uncomfortable with the unspoken codicil "...and we understand his instructions perfectly."": That's another straw-man, because nobody is claiming perfection. Rather, we are claiming the ability to reasonably understand what is clear, and to trust the Word of the infallible God Who knows over the words of fallible men who were not there to observe and who, in many cases, reject God's involvement outright.
"I have faith that He exists; I don't need Genesis to be literal truth for that.": Yes you do, in a sense. Biblically, "faith" is trust based on evidence. Without the evidence, what you have is not "faith", but "blind faith". For "faith", you must have evidence. If the creation accounts are not literally true, then there was no perfect creation spoiled by sin, and therefore no need of a Saviour, and therefore your "faith" is in vain.
Philip J. Rayment 01:57, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

You frequently say that, Philip, but I have yet to see Scriptural support for the notion that faith requires evidence. Some of Christ's followers demanded evidence, but that's hardly held up as an ideal. Nor is the claim true, in this case. I do not need to believe in the literal claim that sin came from one man to believe in original sin; I know that God sometimes chooses by allegory and parable, and it's easy enough for me to accept that He would use the example of one man, rather than saying "Mankind rejected the initial gift of grace." As for the fact that Christ spoke of it--what of it? My faith is broad enough to allow for the possibility that the same God who chose to reveal the truths of the world through allegory would refer to them in the same way when He came to Earth. My faith is strong enough to accept the possibility of Genesis as a parable.
Has every Christian who ever lived had evidence of the sort we're discussing? Many of them, being illiterate, lacked even the evidence of a direct reading of the Scruptures. All they had was other men...fallible, sinful, earnest, well-intentioned men...assuring them that it was so. And yet...they had faith. Sufficient faith to die for it, in many cases.
I think that claiming that faith requires evidence belittles faith, Philip. Job certainly didn't have much evidence that a loving God was watching over him when he was being tested, and yet he had faith.
I'm going to try to address your points one-by-one, but it's getting to the point where it's difficult; please forgive me if I overlook anything.
1. "So now you are moving right away from interpreting the Bible on the basis of observations to finding any reason that you can to doubt what the Bible is, in many cases, clearly saying.
No, Philip, I'm not; please don't put words into my mouth. I know that you know how frustrating it can be to have opponents attack a caricature of your position, and I have tried my best not to do so. It seems as if I may have unintentionally done so in some cases, and I apologize for that.
I reject the "clearly" as overconfident, based on past instances where things that the Bible "clearly" stated were proven wrong. Now, we have explanations for WHY they were wrong today, of course--this was a mistranslation, that was the result of not cross-referencing with the Vulgate, the other was due to influence by pagan tradition. Five hundred years from now, I wonder what explanations will be offered for the times we got it wrong?

2. 'A priori' claims:
I do agree with you that the Bible is truth revealed by God. That makes it an a priori assumption we both share, and an a priori assumption I happen to think is right...but the fact that it's an a priori assumption I happen to share and agree with does not mean it's not an a priori assumption. We both begin from the assumption that the Bible reveals truth, Philip; it's only honest to acknowledge that.
3. Inerrancy vs. infallibility:
I should perhaps have said "Spiritual infallibility," but I do not precisely subscribe to the tenets of that doctrine. Nonetheless, I present it here: the premise that the Bible is infallible in matters pertaining to faith. I have an article somewhere by a writer named Howard Loewen which speaks to this issue, but I couldn't lay hands on it at the moment--doubtless, it's still boxed up after the move. If I can find it, I'll try to share some excerpts with you.
In a sense, though, you and I share the same view: the Bible isn't useful to us for certain things because it wasn't meant to be useful for those things. The Bible isn't useful to us in plant biology, for instance, because it was written from the viewpoint that plants aren't alive--whereas plant biology is based on the fundamental assumption that they are.
4. Evolutionary scientists are blinded by their worldview:
To this, I have to ask the question: how did they come to be blinded by that worldview? How is it that the scientists of a strongly Christian society defected en masse to this worldview, if other, better explanations for the evidence exist? I see circular reasoning here, Philip: those who believe that the evidence shows evolution believe it because they're blinded by their worldview, and that worldview came about as a result of examining the evidence and concluding that it showed evolution.
You can speak of a monolithic scientific establishment dedicated to preserving that worldview...but how did that establishment ever come to be?
5. Scientists rule out the Great Flood a priori:
Again, I think that that's an unfair simplification. Some may; I think the majority have simply looked at the evidence and said "This doesn't explain what we're seeing." Flood geology was in doubt well before Darwin came along, and many of the explanations offered have very significant problems--the several hypotheses offered for the sorting of fossils springing immediately to mind. (Many of the explanations also go well outside of what the Bible actually says, including the "floating mats of vegetation" argument, particularly when coupled with the argument that that's where all the insects survived.)
6. You previously said that you would question the understanding based on observation. Yet in this analogy, you did not "observe" the dish being broken. So you are questioning what was said on the basis of something external to the source (your brother/the Bible) for reasons other than observation.
I'm basing it, rather, on other observations. I have observed that my brother says things in ancient Aramaic; I have observed that these are sometimes misunderstood. I have observed that the cat is in a position to have knocked over the dish, whereas I have not observed that my brother is in a similar position (after all, he wasn't in the kitchen when I ran in.) I did not observe the incident, but the observations I can make lead me to question my understanding of my brother's words.
Of course, we're not talking about my brother's direct words; we're talking about a written account of those words authored by other people. Some of them are relating things my brother actually said; some of them are relating things they believe my brother wanted them to say.
That brings us to another point of serious concern for me: I am not comfortable with treating "God's Word" and "the Bible" as synonymous. Please correct me if I'm mistaken on this, but my own reading of the Bible has led me to believe that "God's Word" is used only in very specific contexts. God is the Word; Christ is the Word; God's own direct words are the Word.
Those are the only ways in which I have found "God's Word" used. Never once (in my experience) is "God's Word" used to refer to Scripture, or to the writings of others. The only time I can find it used to refer to writing at all is the Commandments, which are directly written by God. If there are other uses, please correct me.
All Scripture is God-breathed, and useful for instruction, but that leaves a lot of room for questions. Is "The Bible" synonymous with "All Scripture?" Is "God-breathed" the same as "God's Word?" In what manner is a given piece of Scripture "useful for instruction?"
I'm going to pause here, because this is really starting to become long and unwieldy. I think it might be better if we try to discuss one point at a time, just for the sake of your poor talk page. --Benp 11:00, 20 September 2008 (EDT)
On faith being based on evidence, see here.
"Original sin" is the idea that Adam sinned, and we have all inherited a sinful state from him, because we are all descended from him. So yes, it does require that it come from one man.
God does sometimes use allegory and parable, but allegory and parable can only be used to illustrate a doctrine, not as the basis for a doctrine.
Is your faith "broad" enough to accept that God did it the way that He said He did? Is your faith broad enough to believe that God is capable of communicating His revelation to us in clear terms? You appear to be finding any excuse you can (presumably sub-consciously) to make God's revelation fit the ideas of sinful men. Is your faith broad enough to accept that Genesis is written as narrative? Actually, it seems that you have blind "faith" that God exists, but expect evidence for many other biblical claims, such as the Flood, rather than accept those claims on faith! Is your faith not "broad" enough to accept what the Bible says when fallible humans say otherwise? Will you only accept what the Bible says when you have evidence to back it up?
Not all Christians have had the same evidence. But I would expect that all have had some evidence, even if it's merely personal experience. Which is what Job likely had.
Requiring evidence does not belittle faith. The Bereans were commended for checking out (i.e. finding supporting evidence) what they were told. The Bible frequently talks about evidence, including Romans 1:20 saying that men are without excuse because the evidence in his creation is clear (to paraphrase). The Bible, unlike most (all?) other "holy books" is replete with historical data that can be checked. That is, it is full of supportive evidence.
Regarding things being clear, you cite examples like "firmament", which is a single word that was mistranslated, but I'm talking about "day" (yom) and a whole list of reasons I gave why it was an ordinary day. What I'm saying is that you can't use isolated examples of obscure terms as an excuse to justify sweeping away other claims that are much clearer. That is, according to your logic, there's pretty well nothing in the Bible that we can be sure of! And you have no observations of the actual time period to counter that, only deductions and explanations based on observations. So I believe that my description was accurate.
I did acknowledge an a priori assumption. But I rejected that a different claim was an a priori assumption.
I've already answered the bit about the Bible being infallible "in matters pertaining to faith". If you can't trust it on the Earthly (historical) things, why trust it on the heavenly (faith) things? The Bible does not claim to be a scientific textbook (which is just as well, as scientific textbooks go out of date rather rapidly), but that doesn't mean that it's not accurate when it touches on biological, for example, matters. It says, for instance, that plants were to reproduce after their kind, which, biology confirms, they do! By the way, "observations" also tell us that people don't rise from the dead, so by your logic, the Bible must be wrong about Jesus rising from the dead.
Scientists did not defect en masse. Anti-biblical ideas were gradually introduced (long ages in the late 18th century, evolution in the mid 19th century, for example), and were pushed by godless men, many of whom were not scientists, and not because of the evidence. It has been well documented by Terry Mortensen that the better scientists—the ones that addressed the evidence—were the "scriptural geologists" who believed what the Bible said, not the others who tended to be more "armchair experts". Long ages and evolution tended to be taken up initially not by the scientists, but by others, and in fact much of Darwin's early opposition came from scientists. Darwin himself offered very little evidence. In fact one of his contemporaries wrote
I have also seldom read a scientific book which makes such wide-ranging conclusions with so few facts supporting them. … Darwin wants to show that Arten [types, kinds, species] come from other Arten. I regard this as somewhat of a highhanded hypothesis, because he argues using unproven possibilities, without even naming a single example of the origin of a particular species.
This was quoted in this article just published, which I recommend you read because it addresses a number of the things you have said.
Hutton, the founder of uniformitarianism, the basis of much of geology, ruled out Noah's Flood a priori when he declared as a matter of philosophy, not evidence, that we are to understand the geological record in terms of what we see happening today.[2]. It's not an "unfair simplification" at all.
On your point 6, as already mentioned, this is an explanation based on observation; it's not observation itself.
I was using "God's Word" as a synonym for the Bible, regardless of whether that is the way the Bible itself uses it. But 2_Timothy 2:9 and Hebrews 5:12 appear to be using it as synonymous with Scripture. But that's just looking at that particular term. You mention 2_Timothy 3:16 : "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness". "All Scripture" is obviously, at the very least, the Old Testament, which is what the Jews at the time considered to be their scriptures.
Really, you are picking and choosing which parts of the Bible you are going to believe, and all for the sake of trying to accommodate what, in truth, is the atheist origins myth, which is a story about how things came to be that is intended[3][4] to exclude God.
Philip J. Rayment 12:26, 20 September 2008 (EDT)


So--again--how did those inferior scientists and non-scientists manage to displace a theory which is supposedly strongly supported by evidence with one that supposedly lacks such support? I'll take a look at the articles you cited when I have a bit more time, and see if they speak to that point.

I genuinely wonder, though--to someone who has not been exposed to the Bible at all, what would the evidence indicate? It's very hard to say, since it would be virtually impossible to find a person with the education to examine the evidence who hasn't at least been exposed to the ideas in the Bible, either sympathetically or antithetically.

2 Timothy confirms that Scripture is God-breathed. It does not refer to it as God's Word, and I think that it's an important distinction. God's Word, by my reading, has a very specific meaning, and to elevate anything else to the same status is to say that it is God. As for 2 Timothy 2:9, I have never read that as saying that the whole of his gospel was God's Word--but rather that Christ's Resurrection was God's Word (as, indeed, it was--Christ Himself said it, and thus it is the Word of God.)

That's a distinction I really do think is important.

I'm honestly not sure where you're going with Hebrews 5. I don't recall it even mentioning God's Word, though I'll be honest and admit that my memory is unreliable, especially outside of the KJV. In any case, if it's the passage I'm thinking of, what it says boils down to, "You're so boneheaded that you need to be reminded of what God has said." If I'm right, it's good, sound advice, but I don't remember anything linking it to Scripture specifically.

At any rate, I probably won't be able to respond further for a few days. I'll try to read the articles and references you suggest during that time. God bless.

--Benp 16:01, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

" did those inferior scientists and non-scientists manage to displace a theory which is supposedly strongly supported by evidence with one that supposedly lacks such support?": By starting with a different assumption, one that sinful man likes the idea of: that there was no God, or at least no God that had anything to do with anything much. And by doing it gradually, eating away bit by bit. The article I suggested you read says that "philosopher Daniel Dennett calls Darwinism a universal acid that ‘eats through virtually every traditional concept’—mankind’s most cherished beliefs about God, value, meaning, purpose, culture, morality—everything."
Let's step away from the details of this discussion for a moment, and allow me to ask, what do you believe about God, Jesus, etc., and why? Do you, for example, believe that Jesus is God? Do you believe that he was born of a virgin? Do you believe that he died, was buried, rose again, and ascended into heaven? Do you believe that Adam was a real person? What about Eve? Do you believe that Adam was made from the dust of the ground? What about Eve? And why do you believe these things?
Philip J. Rayment 23:19, 20 September 2008 (EDT)

Dinosaur discussion continuation

This is a continuation of a discussion on the Dinosaur talk page.

Regarding the Bible classifying "life" as creatures that which "breath[e] air through their nostrils", I got this wrong, sorry. It was off the top of my head, and I was clearly getting two different things confused, one being the reference to creatures that died in the flood. However, my basic point was correct, as you agreed, even though I got the definition wrong. The previous poster claimed that plants and bacteria were alive, and it is this that I was refuting, by pointing out that the Bible classifies things in a different way to modern science. For a discussion on what the Bible does say about this, see pages 96 and 97 of The Creation Answers Book (second and third pages here). But again I apologise, particularly given that you obviously spent some effort refuting my incorrect claim.

"Is my skepticism when someone says "The Bible says..." or "The Biblical definition is..." arrogance? Perhaps.": No, scepticism of a claim is not arrogance. Rejecting inerrancy on the basis that you "find it extremely difficult to imagine" is what I was referring to. But I guess you did only express scepticism, not outright rejection, so I withdraw the comment.

I think most of the rest of your post on that page is or will be covered in other posts above.

Philip J. Rayment 08:51, 16 September 2008 (EDT)

Not a problem at all. I'm glad we could find common ground; it's always refreshing to talk with someone who is willing to admit to mistakes. That's a rare thing nowadays, unfortunately. --Benp 16:19, 16 September 2008 (EDT)

Template question

Since you seem to be doing most of the work with the templates, do you think it would be wise to create a template like this one? HenryS 00:46, 15 September 2008 (EDT)

That's not actually a template question. Such a template is merely a predefined notice to make it easy to put such notices on talk pages. The real question is, do we want to start putting such notices on talk pages? Personally, I don't think that there's that much of a need, but if there is some sort of consensus that there is a need, then obviously a template would facilitate doing that. Philip J. Rayment 02:46, 15 September 2008 (EDT)

Request for your opinion

Philip, can you take a look at this proposed project and let me know what you think on its Talk page? Essay: Conservapedia Questions for the 2008 Presidential Candidates. Thanks. --DinsdaleP 22:13, 16 September 2008 (EDT)

News suggestions

Philip, since you post to the "In the news" section of the Main page, I'm requesting your help with the [[Wikiproject:News/Suggestions#New_Suggestion|News suggestions]]. So far, 54 of these suggestions have already been posted to the Main page and moved to the [[Wikiproject:News/Suggestions/Archives|suggestion archives]]. With your help, we can continue to receive and post positive suggestions from our editors.

Please review the [[Wikiproject:News/Suggestions#New_Suggestion|suggestions]]. If you like one (or more of them), please post the article(s) on Template:Mainpageright and add a note that you posted their suggestion. If you don't like a suggestion, add a comment and the suggestion will be moved to the suggestions talk page. I will take care of the rest (archiving, updating counts, etc). Thanks for your assistance. --DeanStalk 11:09, 18 September 2008 (EDT)

Favour please

Philip, would you be kind enough to change the Article Heading for "Trade winds" to "Trade Winds" please? AlanE 22:05, 18 September 2008 (EDT)

The existing title conforms to the Manual of Style, so I won't change it as you request. However, I would be happy to change it to Trade wind, as singular titles are the norm, although the Manual of Style doesnt' (yet) require that. Philip J. Rayment 22:51, 18 September 2008 (EDT)
Fair enough...I'll change the links - those I can remember. I will also do a redirect from "Trade Winds" because of the poem/song. Thanks.AlanE 23:00, 18 September 2008 (EDT)
You don't need to remember. Each page has a "What links here" link in the column on the left. So Special:Whatlinkshere/Trade winds tells you what pages have links that should be updated. Philip J. Rayment 23:13, 18 September 2008 (EDT)
Philip, I have to disagree with the singular. My Random House Dict. has both, my Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea has them indexed under plural as do two books on the Earth's climate, my 1959 Chambers Encyclopedia, John Masefield, my battered old 4th and 5th year high school geography text books (1958 would you believe!) and the official Oz Met. Bureau "Australian Weather Book". A very quick rummage inside some of my books on discovery and maritime history that don't have the term indexed have "they picked up the trades" and phrases like that. In fact I can't find a singular at all amongst my books. I see wp has it listed as "trade wind" but reverts to the plural immediately. Still, if all the various versions ("trade wind" "Trade wind", "trade winds", "tradewinds", "trades" etc. are directed to the same place, then fair enough. Oh...and I found a CP article "Tradewinds"...can that be deleted or redirected or whatever? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by AlanE (talk)
I assumed when I suggested it that the singular would be the normal use unless talking about more than one. For example, the Roaring Forties would be one trade wind. You've made me wonder, though, if even "one" such wind would be referred to as trade winds. Nevertheless, as you point out, the singular is used, even if it is more common to talk about more than one. Britannica also uses the singular[5], as does my World Book encyclopedia. So even with further consideration, I still think that naming the article in the singular is more appropriate, although I'm open to being convinced otherwise. I'd suggest that tradewinds be turned into a redirect to trade wind, and you can do that just as easily as I can. Philip J. Rayment 05:08, 19 September 2008 (EDT)

Philip, I was unable to reply to your last comments as I was locked out; then did family things over the weekend…… “Trade winds” is a usage thing. The odd general reference book has it as singular, but all the specialist books (that I can find here) have it as a plural either as an idex item, or in context. These are books on climate/weather including our own Met. Bureau’s, and books on maritime subjects…exploration, shipping, the “age of sail”, biographies of nautical figures and the like. Masefield (whose poem I threw in in a fit of romantic fancy) spent time as a merchant seaman and he refers to “them”, not “it” in a piece about a specific harbour on a specific island. “Trade wind” might be an American thing, I don’t know, and if you want it that I way, there’s nothing I can do about it; I have been in love with that sail-driven era since I was a boy and the sound of the singular is unfamiliar to me. And you never see or hear it shortened to anything but trades. (I was thinking of emailing this, but for some reason AlanE has never been able to activate one – see the discussion last year on my talk page. However an email address is on my user page…) AlanE 15:41, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

I've copied this discussion to talk:trade wind so that others can comment if desired. Philip J. Rayment 02:35, 5 October 2008 (EDT)

You might be interested in this

Given your battles on this site you may enjoy reading this. MrMike 23:03, 18 September 2008 (EDT)

I don't enjoy it at all. That the Catholic Church has by and large (albeit not officially) accepted evolution is no cause for joy. And like the new Anglican web-site that endorses evolution, it totally fails to actually address any of the numerous arguments that creationists make, simply dismissing them instead. But thanks for pointing this out to me. Philip J. Rayment 23:17, 18 September 2008 (EDT)
I was making no statement of joy/unhappiness. My point was that you have battled this here for some time and I was merely showing what we all knew, you were right. Not that I expect it to change anything here. MrMike 23:21, 18 September 2008 (EDT)
I was just being my typical pedantic self: you said that I may "enjoy" reading it. And I don't think this proves that I was right. It is simply one more opinion by a Catholic as to what the Pope meant. To that extent, it does support my argument, but doesn't really add anything new. Philip J. Rayment 23:32, 18 September 2008 (EDT)

I wonder why they back evolution. Maybe they all, the Pontifical Academy of Science included, are just stupid and easily convinced. Maybe they are part of the Evil Liberal Conspiracy. Or maybe Jack Chick is right about the Catholic Church in his tracts. What do you think? --CrossC 08:02, 19 September 2008 (EDT)

What do I think? I think you're probably trying to stir up trouble. No, they are not stupid. And no, they are not part of a conspiracy. I'm not sure exactly what Jack Chick says about them, but I doubt he's quite right either. The scientists in the Pontifical Academy aren't even all Christians, let alone Catholics, and even the ones that are, along with most other Catholics, have really only heard one side of the argument, so it's understandable that they'd think they way they do. The Bible knows what it is talking about, after all: Proverbs 18:17 . Philip J. Rayment 10:07, 19 September 2008 (EDT)
I don't think he was stirring the pot. He was probably a Catholic believing in Evolution, like me. Remember, the Church used to believe in Creationism, and Darwin was opposed when he first explained his ideas. But then the Catholic Church changed its mind. Nice quote that of Proverbs 18:17. I wish everybody gets the chance to question the first ideas. Unfortunately, there are places where this is not possible. Leopeo 10:36, 19 September 2008 (EDT) (back after a long time and amazed at the many changes)


Philip, I see that you have reverted this edit. Two things:

(1) I don't, contrary to what you stated, remove things merely because I don't like them. I removed the sentence because it was uncited. It was also clearly a contentious proposition. The scientists involved in the find were of the view that the material was in the order of 65 million years old. I understand that they had some expertise in the area. Do you suggest that they were unaware of the "scientific studies" referred to?

(2) You stated that the following references supported the sentence. I read them and I could see no reference to any scientific studies showing that biological matter cannot last anything like 65 million years. Could you point out the part of the references to which you were referring?

I note further that the actual nature of the find as reported by the creationist site to which the references link, appears to have been disputed. Perhaps some further investigation is warranted in relation to this topic.

I am aware that you have certain strongly held views in relation to these matters. I would ask that in future you don't just revert my edits but try to contact me first to discuss. I do try to have sensible reasons for all of my edits. --Horace 18:32, 21 September 2008 (EDT)

Hello Horace. I apologise for the misleading edit comment. I didn't mean to indicate that you removed things only because you dislike them; I realised that it was also because it was uncited. My point was that you removed something that you didn't like rather than put a {{fact}} tag on it, which I figure you would more likely have done if it was something you agreed with.
As for the "supporting evidence" (my exact words), it was just that, supporting evidence, not an actual citation of a study. Were the scientists involved unaware of the studies? No, they would have been aware, and that is the point I was making. One of those links quotes Dr. Schweitzer saying (my emphasis),
It was exactly like looking at a slice of modern bone’. But, of course, I couldn’t believe it. I said to the lab technician: ‘The bones, after all, are 65 million years old. How could blood cells survive that long?
That is, the scientist involved was aware that they are not supposed to be able to last that long. That is why she "couldn't believe it".
And yes, the claim that they were red blood cells has been disputed. But think about that. Given that the sample had the shape of red blood cells, the colour of red blood cells, evidence of hemoglobin, was found where blood normally exists (inside a bone), what reason is there for questioning that they were red blood cells? Because red blood cells should not survive that long. So the very fact that their identification is questioned is support for the claim that you removed.
A reference to an actual study would be an improvement, but there's already enough justification for having the statement there.
As for not reverting your edits without discussion, I notice that you deleted my edits without discussion. I also do try to have sensible reasons for my' edits. Bit of a double-standard there, Horace?
Philip J. Rayment 23:00, 21 September 2008 (EDT)
No double standard intended. I certainly do not recall ever pushing the "undo" button on you. I am always happy to discuss edits if I know whose they are. I guess I don't always trawl through the history to determine that. I think it's a bit different when someone edits to just go and revert it.
I still think, having read the above, that the sentence should be removed. There is no reference to any actual studies in the references and therefore no justification for a statement saying that there were such studies. Unless and until such studies can be identified the sentence ought not be there. But I leave it to you to decide. --Horace 17:32, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
Does anyone ever intend to have double standards? Yes, you didn't press the undo button, but you were interested in revising the article before it was deleted, so I expected you would have realised that it had been rewritten, which means that you only needed to check the last few edits, not an entire history. But perhaps I was a little too presumptuous there.
I thought that I recalled seeing a reference to studies, which is why I mentioned studies, but I couldn't quickly find them, which is why I didn't reference them. But that's not reason to remove the sentence. At most, it should be reworded a bit and more references supplied for that particular point. I've found a bit more on this, so I will modify the article a bit.
Philip J. Rayment 23:02, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

You know you love me

I don't know if you noticed on your watchlist (mine is all wonky) but I started using your article renaming project page again. I'm going to be working for my dad this week so I don't know how much I'll get done, but I'll get all the links fixed eventually. Thanks :) HelpJazz 17:53, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

Your article about evolution idiot

Why do you say people who believe in evolution are idiot? Many good scientist believe evolution. I do not think they are idiot. This wikipedia say many bad things about evolution and barack obama. Why? SyedO 12:26, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

I did not say that people are idiots for believing in evolution (tempting though it may be!). I suspect that you've read something into something I wrote that I didn't intend. If you point me to what I wrote that you are referring to, I will clarify what I said. Philip J. Rayment 16:52, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

You say that people who believe in God and evolution are useful idiot I probably do not understand. I am sorry. Thank you. SyedO 17:18, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

First, my comment was not directed at all evolutionists, and not simply for believing in evolution. Second, I was calling them "useful idiots", not "idiots". The linked article explains that this refers to people who support something that undermines their own beliefs, rather than being a direct reference to their intelligence. And third, it wasn't even directed at all Christians who believe evolution, but specifically the church representatives who publicly support or even teach evolution, most of whom are not scientists. Philip J. Rayment 22:58, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

Your Views

Hello Phillip, I just wanted to ask you a friendly question, not hostility intended. Regarding this edit, Why do you feel it's the domain of schools to teach intelligent design or creationism. As of this moment all the scientific evidence backs the theory of evolution, although that may change very rapidly. I have a few other questions as well, and I hope this conversation will be very productive for both of us. Thank you in advance for your time. Oh, full disclosure from me, I am not religious, nor am I atheist... I'm somewhere in the void that forms between. NateE Let Us Communicate 12:49, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

-)pulls up a chair, gets popcorn(- Aziraphale 13:44, 24 September 2008 (EDT) <-I need to make a substantive contribution? Let's start with "oh, really?"
NateE, I totally and utterly disagree that "all the scientific evidence backs the theory of evolution". As you offered nothing to support this claim, I'll ask you, what, in your opinion, is the single strongest bit of evidence supporting evolution?
Aziraphale, what is this? Spectator sport? :-) Philip J. Rayment 16:56, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
The single strongest.... That's broad, but I think the strongest example is more of a observation. All of our medical treatment (especially vaccinations) are based on the Theory of Evolution being true. The fact that medical science is as successful as it is stands the single strongest evidence. Or did you mean something on a more natural front? NateE Let Us Communicate 17:01, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Sorry, Philip. At the risk of sounding like a stalker, I often follow your talk page when I'm (semi)active here, and the # of people that I've seen come to you "politely" pointing out that there's no scientific evidence for Creation... well, as I read in a column recently, "I've seen this movie before." :D I enjoy watching it each time, though. Aziraphale 17:31, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
No need to apologise. And I must admit that my comment was a bit incorrect, in that popcorn is usually had at the cinema, not a sporting event, and you now clarify that's more what you had in mind! Anyway, get comfortable, sit back, and watch away! Alternatively, given that you've seen the movie so often before, perhaps you should answer NateE?? :-) Philip J. Rayment 23:02, 24 September 2008 (EDT)
Hi Philip,
Maybe we'll talk more about it in email someday (this is an odd forum for getting too personal). Short version - you have a conviction that I lack. We're not so much on opposite sides of the fence as you're at peace on this side while I struggle with it. Makes me a poor advocate, imo. Aziraphale 11:30, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

NateE, I wouldn't have thought of that particular answer as your strongest evidence, but that's fine; if that's what you consider the strongest evidence, then that's what I was after.

The problem, of course, is that the claim is simply wrong. From this article

  • Vaccination was discovered by Edward Jenner (1749–1823—note that Darwin published Origin in 1859)
  • Antisepsis by Joseph Lister, creationist.(1827–1912)
  • Anaesthesia by James Young Simpson (1811–1870), who believed that God was the first anaesthetist, citing Genesis 2:21.
  • Germ theory of disease by Louis Pasteur, creationist (1822–1895), who disproved spontaneous generation, still an evolutionary belief.
  • Antibiotics, developed without the slightest input of evolution, by the serendipitous discovery by Alexander Fleming (1881–1955), who had previously discovered lysozyme, the ‘body’s own antibiotic’. And Ernst Chain (1906–1979), who shared the 1945 Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine with Fleming (and Howard Florey (1898–1968)) for discovering penicillin, was a devout Orthodox Jew and anti-Darwinian. His biography noted ‘Chain’s dismissal of Darwin’s theory of evolution’, and his belief that ‘evolution was not really a part of science, since it was, for the most part, not amenable to experimentation—and he was, and is, by no means alone in this view’. As an understanding of the development of life, Chain said, ‘a very feeble attempt it is, based on such flimsy assumptions, mainly of morphological-anatomical nature that it can hardly be called a theory.’ And speaking of certain evolutionary examples, he exclaimed, ‘I would rather believe in fairies than in such wild speculation.’
  • Insulin: its vital function was first discovered by the creationist Nicolae Paulescu (1869–1931), who named it ‘pancreine’. He anticipated the discoveries of Frederick Banting and John Macleod, who were awarded the 1923 Nobel Prize for Medicine for their work on insulin. See Denied the prize.

And from here:

In fact, evolution has impeded the development of modern medicine: through erroneous notions such as embryonic recapitulation, vestigial organs and (recently) junk DNA, which have hindered medical discovery.

(Both those sources have links to further information.)

See also Is evolution really necessary for medical advances?

Now, the fact that I was so easily able to demolish your strongest evidence should give you the hint that perhaps your claim that "all the scientific evidence backs the theory of evolution" is somewhat fanciful. Of course I'm not claiming that there is not scientific evidence in favour of evolution. Rather, I'm claiming that, at the very least, there is some scientific evidence that is more consistent with a creationary model, and at most, the vast majority of the scientific evidence is more consistent with the creationary model. Now you will almost certainly not agree with that last claim, but you should agree, or come to agree, that at least some evidence is more consistent with the creationary model.

Do you want to have another go (that is, offer your second-best evidence)?

Philip J. Rayment 23:30, 24 September 2008 (EDT)

That is indeed excellent information, but I dispute that you have done the major damage you claim. The biggest problem is that you're assuming that simply because these discoveries came before Darwin published, the two are incompatible(sp?). But this isn't true. In fact, there is anecdotal evidence going back to the middle ages about people intentionally infecting themselves with cowpox as they had learned that it acts as a innoculation against smallpox. Science constantly builds and expands on earlier science. Where evolution comes into play (especially in regards to vaccines) is that the theory of recongnition and mutation (very much a strong part of evolution) is what is assumed to be true when developing and distrubting the vaccines. For example, the reason that the AIDS virus is so hard to cure, is that the virus replicates itself so quickly, and so badly, that anything found to be effective (for example AZT) will be resisted in (what is estimated) at about 5 years.
Going specifically back to your point, and this is, I admit, a side note, but you take special care to point out that many scientists who make discoveries are religious, but I don't see why this is important. The Arabic numbers we all use were probably invented (and for sure developed) by Muslims, that doesn't make them any more or less accurate and helpful. But enough about that
I did read some of the article you recommended, but I didn't see much value in it (it was very long and I didn't have a chance to read all the way through, but I think I hit the parts you were referring to). Mostly the article seemed to be focused on refuting the idea that creationist and religious people in general are a threat to scientific inovation (which, I find an incrediblt stupid generalization). I don't think you can deny that there are those that pervert their own faith to the extremes to advance their own goals, but I don't see them as the norm.
One more thing, at the risk of repeating a very overused argument, you seem to advocate teaching intelligent design (if not creationism) as an alternative to evolution, but where and how do you draw the line between teaching different views and alternatives? NateE Let Us Communicate 12:39, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
That is indeed excellent information, but I dispute that you have done the major damage you claim. The biggest problem is that you're assuming that simply because these discoveries came before Darwin published, the two are incompatible(sp?). But this isn't true. In fact, there is anecdotal evidence going back to the middle ages about people intentionally infecting themselves with cowpox as they had learned that it acts as a innoculation against smallpox. Science constantly builds and expands on earlier science. Where evolution comes into play (especially in regards to vaccines) is that the theory of recongnition and mutation (very much a strong part of evolution) is what is assumed to be true when developing and distrubting the vaccines. For example, the reason that the AIDS virus is so hard to cure, is that the virus replicates itself so quickly, and so badly, that anything found to be effective (for example AZT) will be resisted in (what is estimated) at about 5 years.
Going specifically back to your point, and this is, I admit, a side note, but you take special care to point out that many scientists who make discoveries are religious, but I don't see why this is important. The Arabic numbers we all use were probably invented (and for sure developed) by Muslims, that doesn't make them any more or less accurate and helpful. But enough about that
I did read some of the article you recommended, but I didn't see much value in it (it was very long and I didn't have a chance to read all the way through, but I think I hit the parts you were referring to). Mostly the article seemed to be focused on refuting the idea that creationist and religious people in general are a threat to scientific inovation (which, I find an incrediblt stupid generalization). I don't think you can deny that there are those that pervert their own faith to the extremes to advance their own goals, but I don't see them as the norm.
One more thing, at the risk of repeating a very overused argument, you seem to advocate teaching intelligent design (if not creationism) as an alternative to evolution, but where and how do you draw the line between teaching different views and alternatives? NateE Let Us Communicate 12:39, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

You say that I'm assuming that these discoveries are incompatible with evolution simply because they came before Darwin. No, that is not the case. First, I'm not assuming that they are incompatible, I'm pointing out that they were not based on evolution being true, which is what you claimed. That they were discovered before Darwin published his ideas means that they could not be based on his ideas. Having pointed that out, I'll now point out the problems in your logic.
Evolution is an explanation (incorrect or otherwise) of how things came to be, not of how things are. Creation is an alternative explanation of how things came to be, not of how things are. Science is primarily studying how things are. So if we discover that vaccines prevent disease, then this is part of studying how things are, not how they came to be. You yourself point out that some treatments were developed without knowledge of evolution because people observed how things are (that cowpox innoculates against smallpox).
So medical treatments are developed on the basis of how things are, not on the basis of evolution (how they supposedly came to be). This does not mean that they are incompatible with evolution, nor that they are incompatible with creation. Therefore they cannot be used as evidence that one of those how things came to be explanations is correct, and therefore they are not evidence for evolution.
Admittedly it's not as simple as this. One could, for example, say that "if evolution (or creation) is true, then we should expect such-and-such to be the case", look to see if such-and-such is the case, and develop a treatment on the basis of that such-and-such. Has this actually occurred? Well, although there wasn't much about it in my quotes above, it has been shown that many discoveries by creationists were made on the basis of creationist beliefs.
Yes, mutations are a big part of evolution, but they also exist in creation. The difference is whether they can add new genetic information (as required by evolution) or not (as claimed by creationists). That the AIDS virus mutates is compatible with both the evolutionary and creationary models, so again is therefore not evidence for evolution over creation.
No, I don't point out that many of the scientists are religious. Rather, the quotes point out that they were creationists. That is a particular religious view, not just a "religious" view. And it's relevant because being creationists, they were not basing their discoveries on evolution. You point out that numbers are useful regardless of who invented them. The same sort of thing applies to medical treatments: they work regardless of whether creation or evolution is true, which means that they are not based on evolution.
I'm glad that you see the claim that creationists etc. are a threat to science is "an incrediblt stupid generalization" (I think that's what you were saying), yet that is exactly what many scientists, atheists, and others claim.
I don't advocate forcing (such as via legislation) teachers to teach creation and ID (if they are opposed, they will likely not teach it properly anyway), but I do advocate that teacher who wish to should be allowed to teach it (they are generally not, see Suppression of alternatives to evolution). As to where you draw the line—just stick to the scientific evidence. That's what the evolutionists oppose: teaching the scientific evidence that is inconsistent with evolution and/or consistent with creation and intelligent design. See, for example, in that last link the section on court challenges to education.
Philip J. Rayment 11:10, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
You're a good man, Mr. Rayment:). Ungtss 18:24, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Hello Ungtss! 363 days since your last edit here! Does this mean you're back? Or not? Philip J. Rayment 18:33, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Smokes! You're right! What a strange coincidence! Maybe if I amuse myself with the learning one acquires from working on noncontroversial articles and discussions rather than hoping to make slanted articles straight, I can avoid giving myself ulcers:). It's good to hear from you again -- I hope you're well. I recently moved to Turkiye, so I reckon we're just about on opposite sides of the planet:). Ungtss 18:42, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Yes, I'm well, thanks. See User talk:Philip J. Rayment/Archive 7#My absence for a bit of recent history. Turkiye is the Turkish spelling of Turkey, is it? (Now there's an idea for you. Oops, I see that page answers my question.) Hey, do you want to have a look for Noah's Ark while you're there?? :-) Philip J. Rayment 18:51, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Ha! I'll grab you a plank when I find it:). Ungtss 19:06, 26 September 2008 (EDT)

One thing

You often come across as an intelligent and open-minded editor. One thing strikes me as odd though. The vast majority of your citations and references come from one single website, Shouldn't you widen your horizons? And no, I am not referring to answersingenesis or creationwiki. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by BillC (talk)

I use because
  • I'm very familiar with it; I have a good idea of what I can find there so that's where I look to start with in many cases
  • I consider it a trustworthy source. It's not a one-man-band site; before anything gets posted there, it is "peer reviewed" by others. By that I don't mean the normal scientific journal peer-review process; I'm referring to a less formal (but still quite real) review by other experts before anything gets posted. The problem with "one-man-band" sites and organisations is that they are answerable to nobody, so they might end up posting well-intentioned complete rubbish.
  • They provide references which can be used to check the information out further. That's not to say that other sites don't, but it means that although the links are often to that site, the ultimate source of the information comes from a much wider field, including non-creationists ones.
  • I don't see why I shouldn't use it. References coming from a single site might seem "odd", but is there anything actually wrong with it? You didn't point out any actual problem.
Philip J. Rayment 03:21, 25 September 2008 (EDT)


You mind chiming in here? I think you could probably explain what I'm trying to say a bit more concisely seeing as how you've come across the question far more than I have. Jeffrey W. LauttamusDiscussion 12:02, 27 September 2008 (EDT)

Done. Philip J. Rayment 12:26, 27 September 2008 (EDT)

Conservapedia's Evolution Article is Climbing Up the Search Engine Rankings

Conservapedia's evolution article has momentum!

PJR, I know you are a young earth creationist and I have some good news. Conservapedia's evolution article has been climbing up the search engine rankings. The evolution article article has momentum and will likely continue to improve its search engine rankings. The history of Conservapedia articles that have become more popular among conservatives and more well known by liberals strongly suggest that Conservapedia article will likely keep climbing up the search engine rankings. The Conservapedia evolution article will likely see a significant uptick in traffic. Given that the evolutionary position is slowly losing support in the United States which is one of the scientific powerhouses of the world, the Conservapedia article gaining more and more exposure certainly is not helpful in regards to evolutionists propagating their evolutionary dogma on the internet. conservative 01:57, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

Moslem Pronunciation of Pakistan

Your unilateral action is deleting this front page item was extremely high-handed - were I Andy Schlafly, I would be very angry at your arrogant presumption in doing so without consultation or peermission. Please remember that you are not the owner of this project. Bugler 08:08, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

On the contrary, it followed a fair bit of discussion and a request by me for you or Andy to show evidence that there was such a thing as a Muslim pronunciation in this case. There was no such evidence offered by you, and Andy's only evidence amounted to saying that it was the correct pronunciation. Philip J. Rayment 08:48, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
1. Did Andy agree to the removal of the item? If he did not, then you are exceeding your authority in a big way. And 2. If he did, then your failure to state this was misleading, and the impression given that this was a unilateral action was a manifestation of arrogance which you should be careful to guard against. Bugler 08:52, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Someone's pronunciation of a word does not prove that they are or are not muslim. It is established fact that Obama went to a muslim school. This could very well account for his pronunciation. Whether one is the correct pronunciation or not, both are used, and it shouldn't really matter who uses which one. --Tim (CPAdmin1)talk Vote in my NEW polls 08:56, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Why do I have to get Andy's agreement to remove something? Have you read the text immediately below an edit box? Philip J. Rayment 08:58, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
So you didn't get his agreement. Instead, you insult the Leader of Conservapedia by removing his edit without considering the discourtesy of this action. You take it upon yourself to censor his views. Furthermore, in attempting to close down this debate you seem incapable of appreciating the possibility - and do not twist this into me saying this is a proven fact - of Militant Islam achieving its greatest coup in inserting a sleeper into the White House. And in all of this, on the wild shores of Raymentland, it is Bugler who is the miscreant. You really are beyond belief. Bugler 09:09, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
I notice that you didn't answer my question of why I have to get Andy's agreement. Only once you justify that I have to get his agreement do I have any obligation to justify why I didn't get it. And you are still debating this, aren't you? So I haven't closed down any debate. As for Obama actually being a Muslim, it seems to be quite without substantiation. (Although there's plenty of other reasons to hope he doesn't get the job.) Philip J. Rayment 09:28, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
In a discussion we had a while back you said to me that you could do X, and I could not, "Because I am an admin and you are not". I do my best to respect you as someone higher in the heirarchy than me, and I expect you to respect your superiors by not censoring their articles - not deleting them without their say-so. And even if you don't - as seems clear - have time for respecting heirarchy upwards (though you seem quite keen on applying it downwards), then you might at least spare some thought for common courtesy. Or is that too much to ask? And as for Obama being or not being a Moslem, he may not be, but there are many questions unanswered, with serious implications. To deny that is to indulge in Liberal myopia. Bugler 09:49, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Yes, I am an administrator, and you are not, and Andy is the site owner, and I am not. So just as you should defer to me on administrative matters, I defer to Andy on matters that are his to decide, such as who gets what user rights. But we are talking about editing here. Just because I am an administrator doesn't mean that my edits are more correct or authoritative than yours, and the same applies with Andy's edits. This principle is why I have long had a notice on my user page that users only have to respect my administrative directions, not my edits.
As for Obama, your comment that there are "many questions unanswered" may be true, but it's so broad that is meaningless. Note that was not a denial.
Philip J. Rayment 10:05, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

Since you have difficulty with the term, you might find this useful: Courtesy. Bugler 10:47, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

Courtesy is why you blocked me for six months for daring to stand up to you, Bugler?--IanG 12:27, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
You were blocked for extreme discourtesy to another editor, as you are well aware. 'Standing up to me', whatever that might mean, does not come into the matter. Bugler 13:13, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Courtesy is calling people maggots, IanG, please get it straight. HelpJazz 14:25, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
This is Conservapedia, and we don't censor the truth here. Obama's Muslim pronunciation of "Pakistan" should not be censored here, and it has been restored.--Aschlafly 11:50, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Someone should probably let this Christian Pakistani know that part of the process of converting to Christianity is changing the way you pronounce the name of your country. Christians in France might have the same problem, as they use the "atheist" pronunciation of their country's name: "Frawnce." Ungtss 14:36, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Andy, the question is not whether we censor the truth, but whether it is the truth. You've offered no evidence that it is the truth. Philip J. Rayment 19:10, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Well, then, please read up on the origin and pronunciation of the word "Pakistan." Please don't simply delete an insight before learning more about it. This site is not a place to remove (censor) promising insights quickly, before they even have a chance to develop.--Aschlafly 19:39, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Then perhaps you could tell me where I could read up on it. I did a bit of looking, and couldn't find much. As there is no Muslim language, it seems quite unlikely that there is a "Muslim pronunciation", and you failed to provide any evidence of such, despite being asked. Please don't accuse me of censoring when all I've done is remove something that appears to be incorrect. Philip J. Rayment 05:41, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

Philip, I'm glad you removed this weird item from the News page and it's a pity it's been restored. It's the kind of petty silliness that gets CP a bad reputation! WaZi 20:40, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

Removing my block

Thank you kindly for helping to get me unblocked. PS. I agree with you 100% about removing the "Muslim pronunciation" news item Sideways 09:34, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

I would also like to thank you, PJR, for helping me to get unblocked as well. While I don't agree with everything you say, you at least play fair.--IanG 10:15, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

Don't you hate it when you make a spelling error when commenting on a spelling error[6]?  :-) Philip J. Rayment 10:23, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

Hmmm? What did I spell wrong there? Sideways 10:27, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
See the edit comment? I assume that's not exactly what you meant to write. Philip J. Rayment 10:29, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
It is what I meant to write. I was making a joke about how I accidentally wrote "me block" instead of "my block", much as a cinematic pirate would pronounce it, or a cockney. Or a Jamaican for the matter. I'm sure there are loads of dialects that replace "my" with "me". Sideways 10:34, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Did you mean to write "I don't know why I accidentally wrote than in pirate (or cockney?)"? Philip J. Rayment 18:48, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Oh. No, I didn't notice that (or than) at all.  :-S Sideways 15:55, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

Save this project

As a sympathetic observer I feel things seem to be getting out of hand here. Someone is going to have to save this project before it implodes. It is in serious danger of becoming Mr Schlafly's personal blog. Whacky as he may be, at least he is a genuine Conservative. There are rumors about that Bugler is infact the parodist previously known as Auld Nick. His M.O. would seem to fit. He seems to have Mr Schlafly dancing to his tune. Mr. Schlafly needs to be saved before he seriously embarrasses himself. Terence 12:14, 30 September 2008 (EDT)

Unlike Bugler who is not concerned with evidence, I am, so I don't put much stock in rumours. Philip J. Rayment 16:53, 30 September 2008 (EDT)
Terence may be trying to sow discord--RogerA 16:58, 30 September 2008 (EDT)
Perhaps, or perhaps he is genuine. Who's to say? But if you're right, it didn't work, and that's the great thing about sticking to the evidence. Philip J. Rayment 17:03, 30 September 2008 (EDT)
Why don't you draft some proper rules for this place, advocate them and see that they're enforced even handedly. That way it wouldn't matter who is and who isn't a parodist, since everyone would have to toe the same line. As it is, the "rules" such as they are essentially say you can block anyone at any time for any reason, hence Bugler has freedom to do as he wills. --Taciturn 17:10, 30 September 2008 (EDT)
It also requires the right culture and support. It is already the case that non-sysop users with blocking rights should only be blocking for vandalism, but as Andy has congratulated Bugler on some of his non-vandalism blocks, there seems to be no point in me pointing this out to Bugler. Philip J. Rayment 22:08, 30 September 2008 (EDT)

Can you help me understand?

I posted a question on your wikipedia account. And I was wondering if you could help me understand is going on over here. Here is a copy of what I wrote:

I wrote to Ed Poor with the following passage yesterday. Shortly after posting it on his talk page I had several other wikipedians writing and stating that they had similar experiences with the site. Please look over my situation and tell me if there is any accountability over there. Thank you in advance for your help! Cheers!--Sallicio 23:49, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

"Who is Jpatt??? I went on to my conservapedia account and started looking at the different articles. I surfed into the Barack Obama article and saw that it said he was "allegedly" born in Hawaii. Looking at the history it appeared that a vandal (i.e., Jpatt) kept inserting the "allegedly" into the first sentence. Whenever another user would undo the edit and inform him that the information was correct, he would immediately revert it back. I undid the last edit by Jpat with the edit summary, "Please do not vandalize" and was immediately blocked for three days with no warning. The official reason given was "edit war" and Jpatt added the two cents, "Behave or be gone for good." Now, I may not be familiar with Conservapedia's policy as far as blocking users, but I think this was a gross abuse of authority. If that were to happen here he would have been desysoped for abuse of power. In this block he violated WP:BITE, WP:GOODFAITH, and WP:CALM among others. Can you please tell me if I have lost my mind on this? I think that his authority should be reevaluated. I have done nothing but honest contributions to the (Conservapedia) site and am absolutely appalled at this. Please help me. Thank you for your assistance!"--SlapHappy 11:09, 5 October 2008 (EDT)

After I told another user to stop re-inserting "allegedly" , with a reason why, that person didn't listen and re-inserted. Subsequently, I blocked that person 1 day. Then SlapHappy decided to continue the edit war and immediately followed to insert "allegedly", knowing fully well what had taken place just minutes earlier. I don't care if you are appalled SlapHappy. You deserve no help on this one. Better luck next time.--Jpatt 13:20, 5 October 2008 (EDT)
SlapHappy, I haven't looked at my Wikipedia talk page for some time. Sorry I didn't see your message there.
Looking at the references and talk-page discussions, it seems as though there is some grounds for having the word "allegedly" there, although whether the claim is credible or whether that's the best place to put it in the article are separate matters.
Jpatt, I think you mean that you told another user to stop deleting "allegedly".
You also presume that SlapHappy was aware that you were not a vandal. Can you substantiate that assumption? If not, SlapHappy should be unblocked.
Bugler, blocking an editor for five for putting an abbreviated profanity in a post seems rather over the top, especially for you given the name-calling you have done. Yes, perhaps the individual words you used were acceptable words, but the attitude in your use of them is no better than what SlapHappy wrote. He should be unblocked.
Philip J. Rayment 21:52, 5 October 2008 (EDT)


I noticed here, that you removed web links in order to make "bibliographic references". I have to say that I prefer as much information as possible in a citation, especially, if the citation is online. If I didn't see that diff, I may never have been able to figure out what that reference was. (Yahooing "Magovern Archaeopteryx" only comes up with 5 hits; and none of them are the page that was originally linked). Just my two cents. HelpJazz 13:51, 7 October 2008 (EDT)

PS: This reminds me, in a completely unrelated topic: is there a way to put established users into a "no CAPTCHA" group? This extra step is a lot of torment for someone who's finished with grade school math :p HelpJazz 13:51, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
The web links are still on the page, just in the Bibliography section. How we should reference articles is something that we've never resolved (see here), so I do it a way that I think is reasonable. It also has the advantage of minimising the size of the references in the source code of the text itself (by having most of it in its own section).
The answer to your second question is probably "yes", because I don't encounter CAPTCHAs, presumably because I'm an administrator. I think I was aware that we had one for registering, but are you saying that we have it for editing also? If so, how long has that been the case?
Philip J. Rayment 21:59, 7 October 2008 (EDT)
Oooooooooooooooooooh. It did seem out of character for you to remove information like that :)
The CAPTCHA happens whenever a lowly editor like myself inserts an outside link. It's not every edit (or I'd probably have quit by now!!), just the ones that add a link to another website. It's also triggered when I have links like the one above, even though I'm technically not leaving the site. This has been the case... longer than I have been an editor. I've seen some oooold talk about how someone (AtheistKim, AtheistKaren, something like that) can't do the math. It's not really a high priority, I was just wondering if it were possible. HelpJazz 23:29, 7 October 2008 (EDT) PS: The CAPTCHA is in the form of a math problem. It's a random number between 1 and 100 added to a random number between -10 and +10, I think.
Ah, I do recall there being a CAPTCHA for adding links. I was wondering how the bot vandals got around it, but thy do by not adding links. My answer is the same, though, as it doesn't affect administrators so there probably is some way of making a "no CAPTCHA" group". Philip J. Rayment 05:23, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
I don't know how often you check your CP email account; I just sent you a message. HelpJazz 23:24, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

Thank you...

...for the welcome! So far, I've kind of liked it here, but I can't edit as much as I would like to. Between college and work, I don't have a lot of free time during the day, and a lot of times at night it seems everything is locked down. Why is that? Samd 21:29, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

See the link in your welcome box for the Editor's Guide. Philip J. Rayment 22:07, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
BTW, I took your advice on User talk:Aschlafly. The code is at User:Samd/svg-pic. Samd 21:33, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Uploaded as image:water.svg, but all I see is a green circle. Philip J. Rayment 22:07, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Hmm. The image looks fine when I click on the actual file link. I'm not sure what's wrong. I guess I'll just export it as a PNG and upload it to Flickr. I'll give you a link when I'm done. You should probably just delete water.svg Samd 22:10, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

OK, it's at Thanks for taking the time to help me out. Samd 22:23, 8 October 2008 (EDT)

It's at image:water.png. Our policy is to lock all pictures, but I'll leave it unlocked for now so that you can add copyright information (even if that means saying that you created it and are putting it in the public domain). Philip J. Rayment 22:32, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
Thanks a lot for you help. I added the license info, so you can lock it now. You probably out to delete Image:Water.svg since it is not rendering correctly. Again, thank you. Samd 22:39, 8 October 2008 (EDT)


Hi Philip. I'm sorry to bother you, but I saw that you answered previous style/format questions, and I thought maybe you might not mind answering another one. Is there (or should there be) a set way for listing the birth-death dates of people in their articles? Do we say (b.1929 - d. 1960)? Do we list the month and date? Is there a hyphen or not? Do we even need the "b./d." notation? I've been random-paging around and there doesn't seem to be any set standard. Do you have any advice? Thank you so much! LiamG 12:04, 9 October 2008 (EDT)

Hello LiamG. It's no bother, but this is something that I don't recall even seeing discussed, let alone any agreement on. Yes, there should be an agreed way of doing it, but there isn't (yet). And I don't have too much of an opinion on it either, but will mention a few thoughts.
  • I don't like details getting in the way of the flow of the sentence. See my comments here, although that was on a different matter.
  • I don't see any reason to deliberately omit month and date (except for my previous point, but that's not a good enough reason).
  • Probably what we need is a "bio" template.
Philip J. Rayment 04:43, 10 October 2008 (EDT)
Ok, then, I just won't change any of them until there's a standard. Thanks for the reply! LiamG 10:59, 11 October 2008 (EDT)
On second thought, maybe there's some way to get a consensus? Is there somewhere or somehow to propose a unified standard? Maybe have it incorporated into the manual of style? LiamG 12:08, 11 October 2008 (EDT)
Propose something on the Manual of Style talk page. Philip J. Rayment 21:11, 11 October 2008 (EDT)

I thought you might find this amusing

A crack team of liberal intelligentsia in hot pursuit of evidence that will overthrow the Conservapedia evolution, atheism, and homosexuality articles.

conservative 00:46, 10 October 2008 (EDT)

What do farmers do all day? They work from home. What do their children do? The boys work in the farm, the girls work in the house, and have some minor studies at night. That constitutes as homeschooling. The children are taught traditional views, like how women should be homemakers. With this information, doesn't that make farmers conservative? o.O Make me a sysop! Nate my opinion matters? 09:53, 10 October 2008 (EDT)
Farmers do seem to tend toward being conservative, although I'm not sure that "minor studies at night" really constitutes "homeschooling". Unless they are fully homeschooled, in western countries children of farmers will be at school during the day, not helping on the farm (which is not to suggest that they won't have some farm duties outside school hours). And if they are fully homeschooled, then they would still be "at school" (at home) during the day, although there is more flexibility to fit that around farm duties. As for whether women "should be homemakers", well, that's another matter altogether. Women who have chosen to be wives and mothers, perhaps, but that's not all women. Philip J. Rayment 10:01, 10 October 2008 (EDT)
Meh. I was just regurgitating what I learned in public school, that's all. o.O Make me a sysop! Nate my opinion matters? 10:04, 10 October 2008 (EDT)
Don't you know that's dangerous to do around here? :-) Philip J. Rayment 10:07, 10 October 2008 (EDT)
I used to do business with farmers and I always enjoyed doing so. The only reason I used the picture is that mode of transportation being used is fairly slow. conservative 19:28, 10 October 2008 (EDT)

copied froms

Hi. I'm new here, thus no power to delete. I notice you've deleted a bunch of "copied from elsewhere" articles. You can add this page to that group as well (copied from WP). Seems to be a parody group/site, anyway.--XavierJ 09:36, 16 October 2008 (EDT)

Thanks, I've deleted it. Philip J. Rayment 09:48, 17 October 2008 (EDT)


How does your head stay glued together at all? You fearless leader in the talk section says that Obama is a muslim and points to the Obama article hear to prove it. The article referenced on the main page is basically saying that he is a muslim. You are a master of the clever, nit-picky arguement. Let's not be cute, this wiki is dead set on telling the world that Obama is a muslim and a marxist. MichaelAnd 10:20, 16 October 2008 (EDT)

My head is not held together with glue! Andy's reply was ambiguous; I haven't looked at the Obama article for a while (I'm afraid of what I'd find there), so I'm not commenting on or defending that article; and the article referenced on the main page is quite definitely not "basically saying that he is a muslim". Philip J. Rayment 09:52, 17 October 2008 (EDT)
I am a parodist. It was my first attempt but I won't do it again. As MickA I was banned for merely stating my opinion in a non-threatening way (and as Wismike, MikeA, etc.). I never lied about who I was. But as CarrieThomas I could make ridiculous comments and even threaten another user without anyone even bothering to chastise me. As long as I state the party line it's all good. Goodbye. CarrieThomas 11:52, 17 October 2008 (EDT)

Funny but wrong entry , vandalism ?

check the gene pool entry Markr 13:22, 16 October 2008 (EDT)

It wasn't the only one by that editor, either. Thanks. Philip J. Rayment 09:53, 17 October 2008 (EDT)

For your information

The block was for making slanderous accusations of parodism, and for insulting Conservapedia editors as 'monkeys'. Perhaps in future I should start to waste your time by subjecting your every move to a barrage of interfering, nannyish, and outright wrong-headed comments and queries. Bugler 08:00, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

Yet again, you haven't provided specifics. And accusations of parodism are not slanderous if true. Specifics (links/diffs) please. And explain how it is worse than "endless attempts at Liberal sabotage". Philip J. Rayment 08:06, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
Since you're so keen on providing specifics, how about you providing specifics of where I am a parodist, then, since you shelter the slanderers and endorse them by your absence of condemnation and by your hostile attitude towards me. I am the subject of an orchestrated campaign of bullying and intimidation on this site, and you - an admin, as you so frequently remind me - do nothing. It is fortunate that I have broad shoulders and a living faith to sustain me. Bugler 08:29, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
I asked you first. Philip J. Rayment 08:33, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
Unbelievable. Where did you learn to argue, in a nursery class? Bugler 08:36, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
You've stuffed around too much. He's unblocked. Case closed. Philip J. Rayment 08:43, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

I can see you thumbing your nose at your computer screen as you type, Philip. Now you've had your little fun, kindly provide evidence that I am a parodist or withdraw your mendacious accusations and make a public apology. Bugler 08:46, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

I don't have a webcam, so you can't see nuthin! That was the only "little fun" bit. Back to seriousness, I've no obligation to provide evidence that you are a parodist, because I haven't accused you of being one. Philip J. Rayment 08:55, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
accusations of parodism are not slanderous if true The inference of that remark is clear enough. You are being disingenuous in denying that any accusation has been made. Out with it, man, or keep your peace. Bugler 08:59, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
That is a statement of fact. If you choose to read more into it than was intended, that's your problem. I was not making an accusation even by inference. Philip J. Rayment 09:03, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
So you do not believe those who slander me with being a parodist. Bugler 09:05, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
For one thing, much of this discussion developed because you failed to show where someone did accuse you of that. For another, I've already said recently that I don't know. So I'm neither accepting nor rejecting any such accusations or inferences. Philip J. Rayment 09:11, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
So you are accusing me, in essence, just in a way dressed up with weasel words. So I will put it to you straight: put up or shut up. Bugler 09:14, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

Here is the original exchange, from Talk:Main Page. Having invoked Poe's Law regarding my original point, Ungtss continues:

Like eight-year-olds poking sticks at the monkeys in the zoo. Ungtss 15:33, 17 October 2008 (EDT)
What? Sideways 15:44, 17 October 2008 (EDT)
The parodying, man. Ungtss 15:46, 17 October 2008 (EDT)

If you consider that to be acceptable behaviour on Conservapedia, then I pity you. Bugler 09:19, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

So finally, umpteen posts after asking for specifics, you provide them! Now, how about answering the other question in my first post of this section? Philip J. Rayment 09:30, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
Parody is a form of Liberal vandalism. I should have thought that was obvious. Bugler 09:33, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
That doesn't answer the question of how your accusation is okay but accusing you of being a parodist is not. Philip J. Rayment 09:36, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
Because I am not a parodist; and this encyclopaedia is under attack from liberal saboteurs. Both those are established facts. Bugler 10:30, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
The comment was with regard to a particular user; it wasn't a general statement. That it is the case with the particular user is not an established fact. And that you are not a parodist is not an established fact either. Philip J. Rayment 10:44, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
The comment was with regard to a particular user; it wasn't a general statement. But it was aimed at me. And that you are not a parodist is not an established fact either. I am telling you that that is the case. I am a gentleman. I trust` that you are. And that should be sufficient. My word is my bond. If you feel differently, then produce supporting evidence. And I repeat: as an admin, you should be condemning this kind of cliquist, intimidatory behaviour, not excusing it or mincing words and chopping logic to shield the perpetrators. Bugler 10:50, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
When I said "the comment was with regard to a particular user", I was talking about your comment that said "endless attempts at Liberal sabotage". You said that with regard to a particular user, so I'm asking you to explain how that accusation of yours levelled against a particular user was any better than any allegation of parody levelled against you.
Yes, you are telling me that you are not a parodist, but then if you were a parodist, you would claim not to be, wouldn't you? So that in itself doesn't mean much. But I was not claiming that you not being a parodist was not a fact, but that it was not an established fact; that is, it hasn't been "show[n] to be valid or well grounded; prove[d]", to quote from my dictionary.
Okay, perhaps as an administrator I've been too reticent to condemn this kind of cliquist, intimidatory behaviour, preferring instead to let people explain themselves first. But this discussion has gone on long enough and as you've now asked me too, I will: Bugler, stop this cliquist, intimidatory behaviour that you display against so many other editors here.
Philip J. Rayment 18:40, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
You really are a bit of a joke, aren't you. Have you ever considered that Creationwiki, or whatever it is called, might be a better home for your talents, such as they are? Bugler 18:45, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
You've long reminded me of TK, and TK also suggested the same thing . You are still being personally abusive rather than explaining yourself. Philip J. Rayment 18:49, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

Why should I explain myself to you, in the face of such unwarranted and utterly mendacious attacks? You are the chief bully, intimidating and pressurising me not only in this site but on my personal email account. Instead of supportinmg my attempts to build this resource, and to defend it against its many enemies, you have undermined me and shielded those enemies. You puff yourself up with pride and constantly prate on about your status as an administrator, while doing virtually nothing constructive and much that is destructive. Your entire attitude in this extended exchange has been prejudiced, unfair, abusive and wrong-headed. I am really at a loss why you retain your position - indeed, given your attitudes, wish to retain your position here. Had you a shred of honour you would hand over your powers and find a home somewhere more conducive to your personal prejudices. That you don't speaks volumes about you. Bugler 18:56, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

He's not TK, he's Auld Nick. Faith and logic leaves no room for any other conclusion. You don't have a clue! How obvious does it have to be? GrandpaNicolas 19:58, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
Philip, I don't know if you want to delete the comment directly above from the now-banned user. I don't tolerate accounts created just to throw accusations around -- these matters are for CP to deliberate. With regard to Bugler, I've tried to calm the situation down. I don't think this is doing anyone any good (just look at how many edits have been made regarding this today!) As for the original subject that caused this debacle, I 1) wish that Bugler had simply stated the reason right away, and 2) would have blocked Ungtss as well - he was very clearly calling all of CP 8-year-olds. I'm sorry I didn't have time to intervene here earlier, but now that I have a moment I'm hoping that everything can be clarified and conciliated. Peace be with both of you. -Foxtrot 20:37, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

Please, let's sit back a minute

Why are you two arguing over whether "accusations of parodism are not slanderous if true" is an insult or not? You are taking valuable time that could better be spent making quality edits. For future reference, here is a list of blatant, overt insults. If someone calls you these, you know they mean it, and you know they aren't being sly: owner of Liberal tanks; threatener; deceit adder; Liberal virus infecter (this is starting to sound like a really good Phish song, but I digress); disease, lie and deciet spreader; poison propagator; maggot, one with acolytes; one who is not really a clever little chap; one who lives beneath a cesspit rock, plotting and planning, sniggering and sneering; a causer of subversion and damage; matey (with scare quotes); a... uh... user of the "argo" of the cesspit; a smile-maker?; an inserter of Liberal values; terribly, terribly sad; drivel writer; closet Liberal; dog with no sense of decency; cancerous cell; creator of trouble and fuss; drip, drip, dripper of carping and destructive criticism; wooly-minded admirer of Liberal charlatans; saboteur; troll; a pathetic, LITTLE creature; flaunter; dogger; corrosive criticizer; a note-from-mother holder; endless liberal sabotager; whining little coward; saboteur; HJ (give you a hint -- it probably rhymes with "sob sob"); RW troll; server of an endless diet of carp, carp, carp; one who is usually a sayer of nonsense; one who has difficulty; one who grouses or complains, generally in an ineffective, whining fashion; a carp, carp, carper at other people's work; a non-man; one who never does proper work; eternal buttinski; pathetic excuse-maker; and one who can't create anything.

So please gentleman, please stop this long and go-nowhere infighting over what may or may not have been said and who may or may not have been insulted. I expect better from both of you. HelpJazz 18:58, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

Bravo, Jazzman. The conspiracy reveals itself. Bugler 19:03, 18 October 2008 (EDT)
Who what now? Are none of those your quotes? It becomes tough to say that your barbarisms are just the occasional slip of the tongue or misunderstood witticism when they're stacked on top of each other, one after another, doesn't it?
And by the by, if you'd just do a little bit of research you'd know that HelpJazz's original handle *here* matched his handle *over there*, and he used a different name here only when there was an issue getting back into his original account.
Certainly, there are people who have posted here with one name and there with another, and I think you're dead on that it raises questions about them. Keep up the good work on that front. Regards, Aziraphale 21:53, 18 October 2008 (EDT)

Spam Filter

Hi Philip. A word seems to be missing from the spam filter (see: [7]). Can you please add it? -Foxtrot 18:31, 19 October 2008 (EDT)

Also, when I posted this link I still got the CAPTCHA. Is there a variant of that needs to be added to the whitelist? -Foxtrot 18:32, 19 October 2008 (EDT)
I don't have access to the spam filter. Try CPWebmaster. I've tried altering the format of the whitelist; try it again and see if it works now. Philip J. Rayment 23:24, 19 October 2008 (EDT)
test Thanks, Philip, no CAPTCHA this time. I'll give CPWebmaster a try for the spam filter. -Foxtrot 01:01, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
Well, unfortunately I still got a CAPTCHA for a {{welcome}}, so there's still some other glitch somewhere. -Foxtrot 01:18, 20 October 2008 (EDT)

Divine Comedy template

I've added a Divine Comedy navigation box template to the Template Submission page. You seem to be doing a fair bit with templates at the moment - would you be the man to ask to approve mine? Thanks--CPalmer 10:12, 20 October 2008 (EDT)

I don't expect you to have found this, but please see my post here dated 23:12, 6 August 2007. Philip J. Rayment 19:14, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
Thanks--CPalmer 07:11, 21 October 2008 (EDT)

New bio template

Hi Philip! Thanks for the new biotemplate. I'm not good with templates, though (ok, I'm really bad with templates), and I can't figure out how this one works. Is there an example I can follow somewhere? I know the template page lays it out, but I think I might be able to figure out if I saw it in action. Thanks! LiamG 11:56, 20 October 2008 (EDT)

See Help:Using templates for a general guide to use, and see, say, John Howard, where a similar template has been used. Philip J. Rayment 19:50, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
Thanks! LiamG 20:18, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
I think something might be wrong with the new birthplace parameters. The "raw" version seems to automatically make a link, like the non-raw is supposed to, and the non-raw section doesn't seem to be showing up at all. Am I doing something wrong? LiamG 10:32, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
Yes, there was a bug in the {{bio}} template. I've fixed it now. Philip J. Rayment 06:01, 23 October 2008 (EDT)

Parody articles

Sorry to bug you again! AlanE found some articles that are likely parodies: Phillip John Savage II and Jordan McCann. We can't find any evidence that either person actually exists. Would you mind weighing in on this? Thanks so much! LiamG 22:13, 21 October 2008 (EDT)

Thank you! LiamG 22:26, 21 October 2008 (EDT)

English Monarchs Template

Philip, G'day; can you access the English Monarchs template please, so you see what I am talking about…

1: Ethelred changed to Ethelred I which is what he is listed under in books and is linked under here.
2: Edmund the Magnificent to Edmund I (once again his usual encyclopedia heading). He has also been called other things, but English reference books and historians don’t index him as anything but Edmund I, and it is how I have him linked.
3: Edgar the Peaceable to just Edgar. Ditto. Ditto.

The other red links (starting from E. Ironside) can stay, as they are normally referred to under those titles. I will be starting their articles in the next week or so. It would be nice to have everything blue when I have finished. Failing this, can we have redirects or some other means of turning them blue? Or if this is not your part of the ship, Who can I go to, please?

And while I have you… Philip! Cobber! Mate! (Ahem) Wadya reckon about Trade wind(s). Nuff time? Eh? AlanE 14:59, 24 October 2008 (EDT)
AlanE, I don't see a problem with either of those requests. Just a tip; it's nice when referring to a particular page that you'd like someone to go to, to make it a link. It saves them having to possibly open a new page and saves them having to type it in themselves. Template, category, and image pages can be linked by putting a colon after the opening square brackets: [[:template:nb english monarchs]] (gives template:nb english monarchs), or, in the case of templates, by using the {{tl}} template: {{tl|nb english monarchs}}.
As for the monarchs template, I could change it for you, but (a) it is not locked, so you could change it, and (b) it was written by BrianCo who is still an active contributor, so you might want to talk to him about your changes.
I've just renamed Trade wind for you.
Philip J. Rayment 18:32, 24 October 2008 (EDT)


Thanks for your response last week Philip. I have to admit I haven't seen the context of the accusation of an appeal to authority fallacy, so I probably shouldn't have said anything.

Have a good day. -- Ferret Nice old chat 21:43, 25 October 2008 (EDT)


Dear PJR,

Please create an article on Human evolution. I sent you an email regarding this matter. conservative 17:03, 26 October 2008 (EDT)

Sorry to be posting here, the admin desk is locked

You should block User:Fkjesus. He is obviously trying to say f*** Jesus. Samd 21:48, 27 October 2008 (EDT)

Done, thanks. Philip J. Rayment 21:51, 27 October 2008 (EDT)
Thank you. Also, was the admin desk being vandalized? It doesn't make any sense to have a page to make requests for administrator assistance if only admins can edit it. Samd 21:52, 27 October 2008 (EDT)
Conservapedia:Desk page is a summary or entry page, with links to sub-pages where you actually report things. However, often posting on a logged-in administrator's page will get faster results anyway. Philip J. Rayment 22:20, 27 October 2008 (EDT)

George Osborne

I've just created an article on Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, but spelt his name "Osbourne". I'm correct in assuming that I can't move articles? If so, could you please move it to the correct spelling? Much appreciated, KarlJaeger 09:00, 28 October 2008 (EDT)

Done. In future, when asking something like this, could you include a link to the page in your post? It just makes it that much easier, thanks. Philip J. Rayment 09:13, 28 October 2008 (EDT)
Thank you, and sorry for not providing a link. I didn't think of that... KarlJaeger 09:14, 28 October 2008 (EDT)

Religion and politics


I'm afraid I might not have expressed myself clearly on the main page talk. I don't believe people should not vote according to their conscience. I just believe that pontificating from on high against politicians and tying your religion to one political group is fundamentally wrong. US Republicans do not by a long shot represent mainstream Christian ethos. I'm ashamed of that party frankly for the damage its done to the world in the last eight years. All I know is that Bill Clinton, a Democrat, was a great man who visited Belfast many times and helped along a peace process. My admiration for him is virtually unlimited. If you look at what Bush has done, he has not been a harbringer of peace but of war. He has invaded countries and killed innocent civilians. He tortures people.

Then there is the Democrat support for abortion and other evil measures. I do not profess to know all the answers, but I do know just that there is good even in the darkest appearing soul. It conflicted many Irish catholics when Bill Clinton came over. We disliked his support for abortion but he helped bring this land peace, and he will have a special place in our hearts for ever. So even though I find one thing he believes in to be reprehensible, he is a man of peace. Bush and the Republican party are men of war. There is good and bad to every coin and it is WRONG to believe that one party and one politics is always right.

—The preceding unsigned comment was added by JChester (talk)

I agree that there's good and bad in all and that it's wrong to believe that one party and one politics is always right. But that's about all I'd agree with you on.
You say that your admiration for Clinton is virtually unlimited, but then say that one of his beliefs is reprehensible! Those two thoughts don't seem to go together well. And what about the example he set by having the affair he did, then lying about it? Isn't that also reprehensible?
Was God wrong to send the Israelites into battle against, say, the peoples in Palestine when they took over the land? Or do you accept that war can sometimes be justified? Because your comments above read as though Bush's wars were wrong simply because they were wars.
And of course Bush didn't target civilians; the wars were to bring justice, and some civilians have been casualties along the way. And as far as Iraq is concerned, the result has been to stop the slaughter of civilians that Hussein was carrying out.
What do you mean by "mainstream Christian ethos"? I would say that the Republican Party to a fair extent does represent mainstream American Christian ethos, and I'd also add that American Christianity is closer to biblical Christianity than in many other places.
Philip J. Rayment 21:51, 29 October 2008 (EDT)


Perhaps I did not express myself clearly. I find this hard to do with a keyboard, I'm much more eloquent in person!

My point about Bill Clinton was that although I hate the sin (Abortion) I love the person. I think this is a necessary ability for Christians. Hating the sin and loving the sinner is a fundamental Christian belief. I don't see this in the US Republican party. I see only judgements - judgements on 'Liberals', judgements on 'homosexuals', judgements on 'Muslims' even, which I find to be worst of all. As the good lord, judge not lest ye be judged. I think we all should remember this in our day to day lives.

In learning and pretending to abide by the laws of scripture, the US republican party and its followers are second to none. In living a Christian ethos, and obeying the heart of Christs message, I simply cannot see a comparison in the Republican party. I know from my travels that there are so called 'evangelical' Christians in the US who are good, honest people. I have worked with US evangelicals and Irish ones in the past to bring about understanding between our communities. But on the grand scale - when religion becomes a political issues - it corrupts religion and corrupts otherwise good people. I fear this is what has happened in the US, where so many Americans judge their politics by their religion and that entirely.

Scripture has been interpreted to enforce evil on innocents. The Church for years has used that most horrible of words - illegitimate - to describe innocent children born out of wedlock. The more crude version of this word has ruined lives of children for many years and this is wrong. There are more extreme examples, such as in South Africa, where extreme evangelicals found scripture to justify their racial oppressions, as they did in southern USA. Obeying the heart of Christs message is more important than dogmatic assertions of who is right and who is wrong.

The war in Iraq was not to bring justice to bring suffering. Please, do not talk to me about this issue unless you have been in a warzone. Unless you have, you will never understand. As a young priest I spent time in Nigeria and the suffering I saw there has left scars on me that will never heal. The violence of Northern Ireland has brought tragedy only the most dedicated could comprehend. JChester 08:08, 30 October 2008 (EDT)

I agree that as Christians we should hate the sin but love the person. But you appeared to be going well beyond that, expressing admiration for the person as well. I'm not that familiar with the Republican Party, but from what I've seen of some American Christians, I can understand what you say. However, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't judge (but we should do it in love). See here for why Matthew 7:1 is often taken out of context.
I reject your claim that only people who have been in a warzone are entitled to talk about it, and you've not explained how it was not a war to bring justice.
Philip J. Rayment 08:58, 30 October 2008 (EDT)

You may reject my claim but unless you have experienced war you will only ever come off as an offensive amatuer when talking about it.

In the main page talk I posted the Luke version in full. That interpretation is shockingly political. The link you provided is irrelevantly partisan. I'm beginning to think that talking to you is an unproductive use of my time. JChester 09:05, 30 October 2008 (EDT)

You may dismiss my rejection, but unless you substantiate your claim with more than special pleading you will only ever come off as someone who dismisses rather than explains.
Okay, you posted the Luke version in full. But you didn't post John 7:24, did you? Simply claiming that a site is "partisan" is not an argument, but a dismissal. I don't see how talking to me is a waste of your time when I've agreed with you on some points. Do I have to agree with you on everything in order for you to consider it worth debating?
Philip J. Rayment 09:17, 30 October 2008 (EDT)

I say on my main page that the internet is a great learning resource if used correctly. Your link is a good example of why this is the case.

I wonder will mankind ever reach a stage where we don't find it necessary to divide ourselves, be it along religious, racial or political lines. JChester 14:08, 30 October 2008 (EDT)

This side of Heaven? I don't think so. Philip J. Rayment 08:10, 31 October 2008 (EDT)