The very notion of assumptions

I actually argued with some creationists today in person. It was illuminating, entertaining, occasionally funny (on both sides) and infuriating in most ways.
The second session of the summer session at PSU's University Park campus has me teaching English 202A - Writing for the Social Sciences. It's a nice switch to some more ethically investigative work. While I was on campus, I heard the cries of Gary Cattell, the Willard Preacher, and thought I'd go investigate. He is a fire-and-brimstone former Evangelical Protestant turned Eastern Orthodox street preacher whose business this day was stating that people who fornicate and catch HIV...or any STI for that matter...deserve it. There was a quick turn in his preaching when I pressed him about his ideas about "natural" behavior and innate morality. The short summary is that we both agree that human beings have an innate morality but he thinks that God put it there (and then expands on it through the Bible and the teachings of the Orthodox patriarchs) and I justifiably believe it has evolved for our survival.
He attacked my assumptions. His first attack, of course was that I assume that there is no God. Full stop.
"Evolution is atheistic science," he said.
Quickly, I retorted, "No more atheistic than engineering, plumbing, or auto mechanics."
Let me say that all science is atheistic as is all math and all music and all physical phenomena. How can it not be? Do we assume the existence of God(s) when we fix plumbing or hear the vibrations that comprise Mahler's Fifth Symphony in order to understand the event that is the piece itself? No. It is a material phenomena that is only complicated by positing a God into the thing's existence.
The second attack was on the assumption of uniformitarianism. I'm sorry, but the world ceases to make coherent sense if you eliminate uniformitarianism. To quote Dawkins, "That way madness lies."

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