• About TWIM


    The Warfare Is Mental (TWIM) reflects the mental warfare of an author, screenwriter, publisher and member of the Writer's Guild of America. Family, friends, health, humor, art, music, science, faith, fun and knowledge are some of the things that are important to me.



    TWIM is the first and only theist blog listed on the Atheist Blogroll, which currently contains over 1,000 blogs. It goes without saying that I don't endorse hardly any of the views of any of them. Contact Mojoey for more information.



    Ironically, TWIM won an award for "Best Atheist / Skeptic Site" from this site. Much obliged.



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    You and your commenters are a feast of thinking — great stuff.

    -C.L. Dyck
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I have no need to engage with racists, so will ignore cl’s further diatribes.

    -faithlessgod,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    cl resists following through on a thought even to provide a solid opposing position, and thus stifles many conversations. It’s a shame since it seems like cl has some brain power that could be applied to the topics at hand.

    -Hermes,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    [faithlessgod and Hermes] fit my definition of trolling. I didn’t take any of those attacks against you seriously, and quickly categorized them as trolls.

    -JS Allen,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    [cl] is, as many have noticed, a master of this warfare. I’ve been following him for quite some time and he’s one of the most effective Christian trolls out there. No one can completely destroy a conversation as effectively as he does, and with such masterful grace and subtly that he rarely gets banned. This isn’t a blunt-force “U R Hitler!” troll, this is the Yoda of trolling.

    -Eneasz,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    This seems to imply that cl is, at least in part, disingenuous in terms of how he responds/what he claims. Is this most likely true, supported by evidence, or merely a subjective claim?

    -al friedlander,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ...I wanted to get a message to you outside of the context of specific discussions on CSA. You make good, insightful contributions to that site, and since I often agree with you I'm glad there is someone else there defending my positions better than I sometimes can. However I don't think anything of value would be lost if you stopped engaging in personal combat with juvenile snipers.

    -Zeb,
     CommonSenseAtheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Thank you for your wonderful response - so reasoned in the race of [Waldvogel's] blustering.

    -Annie Laurie Gaylor
     Freedom From Religion Foundation
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Thanks for a great Op-Ed.

    -Marianne Ratcliff
     VC Star
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ...as atheists we need to make sure that someone like cl and any Christian readers of [An Apostate's Chapel] don’t come away with the perception that the atheists caved in or were incapable of responding. I’m sure that a lot of Christians who find cl incomprehensible at times and don’t even bother reading him themselves will come away with an assumption that cl is that sort of rare intellectual theist who can prove that gods exist. And that’s how those inane rumors about the feared xian intellectuals start…

    -bbk
     An Apostate's Chapel
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You are in so over your head here, you are embarrassing yourself...
    I am well versed in many aspects of evolution biology, through my academic background, and my professional life. Unless your academic degrees and background match mine, cease and desist. Return to philosophy and rhetoric, or whatever it is you perceive your strengths to be. They are definitely not science, even at the high school level.

    -R.C. Moore
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You're doing a fine job.

    -Prof. Larry Moran
     Dept. of Biochemistry
     University of Toronto
     re: R.C. Moore & others
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Phyletic change and vicariance (or, drift and selection versus population isolation), as cl points out, are much better ways of describing what are unfortunately more commonly known as micro- and macro- evolution, respectively.

    -Dan
     Biology postdoc
     Univ. of Cyprus
     re: R.C. Moore & others
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    cl says, “The minute you call yourself a Christian or an Atheist or whatever the heck else, you automatically get painted by other people’s interpretations of those words, which are almost always different and almost always distorted.” cl’s point couldn’t be more on. As cl points out there is an important reason for not claiming any real religious (or lack thereof) belief. It puts logical constraints on one's arguments due directly to the bias of the individual that is translating the English to mind ideas of what it means to be religious.

    -Bobaloo
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Just who in the bloody hell do you think you are, you Christian piece of garbage, to come here barking out orders? You're an arrogant, condescending piece of shit. You seem to think you're an intellectual of sorts, when all you are is a Christian who's read a few books. John, everyone, this really is the limit. BR, I'm more than a little annoyed that you continue to engage him. I'm out of here. I have better things to do than to waste my time with these cretins.

    -Cipher
     Debunking Christianity
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    How old are you CL? I'd guess you have not yet experienced much life. I'd say you were under the age of 21, too young to be here. I don't give a damn what you think of me or my deconversion at all. You're too stupid to realize that regardless of it you must deal with the arguments in the book. They are leading people away from you [sic] faith. I'm seriously considering banning you cl, as I've heard you were banned on other sites. You are much too ignorant for us to have a reasonable discussion.

    -John Loftus
     Debunking Christianity
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I admired the way you handled yourself in the discussion on John's blog. I'm not patient enough to keep my sarcasm in check with some of them blokes, but appreciate those who are.

    -David Marshall
     re: Debunking Christianity
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    cl, I have to say, while I fundamentally disagree with you, you are an individual which I highly respect. I think your responses are always well thought out and your insights always well thought out and pertinently derived.
    [Y]ou have made me a stronger atheist in my regards to critical thinking and debating. I really can’t wait to hear more from you. Hell, I’d even buy you a drink, good sir. Cheers!

    -Parker
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Bottom line? Sometimes I think he's right about certain arguments, and I don't have a problem admitting that. Other times, however, I think he's wrong, and I've called him on that. But I have found he can be pretty reasonable if you (1) don't overstate your case, (2) make concessions when you have, and (3) insist he do the same.

    -Lifeguard
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I like it when [cl] makes me stop, think and question if I am making unfounded assertions or if I am being sloppy. What has been annoying me about cl of late is that he is being excruciatingly anal...

    -seantheblogonaut
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I really can't thank you enough for catching me on my error in rhetoric. I always love a good debate! And I always enjoy your posts, as well! Keep up the great writing and the excellent eye for detail!

    -BZ
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You make me smarter...

    -Mike G.
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ..thank you, cl. I discovered your blog on a random web search and saw it as an oasis amidst a vast desert of seemingly intractable theist-atheist debate.

    -Sung Jun
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    It's good to be able to discuss with people who are open and respectful, and know that disagreement does not mean disrespect... You are to be congratulated, not only for your patience, but also your ability to hold an ever-growing debate together with an impressive degree of structure.

    -Ritchie
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    My tone is derogatory... [cl is] ignorant and credulous and deserves to be mocked... In the time he's been here, he's shown a consistent pattern of antagonizing everyone he comes in contact with, monopolizing threads, derailing discussions with perpetual complaints, quibbles and demands for attention, and generally making arguments that display a lack of good faith and responsiveness... it's become intolerable. I'm not banning him, but I'm putting in place some restrictions on how often he can comment.

    -Ebonmuse
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    This is no defense of the annoying cl, but what a self-righteous, prissy atheist you turned out to be, Ebonmuse. I'm disappointed in you, stealing a strategem from the theists.

    -The Exterminator
     to Ebonmuse
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I certainly didn't get any bad impression about cl, and I can't relate his comments with any of the things (Ebonmuse) said above. I actually thought it was quite interesting to have him around.

    -Juan Felipe
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Please continue to allow
    cl to post his views and make it clear that he is still welcome. And let me be clear, cl is not a lunatic.

    -Curtis
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    With one exception, you are the most coherent and intelligent theist I've seen on this site...

    -Steve Bowen
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I'm rooting for cl. I hope he perpetually manages to skirt the rules enough to do his damage, forcing rule revision after rule revision, ad nauseum. Awesome! Let's watch as Ebon, ever more frustrated, continues to struggle to figure out how to keep his precious private blog neat and tidy as cl keeps messing up his papers while one by one, readers leave due to an every increasing administrative presence. Outstanding! Well I won't go. The thought of this sounds like the most entertaining thing that probably would have ever happened on Daylight Atheism. Hot damn!

    -PhillyChief
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Your visit has been something of a reality check to me. It seems that when you present rational arguments and criticisms, many commenters feel territory slipping and then work up vaporous or leaky responses. I also want to remark that your presence here has considerably moved me to try being a more careful and understanding debater...

    -Brad
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I do have a lot of respect for you too. You seem to be a very intelligent and thoughtful individual with a knack for getting to the bottom of a problem, cutting through all the bullshit rhetoric on the way down. The fact that many other atheists seem to unreasonably despise you bothers me a lot, because I think that maybe they aren’t acting in good faith.

    -Peter Hurford
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I am not going to waste any more time parsing your comments to decide if they've crossed the line or not... So I banned you.

    -Greta Christina
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Be rude... cl invites rudeness. Would you want an incontinent little puppy coming into your house?

    -(((Billy))) the Atheist
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Note to all my regular readers: Since An Apostate’s Chapel is a free-speech zone, I don’t censor conversations.
    As it appears that cl is a troll, please note that I will not be responding to him any longer. I ask that you refrain from doing so, as well. Please don’t feed the troll!

    -The Chaplain
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    …I can’t reconcile being a "freethinker" with banning speech. [cl's] comments are not offensive in the normal understanding of that term, and he poses absolutely no threat except perhaps to some imagined decorum. Why can’t atheists lighten up, for no-Christ’s sake?

    -The Exterminator
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Is it going to distract from my meal when crazy uncle cl starts blathering out nonsense, pick his ears with a carrot or start taking his pants off? No. In fact, it might actually heighten the experience in some amusing way. So no, I don't see cl's work as damage.

    -PhillyChief
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I am beginning to suspect that you are a troll cl. Albeit an evolved troll, but a troll nonetheless. Perhaps we should all stop feeding the troll?

    -GaySolomon
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    [cl is] is either a sophist or an incompetent when it comes to the english language... (sic)

    -ThatOtherGuy
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I’d say cl is pretty sharp... it may be tempting at times to think that “the other guy” is arguing out of some personal character flaw rather than a sincere desire to acknowledge the truth, I still think it’s better to debate respectfully... It is disrespectful to make unsupported accusations against people, e.g. by suggesting that their views are caused by an intrinsically corrupt and immoral nature.

    -Deacon Duncan, 3-9-09
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    [cl] cannot refute my facts, so he needs must find (sic) some scapegoat in order to claim that he has confronted the enemy and proven them wrong... cl, sadly, has proven himself to be the sort of guest who comes into your living room and sneaks behind your couch to take a crap on the floor, just so he can tell all your neighbors how bad your house smells and what an unsanitary housekeeper you are... an interesting case study in the negative effects a Christian worldview has on a reasonably intellectual mind.

    -Deacon Duncan, 6-17-09
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I strongly discourage discussion of the character, abilities, motives, or personal ancestry of individual commenters, as tempting as such comments may be at times. I discourage the posting of comments that make frequent use of the pronoun “you,” as in “you always…” or “you never…” or “you are just so…”, when directed at a specific individual.

    -Deacon Duncan, 4-9-09
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I won’t be publishing your most recent comment because it’s a return to the same sort of schtick you’ve pulled here before: re-writing other people’s arguments to make yourself look misunderstood and/or unfairly accused, taking “polyvalent” positions so that when people address your points you can claim to have said something else, distorting other people’s arguments, trolling for negative reactions, and so on.

    -Deacon Duncan, 10-8-09
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    [E]gomaniacal troll.
    You win... You’re a disingenuous sophist through and through, cl. And a friggin’ narcissist to boot! Since I’ve thoroughly and purposefully broken the Deacon’s rules of engagement, I shall consider my right to post henceforth annulled, and move on - dramatic pause, lights out.

    -jim
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    He either thinks in a very weird way or he's quite the con artist.

    -mikespeir
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I will gladly admit that I have a boner for cl. Maybe some day I’ll even earn a place of honor on cl’s Blog of Infamy.

    -Eneasz
     Evangelical Realism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Long time reader first time poster... I like reading what you
    have to say over at Daylight Atheism so I figured I'd pop in here.

    -Pine
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    He's just a jerk
    that likes to argue.

    -KShep
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You’re not a reasonable thinker in my book. You’re simply an arguer, for better or worse. I’m Michael Palin, you’re John Cleese. You’re just a disputation-ist, bringing everything into question...

    -jim
     Reason vs. Apologetics
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    Motherfucker, this is an interesting blog... Quite the group of commenters.

    -John Evo
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You are very articulate, and I can only assume that it's a result of high intelligence; an intelligence that's interested in, and can understand, healthy debate. However, at every turn, that's not what I or others seem to get.

    -ex machina
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You are a troll, a liar, and a useless sack of shit. Not only that, but you're still wrong even after moving the goal posts and trying to re-write history. So, you can stop cyber stalking me now and trying to provoke me. I know what you are doing, and you are doing it so that you can whine about how I'm being irrational and mean to you and stroke your pathetic martyr complex. You're a pathetic attention whore and I've already given you too much attention. So, back the fuck off, stop following me around the intarwebs and trying to provoke me, and fuck off.

    -OMGF
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I would just like to say that, OMGF, having read the debate as a neutral observer, some of the things cl says about your style of argument are true, IMO. It is quite hasty, which means you occasionally haven't got the central point cl is trying to make...

    -John D.
     Daylight Atheism
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    ...this is a difficult question that deserves more than a kneejerk reaction, not to imply that you're kneejerking. You're the least kneejerking person I've met.

    -Quixote
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    If you’re here playing devil’s advocate, then, hey, you do a great job at it, it’s a service, keep us sharp... You’re a smart guy, but those are exactly the ones who give the worst headaches!

    -Lifeguard
     An Apostate's Chapel
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    You are a waste of time, cl. A big fat black hole of bullshit sucking in everyone who comes into contact with you.

    -Spanish Inquisitor
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    As for all that harsh invective that's come your way, umm... I gotta say, I've seen some of the invective, but I haven't seen the behavior on your part that called for it. Maybe I've just not seen enough? I don't know... from what I've read, I can tell that you're a smart person, and whether you deserved any of that treatment or not is quite frankly immaterial to me; I just want to deal with the smart person at the eye of that storm.

    -D
     She Who Chatters
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    I now think that you’re an atheist, just having fun at other atheists’ expense. If that’s the case, kudos.

    -The Exterminator
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
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False Argument #30, Or, MiracleQuest Continues: The Case Of Kayla Knight, Pt. I

NOTE: Apparently this post reminded the chaplain who was correct, and she has amended her claim: "I read about Kayla Knight's story recently, but had forgotten it. I'll
amend my comment accordingly: one person that I know of has stepped up
to tell such a story." the chaplain, May 17, 2009 4:18pm


False Argument #30 is a two-tier one coming from the chaplain and PhillyChief:

Well I think we can start by reviewing everyone who refused medical treatment instead of prayer and were healed. That list would be….. strangely unavailable.
-PhillyChief

Maybe all those who were healed by prayer never bothered reporting it
to the newsies. I wonder why they kept their lights hidden under their
bushels? It seems like their testimonies would be powerful stuff.
Still, it seems strange that not even one person appears to have
stepped up and told such a story.
-the chaplain

Now, there's certainly some non-committal posturing on chaplain's behalf here, but someone who's looked into this stuff for even a microsecond has to wonder: Are chaplain and PhillyChief merely being rhetorically successful? Are they taking themselves seriously? Or have they really not looked into this stuff for more than a microsecond?

Although I certainly don't expect either of them to think any miracle story on the news
is actually credible, that's a different story, and .22 seconds on Google disproves their claims. Accordingly, a rational person has to wonder: Are the chaplain and PhillyChief reliable? Like John Evo said about my last little soiree with PhillyChief: Is he even doing any research? Is the chaplain? Or are they just voicing their opinions?

In a move my agent is probably not going to like*, I'd like to thank chaplain and Philly for the perfect opportunity to introduce a case I've been looking into for some time now – a case where standard medical treatment was refused and was "reported to the newsies" and that the chaplain and PhillyChief must have missed in all their robust distaste for religion – the case of Kayla Knight. When I say "looking into," I mean with the full investigative rigor of somebody conducting a real-world, publishable analysis, too: Personal cross-interviews, analysis of pertinent documents, research and cross-checking of facts. As the title implies, this introductory and very general post won't be my only one about this case, rest assured.

In May of 2008, Kayla Knight was eleven years old and living in Whitehouse, Texas, when she was diagnosed with a large brain tumor. The tumor was discovered in the advanced stages of development via X-ray at their local emergency room, where Knight was admitted with complaints of recurring headaches that were increasing in severity. Emergency room staff suggested that the Knight family see a neurologist "immediately." Amy Knight – Kayla's mother – found a neurologist in Tyler who would accept Medicaid, and a subsequent CAT scan and MRI appeared to confirm what the family feared most. Kayla was sent to a specialist outside Dallas for further confirmation.

In Dallas, a doctor who asks to remain unnamed confirmed the tumor's presence and that it had grown significantly. This doctor has specifically stated a desire to steer clear of any media circus. The initial prognosis was grim, with Kayla being offered an operation that had a roughly 95% chance of killing her, or the option of doing nothing and likely dying in as little as two weeks.

Amy and Kayla went home to think on it. The next morning, Kayla told Amy she'd rather live the last of her days enjoying and loving her family than caught up in a medical whirlwind, and they took the matter to their local church, Whitehouse First Assembly. Led by pastor Michael Fleming, over a dozen people prayed for and laid hands on Kayla, who essentially resigned herself to fate.

Long story short (for now), a subsequent MRI from the same doctor revealed something strange: The tumor had completely disappeared. Accordingly, the doctor was quite confused, and a third MRI again confirmed the tumor's absence. This was reported on KLTV 7 News, an ABC affiliate. Still, the little information that does exist about this case is scant, with over 95% of it coming from Christian bloggers claiming "proof" of miracles who simply copy-and-paste Clint Yeatts original KLTV transcript adding nothing new to the discussion. That is what motivated me to dig deeper and contact involved parties for myself. I testify that I've held private discussions with Amy Knight and other involved parties in this case, in which information has been disclosed that is not in the traditional reports.

And yes, we'll get to it.

I fully concede the possibility that future evidence could prove this
case to be fraudulent or erroneous. Although I will certainly
continue ongoing research, the point (for now) is, False Argument #30 tells us there are no reported cases where people have denied medical treatment and lived to make the news.

PhillyChief and the chaplain are of course free to deny the credibility of the Knight case, and that's what I fully expect them to do as skeptics. That's all they can do, because miracle claims aren't falsifiable – but I'll bet Kayla doesn't mind.


*MiracleQuest
is an ongoing series here at TWIM that explores the degree of
reliability we can reasonably attribute to miracle claims. It is
currently being discussed at an undisclosed production firm as a viable investigative television series. I am currently of the position that it is impossible to prove
whether a particular deity was irrefutably the source of any
unexplained event. I say the best a believer can hope for is the
skeptic's concession that a given event cannot be explained. As with
ontological arguments, I cannot conceive of an event that would be
sufficient alone to prove that God exists – of course, short of God's
ultimate and final revelation. Even then, the die-hard skeptic could
always appeal to neurological misfire as the source of the odd
intrusion into reality.

*All material copyright 2009 TWIM.

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30 Responses

  1. Here’s the news report:
    http://www.kltv.com/global/story.asp?s=8699200&ClientType=Printable
    There are significant discrepancies between the news report and cl’s post.
    If the picture in the link shows the MRIs from Tyler and Dallas, I would say the MRI in Tyler is a POS, even to an untrained eye.

  2. Please, go ahead and read nal’s link. Let CLR = cl’s report, and let LNR = linked news report.
    Both CLR and LNR report headaches.
    Both CLR and LNR report a large brain tumor.
    Both CLR and LNR report an initial ER visit that suggested a specialist be seen.
    Both CLR and LNR report that this specialist was in Tyler.
    Both CLR and LNR report subsequent MRI testing in Dallas.
    According to what Amy Knight told me, the news report omitted quite a bit between that visit to Dallas and the night in church, but so I can be clear, nal – what do you claim the discrepancies are?
    And, is your argument that the medical documents are fraudulent? If so, on what evidence?

  3. 1) CLR reports CAT scan, LNR does not.
    2) LNR suggests tumor gone on initial (and only) MRI in Dallas. CLR suggest two MRIs in Dallas.
    If you have additional information that wasn’t covered in the LNR, fine. I wasn’t implying that your information was false only different. You sure are touchy.
    cl:
    And, is your argument that the medical documents are fraudulent?
    nal:
    Absolutely not. My argument is low quality MRI equipment in Tyler. My evidence is the two images.
    /POS=Piece Of Shit

  4. nal,
    You’re correct that LNR didn’t mention the CAT scan. I didn’t notice that. That is from my notes from personal discussion with Amy. You’re free to deny it; I’ll be sure to double-check it, though, and thanks for keeping me on my toes. Sorry if I came across as touchy, it would have been perfectly fine if you were making either of those claims. I thought you were, because I said that the post was introductory and that I’d conducted personal interviews with Amy and others. That’s where the “multiple MRI” thing comes from. And I’ll note that my other four points of similarity went unchallenged, so that makes me feel a little bit better. Stay tuned for the whole story as told by Amy Knight.
    In general, if at any time I disagree with you, it’s nothing personal. You seem like a pretty reasonable debater to me and that’s always a plus. For others I can’t say as much. Cool?
    “My argument is low quality MRI equipment in Tyler. My evidence is the two images.”
    Do you deny that Kayla had a tumor to begin with? And I knew what POS stood for – I get called that all the time!

  5. cl:
    Do you deny that Kayla had a tumor to begin with?
    nal:
    I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the tumor. If the diagnosis of a tumor was based on the Tyler MRI (if indeed that image is an MRI – it may be a CT image) then, due to the miserable quality of the Tyler image, an error in the tumor diagnosis would be a reasonable conclusion. Medicine involves a lot more guess work than doctors admit to.
    I would be concerned that there might be some other cause, masquerading as a tumor, that may reappear. There must be a lot of pressure, from without and within, on the family to accept the miraculous removal of the tumor story. If there were, in fact, some other cause, I hope that pressure doesn’t her family’s judgement and jeopardize the girl’s health.

  6. I think your position is reasonable. Still, at the very least – whether we believe they are credible or not – we can agree there *are* claims exactly like the ones Philly and the chaplain denied, right?

  7. Hey, CL – why don’t you inform nal that, after reading your post, I said,“I read about Kayla Knight’s story recently, but had forgotten it. I’ll amend my comment accordingly: one person that I know of has stepped up to tell such a story.”?
    What’s the matter? Does informing your reader(s) that I amended my statement fuck up the image of me that you want your reader(s) to hold?

  8. Geez, slow down… I was going to make that an official note just like I did with John Evo’s concession.. so touchy! I don’t want my readers to hold any ‘image’ of you. You’re perfectly free to challenge my arguments.

  9. There is too little information available for me to be interested in discussing Kayla Knight’s case right now, including the degree of credibility that is warranted. I’ll wait and see what unfolds.

  10. While you’re doing all this personal, upfront investigation and reporting, cl, do us a favor and be sure to include all your research into spontaneous regressions and remissions of tumors. OK?
    I’d be real interested in knowing how may of them occur after the entire church lays their hands on the victim…err…patient.

  11. I could point out that my detractors don’t seem to do their homework all day long. As you may or may not have seen over at Philly’s, the chaplain’s last smirk along these lines already drew some of it out:
    “As to the role that intercessory prayer may have played in the spontaneous remission of her cancer, I’ll reserve judgment until further credible evidence is proffered.” (chaplain)
    “You have not provided any evidence for your claim of spontaneous remission. Dr. Ralph Moss notes that the majority of patients he’s studied who experience spontaneous cures of cancer do so after acute injections which stimulate immune response, and it is consensus that early-stage remissions are far more common than late-stage remissions. I do not recall Amy answering in the affirmative to either of these questions when asked.” (cl)
    Despite her claims to rationalism and a scientific outlook, chappie just forages ahead here without a lick of evidence for her assumption – when in fact – her assumption is already challenged by the existing evidence. Is that rationalism? Science?
    Sounds more like faitheism to me.

  12. No, just a combination of human nature and common sense, mixed with a healthy dose of Occam’s Razor.

  13. SI, chaplain provided zero evidence for her claim of spontaneous remission. Will you really state that making claims without evidence entails rationalism?
    If so, no wonder we disagree so much!

  14. Dr. Ralph Moss notes that the majority of patients he’s studied who experience spontaneous cures of cancer do so after acute injections which stimulate immune response, and it is consensus that early-stage remissions are far more common than late-stage remissions.
    How large a a majority was Dr. Moss referring to in his statement? 55% is one thing, 85% is substantially more persuasive. An indefinite majority is not as persuasive as you wish it were.
    I do not recall Amy answering in the affirmative to either of these questions when asked.
    If you want me to retract my common sense inference on the basis of what you recall about your interview, you’re asking for, dare I say it, a lot of faith on my part. Your evidence is flimsy. Furthermore, what specific questions did you ask Amy?
    Until I see more evidence – I hope yours will be based on extensive notes and not just your recall, and which will include other sources in addition to yours – I will stick to my common sense, Occam’s razor answer that Kayla experience spontaneous remission or something of the sort that can be explained via natural causes.

  15. So, when something is unexplained, it’s automatically natural? That’s a hoot!
    It’s fine with me if you want
    to be superstitious while maintaining a pretense of an evidence-based disbelief system, but remember, when the cause of something is unexplained – as Kayla’s case remains – all appeals to knowledge of causality are superstitiousness.
    Hey… there’s seat for you in the back, right next to the guy speaking in tongues!

  16. And your alternative to a natural explanation would be…?

  17. I’m not offering one. The case is unexplained.

  18. I’m confused.
    It’s the natural worldview – naturalism – that says that in the natural world, some things just remain unexplained. We presume that we are not in a perfect state of knowledge, and we keep looking. We allow science to do its job, but in the meantime, we are patient, and resigned to certain level of ignorance.
    It’s the supernatural worldview that says – when confronted with something apparently unexplainable – Goddidit. Then you stop looking.
    Cl, you’re the one pushing supernaturalism here, not Chappie, so your attempt to reverse the roles here is – laughable. When you say:
    “I’m not offering one. The case is unexplained.”
    you put yourself strictly in the naturalistic camp while telling us we should keep our minds open to a supernatural explanation.

  19. Don’t tell me about what naturalism or supernaturalism necessarily entails because I have an opinion, too. I find the fact that you assume I falsely dichotomize them amusing.
    “It’s the supernatural worldview that says – when confronted with something apparently unexplainable – Goddidit. Then you stop looking.” (SI)
    That paragraph is as bad a caricature of theism as “atheists eat babies.” No, when something is unexplained one doesn’t just say that God did it – and no – even when one thinks that God probably did something, one doesn’t stop looking, either for said phenomenon’s real-world agencies, or said phenomenon’s implications to other areas of life. Inquisitiveness and rationalism are not intrinsically atheist, SI. That’s the doorway to bigoted thinking.
    I applaud your first paragraph, but your mistake is to assume that those who reject metaphysical naturalism cannot proceed rationally in life, and look how far off the original post you are: Aside from asking them to believe that chaplain’s original claim was factually incorrect, not once did I tell the reader that they should do or think anything in this post. I’m not fully convinced of anything yet. I appreciate the suggestion about looking into spontaneous remission, and I told you it would be discussed.
    That chaplain’s original (non-amended) claim was false is not disputable, and this post has achieved its goal.

  20. I said, “That chaplain’s original (non-amended) claim was false is not disputable, and this post has achieved its goal.”
    PhillyChief’s, too. His best argument so far was that one person doesn’t constitute a list, but Kayla’s is not the only case like this I’ve heard of. It is the one where I’ve been most fortunate in terms of being able to speak directly to those involved.

  21. Well, good luck with that one, cl. When you’ve confirmed the supernatural remission of Kayla Knight’s tumor, drop me a line. I’d love to see your evidence.

  22. I’m still trying to understand you. Is it that you’re just out to get me, so you don’t read carefully enough? I’m not trying to prove anything here. I’m going to discuss her case. About the only conclusion I can firmly draw so far is that her case is certainly not consistent with the literature on SR. But please, by all means stay tuned.

  23. Or have they really not looked into this stuff for more than a microsecond?
    Although I certainly don’t expect either of them to think any miracle story on the news is actually credible, that’s a different story, and .22 seconds on Google disproves their claims.

    1. .22 seconds is 220 000 µseconds.
    2. I have spent some time looking into this. There is only one source (the kltv story) and multiple references by Christian sites and blogs.
    3. On what basis is this story, as you claim, credible?

  24. The question about “time looking into this” wasn’t related to the number of sources. I noted my own frustration that the entirety of coverage was Christian bloggers parroting KLTV.

    On what basis is this story, as you claim, credible?

    If you mean to ask on what basis did I claim this is a genuine miracle, I don’t recall claiming that it is. I really don’t know, as I’m not even done talking to the people involved yet.

  25. Ah, OK. Not that reports are rare.
    Why didn’t you just point out that the Catholic Church claims rigor and scrupulousness in their canonisation process?
    E.g., the recent beatification of “Mother Teresa” is based on just the type of miracle claimed for Kayla.
    And there are a lot of Saints…

  26. Ah, OK. Not that reports are rare.
    Why didn’t you just point out that the Catholic Church claims rigor and scrupulousness in their canonisation process?
    E.g., the recent beatification of “Mother Teresa” is based on just the type of miracle claimed for Kayla.
    And there are a lot of Saints…

  27. Why didn’t you just point out that the Catholic Church claims rigor and scrupulousness in their canonisation process?

    How would that prove my point, or even help it?

  28. How would that prove my point, or even help it?

    Because your point clearly is that there are such reports, as evidenced by your introductory quotes from the Chaplain and PhillyChief.

  29. Because your point clearly is that there are such reports, as evidenced by your introductory quotes from the Chaplain and PhillyChief.

    Chaplain said, “it seems strange that not even one person appears to have stepped up and told such a story.” As you and I have apparently agreed there are such stories, correct? If so, my argument stands, right?

  30. cl, indeed, your argument stands.
    There are such stories.

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