I will just make some comments on your last note and proceed to send more information on my case in a separate note. I will not wait for your response and I will assume that no response in needed.
Thanks for clarifying that you are not angry with God.
Mormons: One source for my comments is the book below. As usual I don't have my copy available to me.
Islam: Islam and Christianity, both cannot be true. They are contradictory. Their Gods are opposite. Mohammad started Islam about 700 AD. He reduced the 360 pagan gods down to one god, Allah, about that time. Have you read the Koran? You think the Bible has contradictions! Mohammad was illiterate. He learned about the Christianity and Judaism from his contemporaries. However, he got their teachings really mixed up. How hard is it to make a religion that robs and plunders everybody and takes revenge on our enemies. God wrote the commandments on the tables of stone about 2000 years before Islam existed. The concept is completely opposite to that of the Bible. My point is, and will continue to be, we should pay attention when things are opposite, particularly if we are technically trained.
Loving Your Neighbor: If what you say about how you and other humanists feel is true, I think that is great. However, several things make me question whether your position mirrors the Biblical position. I don't believe the humanist manifestos state this in words similar to the Biblical statement. You stated that "There are two qualities that we want in a moral system; it should be as favorable as possible to our own interests, and it should have as much appeal as possible to others". This statement appears to me to put yourself ahead of the others and does not mirror the Biblical position. Also, you stated that "Individuals that don't abide by the moral contract are still among the group whose good we try to maximize, but we recognize that sanctions may be necessary (ranging from disapproval to imprisonment or even execution) if this would increase the overall good." The question is the "overall good" in whose opinion. What this says is that a majority voting block should forcibly impose their beliefs on the minority. Didn't this philosophy result in the holocaust? Also, your comments on abortion are consistent with imposing their will on others (unborn babies). Consequently, I don't know if I can say that you or humanists are in line with the Bible on this concept. However, if you do mirror the Biblical position, you do not completely represent the anti-Biblical force we see operating in our world that I define as humanism. My question to you and humanists is, do you mirror the Biblical position on any theme or concept? Beyond this the Bible teaches that we should put God before man. Consequently, no matter how much humanists are for what is best for man, they are still contrary to the Biblical position.
George Wald Quote: Both the Humanist Manifestos and the humanist websites I checked state explicitly a belief in evolution. i.e. evolution is true. I believe the difference between the conclusions on what George Wald said is simply that when an evolutionist looks at it he can't accept it because it ignores the magic of the long time scale they believe can and did accomplish evolution. Those of us that don't believe in the magic, can accept it as stated. It is a burden of proof issue.
Michael Ruse Quote: We agree.
John Dunphy Quote: We agree on quote. I don't know how you can sidestep the fact that humanists writing in humanists journals etc. represent humanism. Perhaps you are not a card carrying humanist. If so, remember that you don't exactly represent what I am referring to. My point is that the humanism forces went on to accomplish exactly what John Dunphy stated. Consequently, how can you think that he is not main stream? If "secular humanists" haven't been at the center of changing the worldview taught in schools from traditional Christian to humanist, who has? Below is a quote from the American Humanist Association website.
Many kinds of humanism exist in the contemporary world. The varieties and emphases of naturalistic humanism include "scientific," "ethical," "democratic," "religious," and "Marxist" humanism. Free thought, atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, deism, rationalism, ethical culture, and liberal religion all claim to be heir to the humanist tradition.
This is exactly what I am referring to by my humanist philosophy classification. Although they vary, they are all anti-Theistic and belong in the same classification. They must have inadvertently left off "secular humanism". You and others may vary in your thinking from each other, but you still have a strong association.
H. S. Lipson Quote: What you say may be true, but he still was a physics professor that published his belief in a Bulletin. He was not a professional theologian.
Sir Arthur Keith Quote: I can't vouch for its authenticity. I can certainly come up with more quotes that I can vouch for. Gould has other quotes I can vouch for.
Information Gathering Methods: As a journalist I would completely agree with you on the gathering method. Just get all the information you can and report it. This is just an information parroting process. However, if some of the teachings were false or they were hiding the truth, it is not necessarily the best way to find out the truth. I think the best method to identify truth is to act like a lawyer and analyze all the information with a suspicious eye. I think it is better to ask each side about the other side or look for whistleblowers or dissenting opinions, if you really want to uncover some contradiction, falsehood or problem. I am trying to boil the information down to identify the truth. I am looking for similarities, opposites etc. where we can apply rational thought and statistical thinking. You are an intelligent and knowledgeable person. Using your information gathering methods, have you been able to boil down what is going on in our world to a simple model? Can you explain the good and evil in the world? Can you explain why we have all the pain and suffering in our world? Why do we have such great polarization? If so, I like your methods.
When you discount anomalies, dissenting opinions etc. such as the quotes I presented and the change in the definition in science and additional facts that I present to you and only accept the PR of the humanistic writings, you are looking for cover, not uncovering falsehoods.
Humanists as Gods: By stating that "humanists are a god unto themselves", simply means that no higher authority exists. The Manifestos certainly support that man is religious. Religious people always hold up and in a sense worship something. With humanism it is "man" including his intellect. Several quotes from the Humanist Manifesto ll support this. "No deity will save us; we must save ourselves." "Reason and intelligence are the most effective instruments that humankind possesses. There is no substitute: neither faith nor passion suffices in itself." I notice you have pictures of Greek philosophers on your website. I am not implying that man necessarily has any specific attributes of a Theistic God. I am not trying to portray humanists in a negative light, but if they are pushing a false philosophy, I have no choice but to let the chips fall where they may. If Theists are pushing a false philosophy, we need to hold them responsible also. By definition. if we are for truth, we are against untruth! Right?
Genesis and Man's Development: This debate is another example where the Bible and humanism are opposite. humanism believes man went from animals to a primitive human state and continued to progress to where we are today. The Bible teaches that the creation was perfect and man deteriorated since the creation. Agreement on issues like this would nullify my case of opposites.
I understand where you are coming from concerning writers of Genesis. I actually have read a book on the subject by Josh McDowell. However, again the book is not with me, but I would like to quote the commentary from a Bible I have that completely explains the issue.
"Until about 200 years ago, practically all authorities accepted the fact that Moses wrote Genesis and all the rest of the Pentateuch as well. The first writer to question this seems to have been a French physician, Jean Astruc, about the time of the French revolution. Astruc argued that two writers wrote the two creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2, on the basis of the different names for God used in the two chapters. Later writers during the nineteenth century, notably the German higher critic Julius Wellhausen, developed this idea into the elaborate documentary hypothesis of the origin of the Pentateuch.
According to this notion, the Pentateuch was written much later than the time of Moses, by at least four different writers or groups of writers, commonly identified now by J, E, D and P (standing for the Jehovist, Elohist, Deuteronomist and Priestly documents, respectively.) Although some form of this theory is still being taught in some seminaries and college departments of religion, it has been thoroughly discredited by conservative scholars. This is discussed further in the Introduction to Exodus and other books of the Pentateuch, except for Genesis itself.
For Genesis, however, there is real substance to the documentary idea, though certainly not in the Astruc/Wellhausen form. In fact, it seems likely that Moses was the compiler and editor of a number of earlier documents, written by Adam and other ancient patriarchs. After all, the events of Genesis took place long before Moses was born, whereas he was a direct participant in the events recorded in the other four books of the Pentateuch.
It is reasonable that Adam and his descendents all knew how to write, and therefore kept records of their own times (note the mention of "the book of the generations of Adam" in Genesis 5:1). These records (probably kept on stone or clay tablets) were possibly handed down from father to son in the line of the God-fearing patriarchs until they finally were acquired by Moses when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt. During the wilderness wanderings, Moses compiled them into the book of Genesis, adding his own explanatory editorial comments where needed. Genesis is still properly considered as one of the books of Moses, since its present form is due to him, but it really records the eyewitness records of these primeval histories, as written originally by Adam, Noah, Shem, Isaac, Jacob and other ancient patriarchs.
The respective divisions of Genesis can be recognized by the recurring phrase: "These are the generations of ...." The archaeologist P. J. Wiseman has shown that these statements probably represent the "signatures," so to speak, of the respective writers as they concluded their accounts of the events during their lifetimes.
The Hebrew word for "generations" (toledoth) was translated in the Septuagint Greek by the Greek word genesis (used in the New Testament only in Matthew 1:1, there translated "generation"). Thus these divisional notations have indirectly provided the very name for the book of Genesis, which means "beginnings."
It is interesting to note, as an indirect confirmation of this concept of Genesis authorship, that while Genesis is cited at least 200 times in the New Testament, Moses himself is never noted as the author of any of these citations. On the other hand, he is listed at least 40 times in reference to citations from the other four books of the Pentateuch. There are also frequent references to Moses in the later books of the Old Testament, but never in relation to the book of Genesis.
In sum, we can be absolutely confident that the events described in Genesis are not merely ancient legends or religions allegories, but the actual eyewitness accounts of the places, events and people of those early days of earth history, written by men who were there, then transmitted down to Moses, who finally compiled and edited them into a permanent record of those ancient times."
Contradiction in Genesis 2: In addition to the above quote addressing the issue, I believe a flashback explains everything. Anything more is analysis paralysis.
Sources of Information: I agree that we need to present the real arguments for debate. However, other than that, identifying sources may only open the door for censorship before the debate starts.
I appreciate your comments indicating your focus is on truth. You really impressed me on your research and investigative skills. I wish you were on my side.