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European Theological Seminary under investigation

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William Crawley | 15:06 UK time, Sunday, 27 May 2007

mortarboard.jpgOn today's Sunday Sequence, we aired the findings of an investigation into a conservative Christian Bible College with strong connections to Northern Ireland which has been offering doctoral degrees at cut-price rates and sometimes for merely weeks of study. You can read a BBC News summary of the story here and listen again to the programme online here.

The European Theological Seminary and College of the Bible International (ETSCBI) was founded in 1993 by the self-styled "Professor Dr" Gordon Beck. It is an unaccredited college and its degrees are not recognised by any UK or Irish university. (This "college" should not be confused with an institution of the same name, the European Theological Seminary in Germany.)

I interviewed a "graduate" of ETSCBI who says he registered for a PhD degree in May 2001 and "graduated" the following September on the basis of a dissertation he wrote in just six weeks.

Is the PhD certificate subsequently awarded to that student worth the paper it's printed on? We enlisted the help of a theological expert, Professor Stephen Williams, who give his assessment on the programme. He said the dissertation was "perhaps" of undergraduate level, and failed certainly as a Masters or Doctoral degree.

The founder and president of ETSCBI, Gordon Beck, who is also the convenor of ETS's board of examiners and runs the organisation's affairs from his home on the outskirts of Belfast, responded to some serious allegations in respect of the quality of the degrees his "seminary" is handing out. He argued that ETSCBI does not pretend that its degrees are equal to state-funded university qualifications, even though I put to him some statements in the college's current prospectus which appear to suggest that his organisation operates at the same scholarly level as UK universities. Mr Beck also told the programme that his organisation has no treasurer or accounts. Mr Beck confirmed that he has had no formal academic education, has never taught at any UK college or university prior to starting his own "seminary", and his own doctorate was obtained from an unaccredited American college that is not recognised by either the UK or the US governments.

Trading Standards have told Sunday Sequence they are now carrying out an investigation into the qualifications offered by the European Theological Seminary and College of the Bible International. Our programme will be handing over all the information we have compiled to Trading Standards investigators.

If you have any information about ETSCBI , you can contact the progamme by e-mail at: sunday.sequence@bbc.co.uk. Perhaps you paid for a degree from ETS and are now concerned about the credibility of that qualification: get in touch with us; we want to hear your story.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 09:35 PM on 26 May 2007,
  • Helen wrote:

Great story. How do I get one of these PhDs? eBay should get i on this!

  • 2.
  • At 09:58 PM on 26 May 2007,
  • David (Oxford) wrote:

Extraordinary. I thought this sort of thing only happened in America. Do they have a website? Can't see one.

  • 3.
  • At 09:20 AM on 27 May 2007,
  • Dylan Dog wrote:

Excellent stuff Will! I detest these degree mills that devalue the work done by genuine students in genuine universities.

It appears that Mr Beck's website is down, but further info of his (cough) "university" can be found below...

http://bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/EuropeanTheologicalSeminaryIssues
http://bcseweb.org.uk/index.php/Main/EuropeanTheologicalSeminary

In an ironic moment Mr Beck(who got his "qualifications" from a degree mill) defends Mr Ian Paisley's degree mill qualifications. The article also highlights the high level of non-conformist clergy here in N. Ireland with degree mill titles. It also appears that his "uni" is run from Mr beck's house!

My own personal view is that it says volumes about the character(or lack of)of a person that accepts and gives themselves grand titles from degree mills. It's a gross and crass insult to the genuine students working hard at genuine universities.

Congrats Will for doing something about this!

Regards

DD

  • 4.
  • At 02:07 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

This is so old in America it's hardly worth mentioning. I remember as a child seeing ads for PHDs on the inside covers of cardboard match books. As for becoming an ordained minister, that's easy in the US as well. Tax evasion schemes abound where you start your own church, become a tax exempt organization, donate all of your worldly possessions to the church including your entire salary if you work, enter 99 deductions on your 1099 form with your employer so that there are no Federal taxes witheld from your paycheck, and pray that the IRS doesn't catch up with you and send you to jail for tax evasion. I saw a pitch for one such scheme in California when I lived there. At around the time I left, the man selling the scheme had been indicted and my neighbor who had bought into it was very worried. You can also fool people into believing you are a medical doctor. Doctor Carlton Fredricks who had a nightly program on WOR radio in New York City for many years was what was called a "food faddist" pushing vitamins and herbs as cure-alls for everything from lombago to cancer, railing constantly against "the medical orthodoxy." He had a doctoral degree all right...in communications. PHD may just stand for paper hanging and decorating....or if you marry into a wealthy family...papa has dough. Looks like Britain is finally catching up with the US in this particular art of fraud. Congratulations.

  • 5.
  • At 02:28 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • helenanne smith wrote:

These diploma mills have been around in the US for decades. The UK has been able to keep them out of our educational market by giving royal charters to universities. It's a shame that we're now seeing these fake degrees coming to the UK.

Worse is that the "colleges" offering these degrees seem to be fundamentalist christian colleges. You don't seem to see secular fake colleges in the UK, it's a problem only of christian colleges.

I think the UK law needs to be tightened in order to put these places out of business. It should be the law that only colleges recognised by the government ae able to offer qualifications at any degree level. If a fundamentalist college wants to offer unaccredited courses for the personal edification of their fundamentalist market, that's fine. They just shouldn't be able to call these qualifications degrees or use degree languae such as Bachelors, Masters or Doctor. They can call their courses by some other name (eg, ETS Certificate in Christian Education). If they did that, no one would have a problem with what they do. Why do they have to PRETEND that their qualifications are degrees? Is that Christian??

  • 6.
  • At 02:51 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I am a minister (non-conformist) who has for the past six years studied and earned two accredited degrees. Therefore, with the rapid amount of laity and clergy receiving "degrees" from this institution and subsequently parading them, I have felt that my own personal study and achievements have been cheapened.

I do recognize that many of my colleagues have put tremendous work into these projects in order to have received these degrees. However, this “institution” as a whole is undermining the work of valid religious scholarship within the evangelical camp and is making a mockery of those who have genuine accredited degrees.

  • 7.
  • At 03:27 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

"valid religious scholarship within the evangelical camp"

It was all I could do to pick myself up off the floor and type this I was rolling around so hard with laughter when I read it.

  • 8.
  • At 03:44 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

Personally i am glad that this scam has been highlighted, in our denomination Dr's have been springing up overnight, all due to the easy access offered by ETS. Many members within our denomination are fedup with the parading of these psuedo doctorates but certain ministers, sadly this pride has infiltrated the Church of Christ. Maybe this explosion of the ETS by BBC will bring about humility in some of these men who enjoy masqurading as Doctors!
Well done
Mike

  • 9.
  • At 03:44 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

Personally i am glad that this scam has been highlighted, in our denomination Dr's have been springing up overnight, all due to the easy access offered by ETS. Many members within our denomination are fedup with the parading of these psuedo doctorates but certain ministers, sadly this pride has infiltrated the Church of Christ. Maybe this explosion of the ETS by BBC will bring about humility in some of these men who enjoy masqurading as Doctors!
Well done
Mike

  • 10.
  • At 04:37 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • freethinker wrote:

Theological studies are as intellectually valid as looking for fairies at the bottom of your garden - whether awarded by a university or a website!!

  • 11.
  • At 05:01 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Darwinius wrote:

That's very big of you freethinker. Religion is a significant feature of human experience which merits serious academic examination. It includes the study of anient near eastern culture, religion and literature, Hebrew and Greek and other languages, the sociology and psychology of religion, a study of philosophy, the history of religion and the church, ethics, and much more - and all of that before the history and study of doctrine. Few academic disciplines require such a demandlingly wide-ranging array of subjects for study. I am not a theologian, but I am impressed by serious theologians and their wide-ranging scholarship.

This problem here is a pseudo-college offering pseudo-degrees. I agree that the law should be tightened to put these businesses out of business - that's what they are.

Another aspect of this story that came our of Will's interview with Beck is the Creationist commitments of the college. Here is a college with theology that is so marginal in the church that they do not trust any of the available theological colleges to provide theological education. These other colleges are too liberal for ETS because Beck and his followers are young earth creationists.

I note that Gordon Beck's college has given an honorary doctorate to the UK head of Answers in Genesis. That tells you all you need to know.

  • 12.
  • At 05:16 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Alison Jay wrote:

I nearly fell off my chair during that interview with Gordon Beck. He made things worse for himself the more he spoke.

In the end, I felt sorry for him. He seems like a decent man, but one who is very naive about the world of education and what is acceptable practice in that world (and naive about business too). He is a fundamentalist, and that's his own personal view, fair enough, it's not where I'm coming from, but at least he's doing something he believes in. There doesn;t seem to be a lot of money involved, but since he doesnt keep accounts that's for the trading standards group to work out.

Mr Beck, if you are reading this, my advice for what its worth is that you put out a public statement announcing the closure of the European Theol Seminary and suggesting a list of proper colleges where people can get decent degrees that are above board. That's my honest advice.

  • 13.
  • At 05:33 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Hey folks, this is about money money money pure and simple. To the guy selling it, it's a quick buck. To the guy buying it, it's an investment to break into a business on the cheap. Of course, you don't need a degree to set up shop, just a shingle on the front lawn saying "Church of the Holy Smokes, communion at 7PM" or "Madam Lasanga, knows all, sees all, tells al, tarrot readings, palm readings, tea leaf readings, results guaranteed." Now can the Pope guarantee you a spot in heaven?

  • 14.
  • At 07:10 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Joe wrote:

Makes me sick when people say "Dr Paisley". He got his from an uncredited seminary as well. I really wish people would stop calling him Dr!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 15.
  • At 07:35 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Dylan Dog wrote:

Couldn't agree with you more Joe. I cringe with embarrassment whenever I hear Mr Paisley referred to as "Dr" because as you said he got his errr "qualifications" from unaccredited degree mills and in the case of Bob Jones "university", at the time of Mr Paisley accepting his "award", was a wholly racist/segregationist dump.

  • 16.
  • At 08:41 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Sam Hanna wrote:

I agree with some of your criticisms but much of your research is poor for "tertiary" educated journalists.

For a start Bob Jones University is an accredited University since 2006.

Secondly, in the USA all DD degrees are honorary degrees. Students are expected to earn a MDiv over three years at graduate school and after experience in ministry are then entitled to be considered for a DD. That is why famous evangelical leaders such as G.Campbell Morgan, Billy Graham used these titles.

Thirdly, Ian Paisley is head of the Free Presbyterians which has a fully accredited Bible College in the USA called Genveva Seminary so by virtue of that he is entitled to his "doctor" title.

Finally, accreditation or not should not be the test of an academic university. We have joke former-polytechnics handing out doctorates in social studies etc and no one thinks they are the same as a Oxbridge degree.

You may not like Ian Paisley's politics or religion but any one with any discernment can tell that he is a scholar within his religious field with a personal library of 20,000 books as well as a great knowledge of history, politics, law and government.

  • 17.
  • At 10:27 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Mark 2 wrote:

The interesting thing is that these degree mills only exist because individuals with a chip on their shoulders feeling inferior and insecure want a Phd - some would call it covetessness. Usually these individuals would not be capable of gaining a Phd - like most of us either due lack of ability or lack of application.

What would be really interesting though is an expose on all those ministers who recently acccepted these phoney degrees. I dare say the list would be very interesting.

  • 18.
  • At 11:05 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • rubberduckie wrote:

Although we rightly scoff at people getting a PhD in six weeks, we should perhaps not make the mistake of thinking that the quality of degrees and qualifications being given out by our traditional universities, colleges and schools is very high (even though they typically take at least 3 yrs to obtain).

I recommend people take a look at "All Must Have Prizes" by Melanie Phillips which exposes where education was in the UK in the 90's - I assure you, target driven New Labour has only made things worse since then.

A regular look at the education link on the BBC website should convince any doubters...

  • 19.
  • At 11:33 PM on 27 May 2007,
  • Philip Campbell wrote:

The foundations of ETSCBI do appear more than a little shaky, to say the least, but I can't help thinking that this story (did it really merit 50 minutes on today's Sunday Sequence?)was enthusiastically pursued because it involved a Bible-believing Evangelical. (Those of a liberal/ecumenical persuasion are rarely subjected to such close scrutiny and aggressive questioning.)

In fairness, Gordon Beck was given ample opportunity to respond to the allegations against him (I did not get the impression that his interview was edited in any significant way), though he probably could have replied more effectively than he did.

However, I thought that the insinuation that because he takes a Creationist position he can therefore be more easily dismissed intellectually was both unfair and uncalled for. It may be news to some, but many distinguished academics are not embarrased to accept the Biblical account.

Seems to me some honest research is required.

  • 20.
  • At 12:16 AM on 28 May 2007,
  • garethlee wrote:

Philip Campbell - You are coming across more than slightly paranoid here. Of course the programme was right to take time exposing this fakery, and it was very entertaining in doing so! It was obvious to me that a key motivation behind Beck's decision to set up this college was that his creationist and other biblical literalist views were not being welcomed by tradtional universities and even christian colleges. He wasnt dismissed intellectually because he's a creationist, he showed himself to have no qualifications worth talking about. It's an afront to christianity that this kind of pretend-college is being called a christian institution. The programme did christians a service in exposing it.

  • 21.
  • At 12:45 AM on 28 May 2007,
  • David (Oxford) wrote:

Sam Hanna (I assume that's a Presbyterian in-joke?):

I don't know who you are criticising for poor journalism since none of this story mentions Bob Jones University or Ian Paisley. Presumably you are responding to one of the comments here, rather than to the ETS story itself. Anyway, to you points:

1. Bob Jones University is indeed an accredited university as of 2005 (not 2006 as you say here). It is accredited by the Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, a body recognised by the US Dept of Education. This accrediting body remains suspect to many; in the past it was denied status by the USDE because of issues of quality control. It is an organisation of young earth schools; but at least these schools attempt to follow well accepted principles of educational quality control. In the past, Bob Jones refused to seek accreditation because its racist policies (excluding black students, then banning interracial student relationships) would have been challenged by the US government. Since 2001, Bob Jones U has abandoned those views, without ever apologising for its racist policies.

2. You are right to say that the DD is an honorary degree in the United States. (In some UK universities, it is possible to earn a DD by published works - e.g., Oxford and Cambridge). You are wrong to suggest that an MDiv or any other degree is a pre-requisite of a DD in the United States. Since this is an honorary degree, universities are entitled by definition to honour anyone they wish with this degree. It has been award to distinguished churchmen with no formal theological degrees at all. Those awarded honorary doctorates are quite entitled to use the title "Dr", but in practice the only people who do use this title seem to be clergy.

3. Your explanation for Ian Paisley's use of the "Dr" title is very odd. The fact that Ian Paisley is leader of a church with its own theological college does not entitle him to use the title "doctor". He uses this title because he was awarded an honorary DD by Bob Jones University. He accepted this honorary degree from the university at a time when black students were banned from the university.

4. You insult "former polytechnics" which hand out doctorates. These colleges are all upgraded now to university status, empowered by legislation with Royal Charters, and are subject to the same legal standards as older and ancient universities. You can say that a PhD from Oxford is a pretigious degree; and I think you ae right (I would, wouldn't I?). It is not, however, the case that a PhD from Manchester Metropolitcan University (the UK's third largest university) is of less academic quality. Prestige and attainment are two different things.

5. Finally, you defend Ian Paisley as a "scholar". I dispute this alleged fact. Dr Paisley has never graduated with an unddergraduate degree in theology, he has no competence in the ancient languages (these are basic tools to a scholar of biblical studies), he has never taught on the faculty of any college except the one he started himself, and his academic title is honorary. Most famous actors, rock stars, TV presenters and sports stars have receieved honorary doctorates from proper universities. None of them would use the title "Dr". You don't hear Eamonn Holmes being described as "Dr Eamonn Holmes", yet he has two honorary doctorates. Evryone who has an hon. doctorate is entitled to use the title, but most would regard it as vanity to do so.

Incidentally, merely having a large collection of books does not make one a scholar.

That said, I believe Ian Paisley is an intelligent man with enormous rhetorical skills; he is a remarkable force within society (for good and ill over the years - people remain deivided). But he is no scholar. Not even close.

  • 22.
  • At 01:18 AM on 28 May 2007,
  • Cybez wrote:

I did a Google search for http://www.europeantheologicalacademie.co.uk/ and clicked on the'Cached' result and on the same page I clicked the '[PDF]Primary Degrees' 'View as HTML' and found the front page of the website and info on the degrees on offer.

David (Oxford)- It isn't a criticism (and I have no tortoise in this race) but in your point 5 you seem to be okay with referring to Ian Paisley as 'Dr. Paisley' despite what you've said about the lack of good reasons to do so. Was this a slip-up?

  • 24.
  • At 11:17 AM on 28 May 2007,
  • Brian Kennaway wrote:

Although Ian Paisley was not the subject of the Sunday Sequence programme the blogs have raised the issue!

Let IRK Paisley speak for himself. This he does in the September 1959 edition of The Revivalist:-“Dr. Paisley holds degrees from two Evangelical colleges in the USA – the Pioneer Theological Seminary, Rockford, Illinois and Burton College and Seminary, Manitou Springs, Colorado”. It went on to say that in March 1954, Mr. Paisley obtained his Bachelor of Divinity degree from Rockford Seminary and that in October the same year the trustees there granted him an honorary Doctorate in Divinity as “First Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster”. In March 1958 he also obtained by thesis his Master of Arts degree from Burton College.

What is not revealed is that both these colleges are correspondence schools, outlawed by the American Education Authorities as “bogus degree mills”, for offering academic titles from as little as 24 dollars (£9).

More recently, but before it was accredited, “Bob Jones University” South Carolina, a slightly more reputable establishment, gave him an honorary Doctorate of Divinity.

The real question in this issue is- when 'Dr' Paisley is referred to as 'Doctor' which 'Dr' is he using - the ROCKFORD SEMINARY one or the BOB JONES one. Only he can answer.

  • 25.
  • At 11:39 AM on 28 May 2007,
  • joe wrote:

David (oxford).....very well said. You broke that down very well and I couldnt agree more with you. John Wright- good spot, but I'd say that rather than a slip up.....it was well intentioned sarcasm.

Either way, he aint "Dr" Paisley! David is right, Paisley and his people use it in the academic sense, that he studied for years to achieve it under the usual academic standards. He didnt (I have a vague recollection of reading a piece that suggested Paisley only spent 6-8weeks studying at Bob Jones). It is ridiculous that journalists, presenters and other politicans continue to indulge the mans ego by calling him "Dr"!!

  • 26.
  • At 01:57 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Psst....pssst....Sam....over here. Have I got a deal for you. Listen, you can get in on this religion racket on the ground floor and it won't cost you a bundle. Don't be a chump, don't be fooled by these phoney PHD ads they take out on the internet, they're no bargain. I've got the sweetest deal of a lifetime here and now. I'll make you a Doctor of Divinity and it won't take you any six weeks, nothing to learn, everyone forgets all that book crap almost immediately anyway. You can open shop and start your sinner saving speil before the ink dries on the paper. I'm cutting a one time special just for my close friends. Now here's the deal, forget $500....don't even think about $400. No not $300, not even $200 but for just $100 I'll have you in robes so fast it'll make your head spin. That's right for just $100 you can become a full fledged Doctor of Divinity and a minister in my new Church of Christ the Profit. Just sign this Master Card voucher and I'll throw in a $30 discount certificate on my vestment shop and another for a free car wash. I can't make this offer forever, it's a one day once in a lifetime opportunity. Heed your higher calling, act now. By the way, if you know anyone who needs an advanced degree in a technical area, send him my way. I can't say who it is or where he works but one guy got a professorship teaching thermodynamics in the mechanical engineering department at a big school in England solely on the degree I sold him. Can you imagine that, half the time these people in personnel departments don't even bother to check. :-)

  • 27.
  • At 02:23 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • David (Oxford) wrote:

John -

Thanks for that. I don't think I'm being inconsistent. I challenged Sam H's explanation for the use of "dr" by Paisley and I challenged the idea that Paisley is a scholar. I did not challenge a fundamentalist college's right to give him an honorary degree or his right to use the title if he sees fit. I regard his use of the title as a vanity on his part. An honorary doctorate is only as good as the college that gives it. In the case of Bob Jones University, presenting the degree at a time when they banned black students from admission to thier college, Paisley's decision to accept the degree is its own indictment. If he wishes to be called "Dr", fine. Just s long as we all constantly remember who gave him the honorary doctorate and how racist that college was when they did so.

  • 28.
  • At 03:18 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

I have to agree with all this Doc stuff, pride and self esteem play a major part of assuming this role, although do not forget the genuine guys who cannot afford uni degrees but their sole motive is to further their own interest on a particular subject, this latter classification using the likes of ETS tend not to use their titles. Had to acknowledge Crawley's observation that this kind of thing only affects Protestant denominations, sad but true!
Mike

  • 29.
  • At 03:38 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • Sam Hanna wrote:

David at Oxford please note:

(1)TRACS is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE), the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).BJU applied in 2005 but only got full acceptance in 2006. However, it is no big deal as Harvard and Duke are unaccredited universities and even you would accept the veracity of their academic standards. This is why I have a objection to Will Crawley's inchoate research and reports.

(2) An MDiv is not a pre-requisite to a DD but the point I was making is that it is the main graduate degree for theologians in the USA. The DD is simply an honorary title. I realize this may be paradoxical to British readers but they have a system where surgeons are called first "Dr" and then "Mr" on obtaining fellowship.

(3)Ian Paisley is fully entitled to use the title of Professor or Dr if he is head of a accredited Bible College and sits on the Board of a accredited University. It is a title of scholastic learning. He is recognized by all authorities and by his students to have this ability.

(4) I don't need to insult former polytechnics - the research agencies do this for me and any major employer. It has nothing to do with prestige but quality.

(5) Ian Paisley's scholarship is unassailable. He studied at a College in Wales and the Reformed Presbyterian Bible College in Belfast. It is irrelevant that he did not take a degree as he passed all the examinations but because he was an external student (being not a member of the RPC denomination) he could not graduate. He passed all language exams to my knowledge - not that makes you a scholar.

Finally, there is a lot of ignorance by Crawley et al as to the nature of ThDs, MDiv. British people think that their system is the only valid one. The reality is that theological qualifications in the USA are based not on research but class activities. For instance,a typical ThD will require 100 credit hours of class work and papers which will take 4 years followed by a Thesis of between 50,000 - 100,000 words. British PhDs simply take a 3 year research project in a very narrowly defined subject area. Having been a student at Oxford and also in the USA the system in America is much more rigorous and practical for those in theological ministries.

Whether the school is accredited or not is in reality not the issue. It is axiomatic that public schools in both the USA and UK are filled with teachers who are completely inept yet graduated from accredited colleges. We have also the bizarre situation that we have "accredited scientists" like Ricahrd Dawkins who still argue, despite the fact that there is no tangible evidence, that a man evolved from a monkey and all matter, time and space, exploded in a fraction of a second billions of years ago from nothing.

The real question is to look at the quality.



  • 30.
  • At 05:03 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • Dylan Dog wrote:

Sam Hanna,

Was going to reply to you in depth but David(Oxford) has done that for me.

I would say that you look at my post again... I said that when Mr Paisley received his "doctorate"(btw 'Paisley' by maloney and Pollock states that Paisley initially got his "doctorate" at 'Pioneer Theological College' which is a degree mill and described as such by the US board of education he then got it accredited at the then unaccredited Bob Jones)Bob Jones was a wholly and infamously racist/segregationist dump.

Bob Jones "university" is a joke.

Mr Paisley's "BA" and "MA" were both honorary and both came from degree mills, so Mr Paisley has no scholarly history. Further you state that because Mr Paisley has "20 000 books" , pamphlets and what not etc in his collection this somehow earns him a doctorate!?!? what a curious criteria you have!

The bottom line is that Paisley has done no doctoral thesis therefore it is crass in the extreme to refer to him as "Dr".

Some of us actually go to genuine unis, work/study hard for years to earn genuine qualifications(and still do not refer to our academic success by referring to titles).

The bottom line is if you do not actually earn a doctorate by actually studying for it at a genuine uni then you shouldn't call your self doctor-I believe that this is fair and reasonable.

Mr Paisley not by any genuine standard or criteria has the right to call himself "Dr" and does hint at low self-esteem on his part.

As for...
"We have also the bizarre situation that we have "accredited scientists" like Ricahrd Dawkins who still argue, despite the fact that there is no tangible evidence, that a man evolved from a monkey and all matter, time and space, exploded in a fraction of a second billions of years ago from nothing."

Utter twaddle, contains the same old creationist lies, ignorance and canards.

There is tonnes of evidence all of which is freely, easily and publically available so there is no excuse for your ignorance.
Evolution does not say that man evolved from a monkey rather a common ancestor.

As for the rest that is a matter for astro-physics rather than biology.

You know Sam there are people who actually believe(hold onto your hat!) that we came about 6000 years ago, in six days with 2 naked hippies, who lived in a magic garden garden with a talking snake!?!? they base this on a literal interpretation of a very primitive creation myth!

"The real question is to look at the quality."

Couldn't agree more!


  • 31.
  • At 05:23 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • Joe wrote:

Sam what an absolute load of drivel that was. I couldnt care less if Paisley did enough to get a degree. I am not talking about a simple degree. I have two degrees but that doesnt make me a doctor. Did Paisley study for a doctorate and complete a piece of "original" research???????
And where did the Richard Dawkins rant come from? "Accredited scientists" like Dawkins (AND MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY MORE I MIGHT ADD) have spent their time working on original pieces of research and are deserving of their title Dr! Paisley hasnt done that Sam!
Last but not least......your preposterous assertion that there is no evidence man has evolved from monkeys! We can see it in the fossil record (many many many documented examples, just take some time to look if could be bothered, though I doubt you are conscientious enough) and via DNA profiling!

YOUR TOTAL RUBBISH ASSERTION REMINDS ME OF MICHAEL BEHE'S WELL DOCUMENTED ATTEMPT TO CLAIM IN A COURT OF LAW THAT THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE FOR EVOLUTION! AFTER BEING PRESENTED WITH A RIDICULOUS AMOUNT OF RESEARCH PAPERS IN THE COURT, ALL PROVIDING EVIDENCE, HE HAD TO ADMIT THAT HE HADNT READ ANY OF THEM!

To conclude can I ask you were you think matter came from? I will have a stab in the dark (not really) that you are a Christian. Do you believe that God set it all in motion? If you do, please show me were your evidence is. Please do not say you just believe it, based primarily on faith. If you believe it you muts have some reason for believing it.........give us the reason???????????????????????????

  • 32.
  • At 05:41 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

It seems to me that in the marketing of religion, Europe is way behind the US. For decades we've had drive through churchs, drive through wedding chapels (will those orders be with fries and cokes or just the burgers and by the way, congratulations I now pronounce you man and wife, here's your credit card and receipt), scuba ministers who will marry you under water, sky diving ministers who will get you wedded between the time you, your spouse to be, and the minister jump out of the plane and the time the chutes open (till death do you part which won't be long if you don't pull that rip cord NOW!), schemes for shooting your ashes into outer space, and a host of other money making schemes. TV evangelists were popular during the 80s, damn I should have gotten in on the ground floor of that one, "if I can find salvation in Jesus, anyone can find salvation in Jesus too." Anyone in Europe take in enough in the collection plate to build an air conditioned doghouse the way Jim and Tammy Fay Baker did? Well we also still have lots of new ideas coming I'm sure in this internet age, and I can forsee if we don't have them already, cyber-churches, cyber-mass, cyber-confessionals, and a host of other surprising ways to save souls. I'm working on several myself which exploits Americans' fondness and overindulgence in their pets among other things. Do you have pet cemeteries in Europe the way we've had them here also for decades? I'm working now on a ceremony for Jewish dogs called "bark mitzvoh" and another for Catholic cats "cat Confirmation." I'm also working on Kosher clothing. Anyone want to submit some other schemes that could just be the ticket to make you rich. Remember, America is the land of bilk and money and nowhere is the ground more fertile here than in religion. Also remember an old saying, "nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public."

Hello Mark, Joe, Dylan Dog, freethinker,

Religion and its various ways of dragging down education, interesting topic. How could I miss a thread like this one?

I see you guys are all doing a sterling job to knock down the worst posts the believers come up with. I like having Sam Hanna around now that pb seems to have disappeared (or did the moderators finally grow tired of his quantity-over-quality oriented approach and ban him?). Lovely to have a new poster deeply in denial about the reality of science having shattered religious stories. Sam, may I suggest you look at

http://www.talkorigins.org/

Peter

  • 34.
  • At 08:32 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • David (Oxford) wrote:

Sam Hanna,

1. I've acknowledged that TRACS is recognised by the USDE. You are wrong that Harvard and Duke are unaccredited. See:

Harvard accred:
http://www.harvard.edu/siteguide/faqs/faq114.html


Duke accred:

http://www.provost.duke.edu/accred/index.html

Let's try to remain factually accurate in these comments.

You're still attacking the Sunday Sequence research on ETS, yet I can't see where you are challenging Crawley's findings. As far as I can see, the programme broadcast a very clear set of problems facing ETS and ETS had the chance to reply. Trading standards are taking an interest. I'm not surprised.

2. The MDiv is not the main theology degree for theologians in the US. It is a first professional ministry degree. Having an MDiv does not give anyone the right to be called "Dr".

3. Is Paisley is not entitled to the title Professor. He is not the head of Whitefield Bible College (that college has its own principal). Merely sitting on the board of a college does not give anyone the right to be called professor either. In fact, being the principal of a Bible College does not give anyone the right to be called Professor either (which is why, eg, the principal of Belfast Bible College does not have or use the title Professor).

4. You're still attacking the former polys. There's a wide range fo quality in those institutions, but their degrees are recognised by all the older universities and many of the former polys are actually higher on the university ratings than some of the older universities.

5. You say Paisley's scholarship is unassailable. In fact, he is a non-player theologically. No one considers Paisley a theologian in professional theological circles, and no one addresses anything he has said in journals. Sorry to disabuse you of that myth. He studied for a year at the Reformed Theological Hall in Belfast, you are quite right. He also studied at a Bible College for a year in Wales. Hardly the academic profile of a theologian (most of whom have studied for ten years full time at established universities). Paisley's combined theological studies at those colleges remains significantly less than what is currently required for a Bacheolor of Theology degree (BTh).

6. We can debate the difference between US and UK programmes (I've been a graduate student in both places and I am not anti-American, believe me). I still don't see why you are attacking Crawley's journalism here. He has done us a service by exposing ETS. His programme didn't once mention Paisley and his degrees. You seem a little obsessed with defending Paisley even though he hasn't been targetted by the BBC programme. We should be talking about ETS, not Paisley. From what I can tell, a few Free Presbyterian ministers have got themselves doctorates from ETS, so perhaps that's why your are so defensive on this point. Anyone with a degree from ETS needs now to stop using the title they have purchased and recognise that their qualification is worthless. Listen to the programme: the evidence is as clear as day.

I will leave your attack on evolution for others to deal with - it clouds the issue at hand and doen't merit a reply.


  • 35.
  • At 09:09 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • Sam Hanna wrote:

David

If you would do your research with a little more vigour you would find that Harvard/Duke only have certain programs accredited but have no overall accreditation.

I never claimed that MDiv gave you a right to be called Dr but pointed out that a DD was the honorary form whereas MDiv was the professional form amongst theologians in the USA. I realise that sems paradoxical to British people but we also have anomalies such as surgeons firts called "Dr" and then when they complete their fellowship examinations called "Mr."

Ian Paisley is both head of his Bible College and Lecturer in Church History there for 40 years. I think with the huge amounts of original research books he has written coupled with this he has justifiable grounds for caling himself "Dr." You may not think Ian Paisley a theologian but Lord Soper, Leslie Weatherhead, John Bach et al were destroyed by him in public debate. I don't think you would find any leading theologian from any Bible Seminary in Belfast who would relish a debate with him. If Mr Crawley can find one, let us hear it.

Finally, to the little evolutionary cabal that is gloating over this, get a life. Dawkins is a village idiot in philosophy and despite the fawning over him by the BBC his book is one of the worst examples out there of pub theology. Why does William Crawley, Jeremy Paxman et al not interview a man who could destroy Dawkins and his crazy tautological, non-falsifiable evolutionary fairy tale such as Norman Geisler, Philip Johnstone, William Debinski etc?

Religion does not have a way of dragging down science - we only have to look at the illustrious list of Christian scientists and the benefits from Christians in the world of politics, inventions, social services, human rights etc etc. Such comments only demonstrate your own ignorance not just of science but history also.

  • 36.
  • At 09:31 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • Dylan Dog wrote:

"Ian Paisley is both head of his Bible College and Lecturer in Church History there for 40 years. I think with the huge amounts of original research books he has written coupled with this he has justifiable grounds for calling himself "Dr.""

Rubbish! where is his thesis? I repeat his "BA", "MA" and "PhD" were all from degree mills. He did nothing so he should not consider himself to be a Dr. You may think that Mr Paisley "wins" debates, but personally I don't like his bully boy style.

By all means have your opinion on Dawkins but his academic credentials are impeccable, he actually worked/studied for his qualifications-but I know that you do recognise this. Re: Johnson and Dremski see Dover.

"Religion does not have a way of dragging down science"

Oh the fundamentalists do! ie., creation "science".

"Such comments only demonstrate your own ignorance not just of science but history also."

Oh please stop! your killing me!


  • 37.
  • At 09:42 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • David (Oxford) wrote:

Sam, I'm starting to despair with this. You're not actually reading my replies before responding. I don't really know why I'm bothering to try again, but here goes:

1. It is laughable that anyone in this discussion would suggest that two of America's leading universities are somehow accreditation-light! Harvard and Duke are fully accredited - as anyone can see from the links I provided. Frankly, the purpose of accreditation is to hold other colleges to the standards one find in Harvard, but Harvard is nevertheless beyond any measure of criticism when it comes to academic accreditation. By even raising this point, you make your own position seem bizarre in the extreme.

2. You are still arguing that merely writing a book or teaching somewhere gives a person (eg, Paisley) the right to use the title DR. To be clear: the only basis for using the title is that one has been given to you by an accredited college. I do not have a problem with Paisely using the title Dr. His title is from Bob Jones Univeristy, a recently accredited college (it wasn't accredited when Paisley received the honour, and the college was a racist institution back then). But I don't take BJU serious - feel free to take a different view.

3. Being a good street debater is neither here nor there. Paisley is an excellent rhetorician, as I've acknowledged already, and a great debater in his day. That doesn't make him a scholar. I bet George Galloway would wipe the floor with him in any debate, but that doesn't make George Galloway a scholar either.

4. I heard Crawley's interview with Paisley a while ago and Paisely was all over the place when he was asked about the racist degree he holds. He even denied that BJU was a racist college even though it banned black students!

5. On the Dawkins point, you and I are in agreement on this. I don't rate Dawkins as a philosopher (and Dawkins has rather written off that discipline too, so he won't be offended). On the other hand, I reckon Dawkins would wipe the floor with Paisley on science and evolution any day, even at the height of Paisley's speaking skills.

6. You STILL haven't given evidence of Crawley or Sunday Sequence misrepresenting anything about Paisley, ETS, accreditation or diploma mills in thier programme or on this blog. So I assume that all your points on that score were simply mud-throwing.

Now, can we please return to the real issue of this post: the European Theological Seminary and College of the Bible International. Tell me, Sam, are you a graduate of ETS?

*** APPLAUSE ***

"And this one goes to.... David (Oxford)!"

Hello Sam,

Thanks for posting, I love persistent fundies. You could be our new pb (see older threads for examples of what a really dumb Christian writes on evolution). You wrote

"Why does William Crawley, Jeremy Paxman et al not interview a man who could destroy Dawkins and his crazy tautological, non-falsifiable evolutionary fairy tale such as Norman Geisler, Philip Johnstone, William Debinski etc?"

Oh boy, evolution not being falsifiable?! It would only take one set of human remains that was dated to be as old as a dinosaur and evolution would be dead in the water. I would advise you to get a basic grasp of what you're talking about before making statements. Do you actually know what falsifiable means?

And who is this William Debinski you're talking about? I googled the name but that didn't yield anything useful. I assume you made a typo and meant William Dembski, the Discovery Institute clown who keeps floating the disproven idea of Intelligent Design? Let me quote how ID was described in the ruling on ID teaching by the presiding judge Jones (in the famous Dover case). After hearing the testimony by Dembski's close collegue, Behe, the judge wrote:

"First, defense expert Professor
Fuller agreed that ID aspires to “change the ground rules” of science and lead defense expert Professor Behe admitted that his broadened definition of science, which encompasses ID, would also embrace astrology."

Yep, the man you'd like to beat Dawkins is someone who tries to push concepts as science that are on the same level as astrology. And in your last you paragraph you write that I am ignorant of science? Sure.

  • 40.
  • At 09:54 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • Jane Grey wrote:

Maybe Sam hasn't seen the interview Will did with Dawkins. Hardly fawning. Dawkins ended up saying he regrets using the word "delusion" in his book title! And he couldn't even answer the question about the assumptions underlying science. I disagree that Dawkins is given an easy ride.

Anyway, I agree with David on this. Can we PLEASE get off "Professor Dr" Paisley (cough) and back onto the European Theological Seminary? Let's get a list going of pastors/ministers/clergy with degrees from ETS!

  • 41.
  • At 10:38 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • mike wrote:

This would be good to get a list of the Drs from ETS, I suggest www.sermonaudio.com as a starting point where most of these are to be found. I can think of many, but many i know do not use their titles.
Mike

  • 42.
  • At 11:11 PM on 28 May 2007,
  • Dylan Dog wrote:

"Ian Paisley is both head of his Bible College and Lecturer in Church History there for 40 years. I think with the huge amounts of original research books he has written coupled with this he has justifiable grounds for calling himself "Dr.""

Rubbish! where is his thesis? I repeat his "BA", "MA" and "PhD" were all from degree mills. He did nothing so he should not consider himself to be a Dr. You may think that Mr Paisley "wins" debates, but personally I don't like his bully boy style.

By all means have your opinion on Dawkins but his academic credentials are impeccable, he actually worked/studied for his qualifications-but I know that you do recognise this. Re: Johnson and Dremski see Dover.

"Religion does not have a way of dragging down science"

Oh the fundamentalists do! ie., creation "science".

"Such comments only demonstrate your own ignorance not just of science but history also."

Oh please stop! you're killing me!


Ref post #30

BTW David, I think you will find that William clouded the issue at hand when he went of on a tangent about creation during the interview which had no relevance whatsoever other than to insinuate some tenuous link between these degrees from ETS and the Creation school of thought.

I will leave you a thought from my friend Charles H. Spurgeon, BTW never went to a Bible college, who had over 12,000 books in his library and was unmatched in his day by any University trained divine.


“Yet the unlearned need not stay away from Christ. It was said of an old Greek philosopher, that he wrote over his door, “None but the learned may enter here;” but Christ, on the contrary, writes over His door, “He that is simple, let him turn in hither.” I can ‘testify that great numbers of those humble country folk accepted the Savior’s invitation, and it was delightful to see what a firm grip they afterwards had of the verities of the faith; many of them became perfect masters in divinity. I used to think, sometimes, that if they had degrees who deserved them, diplomas would often be transferred, and
given to those who hold the plough-handle or work at the carpenter’s bench; for there is often more divinity in the little finger of a ploughman than there is in the whole body of some of our modern divines. “Don’t they understand divinity?” someone asks. Yes, in the letter of it; but as to the spirit and life of it, D.D. often means DOUBLY DESTITUTE.”

Don’t forget that John Bunyan who was of limited education, but was admired by the most learned man in all England, John Owen, who had more letters after his name than most modern day apostates.

  • 44.
  • At 12:55 AM on 29 May 2007,
  • Darwinius wrote:

You're missing the point there Christian Hippy.

The connection with creationism is important, since Beck's theology is one of the reasons why he set up the college in the first place.

He is a creationist and literalist and he founded this fake college because he wanted a place where others of his fundamentalist views could "study".
When asked why he started ETS, he gave his answer: because the universities and other colleges are literalist and modernist and they dont read the Bible as literalistically as he does.

You being a little paranoid here Christian Hippy?

  • 45.
  • At 05:05 AM on 29 May 2007,
  • Sam Hanna wrote:

Dawkins was torn apart by Richard Quinn of the Irish Independent. The BBC should learn how to conduct an objective interview from him.http://origins.swau.edu/misc/Dawkins2.mp3

BJU banned black students until the 1970s (and yes I think they were wrong) but that does not invalidate their academic integrity per se. Secondly, all of the major universities in the South did so also so using your logic all accredited degrees from Southern Universities are invalidated also. I would be banned from attending/teaching at Oxford University if I openly believed/taught that homosexuals are perverts and engaged in unnatural acts that increased their chance of getting AIDS - is this not discrimination?

You may laugh at Ian Paisley's theological scholarship but no one can mock Philip E Johnson a Berkley Professor, William Dembski who also holds a full PhD in Mathmatics who think evolution is the biggest joke ever perpetrated on mankind.

Intelligent Design is not a pseudo-science. Its underlying pre-suppositions make up the scientific basis for genetic fingerprinting, SETI, archaeology, copyright law, patent law, random number generation, forensics etc. Next time all those who attack ID are in court it will be interesting will they stand up and argue that you cannot infer guilt from apparent patterns of criminal behaviour as this would be pseudo-logic and pseudo-science.

Evolution is not falsifiable. It is based on a premise of conditions that cannot be created again. Only the ignorant argue against this. In fact one of the ultimate ironies in all of this is the scientific method cannot be proven by logic or deductive reason to be true.It is a circular tautological argument like evolution which says fossils prove evolution because they have to!


  • 46.
  • At 08:50 AM on 29 May 2007,
  • Dylan Dog wrote:

Sam,

BJ"U" is a joke and was wholly racist and only changed due to a threat due to withdrawal of funds. Bob Jones racist opinions were well known when Paisley accepted his (cough) "doctorate".
Other uni's may have segregationist because of the law but BJ"U" was because of conviction.

Moving the subject onto homosexuality, my you fundies do have an unnatural obsession with gay sex! heard a "sports" massage does wonders for this affliction.

Argument from authority re: Dremski and Johnson, they may (unlike MR Paisley hold genuine qualifications) but that does not make them right. Indeed Ken Miller ( a Christian) has done more to expose the fraud of ID than any atheist.

ID is pseudo-science and utter twaddle for that matter.

The rest of your post contains the same boring, tired old creationist lies and canards-why not find out a bit about science before coming on a public forum and making a fool of yourself.

regards

Dd

O dear Sam,

"You may laugh at Ian Paisley's theological scholarship but no one can mock Philip E Johnson a Berkley Professor, William Dembski who also holds a full PhD in Mathmatics who think evolution is the biggest joke ever perpetrated on mankind."

Sam is turning straight into pb, isn't he? Sam, a PhD in mathematics doesn't take away the fact that if you search a scientific database for publications by Dembski on Intelligent Design, you get exactly zero hits. He has never produced anything on ID that met scientific standards. It's not about what titles people hold, it's about what they have to say. In your post #25 you came at least close to the mark when you said "The real question is to look at the quality."

"Intelligent Design is not a pseudo-science."

Yes it is, it's creationism with some scientific jargon thrown in. Clear example of this: the ID standard textbook, Pandas and People, was an openly creationist textbook untill creationism was banned from science class rooms in the late 1980s. So in a new edition of the book the word 'creation' was replaced by 'design' and 'creator' was replaced by 'designer'. Apart from that, you will find paragraph after paragraph that are exactly similar, word for word. Ken Miller gave a nice lecture on the collapse of ID, see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

If you want to learn something Sam, I suggest you watch that web video. Don't worry, no great degree of prior knowledge on the subject is required.

  • 48.
  • At 10:48 AM on 29 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Sam Hanna
"Intelligent design is not a pseudo-science."

Whatever else it is or isn't, the court in Dover Pennsylvania ruled it is religion in disguise and that is why it cannot be taught in science classes the public schools of Pennsylvania.

I'm always amazed at how people in one branch of technical expertise are viewed as experts in all branches when often, their knowledge outside of their own specialty is about as limited as the average person off the street. Mathematics is a closed system of logic, often useful to scientists but not a substitute for it. A mathematician is no more qualified to make pronouncements about evolution than the weather man is. I know, my own mother was a mathematician.

I'm curious, how does the underlying suppositions of ID make up the basis for patent law? I think the US Patent Office opened in 1827, just a little before ID was thought up.

  • 49.
  • At 11:01 AM on 29 May 2007,
  • Sam hanna wrote:

The least you could have done was answer my question! Instead of providing your reasons you indulge in ad hominem attacks on people like Dawkins (who was little to do with this debate, you brought him up)! You cannot simply go around proclaiming that evolution is rubbish, that there is "NO" evidence blah blah etc etc!
As Peter Klaver has aptly shown, you are simply pointing to people like Dembski to show that some educated people believe in Intelligent Design! But in my reply to you earlier I mentioned Micheal Behe (Mr Irreducible Complexity), who was made to look like a fool in a court of law, not by other scientists but by the judge! He simply couldnt answer the judges questions. HE HAD TO ADMIT THAT THE INTELLIGENT DESIGN MOVEMENT HAD NOT ONE PEER REVIEWED PAPER ON THEIR THEORY ETC ETC ETC.
If Intelligent design isnt pseudo science, SAM HANNA PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY I CANT FIND ONE PEER REVIEWED ARTICLE EXPLAINING EVIDENCE FOR IT?????? You havent given any here either and your pathetic argument that "oh, this guy is well educated and he believes in it" is contemptable! If you are going to say the things you do in the strident way that you do, at least have the decency to provide some kind of argument in favour of your position!

I'm confused. Who wrote comment #44?

  • 51.
  • At 08:08 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • Peter Klaver wrote:

Not me John Wright (although I certainly support the message).

  • 52.
  • At 08:43 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • William wrote:

Hey guys - What if (and I know you may have to stretch the brain cells just a little) carbon 14 dating is wrong?

Think about it!

  • 53.
  • At 08:54 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • Sam Hanna wrote:

It is fascinating when I cite scientists from all field of science with accredited degrees they are dismissed as being out of their subject area. Yet, Dawkins can opine about theology and philosophy with his village idiot pre-suppositions and he is fawned over for his expertise and credibility.

The whole question of jouranl citations is fallacious - the fact is that due to the academic censorship of the liberal elite no scientist is allowed to submit any papers or obtain funding if he or she attacks the underlying pre-suppositions of Darwinism. Please cite one who dares! In fact, if Will Crawley was objective he would do an investigation into this scandalous discrimination.

Please do us all the courtesy in not citing judgments from the USA courts as evidence as to the veracity of ID. US Judges are capricious (they used to uphold segregation and then later said it was unconstitutional) and anyone who has lived here can attest they simply depend on the political interests of the group that has appointed them. The Scopes Trial found the teacher who taught evolution guilty - now I don't think that is damning evidence of whether it is a valid theory or not.

Behe, Dembski, Johnson, et all are ridiculed here because of their beliefs simply because they do not accord with evolutionary pre-suppositions.

You ask me to give a list of verifiable evidence for the existence of God then peruse this paper by a fellow Ulsterman:

http://www.jsm.org.sg/resources.html

  • 54.
  • At 09:12 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

This thread has gone along way from Beck, ETS and unaccredited degrees!

BTW - I am in the Cincinnati area this weekend, so I plan on going to the new AiG creation museam which opened yesterday.

Hello William,

In post 47 you wrote

"Hey guys - What if (and I know you may have to stretch the brain cells just a little) carbon 14 dating is wrong?

Think about it!"

That would be inconvenient to the science of specimen dating, but not disastrous. C14 dating is one of more than 3 dozen radiological dating methods. One specimen is usually dated by several methods to exclude the possibility that contamination with one particular element results in a wrong age determination. Compare it to a picture of a face that is divided into three dozen pieces. If you take away one piece that happens to contain an eye or the nose, the face will be harder to recognise, but by no means does it become impossible.

For people who are doubtful of dating methodology I recommend the url below:

http://www.asa3.org/aSA/resources/Wiens.html

It's written by someone whose credentials should be impeccable for Christians skeptical of science: the author is a strong Christian and has written the entire piece as trying to show that science supports rather than disproves the Christian fairy tale.

  • 56.
  • At 10:18 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • anon wrote:

Im glad we've started ignoring this nonsense from Sam H. Let him argue for Paisley's status as a scholar til the cows come home.

I think the ETS question remains worth further examination. It's a creationist outfit with no academic status.

They have a lot of 3rd world students and colleges taking "degrees" which are worthless but thinking they are getting british college qualifications. I think that's appalling.

Hello anon, Mark,

You are right, Sam Hannas nonsense posts have move the thread away from the original subject. But his post #48 is a bit too stupid to leave unasnwered. Hopefully I can make this the last off-topic post on it.

"The whole question of jouranl citations is fallacious - the fact is that due to the academic censorship of the liberal elite no scientist is allowed to submit any papers or obtain funding if he or she attacks the underlying pre-suppositions of Darwinism. Please cite one who dares! In fact, if Will Crawley was objective he would do an investigation into this scandalous discrimination."

Whahahahaha!! People, it's The Great Conspiracy Theory! About as credible as the Old Testament. Let's look at the country that produces more scientific output than any other, the US. The vast majority is Christian, much of them in an outright fundamentalst manner. Only 10% is non-theist, estimates for atheists are 1-3%. Yet in this fervently Christian country a handful of highly distrusted atheists manage to completely control everything behind the scenes? With the cooperation of many government institutions. Aliens are probably cooperating in the cover-up too, right? Fortunately Sam Hanna is at hand to tell us The Truth, because it is out there to those who want to believe. Tell me Sam, which is your favourite episode of the X-files?

"Please do us all the courtesy in not citing judgments from the USA courts as evidence as to the veracity of ID. US Judges are capricious (they used to uphold segregation and then later said it was unconstitutional) and anyone who has lived here can attest they simply depend on the political interests of the group that has appointed them."

Oh boy, your ignorance really knows no bounds. Judge Jones was appointed by governor Santorum, the arch-conservative, fiercly religious Republican senator. You would have known this if you had watched the Ken Miller webcast I linked to earlier. I think it's time to quote Karl Popper:

"True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it."

  • 58.
  • At 11:39 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • Dylan Dog wrote:

Sam

"Behe, Dembski, Johnson, et all are ridiculed here because of their beliefs simply because they do not accord with evolutionary pre-suppositions."

No, it;s because there opinions are twaddle and have been shown to be so ironically by the Christian Ken Miller. The same goes for your opinion about peer-reviewed journals ie., it's twaddle.

I agree with anon in M51, lets get this back on track.

  • 59.
  • At 11:58 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

I'm the Mark who is NOT going to Cincinnati this weekend. Looks like there is at least one other here using my moniker.

Sam Hanna, I don't know what the law will be in fifty years or in fifty days but today, the law of the land in Pennsylvania is that ID is religion. I don't think Dawkins sells himself as an expert in theology debating the fine points of differences so important to biblical scholars, he just challenges it at its most fundimental level where it dares to intrude on real science, namely an evidentiary explanation for the physical universe and for life. This is the oatmeal of religion they try to stuff down the congregation's throat, not the caviar they debate over endlessly and then fight a war over. We don't need to know how differences beteen Exodus and Deuteronomy are resolved by interpretation of a particular sect during a particular era to realize the basic flaw in logic cited in my posting on what's your favorite commandment, just as we don't need to know who begot whom to know that the earth is much older than 7000 years. By the way, where did all of that extra water go? What water? Why the water that would cover the mountains in the story of Noah, now that there is only enough water on the earth even if all the ice melts to raise sea level 30 feet and not 30,000 feet needed to cover Everest.

By the way, I'm sure any scientific journal which deals with the matter would be pleased to publish articles impeaching Darwin....if they are written based on evidence attained through the sound scientific method and the result of logical conclusions which scence uses to search for truth and not some half cocked fairy tale based on ancient manuscripts, selective use of real science, twisted logic, and outright lies. So far nobody has come forward with one. Why don't you be the first, you seem to know a lot about it, not like that crackpot Wilder-Smith.

Mark #54- "I'm the Mark who is NOT going to Cincinnati this weekend. Looks like there is at least one other here using my moniker."

It's your moniker? Why don't some of you Marks decide to append your name with something, like 'Obnoxious Mark' or 'Mark Up' or 'Genius Mark' or 'Pillar of Salt Mark' so we know who is writing what?!

  • 61.
  • At 11:58 AM on 30 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Would you change your moniker if someone came along with the same one you've always used here? Let the other guy change his. What kind of person steals someone elses moniker? Evidently an Evangelical minister. Not only is mine all over the place on this blog site, I've got a posting 2 entries above his first one.

Relgious scholarship, hah my foot, now there's an oxymoron if ever there was one. I wonder if other fairy tales get as much scrutiny. Analysis of the psychological trama Goldilocks caused Baby Bear by breaking into his house, eating his porrige, sitting in his rocking chair and busting it up, and sleeping in his bed. Did it turn Baby Bear into a life long misogynist? Can he sue for damages? What would Freud or Jung have said about it?

Hello Mark,

I see you are in splendid form today. And indeed you raise a number of very important points. Although we can not hope to fully understand Him in all His omniscience, let me try to address some of the points you raise.

"Analysis of the psychological trama Goldilocks caused Baby Bear by breaking into his house, eating his porrige, sitting in his rocking chair and busting it up, and sleeping in his bed. Did it turn Baby Bear into a life long misogynist?"

The sleeping in his bed part is clear. For the the Gospel of Leviticus in the Holy Bible, the word of our most merciful God, condemns clearly any man who lies with a bear. And the merciful Lord destroyeth the city of Sodom and the fairy tale forest where Goldilocks lived. For He is merciful indeed.

"Can he sue for damages?"

And Jesus overturneth the tables of the merchant men and lawyers who sought to make money in the Holy fairy tale forest where His father liveth.

"What would Freud or Jung have said about it?"

I think Freud would have ordered the dose of medication for some of the believers to be increased. And to have the more hopeless cases put into straigh jackets.

Grumpy Mark #56- Since your name is biblically derived, it wouldn't be absurd or unusual for someone else to come on with the same name. Mine is biblically dervied too, eg. John The Baptist. So I use my full name, no shame.

(Or blame. Even if I came, and thought it would be lame to claim a name from an old dame in the twilight of fame in some kind of game that I thought was tame, just the same. That should never be your aim.)

  • 64.
  • At 07:48 PM on 30 May 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

Listen here Johni W

You might shed a little light
instead of spreading fright
which really isn't right
'cause you're bucking for a fight
which will put you out of sight
and turn your day to night
so I think you maybe might
try to put things back to right
cause you're getting too uptight
for your own damned good.

Do I make myself perfectly clear?

Mark-

Ass or arse,
Life's a farce.

- Anon

  • 66.
  • At 09:33 PM on 03 Jun 2007,
  • Sam Hanna wrote:

For all the critics of ID

Can you state what principles of evidence would you expect that would probably lead you to conclude that a designer existed.

  • 67.
  • At 03:52 PM on 22 Aug 2007,
  • Horace Williams wrote:

I am so sorry that I am just reading this article about ETS ON the internet.
I graduated from ETS in the Caribbean 2001. Shortly after I had applied for a job with the government of my country, I was told that my degree with ETS is not accredited.This I did not know, since I was informed that the Seminary is fully accredited, in fact at one time their prospectus said that Cambridge University and other agencies accredited ETS.
I subsequently wrote three letters to Dr. Clinton Ryan, the listed Academic Dean, to complained about this unaccredited status, and until now, he has not responded to my letters.
I also wrote to Mr.Beck, and he too has not responded to my letter.
The questions that I want to ask is this, what can I do to re-do this degree? and can I get back my money that I paid for my degree?


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