Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Natan Slifkin again attacks… but did not respond.

B"H

Recently NS published Religion, Blinded where he wrote:

I was once challenged by some such people to have a debate on the merits of evolution.

I responded by asking what kind of evidence, hypothetically speaking, would make them accept it.

They dodged and hedged and would not answer the question. This was because no evidence would make them accept it - for them, evolution is a religious issue.

So I sent to his blogspot the following:

If one of "them" would answer clearly your question, are you going to accept the challenge?

Dr. Yitzchak Betech.

Natan Slifkin did not publish my comment, nor answered me by any other way.

I retried 24 hours latter and obtained the same results.

Ten days ago, when he posted on the republishing of his book about the shafan=hyrax issue, I sent to his blogspot the following:

B”H

Dear Natan:

Now that you are announcing the publication of your new book on the Shafan = Hyrax, I am wondering if you would like to answer the 6 reasons I wrote on why the Hyrax can not be the Biblical Shafan.

http://slifkin-opinions.blogspot.com/2011/06/why-cant-hyrax-be-biblical-shafan.html

Regards

Natan Slifkin did not publish my comment, nor answered me by any other way.

I retried 24 hours latter and obtained the same results.

I am wondering if this is what is expected from a “Rationalist Jew”?

Unresponsiveness to his intellectual challengers!

22 comments:

  1. He is the best thing that could have happened to those opposed to coexistence between science and Judaism.

    ReplyDelete
  2. >>>> I am wondering if this is what is expected from a “Rationalist Jew”?

    >>>> Unresponsiveness to his intellectual challengers!

    I doubt anybody in the right mind would waste time talking/debating you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. B"H
    Dear YA
    Thank you for your post.
    Science and Torah must coexist in armony because both are the creation and will of the same Creator.
    But we must distinguish between speculative science and experimental science.

    ReplyDelete
  4. B"H
    Dear Elemir
    If you have a properly protocolized debate you avoid wasting time.
    One of the main points to define before the debate is how your opponent’s position could be demonstrated wrong.
    This is what Natan asked, this is what I am ready to answer and of course I have the right to ask before we begin.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear Dr Betech,
    Rabbie silfkin provided a link on his blog to talkorigins where it gives Helacyton gartleri as an example of a new species that has evolved, I looked into it and it does seem like it has evolved. I would be interested in your opinion on this

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am confused. Have any of you seen a debate. It is the most dishonest thing you can possibly encounter. If you are interested in an honest debate. Write a paper that prove your points. Whether Rabbi Slifkin agrees with your findings is irrelevant. If you arguments carry any weight then it will be accepted on its own merits, regardless of what Rabbi Slifkin thinks. First present the scientific problems with evolution then show how your alternative obviates all the problems.

    ReplyDelete
  7. B"H
    Dear Danny and Yeshivish (2 new anonymous bloggers);
    As you are new in the blogosphera (or at least with a new identity), let me remind you that it is not a mere coincidence that I am challenging Natan Slifkin and not any evolution-believer.
    As you can read here:
    http://toriah.com/pdf/Betech-Slifkin-debate2.pdf

    At the end of that letter I wrote:

    VI
    1.
    I consider this invitation (I extended to NS) to debate and his acceptation or not, as a very significant point since NS has been represented as a victim of those critics who refuse to give him the opportunity of expressing his views.
    I am his longstanding ideological critic and I invite him respectfully to defend publicly his stated position on the 2 books he wrote about evolution of the species.
    2.
    Many years ago, I suggested NS not to publish one of the problematic books (before he published it), because of his hitherto insufficient research; and I invite him again, to a polite and intelligent deserved debate, as written in the foreword of his book CoC.

    So in case NS would decline again, who would have “zero credibility”?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dr Betech, how do you explain Helacyton gartleri? It seems to be a good example of a species that evolved in current times?

    ReplyDelete
  9. You need to first justify your claims that his views are mistaken.

    This is the point. Not everyone is a good debater. In fact, when it comes to debating Christopher Hitchens pretty much beets anybody. When you read what he writes and compare it to his opponents then you come to realize his arguments are not quite as convincing as it seems. He wins his debates because he says things in a way that sounds convincing. His tactics and method for debating is vastly superior. However, his actual arguments are quite weak. If you want to debate Rabbi Slifkin, write a book that is more compelling then what he wrote.

    ReplyDelete
  10. B"H
    Dear Yeshivish
    If NS is not a good debater, no problem, he can officially appoint someone to represent him.

    ReplyDelete
  11. You have hardly responded to my point.

    ReplyDelete
  12. B”H
    Dear Danny.
    It is very easy; you can do it by yourself.
    1. Ask Hashem to help you to find the truth.
    2. Define what a biological species is.
    3. Study the original scientific publication (not secondary sources as you quoted).
    4. Arrive to your own conclusions.

    ReplyDelete
  13. B"H
    Dear Yeshivish
    If you think so, you can ask NS to defend himself.
    This blogspot is not censured as his, so he can write whenever he wants.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Dear Dr Betech I was actually able to get hold of the original scientific publication at my university
    Its by Leigh Van Valen
    And it is entitled "HeLa, a new microbial species. Evolutionary Theory & Review"
    Helacyton gartleri
    Can replicate indefinitely and have Non-human number of chromosomes.
    In my opinion this is a new species. I would value your insights.
    Over the years I have been told by rabbis that there is no cases of this, are these rabbis wrong?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Amazingly, on both occasions of allegedly responding to Yeshivish's point, Dr. Betech did not actually do so!

    Incidentally, R. Slifkin posted an explanation of why he doesn't debate Dr. Betech - see http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2010/10/summary-of-betech-affair.html

    But this comment thread alone shows why it makes no sense to debate Dr. Betech. He doesn't actually respond to the points that people make.

    ReplyDelete
  16. B"H
    Dear Yissacher
    It is good to know that you are still interested in Jewish issues.
    It seems to me that I was not clear.
    This is not the forum where I want to debate the scientific value of the evolution of the species, nor am I interested to debate with any anonymous blogger, but with NS, for the reasons explained above.
    But what can I do if NS refuses... at least he now is not able to say that he was not given the opportunity...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Incredibly, not only did you fail to respond to Yeshivish's point while purporting to do so, you failed to understand my point about your failing to respond to Yeshivish's point! He wasn't looking to debate you on the scientific value of the evolution of the species. He was pointing out that your request to debate NS is itself wrong.

    Let's try again. Here is Yeshivish's point. Try to actually address what he is saying:

    You need to first justify your claims that his views are mistaken.
    This is the point. Not everyone is a good debater. In fact, when it comes to debating Christopher Hitchens pretty much beets anybody. When you read what he writes and compare it to his opponents then you come to realize his arguments are not quite as convincing as it seems. He wins his debates because he says things in a way that sounds convincing. His tactics and method for debating is vastly superior. However, his actual arguments are quite weak. If you want to debate Rabbi Slifkin, write a book that is more compelling then what he wrote.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Danny the definition of species varies. Because it can be used for more low levels of variation, one can say we see species evolving into other species. Because it can be used for more high levels of variation, one can say we don't see species evolving into other species. Your arguing using a different definition. It is not arguing the point. We all know low enough groupings develop. We knew that before Evolution theory developed.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Yissachar the value of debate is the exploration of the issues not the winning. Also if someone can write a book to persuade then the same arguments can be used in debate.

    ReplyDelete
  20. YA, you are wrong. A debate is the worse way to come to the truth. Dr. Betech can spend the entire debate asking questions about the mechanism of evolution . The average listener will not be able to discern what is a question on evolution or the mechanism of natural selection. Only if a person is willing to spend time reading both sides of the argument and evaluating its merits can he really evaluate what is truth and what is simply sophistry. This is why I challenge all of Rabbi Slifkin's detractors to write a book equally comprehensive that refutes his position.

    Anyway, first the burden is on Rabbi slifkin's opponents to show how the entire scientific establishment is incorrect.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Well if I claim a plane is flying but I disprove every mechanism for it, the plane maybe flying but it's a miracle then. Here however we are lucky. There is the data, ie:fossils, and living specimens. There is also the interpretation ie:the mechanism. Evolution is a proposed mechanism for explaining the data.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This blog is devoted to refuting Rabbi Slifkin's opinions. The intelligent design people mostly agree with evolutionists concerning common ancestry. They only disagree whether Darwinism is a sufficient explanation for the mechanism involved. Indeed, they do invoke metaphysical explanations for this phenomenon. Kenneth Miller disagrees with their assertion and believes that Neo-Darwinism is in fact a worthy explanation of the mechanism involved. Incidentally, he still believes that an intelligent creator is involved. On this controversy Rabbi Slifkin has never took a stand.

    ReplyDelete