Monday, October 13, 2014

Columbus Day: Another Day, Another Year of Shame

It was in the year 2011 that I began this series of posts, expressing the shame I felt for this national holiday. Well, it is that time of year again and there are more movements popping up trying to get the word out to more and more people. Just recently in Seattle, Washington the City Council voted unanimously for replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples' Day. Fox News reports that other cities have followed suit. I hope more follow until Columbus is celebrated no more.

A few years ago Nu Heightz Cinema filmmakers Carlos Germosen and Crystal Whelan created the following PSA to “reconsider Columbus Day.” I think everyone should listen to and act on their message.

What follows in the original post I've repeatedly posted each year about Columbus Day.

Today is Columbus Day. A day that has become a national holiday. Even though it's somewhat well known what Christopher Columbus did to the natives when he landed in the americas I sometimes wonder what certain Statists' and patriots' feelings are about it. Personally I am ashamed of this act in our history. It is even more shameful that it is celebrated as it is.

In the multivolume History of the Indies Bartolome de las Casas describes what the Europeans did to the natives,

Endless testimonies....prove the mild and pacific temperament of the natives....But our work was to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle and destroy; small wonder, then, if they tried to kill one of us now and then.... The admiral, it is true, was blind as those who came after him, and he was so anxious to please the King that he committed irreparable crimes against the Indians.... [1]

After enslaving the natives the Europeans worked them to the point of death.

Thus husbands and wives were together only once every eight or ten months and when they met they were so exhausted and depressed on both sides....they ceased to procreate. As for the newly born, they died early because their mothers, overworked and famished, had no milk to nurse them, and for this reason, while I was in Cuba, 7000 children died in three months. Some mothers even drowned their babies from sheer desperation.... In this way, husbands died in the mines, wives died at work, and children died from lack of milk....and in a short time this land which was so great, so powerful and fertile....was depopulated.... My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write..... [2]

In American Holocaust David Stannard writes that approximately 100,000,000 natives were exterminated, or nearly exterminated, due to acts of cruelty, genocide, and disease. [3] Of course, it seems many historians place that figure around 50,000,000 so the precise number seems to vary. [4]

While many people might celebrate this day as a day Columbus “found” america (there were millions living here before he even showed up and took over) I will remember it for what it was: a time of mass slavery and genocide and I will mourn those who lost their lives and their land.

1. A Peoples' History of the United States: 1492-Present, by Howard Zinn, HarperPerennial, 2005; 6

2. Ibid.; 7

3. American Holocaust:‭ ‬The Conquest of the New World,‭ ‬by David E.‭ ‬Stannard,‭ ‬Oxford University Press,‭ ‬1992‭; 151

4. Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas - accessed 10-10-11

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Via The Intercept: “Irate NSA Staffer Doesn’t Like Being Filmed in Public, for Some Reason”

An interesting piece of news was posted on The Intercept yesterday. An article by John Cook reported on two videos shot by University of New Mexico students, who recorded their encounter with an NSA employee, who came to their school for a recruitment effort. It's pretty ironic how a man who wants to spy on literally everyone gets offended when his own privacy is violated by someone sticking a camera in his face. And when the representative of the NSA asks the young man if he received his permission to film him I would have replied, “No, but did you get my permission to collect my personal communications? No. So shut the hell up.”

Thursday, September 11, 2014

I Feel Violated: The TSA Molested Me

A number of years ago when I flew to visit family the newly released “strip-search machines,” or the ‘millimetre wave’ and 'backscatter’ machines, had recently been rolled out to allegedly help keep passengers “safe” from “terrorists.” I recounted my experience dealing the the TSA and how they tried to humiliate me, an experience many others have had.

In the past when I've refused the body scanners I had not experienced the invasive groping of crotches I've often read about, though male TSA agents have run the backs of their hands down by butt, which was always an uncomfortable experience (It should be noted that I do not fly very often). But while flying a few times recently I have had some more unpleasant experiences. In the past, when a TSA agent asks if I have any sensitive areas on my body I sometimes respond with, “my groin” and this seems to ensure the TSA does not touch my private areas. As an experiment, I also sometimes respond with a “No” to see just how invasive the pat-downs might get, and prior to this incident I had not been groped in the groin area even when telling the TSA agent “No.” But I suppose this particular TSA had no misgivings about violating a complete stranger.

While flying through Kansas City International Airport an elderly TSA agent briefly explained to me the pat-down procedure and asked me if I had any sensitive areas on my body. As I've done in the past, I responded with a “No,” which I was about to regret. During the explanation of the pat-down he was about to perform he did not inform me that he was going to touch my genitals, so when his hand slid up one of my legs during the pat-down I was not expecting his hand to make contact with my genitals. As the TSA agent's hand slid up my leg his hand went up until it touched my testicles, which hurt a little bit. But apparently, once wasn't enough. He ran his hand up along my right leg for a second time, touching my crotch again. Each time I rose up onto the balls of my feet to get away from this man's inappropriate touching and each time I felt horribly violated and angry. For about an hour after this experience, my groin area ached slightly. From this point on, I am never going to take my chances again and will make sure I tell the TSA to keep their damn hands off of my junk! The touching of my rear end is bad enough!

At another airport, this time at Mesa, Arizona, a female TSA agent copped an attitude with me when I refused to go through the body scanner. In the past when I'd opted out I was allowed to walk to a screening area close to my belongings so I could keep an eye on them. But not this time. I asked the woman if I could go over to keep an eye on my bags that had just gone through the x-ray machine and the woman replied very nastily, “Oh no you can't! If you want to go near your bags you need to go through the body scanner.” This pissed me off, as I tried to look through the crowd of people to see if I could spot my belongings to ensure no one walked off with them or took anything out of them. Finally, after a few minutes the woman allowed me through where I was patted down by a male TSA agent, but was not violated as in the most recent incident.

I saw on YouTube a Colorado woman named Yukari Mihamae grabbed the left breast of a TSA agent and was arrested for sexual abuse. Interesting. A “citizen” touches another person's private areas and is arrested for sexual assault. The TSA does it and it's perfectly alright. The inequality of our society is growing and growing.

From this point on I will never experiment going through a TSA check point again and I hope anyone else who goes through a check point will heed this advice. Unfortunately, females have two intimate places (not counting the rear end) that are often searched during screenings and I'm unaware of how effective telling the TSA that both your breasts and vagina are both sensitive. It may lead to more aggressive touching if you deny the agent access to two places rather than one, since the TSA agent might suspect you're trying to hide something. (After writing this sentence, I recognize the absurdity of talking about having to choose which private area to have touched by a stranger just to get on a damn plane) However, had I tucked something into my crotch region in the past and said “Yes” when asked if I had any sensitive areas on my body I could easily have gotten through security with something dangerous. In that case, how in the world are these procedures doing anything to “keep people safe?!” The TSA just needs to stop molesting people!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Lucifer Effect – September 2014

There have been numerous cases of police brutality and misconduct recently with the horrible murder of African American teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014. The resulting protests by members of the community and surrounding areas drew media and a highly militarized police force who made the streets of Ferguson look like a war zone. Here are a few videos of these protests and the over the top police response.

Also in Ferguson, a member of the police force was recorded on video pointing his automatic weapon at protesters. The YouTube video description describes the video as follows: “At roughly 11:55 PM CDT on August 20th, 2014, a Ferguson police officer was spotted randomly pointing an assault rifle at protesters. This event was captured by the citizen journalist Rebelutionary_Z. The officer pointed his rifle at Rebelutionary_Z's companion, identified as Josiah (an African-American), and said 'I will fucking kill you, get back.' When asked for his name by Rebelutionary_Z, the officer responded 'Go fuck yourself.'” This police officer was later identified as Lt. Ray Albers.

In another incident caught via camera, a Tennessee collage student Jarod Dotson was photographed as he was being violently choked until losing consciousness by Tennessee sheriff's deputy identified as Frank Phillips. Phillips was later found to be “'unsuitable for continued employment,' according to a termination notice posted Sunday night on the Knox County Sheriff's Office's website.” Below are the pictures taken of the incident. As can be clearly seen Dotson does not appear to be resisting arrest or being combative or troublesome in any way but Phillips walks to the front of Dotson and wraps his hands around the young man's neck until his knees appear to buckle and he falls to the ground, likely due to losing consciousness. Even has Dotson is falling Phillips still has his hands around his neck.

Recorded on March 8, 2013 the next video depicts officers with the El Paso police department trying to subdue an obviously agitated man named Daniel Rodrigo Saenz and one of the officers, Jose Flores, shoots and kills Saenz, even though his hands were hand-cuffed behind his back. I do not buy the cops' excuses for why he was killed. There was no reason for Flores to pull his weapon in the first place. The man was on the ground with his arms restrained behind his back. In that situation there is no need to draw a firearm in that situation. Saenz did not present a deadly threat from that position and drawing a deadly weapon was unjustified. Chalk it up to another police cover-up and another murder by police that goes entirely unpunished.

In this next video, a cop kicks a hand-cuffed child in the head for being a little mouthy. The YouTube description describes what took place: “Members of the Boynton Beach Police Department may be asked to explain their actions, after video footage has emerged of the officers allegedly choking and kicking sixth grade students, aged approximately 11 years.

The boys were reportedly pulled off the school bus for some minor behavioral issues, when police arrived. One boy was initially handcuffed and sat on the ground, while police handcuffed the second student. In the first video, the student standing with the officer on the left of screen is allegedly roughly detained. However, the second video shows an officer kicking the student in the rear of his legs, causing him to fall heavily. It is this action which remains questionable and will probably come under further scrutiny.”

This final video is pretty long, but it seems to me that the young man in the video was innocent, going about his business, and did nothing wrong, and these Mesa, Arizona cops decide to harass him and his friend. Granted the friend was drunk, but he wasn't driving. His sober friend was driving, so it seems odd that he was arrested merely for being drunk. Then their car was towed apparently for no good reason other than the cops can abuse people like this. This appears to be a case of abuse of power on the part of these cops.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Book TV: Book Discussion on Old Wine, Broken Bottle: Norman Finkelstein on the Arab-Israeli Conflict

Book TV featured a talk by Norman Finkelstein, author of the recently released book Old Wine, Broken Bottle: Ari Shavit's Promised Land at Red Emma’s Bookstore in Baltimore on July 30, 2014.

It's an extremely good discussion. Finkelstein breaks each of the issues down and explains them all, exposing the misinformation spread by Israel and the media that repeats their factually flawed narratives.

Norman Finkelstein: " Book Discussion on Old Wine, Broken Bottle"


Friday, August 8, 2014

Clearing Up the Shenanigans: Tom Gilson and True Reason

It seems that Tom Gilson would like to continue to play the typical Christian apologist “you don't get my arguments” card, rather than explain in clear terms what exactly his chapter was about, if he was in fact not making the argument I attributed to him (which seems wildly off the mark, since I quote him directly several times). In my last post I restated my argument and quoted Gilson directly from Chapter 12 to demonstrate to those who might be curious that I did indeed correctly interpret his argument.

To this response, all Gilson has done is play coy, refusing to elaborate on what his argument entailed and why my reply was in error. When asked to defend his argument he replied by saying:

By the way: I didn't defend my argument from the book because what you wrote was either obviously wrong (for example, that God violated natural law when he created ex nihilo) or unrelated to my argument. There was nothing there for me to defend my argument from.
On a first impression your blog post looked like a criticism of my chapter. On a closer look it turned out to be more or less unsuccessful criticisms of other things. That's why I wrote a blog post wondering what it was that you were after.
Resipisence, I'm glad you liked his question.

AA, if you didn't understand what the questions on my blog post had to do with your response, may I point out that most of them included quotations from that post, and the rest of them paraphrased things you had written?

If you can't figure out what those quotations and paraphrases had to do with your post, shall I try again? If I try again, what would you suggest I do to make the connections clear? The usual answer to that question is quotations and paraphrases. Is there a better approach that I'm not aware of?

This reply is curious since his blog post responding to my initial criticisms doesn't even come close to addressing nearly anything I said, and it appears to further confuse the situation.

I am going to go through and breakdown Gilson's entire response to demonstrate why I believe his responses thus far have been less than satisfactory.

I’m having trouble figuring out what the Arizona Atheist is after in his critique of my Chapter 10 in True Reason: Responding to the Irrationality of the New Atheism. (You can read a version of that chapter here.)

After comparing the original article and the slightly edited piece in True Reason, the original article is a pretty close match, with the exception of the last five paragraphs describing how science relied upon a belief in a natural order, which was provided by Christianity, according to Gilson. My guess as to why he edited this section from the piece in True Reason is because in Chapter 11 Sean McDowell made the same argument already, which I successfully rebutted. In short, atheistic Greeks saw the orderliness of nature long before Christianity arrived.

Gilson continues, which is where things begin to get confusing. I will place the entirety of Gilson's reply in blockquotes and respond throughout:

He might be trying to show that my explanation was ad hoc. He mentioned something to that effect early on, but if that was his purpose, he didn’t carry it through. He proceeded to write as if trying to show that my explanation was incoherent, not ad hoc (made up or generated for no reason but to fill an explanatory gap).

I appreciate the definition of ad hoc, but I know what it means, which is why I used it. I called Gilson's argument ad hoc simply for the reasons I stated in my last post. His arguments are brought forth with no supporting basis, which is what most of my reply goes on to defend.

He might be saying that miracles happen too often (according to Christian teaching) for science to work. That was the main subject matter of my chapter, so it would be a relevant complaint. He only refers to a very short list of miracles, however, so if that’s what he was after, it was a tepid attempt at best.

Am I arguing that “miracles happen too often?” Yes, but Gilson misses my point. It had nothing to do with science, it had everything to do with god. Gilson argued in True Reason that god wants his creations to be “responsible moral agents;” and god also wants his creations to learn from experience. All of these things would not be possible if we lived in a world “of constant supernatural intervention” because “if there is to much chaos (“noise”) in a transmission, the message (signal) can’t get through to be clearly understood.” (130)

I argued that, at least according to numerous Christians around the world, their god intervenes in the affairs of the world on a daily basis and I provided one, among other examples, of a Christian friend who thanked god for coming across a set of chairs in someone's yard.

I also argued that far from being opposed to constant supernatural intervention the entire basis of Christianity is built upon supernatural intervention, including god coming down in human form as Jesus to the creation of the world out of absolutely nothing, which are in fact acts of the supernatural, unlike what Gilson stated in his reply (“it’s more than slightly difficult to see how God violated natural law by creating natural law (as creation ex nihilo indicates).”). Gilson's argument makes no logical sense. Christians argue all the time that “something cannot come from nothing” but for Christians apparently it's OK. And I suppose a man rising from the dead or a god-man coming down from heaven isn't a supernatural event? Gilson says nothing about these core beliefs of Christianity.

He might be saying that Christians’ purported prayer answers, if they were real, would indicate God interfering with the natural order too often for science to work. But that’s not likely, because the prayer answers he points to are not the sort of thing that undermine the regularity of nature.

This is why I said Gilson's reply did not appear to have anything to do with my response. In fact, I mention prayer not once throughout the entire reply. The idea isn't even hinted at. And he has badly understood the reasoning behind my responses, even though I thought I made it perfectly clear.

He might be saying that Christians’ prayer answers are “mere coincidences or hallucinations” — in fact he does suggest that — but if that’s his complaint, he’s simply changing the subject. That’s an interesting question, but not one that has anything to do with my chapter in True Reason.

Once again the word “prayer” is not to be found in the entire reply. And the partial quote Gilson uses is from this: “Do miracles happen as Christians attest all of the time or not? Does god intervene on a near daily basis or is the universe orderly and these events I’ve recounted are mere coincidences or hallucinations? Gilson can’t have it both ways.” I was summing up my argument that either supernatural interventions occur on a nearly daily basis as Christians attest around the world, or they do not. If they do, as my arguments suggest, then Gilson's argument, stating that god doesn't want to intervene very often, or that these interventions would not cause an interference in the natural order are false. In fact, as an example I said, referring to my Christian friend finding the chairs: “If Gilson argues that an orderly universe is a necessity then these “miracles” would be a near impossibility and god wouldn’t intervene as often as he clearly seems to do in the lives of many of his believers. Did my friend’s god get inside of that man’s head and convince him to get rid of perfectly good chairs? Did my friend’s god also get inside of his head and tell him to go down that street at that exact time of day? If not, why not? Do miracles happen as Christians attest all of the time or not? Does god intervene on a near daily basis or is the universe orderly and these events I’ve recounted are mere coincidences or hallucinations? Gilson can’t have it both ways.”

I would argue that causing an event to happen by making someone take a particular action that they may not have taken if not for the supernatural intervention seems to me to be a pretty large interference in the natural world. Why did my friend drive down that particular street at that particular time of day? And why did this man discard several perfectly good chairs?

He might be saying that God has problems doing hard things. That seems to be what he’s after here, speakcing of providential (not miraculous) prayer answers:

[Quoting me:] If Gilson argues that an orderly universe is a necessity then these “miracles” would be a near impossibility and god [sic] wouldn’t intervene as often as he clearly seems to do in the lives of many of his believers.

I can’t imagine, though, why he would think near impossibilities pose any problem for God as Christians understand God.

This makes no sense and he does not even deal with the context of my argument in the least. I just quoted this portion of one of my arguments above. It appears Gilson did not understand it at all.

He might be saying that Christians believe God is really messing around with natural law most of the time:
[Quoting me:] Even the very basis of Christianity is premised on miracles, ie. the very violation of natural laws: creation of the world ex nihilo and Jesus being brought back to life after being dead as a door nail for three days.
There must be some confusion there, though, since it’s more than slightly difficult to see how God violated natural law by creating natural law (as creation ex nihilo indicates). And again, while Christianity is premised on miracles, he hasn’t said anything to establish that it’s premised on miracles so frequent that science won’t work.

Finally, it appears that Gilson seems to have grasped my argument, but claims I never made an attempt to demonstrate how many miraculous events would cause a disruption in the natural world. Doesn't a man rising from the dead count? Doesn't god essentially getting inside peoples' heads, making them or influencing them to do certain things a violation of natural law??? This seems an absurd thing to say. He appears to pretend I said nothing about this!

Or he might be saying that I’ve made some mistake in proposing (as I did) that God made the universe orderly enough for humans to learn, understand, communicate, and be responsible for what we do:
[Quoting me:] Finally, the universe is much less orderly than he assumes and we have had a lot of difficulty understanding much of it. On the larger scale things appear to happen in a logical order and objects behave in an orderly manner. But once we move to the quantum level of the universe things get rather confusing and no longer behave as our rational minds would expect. This makes no sense on Gilson’s view because if god [sic] created the world in order for us to understand his creation and to “learn from experience,” then our many experiences and scientific observations would not conflict with our current understanding of the universe.
No, on the larger scale (the scale that’s relevant to my chapter in the book) things do not appear to happen “in a logical order and … in an orderly manner.” They do behave that way, except in the realm of personal freedom and choice. Quantum strangeness has no relevance to my point in that chapter. His premise here is flawed. But the biggest problem with that is that it’s a shot in the dark. He’s given no reason to suppose that his conclusion is true. If he tried he would fail, because there is no possible reason it could be true.

Gilson argued that “God intends that humans be able to 'learn from experience.'” But, if a large part of our universe is qualitatively difficult to understand shouldn't that count against his argument that god created the universe so we could understand it? Is the quantum world not a part of this universe? Of course it is! Did god not create the quantum world? If not, who did? But this is absurd of course. Christians believe that god created the entire universe. Gilson simply has no response to this very relevant fact.

He might be trying to tell us that naturalism explains things supernaturalism does not. He says this quite explicitly, in fact. He doesn’t tell us what that has to do with the content of the chapter he’s supposedly critiquing, though; nor does he enlighten us on why he thinks it relevant that “The laws of nature have never been shown to change. Most acts of the supernatural have perfectly natural explanations today.”

He is ignoring the context here. This quotation was a part of my brief discussion about the quantum world. I said that naturalism describes this quantum world better than Gilson's supernaturalist view. I said this because on the Christian view god supposedly created the world so we can understand it, but apparently we are unable to understand a large part of the world. This makes no sense on a supernaturalist view of the world, but makes perfect sense on a naturalist view of the world.

The other partial quote he uses has nothing to do with the quantum world argument I made. I said in full:

The laws of nature have never been shown to change. Most acts of the supernatural have perfectly natural explanations today, which leaves less and less room for the Christian god to hide. Christians must get increasingly clever about the rationalizations they use to ensure their god stays relevant. But this can only go on for so long. At this point in time I believe the evidence is such that the only logical god would be a Deistic god. As Lawrence M. Krauss said in his Wall Street Journal article: “Though the scientific process may be compatible with the vague idea of some relaxed deity who merely established the universe and let it proceed from there, it is in fact rationally incompatible with the detailed tenets of most of the world’s organized religions.” I believe this is the only logical religious position that is possible today.

I was alluding to Gilson's ad hoc arguments here, describing his and other Christians' rationalizations they continually use to prop up their ridiculous arguments, such as Gilson's in his Chapter that god doesn't want to intervene in the lives of his creations very often, when the facts say otherwise.

Gilson concludes his nonsensical reply with the following:

He does go on to add, “… which leaves less and less room for the Christian god [sic] to hide,” but again, there’s no indication of how that has anything to do with a chapter refuting Krauss’s argument that if science works then there must not be a God involved in nature. It’s another topic; an interesting one, but what it’s doing here in this location, I don’t know.
Now, if I felt the freedom to wander around and touch on multiple flaws in atheism, I could do so, just like he has with theism. I could go into detail on ways the Arizona Atheist missed the mark with his ad hoc accusation, his misunderstanding of the place of miracles and providence in Christianity, his demeaning view of Christians (with our “coincidences or hallucinations,” as if we can’t muster together the brain cells to think about such possibilities), his small view of a God who can’t do hard things, his mistaken view of God’s sovereign, ongoing relation to his creation, even his view of quantum physics.
If I did that, I would at least be responding to something he had said.
But rather than going into all that, I’ll just leave it at wondering, what is the Arizona Atheist after?

Krauss' article discussed the fact that Christians' rationalizations are becoming more and more desperate (like Gilson's arguments in True Reason) and that the only god that is compatible with science is the god is Deism.

Actually, as I've explained throughout this reply I did not merely “touch on multiple flaws” of Christianity. I responded directly to the arguments of Gilson's. His summary of what he believed my arguments to be were entirely inaccurate, and only once did he even correctly state my position, but failed to respond to my actual point.

The god of Christianity does appear to intervene within the world on a near constant basis, according to most Christians and the very basis of Christianity is premised upon miracle claims, placing it in direct conflict with science, which has shown the world to work with a certain regularity and consistency.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tom Gilson Replies to My Response to Chapter 12 of True Reason

Tom Gilson has responded to my latest installment of my review of True Reason. In my response to Chapter 12, titled “God and Science Do Mix” Tom Gilson quotes Lawrence M. Krauss, who in turn quotes J.B.S. Haldane, from a 2009 Wall Street Journal article:

My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world. (129)

Gilson responds in his chapter: “He is right, of course, to take it that science depends on nature generally behaving itself. But he is wrong to think this is incompatible with Christianity.” He continues by making a series of arguments about how god wishes to communicate with his creations; god wants his creations to be “responsible moral agents;” and god also wants his creations to learn from experience. All of these things would not be possible if we lived in a world “of constant supernatural intervention” because “if there is to much chaos (“noise”) in a transmission, the message (signal) can't get through to be clearly understood.” (130)

As I said in my review of the Chapter:

Essentially all Gilson is arguing is that his god doesn’t want to dazzle his creations with constant supernatural interventions because he wants us to be able to predict with enough regularity the workings of the cosmos so we can do science and be responsible for our actions and learn from our experiences.

This argument fails for three reasons. First, it completely defies typical Christian experience; second, it contradicts the very foundation of Christianity; and third, this argument does not fit with what we know (or rather, don’t know) about the universe.

I go on to elaborate on these points. Gilson argued that god wants regularity in nature for the above reasons, but I argued that Gilson's argument contradicts the facts in a number of ways. First, it defies typical Christian experience, when Christians see miracles occurring in their lives on a daily basis; second, the very creation of “something from nothing” is another miracle claim, and third, despite Gilson's claims to the contrary, the universe is not as logical as he makes his readers believe. While our logical minds can grasp the universe on larger scales, our logical minds have much difficulty grasping the seeming illogical nature of the quantum world, where things appear to happen randomly and spontaneously without apparent reason or cause, which puts the universe at odds with our logical minds. Gilson's reasons contradict everything we know about the universe and about Christianity.

Why Gilson seems so confused is beyond me. In the final paragraph he writes,

God's desire to have a relationship of communication with humans, to give humans moral responsibility, and to make a world in which we can learn and grow, can all be found in pages of Scripture that predate modern science by millennia. (132)

He also says this on page 131: “Again, chaos of the sort Krauss envisions would clearly work against God's purposes.”

But as I demonstrated, the Christian world is not as orderly as Gilson argues with the many violations of natural law that are claimed to happen to Christians on a near daily basis. Now, I did not address Gilson's claim here that “And what is science but systematized learning from experience?”

His other argument appears to revolve around the idea that because god wants his creatures to learn “from experience” this makes Christianity compatible with science. This argument was so nonsensical I did not feel it merited a response so I focused on what appeared to be Gilson's main argument, since it took up over 90% of the chapter, describing the ways in which god wants an orderly universe for his creations. Since that series of arguments are flawed his very conclusion is also flawed.

Science is defined as “a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. In an older and closely related meaning, 'science' also refers to a body of knowledge itself, of the type that can be rationally explained and reliably applied.”

Gilson's definition is horribly simplistic, but if one properly defines science Christianity has nothing to do with it at all. Christianity is based upon faith, not testing, nor searching for answers outside of their limited belief system. In his work The Prescriptions Against the Heretics I think Tertullian summed up the typical anti-scientific views of most Christians when he said:

After Jesus Christ we have no need of speculation, after the Gospel no need of research. When we come to believe, we have no desire to believe anything else; for we begin by believing that there is nothing else which we have to believe...

In conclusion, I believe Gilson either did not grasp the counter-argument I was making, or this is just another example of sloppy writing on his part.