You said I claimed to be objective and open-minded.

I never made this claim. I don't think anybody is totally objective or open-minded and we should not fool ourselves into thinking we are. I encourage being as objective and open-minded as possible and I attempt to do that myself. You would like to attribute the difference in our opinions to my character flaws, but I think it is more productive to try to understand what events and assumptions in our backgrounds brought us to such different paths.

My presupposition makes me put the bar for biblical truth above that for evolution.

Not true. In effect you are the one who put the bar high for the Bible because you claim it is inerrant. I don't claim any particular scientist or journal or theory or article is inerrant. If I did you would have every right to nitpick it. Any contradiction or falsehood you found would show that I was mistaken. Actually, the Christian claim that the Bible is the "Word of God" suggests an even higher bar - not only should it be free of mistakes, it should be absolutely brilliant in every respect. Actually, however, you are the one who is interested in setting bars. I don't think we should aim at setting some criteria for success or failure. If you think you are going to persuade me that "Theism" is a correct philosophy, you have given yourself a nearly impossible task. I am sure I have little hope of turning you into a secular humanist. At best I might make you aware of some weaknesses in you position you might not have known about beforehand, and if you do the same with regards to my position, I consider that useful to me.

"Randomness produces fine tuning" is not a strawman argument?

It absolutely is a strawman argument. I don't believe randomness produces fine tuning. No evolutionist believes this. To imply that evolutionists believe this is a deliberate lie made with the intention of discrediting them. It is a clear case of misrepresenting their position in order to prove them wrong. It is not the sort of statement a person seeking the truth makes. The other statements in Strobel's list also distort the evolutionist position, but are at least slightly defensible.

" doesn't need to seek out evolutionary information or read books by evolutionists to become fully aware of the latest thinking in the field."

You may get an inkling of what the issues are this way, but whatever you get will be grossly distorted by the biases of the sources you use. If you want to have any credibility at all as a seeker of truth, you cannot judge a controversial position solely by information provided by its opponents. Opponents of a position will happily tell you what that position is, and I guarantee you that every single time they will express it in such a way that their own arguments against it will seem valid.

Would you feel that I could do a fair job of assessing Theism if everything I knew about it I had gotten from secular humanists? You shouldn't. Secular humanists are not fair when they argue against Theists just like Theists aren't fair when they argue against secular humanists. Evolutionists aren't fair when they argue against creationists and creationists aren't fair when they argue against evolutionists. We can't expect the material presented by one side of a controversy to be fair.

It is human nature to become polarized on one side of emotional issues, and the tragic result is things like war, hatred, and racism. Most of us tend to seek others that think like we do and we reinforce each other's prejudices. Even if we do take pains to hear the opposition point of view directly from qualified spokespeople for that view, we will still have trouble giving it a fair shake. If we only get their point of view from partisans on our side, it is virtually hopeless that we could ever overcome our prejudices no matter how right the other side might be and how wrong our side might be.

A person should never form a strong opinion on a controversy if they have not heard the best arguments for the other side from those who support that side. This applies to everybody on every issue.


[Replies to omitted part of the discussion not included. Contact me if you are interested - Bob K.]