A Theory is a Theory... is a Theory

The Theory of Evolution.
The Theory of Intelligent Design.

I am interested in what all of you have to say.
Please explain why you think either of these theories should be taught or not taught to our students.

(This is somewhat of an experiment. I am interested to see what we get when the article does not start with an opinion. Yes. I do have one.)


Posted by Dawn at December 22, 2005 9:50 PM
Comments
Comment #106312

Evolution is a highly supported scientific theory that can be readily demonstrated in nature.

ID is religion and has no basis what so ever in any real scientific discipline.

Therefor: Evolution in any school. ID in Sunday school only, but only if you’re really desperate.

Posted by: Dave at December 22, 2005 10:22 PM
Comment #106314

The Theory of Evolution does not equal the Theory of Intelligent Design.

Creationists argue that evolution is “only a theory and cannot be proven.”

As used in science, a theory is an explanation or model based on observation, experimentation, and reasoning, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general principle helping to explain and predict natural phenomena.

Any scientific theory must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts. A clear distinction needs to be made between facts (things which can be observed and/or measured) and theories (explanations which correlate and interpret the facts.

A fact is something that is supported by unmistakeable evidence. For example, the Grand Canyon cuts through layers of different kinds of rock, such as the Coconino sandstone, Hermit shale, and Redwall limestone. These rock layers often contain fossils that are found only in certain layers. Those are the facts.

It is a fact is that fossil skulls have been found that are intermediate in appearance between humans and modern apes. It is a fact that fossils have been found that are clearly intermediate in appearance between dinosaurs and birds.

Facts may be interpreted in different ways by different individuals, but that doesn’t change the facts themselves.

Theories may be good, bad, or indifferent. They may be well established by the factual evidence, or they may lack credibility. Before a theory is given any credence in the scientific community, it must be subjected to “peer review.” This means that the proposed theory must be published in a legitimate scientific journal in order to provide the opportunity for other scientists to evaluate the relevant factual information and publish their conclusions.

Creationists refuse to subject their “theories” to peer reviews, because they know they don’t fit the facts. The creationist mindset is distorted by the concept of “good science” (creationism) vs. “bad science” (anything not in agreement with creationism). Creation “scientists” are biblical fundamentalists who can not accept anything contrary to their sectarian religioius beliefs.

Posted by: Aldous at December 22, 2005 10:25 PM
Comment #106318

I haven’t done any extensive research on either one or anything, but I don’t see what’s wrong with teaching students both and letting them decide which they believe. Or at least in middle and high schools - elementary school kids might not appreciate either one.

Posted by: xxreadytorun at December 22, 2005 10:37 PM
Comment #106319

“….I don’t see what’s wrong with teaching students both and letting them decide which they believe. …”

Other than the separation of church and state arguement …

Posted by: dawn at December 22, 2005 10:41 PM
Comment #106320

ok… first please take some time to browse through LawnBoy’s huge blog on the other side, if you haven’t already…

Posted by: Jon at December 22, 2005 10:43 PM
Comment #106323

“Intelligent Design” is code for the literal story of Creation as told in the Book of Genesis. As such, it is a religious idiom, and not to be supported by our government. The 1st Amendment makes that abundantly clear, and the principle has been upheld by both conservative and liberal jurisprudence.

This is not to belittle anyone’s legitimate religious views; however, if we are to begin teaching a Judeo-Christian ethic in our schools, then we are also going to have to teach the creation theories espoused by other religions. It creates a system that would be unwieldy, at best. There are classes where religious views can be explained, such as history or philosophy. Science classes are not the proper forum.

The reason is simple. Science seeks to explain the universe by means of observation; by taking what our senses perceive and rationalizing them. Religion is a matter of faith. As Paul said, “Faith is belief in things unseen.” That is the precise opposite of what science is. Science requires us to reach our conclusions based on what we see; faith requires us to reach conclusions based on what we believe. The opposition between between the two trains of thought is highlighted by the persecution of scientists and explorers who demonstrated the world is round, and not flat. Religious authority proclaimed the latter to be true (and continued to do so well into the 19th century!)

Personally, I do not think there is much difference between Genesis’ story and that of evolution. There are numerous references in the Bible about how Man cannot know the mind of God, nor how Man can even perceive God’s idea of time. God creates and destroys, retools, and tinkers with his Creations. With that in mind, I think that all of those who try to literally interpret the Bible are not really reading the same text I am. They are skimming through, and finding passages that support a very narrow interpretation. The Bible must be read in its entirety to understand the context-and that takes years of study.

Posted by: Ray at December 22, 2005 10:50 PM
Comment #106324

Aldous,

Even though I disagree with you, your comment is well stated and uncharacteristically non-sarcastic for the most part.

Are you feeling OK?

There are many respected creationist scientists out there. I have sat under a few of them as has my wife. They have no problems with discussing evolution and its flaws with anyone including fellow scientists who believe in evolution. I have had the honor of listening to a fascinating debate on the topic. However, I will agree that there are some others who give a bad name to the creationist view and are incredibly myopic.

Posted by: Discerner at December 22, 2005 10:51 PM
Comment #106325

A scientific theory should have explanatory and predictive power. ID has explanitory power, but no predictive power.

Posted by: Erika at December 22, 2005 10:55 PM
Comment #106327

Evolution explains most of modern biology. If you apply its principles you can predict outcomes with reasonable certainly. Predictive power is the test of any theory.

The methods of evolution have been used for many years in breeding plants and animals. Current biotechnology is based on evolutionary principles.

No scientist will contend that any theory is complete. That is not a weakness. As new information becomes available, we can modify our understanding and we have. But the fundamental principles have remained constant for more than a century.

It depends on what you mean by intelligent design. If you simply want to contend that a higher power started or guided evolution, that is something that nobody can prove or disprove. It is truly a matter of faith. But IF a higher power runs the show, he runs it using evolutionary principles.

The pragmatic approach is very simple. Evolution is a useful theory. It explains the “how” of biology. It doesn’t require a higher intelligence to explain the useful part, but a higher intelligence is not precluded.

If you just want to teach that in school, I have no objection. It will take three minutes. There is nothing more useful to teach. If the intelligent design gets more complicated, however, it doesn’t belong in school because it is not useful. It is not part of science and doesn’t belong there.

Posted by: Jack at December 22, 2005 10:57 PM
Comment #106328

Darwin’s theory is also being challenged. Shouldn’t it be removed from schools because it is being proven faulty?
‘New cellular evolution theory rejects single cell beginning’

Posted by: dawn at December 22, 2005 10:58 PM
Comment #106329

It’s actually more than just separation of church & state. It’s bad (or non-)science versus good science. As Aldous & Dave already covered above, science is based on putting forward a hypothesis as a possible explanation, testing it and if it fails, looking for a better one. ID doesn’t provide a test, nor do it’s backers want to. Evolution has been under constant challenge, and it has held up. If at some point a test comes along that invalidates it, then the theory gets replaced.
Teach ID if you want to, but don’t pretend that it’s Science.

Posted by: Jon at December 22, 2005 10:59 PM
Comment #106330

Both should be taught. Evolution is science, and should be taught in science class. Intelligent design is religion, and should be taught when and where people wish to study religion.

Posted by: Bob at December 22, 2005 11:03 PM
Comment #106331

The word theory has various meanings. Two are important here:

When used in idle conversation, theory generally means “conjecture” or “speculation.” When used in the scientific world, it generally means “scientific law” or “accepted truth.” As one source puts it, “A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers.”

The “theory” of intelligent design falls into the first class. There is no experiment that can verify or refute it. The “theory” of evolution falls into the second classification. Many experiments have been done that support it.

Nonscientists often fail to understand that the distinction is as major and as important as the one between a cat and a catfish.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at December 22, 2005 11:03 PM
Comment #106332

I sent the following email to USA Today. Thought you folks might be interested…

A MATTER OF FAITH

Dear sir/Madam,

Your article, “Ruling on ‘intelligent design’ one for the history books” is just one more example of liberal ‘irreverent’ irrelevance. In the article your writer stated, “The problem with comparing evolution with intelligent design is that ID is a matter of faith, not science. It can’t be tested. Evolution, by contrast, is backed by overwhelming scientific evidence.” However, nothing could be less scientific that evolution. Quite to the contrary, evolution is refuted by overwhelming evidence, not backed by it, whereas, all scientific evidence points to a Creator. Since it is more a matter of ‘faith’ – great faith at that - to believe evolution rather than creationism, it seems that the evolutionists take first place as the more ‘religious’ folk among us, hands down. Funny how their religion is given free run in the school system without so much as a complaint from you.

Your article went on to say that, “Judge John Jones’ 139-page ruling contains far-reaching wisdom that school boards everywhere can draw on when pressured to inject religion into science courses” as if “school boards everywhere” are ignorant enough as to actually want to ‘‘draw on” this pseudo-wisdom. You seem to have forgotten that most Americans remember that their great country was founded upon Godly principles. These principles say, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” It’s in the Bible. Look it up sometime.

I also noticed that you were careful to detail that Judge John Jones is “a Republican appointed by President Bush,” thinking to sway ‘intelligently designed’ Americans toward your point of view. However, you are losing your hold (as you lose your minds) on the real America. Real Americans can see through you like a screen door. As a matter of fact, real Americans couldn’t care less if the judge had been appointed by Abraham Lincoln. You are so blinded that you don’t even realize the only audience remaining for you to preach to is your liberal ‘choir.’ What a shame that you have stooped so low as to print blatant untruths just to tickle their ears.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that there will always be communities like Dover, Pennsylvania - just as there will always be useful idiots such as your organization - I know that. To think otherwise would be foolish. My hope, however, is that there will be less and less of your kind – and their kind - as America becomes enlightened to the truth.
Someone said, “The reason Fox News is blowing you guys away is a little thing called Fair and Balanced.” Think about it – it’s the truth. Truth… What a novel idea. You guys should try it. You might sleep better at night.

Sincerely,
David Pillow

Posted by: David Pillow at December 22, 2005 11:04 PM
Comment #106334

Dawn

Useful is the key.

We can never achieve truth through science, but we can achieve likeness to truth and that is whether it is useful.

Evolution, unlike ID, is meant to be used and the priciples work. It is like having an imperfect map. Some of the roads don’t correspond exactly to the facts on the ground, but if you use it you can find your way.

ID is more like a pretty picture of something completely different. It is nice to look at, but you won’t find your way using it.

Posted by: Jack at December 22, 2005 11:07 PM
Comment #106335

Thank you xxreadytorun for being more open
minded & willing to look at all sides of the debate/theories than many of the older/set in
their ways types on this blog. That says alot
about your maturity.

While micro-evolution/adaptational evolution
is fact, macro-evolution is still theory. The
science doesn’t fully support the existance of
“transitional” species. Man from ape from lemur
from cat from bird from reptile from fish from
protoplasm, etc. .

Creationism/I.D. is also a theory based mostly
in faith, but is increasingly being supported
by some in the scientific community. Christian
scientists if you will, some who are recent
religious converts, some are life long Christians
who are scientists.

There are many complex aspects to our natural
world, from the tiniest organism to the vast
precision of the galaxies, that leads more open
minded people to believe that there must have
been a master architect of some kind rather than
DNA and planetary orbits just accidentally
falling into place at random.

Most people believe in the logic and facts of
science. Just as many believe that there are
supernatural aspects to life and death as well
( angels, ghosts, etc.). Many believe that these
two worlds are not exclusive to one another.
Nature = science = nature = a Creator. Did GOD
create science/nature?

I’m a big fan/believer of science. But realize
that not all science is fact. I’m also a man of
faith. But realize that not all things are true
in all religions, not even my own. I think GOD
wants us to be skeptical and not blindly believe
that everything that sparks our emotions or
imaginations are worth the fires they cause.

Posted by: Dale Garland at December 22, 2005 11:09 PM
Comment #106336

Intelligent Design isn’t a Theory, scientifically speaking. In Science, a theory is a logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a certain natural or social phenomenon, thus either originating from or supported by experimental evidence. It is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations made that is predictive, logical, testable, and has never been falsified. It is not mere conjecture, as many use “theory” to mean.

Evolution has been poked and prodded for decades by scientists, and it has survived. Our understanding isn’t complete, as the link dawn provided at 10:58 pm shows, but the overall premise has been verified countless times (even what dawn presented would be a clarification of the theory, not a disproof). Countless disproofs of evolution have been proposed, but Evolution has survived.

In contrast, ID is not a Theory. ID doesn’t tell us anything with predictive value, and it doesn’t provide a way to prove it or disprove it. From a Scientific perspective, ID is not a Theory. It is either a failed hypothesis, or an untestable interpretation that wraps over Evolution.

One is good science. One is pseudoscience. Only one is really a Theory.

p.s. Thanks for the plug, Jon.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 22, 2005 11:10 PM
Comment #106337

Darwin’s theory is also being challenged. Shouldn’t it be removed from schools because it is being proven faulty?

Scientific theories are not monolithic. They evolve over time, if you will forgive the pun. Discovering parts of a scientific theory are wrong just sends scientists back to the drawing board, it does not destroy whole theories.

Much the confusion over ID verses evolution comes down to the point that belief in science, including evolution, is different in belief in, for example, religion. When someone believes a scientific theory, they are, or at least ought to be, saying that they believe that the theory is consistent with observation and useful. A theory can even be known to be not completely right and still be science that people believe. For example, many people believe in both quantum mechanics and relativity even though the current phrasings of those theories are incompatible.

The other kind of belief is thinking something is True, with a capital ‘T’. This is a valid kind of belief to have, but it is very different than scientific belief.

Posted by: Erika at December 22, 2005 11:11 PM
Comment #106339

Evolution is a Scientific “Theory” in that it makes falsifiable predictions that can be tested through experiment.

Intelligent Design is a everyday “Theory” meaning hunch or guess. (ie, I think the butler did it)

Saying there is an “Intelligent Designer” is fantastic news, now all you have to do is…

1. Come up with some predictions based on this theory that we can test for.

2. Spend billions of dollars creating experimental apparatus and digital simulations to collect the needed evidence.

3. Spend 15 years publishing evidence and answering critics in science peer review journals.

4. The scientific community finally gives it the stamp of approval.

Or…

Just call it a theory, give it a funny name, and publish it in high school science textbooks as 15-year-olds wouldn’t know the difference between philosophy and science anyways.

I can’t believe this is coming from the same country that put a man on the moon!

What the hell happened?

Posted by: Jordan at December 22, 2005 11:11 PM
Comment #106340

Dawn,

I have never been able to see the difference in the two. Evelution was always a word which meant that it was the way GOD designed things. To say that the universe is not intelligently designed is to say GOD is stupid. It has nothing to do with what the bible or the koran or the tora has to say. No matter what any man has to say or ever has said, it does not change the fact that GOD designed the whole universe, not just our part of it.

Science will eventually prove the existance of GOD. I, personally don’t see what all the debate is about. We do not have the capacity to emagine the greatest good or the greatest evil in the universe.

Man is a relatively young race compared to those born on other worlds, and anyone who claims we are the only intelligent race in the universe is walking around with his head up his ——. We should not be so arrogant.

Posted by: John at December 22, 2005 11:12 PM
Comment #106343

John,

I do not think it is necessarily true that science will eventually prove the existence of GOD. Science works within a particular axiomatic system, and it has been shown that any non-trivial axiomatic system is incomplete, that is, there are things that can be expressed in the axiomatic system which cannot be proven within that system. God may be one of those things.

Posted by: Erika at December 22, 2005 11:16 PM
Comment #106344
While micro-evolution/adaptational evolution is fact, macro-evolution is still theory.

The distinction between micro and macroevolution is an arbitrary construct with no real basis. Macroevolution has been observed.

There are many complex aspects to our natural world, from the tiniest organism to the vast precision of the galaxies, that leads more open minded people to believe that there must have been a master architect of some kind rather than DNA and planetary orbits just accidentally falling into place at random.

This is a great tactic by pro-ID people, but it’s fallacious. Science is not a matter of being open-minded and letting everyone have their say. Science is a tough discipline in which things are found to be true or not. Evolution has survived the test, ID has not.

No one has any objection to individuals believing that there was a higher power behind Evolution. However, falsly teaching that evolution is flawed based on that personal and untestable interpretation has no place in public school science classes.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 22, 2005 11:16 PM
Comment #106346

Dawn,

I think they both should be taught in public
schools. After the more overtly religious
or specific religion themes are removed. I
belive there is, or will be, increasing
evidence ( or at least stronger scientific theories ) of the validity of I.D./Creationism.

What I’d like to know is, what is the scientific
community afraid of? I can understand how the
sci-comms may be more closed to presenting a new,
less scientific theory. But what are the liberals
afraid of? I thought liberals were all about free
speech, inclusion of ideas, tolerance of other
beliefs, etc.. This is why I love it when the
liberal left gleefully accuses the religious
right of hypocrisy. ;-)

Posted by: Dale Garland at December 22, 2005 11:22 PM
Comment #106347
I don’t see what’s wrong with teaching students both and letting them decide which they believe.

Because we have enough trouble teaching our children without wasting time on unrelated and unsupportable ideas.

Further, if we’re going to allow pseudoscience like ID in simply because some people believe it, we’ll need to also devote equal time to:

Kids are having enough trouble learning Science without confusing them with fake science.

I read an apt parallel for ID and evolution. It went something like this:

Intelligent Design is as scientific an explanation for the evolution of man, as Angels Bowling is as an explanation for thunder. Both are possible, but neither is science.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 22, 2005 11:25 PM
Comment #106348

Dale, it is not that “the liberals” are afraid of ID. It is that the classrooms of our high schools whether they be public or private, are not the places for a new scientific theory. If the theory is found to have merit over time, it can be taught, first at the graduate level, then at the undergraduate level, and, finally, at the high school level.

Posted by: Erika at December 22, 2005 11:27 PM
Comment #106349
increasing evidence ( or at least stronger scientific theories ) of the validity of I.D./Creationism.

Maybe you’re right (I doubt it, but…). However, ID shouldn’t be allowed into our schools on the hope that someday there might be justification for it. ID is disallowed now because it hasn’t earned the Scientific rigor to justify it. We shouldn’t let a weaker idea into our school just to bow to religious and political pressure.

What I’d like to know is, what is the scientific community afraid of?…But what are the liberals afraid of?
It’s fear that America’s scientific leadership of the world will be weakened. It’s fear that future generations will not understand science and knowledge because this generation threw away the standards. It’s fear that the Constitution will be shreded.

Scientists are actually not afraid of ID. It was a new idea, which is the food of Science. Scientists analyzed the new idea, found it wanting, and moved on. For almost any other issue, that would be enough. However, politicians and religious activists refuse to accept the idea that their pet idea was given a fair hearing and found insufficient, so they try to force it in through education.

People who say “We should teach the debate” don’t understand the situation. Within science, there is no debate - Evolution is the best we have and ID is unsupportable nonsense. The only place the debate occurs is in the political arena.

If anything, scientists are afraid that competence will take a back seat to politics, and their fields of study will be destroyed - not by ID itself, but by the idea that science can be twisted so easily.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 22, 2005 11:31 PM
Comment #106350

What do you think about the young earth theories
calculate the drift of the moon back and it hits the earth about six thousand years ago.
The loss of magnetic pull per decade figured at the rate of today would flatten every live thing just a few thousand years ago.
The saline content of the oceans
The sun would burn the earth up if it’s loss per year was calculated back even half a million years.
Is this bogus science?

Posted by: kruse at December 22, 2005 11:35 PM
Comment #106352

LawnBoy,

Your macro-evolution link did not come through. Could you repost it…Thank You

Posted by: Discerner at December 22, 2005 11:37 PM
Comment #106354

Jack said:

“ID is more like a pretty picture of something completely different. It is nice to look at, but you won’t find your way using it.”

Won’t find ‘my way’?
I thought that was what believing in ID and/or God was all about.

Posted by: dawn at December 22, 2005 11:38 PM
Comment #106357

Kruse, links please? Preferably peer reviewed ones?

Posted by: Erika at December 22, 2005 11:41 PM
Comment #106358

First of all, ID is not now, never has been and never will be a theory. ID is a belief, impossible to prove or disprove, just like the Christian belief in the resurrection. ID looks at the complexity and variety of life and rather than trying to explain how it came to be the way it is, shrugs and says “It’s too complicated so the only possible explanation is that God must have done it”.

Evolution, on the other hand, (analogously to our current understanding of electricity, atomic structure, radio transmission, chemistry, light, gravity and astronomy) is a theory that explains known phenomena and attempts to predict phenomena which have not yet been experienced. As new information is discovered and new phenomena are detected, theories are confirmed or modified. This is what’s known as the scientific method.

Notice that Mr. Pillow does not offer a single speck of scientific evidence either refuting evolution or supporting ID. This is not surprising coming from someone who holds Fox news up as an example of “fair and balanced truth”.

Sure evolution is being challenged, as are aspects of the other theories I’ve listed above. Black holes are examples of recent detected phenomena that have challenged and resulted in modifications to the theories of light, gravity and astronomy. The difference between a theory and a belief is that a theory is liable to be challenged while a belief cannot be challenged because it is based on no available evidence. Do we throw out all the other scientific theories that explain and predict most phenomena just because they are challenged. Not at all.

I guess we could go back, as the proponents of ID would have us do, to the way things were when Galileo was persecuted and incarcerated for daring to challenge the belief held by the church establishment that the earth is the center of the universe. His theory, which I think (correct me if I’m wrong, I’m actually not at all confident what Mr. Pillow’s or other IDer’s opinions might be) is pretty widely accepted and supported by known phenomena, was that the earth revolves around the sun and that, although we don’t know for sure what is at the center of the universe, we do know for sure that the earth is NOT at the center of the universe.

And finally, notice that Mr. Discerner sez:

There are many respected creationist scientists out there.

yet he fails to name even one of these many respected ID people. Now just why do you suppose that is? My guess, my theory if you will, is that had he identified any of these many “scientists” we would have found they are scientists only in the perverted sense of “Christian Scientist” or perhaps “scientology”, which we all know are not scientists by any commonly accepted definition of the word.

Posted by: spongeworthy at December 22, 2005 11:46 PM
Comment #106360

““….I don’t see what’s wrong with teaching students both and letting them decide which they believe. …”

Other than the separation of church and state arguement … “

In World History we learned about Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and no one objected. Our teacher was not shoving any one of those religions down our throats, simply telling us about their customs, traditions, beliefts, etc. This isn’t really that different. A science teacher could simply say “this is what some people think…. this is what others think about how we got here.” That’s what I don’t see the problem with.

Posted by: xxreadytorun at December 22, 2005 11:49 PM
Comment #106361

The first thing to understand is that all forms of scholarship are at best approximations of the way the world really works, approximations that are intended to answer certain questions about certain phenomena.

But these are not static approximations. Science is a process, continually in motion. Everybody is looping back on what they’ve learned, what they’ve been taught, what they’ve guessed might be true, and they’re examining that, testing what is and is not the case by whatever means available, trying to work out that one significant set of details that will illuminate the way things work.

You take your best knowledge to that point, and you use that to refine your theory. You can do this because you assume there are certain underlying regularities to the world in physics, chemistry and other fields, regularities that don’t have big, unexpected exceptions. This is the naturalistic view of the world. It means you can set the process into what’s called a strange loop- a self modifying process. As you refine and improve your knowledge by various methods in other parts of the science, you improve, your ability to construct new bodies of hypotheses and then theories between already established facts. This interwoven nature is crucial to understanding what is so galling about Intelligent Design.

First, and foremost, Intelligent Design disputes the very legitimacy of that process, that system of interlocked natural explanations we call natural science. The proponents of Intelligent decry barring supernatural explanations from the running.

Second, it justifies itself not by mere facts and associated theories alone, but also by it’s supposed benefits to society and certain mistaken impression of Kuhn’s revolutionary science philosophy (better known as the concept of paradigm shift).

Third, it takes places where science does not have a full picture, and makes an appeal to ignorance to justify the intrusion of supernatural causes into the framework of causality.

Fourth, it uses measures of probability to determine the presence of these supernatural intrusions, calculating probabilities when many important pieces of information are missing, or impossible to retrieve.

Taken together, intelligent design fails to respect science’s methods, it’s intended purpose and application, and uses methods that have no real credibility to look for things that can’t really be found.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 22, 2005 11:49 PM
Comment #106362

The word “theory” has a different meaning in common everyday use than its technical scientific meaning.

See: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=theory

The scientific meaning of “theory” requires that the collection of assertions be systematically tested.

Posted by: Matisse Enzer at December 22, 2005 11:49 PM
Comment #106366

Stephen Jay Gould once wrote an excellent essay on this very subject. As a public service, I’ve tracked down a link to it here.

In short, there need be no contradiction between a “fact” and a “theory.” Some theories are facts while some aren’t, and you can’t say something isn’t a fact just because it’s a theory.

That the earth is flat may be a theory. But it is not a fact.

That organisms evolve is a theory, but it is also a fact. The extent of that organisms have evolved, and the precise processes that have occured are a matter of theoretical conjecture, but the underlying truth of evolution in some form is a fact. So evolution is both fact and theory.

An illustration of what I mean to show the error that some creationists make in this area: some believe that JFK was assasinated by a single bullet, perhaps fired from behind the “grassy knoll.” This is theory.

If the “single bullet theory” is disproved, however, it does not also disprove that JFK was killed by gunfire. And it certainly doesn’t mean that JFK is still alive today.

In the same way, disproving or even just calling into question certain aspects of Darwin’s particular theory of evolution (which modern scientists no longer accept in every detail) does not mean that the basic concept of evolution is wrong.

And none of this has anything to do with whether god created the earth. If he can create an infant who evolves into an adult, why be so hostile to the idea that species could grow and change in the same way?

Posted by: sanger at December 22, 2005 11:55 PM
Comment #106367

xxreadytorun,
Say it, by all means, just recognise that you are in a Science class and that you aren’t talking about Science.
Belief is not the same thing as Science.

Posted by: Jon at December 22, 2005 11:57 PM
Comment #106370
In World History we learned about Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and no one objected. Our teacher was not shoving any one of those religions down our throats, simply telling us about their customs, traditions, beliefts, etc. This isn’t really that different. A science teacher could simply say “this is what some people think…. this is what others think about how we got here.” That’s what I don’t see the problem with.

The problem is with presenting ID as something that is scientific, which it is not. Would you also have pathologists learn about resurrection and OB/GYNs learn about the virgin birth?

I.e. “Well, usually what happens is a female is impregnated by a male but there was a documented case of a female who became pregnant when she was not impregnated by a male but rather by the Holy Spirit. So that will be on the test, OK?”

Or “Now usually when someone stops breathing for several days they stay dead but it has happened that a 36-37 year-old male stopped breathing for 3 days then came back to life. We are not exactly sure how that occurred, but I don’t want you guys thinking being dead is permanent or anything, alright?”

If you want to present this type of religious belief to someone in history class, or geography, or philosophy, that’s fine. But it’s not scientific and it’s not mathematical so it doesn’t belong in science class or math class.

Posted by: spongeworthy at December 23, 2005 12:02 AM
Comment #106376

Mr. Sponge said,

And finally, notice that Mr. Discerner sez:

“There are many respected creationist scientists out there.”
yet he fails to name even one of these many respected ID people. Now just why do you suppose that is? My guess, my theory if you will, is that had he identified any of these many “scientists” we would have found they are scientists only in the perverted sense of “Christian Scientist” or perhaps “scientology”, which we all know are not scientists by any commonly accepted definition of the word.

Here are a few names for you:

Dr Paul Ackerman, Psychologist
Dr E. Theo Agard, Medical Physics
Dr James Allan, Geneticist
Dr Steve Austin, Geologist
Dr S.E. Aw, Biochemist
Dr Thomas Barnes, Physicist
Dr Geoff Barnard, Immunologist
Dr Don Batten, Plant physiologist, tropical fruit expert
Dr John Baumgardner, Electrical Engineering, Space Physicist, Geophysicist, expert in supercomputer modeling of plate tectonics
Dr Jerry Bergman, Psychologist
Dr Kimberly Berrine, Microbiology & Immunology
Prof. Vladimir Betina, Microbiology, Biochemistry & Biology
Dr Raymond G. Bohlin, Biologist
Dr Andrew Bosanquet, Biology, Microbiology
Edward A. Boudreaux, Theoretical Chemistry
Dr David R. Boylan, Chemical Engineer
Prof. Linn E. Carothers, Associate Professor of Statistics
Dr David Catchpoole, Plant Physiologist (read his testimony)
Prof. Sung-Do Cha, Physics
Dr Eugene F. Chaffin, Professor of Physics
Dr Choong-Kuk Chang, Genetic Engineering
Prof. Jeun-Sik Chang, Aeronautical Engineering
Dr Donald Chittick, Physical Chemist
Prof. Chung-Il Cho, Biology Education
Dr John M. Cimbala, Mechanical Engineering
Dr Harold Coffin, Palaeontologist
Dr Bob Compton, DVM
Dr Ken Cumming, Biologist
Dr Jack W. Cuozzo, Dentist
Dr William M. Curtis III, Th.D., Th.M., M.S., Aeronautics & Nuclear Physics
Dr Malcolm Cutchins, Aerospace Engineering
Dr Lionel Dahmer, Analytical Chemist
Dr Raymond V. Damadian, M.D., Pioneer of magnetic resonance imaging
Dr Chris Darnbrough, Biochemist
Dr Nancy M. Darrall, Botany
Dr Bryan Dawson, Mathematics
Dr Douglas Dean, Biological Chemistry
Prof. Stephen W. Deckard, Assistant Professor of Education
Dr David A. DeWitt, Biology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience
Dr Don DeYoung, Astronomy, atmospheric physics, M.Div
Dr Geoff Downes, Creationist Plant Physiologist
Dr Ted Driggers, Operations research
Robert H. Eckel, Medical Research
Dr André Eggen, Geneticist
Prof. Dennis L. Englin, Professor of Geophysics
Prof. Danny Faulkner, Astronomy
Prof. Carl B. Fliermans, Professor of Biology
Prof. Dwain L. Ford, Organic Chemistry
Prof. Robert H. Franks, Associate Professor of Biology
Dr Alan Galbraith, Watershed Science
Dr Paul Giem, Medical Research
Dr Maciej Giertych, Geneticist
Dr Duane Gish, Biochemist
Dr Werner Gitt, Information Scientist
Dr D.B. Gower, Biochemistry
Dr Dianne Grocott, Psychiatrist
Dr Stephen Grocott, Industrial Chemist
Dr Donald Hamann, Food Scientist
Dr Barry Harker, Philosopher
Dr Charles W. Harrison, Applied Physicist, Electromagnetics
Dr John Hartnett, Physicist and Cosmologist
Dr Mark Harwood, Satellite Communications
Dr George Hawke, Environmental Scientist
Dr Margaret Helder, Science Editor, Botanist
Dr Harold R. Henry, Engineer
Dr Jonathan Henry, Astronomy
Dr Joseph Henson, Entomologist
Dr Robert A. Herrmann, Professor of Mathematics, US Naval Academy
Dr Andrew Hodge, Head of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Service
Dr Kelly Hollowell, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacologist
Dr Ed Holroyd, III, Atmospheric Science
Dr Bob Hosken, Biochemistry
Dr George F. Howe, Botany
Dr Neil Huber, Physical Anthropologist
Dr Russell Humphreys, Physicist
Dr James A. Huggins, Professor and Chair, Department of Biology
Evan Jamieson, Hydrometallurgy
George T. Javor, Biochemistry
Dr Pierre Jerlström, Creationist Molecular Biologist
Dr Arthur Jones, Biology
Dr Jonathan W. Jones, Plastic Surgeon
Dr Raymond Jones, Agricultural Scientist
Prof. Leonid Korochkin, Molecular Biology
Dr Valery Karpounin, Mathematical Sciences, Logics, Formal Logics
Dr Dean Kenyon, Biologist
Prof. Gi-Tai Kim, Biology
Prof. Harriet Kim, Biochemistry
Prof. Jong-Bai Kim, Biochemistry
Prof. Jung-Han Kim, Biochemistry
Prof. Jung-Wook Kim, Environmental Science
Prof. Kyoung-Rai Kim, Analytical Chemistry
Prof. Kyoung-Tai Kim, Genetic Engineering
Prof. Young-Gil Kim, Materials Science
Prof. Young In Kim, Engineering
Dr John W. Klotz, Biologist
Dr Vladimir F. Kondalenko, Cytology/Cell Pathology
Dr Leonid Korochkin, M.D., Genetics, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology
Dr John K.G. Kramer, Biochemistry
Prof. Jin-Hyouk Kwon, Physics
Prof. Myung-Sang Kwon, Immunology
Dr John Leslie, Biochemist
Prof. Lane P. Lester, Biologist, Genetics
Dr Jason Lisle, Astrophysicist
Dr Alan Love, Chemist
Dr Ian Macreadie, molecular biologist and microbiologist:
Dr John Marcus, Molecular Biologist
Dr George Marshall, Eye Disease Researcher
Dr Ralph Matthews, Radiation Chemist
Dr John McEwan, Chemist
Prof. Andy McIntosh, Combustion theory, aerodynamics
Dr David Menton, Anatomist
Dr Angela Meyer, Creationist Plant Physiologist
Dr John Meyer, Physiologist
Colin W. Mitchell, Geography
Dr John N. Moore, Science Educator
Dr John W. Moreland, Mechanical engineer and Dentist
Dr Henry M. Morris, Hydrologist
Dr John D. Morris, Geologist
Dr Len Morris, Physiologist
Dr Graeme Mortimer, Geologist
Stanley A. Mumma, Architectural Engineering
Prof. Hee-Choon No, Nuclear Engineering
Dr Eric Norman, Biomedical researcher
Dr David Oderberg, Philosopher
Prof. John Oller, Linguistics
Prof. Chris D. Osborne, Assistant Professor of Biology
Dr John Osgood, Medical Practitioner
Dr Charles Pallaghy, Botanist
Dr Gary E. Parker, Biologist, Cognate in Geology (Paleontology)
Dr David Pennington, Plastic Surgeon
Prof. Richard Porter
Dr Georgia Purdom, Molecular Genetics
Dr John Rankin, Cosmologist
Dr A.S. Reece, M.D.
Prof. J. Rendle-Short, Pediatrics
Dr Jung-Goo Roe, Biology
Dr David Rosevear, Chemist
Dr Ariel A. Roth, Biology
Dr Jonathan D. Sarfati, Physical chemist / spectroscopist
Dr Joachim Scheven Palaeontologist:
Dr Ian Scott, Educator
Dr Saami Shaibani, Forensic physicist
Dr Young-Gi Shim, Chemistry
Prof. Hyun-Kil Shin, Food Science
Dr Mikhail Shulgin, Physics
Dr Emil Silvestru, Geologist/karstologist
Dr Roger Simpson, Engineer
Dr Harold Slusher, Geophysicist
Dr E. Norbert Smith, Zoologist
Dr Andrew Snelling, Geologist
Prof. Man-Suk Song, Computer Science
Dr Timothy G. Standish, Biology
Prof. James Stark, Assistant Professor of Science Education
Prof. Brian Stone, Engineer
Dr Esther Su, Biochemistry
Dr Charles Taylor, Linguistics
Dr Stephen Taylor, Electrical Engineering
Dr Ker C. Thomson, Geophysics
Dr Michael Todhunter, Forest Genetics
Dr Lyudmila Tonkonog, Chemistry/Biochemistry
Dr Royal Truman, Organic Chemist:
Dr Larry Vardiman, Atmospheric Science
Prof. Walter Veith, Zoologist
Dr Joachim Vetter, Biologist
Dr Tas Walker, Mechanical Engineer and Geologist
Dr Jeremy Walter, Mechanical Engineer
Dr Keith Wanser, Physicist
Dr Noel Weeks, Ancient Historian (also has B.Sc. in Zoology)
Dr A.J. Monty White, Chemistry/Gas Kinetics
Dr John Whitmore, Geologist/Paleontologist
Dr Carl Wieland, Medical doctor
Dr Lara Wieland, Medical doctor
Dr Clifford Wilson, Psycholinguist and archaeologist
Dr Kurt Wise, Palaeontologist
Dr Bryant Wood, Creationist Archaeologist
Prof. Seoung-Hoon Yang, Physics
Dr Thomas (Tong Y.) Yi, Ph.D., Creationist Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering
Dr Ick-Dong Yoo, Genetics
Dr Sung-Hee Yoon, Biology
Dr Patrick Young, Chemist and Materials Scientist
Prof. Keun Bae Yu, Geography
Dr Henry Zuill, Biology

I believe this is a reasonable start…


Posted by: discerner at December 23, 2005 12:15 AM
Comment #106378

xxreadytorun:

World History requires you to learn other cultures as part of the education process. To understand History, you must learn the culture of the people. How would you feel if Physics were added to your World History Studies?

Posted by: Aldous at December 23, 2005 12:26 AM
Comment #106380
LawnBoy, Your macro-evolution link did not come through. Could you repost it…Thank You

Sure. I’m not sure what happened. Here it is.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 12:31 AM
Comment #106382

Evolution is based on something that can be proved with experiments and those experiments will always result with the same conclusion. In other words, SCIENCE. Does it explain the whole universe? Absolutely not. For the rest there is faith in a higher power. It is easy to fall back on faith for things not explained. For me that’s fine. For instance, I happen to believe in the BIG BANG theory. (If its good enough for Stephen Hawken, it’s good enough for me.) Now, I don’t know what started the BIG BANG. So until someone can prove what started it, I have to believe in some kind of instigator or higher power. I’ll call it God. (If I don’t I might be accused of dissing Christmas or something ridiculous.) Does the average 9th grader need to debate 2 or more different theories on why the duckbilled platapus exists? Give me a brake.

To get back to the main point of this, Should ID be taught in K thru 12 school? I don’t think so. For the elementary thru High school education, evolution theory covers those questions. If one wants to go past the basics, they can do that outside of public education. Or they will get into it in college. Besides, isn’t that what college is all about — debunking everything you learned before?

Posted by: Matthew at December 23, 2005 12:32 AM
Comment #106383

discerner,

What is the source of those name?

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 12:33 AM
Comment #106384

Having a debate with a supporter of ‘creation science’ or the ‘theory of intelligent design’ is like having a debate about whether or not the Earth is flat. How can you discuss science with someone whose argument is based on faith?? Impossible. Why don’t the ‘creation science’ and ‘intelligent design’ supporters just admit that they want to teach their bible faith in public schools. If we can all agree to that, then I vote we teach Genesis along with origin stories and myths from Hindu, Native American, African, and other cultures. Why not?

Hari Krishna and baba ganoush to all!

Posted by: Rick at December 23, 2005 12:34 AM
Comment #106385

Whew. Thanks for the list. I am strongly conservative, yet I do not believe in ID. I believe in science. If we start teaching ID in biology because evolution is only a “theory,” can we start teaching the Theory of Intelligent Pushing in physics? Since the Theory of
Gravity is only a theory, after all, I guess you don’t have to believe in it.

Intelligent Design is not a theory. There is no scientific support or proof for Intelligent Design. As such, it is still a hypothesis. Use the scientific method and bring some credibility to ID. The “I don’t understand this, so it can’t be true” method just seems like a way to get out of doing your homework.

Posted by: Foxbat at December 23, 2005 12:34 AM
Comment #106386

On one hand, it barely matters what is taught in the public schools, since our students aren’t learning what is taught there anyway.

But I think that much of the debate and dissatisfaction about whether creationism or evolution should be taught in schools would be resolved if ideological considerations took a back seat to what students need to know across ALL subjects.

Should students be taught evolutionary theory? Absolutely. It’s a central concept of biology, and not getting such information or having it polluted with psuedoscience would prove a terrible detriment. Students need to be brought up to speed with the foundations of Western thought.

For the same reason, the mandated black-out of anything that smacks of religion makes it impossible to do a good job teaching other subjects, such as history, geography, social studies and literature.

If, for example, you learn about Martin Luther King without learning that he was a preacher who based his speeches and campaigns on strongly Christian principles, then you’re only getting a sanitized and partial picture.

And you simply can’t even begin to understand the long and rich history of Western literature without a firm grounding in the beliefs of Judeo-Christian beliefs. The Bible is a major influence on literary texts. You can’t understand Faulkner, Dante, Chaucer, T.S. Eliot or hundreds of others without understanding the influence of religion on their work.

And you can’t understand the wars which raged in Europe for thousand of years, the Crusades, all of the various monarchies and revolutions without understanding the differences of opinion on religious doctrine which so much of this was based on. To understand this academic material at all, you have to study the religious element behind it.

Frankly, I think that students should have to read the Talmud, the New Testament and the Koran, together with Hindu and Buhdist texts. Without knowing what’s in those books, you’re totally in the dark about not only the major events of human history, but can only have a dim understanding of 99% percent of our modern world.

And this is education? I don’t think so.

Posted by: sanger at December 23, 2005 12:37 AM
Comment #106388
What do you think about the young earth theories

There’s nothing to them. They haven’t been taken seriously for centuries.

calculate the drift of the moon back and it hits the earth about six thousand years ago.

debunked

The loss of magnetic pull per decade figured at the rate of today would flatten every live thing just a few thousand years ago.

I’m not sure what you’re talking about, but perhaps this answers your questions.

The saline content of the oceans

What about it?

The sun would burn the earth up if it’s loss per year was calculated back even half a million years.

debunked

Is this bogus science?

Yep.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 12:38 AM
Comment #106389

discerner:

Can you Post more of these guys? I want to make sure none of them, especially the MD’s, ever come close to me.

Posted by: Aldous at December 23, 2005 12:39 AM
Comment #106393

Aldous,

I see your feeling better…

Posted by: discerner at December 23, 2005 12:43 AM
Comment #106395

Didn’t mean to italicize that whole part, just the word ‘hypothesis’. Oops.
Forgot to add this…

I also believe in God (I’m not a religious nut, either. If you don’t believe in God, then why would you celebrate Christmas?). I believe that it is possible to believe in evolution and God at the same time. I just do not believe that “creation” or whatever you want to call it happened in six days a few thousand years ago. I guess you could say I’m slightly a deist. I believe that God created the process of evolution, but does not interfere with it; i.e. no intelligent design. Evolution does not disprove or prove the existence of a God. God and evolution need not be mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Foxbat at December 23, 2005 12:45 AM
Comment #106404

Lawnboy,

Here it is…

If you can read with an open mind, you’ll find it interesting, if not….well…..

Posted by: Discerner at December 23, 2005 12:53 AM
Comment #106406


Maybe this time…

Posted by: Discerner at December 23, 2005 12:56 AM
Comment #106408

I found one plausible source of discerner’s list at http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/bios/default.asp

I’m truly shocked by the number of scientists on the list, although some of them are in fields that shouldn’t be considered, IMO (Linguistics?).

I checked out some of the bios. This quote, from “Dr Kurt Wise, Palaeontologist” is instructive:

‘To accept the entire evolutionary model would mean one would have to reject Scripture. And because I came to know Christ through Scripture I couldn’t reject it.’ At that point he decided his only option was to reject evolutionary theory.

Basically, he’s saying that he decided to reject evolution because the Bible was more important to him. It doesn’t say that he was intellectually convinced of the arguments, but that he let religion overrule Evolution for himself.

The section from “Stephen Taylor, electrical engineering” is also interesting. He bases his beliefs on misunderstandings of the current explanation for the Big Bang, the fallacious irreducible complexity argument, and incorrect understanding of the Laws of Thermodynamics.

So, I guess you have a big list here, but it doesn’t change the fact that Evolution is a Scientific Theory and Creation/ID isn’t.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 12:57 AM
Comment #106413

OFF TOPIC,

Foxbat,
—If you don’t believe in God, then why would you celebrate Christmas?—

The celebration of Christmas has very little, if nothing, to do with God or Jesus. It is not Jesus’ birthday nor the day he died or the day he was resurected. I believe Easter has something to do with the later. The reason most people celebrate Christmas is simply tradition.

Where it started? I’ll have to let some smart person answer that.

Posted by: Matthew at December 23, 2005 1:01 AM
Comment #106415
If you can read with an open mind, you’ll find it interesting, if not…well…
I found it interesting but not convincing. Do I still have an open mind?

I’ll explain why it’s not convincing by analogy. Last week, I heard a debate on the radio about whether the moon landing was a hoax. The doubter challenged the people who knew what they were talking about on the question of whether they would change their minds if Neil Armstrong said it had been faked. One guy said he’d be shaken, and the other guy said he’d wonder about Mr. Armstrong, but he would still think we went to the moon. The hoax-buff claimed this showed that moon-believers were illogical.

In fact, it showed that the second guy was logical. Even if Mr. Armstrong said it had been faked, there were still thousands of people involved and millions of bits of evidence to say we went to the moon. It’s much more reasonable to say that one guy is wrong than to say that the millions of bits of evidence are wrong.

That’s how I feel about your list. Yep, there are a few people there. It doesn’t change the facts.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 1:03 AM
Comment #106417

How are children taught about the date these days?

(b)before (c)count and (a)after (d)?

Mr. Teacher. How do we know it is 2005?

Response: Because last year was 2004.

Did the world begin 2005 years ago?

Response: No. That’s just when we evolved enough to figure out how to count.

Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2005 1:05 AM
Comment #106418

Discerner,
That list is appalling and embarrassing. I randomly chose a ‘scientist,’ astronomer Dr Danny Faulkner, and did a search. Here are some quotes from this respected astronomer, answers given in an interview:

“How old do you think the universe is?

Probably six to eight thousand years.”

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v19/i4/stars.asp

I’m not making this up. This ‘scientist’ continues:

“Well, we have a very clear indication from Scripture that the creation really took place in six ordinary days.”

He puts forward a number of crackpot theories concerning comets, bizarre attempts to dismiss Big Bang theory and wave off the implications of light speed. I’d love to see him deal with relativity.

I could spend hours tearing this quack apart. What the hell! Are all of these ‘scientists’ also quacks? Omigosh! I can’t wait to read the pronouncements of a paleontologist.

Not much on paleontologist Dr Joachem Scheven. Interestingly, he has a “Flood Geology Display” in Germany. Isn’t that priceless? “Flood Geology.” Think about it. All right, enough.

This list is like a happy hunting ground of nuts and wackos. Are they all that amusing? What do these guys do when they see a periodic table, and are forced to confront atomic decay, half-lives, and potassium-argon dating?

Creation scientists? Perhaps. Respected by anyone possessing even a passing acquaintence with science?

No. Not even close.

“Flood Geology.” (giggle).

Posted by: phx8 at December 23, 2005 1:05 AM
Comment #106426

David Pillow,

However, nothing could be less scientific that evolution. Quite to the contrary, evolution is refuted by overwhelming evidence, not backed by it, whereas, all scientific evidence points to a Creator.

This is simply not true. Please check out talkorigins.org to address some of these misconceptions. Evolutions is backed by science - Creation most definitely is not.

Since it is more a matter of �faith� � great faith at that - to believe evolution rather than creationism, it seems that the evolutionists take first place as the more �religious� folk among us, hands down. Funny how their religion is given free run in the school system without so much as a complaint from you.

It is a matter of logic, not faith, to understand evolution. The rest of your argument falls.

After that, your letter devolves into name-calling and ranting that seems to ignore that America is not a theocracy.

I’d be shocked if your letter saw the light of day. Not because of editorial bias towards liberalism, but because of editorial bias towards reasoned arguments.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 1:28 AM
Comment #106430

I think I should clarify my previous post.

Evolution can works so well because it doesn’t merely support itself. In fact, it’s credibility has risen as other disciplines provided a more complete picture of the mechanisms by which Evolution operates. Geology and Cosmology showed that there was time for species to develop by this method. Heredity and Genetics demonstrated the basic unit of change and information. Modern Chemistry and biology gave us better ideas of how creatures interact with their environment, and vice versa.

The Study of Evolution then gives us insights into how different creatures came to occupy their niches, and how changes in environment, geography, and other factors result in new species, or different expression of the genes of species. It allows us to organize and understand species like no other theory.

What the intelligent design want is to take not only a well-established theory, but the naturalistic philosophy on which all modern scientific theories are based so successfuly, and toss it out the window. Why? In part because they believe it’s their time, and that the non-admission of supernatural possibilities is causing harm to our society.

Worse yet, the method is a dead end to inquiry It allows the ID advocates to hit the brakes, plant their glorious assumption in place, and use some sort of probability trick to assume that something qualifies as a result of divine intervention.

Since divine intervention is beyond our ability to test, we cannot refine it or revise it towards something better. It’s like a foreign object in the body of science. Additionally their probability method, must, by the nature of our incomplete knowledge of the ancient world (and even our own) be lacking in the information needed to tell us how truly how like something is. Additionally they neglect the role different chemicals, laws of physics, and other things might have shaped and influenced development.

Intelligent design is the cop-out.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 23, 2005 1:34 AM
Comment #106432

Well, I can’t let it go. Too funny. “Flood Geology.” (Snort). No point looking up plastic surgeons. Um, why are they on the list? Or medical doctors? Pediatricians? Philosophers?

Here’s a respected creation scientist, and an entry on him courtesy of Wikipedia:

“Dr Thomas Barnes is a creationist who posited that the magnetic field of the Earth was decaying at an exponential rate. Barnes calculated based on the available data, that the half-life of Earth’s magnetic field was approximately 1,400 years. He published these ideas in a 1973 book, Origin and Destiny of the Earth’s Magnetic Field, which was enthusiastically taken up by the creationist establishment. Today, most of his theories within the book have been discredited, largely as Barnes failed to take experimental uncertainties into account.”

Here is a detailed rebuttal of Barnes, putting this respected creation scientist six feet under:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/magfields.html

Maybe… maybe… you know, maybe, just maybe, Dr Thomas Barnes doesn’t belong on a list of respected scientists.

Sheesh.

Oooh, here’s a great quote from another ‘respected’ creation scientist, Dr Edmond Holroyd:

‘No evolutionary theory was able to anticipate all of the details revealed by the space probes. Whereas the only unusual prediction verified was that by Dr Russell Humphreys, a creationist scientist. He correctly predicted the strengths of the magnetic moments of Uranus and Neptune. It makes me think that God placed such an unsystematic variety out there so that we could never come up with a workable atheistic mechanism of their formation.’

Spoken like a true scientist.

Ha. Ho ho ho. HA HA HA HA HA. Whew! Stop. Where do these guys get their material?!

Posted by: phx8 at December 23, 2005 1:36 AM
Comment #106435

Is Bush in such a hurry to get people on the moon in order to actually plant some footprint evidence there to substantiate the claim that we actually spent those 100’s of millions getting there decades ago?

Enquirer minds want to know.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 23, 2005 1:43 AM
Comment #106439

It cannot be stressed enough that, unlike religion, science does not need to be right. It just has to be useful, and it is useful by being the best explanation with the most predictive power for observations. So yes, all you who believe that God did it, you may be more right, but it is useless for making predictions, therefore, not science.

(Or, as I like to put it, I would not be upset if evolution were rejected tomorrow as long as it were replaced by a explanation with superior explanatory and predictive powers.)

With that, good night.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 1:58 AM
Comment #106443

Let’s return to the site linked earlier. This is great! In the creation museum, talking dinosaur exhibits fill us in on the truth of the Bible. Shhh. Let’s tiptoe in, and listen:

“It’s easy to explain how we fit on the Ark. It was the size of an ocean liner and the average size of dinosaurs were the size of sheep. Even the few ‘big guys’ were most likely young adults (of average dinosaur size) when they boarded the Ark.”

Posted by: phx8 at December 23, 2005 2:06 AM
Comment #106448

As for Intelligent Design, what Ray said in his first comment.

As for Evolution, it is based on empirical observation, testing of those observations, and replication of those tests, hence, it is empirical science by definition.

I believe in a creator, I have always found wisdom in Anselm’s logical argument that one cannot have creation without a creator. Not sure if it was Anselm or another building on his work, but, there was a mirror analogy that was exquisite. Put two mirrors opposite each other and a candle between them. Then look into one of the mirrors and you see and infinite series of candles. This image is based on both the mirrors, the creator of the infinite images, and the candle the creation reflected. What happens if you remove the mirrors, the created infinite image disappears. What if you remove the candle. The mirrors have no image to create. Creation and Creator are inseparable, logically.

However, as we all should learn in school, one can logically defend the indefensible. I heard a theory on the operation of the gasoline combustion engine that depended entirely on the flatulence of gremlins inside the cylinders which copiously consumed the gasoline and air, hence creating pressure in the cylinders to drive the pistons upward. Perfectly logical. But take an engine apart, and lo and behold, there are no gremlins to be found.

The existence of God can be proved logically. The existence of God can never be proved empirically, nor can the the concept of a soul, heaven or hell as existing outside this universe. These are matters of faith.

Science takes nothing on faith. Science addresses anything that can be detected by the senses or extensions of the senses. Science is a matter of observation, projections of cause and effect from those observations, null hypothesis testing of those observations, and where conclusions are drawn, replicability of that testing which indicates cause and effect through empirical testing by others.

These are two entirely different human endeavors seeking answers in two entirely different realms of perception. One, the realm of imagination, logic, faith and belief, and the other the realm of the palpable, physically perceptible and measurable, through common sensory experience.

Put fifteen people of different religious faiths in a room and ask for predictions as to how the world will end, and you will get at least 8 different answers.

Put fifteen chemists in a small closet and ask them what will happen if they mix one gallon of ammonia with one gallon of chlorine in a bucket at their feet? The answer will be identical. The answer is they will all get the hell out of there holding their breath. (Don’t try this, it is lethal).

That is the difference between Intelligent Design as a theory and theories of empirical science. One seeks to always affirm assumptions, and the other always seeks to disprove assumptions. Buddhists, Hindus, Australian Aborigines all have different views of how the universe was created and the earth’s place in that universe, and they all differ from each other and Christianity. None can prove any other wrong, or their own version right.

Buddhist chemists, Hindu chemists, and Aboriginal chemists however, can all agree on what would happen in the closet. Therein lies the difference between Evolutionary theory and Intelligent Design.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 23, 2005 2:10 AM
Comment #106462

The theory of evolution and Intelligent Design are polar opposites really:

Evolution is based in science
Intelligent design is faith based

Science is only concerned with finding out how things work, it is not concerned with who made them work.

Faith on the other hand is only concerned with who made things work and doesn’t concern itself with how things work.

Science makes faith possible.

Science seeks out proof, faith is believing in something even though there is no proof.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at December 23, 2005 2:43 AM
Comment #106471

I believe the werld was MADE IN SIX DAYS!!!! Yessireeee! Do you know where you are going if you LIBERALS don’t believe God created the world???

HERE!!!!!

There you liberals go, Notice Rosie O’Donnell’s there too!!!

Posted by: Novenge at December 23, 2005 2:56 AM
Comment #106492

That list was fascinating. Of course the people listed have to come out and say that they consider ID to be valid science and why.
One in particular, Dr. Russell Humphreys seems to be one of their big guns. His main contribution being an idea that allows for distant stars to be billions of light years away, but still fit into the Bible’s 6 day creation model. Now to his credit he’s made an effort (unlike IDers) to put forward a testable hypothesis, which I’m working my way through (will need to get back to y’all on that later). Basic idea is that the Milky Way is just about at the centre of the universe (okay, sounds familiar, but I’ll accept that for the sake of the arguument). Gravity in his model is strongest at the centre of the universe where the Earth is. Time according to relativity theory slows under stronger gravity (this is true), so a day can pass on Earth while billions of years go by at the edges of the universe. Okay, cute idea, and I’m willing to see if it holds up… so I’ll be back once I’ve properly absorbed the details. You see this is at least a proper attempt at science, and truth be told I’m going to actually enjoy myself with this, regardless of whether I confirm or debunk my own beliefs & prejudices. yeah yeah I know, nerd alert
So far it looks a little bad for our hero though. If other Christian scientists are having a go at you, it could be bad news.

Now if God requires me to accept that the world was made in 6 days, or I’m not getting in to heaven, well then I guess I’ll just have to choose eternal damnation (with appologies to Mr Mark Twain of course). Provide me with a logically consistent theory however, and I’ll freely accept it. So if Dr. Humphreys pulls it off, you’ll know about it on this blog.

Posted by: Jon at December 23, 2005 3:53 AM
Comment #106496

What they fail to mention was that his belief in creationism was the result of an accident he had where 440 watts were accidently shot through his brain. Not really, but this was what I was thinking as I read that bio especially with a PHD in Physics from Duke?

But then again PHYSICS is a far cry from biology and/or paleontology or some other field closely related.

Posted by: Novenge at December 23, 2005 4:09 AM
Comment #106499

…still working…
…but in the meantime if any of the Christians out there who have no issues with an ‘Old Earth’ concept want to bone up, here’s a link
That is if of course any of you are still awake ;P

Posted by: Jon at December 23, 2005 4:35 AM
Comment #106503

To all the pro-intelligent design believers on this site.

I think it’s time to ask yourself this one question quite seriously—HERE

Posted by: Novenge at December 23, 2005 4:48 AM
Comment #106508

I’ve noticed some common errors made in defense of evolution. EVOLUTION is a fact. the mechanisms which power evolution are described in various scientific theories, such as punctuated equilibrium, sexual selection and natural selection through adaptation. the “wedge” concept of the ID’ers is that because the scientific community rigorously discusses these various theories to describe the EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS means that there is a “CONTROVERSY” within the ranks. They depend on the ignorance of the general public on matters pertaining to science to exploit their position. The strawman of fairness and balance which should allow competing ideas to be dicussed is the way of insinuationg ID into the debate. The only reason i could possibly see allowing ID to be discussed in a science class would be to show just how laughable and outrageous the ID concept is. unfortunately, students are so busy these days studying for NCLB requirements, there is little time left for teaching critical reasoning. ID’ers believe that just by getting their concepts mentioned in a science class will give them legitimacy, because students are unprepared to assimilate anything other than “well if the teacher says it, it must be true” style of learning.

Posted by: synecdoche at December 23, 2005 5:35 AM
Comment #106512

I have to admit, this was the first time any anti-evolutionist has had the balls to put up a list of respectable scientists who support them. It seems pretty easy to discredit them, however.

What would be interesting would be to guess how long the list would be for the scientists who support evolution. How many times to the sun and back?

I pity those people whose self-identity is so weak that they have to waste so much of their life fighting against science because it might make them actually think for a change that what they have been taught is a myth.

I’m sure that people felt the same way when science proved to them that the Earth revolved around the sun. Scientists died for standing up for the truth back then. At least the ID people have evolved to the point that they don’t burn us at the stake any more.

Posted by: Loren at December 23, 2005 6:12 AM
Comment #106516

Dawn,

Read the link you posted, regarding cellular evolution. It is not groundbreaking news; rather, it merely supports what I learned in Bio 101 more than 22 years ago. It describes the process of mutation, by which organisms evolve.

Mutations are the result of cells evolving to adapt to their surroundings, overcome obstacles, and promote regeneration. If mutations did not exist, then we would not be worrying about the possibilty of H15N avian flu creating a world-wide pandemic. It’s not a matter of if this strain of influenza will mutate into a form that easily transmitted between mammals, but when. We know from past examples that the odds are pretty good that it will happen. We also wouldn’t be dealing with strains of bacteria that have become immune to antibiotics. Those strains have mutated-evolved-into newer strains that share some characteristics with their predecessors, but are able to survive in environments that those earlier forms couldn’t.

As to the types of cells that existed at the beginning of time, it has also been widely accepted for decades that numerous types of cells had to exist. Simply put, there is no genetic relation between a virus and a bacterium; between prokaryotes of differing purposes.

I’m guessing that you posted this article to try and demonstrate that there is division within the scientific community regarding evolution. In reality, true scientists do not disagree on the basic tenets of of what science is, while they may disagree on particulars, they do not disagree on the basics. Disagreeing on particular interpretations of data is what makes science what it is; unlike religion, which can brook no disagreement regarding matters of faith.

Hence the reason for this debate: while science understands that it doesn’t have all the answers, religion says it does. The only problem with that is, which religion has all the answers? Since religion is a matter of personal faith, there is a tremendous amount of tension whenever religious tenets are tested by science and found wanting. Galileo, Newton, Copernicus, and hundreds of others were condemned as heretics in their day-but time has proven the “heretics” correct.

Something else to mull over: IF we are to teach creation “theory” in school, then WHICH creation theory are we to teach? Even within the Book of Genesis, there are two versions of creation presented! And let’s not forget about other religious traditions, which have their own “theories” regarding creation. Why not teach the Norse version of creation? It certainly is dramatic, and I would juust love to see some poor 6th grader trying to pronounce all of those names!

Posted by: Ray at December 23, 2005 6:26 AM
Comment #106519

I’m unbelievably shocked at how many evolution supporters there are here that don’t understand evolution at all. There are GIANT, and I mean great, big, huge, GIANT gaps in evolution theory. For beginners…

1. How did the eye evolve and where are the thousands of examples of steps of the evolution of the eye? The failures, the alternate designs?

2. Why have we found hundreds of thousands of bone fragments of 100+ million old animals all over the world but we have found ZERO bone fragements of any creature that links humans to any other creature in existence today? If evolution is correct, we should be finding millions upon millions of bone fragments of thousands of species between chimps and humans. None such have ever been found.

3. Why are so many very well educated evolutionists turning toward ID if evolution is the only theory that is logical and ID is for crackpots?

4. Why can’t evolutionists admit that Darwinism is just as much a religion as creationism?

I have studied both theories for many years and am close to the middle at the moment although I’m leaning more toward ID the more I study them both. It goes a lot further to explain how things actually exist in the world. In short, it takes a much bigger leap of faith to side with evolution because of the gaps, especially since the gaps are so large, it’s pretty obvious we’ll never find any evidence to fill them in and actually prove evolution.

Posted by: Bryan W at December 23, 2005 7:15 AM
Comment #106521

Dawn:
There’s a huge gap between the common misconceptions that an ‘idea’ is a theory.

With anything else in science, there’s a common method of having a hypothesis, creating the theory and producing results to support your theory, then producing results to DISPROVE that theory. And then…. reproducing those results, over and over and over again. i’m sure you’re familiar with the Socratic method, right?

In science there are many that have a valid hypothesis, but upon discovery, realize that the basis for the hypothesis is incorrect. It’s fairly common to experience failure in your hypotheses.

ID is not science.

Posted by: john trevisani at December 23, 2005 7:27 AM
Comment #106524

Took a little time last night and read whatever a search would come up with.
Young earth is not really proveable.
The only questions I have for evo’s is how do organisms become more complex when physical laws tend toward decay. It would take chance after chance past the point of impossibility for cells to form from nothing let alone to form into complex organisms. Why are there so few links between species that they have to be manufactured? It seems like there would be fossel examples of every stage in abundance and you wouldn’t have to look so hard if evolution was true. Why are there definate eras? wouldn’t there be just a gradual blend in the fossle record?
I am open minded, but this faith in nothing producing complex things from chance really takes alot blind belief for me…

Posted by: kruser at December 23, 2005 7:38 AM
Comment #106538

nuts.
Well I’m back (& making the big assumption that anyone cares). I’m actually kind of sad to say Dr. Russell Humphreys was wrong on so many counts, I feel like someone who’s slowed down to have a good long look at a car accident… after the paramedics are on the scene.
He misunderstands so much of relativity theory, I can’t tell whether it’s accidental or a botched attempt at a con job. The mathematical mistakes with the coordinate system for a start are just about criminal. Go here if you want a starting point to explore this for yourself. Warning: it gets technical very quickly.
Let me be clear here though. Those of us who find IDers and hardline Creationist who need the Young Earth view point to be valid as just a little silly, aren’t attacking Religion. We’re not going to be bullied into lowering the standard of Science though.
Some people of faith and who are claiming to take on evolution theory on a scientific basis actually welcome the legal debunking of ID. So bring on round 3, or was that 4, I’ve lost count.
Later folks, I’m off to hell.

Posted by: Jon at December 23, 2005 8:26 AM
Comment #106543

Here is Lawnboy’s post with the links.
Dawn


1. How did the eye evolve and where are the thousands of examples of steps of the evolution of the eye? The failures, the alternate designs?

Here you go

2. Why have we found hundreds of thousands of bone fragments of 100+ million old animals all over the world but we have found ZERO bone fragements of any creature that links humans to any other creature in existence today? If evolution is correct, we should be finding millions upon millions of bone fragments of thousands of species between chimps and humans. None such have ever been found.

This is just inaccurate

3. Why are so many very well educated evolutionists turning toward ID if evolution is the only theory that is logical and ID is for crackpots?

Besides being the logical fallacy of an appeal to authority, this is inaccurate in its premise. The percentage of trained scientists who believe that ID is an acceptable alternative to Evolution is so small as to be insignificant.

4. Why can’t evolutionists admit that Darwinism is just as much a religion as creationism?

Because we don’t like admitting things that aren’t true.

I’m leaning more toward ID the more I study them both. It goes a lot further to explain how things actually exist in the world.

Actually, it doesn’t explain anything. What ID does is say anything we can’t explain currently had to have been divinely inspired, so there’s no reason to study further. ID in this way is just filler that provides no new insight and explains nothing in a useful way. It’s a band-aid for what we currently understand, and it prevents us from learning more.

There are gaps in the fossil record, granted, but there are no more gaps than the mathematics and Evolutionary Theory would predict. Fortunately, even without the fossil record, the evidence for Evolution is convincing.

I’m unbelievably shocked at how many evolution supporters there are here that don’t understand evolution at all.

Yes, it’s true that not all of us know all about the theory. In fact, probably no one in the world knows everything there is to know about it. However, the problems you have with the theory have been answered.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 8:36 AM
Comment #106544
There are many respected creationist scientists out there. I have sat under a few of them as has my wife

Kinky.

Posted by: Burt at December 23, 2005 8:41 AM
Comment #106548

Scientifically, there’s a difference between a THEORY and a HYPOTHESIS. An idea begins as a hypothesis. Only after much scientific testing to verify it does it become a theory. Theories are sometimes proven wrong (or, more often, proven in need of update), but they must have VERY strong evidence on their side before they become theories.

It’s worth noting, by the way, that the entire fields of Chemistry and Nuclear Physics are based on the ATOMIC THEORY — the theory that matter is made of atoms. Just because we call something a Theory doesn’t mean that it’s still highly questioned.

For the record, I am a Christian who believes in a Creator and an Intelligent Design. I believe that science, through study of things such as Evolution, is uncovering the secrets of that design.

I do NOT, however, believe that my religious beliefs belong in a science class, any more than I believe that Shakespeare belongs in an Algebra class. Science classes should teach science. I will provide (and have provided) whatever religious instruction I want my children to have.

I have no desire to see the State determining which religions are acceptable to teach and which aren’t. The State should not be put in the position of making judgements between religions. That, at it’s heart, is what the Establishment Clause of the Constitution is all about.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at December 23, 2005 8:46 AM
Comment #106549
The only questions I have for evo’s is how do organisms become more complex when physical laws tend toward decay.

This not a problem. The question results from a misunderstanding of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which says that the total energy in the entire system will decay. The premise of the question ignores that a genetic line is not an isolated system. Another example of order rising naturally from disorder is a snowflake; it’s more ordered than the random distribution of water molecules. There’s no problem.

Why are there so few links between species that they have to be manufactured? It seems like there would be fossel examples of every stage in abundance and you wouldn’t have to look so hard if evolution was true.

Well, there are many links, so the basis of the question is inaccurate. Also, fossilization is a process that requires the perfect circumstances - only a small percentage of specimens become fossils, so it’s entirely reasonable that there are gaps.

…nothing producing complex things from chance…
It’s not chance. Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 8:47 AM
Comment #106552

I believe in evolution,i just wonder how long my monkey will take?I mean how many years before they all become human as well?

Posted by: G at December 23, 2005 8:51 AM
Comment #106553
1. How did the eye evolve and where are the thousands of examples of steps of the evolution of the eye? The failures, the alternate designs?

Here’ an explanation: http:// www. talkorigins. org/ indexcc/ CB/ CB301. html

2. Why have we found hundreds of thousands of bone fragments of 100+ million old animals all over the world but we have found ZERO bone fragements of any creature that links humans to any other creature in existence today? If evolution is correct, we should be finding millions upon millions of bone fragments of thousands of species between chimps and humans. None such have ever been found.

This is just inaccurate: http:// www. talkorigins. org/ faqs/ homs/

3. Why are so many very well educated evolutionists turning toward ID if evolution is the only theory that is logical and ID is for crackpots?

Besides being the logical fallacy of an appeal to authority, this is inaccurate in its premise. The percentage of trained scientists who believe that ID is an acceptable alternative to Evolution is so small as to be insignificant. http:// home. entouch. net/ dmd/ moreandmore. htm

4. Why can’t evolutionists admit that Darwinism is just as much a religion as creationism?

Because we don’t like admitting things that aren’t true: http:// www. talkorigins. org/ indexcc/ CA/ CA610.html

I’m leaning more toward ID the more I study them both. It goes a lot further to explain how things actually exist in the world.

Actually, it doesn’t explain anything. What ID does is say anything we can’t explain currently had to have been divinely inspired, so there’s no reason to study further. ID in this way is just filler that provides no new insight and explains nothing in a useful way. It’s a band-aid for what we currently understand, and it prevents us from learning more.

There are gaps in the fossil record, granted, but there are no more gaps than the mathematics and Evolutionary Theory would predict (http:// talkorigins. org/ origins/ postmonth/ feb98. html. Fortunately, even without the fossil record, the evidence for Evolution is convincing.

I’m unbelievably shocked at how many evolution supporters there are here that don’t understand evolution at all.

Yes, it’s true that not all of us know all about the theory. In fact, probably no one in the world knows everything there is to know about it. However, the problems you have with the theory have been answered.

(sorry about the weird expanded links. For some reason, the server wouldn’t accept my comment with links this time. I tried to post several times with the links, so they might all show up one of these days).

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 8:51 AM
Comment #106554

Weather cou see Creation or Evolution is theory or fact depends a large part on your religious beliefs. If you believe there in God, you’ll be most likely believe in creation. If you don’t belive in God but believe there has to be a higher being, you might either one. If you don’t believe in God or a higher being, you’ll most likely belive in evolution.
I believe in God, and I believe in creation. However, I don’t try to prove creation as the Bible doesn’t try to prove it anymore than it tries to prove that God exist. It just states both and leaves it up to the reader to believe or not.
Evolution cann’t be proven either. It is a theory and one with from what I’ve seen and read has disagreement within the ranks of those that believe it.
If evolution is thaught in school, then creation should be also. Then let the students decide for themselves.


Posted by: Ron Brown at December 23, 2005 8:52 AM
Comment #106555
I believe in evolution,i just wonder how long my monkey will take?I mean how many years before they all become human as well?

I’m sure you’re being silly, but the answer is that it won’t happen.

We diverged from a common ancestor with monkeys, and our ancestors adapted due to different environmental factors to find a niche that was good for us. Monkeys have evolved in a different direction, won’t have the same environmental factors, and would find the niche already full if they evolved that way.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 8:53 AM
Comment #106556

You know the funny thing about all of this whole debate was, and still is, faith. I used to think that if religious people could simple acknowledge that Evolution could be part of creation they could in some way coexist together. I was wrong. Now i know for certian that simply put, some men and Man in general is so arrogant that he would believe his ownself more knowing and powerful than God. That is it in a nutshell. Therefore, i Agree Creation is not science. Neither, is science creation!

Posted by: G at December 23, 2005 8:53 AM
Comment #106557
I do NOT, however, believe that my religious beliefs belong in a science class, any more than I believe that Shakespeare belongs in an Algebra class. Science classes should teach science. I will provide (and have provided) whatever religious instruction I want my children to have.

I have no desire to see the State determining which religions are acceptable to teach and which aren’t. The State should not be put in the position of making judgements between religions. That, at it’s heart, is what the Establishment Clause of the Constitution is all about.

Nicely put Rob.
That’s where this whole topic should begin & end right? We evolutionists have just been feisty ever since Copernicus got bumped off.

Posted by: Jon at December 23, 2005 8:58 AM
Comment #106558

So our common ancestor was? I guess i seem to think that while our DNA can be real close to that of the pre dated findings none of them that i have heard of have actually matched up. In other words. There has been no proof that one came from another. If your Dna is granted to you at birth and predetermines you, as in everything, then why is not traceable to these artifacts? Have we simply not found the right fossil yet?As for a gap exsisting in knowledge,well for sure that exsists. I do not think ID would create a lack of interest in study of evolution.The oppisite should happen. The interest in determining the truth should spark reasearch and the quest for more information. Last i checked that was part of learning any subject. Being Lazy and saying we will only study this subject one way is pretty much closeminded. The forefathers of science would be ashamed. I agree that Religion and science should be seperate, but i also think that Kids should have that thirst to find new theory and prove or disprove it.

Posted by: G at December 23, 2005 9:05 AM
Comment #106560

So was it God’s design that the Nazis would try eliminate the Jews?

Was it God’s design that some children are born with birth defects?

Was it God’s design that the U.S. was attacked on 9/11?

It’s time to face the facts of evolution. The Bible is the greatest work of fiction ever written. What’s that saying about one been born every minute? A sucker I believe it is….

Look at the known history of man….EVERY war ever started was “in the name of GOD”. The Roman Cathoic church is the biggest land owner in the world. Their priesthood have more child abusers per capita than any other career.

Evolution in public school. Intelligent (Lack of Intelligence) Design in Sunday School.

Posted by: Jim at December 23, 2005 9:06 AM
Comment #106562
Weather cou see Creation or Evolution is theory or fact depends a large part on your religious beliefs.

And that’s just sad. There is ample proof of evolution and no proof of Creation. That you are admitting that you let your intellectual reasoning be overruled by your religious beliefs is indicative that you reject logic here.

If evolution is thaught in school, then creation should be also. Then let the students decide for themselves.

You’ve said this or a version of this many times in the other thread, and I’ve responded each time explaining why Evolution is science and creation/ID isn’t (which seems to be a slam-dunk argument about which should be included in science classes), and explaining that the existance of a Theory of Evolution does not mean that any other hypothesis is equally valid.

And yet, you keep returning to your point, never really responding to what I’ve said. Are you reading what I’ve told you? Are you following the links to research the evidence supporting Evolution and the definition of Science? Or are you just stuck in your decision, completely impervious to further logic, argument, and evidence?

Evolution has happened. It’s a fact. I’ve provided you links many times. Evolution is the best answer Science has. Evolution should be taught in schools.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 9:10 AM
Comment #106563

This is why the home schooling movement is gaining so much ground.

What is so hard about the logic that if something has order then it must be designed by a designer.

The ONLY proof of something that does not follow this order is EVOLUTION, which is a fraudulent theory.

No one would drive a car or an airplane that was designed by random processes. No one would let a doctor work on them who uses random processes or tools that were created using random processes.

No one builds their home using random processes

NO but the most complex thing in the universe is created by random processes…

and you call that education.

Homeschooling is for me, since I can’t afford a great private education for my kids. Let the masses indoctrinate themselves in the government schools. Sex, evolution and no education. I still pay for it. And you can call me backwards an uneducated…I am Soldier and I defend your right to have and speak your opinion.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 9:10 AM
Comment #106567
So our common ancestor was?

See the answer here, or at least what we know so far.

If your Dna is granted to you at birth and predetermines you, as in everything, then why is not traceable to these artifacts?

I don’t understand the question. Are you asking why we can’t prove with our current DNA what our ancestors looked like?

Being Lazy and saying we will only study this subject one way is pretty much closeminded.

Preferring Evolution to ID in Science curricula is neither lazy nor closeminded. Science has studied the hypothsis presented by ID and found that it wasn’t valid. So, Science moved on. It’s not openminded to continue studying something that has been shown to be unhelpful and invalid - it’s the best use of resources.

Kids should have that thirst to find new theory and prove or disprove it.

Sure, they should have the thirst. However, public schools are not the places to test new Scientific theories. Science labs, which have the experience and the ability, are the place to study and evaluate new theories.

If ID is to be taught at all, it shouldn’t be be presented as a valid scientific alternative to Evolution because it’s simply not one.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 9:16 AM
Comment #106568
What is so hard about the logic that if something has order then it must be designed by a designer.

It’s easy logic, but it’s invalid logic. Order does not require a designer. See snowflakes.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 9:18 AM
Comment #106569

Hey LawnBoy, you sure you aren’t some sort of machine? ;P me need to sleep now.

Posted by: Jon at December 23, 2005 9:20 AM
Comment #106572

The snowflake is designed by a process much like cars in a factory.

I suppose you think cars are randomly designed also.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 9:27 AM
Comment #106573

Jim

Presumably when atheistic Communist states fight wars with each other, it is not in the name of God. Most people in history have asked for the help of their God(s) in war, but only on rare occassions was that the primary motivation, even in cases where it was the ostensible excuse.

There is no reason to believe that child abusers are more common among the clergy. There are plenty of pervs in many walks of life. The church just has deeper pockets, so it attracts accusations. Someone abused by a stranger in a public bathroom can’t sue (and expect to win) 20 years later. With the church he has a reasonable chance.

I agree with the point that ID is not science in that it does not explain or predict natural events. But you don’t have to denigrate religion in general. You don’t know the actual religious beliefs of historical monsters like Gengis Khan.

Atheism has only been officially tolerated by people in power for about 100 years. So far the outlook is not good. The two record holding murders, Stalin and Mao, both claimed to be atheists. Smaller atheist rats like Lennin, Castro or Milosvich picked up their share. Pol Pot didn’t kills millions in that name of God and the North Koreans are not oppressing for religious reasons. As many people like to point out, Saddam was a secular ruler. Nazi ideology was only vaguely religous. They tried to bring back old Teutonic beliefs with little success.

Posted by: Jack at December 23, 2005 9:29 AM
Comment #106574

Way to copy/paste from this web site, Discerner. It was the first hit on a Google search for Dr Paul Ackerman, Psychologist .

Surprisingly, you seem to have forgotten to copy/paste this quote from further down the page:

We are skeptical of the claim for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.

This is exactly what has been, is being and will continue to be done to the theory of evolution by the legitimate scientific community. On the other hand, this statement doesn’t call for teaching ID as a science topic, does it? Not at all.

This quote doesn’t come close to stating that these people adhere to a belief in ID, does it? Nope, not even in the ballpark.

I am, and most other real scientists are, all in favor of “Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory…”, as we all are in favor of similar careful examination of the evidence for the theory of atomic structure, the theory of electricity, the theory of gravity, the theory of astronomy, etc., etc. for all theories. But calling for careful examination of a theory is a far cry from denigrating a theory that has held up well for over a hundred years of careful examination of the evidence and placing it on par with a non-scientific religious belief that can be neither proved nor disproved.

Here’s what you said in your original post:

There are many respected creationist scientists out there. I have sat under a few of them as has my wife.

Now, instead of doing a Google search and copy/pasting a list of scientists you happened to find there, please post the name of just one “respected creationist scientist” you or your wife has sat under. Pick the one who you consider the most persuasive and scientifically rigorous, and let’s see what comes up on Google for him or her.

Posted by: spongeworthy at December 23, 2005 9:29 AM
Comment #106575

“respected” is such a circular word.

If you are a humanist you respect the humanist scientists that refuse to consider something greater than nature.

If you believe in God than you respect the scientists who take Him innto their scientific considerations.

You as a humanists will not tolerate respecting a God-believing scientists no matter how eminent or qualified. It is a natural prejudice.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 9:33 AM
Comment #106576
The snowflake is designed by a process much like cars in a factory.

Are you serious? A snowflake is created by a known random process that creates complexity.

I suppose you think cars are randomly designed also.
No, although some GM cars from the 70s might as well have been. Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 9:34 AM
Comment #106578
You as a humanists will not tolerate respecting a God-believing scientists no matter how eminent or qualified. It is a natural prejudice.

That’s a nice logical fallacy that ensures that your position is unassailable: “If you don’t agree with me, then you’re just biased.”

In fact, the critiques here have been on the science produced by these scientists, and they have been shown to be weak in their arguments. We’re not just making ad hominem attacks.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 9:38 AM
Comment #106579

Snowflakes are not complex…they are crystals that order themselves according to their environment. Given the same environment they act like machines.

They do what they are designed to do.

Come on this is the problem with our education system. No one thinks anymore.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 9:40 AM
Comment #106580

so you respect the Isaac Newton’s of our day, even though the reigning elite cannot.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 9:42 AM
Comment #106581

it is not a logical fallacy..it is just the way it is. no scientist who believes in God can get the time of day unless he bows down to the humanistic scientific community as demonstrated in this blog

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 9:44 AM
Comment #106582

DC,

You are presenting a Tautology. You say that order implies design. I present a counter-example (snowflakes have order created by random processes). You respond by invoking circular logic (since snowflakes have order, they must have been designed).

Here’s another response to your invalid argument.

Come on this is the problem with our education system. No one thinks anymore.

How right you are, but I think you’re unintentionally proving your point.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 9:46 AM
Comment #106587
no scientist who believes in God can get the time of day unless he bows down to the humanistic scientific community as demonstrated in this blog

That’s not true. You are incorrectly inferring intent from the process. Science investigates new ideas from all sources. In fact, the hallmark of science is skepticism. Scientists make names for themselves by finding problems with previous answers. PhDs are earned by finding mistakes in earlier experiments. Nobel Prizes are earned by disproving the commonly-held understanding. Science is built on skepticism.

Science has considered the ideas presented from Creationist and ID sources and rejected them. The rejection came not of bias, but from a rational investigation of the hypotheses. They were found insufficient because they were invalid scientifically.

ID “scientists” playing the victims don’t help their cause at all, but they convince some people who are inclined to be paranoid about not having everyone agree with them. Congrats. You’ve been snookered.

“Creation Science” is rejected scientifically because it’s bad science. That’s it.

so you respect the Isaac Newton’s of our day, even though the reigning elite cannot.

What does this mean?

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 9:51 AM
Comment #106593

The Theory of Evolution (and it is a theory) as taught does not allow for any contradicting data. It starts with an assumption, then sets out to prove. The problem is when the data is honestly looked at it leads in a different direction.

Someone stated that ID was a codeword for “Literal Story of creation”. That is incorrect. The ID movement has many variation within it. Someone else stated ID is faith, not science. Again, that is incorrect. ID is the result of examining the research data and the willingness to go where the data leads. Asking yourself “what is the best scenario that fits the data?” Evolution has been shown lacking time and time again.

Time and time again micro evolution or a better term “adaptation” is used to “prove” evolution. Adaptation is recognized by ID. But macro evolution, “life from lifelessness”, simple to complex, order from chaos, it just isn’t supported by the evolution theory.

Posted by: Stargazer at December 23, 2005 10:02 AM
Comment #106595
The Theory of Evolution (and it is a theory) as taught does not allow for any contradicting data. It starts with an assumption, then sets out to prove. The problem is when the data is honestly looked at it leads in a different direction.

That is not true. Evolution as a theory was developed as the result of data that Darwin observed. In fact, he didn’t like the conclusions he came to and waiting for years to publish. The data drives the idea, not vice versa. It is ID that is driven from the conclusion.

The data supports evolution. If you’d like to provide an example of what you think doesn’t, we’d be happy to look at it.

ID is the result of examining the research data and the willingness to go where the data leads

That’s incorrect, because there is no data that leads to ID. ID is either a failed hypothesis or a personal interpretation that wraps over Evolution; either way, it’s not a valid Scientific theory. It does not stand alone on data. There are no peer-reviewed papers that support ID, and that’s for a good reason - it doesn’t stand up to review. The only “data” behind it is the notion of irreducible complexity, but that is easily debunked.

But macro evolution, “life from lifelessness”, simple to complex, order from chaos, it just isn’t supported by the evolution theory.

Macroevolution, aka speciation, is supported both by theory and observation.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 10:07 AM
Comment #106597

Every ID argument that has been on this blog and the liberal/democrat side has been debated and answered by reasonable people. If you believe in creationism or ID it is because you refuse to accept what sincere hard-working scientists have proved. I notice that many of the same arguments keep coming up over and over, even after someone has already given an answer. The commentor doesn’t say anything after the response, but brings it up again at a later time, ignoring the original answer. I’m beginning to lose hope in the intelligence of many Americans.

Posted by: Loren at December 23, 2005 10:12 AM
Comment #106598

Lawnboy

Isaac Newton became very religious in his later life, as did Blaise Pascal. DC does have a point that some people who profess science have a problem with faith and tend to denigrate it in ordinary people or dismiss it when a prominent scientist professes it.

But I think ID proponents miss the general point. They equate evolution theory with faith. The two are very different. A successful scientific theory has predictive and descriptive power. It doesn’t profess to be THE TRUTH, just useful (descriptive and predictive) - maybe A truth. It is never a finished product, but rather always a work in progress that will be modified by new information.

That is how it differs from faith?

Can you imagine a person saying of his faith, “I believe in this for the time being, but if something better comes along I am willing to change my mind.” Of course not. It goes to the very definition of faith. That is why science and faith are so very different. They need not be contradictory. You can believe the world is intelligently designed. But for practical purposes, you have to believe the intelligent designer used the tools of evolution.

St. Paul said that faith is the essence of that hoped for the evidence of that unseen. It is a beautiful thought, but it contains within itself the reason why faith is not science and why you actually are offending faith to try to make them the same.

Posted by: Jack at December 23, 2005 10:12 AM
Comment #106600
no scientist who believes in God can get the time of day unless he bows down to the humanistic scientific community as demonstrated in this blog

There are far more scientists who believe in God that support evolution as opposed to the number who support ID.

Someone stated that ID was a codeword for “Literal Story of creation”. That is incorrect.

How do you explain that in the earlier drafts of the ID school texbook, all references to Intelligent Design had earlier been Creationism?

Posted by: Burt at December 23, 2005 10:16 AM
Comment #106602

Evolution and ID do the same thing. They explain history based on your preconceived ideas.

Again if you presume there is no God then evolution is the best thing you can come up with, despite all of its problems.

If you believe in God then ID is the best thing you can come up with despite its problems.

Neither can be proved. ID because it only describes history and evolution because it defies the law of entropy.

The problem is when ones assumes the orthodoxed, state-established preeminency over the other. Liberals are happy because the Humanist view has the sanction of the government. God-believers are unhappy because they are relegated to the fringes, because their so-called science does not justify even a mention in government schools which we still have to pay for.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 10:21 AM
Comment #106603

I don’t have a problem with ID being a codeword for anything.

It is the establishment that does. In our PC culture if you use the wrong word you are out, so creationist have to play along and use the correct word to even be allowed to come to the table to discuss the future of all of our children.

I guess we should be quite and let you tell us how to raise our children.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 10:23 AM
Comment #106604
Evolution and ID do the same thing. They explain history based on your preconceived ideas.

What would it take to show you that this isn’t true? The links and explanations given so far haven’t worked. Would anything?

If you believe in God then ID is the best thing you can come up with despite its problems.

Actually, it’s “If you believe in God and don’t care about science…”

evolution…defies the law of entropy.

No, it doesn’t.

Liberals are happy because the Humanist view has the sanction of the government. God-believers are unhappy because they are relegated to the fringes, because their so-called science does not justify even a mention in government schools which we still have to pay for.

It’s not about Liberals and humanists vs. God-believers. It’s about using the best science in teaching science.

I’m glad you agree that what Creationists push is only “so-called science”.

I guess we should be quite and let you tell us how to raise our children.

Now there’s quite a strawman! No one’s telling you how to raise your children! We’re saying keep religion and pseudoscience out of science curricula. There’s a huge difference.

Teach them your religious beliefs at home all you want, but don’t destroy science for everyone just because you don’t want to accept it.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 10:30 AM
Comment #106605

The liberals are getting closer and closer to fascism everyday. Political correctness in our speech and thoughts is one way and the attempt to stamp out any reasonable discourse on ID is another. While certain aspects of evolution certainly can not be refuted there remain many holes in Darwins theory and any attempt to shore them up comes up empty. Why? We as a human race are becoming more and more self important and tend to think that we, through research, will eventually understand it all. Well, we never will. We can explian DNA, but can explain how the tiniest of life forms morph into logical thought, how the tiniest of particles morph into a universe. If you are truly honest with yourself, you will realize that there are far more greater powers than ourselves and science, which is only as good as man, will never explain it.

Posted by: Jay at December 23, 2005 10:32 AM
Comment #106607

The idea that organisms evolve based on outside stimuli (“Natural Selection”) is pretty much a proven fact. It can most easily be seen in bacteria that become resistant to medications after continued exposure. The weaker strains are killed off, removing competition from the resistant strains, allowing them to spread. I don’t know how anyone could argue against this one.

Where there is room for debate is whether that “micro-evolution” described above leads to “macro-evolution” - everything evolving from single-celled organisms. Fossil evidence seems to support the idea, but it’s by no means proven. It’s the best thing science has to offer, and very well may prove to be true. And it most certainly SHOULD be taught in science classes. But it should be taught for what it is — scientific theory — and not as fact.

Intelligent Design, on the other hand, isn’t scientific theory — it’s religion. It’s not scientifically verifiable or predictive. It would make a great topic for a Philosophy class, but doesn’t belong in a Science class.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at December 23, 2005 10:37 AM
Comment #106608
there remain many holes in Darwins theory and any attempt to shore them up comes up empty

It’s amazing how many times this or an equivalent have been claimed in this thread without a bit of supporting evidence. And when “support” is given, it is quickly shown that the hole doesn’t really exist.

So, Jay, got anything to back it up?

The liberals are getting closer and closer to fascism everyday. Political correctness in our speech and thoughts is one way and the attempt to stamp out any reasonable discourse on ID is another.

The thing is, science has had a reasonable discourse on ID. It looked at the ideas presented in ID, used reason and logic to discuss the merits (reasoned discourse), and found there wasn’t any merit. The reasonable discourse has happened. What you’re complaining about is the fact that people are resistant to replacing supportable science with discredited ideas.

That’s not fascism in any stretch of the imagination; that’s doing the right thing.

Further, feel free to have a reasoned discourse about ID, but don’t lie and call it science; it’s not. And don’t force it on our public schools.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 10:38 AM
Comment #106609

Lawnboy,

You just refuse to recognize your own biases.

I am scientist. I have loved science since high school. I am one term away from completing my masters in Chemistry. I will be teaching chemistry at a major university next fall.

and you say If you believe in God and don’t care about science.

that is nothing but pure bias.

Order never comes from disorder without outside input. Period. That is Science.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 10:40 AM
Comment #106611
The liberals are getting closer and closer to fascism everyday.

Well, it’s a good thing the US government is spying on us (PETA, etc.), paying conservative “commentators” to denounce us, etc… Otherwise we would bring about the dark night of fascism in no time. ;)

On the main point, it occurred to me that there is a strikingly obvious compromise here. If you want teachers to point out these alleged “holes” in theory of evolution, then by all means they should do so (provided we are talking about actual scientific evidence here). It would be a great way to talk about the philosophy of science.

The problem with ID is that it talks about a Creator/Designer. This is problematic in two ways:

1) It’s a religious concept in drag.

2) No amount of evidence could ever disprove the claim that there is an omnipotent creator. No lab finding could even be inconsistent with it. So ID has no place in a science class, except as an example of what science ISN’T.


Posted by: Woody Mena at December 23, 2005 10:48 AM
Comment #106613
You just refuse to recognize your own biases.

Yes, I have a bias towards Science. I’ll admit that.

I will be teaching chemistry at a major university next fall.

That is shocking. I’m sorry for your students. I’m also sorry that you have gotten this far in science without actually learning what science is and how it works. The things that you have claimed in this thread and the circular reasoning that you use are unsupportable.

Order never comes from disorder without outside input. Period. That is Science.

Yes, but that’s not what we’re talking about. There is outside input. Energy from the Sun and environmental factors are outside inputs. You are misapplying the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics here.

This shows more a misconception about thermodynamics than about evolution. The second law of thermodynamics says, “No process is possible in which the sole result is the transfer of energy from a cooler to a hotter body.” [Atkins, 1984, The Second Law, pg. 25] Now you may be scratching your head wondering what this has to do with evolution. The confusion arises when the 2nd law is phrased in another equivalent way, “The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease.” Entropy is an indication of unusable energy and often (but not always!) corresponds to intuitive notions of disorder or randomness. Creationists thus misinterpret the 2nd law to say that things invariably progress from order to disorder.
However, they neglect the fact that life is not a closed system. The sun provides more than enough energy to drive things. If a mature tomato plant can have more usable energy than the seed it grew from, why should anyone expect that the next generation of tomatoes can’t have more usable energy still? Creationists sometimes try to get around this by claiming that the information carried by living things lets them create order. However, not only is life irrelevant to the 2nd law, but order from disorder is common in nonliving systems, too. Snowflakes, sand dunes, tornadoes, stalactites, graded river beds, and lightning are just a few examples of order coming from disorder in nature; none require an intelligent program to achieve that order. In any nontrivial system with lots of energy flowing through it, you are almost certain to find order arising somewhere in the system. If order from disorder is supposed to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, why is it ubiquitous in nature?
The thermodynamics argument against evolution displays a misconception about evolution as well as about thermodynamics, since a clear understanding of how evolution works should reveal major flaws in the argument. Evolution says that organisms reproduce with only small changes between generations (after their own kind, so to speak). For example, animals might have appendages which are longer or shorter, thicker or flatter, lighter or darker than their parents. Occasionally, a change might be on the order of having four or six fingers instead of five. Once the differences appear, the theory of evolution calls for differential reproductive success. For example, maybe the animals with longer appendages survive to have more offspring than short-appendaged ones. All of these processes can be observed today. They obviously don’t violate any physical laws.
talkorigins.org

If this is the basis of your complaint against evolution (and it’s the only thing you’ve said except whining about being a victim), then I welcome you back to the fold of science-understanding scientists.

and you say If you believe in God and don’t care about science.

ok, I’ll change it to “If you believe in God and don’t understand science…” That’s supportable within the current conversation.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 10:53 AM
Comment #106618

Morning,
Just finished reading through the many posts created over night.

Ray,

Thanks. You gave the answer I pretty much expected based on my link.

Loren,
“….If you believe in creationism or ID it is because you refuse to accept what sincere hard-working scientists have proved. ….I’m beginning to lose hope in the intelligence of many Americans.”

They found the answer?

Until we are all living the same exact lives I don’t see how you can expect everyone to have the same beliefs.
This would have to start with certain things having to be banned from any public discussion.

Lawnboy,
You may have had a problem with your post because there is a limit to how many links can be posted at one time.


Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2005 10:59 AM
Comment #106619

Jay,

If you are truly honest with yourself, you will realize that there are far more greater powers than ourselves and science, which is only as good as man, will never explain it.

I agree with this 100%, and that’s exactly why I DON’T want to see ID in science classes. As you said, there are some things which science will never explain. Those things, therefore, should be kept out of science class, and put where they belong.

There’s a reason why science isn’t the only subject we teach in schools. We don’t teach literature in science class, because you can’t scientifically define what makes an epic novel or a poem worth reading. We don’t teach art in science class, because you can’t scientifically prove whether Michelangelo was a better artist than Da Vinci. ID would be better suited for a Philosophy class, or perhaps a History of Religion class, than a science class, for exactly that same reason.

Just because it’s not science doesn’t mean it’s not important.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at December 23, 2005 10:59 AM
Comment #106620

Some thoughts on the subject.

Evolution=Humanism=Religion.

Science has long been defined in this manner.

Knowledge derived from observation, study and testing of evidence.

It is taught that in the beginning all energy was condensed into an inconceivably tiny speck. Laws of physics cannot account for this

In Scientific American May 1984 p.128 Alan Guth and P. Steinhardt say “thye entire universe evolved from nothing”.

Where did the matter come from for the BIG BANG?

When did the BIG BANG occur; 6, 13, 20 billion years ago? Nobody can agree.

Textbooks teach that giant red start evolve into white dward stars over millions of years. Cicero in 50bc and Ptolemy in 150ad decsribe Sirius as a red star; redder than Mars. Today (not millions of years) Sirius is a white dward.

Dr. Arno Penzias, Astrophysicist, Nobel Laureate
“The best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted had I had nothing to go on but the five books of Moses”.

Biology—The Dynamics of Life. This textbook says earth was formed about 4.6 billion years ago.
“A big rock was formed from a big bang. Oceans formed by rain for millions of years.
That indicates we came from a rock.
“All the many forms of life on earth today are descended from a common ancestry, found in a populaton of primitave unicelluar organisms”.
“No traces of those events remain”.

The Law of Biogenesis—-Life only comes from living matter.

Non-observable + Non-testable = Non Scientific

Going out of town for the weekend. When I return I hope this discussion will continue.

God Bless and Merry Christmas

Posted by: tomh at December 23, 2005 11:00 AM
Comment #106621
Lawnboy, You may have had a problem with your post because there is a limit to how many links can be posted at one time.

Do you know what the limit is? I understand that’s it’s there to prevent spamming, but it’s darn annoying :)

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 11:02 AM
Comment #106622

DC,

I have been following ID for quite a while. I am working towards my license in education and this has been an interest of mine long before the Dover lawsuit.

Please, I am not attacking you. I saw your post above and with your experience and thoughts I though you would be a good person to ask.

Maybe you can answer this for me. I have tried the Discovery Institute and they have not answered me.

For anyone reading this… please take a few moments to sit quitely and contemplate this, for like many philosophical questions it takes a moment of thought to follow the logic to its end.

?If life is too elegant and logical to be a coincidence, therefore it requires an intelligent designer… where did the intelligent designer come from?”

As my old philosophy professer kept saying, take any argument far enough and you eventually run into a point where it ultimately cannot be explained.

I do not ask this in a sarcastic way, or in any way to trip up or denigrate an opinion.

It is simply the next step of the ID argument that I have never seen addressed.

It life is so perfectly designed that it has to have been designed by an intelligence… then where could that intelligence possibly come from?

Was it (the Intelligent Designer) designed? Was it randomly created and designed something greater than itself that we cannot understand? Was it always, “Just there”?

I saw President Bush’s comments on how we need to allow education to explore alternative ideas. I do not know if he would consider alien intelligence populating the earth as a legitimate alternative, but some could argue this and would we not have to give them just as serious consideration? But, then again, we have to ask, “Where did the aliens come from?”

As an education major, there are age and grade appropriate lessons.

The Supreme Court has ruled that religion within a classroom is unconstitutional at the grades 1-12 because of the undo influence a teacher might have on the student’s ability to draw their own conclusions. That is why religion courses are taught at the University level with no problem. The student is mature enough to not be influenced by the position of authority that a professor has.

We do not teach about the true actions of Columbus and the effects on the native population for the same reason. They are not ready at the 2nd or 3rd grade to hear about how hands were cut off if they didn’t bring in enough gold… and then they were left to die. I am not making a 21st century value judgement against the actions of a 15th century person, I am just stating the fact while knowing something of the acceptable behavior of the culture at that time. Again, I am old enough to take that into consideration.

If we want to disclose to students that evolution is a theory, then we need to make sure that we are consistent and also explain that economics, political science, even history can be considered a theory because so much that has to be inferred. Not dates and names, but reasons such as motivations of many of the characters and information available to historians at the time of the text being written.

Anyway, back to my original question…

If there is an Intelligent Designer then where did the Intelligent Designer come from?

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 11:07 AM
Comment #106623

My initial thought on this topic is: where is the line for the church vs. the state? Because public schools are funded by the state, does that give the state the right to choose what the school teaches? If so, where does that lead the U.S.?

My opinion is that it will not be a good place. It would be a place where only conformity to the state is accepted and all teachings of the state would never be questioned. I also think that school should teach children to think for themselves and use the scientific methods to prove things true or false. Everyone is talking about facts, but the facts are that neither of these topics can be proven. Yes there is a hint of religious aspect in the theory of ID, but I could make claims that there is religious conotations in the theory of evolution, i.e. is the human being the highest form of evolution? What’s higher and where do we evolve from here?

If you look at it from that perspective, a lot of Eastern Religions would more readily accept the theory of evolution to conform those ideas with their religious beliefs. That’s not science either.

For either to be taught as a theory it should follow the guidelines of what constitutes a scientific theory:

· Consistent (internally and externally)

· Parsimonious (sparing in proposed entities or explanations, see Occam’s Razor)

· Useful (describes and explains observed phenomena)

· Empirically testable & falsifiable (see Falsifiability)

· Based upon multiple observations, often in the form of controlled, repeated experiments

· Correctable & dynamic (changes are made as new data are discovered)

· Progressive (achieves all that previous theories have and more)

· Provisional or tentative (admits that it might not be correct rather than asserting certainty)

The one issue I have with both “theories” is that neither is based off of observable facts.

Yes, you can find fossils, but fossils do not prove change, it just shows the results of something that has existed at one time.

The end goal is to give children knowledge of their world and educate them in a wide range of ideas and concepts. Then prove or disprove their ideas with science. There is nothing wrong with teaching that way. There is also nothing wrong in teaching that other theories exist even if they are based on religious beliefs. As long as the schools define those theories as such, i.e. ID is a theory based on a religious premise that there is a God who created the world we know today.

Posted by: Dan at December 23, 2005 11:07 AM
Comment #106626
I am scientist.

Me smart too.

I have loved science since high school. I am one term away from completing my masters in Chemistry. I will be teaching chemistry at a major university next fall.

What “Major University” has hired a guy who hasn’t yet completed his masters to teach Chemistry?

Good luck at Bob Jones U in the fall.

Posted by: Burt at December 23, 2005 11:10 AM
Comment #106627

The TalkOrgins piece sounds “scientific”, but the speaker intentionally overlooks that in the open-system interaction, for example the sun and the plant, the plant is designed to receive information from the sun. You cannot get around the design arguments by simply pointing the sun as the source of all information. The sun shines on all kinds of things with no interesting achievements. Many things are destructively affected by the sun, is this an example of devolution, or maybe something not being used in accordance with its design?

I don’t worship the sun as a source of all information. Neither do I worship time and chance as the source of all information.

I do recognize that order cannot come from disorder. You do too…you just refuse to admit it. But your everday life betrays you. You would never fly in a plane that was not well designed. You would never allow a doctor to work on you who is not well-designed for the task (e.g. been trained and has experience), and you probably do not like arguing with people whom you think do not have well designed arguments (which is what any creationist/IDist would be).

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 11:10 AM
Comment #106628

LawnBoy,

The limit is 5. If I did it correctly… your post should now be up there with the links.:)

Dawn

Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2005 11:10 AM
Comment #106629

Lawnboy, how does evolution explain how the micro-organisms began. It certainly explains irrefutably how they evolved, but it does not explain the GENESIS. Therein is the HOLE in the theory. I would agree that ID is not best suited for the science class room but it certainly should be discussed in philosiphy.

Posted by: Jay at December 23, 2005 11:12 AM
Comment #106631
I am scientist. I have loved science since high school. I am one term away from completing my masters in Chemistry. I will be teaching chemistry at a major university next fall.

I presume you will be stressing that the Atomic Theory is nothing more than just a theory, and that the students shouldn’t assume it is fact, yes?

Order never comes from disorder without outside input. Period. That is Science.

In a closed system that is true. However, order does MOVE within a closed system. Forces within such a system act upon one another, creating order in one place by removing it in another.

Lock a man in a room with a random pile of bricks. That room will respresent, in this case, our closed system. Without any outside forces imposed upon that system, the man could build an orderly wall out of those bricks. To do so requires that man expending energy which was stored (in an orderly fashion) within him. Order is not created, but simply moved from one place (the man) to another (the bricks). Energy was used, and the total amount of order in the system has actually DECREASED.

Evolution is similar. It’s not so much a CREATION of order, but simply a CONCENTRATION of it within a closed system.

One must pose the question, of course, of where all this order and energy came from to begin with (or where the closed system came from, for that matter). That is a question for religion to answer. But religion can answer that question for Evolution as easily as it can for ID. Both can be supported by religion, but Evolution can also be supported by science.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at December 23, 2005 11:14 AM
Comment #106632
is the human being the highest form of evolution?

Science does not place such value judgements on the results of evolution. Humans are not higher beings than any other species - all species in existance today are simply the latest results of an age-old process. From the perspective of science, the earthworm is as well-evolved and as “high” as humans because the earthworm fits its niche.

What’s higher and where do we evolve from here?
It’s impossible for us to know, because evolution works as a reaction to the situations to species encounters, and we don’t know what our species will encounter in the future.

So, these aren’t really religious connotations of evolution itself.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 11:15 AM
Comment #106633

Jay,

By the time this is posted you might already have answere my above question, but I wanted to make sure to your get take on it (please see above question for full context to avoid my reposting and boring people with it)

If life, or a portion of it, is so elegantly perfect that it could not come from chaos… that it is evidence of an outside influence, is eveidence of an Intelligent Designer… where did the Intelligent Designer come from?

This would have to be the next logical question in the ID argument.

Thanks!

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 11:15 AM
Comment #106634

Dawn,

All this talk of Evolution and Intelligent Design is a distraction if the goal is to find out how we came to be.

Earth is but a tiny rock circling around one of some 100 billion stars that make up one of some 100 billion galaxies that make up the known universe. To really understand how we came to be, we need to start at the beginning, the beginning of the universe.

Many in science today, whether Christian or not, agree that the universe began with the Big Bang. When talking about the origin of life here on Earth, it must be put in the context of the origins of the Universe. It is here that the question of Intelligent Design or Evolution is best addressed. If the Universe itself was created, then creation of life is not so hard to accept as a possibility. If the Universe was the result of natural forces, then evolution of life is not so hard to accept as a possibility. The problem is, at least today, we cannot aswer the question of, what caused the Big Bang?

Personally, I don’t have a problem with both being taught in schools, as long as they are offered as elective courses or studied in a comparative course. Science classes should teach what is known and testable within a class setting, teaching the basic principles of science. Then, students should be allowed to choose whether they would like to learn more about Evolution, Intelligent Design, or study them in a comparative course.

Posted by: Michael A. Burns at December 23, 2005 11:15 AM
Comment #106636

Burt,

Again you presume to be an expert in everything. Where else could so unscientific a thinker teach but a Bob Jones University.

So typical of the establishment thinking. I presume that you do not believe me by the tone of your writing. It is not possible that there is some other explanantion about getting hired before the masters is complete. Again typical myopic thinking from someone awash in establishment thinking.

As I said earlier I am Soldier in the US Army. I will be teaching at the United States Military Academy in the fall. About 1/3 of the cadre are recruited from the active military officer corps to add a experiential dimension to the education of the cadets.

I don’t expect you to respect any of this, but just told you to show you that there are other possibilities outside of your way of thinking that might have some truth to them.

Just like this debate over evolution/ID. You just continue to reinforce my experience that we all have biases….just not everyone is willing to admit it and see how it influences their thinking.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 11:17 AM
Comment #106637

Darren, Man could never possibly answer that question as we will never be able to answer the question where evolution began (big bang is only a theory). There are, and always will be, unanswered questions and regardless of how “important” or “smart” you think of yourself, you will never know the answers to those questions. So I will turn the question back on you, how did evolution begin? (remember the big bang is theory).

Posted by: Jay at December 23, 2005 11:19 AM
Comment #106639

Lock a man in a room with a random pile of bricks. That room will respresent, in this case, our closed system. Without any outside forces imposed upon that system, the man could build an orderly wall out of those bricks. To do so requires that man expending energy which was stored (in an orderly fashion) within him. Order is not created, but simply moved from one place (the man) to another (the bricks). Energy was used, and the total amount of order in the system has actually DECREASED.

So if I now come into the room after the wall is completed and inspect it as a scientist, do I

a) presume that the wall built itself
b) presume that something created order out of the disorder other that the bricks.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 11:22 AM
Comment #106640
The one issue I have with both “theories” is that neither is based off of observable facts.

Sorry Dan, but evolution is an observable fact. Evolution over a long period of time is not possible but short term evolution of smaller species, insects, etc has been observed and proven as fact for decades.

Nothing in ID has any relation to science.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 23, 2005 11:23 AM
Comment #106641
Science classes should teach what is known and testable within a class setting

I hope you’re not recommending that we put nuclear reactors in every chemistry class, so that our chemistry lessons are “testable within a class setting”.

Sometimes we need to teach things in science classes that have been tested elsewhere….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at December 23, 2005 11:23 AM
Comment #106643
The TalkOrgins piece sounds “scientific”, but the speaker intentionally overlooks that in the open-system interaction, for example the sun and the plant, the plant is designed to receive information from the sun.

By this, are you again assuming design to prove design?

You cannot get around the design arguments by simply pointing the sun as the source of all information. The sun shines on all kinds of things with no interesting achievements. Many things are destructively affected by the sun, is this an example of devolution, or maybe something not being used in accordance with its design?

The fact that not all interactions with the sun bring forth interesting results does not prove that sometimes, it does (just as the fact that a bullet wound is sometimes nonlethal does not prove that it never it).

The fact that the sun can be destructive does not say anything about the fact that the energy the sun brings means that the 2nd Law does not apply.

You’re arguing lagical fallacies and distractions.

I don’t worship the sun as a source of all information. Neither do I worship time and chance as the source of all information.

Good for you. But who said anything about worshipping the sun? I was talking about the real, physical effects of the sun - nothing about worship.

I do recognize that order cannot come from disorder.

Correction. You claim it without supporting evidence. When counter-evidence is supplied, you dismiss it with illogical arguments.

You do too…you just refuse to admit it.

Ummm… really? How do you know me better than I know myself?

you probably do not like arguing with people whom you think do not have well designed arguments (which is what any creationist/IDist would be).

Nah, it’s sometimes fun. Why do you think I’ve been arguing about this all day?

You’re right that a a plane must be designed. However, that’s an irrelevant analogy. Here are more articles on the subject.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 11:27 AM
Comment #106644
Lawnboy, how does evolution explain how the micro-organisms began. It certainly explains irrefutably how they evolved, but it does not explain the GENESIS. Therein is the HOLE in the theory. I would agree that ID is not best suited for the science class room but it certainly should be discussed in philosiphy.

You’re right, abiogenesis is not very well understood. It’s a hole, but it’s not an opening for ID since ID doesn’t explain it any better.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 11:28 AM
Comment #106645

To say that ID has no relation to science is a little disingenuous. It attempts to explain the origin of life and order in the universe. So it is related to science.

Evolution also tries to explain the origin of life and order in the universe also. Evolution also goes beyond this in its claim that we continue to evolve and therefore should be testable in the scientific way. Which is probably what you mean that evolution is science and ID is not.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 11:29 AM
Comment #106647

Michael,

“All this talk of Evolution and Intelligent Design is a distraction if the goal is to find out how we came to be.”

You are probably right.

“The problem is, at least today, we cannot aswer the question of, what caused the Big Bang?”

The ‘creator’ got ticked off at what he was seeing and threw a big rock?? It may happen again.


Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2005 11:30 AM
Comment #106649

Jay,

I am sorry, it appears as if you thought I was attacking you and I wasn’t.

My point was… we do not know. We cannot answer. I agree that the Big Bang Theory is a theory. The Theory of Relativity is a thoery.

Sir, I do not belive my question was asked to be smug and your attempt to make it seems so is sad because it deflects from the philosophical and scientific questions to an attempt to minimize my relevancy in this debate.

Also, as I have mentioned before, there are levels of sophistification that are appropriate for students.

A perfect example woule be a student in a classroom that received the same answer from you that I did.

As a middle or high school student it would be devestating… but as a college student or an adult it can be taken for what it is worth.

Thank you very much sir for your answer.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 11:31 AM
Comment #106650

The fact that not all interactions with the sun bring forth interesting results does not prove that sometimes, it does (just as the fact that a bullet wound is sometimes nonlethal does not prove that it never it).

This is the point- the sometimes it does , occurs when the recipient is designed to do something with the input from the sun. At all other times either nothing happens or something destructive happens.

That is my point. Please address the point.

Posted by: DC at December 23, 2005 11:32 AM
Comment #106651
Lock a man in a room with a random pile of bricks…

Yes, yes, this is a common thought experiment that’s fun in philosophy class. However, it’s not really relevant.

Here’s the thought process of someone who came to the opposite conclusion from the same basic thought experiment (a watch on the beach instead of a wall)

The examples of “specified complexity,” for instance Behe’s mousetrap or the familiar watch, have been flogged to death. But it occurred to me the other day that the analogies to living systems are fundamentally flawed.
A mousetrap, for instance, is a set of objects that store potential energy and then release it. There is no feedback mechanism, no homeostasis, no reproduction—none of the things that are classically defining for life.
What’s more, lifeforms basically take the form of a complex system in which the actual matter involved may change—amino acids may enter or leave a cell, water continually flows in and out, in metazoa cells die and are replaced—so what’s imporant is not the matter itself but the way it continually (re)organizes itself. A mousetrap cannot do that. Neither can a watch.
So—finding a watch on a lonely beach might prompt me to suppose a human built it—but only because it’s not complicated enough. All the other complex systems I can think of are natural, so coming upon a new complex system on an alien world (i.e., life), I would suppose a natural origin for it, as well.
Tyson Burghardt

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 11:35 AM
Comment #106652

Lawnboy, never said it was an opening, merely pointed out the hole in Darwins theory. That is the “hole” in every theory and in every debate; what is the Genesis? Therefore, do you submit that there might be a higher power or that eventually through further research, man will answer all?

Posted by: Jay at December 23, 2005 11:35 AM
Comment #106653
So if I now come into the room after the wall is completed and inspect it as a scientist, do I

a) presume that the wall built itself
b) presume that something created order out of the disorder other that the bricks.

In this case, you observe the man there and presume that he built it. He’s not an outside force — he’s an observable part of the system.

The difference with ID is that it presumes a part of the system (the Intelligent Designer) that is not observable. That’s not science. That’s philosophy.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at December 23, 2005 11:35 AM
Comment #106654

Dawn, I just looked at your posting, http://www.news.uiuc.edu/scitips/02/0617evoltion.html, which you summarized as “Darwin’s theory is also being challenged.”

That article is far from a challenge to evolution. It’s discussing “horizontal transfer” of genetic material, which we know to exist - it’s used in experiments all the time, eg by using plasmids to insert recombinant DNA in a cell being studied, and it’s a major way that resistance to antibiotics is conferred. It’s not a major factor in the evolution of multi-celled organisms, like Democrats, independents and some Republicans.

The article suggests that horizontal transfer played a bigger role than suspected in early evolution - enough that it “challenges the longstanding Darwinian assumption known as the Doctrine of Common Descent – that all life on Earth has descended from one original primordial form”.

At work I have a bio textbook which has 1400+ pages of material on biology, and about 10 pages on biogenesis, speculation about how life actually began. In those 1400 pages, it doesn’t actually mention the “Doctrine of Common Descent” or any analog of it. I suspect that 99% of most high school biology - which focuses on evolution of large organisms and not molecular/cellular biology - would be unaffected by this paper.

Posted by: William Cohen at December 23, 2005 11:35 AM
Comment #106655
This is the point- the sometimes it does, occurs when the recipient is designed to do something with the input from the sun. At all other times either nothing happens or something destructive happens. That is my point. Please address the point.

What point? You are proving design by implying design. There’s no point here but circular reasoning.

And, by the way, you haven’t addressed the fact that you’re misapplying the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 11:37 AM
Comment #106656

Darren, my apology if you felt I was being smug. I was merely pointing out that those questions whether on the evolution side or ID side, can never be answered. That is the beauty of life, the unknown. Faith is a wonderful thing, because it is exactly that; FAITH.

Posted by: Jay at December 23, 2005 11:38 AM
Comment #106660
Therefore, do you submit that there might be a higher power or that eventually through further research, man will answer all?

There may be a higher power. However, Science will never be able to prove or disprove it.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 11:41 AM
Comment #106661
Yes, yes, this is a common thought experiment that’s fun in philosophy class. However, it’s not really relevant.

Here’s the thought process of someone who came to the opposite conclusion from the same basic thought experiment (a watch on the beach instead of a wall)

You might want to reread my post. It leads to the same conclusion as Burghardt, not an opposite one.

(Or are you responding to DC’s post, which quotes mine without marking it as such?)

The point is that the ID theorists ignore the forces WITHIN the system, and instead demand a force OUTSIDE the system to explain everything.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at December 23, 2005 11:45 AM
Comment #106663

LawnBoy-

My comment about a higher evolution of human beings wasn’t a question about scientific evolution.

My comment was made to prove that you can tie religious beliefs to the theory of evolution. I’ve seen it done multiple times where Eastern Religious ideas of evolving to a higher evolution are “proven” possible and using the theory of evolution as support. Especially with the New Age ideas this is commonplace.

My point was that if religion can be tied to science with the theory of evolution, how is that any different than saying religion is tied to ID?

Why keep one out and not the other? Why does the state limit education? Why doesn’t the state expand on education?

I think the more you know, the smarter you’ll be. Pretty simple.

For example, if you don’t know anything about Eastern Religions or the New Age ideas, then then you wouldn’t be able to see that the theory of evolution can be tied to religion. So then my point would prove nothing to you. But maybe you do and you can see how there can be a connection made and we have a logical debate about it.

Posted by: Dan at December 23, 2005 11:47 AM
Comment #106664

Thank you Jay,

And, I agree, they cannot be proven or disproven. Some of the discussions I see here are way to scientific and even when it comes to arguing the interpretation of the meanings of systems, laws of dynamics, self refferential evidence… it does on and on.

This is a wonderful example of intelligent thoughtful people working towards a common understanding and I am way over my head with what they are talking about. I am more a social science than a natural science person.

Which does bring my to my point. This is not an approprite discussion for middle or high school.

Example, my belief that you were being condesending to me. That was a wrong assumption on my part, but we are both adults who are mature and can discuss this so I can see where I am wrong.

Students from 1 - 12th grade are not able to do this. The power relationship is too one sided towards the teacher. Many students are loath to disagree with a teacher for fear of ridicule or to be seen as a trouble maker.

Evolution, when I was in school, was taught as a theory. I had assumed that it still was… I do not know that any scientist would not agree with that.

As an education major and a follower of the ID argument it has been through the lens of introducing ID into a classroom… not as a debate on a blog by people with scientific understanding.

My concern, therefore, has been the motive behind the ID in School people. I do not believe that it is ready for introduction for into the school for the reasons I have cited above.

Thank you very much!

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 11:48 AM
Comment #106665
It attempts to explain the origin of life and order in the universe. So it is related to science.

No, science is not the act of explaining an unknown, it is the methods used to do that by using facts and observable actions.

ID is not science. It is religion, more specifically philosphy, which *IS* explaining the unknown with no attept to use facts or science.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 23, 2005 11:48 AM
Comment #106666

Dan, ID cannot be untwined from religion. Evolution, while compatible with relgion (even Christian religion), can be untwined from religion.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 11:52 AM
Comment #106667

Dan,

My point was that if religion can be tied to science with the theory of evolution, how is that any different than saying religion is tied to ID?

There’s no denying that religion CAN BE tied to Evolution. But as long as it’s not done IN CLASS, that’s not a problem. The problem with ID is that religion is tied to it by definition. It’s a merger of scientific study and religious belief, which doesn’t belong in a pure science class.

Science can support religion. I personally believe that it does, and quite nicely at that. But I have a problem with teaching religion in a science class. Teach the science, and leave the religion for the parents to teach.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at December 23, 2005 11:54 AM
Comment #106668

DC
The talkorigins piece is explaining an oversimplification of the 2nd law of thermodynamics. There can be localized decreases in entropy in an open system, provided the entropy of the entire system is higher.

But I don’t believe that life represents a decrease in entropy. Spontaneous organization of molecules occurs during recrystallization, resulting from forces of attraction put into place due to other changes, like evaporation.

If we use your interpretation of the 2nd law, then we would have no solids, because solids have less entropy than gases.

The organization of the cell membrane mostly results from a mutually hydrophobic relationship between phospholipid molecules.

And your argument about the sun and the plant relies upon an assumption that the plant was designed. You can’t argue a point that presuppose your point is true.

Posted by: Loren at December 23, 2005 11:58 AM
Comment #106669

Correct me if I am wrong, but the reason many people seem to think evolution is incompatible with God is the word “random”. They assume random means unguided. It may, but it may not. An analogy: suppose a mouse was in an experiment where when it hit a bar, food would sometimes come out and sometimes not. Now suppose that the number of times the bar had to be hit was controlled by the digits of pi. The first food came out after three hits, the second after one more, then four more, then one more, then five more, etc. To the mouse, having no knowledge of pi, this will seem random.

Similarly, we say evolution or the creation of a snowflake happen by random processes because we do not have the knowledge to know what is guiding those processes. It may be God or it may be true randomness from the underlying quantum processes, but, it is a good enough approximation for us to just assume it is random.

Clearly, if we knew the pattern behind the randomness we would be able to make better predictions, but since we do not, we have to be content with just assuming random.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 11:58 AM
Comment #106672

Rob Cottrell,

I was replying to DC, not to you. Sorry about the confusion. I didn’t realize that he was quoting you; I though he was leading me in the opposite direction you were.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 12:02 PM
Comment #106674
My point was that if religion can be tied to science with the theory of evolution, how is that any different than saying religion is tied to ID?

Because Evolution stands on its own. If some people find a religious element to it, that’s fine, but Evolution itself is not inherently religious.

In contrast, ID exists only within the concept of a higher power. It is by definition a religious concept.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 12:04 PM
Comment #106677

Rob,

I have to agree with you. There is a woman, Marjorie Rogers, in Georgia that is entering the fray. Maybe I am being cynical, but I would not be surprised to see her running for public office soon.

She is a Biblical literalist and she believes that the world is only 1,000’s of years old. Carbon dating and any other evidence is not sufficient evidence to persuade her.

Why is this important? If she, and others like her, can open the door to legitimately questioning the validity of evolution or any science, then based upon free inquiry and respecting other people’s opinions we will need to introduce the validity of the earth being created in 6 days. Remeber now, what level of evidence do you believe would ever be sufficient for her to change her mind?

This is not for a high school science class.

I believe that there will never be any level of evidence sufficient to change her mind. Ever.

Again, for anyone reading my posts, my view is based on the introduction of ID into the classroom and what is appropriate.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 12:10 PM
Comment #106682

Just for fun and giggles:

Since ID teaches that Man was created in God’s image, exactly as he is today…

Somebody please explain how it is that humankind today has changed greatly from our ancestors? Compare a modern human with one from 6,000 years ago. Our lifespans are twice as long, we are nearly a foot taller, and our brains are bigger. In relation to all of that, our muscle mass is smaller, we don’t have the lung capacity of our ancestors, and our pulmonary systems produce higher volumes of blood. Seems like we are evolving to meet our environment…one where physical labor is not as important to our survival as intelligence.

Oh, and is the Creator Black, White, Asian, or some other race not mentioned?

Posted by: Ray at December 23, 2005 12:23 PM
Comment #106683
I am scientist. I have loved science since high school. I am one term away from completing my masters in Chemistry. I will be teaching chemistry at a major university next fall.

No, I believed you. I was just curious about what institution wasn’t going after qualified PhD teaching candidates. You’ve answered my question. I wonder if the people who hired you are familiar with your views on ID.

Posted by: Burt at December 23, 2005 12:24 PM
Comment #106687

Bryan W.-
They are giant to people unfamiliar with the science.

1)The utility of the eye means that even a partial one is better than nothing. The evolution of a protective, refractive covering has occured many times, and there are a great variet of examples out there.

2) The chimps are not some relic of evolution that led to us, they are our co-evolved cousins. They and us, had a common ancestor. We both split from that ancestor, and went our separate ways, each evolving independently. Many have the mistaken impression that all the more “primitive” species are set up in this chain leading to us, and that each developed to a certain point and stopped as evolution continued beyond them. The truth is, there is no such line, and there is no stop to evolution in any creature.

3)Define many, first. If a hundred people became ID advocates, that would be many. But if a hundred thousand maintained that Evolution was right, then that would put that “many” in another context.

Then, tell me how that means anything in terms of good science, because there isn’t necessarily a connection between how many people believe something, and whether it’s right. Some other authority is need.

Scientists rely on a network of cohesive (if incomplete) theories and observations in order to verify and check theories. ID would throw that out in favor of a system that lets uncheckables like supernatural intervention in. It’s like a black hole for inquiry.

4)It’s lik asking us “Why can’t you tell us when you stopped raping your daughter?”

It’s a loaded question to begin with. Darwinism is a word mainly used by Evolution’s detractors, and the assertion that it’s religious another rhetorical trick designed to put defenders of this science on the defensive. Truth is, most people know it as evolution, plain and simple. Some people in the culture have used it as an excuse for bad behavior, or a reason to deny faith in God, but those are not things they can claim serious scientific authority on.

ID claims to explain more than it really can. Science’s history is replete with explanations that went too far and claimed too much. Science tends to steadily roll back such theories, as the selective pressures of experiments wear away assumptions and hypotheses that don’t map to something in the real world.

Imperfection in theory is not a scientific problem, but a human one. We get things wrong. ID would have us believe that we are infallible enough to determine the intervention of God, as opposed to the working of something in nature. It would have us believe that we can use an uncheckable equation and figure out the probability of the development of life’s molecules.

As I’ve studied, though, the following conclusions have developed in my mind.

1)First, both Science and Religion examine the world through different filters and assumptions, with different purposes in mind. Mixing their deeper methodologies together is not a good idea, because they use wildly different kinds of logic to approach the world.

2)Secondly, Figuring out probabilities is a tricky thing in in the real world. Different factors can make things more or less likely. Get certain chemicals together, or certain substrates or additives, and what wouldn’t happen in a million years otherwise occurs in mere seconds. Additionally, some phenomena cannot be predicted from the different factors that come together to create them- what we call emergent phenomenon. There are other ways for the seemingly unlikely to happen in spite of our expectations

3)If we could detect the hand of God in something, that would mean that God had to intervene in order to make the universe work. Wouldn’t he get it right the first time? Wouldn’t he structure the universe exactly as it would have to be in order to create life? Any God worthy of worship would create a world that is seamless, and which doesn’t need tune-ups.

Any God worthy of worship is one whose design would far outstrip ours in complexity and meaningfulness. Science shows us the depths and limits of our capabilities, humbles us with the shear complexity of even the simplest things we perceive in our day to day lives.

In short, if we’re not so bent about being literal about Chapter One of Genesis, we can understand that God far outstrips us with wisdom and understand. He’d have to be, to set in motion all that science says has occured in the universe. There’s no necessary distinction between a believer of evolution as a theory, and a believer in a God as a worshipper.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at December 23, 2005 12:37 PM
Comment #106690

The larger significance is the political really. While the well intentioned (and very intelligent) people here are searching through their science textbooks and defining what “science” is the larger issues are being played out.

Please people, I am not trying to disparage you. I am trying to keep up with what is being discussed because it it great!

Where people, like Ms. Rogers in Georgia, are concerned… we could get 100% agreement from eveyone that has posted here… would could find all the answers to eveything that has been discussed with proof sufficient to please everyone… and Ms. Rogers would say that it was not enough to sway her from her belief that the world was created exactly as described in Genisis.

With a belief such as her’s, we will never be able to satisfy her enough to put to rest introduing ID into the classroom while still wanting to be open to a person’s beliefs.

She has her children for many more hours than any science teacher. If she feels that her beliefs are important enough that she wants her child to not answer the questions on a science test that are considered accurate, then so be it.

Possibly it is an opportunity to teach her child to not go along with the crowd and to stand by their convictions…

After all, wasn’t the idea of ulcers being caused by bacteria laughed off the stage when the scientist from Austrailia first proposed it? Go to the doctor now for an ulcer and they treat you with anti-biotics. Independ thinkers are needed and sometimes it has to go against the “conventional wisdom”… but not in a public school like this.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 12:37 PM
Comment #106699

Darren7160,

The fact that someone who is braindead can garner enough votes to become elected is the best argument for keeping government out of our lives any more than it has to.

If schools were ultimately run by educators, not the government, then they would be the ones best to determine what is taught.

If hospitals were run by doctors, and not spending half of their time dealing with current governmental oversight, then it would be up to doctors to determine how best to run that hospital for our healthcare.

If private organizations controlled and ran our ‘national parks’ then any swing in governmental control would have no effect on the long plans and effect of how the land was protected, those who know about running sunch areas would be the ones deciding.

But, then the government wouldn’t have the power they have now to use tyranny to control us. And what kind of government would that be? One the founders wanted for us?

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 23, 2005 12:49 PM
Comment #106707

I’m going to agree with the point that evolution CAN BE linked to religion, but ID is directly linked to religion.

So because evolution is mutually exclusive of religion and ID is not, that disproves my overall point that we should teach a wide range of knowledge and thinking in our schools how?

Why is it ok to teach evolution and how that relates to religion in a religious class in a university or college, but not the other way around?

The state has determined that ID can not be taught in school, period. That means that in a religion class where religion is a subject, they can’t teach about ID, but they can talk all about how evolution leads into religion.

To me, that doesn’t make sense.

So going back to my original point, why can the state determine that? My point was that they shouldn’t be able to limit education, they should be expanding education to teach children about all the possibilities so we can encourage thinking, questioning and testing. The principles that have allowed for the theory of evolution.

There’s nothing to say that at some point we couldn’t prove that a creator had a design. Just because we can’t prove it now, doesn’t mean it can’t be done ever. By limiting the ideas now, we limit the thinking of trying to prove or disprove it forever in our schools because the state said so.

I think a few people have made the point that we should teach the Atomic Theory to expound and prove further. All theories are theories until they are proven or disproven.

What makes this one different is that the state said we can’t teach it because it has religion attached to it.

The debate really shouldn’t be about whether ID should be taught at schools, the debate should be why does the state have the authority to limit ideas and theories because of any reason. Now is religion, but what about later?

Posted by: Dan at December 23, 2005 12:54 PM
Comment #106709

Lawnboy

Are you reading what I’ve told you?

Yes


Are you following the links to research the evidence supporting Evolution and the definition of Science?

I’ve read them. They haven’t proved anything.


Or are you just stuck in your decision, completely impervious to further logic, argument, and evidence?

When I see the proof of what you saying, The next higher life form from us, Then and only then will I believe it. And that form has to exist by now. After all the socalled scientist that you keep quoting claim that man has been around for something like 10,000 to 250,000 years. Some form of higher life has to be around by now. Where is it?

Evolution has happened. It’s a fact. I’ve provided you links many times.

Like I said earlier, Nothing has been proven. All I’ve read are theories.

Evolution is the best answer Science has.

Socalled science maybe. True science I doubt very much.

Evolution should be taught in schools.

Right along with creation. Or are yall afriad someone might decide not to fall in lockstep with yaall?
I’m not saying that creation has to be taught as fact. Teach it like theory. Just like evolution.


Posted by: Ron Brown at December 23, 2005 1:00 PM
Comment #106710

Hi Dan,

“My point was that they shouldn’t be able to limit education,”

Don’t you think that science should be taught in science classes rather than things like astrology?

Teaching ID is lying to students about what science is.

“the debate should be why does the state have the authority to limit ideas and theories because of any reason.”

Do you advocate teaching astrology in physics classes as if it were valid science? It sounds like that’s what you’re advocating.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 1:02 PM
Comment #106714
The state has determined that ID can not be taught in school, period.

No, the ruling was that ID cannot be taught as science. There was nothing in the ruling about teaching about ID in other disciplines.

There’s nothing to say that at some point we couldn’t prove that a creator had a design. Just because we can’t prove it now, doesn’t mean it can’t be done ever. By limiting the ideas now, we limit the thinking of trying to prove or disprove it forever in our schools because the state said so.

Advances in science don’t happen in the classroom, they happen in Universities, corporations, and labs. Restricting high school Science education to principles of science does not limit the thinking that can happen in the places where advancement occurs.

Labs can still investigate ID whether it’s taught in high schools or not. However, we shouldn’t teach it in high schools when it hasn’t been validated by research.

All theories are theories until they are proven or disproven.
No, all theories are theories until they are disproven and replaced by better theories. It’s impossible for a theory to be proven. This is ot a weakness of evolution; this is just how it works.
The debate really shouldn’t be about whether ID should be taught at schools, the debate should be why does the state have the authority to limit ideas and theories because of any reason. Now is religion, but what about later?

It’s not that the state has the authority to limit what’s being taught. It’s that the Constitution forbids the State for teaching religion.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 1:16 PM
Comment #106715

Hi Jay,

“the attempt to stamp out any reasonable discourse on ID is another.”

Do you think that astrology should be taught in science classes as if it’s a valid scientific theory?

If not you’re “stamping out reasonable discourse” going by your “logic”.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 1:16 PM
Comment #106717

Hi Ron,

“All I’ve read are theories.”

You don’t know what a scientific theory is do you?

Atomic theory states that atoms combine to form molecules in certain fixed proportions. An example of that is water molecules are H20.

Are you suggesting that alternative theories to atomic theory should be taught in science classes?


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 1:19 PM
Comment #106719

Dawn:

If a theory is a theory is a theory, why you limit that to just theories involving “science”?

Let’s look at history for a moment. Specifically World War 2. There is controversy over just what happened then. One theory, the most popular, is that of the Holocaust. The other, less popular, is characterized as Holocaust Denial. According to your reasoning, shouldn’t we be teaching both theories of history in school and allowing the students to choose between them, as long as there is controversy over which is true?

Posted by: Jarandhel at December 23, 2005 1:25 PM
Comment #106720
I’ve read them. They haven’t proved anything.

Why are they unconvincing to you? What are your disagreements or critiques? Did you give them a chance, or did you discount them before reading them? Do you have the necessary background to understand them?

When I see the proof of what you saying, The next higher life form from us, Then and only then will I believe it.

Then you have set up a situation in which you can never be convinced. There is no sense of “higher” or “lower” in evolution. You’re asking for the impossible and blaming evolution for not giving it to you.

Some form of higher life has to be around by now. Where is it?

I’ll attack this another way. Higher than what? Your complaint is that you don’t see that we’ve evolved in thousands of years because we are how we are now. How do you know that how we are now isn’t evolved from how we were 10-250,000 years ago? In fact, we have changed as a species over time, but you’re not going to see that by looking at us now and saying that we’re not higher than ourselves.

Like I said earlier, Nothing has been proven. All I’ve read are theories.

How about the links that showed that macroevolution has happened? Those are proofs from experimental observation, not theories.

True science I doubt very much.

So you have shown us.

Right along with creation. Or are yall afriad someone might decide not to fall in lockstep with yaall?

It’s not about fear. It’s about keeping our science classes focused on science.

I’m not saying that creation has to be taught as fact. Teach it like theory. Just like evolution.

We teach evolution as a Theory. We can teach Creation as a non-scientific hypothesis. The distinction has been explained to you many times. Do you deny the distinction? Do you not understand what a Scientific Theory is? Do you think that Creation fits the definition of “a logically self-consistent model or framework for describing the behavior of a certain natural or social phenomenon, thus either originating from or supported by experimental evidence. It is a systematic and formalized expression of all previous observations made that is predictive, logical, testable, and has never been falsified.”?

Creation is not a theory. It is not the equivalent of Evolution. You deny this, but you don’t say why.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 1:26 PM
Comment #106721

Dan,

The difference between a college class on religion and a high school is the maturity of the students and the power realtionship between the teacher and the student.

That is why the courts say that religon will not be taught in grades 1-12 but may be taught in college.

Students in grades 1-12 are not little adults. Instead they are maturing and developing their own belief system yet they are still heavily influenced by the teacher to student relationship.

This realtionship is too powerful and influnce on students at the grades 1-12 is to great to not be considered.

The laws concerning schools are wide and varied depending on their level of coverage. The class I took was a School Law for my teaching license and it was difficult for us asking the same questions as you.

As far as what is taught. Each state might word it differently, but basically the job of the school is to provide a basic education sufficient to give a student the tools necessary when they graduate.

Along with this is the over-riding concern of the state to teach citizenship and what it means to be a good citizen in a democratic society.

This presupposes that there are values important to us as a society that are universal. Most values are shared between faiths and in a class it is not necessary to attribute a value to a particular faith. That is left to the parents, but the values themselves that we want our children to posses are pretty stanard. Honesty, integrety, fairness, ethics, rule of law, etc.

This is the reason behind social science (civics in the old days), history, health, economics and political science.

With education curriculum being set at the state level and at the board of education within each school district they are free to add what they believe is important for a student to know within the restraints of the Constitution. Just as any law a state considers has to be within the constraints of the State Constitution which has to be within the constraints of the Federal Constitution.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 1:28 PM
Comment #106723

xxreadytorun

You and me seem to be the only ones on the same page. Teach both and let the student decide which they beleive.
When I was around your age (you said on another thread your in Jr. High) and first studied evolution, our teach was a Southern Baptist Deacon that believed in creation. He taught us both evolution and creation as theories. He treated both the same and didn’t try to prove either one.
Some of us chose to believe evolution. Some of us chose to believe creation. We had the choise.
I believe that 7th and 8th graders are intelligent enough to be able to make a choise on which one they want to believe.
All I’m saying is give them that choise.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 23, 2005 1:32 PM
Comment #106725

A great point! At what point does the government over step it’s own bounds and begin dictatorial rule over what our kids learn? If the Government if the government if by the people and for the people, then why is it that it seems only a small portion of the people who make a fuss get the special treatment and consideration? Who is to say among any of us where the boundries of science should end? I am sure many closeminded people in the past dismissed early scienticif study only to later be proven wrong. All i am saying is that all areas of theory should be disscussed and debated. otherwise your kid is not learning science. They are learning what someone calls science!

Posted by: G at December 23, 2005 1:32 PM
Comment #106727

Hi G,

“At what point does the government over step it’s own bounds and begin dictatorial rule over what our kids learn?”

That’s a good question. Teaching religion in public schools is a good example of where government has a say in course content.

If a public school system wants to teach that I, an agnostic, am a minion of Satan that shouldn’t be allowed.

Teaching bullshit instead of teaching science is another example of where the government has a say in course content.

Would you want your tax dollars to go toward teaching scientology and lying to students about it being a scientific theory?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 1:36 PM
Comment #106728

Jarandhel,
“One theory, the most popular, is that of the Holocaust. The other, less popular, is characterized as Holocaust Denial.”
Posted by Jarandhel at December 23, 2005 01:25 PM

When I chose ‘Nazis’ as my elective for SS in High School … my teacher had some really good films, books, and pictures on the subject. I find it hard to believe they were ALL faked.

Just when did the idea that the Holocaust never happened begin? And where did it originate?

Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2005 1:37 PM
Comment #106729

Hi Ron,

“All I’m saying is give them that choise.”

Creationism isn’t science. Teaching it as if it’s science is lying to students about what science is.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 1:38 PM
Comment #106730

Hi Ron,

“Some of us chose to believe evolution. Some of us chose to believe creation. We had the choise.”

You are free to choose to believe that the square root of 25 eqauls 3. That doesn’t mean teaching that sort of nonsense has any place in a math class.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 1:41 PM
Comment #106732
why is it that it seems only a small portion of the people who make a fuss get the special treatment and consideration?

I agree. Why should pro-ID people get special treatment in determining curricula? All other scientific concepts are taught based on the, well, science. Why should Evolution be any different?

Who is to say among any of us where the boundries of science should end?

Among the posters on this blog? No one. In general, though, the definition of science has been agreed upon for centures and has been useful. There’s no reason to change it to allow that small group special treatment.

I am sure many closeminded people in the past dismissed early scienticif study only to later be proven wrong.

Absolutely. That’s one of the benefits of science in comparison to faith. Science understanding changes over times, and science accepts the changes. Sure, individuals might get embarassed, but it’s better to protect individuals from disagreement. Faith doesn’t share that principle.

All i am saying is that all areas of theory should be disscussed and debated.
And, in the proper spheres (laboratories, universities, research groups, etc.), that happens.
otherwise your kid is not learning science.
errr… no. Public school science curricula is not the place to test out new unproven ideas. There’s too much to learn as it is without having to learn about Flying Spaghetti Monsters, etc. Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 1:44 PM
Comment #106733

Ron,

There are exceptional teachers. There is no doubt about that. I hope to be one. If all teachers could be unbiased to the point where open discussion, respect of the beliefs of all could be valued, then maybe we could do it.

The fact remains, it cannot be done often. Even here among adults sometimes passions arise and minor forms of intimidation can creep in.

This is an adult forum where people are developed in their beliefs and mature enough to defend themselves. This is not the case for the high shools.

Respect is not necessairly going to be there and we cannot monitor each and every class and teacher.

I was beat by my Principal in 6th grade because I refused to read the morning Bible passage in class.

While some may smile at my getting what I deserved, the point is that there was physical force used by a school administrator to attempt to force a student to read a Bible in a public school. Her response before she hit me? She did not care what those Yankees up north said, she would do whatever she wanted in her school.

Yes, there were legal prohibitions against her behavior, but that did not stop her. However, it taught me to do whatever I could within my power to make sure it did not happen to another.

So, generally speaking, I would say her attempt at teaching me a lesson taught me a lesson other than the one she intended.

I would encourge all to do a Google search on educational law. There are so many misconceptions about what can and cannot be done. There is much more to this than the case in Dover.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 1:45 PM
Comment #106739

So the answer is if Science cannot explain it, then it is not Science? I see so when does the Government get called to the carpet for wrongfull misinterpritation of the constitution? Seeing how nowhere in the document does it say seperation of church and state. People freely and willfully exclude this part of the document to serve thier own purpose though!

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is a part of the United States Bill of Rights. Textually, it prevents the U.S. Congress from infringing on six rights. It forbids laws that:

Establish a state religion or prefer certain religion (the “Establishment Clause”);
Prohibit the free exercise of religion (the “Free Exercise Clause”);
Infringe the freedom of speech;
Infringe the freedom of the press;
Limit the right to assemble peaceably;
Limit the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.


Far too often the infingement has been against the free exercise of religion, instead of the oppisite as it should be.

Posted by: G at December 23, 2005 1:49 PM
Comment #106740
So the answer is if Science cannot explain it, then it is not Science?

Not exactly. There are some thngs that are simply out of the realm of Science - faith, whether there’s a God, etc. Those are inherently untestable concepts, so Science cannot address them (Science can address claimed evidence for God, but not prove or disprove religion itself).

However, there are many things that science cannot yet explain that are still in the realm of the physical, so they are still subject to scientific inquiry.

(btw, I’m not sure what you’re replying to with your statement).

You’re free to disagree with the principle of the Separation of Church and State, but it’s settled law. It’s part of the Constitution, and the state cannot support one religion to the exclusion of others.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 1:54 PM
Comment #106741

Hi G,

“So the answer is if Science cannot explain it, then it is not Science?”

If something isn’t a scientific theory it isn’t a scientific theory. Crationism isn’t a scientific theory.

“Seeing how nowhere in the document does it say seperation of church and state.”

According to Thomas Jefferson the Constitution set up “a wall of seperation” between Church and state.

“Far too often the infingement has been against the free exercise of religion, instead of the oppisite as it should be.”

“Free excercise of religion” doesn’t involve having religion taught in public schools. We don’t have a right to have our government push religion on American citizens.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 1:55 PM
Comment #106743

The problem with the logic you give here Louis is you seem to think that only experts should debate the vaility of a hypothisis or theory where as the layman should just learn the basics and not dare try to uncover the truth untill they have been completely indoctrinated with what is and is not considered acceptable in the scientic community today? If so why would anyone want to limit the amount of critical thinking? Are we so scred that our kids can not disiminate between what can and cannot be proven by man that we would have to limit their information to study? I think that we all know that this stiffles the free mind of you kids who might want to stick to science as a discipline, only to find out that if you do not follow the norm, you are shunned and cast out, or worse banned!

Posted by: G at December 23, 2005 2:00 PM
Comment #106747
Jarandhel, “One theory, the most popular, is that of the Holocaust. The other, less popular, is characterized as Holocaust Denial.” Posted by Jarandhel at December 23, 2005 01:25 PM

When I chose ‘Nazis’ as my elective for SS in High School … my teacher had some really good films, books, and pictures on the subject. I find it hard to believe they were ALL faked.

I fail to see the relevance of this response. When I chose to take AP Biology in High School, my teacher had some really good films, books, and pictures on the subject of Evolution. I find it hard to believe they were ALL faked as well. But Evolution is a theory, and a theory is a theory by your reasoning.

Just when did the idea that the Holocaust never happened begin? And where did it originate?

Again, I do not see the relevance of these questions when given the reasoning that a theory is a theory is a theory. If you would like to read up on Holocaust Denial and its history, I would direct you here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial#History_of_Holocaust_denial

But I would caution you to remember that the history of ID is rather similar; its primary proponents are and remain supporters of a Judeo-Christian view of Creation, often following a literal interpretation of Genesis and a 6-day creation. These are no less biased a group of supporters than those who put forth the ideas behind the Holocaust Denial movement. And you have posited that a theory is a theory is a theory and we should just teach both and let the students decide. Are you now going to say that the theory to be taught must have objectively valid evidence backing it, rather than merely some form of controversy surrounding it and a small but vocal minority in the field of research supporting it? Careful now, down that path lies Evolution. ;-)

Posted by: Jarandhel at December 23, 2005 2:07 PM
Comment #106749

D

I am not aware of the infringement of religous speech in any church or private meeting. I do not see censorship of any relious literature, nor do I see consorship of religous speech on television. Even when a religous leader calls for the killing of another nations ruler.

The courts have even ruled that students may hand out religous literature. There are conditions placed on it though. Simple constraints. (Peck v. Upshur County Board of Education, 1998) These are in keeping with maintaining the separation of religion and government as well as the schools need to have limitations on all activities consistent with maintaining control of the school.

Not participating in a relions desire to join relion with our govenment is censorhip only if the definition of censorship is stretched to the point that it means not wanting to participate.

Is an employer censoring someone when he tells them to stop talking and get back to work? Is a school teacher censoring when he says that the current discussion is not on topic? Does the teacher have the right to maintain discipline and set the agenda of his classroom?

Again, I really recommend that a bit of reserch done on educational law be done. There have been hundreds of cases. Bumper stickers such as “Prayer is not a crime” are disengneous to the point of almost being a lie.

There is no law or prohibition against prayer in school. The limit is the school not participating in the prayer. This is a very clear distinction. If you are able to find a school policy that doesn’t agree with my statement then I would urge legal action.

However, we need to clearly understand that not sponsoring or supporting a religion is not censorhip.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 2:08 PM
Comment #106751

NEITHER IS a “THEORY”. The problem here is that the ID folks take a very colloquial “pop” view of what a “theory” is……and the pseudo-scientists and genuine “bad” science drones don’t understand what a theory is either.

Evolution IS and HAS ALWAYS been a set of assumptions [read axioms if you wish] that was put together originally by Darwin [I truly wonder how many of the silly arguers on both sides have ever read Darwin]. The assumptions are simply allowed to “hold” until some other better mode of explanation derived from NEW AXIOMS or an abandonment of some of the old assumptive xioms come into play.

The set of assumptions pertaining to “evolution” as we now know it will undoubtedly be totally turned inside out and revised within the next 20 years. In this, the ID people are on the right side in doubting the “proof” or “conclusiveness” supposedly behind the assumptions of evolutionary talk. Of course, this does not mean that the ID approach is the ONLY ALTERNATIVE to the essential emptiness and inconclusivess of much of evolution talk.

Posted by: david at December 23, 2005 2:09 PM
Comment #106753

Hi G,

“The problem with the logic you give here Louis is you seem to think that only experts should debate the vaility of a hypothisis or theory”

One needs a bit of scientific training in order to have a clue about what science is. One needs a bit of mathmatical training in order to have a clue about what math is.

“If so why would anyone want to limit the amount of critical thinking?”

I don’t know anybody who wants to do that.

Teaching scientology as if it were science isn’t teaching critical thinking though….it’s lying about what science is.

Do you advocate teaching all scientific theories as relative? Do you think that water=H20 should be taught as a loose guideline?

“Are we so scred that our kids can not disiminate between what can and cannot be proven by man that we would have to limit their information to study?”

If science is taught badly then students won’t have a clue about what science is.

Scientific theories are quite limited…..they are scientific theories not astrological theories or scientology theories.

I’m the last one to advocate learning only science. I’ve studied a bit of theology among other things although my degree is in biology.

When studying math you learn that 5 squared is 25. This doesn’t interfere with critical thinking it merely teaches what math is.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 2:10 PM
Comment #106758

G and Ron Brown, NO! ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I pay taxes like the majority in this country who don’t want religion taught to my daughter in public schools brought into the curriculum by a bunch of Christians.

If you want ID for your kids, send them to Sunday School. No one is depriving you or your children from ID. So, why are you trying to deprive the rest of us from a secular education which leaves religious indoctrination to us parents. Being a Buddhist, I damn sure don’t want a Christian version of ID taught to my daughter.

ID’s seek to deprive tax payers of their right to teach religion, or not, to their own children by imposing their version on other’s children in the public schools. The converse is not true. Non-ID tax payers don’t want any religion taught in schools, not ID, Hindu turtle back explanation of the earth, nor Australian Aboriginal concepts of creation. But they leave ID’ers free to teach their children whatever they please regarding faith. ID’ers are unwilling to extend the same freedom to those who don’t believe as they do.

That is tyranny. AND those who propose ID in public schools propose tyranny by a minority upon the majority. And many of us in this country, a very great many of us, will not accept or tolerate that kind of tyranny perpetrated upon our children. Many Sunday schools teach ID, which is where it belongs. Voluntarily available to all who choose. ID is not science, for it states a non-empirically provable or deniable truth based a logic which has deism as an unquestioned premise for its conclusion.

Science questions all premises, tests all premises and avoids making claims about things like deism where no empirical confirmation or denial is possible. Science permits children to grow up understanding the mechanics of our physical world. There is no threat to deism in that kind of education. That is why this is a non-issue save for ID’ers demand for imposing their view on everyone else’s kids in public schools.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 23, 2005 2:17 PM
Comment #106760

G,

Yes, experts should be the only ones to determine the validity of a hypothesis or theory. Hence, scientist cannot determine whether or not ID is a valid religious concept, and theologians cannot determine whether or not evolution is a valid scientific concept. A lay person cannot determine if a proof of Fermat’s last theorem is correct and a computer scientist cannot determine if a house is well built. We can debate the implications of the hypothesis deemed relevant by the experts, but only experts can determine the validity of any hypothesis in their particular field.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 2:18 PM
Comment #106762

William Cohen,
The link was meant more as a tool to show that science changes and what may be thought to be fact today can be disproven in the future when looked at a different way.

Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2005 2:21 PM
Comment #106763

Darren,
Correct on schools. A student may pray anytime. However, the teacher cannot mandate prayer for the students. Also, a student cannot pray in a matter which is disruptive; for example, a student cannot stand and loudly recite the Lords Prayer. There was a curious case in which three women were ejected from their church because they kept interrupting the sermon by standing & speaking in tongues. It was very loud, and very disruptive.

I’ve read the Bible in a classroom aloud, as a way of providing cultural context for the Ayn Rand book “Anthem.” However, a teacher may not use the Bible in the classroom as a sacred text. Dangerous ground, but I never had any issues arise.

All,
Intelligent Design is a very old idea. It is taught in Philosophy 101. The teleological argument for the existence of God, i.e., intelligent design, appeals to many people. If you like the concept of intelligent design, you might also want to investigate the ontological argument and the cosmological argument (First Cause) for the existence of God.

But please. The teleological argument belongs in a philosophy class, or philosophy of religion class. The teleological argument for the existence of God simply does not belong in a science class.

Posted by: phx8 at December 23, 2005 2:23 PM
Comment #106765

Louis XIV:

The only thing I’m advocating is more education about different viewpoints and keeping the state out of choosing what children should learn or not learn. That’s up to the teachers of the schools.

I believe I also said that if the schools call it what it is, ID is a theory based on religion, that no matter what grade, K-12, the children will understand the difference between science and religion.

Posted by: Dan at December 23, 2005 2:23 PM
Comment #106766

> There may be a higher power. However, Science will never be able to prove or disprove it.

Lawnboy,
After a very long and entertaining string of responses from many folks, all with the best of intentions, you, my friend, have hit the nail on the head.

This, in a nutshell, is my concern - and maybe one of you nice “Evolutionaries” can enlighten me. Is the teaching of evolution meant to disprove the existance of God? If so, the teaching of it (evolution) should be banned under the same reasoning that bans the teaching of ID.

To make myself clear, I believe in God with all of my heart and I also believe that the teaching of ID in public schools is a very bad idea. First of all, public school teachers aren’t qualified; second, ID is a compromise of the teaching of belief in God. In other words, it lowers the teaching of belief in God to the level of evolution, which is an insult to God.

I agree that religeon should be taught in church - because that is where the people qualified to teach it are. Evolution, if it is intended to disprove the existance of God, should also not be taught in public schools because of the separation of church (which should include the arguement against church) and state.

Have a wonderful Christmas and God bless you all!

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 2:27 PM
Comment #106768

Hi Dan,

“keeping the state out of choosing what children should learn or not learn. That’s up to the teachers of the schools.”

The state gets to choose the course content in public schools.

Teachers aren’t allowed to teach that 2+2=10 for example. Teachers aren’t allowed to teach that the Pope is Satan in public schools although it is taught at Bob Jones University.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 2:29 PM
Comment #106770

Just when did the idea that the Holocaust never happened begin? And where did it originate?

Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2005 01:37 PM

It begain with the American Nazi Party. I’m not really sure when. I would guess in the 70’s sometime. I think I remember hearing it then.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 23, 2005 2:29 PM
Comment #106771
Is the teaching of evolution meant to disprove the existance of God?

Not at all. Some people read that into Evolutions on their own, but Evolution itself says nothing about the existence of God. Teaching evolution is intended to prepare students for understanding the basis of modern biology, not for any religious purpose.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 2:30 PM
Comment #106772

A relevant quote from Richard Feyman (From What do You Care What Other People Think?):

The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is oging to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of satements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.
Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 2:31 PM
Comment #106773

Hi shueevon,

“Is the teaching of evolution meant to disprove the existance of God?”

Of course not. The last Pope stated that evolution is valid science.

Teaching that the earth revolves around the sun isn’t meant to disprove the existance of God either.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 2:31 PM
Comment #106775

Jarandhel,

””….I don’t see what’s wrong with teaching students both and letting them decide which they believe. …”

Other than the separation of church and state arguement …”

Is this the post you are speaking of?

I quoted someone. I started a sentence and did not finish it for a reason - to provoke further discussion. It worked!
Most of the fight is over whether ID can even be mentioned. One paragraph stating some people believe in another theory.
I don’t know of anyone who was actually trying to pull out the Bible in a science class and begin preaching from it.

Posted by dawn at December 22, 2005 10:41 PM

Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2005 2:33 PM
Comment #106776

Hi shueevon,

“Is the teaching of evolution meant to disprove the existance of God?”

Of course not. The last Pope stated that evolution is valid science.

Teaching that the earth revolves around the sun isn’t meant to disprove the existance of God either.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 2:33 PM
Comment #106777

Lawnboy,
thanks for the quick response.

the problem is that many, i would guess most, believe that the teaching of evolution is a direct threat to the belief in God. forgive my limited knowledge, but doesn’t evolution teach that humans evoolved from apes. if so, how can that teaching not be contradictory to the teaching of the belief in God?

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 2:34 PM
Comment #106778

shueevon,

Well, what is it about the belief in God that would be in conflict with humans evolving from ape-like primates (not actually apes)?

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 2:36 PM
Comment #106779

Jarandhel,

BTW … It DOES matter where the theory that the Holocaust never happened came from.

Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2005 2:37 PM
Comment #106780

Hi Dawn,

“Most of the fight is over whether ID can even be mentioned.”

The fight is over whether ID can be taught as if it were a scientific theory and whether evolution can be discounted as a “just a theory” in the paragraph you spoke of.

The issue is whether to teach science or to teach lies about what science is.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 2:38 PM
Comment #106781

shueevon,

Evolution does not teach that humans evolved from apes. It does teach that they probably had a common ancestor (actually, we are much closer to monkeys than apes, but that’s a side detail). However, that does not attack God. See my previous post on randomness for a bit of an explanation why.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 2:38 PM
Comment #106782

Shueevon,

I do not believe I have ever seen any text, nor any teacher teach that the theory of evolution dispoves the existance of God.

Ofically, the government is not hostile to religion, neither is school. It is not within scope of these institutions to deal with religion. That is not abusive, hostile, pro or anti-religous.

How many people have read an appeals court or supreme court ruling?

The judges look at the intent of the legislators. Even to the point of reading the records of the legislation and the lawmakers speech to determine the reasoning and underlying intent of the law.

In the education laws I mention the intent as well as the consequences are viewed when the judges are hearing a case.

The ruling of Dover was similar. The judge looked at the intent of the law makers, in this case, the school board, and found that their intent was to introduce religion through the ID theory.

Through testimony, studying the book propsed by the school board, statements presented and the inability to answer the questions concerning who actually paid for the books, it became very clear that the intent of these people was to introduce religion into the science class.

A religion cannot be censored or persecuted if it is ignored. Those actions require a positive action on the part of the government. Ignoring a religion is a passive action.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 2:38 PM
Comment #106783

lawnboy,
do you really have to ask that question? Genisis doesn’t mention apes or primates. one says one thing, the other says something completely different. there lies the rub.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 2:39 PM
Comment #106785

Hi Shueevon,

“how can that teaching not be contradictory to the teaching of the belief in God?”

The same way that teaching that the earth revolves around the sun isn’t contradictory to belief in God.

Science is based on evidence rather then on whether it supports religious ideas or not.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 2:41 PM
Comment #106786

BTW, Science magazine has named research into the inner workings of Evolution as the top science achievement of 2005.

The studies (jointly) bestowed with the title “breakthrough of the year” by Science include the sequencing of the chimpanzee genome; recreation of the 1918 flu virus in a laboratory; and a study on European blackcap birds which demonstrated how two different populations can become two separate species.
(Colin Norman, news editor of Science) said he hoped the choice would send a message to scientists and the public: “Evolution is not just something that scientists study as an esoteric enterprise,” he explained.
“It has very important implications for public health and for our understanding of who we are.”
For example, by studying the differences between the human and chimpanzee genome, scientists may be able to pin down the genetic basis for many diseases. And studying the behaviour of the 1918 flu virus could help us combat the next avian influenza pandemic.

These very real advances would not happen in a world dominated by ID.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 2:42 PM
Comment #106787
do you really have to ask that question? Genisis doesn’t mention apes or primates. one says one thing, the other says something completely different. there lies the rub.

I had to ask, because I wanted to make sure where you’re going.

Yes, Evolution does conflict with a literal reading of the Book of Genesis. However, such an interpretation of Genesis is now necessary to believe in God. So, there is no inherent conflict between Evolution and belief. The conflict is between Evolution and interpretation.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 2:44 PM
Comment #106788

Hi Shueevon,

“one says one thing, the other says something completely different.”

Genesis 1 says that man was created after the animals and Genesis 2 says that man was created before the animals.

One needs to give the Bible a little lattitude on literal matters.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 2:45 PM
Comment #106789

shueevon,

It is certainly true that evolution is not compatible with a literal reading of Genesis, but then neither is chemistry (since carbon dating is based on chemistry). Protest chemistry first, it has a much stronger hold on society than evolution.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 2:45 PM
Comment #106791

I find it strange when anyone compares “evolving” man with today’s moderm apes. This idea is far amiss from the scientific theory of evolution. Has man changed since he first emerged into the world? Have apes changed during that same few million years. If you can’t say yes to that you are not a thinking person. But if you can’t hold room in your mind that a Greater Being than we are controled the process and explained what He did in simple terms that a non scientific primitive human mind could understand then you are approuching this subject with a closed mind. I for one see no problem with teaching, in school, the scientific explanations of the origins of man as long as those teaching leave room for directed inteligent design. There are many ideas that ancient man had no idea of that are part of the biblical record. Most opponets of ID have never attempted reading the Bible just quote some ” inconsistanies” they have been told about. Here in one of the oldest book in the Old Testiment it says …And the Lord created the circle of the world and hung it on nothing… Almost 10,000 years ago the idea of the world being round and floating in space. Wow what a concept.. But the Bible is not a book of science it is a book of faith. All I ask as a christian is that goverment leaves room for me to hold my faith without having to set it aside to go to work, or to school, or to walk in the park. I won’t push what I believe on you or even my more conservitive brothers and sisters in the church, all I ask is for the same consideration from all of you.

Posted by: James Banta at December 23, 2005 2:46 PM
Comment #106792

I meant “is not necessary” instead of “is now necessary”.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 2:46 PM
Comment #106793

darren,
thanks for your response.

however, when you state that Ignoring a religion is a passive action, isn’t the inclusion of the teaching of evolution an “active” action, refuting the existiance of God?

i do realize that several of you have responded that evolution does not challenge the existance of God, but please understand that the “other side” believes that it does.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 2:47 PM
Comment #106794

Louis XIV:

“The state gets to choose the course content in public schools.”


So the state says they decide and you just say, ok!

I believe that was my original argument at the beginning. What is the line of church vs. state?

Some serious discussion should be given to this question or there will be a lot of people in the future like you who just accept state rule over everything. Religion now, what later?

Posted by: Dan at December 23, 2005 2:48 PM
Comment #106795

darren,
thanks for your response.

however, when you state that ignoring a religion is a passive action, isn’t the inclusion of the teaching of evolution an “active” action, refuting the existiance of God?

i do realize that several of you have responded that evolution does not challenge the existance of God, but please understand that the “other side” believes that it does.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 2:49 PM
Comment #106797
understand that the “other side” believes that it does.

We’re very aware of that, and we’re aware it’s a problem. We end up arguing against straw men all the time, defending Evolution against what people think it means instead of what it actually means.

isn’t the inclusion of the teaching of evolution an “active” action, refuting the existiance of God?

Since Evolution says nothing to deny God, no. That a consequence of Evolution is the understanding that the book of Genesis cannot be taken literally (a commonly held understanding within Christianity anyway) is nothing something that Evolution can help. If we forbid teaching Evolution because of this, then schools couldn’t teach anything that any religion disagreed with, and that would lead to chaos.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 2:52 PM
Comment #106800

Dan,

I’m not sure what your concern is. Currently, the state gets to determine the curricula in the schools it runs, within Constitutional limits and with the input of elected school boards. If you don’t like those limits, you can either change the Constitution or send your kids to a private (or home) school.

What’s the problem?

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 2:55 PM
Comment #106801

Darren7160
I agree that it would be hard to keep it unbias.
What assurences do we have that a teacher that believes evolution won’t slant things in favor of it?
What assurances do we have that a teacher in favor of creations won’t slant things in favor of it?
These aren’t the only subjects this question can be asked about.
You principal was right and wrong. You disobeyed, for that there are consiquences. But if it’s aginst you beliefs to read the Bible then yopu shouldn’t be forced to. And if there was a rule against that form of disipline, then she should’ve faced the consequenses of her actions.
I hope you make an exceptional teacher too. There few and far between. Teaching is an honorable profession and carries a lot of responsibily.
One of my daughters teaches 3rd grade up near Atlanta. I might sound a little bias here, but I think she’s an exceptional one. She really truly cares about her students.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 23, 2005 2:55 PM
Comment #106802

Hi Dan,

“So the state says they decide and you just say, ok!”

I don’t agree with everything the state says. I was merely pointing out that standards are necessary for public schools.

“What is the line of church vs. state?”

Religion is a private rather than a governmental matter.

“you who just accept state rule over everything.”

I do nothing of the sort. The state runs the schools and they have a say over what’s taught. I certainly don’t accept state rule over everything. One’s religion, for example, isn’t the business of the state.

Do you think that public school teachers should be allowed to teach that 2+3=7?



Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 2:56 PM
Comment #106803

James, I think you may have unwittingly (or maybe wittingly) brought up the most important point yet. There is a difference between “Intelligent Design” and “intelligent design”. I believe in intelligent design, but I do not believe in ID. ID is a particular political agenda. ID is appealing because it is not defined; it means different things to different people.

So, how do people define Intelligent Design as a scientific theory? “God is involved” is not a scientific theory. What did God do specificially? Guide natural selection? Make eye balls appear out of no where? Craft each creature as it currently exists? Craft each creature as a distinct ancestor of a creature alive today?

If we can define ID, we can really start discussing where it belongs.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 2:57 PM
Comment #106804

Lawnboy,
i’m with you. however, in response to your last post, why not include a statement in the classroom teaching of evolution, that states something like: this theory is not intended to refute the existance of God? I understand that the inclusion of such a message has been proposed and strongly fought against by the evolution proponents.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 2:58 PM
Comment #106805

Hi Ron,

“What assurences do we have that a teacher that believes evolution won’t slant things in favor of it?”

That’s like asking if it’s OK for a physics teacher to “slant” things in favor of E=mc^2.

Science teaching is “slanted” toward valid science and evolution is valid science.

Crationism isn’t science.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 3:01 PM
Comment #106806

LouisXIV, although you are correct in stating that “slanting towards evolution” does not make sense, Ron does have a valid concern that teachers may slant towards a “Godless” or “Godly” version of evolution. Of course, the proper response to that is that there is bias in everything children are taught, and we can only hope to get as close to unbiased as possible.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 3:03 PM
Comment #106807

Louis,
creationism is not intended to be science, even though some are trying to sneak it into the classroom as science (this is bad, please see my first post). creationism is faith - faith in God. you cannot refute faith with science any more than you can refute science with faith.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 3:04 PM
Comment #106809

David
Being a Christian I damn sure don’t want the secular verion of how we got here taught to my kids or grandkids.
So lets just ban it too.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 23, 2005 3:05 PM
Comment #106810

shueevon,

That wasn’t the statement, and that wasn’t the problem. Here’s the statement that they tried to require in Pennsylvania:

The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part. Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations. Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves. With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life to individual students and their families. As a Standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on Standards-based assessments.

The problem with this is that it draws unreasonable doubt on Evolution and specifically promotes as an alternative an unscientific, religious idea and book. It singles out the Theory of Evolution as needing special skepticism, when all scientific Theories are equally deserving of skepticism.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 3:07 PM
Comment #106811

Ron,

You don’t get to insist that you don’t want the scientific version of science taught because you are a Christian. That’s not how the Constitution, education, or science works.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 3:08 PM
Comment #106812

shueevon,

I would consider myself a Christain though some may not based on aherence to a dogma, but my belief is based upon acceptance of Christ.

There are those that might use the theory of evolution as a means of dismissing God. There are those too who might use chemistry and archeology and geograhpy as a refutation of God because of the literal Biblical belief of the world creation in 6 days and the age or our earth being no more than 6,000 years old or so.

I do believe that if we are talking about public schools and what is being taught then the best science we have avaiable at the time is important.

Just for convenience, would it not be better for each parent to sit with their child and learn what their child is learning and then possibly explain it within their own personal religous beliefs?

“Son, even Einstein believed in God when he said that God did not play dice with the universe.” I will leave it up to those that care to find the exact quote.

For the mother in Gerorgia who is a Biblical literalist, “I really don’t want to say anythind bad about your teacher or the science, but what they are teaching is not what I personally believe. I believe that the Bible says in Gensis that God created the world in …”

We can talk about state’s rights, federal rights and everything under the sun… Should the government be teaching values? If so, whose values? Should the schools be doing this or that.

What it comes down to ultimately is the parent being the most influential person in a child’s life.

The parent should be responsible for interpreting what the student learns at school in the context of their own personal values.

I hate racism with a passion (long story) but if I am teaching good citizenship and tolerance of others and the parent is teaching hatred and bigotry, as much as I hate it, it is that parent’s right.

Instead of legislating this it should be left to the parents to agree or disagree with what their child is being taught and to explain any differences with what the child is being taught in school. Who can do it better than the parent?

Personally, I would never let evolution be used as a means of denying a person’s belief. If you read my statement above about being beat by a Principal for not reading the Bible passage… I did believe in God… but I also believed in a nation of law.

One will give us salvation if there is an afterlife (I believe based on my faith) the other keeps us together as a nation.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 3:11 PM
Comment #106814

Lawnboy,
i understand your arguement, but i don’t agree. i believe the theory of evolution does (fortunately or unfortuantely) require extra scrutiny. after all, it does (really, it does) challenge the existance of God - that’s important.

also, as i’ve stated, creationism is not (or should not be considered) science - it’s faith. you cannot challenge an apple with an orange. you CAN be presented with both and allowed to choose. offering one without the other, i would respectfully argue, is exclusionary. and isn’t that what the seculars accuse the religeous of all the time???

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 3:18 PM
Comment #106819

Darren,
i couldn’t agree more. good parenting is what’s going to save us all from going down the tubes.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 3:22 PM
Comment #106820

Ron,

I was willing to accept the beating for my beliefs. Of that I am still proud today… that as a 6th grader I was able to stand up to the peer pressure of those that would not make a stand and to stand up for my beliefs.

This is a difficult question to deal with. Did I disobey? Yes. Did I disobey a legal order? No. Did I disobey an illegal order? Yes. I will leave it to each person to determine whether or not that justifys punishment. I personally do not believe so.

Years later I was taught in the military that I was taking an oath to faithfully execute all lawful orders. To do otherwise would be nothing more than the Nuremberg defense of “just following orders.”

Should a soldier, after taking that oath be punished for not following an order that was unlawful because of the need to instill disciplin in a military?

When obedience to an illegal action takes precedence over the illegal act itself then we need to maybe take another look at where such blind obedience to authority can take a society?

Teaching, like being a parent is often times about choosing one’s battles.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 3:22 PM
Comment #106821

Hi Erika,

“Ron does have a valid concern that teachers may slant towards a “Godless” or “Godly” version of evolution.”

That’s true. I’m certainly not advocating a Godless view of anything.

I have a degree in biology and Godless never came up in biology classes…nor did Godly for that matter.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 3:23 PM
Comment #106825

DC
Thankyou for your service to our great country.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 23, 2005 3:26 PM
Comment #106826
after all, it does (really, it does) challenge the existance of God - that’s important.

Many people disagree with you on this. Do you believe that all of the Bible must be taken literally to follow Jesus?

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 3:26 PM
Comment #106827

Hi Ron,

“So lets just ban it too.”

You want to ban huge chunks of biology textbooks.

Is there any other science you want banned such as heliocentrism or round earth?


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 3:27 PM
Comment #106828

Lawnboy,
i think i finally have you - you’re avoiding my question.

if what you say is true, that the teaching of evolution does not challenge the existance of God, why not include a simple statement to that effect?

to answer your question, i’m a Lutheran, and we believe in a literal translation of the new testament - most important is the acceptance of Christ as your savior.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 3:32 PM
Comment #106829

Hi Shueevon,

“offering one without the other, i would respectfully argue, is exclusionary.”

All science teaching is exclusionary. Teaching science is limited to teaching science.

One doesn’t teach scientology or astrology and call it science.

Why do you think things that aren’t science should be taught in science classes?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 3:34 PM
Comment #106831

All

Wait a minute…there are THREE theories…..Not two….First Intelligent… Design……Second..Evolution…and the THIRD…which is most believable,,is that STORK brought us

Geez…..

Posted by: sicilianeagle at December 23, 2005 3:36 PM
Comment #106832

Louis,
you’ve missed my point, entirely. i don’t think either (evolution or ID) should be taught in public schools. ID is a compromise of a belief in God; evolution is refuting God’s existance, which should be included in the separation of church and state ruling.

i do realize that the teaching of evolution isn’t going away any time soon. what i’m saying is, that if evolution doesn’t actually challenge the existance of God, as many here have claimed, say so - as a part of the class.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 3:39 PM
Comment #106833
i think i finally have you - you’re avoiding my question. if what you say is true, that the teaching of evolution does not challenge the existance of God, why not include a simple statement to that effect?

The statement itself wouldn’t be a problem, but it would set a dangerous precedent. It would formalize the belief that Evolution is different than other areas of science, and it would give the impression that Evolution overlaps with religion. In that way it shares the problem that the Dover statement (and the Cobb sticker) have; it treats the Theory of Evolution as different than other Theories. Since that’s not true scientifically (it’s only true in the context of the beliefs of certain religions), it wouldn’t be valid.

Besides, I don’t think it would be effective.

i’m a Lutheran, and we believe in a literal translation of the new testament

Which type? I grew up ELCA, but my wife is LCMS. Anyway, if you believe in a literal interpretation of the new testament, why is it a problem to accept an allegorical interpretation of parts of the old testament?

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 3:39 PM
Comment #106835

shueevon you say

i don’t think either (evolution or ID) should be taught in public schools

Evolution is the unifying theory of biology. If it is not taught, then biology becomes nothing more than a bunch of seemingly unrelated mini-theories. Not teaching students evolution means that they are not being prepared for college properly.

Define what you mean by ID. Some versions of ID are even based on evolution, they just say that where evolution seems to take leeps that are too large, God must have been involved.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 3:43 PM
Comment #106838

Lawnboy,

It would formalize the belief that Evolution is different than other areas of science (it is), and it would give the impression that Evolution overlaps with religion (unfortunately, it does).

i’m with a missouri synod church, and we do bend the rules a very little - for example we (reluctantly) accept divorce as a reality of today.

however, the difference between believing that God created Adam from the earth and Eve from a rib of Adam - as opposed to our primate great ^10 grandparent primates rizing from the primordial ooze is a bit of a stretch.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 3:46 PM
Comment #106839

Shueevon,

Hi again. At least I am understanding the issues here a bit better than the laws of dyamics.


All,
I hate to bring this up here… but what is the difference between a law and a threory in the scientific community.

Some Luterans subscribe to “The Pope is the anti-Christ.” See what a mess we get into?

If we go by local values as expressed by the school board, I think Clearwater, FL might have enough Church of Scientology parents to intruced Thetens (sp?) and alien possessions into the development of mankind.

If we are Catholic do we support the way that American history if taught in a Catholic textbook that says was Jefferson was a great man but he wasn’t a Christian because he denied the divinity of Christ so he was a deist?

I think that you are right… this stuff really belongs with the parents. I can teach about Jefferson, but it is not my job (nor am I qualified) to teach whether or not he was a Christian.

I had lunch with a woman once who stated that Catholic weren’t Christians. I couldn’t follow her reasoning but she did belong to a large local group that believed the same.

I am not qualified, no teacher is qualified to deal with these things. Even if we were, it would be impossible to not upset someone.

People want their beliefs promoted and expressed in schools, but there are about 300 major sects of Christian alone in America with often conflicting beliefs.

Does a child who dies that wasn’t unbabtized go to heaven? Is there Purgaorty? Are there Saints? What is the nature of God. Are God, the Son and the Holy Spirit one? Did Moses really part the sea? Some of the simplest qustions can lead to questions that teachers should not be dealing with.

So, in this case, I would support a minimalist approach and always try to defer to the parents and request that the student discuss this with them.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 3:47 PM
Comment #106841

Erika,
my definition of ID is not that God was “involved” in the holes of evolutionary theory. my belief is that God made everything.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 3:48 PM
Comment #106845

“God is involved” and “God made everything” are not definition of scientific theories. What did God do? Did God make eyes appear out of no where? Did God guide eyes to evolve over time? Did God design a particular type of eye once and then stick the same genetic code in all creatures with the same kind of eyes or did God guide them individually? These are scientific questions.

Furthermore, if God made everything, how could He only be involved in the holes? And if He is involved in the non-holes and evolution validly explains the non-holes, then evolution provides no contradiction to God’s involvment.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 3:54 PM
Comment #106846

Darren,
i do not believe that the Pope is the anti-christ. i hope that you did not mean to infer that i do.

i, and others from my church believe that the Catholic Church does imbibe in a little “artistic liscense”. the Pope is not Christ’s vicar, he is a man. there are other examples, but i don’t want to derail a good discussion.

put simply, my proposal is this:
>teach evolution in public schools
>provide parents with a sylabus of what’s being taught to our kids
>if the teaching of evolution does not intend to refute the existance of God - say so, in general, but clear, terms
>parents - get involved!!!

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 3:58 PM
Comment #106847

shueevon, your proposal seems reasonable, although I would claim that it would be better to teach what science really is so you don’t need to explicitly state that evolution does not intend to refute the existance of God.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 4:00 PM
Comment #106848
It would formalize the belief that Evolution is different than other areas of science (it is), and it would give the impression that Evolution overlaps with religion (unfortunately, it does)

The only way that Evolution is different than other theories and overlaps with religion is when it is viewed within the context of certain religions.

Basically, you belief that evolution shouldn’t be taught because it overlaps with your religion hijacks the scientific education of all children, and it ties the education of intrinsictly non-religious ideas to a particular religion.

That’s not allowed.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 4:00 PM
Comment #106850

Sorry, I wrote the last comment before seeing your proposal. I agree with Erika’s assessment.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 4:02 PM
Comment #106852

Erica,
once more, creationism is not science - it is much more, it’s faith.

God is “involved” in the holes of evolutionary theory, he’s involved in the bits between the holes, he’s involved in things you and i don’t know about yet. He’s all - that’s as simple as i can put it.

if you or someone else is interested in why we have eyes or where they came from and you believe you can find out - God Bless you! we need people like you to become doctors. i’m just thankful for what i have

btw, i’m a business admin puke (i buy car parts for crying out loud!) i’m not a scientist by any stretch.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 4:05 PM
Comment #106853

Hi Shueevon,

” i don’t think either (evolution or ID) should be taught in public schools.”

That would mean not teaching much genetics. Why would you do that?

“but what is the difference between a law and a threory in the scientific community.”

There isn’t much difference. If you thought of scientific theories as laws you wouldn’t be far off.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 4:07 PM
Comment #106854

Erica,
once more, creationism is not science - it is much more, it’s faith.

God is “involved” in the holes of evolutionary theory, he’s involved in the bits between the holes, he’s involved in things you and i don’t know about yet. He’s all - that’s as simple as i can put it.

if you or someone else is interested in why we have eyes or where they came from and you believe you can find out - God Bless you! we need people like you to become doctors. i’m just thankful for what i have

btw, i’m a business admin puke (i buy car parts for crying out loud!) i’m not a scientist by any stretch.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 4:07 PM
Comment #106857

Erica (and Lawnboy)

it would be better to teach what science really is so you don’t need to explicitly state that evolution does not intend to refute the existance of God.

what is science, really? and if you think it’s better to teach what science really is, why not include a simple and general (not linked to a “particular religeon”) statement of what it is not?

the more you resist the idea of including a disclaimer that evolution is not a challenge to the belief in God, the more i think it (covertly) is. what’s the problem?

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 4:15 PM
Comment #106858

Louis,
i agree, i wouldn’t propose to keep the topics you mention from our students. please see my “proposal”.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 4:17 PM
Comment #106859

shueevon, I apologize if I misread you. I assumed you were claiming ID is science. It would probably help avoid confusion in the future if you realize that Intelligent Design is a specific political agenda that claims to be science and not just the involvement of a designer in creation.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 4:17 PM
Comment #106860

shueevon, the problem is with introducing the statement just for evolution. Students should be taught that no science assumes or denies a God.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 4:18 PM
Comment #106861

to my new friends,
i really have to go (should have 1 1/2 hours ago). thanks very much for allowing me to be part of your discussion. i’ve learned something today - i hope i’ve made my (our) position a little more clear to you.

have a Merry Christmas
and may God Bless.

Shu

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 4:20 PM
Comment #106864

> the problem is with introducing the statement just for evolution. Students should be taught that no science assumes or denies a God.

Erica,
the problem is that in order for this to be understood, it needs to be stated.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 4:23 PM
Comment #106868

Erica,
i do realize that ID is a political agenda, and ahve said so her, many times. i do not believe ID should be taught in public schools - it is a compromise on faith and public school teachers are not qualified.

however, in order for students to understand the position that you and Lawnboy have so eloquently stated here, it maust be clearly communicated to the students - that is, evoultion does not claim that God does not exist.

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 4:27 PM
Comment #106870

shueevon, first, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you too. Second, it should be stated everywhere then, not just for evolution. If every science class started with a statement/discussion that science neither proves nor denies God, I would be okay with it. It is singling out evolution that I do not approve of.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 4:30 PM
Comment #106871

Erika,
sounds like you and i have found a solution.

with that, i must go.

shu

Posted by: shueevon at December 23, 2005 4:32 PM
Comment #106876

Shu,

If you come back later and see this I want to make clear I did not mean to say that you would believe that.

I did try to make it clear that some today might believe the old Martin Luther tenent… but like today and throughout history, we want to demonize our enemies and the battle between the Reformation and Counter-Reformation lead to such things.

I live in Wisc. which is heavily Lutheran and I have asked around because some non-Lutherns want to still accuse them of this… no one I have met believes it… and most have no idea what I am talking about.

My purpose was that there are just too many conflicting Christian beliefs to expect any teacher to sensitively deal with them.

The bottom line for everyone to consider is that it has been determined by the states (there is no Federal Constitutioal mandate for education, it is all done through the state Constitutions) what they require for their students to learn. This is based on the needs of society, business and other for the students to be successful and prodcutive citizens.

This over-riding requirement is the basis for the states to set the curriculum through the state political process.

The only federal restriction on education is the separation of church and state.

Even No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is only enforceable by the removal of federal funding… much like the national speed limit.

While I am strongly in favor of support and oversight of the local school board to make sure that schools are successful in the teaching of their children, I do believe that even winning a majority on the school board would not justify one religion, or one religous sect in mandating their beliefs.

If the majority of board members were believers of a literal interpretation of the Bible, this does not justify the violation of church and state, it does not allow them to use the tyranny of the majority to force their views on the minority and it does not mean that they can ignore the larger society and the education their children will need in the wider future (in other words, they cannot choose to not teach geometry because they don’t see a need for it and they all did bad on it when they were in school).

Religous belief is based on faith… to selectively choose what is proper science (political and social) based on religous belief is a dangerous place to go… Please stop for just a moment and contemplate how others of the Christian faith may want to impose beliefs that you do not believe in. It could happen if we, as Americans, are not careful.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 4:43 PM
Comment #106878

As both a scientist and theologian, I find these discussions interesting and sometimes troubling. As for the list of so-called creationist scientists: NONE have published articles on intelligent design in refereed scientific journals. ALL seem to have published articles on intelligent design in various religious tracts and contributed chapters to creationist books, NONE published by reputable publishers. At least some have listed academic creditials (degrees) on the answersingenesis.org (answers-in-genesis) website that are not confirmed by the alleged granting institution. During the next couple weeks, I will complete my checking of each and every claimed academic creditial of persons on the list. At best, one can describe the listed persons as kooks and, at worst (and probably, more accurately) as frauds.

A last thought: ID is neither science nor theology. Theology, like science, is a discipline governed by rigorous a methodology. ID does not pass theology’s methodological muster. As Aquinas said: What is true in God is true in science. What is true in science is true in God. For God cannot contradict himself.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at December 23, 2005 4:47 PM
Comment #106880

Funny that God became the enemy at some point and nobody looked back. while i agree that religion is best taught by a religious school, that i why my kids go to a Christian private school.No need to worry about someones elses belief and no need to involve the government in educating my kids, not that they have any clue of how to do so!

Posted by: G at December 23, 2005 4:50 PM
Comment #106881

Hi G,

“Funny that God became the enemy at some point and nobody looked back.”

How do you mean “God became the enemy”?

Usually when someone says that they mean “not enough people are buying into my religion” or some such.


Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 4:54 PM
Comment #106890

Hi Dr. Poshek,

“Theology, like science, is a discipline governed by rigorous a methodology.”

Do you mean Bible archaelogy, philosophy and whatnot?

I’ve studied a bit of the OT on my own mostly by reading the Anchor Bible Series. When I just read what you said I realized that I’m not sure of what rigorous methodology is involved in theology.

I’m guessing that it’s basic philosophical/logical ideas with a bit of mythology thrown in?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 5:22 PM
Comment #106903

Louis XIV:

In its simplist terms, “methodology” in any discipline is the defining of rules and processes before one plays the game…. in other words, if you are making up the rules as you go, you are not following a rigorous methodology. The “rules and processes” must be internally consistent, rational, objective, terms clearly defined, and the results reproducible.

Some disciplines (science or biblical archaelogy, for example) are defined by their methodolgy. Other disciplines (theology, literary criticism, or art criticism, for example) are defined by their methods (plural) which hold certain common characteristics as listed, supra.

What all methodologies avoid is “a priori” assumptions (starting with a conclusion and seeking “proof” thereof). Rather, a methodology starts with objective data and proceeds from there in arriving at a conclusion. (This is the basis of “innocent is proven guiltly” in legal methodolgy.)

Mythology is not an element of a rigorous methodology. In fact, a methodology’s very purpose is the rejection of mythology in favor of objective data.

Does, this help?

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at December 23, 2005 6:04 PM
Comment #106912

Hi Dr. Poshek,

It does help! Thanks for the answer.

I’ve read some heavy hitters discussing mythology in the OT. (William Propp is a good example of that.)

What am I asking here….You’re saying that mythology isn’t part of the methadology?

What I mean is that in discussing the story of Moses other foundling myths are relavant to understanding the Moses story.

In order to see the Moses story in perspective one should keep in mind Oedipus, Romulus, King Arthur, Snow White, Tarzan, Superman, and many other heroes.

It seems that mythology is part of the methodology needed to understand portions of the Bible.



Posted by: LouisXIV at December 23, 2005 7:05 PM
Comment #106918

To begin, I gave up following the discussion in this post a while back—the redundancies and spelling errors quite honestly caused me to lose interest. Also, it seems that no one actually addresses Dawn’s original question, which asked for an explanation of why, or not, the theories of Evolution and ID ought to be taught in high school biology classes. Most posters, it seems, addressed the issue of the nature of the theories of Evolution and ID and these theories’ particular scientific standing.

Here are a few thoughts, written in simple language. While reading, keep in mind that my degrees are in Law and Political Science, not Biology, Genetics or Ecology.

First, Dawn, there are two issues, or questions, at hand. The first (and most important) of these is “In studying Biology and other Natural Sciences, what material and topics should be taught to our (public school attending) youth?” The second question occurs out of sheer happenstance, and it is namely, “Does teaching Intelligent Design in public schools violate the establishment clause?”

In response to the first question, I’m sure that everyone, including the IDers that have posted, would agree that only legitimate scientific theories ought to be taught in public schools. The reason I know that even IDers would agree with this is because they are trying desperately to pass ID off as a legitimate scientific theory.

So, if we all agree that only science should be taught in science classrooms, then the question becomes, “is ID science?” This has been answered by more than one poster on this site. No, ID is not science. There are two reason for this, 1) ID is not falsifiable and 2) it is not based on hard scientific data, rather, it was developed as a rebuttal to Darwin’s theories of Evolution and Natural Selection. The Scientific community tells me this is so, and I tend to believe them for the same reasons that I believe my Doctor when he tells me I need to eat more fruit, Astronomers when they tell me the Sun is the center of the Solar System, and Physicists when they tell me that if I jump of a high cliff, I’ll fall to a very unpleasant death. The logical conclusion to this question, then, is that ID should not be taught in classrooms. As my undergraduate degree is in philosophy, I’ll write out this paragraph in standard form for those out there who don’t understand:

P1) Only science ought to be taught in classrooms.
P2) ID is not Science
C1) ID ought not be taught in classrooms.

The second question I mentioned earlier is whether teaching ID in classrooms violates the Establishment Clause. It arises out of sheer happenstance because, as it happens, the theory of ID is considered by the general scientific community to religiously-based. Put rather simply, if, indeed, teaching ID in classrooms does violate the Establishment Clause, it is unconstitutional. And I think that every patriotic American, religious or not, can agree that we shouldn’t do things that are unconstitutional.

The answer to this question is yes, teaching ID in classrooms does violate the Establishment Clause. The reason I know this is that a man much wiser than myself named John Jones told me so in a 139-page paper, written quite a bit more eloquently than this posting has been.

So Dawn, the answer to your original question seems to be: “The theory of ID should not be taught in public school biology classes because 1) it is not science and only science should be taught in science courses and 2) it’s unconstitutional to teach ID (a blatantly religious school of thought) in public school biology classes. The theory of Evolution, on the other hand, rises above these objections and can therefore be taught in public school biology courses.”

Posted by: mike at December 23, 2005 7:35 PM
Comment #106922

Nicely put, mike.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 7:50 PM
Comment #106927

Mike,

I don’t want to appear as though I am the one who knows all the answers, but I believe I did answer the orginal questions…

This is in the legal context of educational law and what is appropriate within its context, and also as a teaching professional.

Maybe if you want to do a search based on Darren7160 within the posting here you will see if any of my writings answer the question.

1. The Dover case: The judge clearly believed that the underlying reasons for the School Boards insistance in the introduction of ID was based on religion, not science. This was through testamony, evaluation of the text suggested as an alternative and the actions of the school board members.

2. The Constitution and educational case law clearly outlines the appropriateness of religion in the schools. It is not an active censorship or persecution of religion, it is a statement that it is not the place for the schools to support religion.

3. Some of this is based on the maturity level of the students, the inherently disproportionate level of power and influence a teacher has over students in grades 1-12. College students are more able to think for themselves and determine what is true for them without being influenced based upon this realtionship.

4. There are theories througout the educational system that we do not necessairly think of as theories… economic, political, histroical, etc. I believe that to select one is definitely an attempt to discredit it.

5. Each parent has the ultimate responsibility for determining what the schools teach their child and how it agrees of conflicts with their beliefs. The parents need to listen to what the students are saying, talk to the teachers, and read the textbooks if they are concerned. Then talk about how some idea may be considered “correct” in terms of the school curriculum, but personally their belief is… fill in the blank.

As far as spelling errors. This has been a topic of discussion and amusement since the internet first came about. As a scientist I would recommend reading Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences before deciding whether or not spelling is an appropriate indicator of intelligence.

Yes, we could use spell checkers, but for me, my computer is old and if I try to run Word a lot it crashes my computer. Plus, the spell checker only looks for the proper spelling of words and not necessairly the context. There versus Their… you know.

If you want to worry about fat fingers…. what about the mutual trader in Japan that wanted to sell one share for 617,000 yen and ended up offering 617,000 shares for one yen. They lost almost $400 million in the 3 mintues it took them to withdraw the order.

Sir, we could all complain about the spelling and put on our mean 3rd grade teacher face… does that contribute to the discussion? Do you ever wonder why school was such a pain for so many? Because the students who could spell or do math in their heads or figure out what a participle was were a royal pain in the butt to the rest of us.

Contributing to the discussion is wonderful. Chiding us and telling us how stupid, lazy or whatever it is that you believe we are is not helpful.

Again, possibly since this is about education, educate yourself to the understanding of knowledge and how it is more than regurgation of facts and spelling lists.

Thank you


Posted by: Darren7160 at December 23, 2005 8:24 PM
Comment #106934

Yes, Mike, well put.

Louis XIV:

As to mythology. In the case your present, a myth is part of the data used within the methodological treatment of the topic. Indeed, myth, when recognized as myth, is quite useful information in many disciplines. For example, the myth of the tooth fairy when understood as myth permits us to better understand how humans assist their children in making sense out of a childhood developmental event. However, if your child’s dentists posits the tooth fairy myth as a scientific fact, then you will probably want to find another pediatric dentist.

Real understanding of scriptural writings depends upon recognizing both myth and allegory, among others, as tools (devices) by which writers attempt to make sense out of what they see for their reader. This is no different than a modern day writer using analogy, metaphor, etc., to better illuminate an idea.

The problem for IDers is an inability/unwillingness to discriminate between literary devices and objective facts. The unfortunate result is an understanding of a God who is anthropomorphic, small, rather limited, and generally impotent.

It is science that illuminates a God who is truly infinite, all-powerful, and worthy of our faith in the 21st century. A scientist’s understanding of the “birth” of the universe is far more inspiring and relevatory of God’s working than anything found in Genesis for a person of the 21st century. Even a 100 years ago, this understanding would have been incomprehensible. Man’s intellectual progress over the centuries has only increased our understanding of God. The Bible never has been and never will be a scientific text. It was not intended to be a scientific text.

If you are up for some really serious, hard-slogging reading, try Teilhard de Chardin who, to date, probably best understood the nexus between the world of science and the world of God.


Posted by: Dr. Poshek at December 23, 2005 8:54 PM
Comment #106936

Mike,

“To begin, I gave up following the discussion in this post a while back—the redundancies and spelling errors quite honestly caused me to lose interest. …”
Posted by mike at December 23, 2005 07:35 PM

I tend to agree with ‘Darren7160’ concerning the spelling errors.
Those who cannot spell are not necessarily ignorant about an issue.
We can’t all attend Ivy League Schools.
Many may also be in a hurry to post and overlook unintentional errors.

Redundancies. This is unavoidable.
I can’t just remove someone’s post because their opinion sounds alot like someone elses.

You also said:
“So Dawn, the answer to your original question seems to be: “The theory of ID should not be taught in public school biology classes because 1) it is not science and only science should be taught in science courses and 2) it’s unconstitutional to teach ID (a blatantly religious school of thought) in public school biology classes. The theory of Evolution, on the other hand, rises above these objections and can therefore be taught in public school biology courses.”“

I can agree with this as stated.


Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2005 9:09 PM
Comment #106939

Read Me

I tend to write clear and reasoned responses to these sort of things so please consider this the final word from the pro Intelligent Design side.

Understand that Intelligent Design is a valid Scientific theory according to the laws of science as explained in the dictionary.*

The theory is essentially this: Complex order at least suggest the possibility that an intelligence created it.

That’s it.

Why anyone would stand against this is the real question.

Image that you were to walk along with a friend and find a complex object on the ground. You then theorized about its possible use, how it came to be, who could have made it etc. (it might be a shoe) Your friend nods his assent. You then walk around and start to formulate the exact same theories about the complex design and order that you see in the world around you. Your friend is all right with your postulating until you ask the question “Who could have made this?” Suddenly you friend says that your questioning has become unscientific.

Why has it become “unscientific”?? There is no reason, he just says so.

As you can see there is no logical reason why you can theorize about the possible origins of one thing and not another. Evolutionist simply do not like the implications of theorizing about the OTHER thing.

Evolutionist have never been honest about merits of ID. It’s the old “Lie to protect the truth that they believe” thing. Except that if Darwin’s Evolution were that solid it would not need that kind of lying.

Make no mistake, it is dishonest for Evolutionist to say that ID is not a scientific theory, they can disagree with it, they can say that theirs is better etc. but in the end it is, by definition, a scientific theory.

It is an honest debate that they fear.


*
1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.
2. The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice: a fine musician who had never studied theory.
3. A set of theorems that constitute a systematic view of a branch of mathematics.
4. Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than theory.
5. A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: staked out the house on the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime.
6. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.

Thanks to www.dictionary.com

Posted by: Marty Mar at December 23, 2005 9:26 PM
Comment #106940

Darren
You make valid points there.
I was in service for 20 years. And for the whole time I would’ve refused to obey an unlawfull order. And I would have also been willing to take whatever the results were.
Military personnel are taught to obey all lawfull orders. They are also taught not to obey unlawfull orders. However, sometimes superiors will bring charges against someone for disobeying their unlawfull orders.

Posted by: Ron Brown at December 23, 2005 9:38 PM
Comment #106942
1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

The key things here that ID does not fufill is that it has not been repetedly tested (How do you test that complicated natural phenomena must be designed.) and it is not widely accepted. Your other definitions of theory are not the scientific version.

Note that the other definitions do not apply. (2) refers to “theory” verses “practice” as in theoretical physics verses applied physics. (3) applies to math. (4) applies to an individual’s htought process. (5) applies to guiding actions, (6) is the everyday definition of theory.

Perhaps some “evolutionists” act according to your stereotype, but most people I have ever communicated who accept evolution accept that evolution is an explanation for a mechanism, not an explanation of that mechanism’s cause.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 9:43 PM
Comment #106944

Dawn,

so how’s the “experiment” going so far?
It’s been an invigorating, sometimes frustrating,
enlightening and eyestraining loooooooong read.
But I’ve enjoyed this “dawn” of man debate. Looks
like alot of us will have to agree to disagree
and Lawnboy will need to go on de-caff.

At least the debate has been civil for the most
part. But I’ve detected a bit more insulting of
ones beliefs coming from the anti-I.D. side. I
guess that just proves that evolution ( of
tolerance of others beliefs ) in some forms IS
still just a theory.

Merry Christmas to ALL, Happy Hanukkah, Kool
Kwanzaa and the best Boxing Day to everyone else.
Oh… and a Dandy Darwinism to the rest of the
missing links here.

Posted by: Dale Garland at December 23, 2005 9:48 PM
Comment #106947

Hey Dale, since things have slown down around here, would you want to get into a discussion as to what ID actually is? My primary frustration with it is that it does not seem to be well defined anywhere. Each person iterprets it to fit their beliefs. I tried reading some of the ID position papers (mainly ones from the Discovery Institute), and as far as I can tell they do not define it either. Something cannot be science if it is not well defined.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 9:59 PM
Comment #106949

Dale,

Thank you for asking.

For the most part I believe people were a bit more willing to give their opinion without feeling the need to bash. Maybe because I asked.
I consider this a success.
I certainly didn’t imagine that there would be this many posts. It’s great.

I may try it again, though I have an article in the works that will definitely stir things up.

Oh …
“At least the debate has been civil for the most
part. But I’ve detected a bit more insulting of
ones beliefs coming from the anti-I.D. side.”

The ‘nature of the beast’ I guess. :)

Dawn

Posted by: dawn at December 23, 2005 10:04 PM
Comment #106950

I believe in Intelligent Design. Although some creationists are cheerleaders for some of the I.D. concepts (particularly the ones which challenge the confident idea that science has somehow proven that the universe is an unintended accident, the universe has no manifest purpose acting in or through it, and life also is accidental and without purpose or any particular meaning)most creationists abandon me on following beliefs:

1) the universe is 14.5 billion years old

2) the Earth appeared 4 billion years ago or so

3) life appeared on Earth very soon after it cooled. It may have spontaneously generated in some type of weirdly favorable prebiotic environment, or spores of living things may have arrived here via meteors or space dust

4) however life arose, evidence of the process has vanished to an astonishing degree. If there was a primordial soup, apparently none of it is still around or we would stumble on brand new microbial life forms continually that would be really strange, not just semi-strange. Spores would still be found raining down from space.

5) despite decades of pondering, scientists still have no clue how to make a primordial soup that could creat the simplest living cell. One major problem—proteins and nucleic acid chains are both murdered by exposure to water and heat. Our bodies carefully protect a lot of processes, as do the simplest living cells. Getting that first cell together is the problem.

6) I believe in the fossil record. I take no exceptions to the popular scientific views of it at all

7) I believe humans arose from common ancestors with other primates. My wife has a monkey face and I love it.

8) I differ from current Darwinian dogma mainly in that I suspect that some changes to living things have happened because those changes were pre-intended in the basic biochemistry of life. Rules favorable to the development of life are now and have always been an expression of higher purpose behind the scenes by some unknown but purposeful actor. Same goes for intelligent life. We ain’t accidents, baby. Scientists may like to assume that, but no way can they prove it.

9) my ideas are testable and falsifiable. one way to test them would be to load some Earthly microbes into a spaceship and send them to a planet that is highly Earth-like, except for being sterile and lifeless.

10) then we wait a few billion years. We can check on the planet periodically. We will find that life is changing rapidly, even changing the planet itself as it does so.

11) I wager we would eventually find that the fossil record of Earth is slowly being duplicated. I suspect that cataclysmic events like giant meteors would not even effect the process that much.

12) Eventually, I expect intelligent life would appear. That life would be about our size and hominid. There would be two sexes.

13) if we don’t have billions of years to wait for experimental results, we can just go out and look for E.T. There ought to be a lot of life out there. Notwithstanding how difficult life seems to be to get started, the universe is so incredibly vast that anything that can happen even once should actually be forced to happen millions of times over.

14) if we find no other life, and our best efforts using our increasingly powerful biochemical bucket of tricks still can not produce life from scratch here, it speaks powerfully to lifeforms on Earth existing at all because of some type of special intervention, most likely a purposeful and not an accidental one.

15) in other words, some force or purpose in the vast universe forced life to come forth here. We may even presume that was some type of purpose in that.

16) I believe it is fine to only teach Intelligent Design theories in philosophy, theology, history, or debate classes. Certain Darwinian dogmatic assumptions should only be taught in such classes as well, because a growing body of evidence strongly suggests that both the universe and the conditions for life to exist were much, much too finely tuned to be merely the product of mindless accidents.

17) a great many biological constructs have evolved through series of changes that are very hard to imagine were driven only by blind chance. Examples include rotary flagella in e-coli bacteria, blood clotting, and chains of biochemical reactions that split N2 and O2 molecules.

18) I believe that even before one gets to the length of a protein or a respectable chunk of RNA forming by accident, long chains of molecules tend strongly to start un-evolving.

19) in fact, anti-evolution seems to be quite a pernicious tendency. 99.9% of all species are extinct, even some things that looked pretty hardy and well-adapted. Intuitively, conventional Darwinism should make branches of evolution multiply upward. Instead, brachiation tends to be peculiarly upside down

20) I believe, as a rather typical Intelligent Design advocate, that “punctuated equilibrium” periods most definitely occur when a great variety of new species are kicked out in a great burst of variation. I also believe this is all by design. Every scientific discovery is “hidden” for awhile, until we look at all the evidence (being careful not to rule out possibilities just because they are strange) and form a new theory that explains more phenomena than the old theory did.

That is all Intelligent Design is really about.


Posted by: Michael L. Cook at December 23, 2005 10:06 PM
Comment #106951

Marty Mar:
Unfortunately, Marty, your defense of ID is NOT rational. In fact, it fails even by the dictionary definition you advocate: ID has no fact base; it has not and cannot be tested (much less, repeatedly tested); it is NOT widely accepted and, indeed, is soundly rejected by every creditable scientist; and does not make any predictions as to natural phenomena.

Further, science does not make any attempt to explaining “origins” or God for these questions lie outside the realm of observed data to which science is properly focused.

Finally, an elementary acquaintance with truth tables (generally the first lecture in an freshman-level Introduction to Logic course)would have alerted you to the logical flaws in your restatement of the so-called theory of ID.

As a priest, theologian, and scientist, I have spent a lifetime studying and researching the questions raised here. It would behoove you to take the time and make the effort to acquire the most basic intellectual tools (introductory logic, introductory theology, for example)before attempting to engage in an argument about which you have demonstrated to have no understanding.

Posted by: Dr. Poshek at December 23, 2005 10:14 PM
Comment #106960

Michael, your outline seems rational enough. If that were how ID were defined, I think people would have less of a problem with it. However, I still claim that interpreting the randomness of natural selection as unguided is only an interpretation and the observations are consistent with the randomness being guided or unguided. As I said in an earlier post, science claims that evolution is random because science does not have the sophistication to discover the underlying pattern (or if there is one). Saying “God did it” gives no more predictive power than saying “it was unguided” so evolution, the science of evolution not its interpretation, says nothing about the source of randomness.

Posted by: Erika at December 23, 2005 10:57 PM
Comment #106961
I tend to write clear and reasoned responses to these sort of things so please consider this the final word from the pro Intelligent Design side.

I don’t know you from Adam, so why should I take this as the “final word”? Are you on an ego trip this evening?

Understand that Intelligent Design is a valid Scientific theory according to the laws of science as explained in the dictionary.

As has been explained many, many times in this thread (and a few times in response to your post), this is not true. Wishing it doesn’t make it so.

The theory is essentially this: Complex order at least suggest the possibility that an intelligence created it.
That’s a personal interpretation, not a theory. It’s not based on evidence. It doesn’t rely on what can be observed in the natural world. It doesn’t explain anything. It doesn’t answer any questions. It doesn’t predict anything useful or interesting. In short, it fails at every requirement for what a Scientific Theory must be.
Image that you were to walk along with a friend and find a complex object on the ground. You then theorized about its possible use, how it came to be, who could have made it etc. (it might be a shoe) Your friend nods his assent. You then walk around and start to formulate the exact same theories about the complex design and order that you see in the world around you. Your friend is all right with your postulating until you ask the question �Who could have made this?� Suddenly you friend says that your questioning has become unscientific.

Actually, the closer analogy is that you are investigating the history of the shoe, finding out how it was made, when it was made, and by what process it was made, when your friend says that the whole question is just too complex; God must have done it.

Why has it become �unscientific�??
Because ID says that formulating theories and postulating based on information (as you propose in your analogy) is invalid - ID says that the scientific approach is wrong. ID takes the science out of the science.
Evolutionist have never been honest about merits of ID. It�s the old �Lie to protect the truth that they believe� thing.

Evolutionists describe the merits of ID as they are. ID-proponents would have us ignore the weaknesses in the argument and force it on our children because of political and religious pressure. I don’t know if you’re lying to protect what you think is the truth, or if you’re just misguided.

Except that if Darwin�s Evolution were that solid it would not need that kind of lying.

What a bizarre and illogical argument: “The fact that people don’t want to believe in Evolution for religious reasons proves that Evolution is not valid scientifically.” What???

Make no mistake, it is dishonest for Evolutionist to say that ID is not a scientific theory, they can disagree with it, they can say that theirs is better etc. but in the end it is, by definition, a scientific theory. It is an honest debate that they fear.

We’re all for honest debate. We had one with ID when it was originally proposed. Unlike many debates, this one had a clear loser: Intelligent Design. ID could not stand up to scientific debate because it is not a scientific theory. The problem is that pro-ID people didn’t like that honest debate in the realm of science, so they are changing the location of the debate to politics and national opinion. This new debate is far from honest.

And no, by definition ID is very much not a scientific theory. Wishing it doesn’t make it so.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 11:17 PM
Comment #106965

Michael L. Cook,

I think you’ll find that you’re very much not “a rather typical Intelligent Design advocate.” While some accept the old earth and the evolution of Man from earlier species, it’s not very typical. Most people who call themselves pro-ID (especially on this forum) are really Creationists using the newer, catchier lingo.

I do have to disagree with some of your premises. For example,

a growing body of evidence strongly suggests that both the universe and the conditions for life to exist were much, much too finely tuned to be merely the product of mindless accidents.

What is this growing body of evidence? Also, there’s more to Evolution than just “mindless accidents.” There are natural selection, sexual selection, genetic drift, the founder effect, and other factors. Those effects are far different than random change or mindless accidents.

a great many biological constructs have evolved through series of changes that are very hard to imagine were driven only by blind chance. Examples include rotary flagella in e-coli bacteria, blood clotting, and chains of biochemical reactions that split N2 and O2 molecules.

There’s a huge difference between being hard to imagine and being not believable. For example, there’s a big discussion here about the argument using the rotary flagellum. And here is a proposal for how the flagellum evolved.

This is a central problem with ID, whether in the more scientifically-oriented version you hold or the more Biblically-oriented version we often see: mistaking difficulty for impossibility. ID relys on the notion of “irreducible complexity,” saying that if something unlikely enough (roughly 1 in 10^150 against), then a higher power must have been involved.

This is, scientifically and mathematically, hogwash.

For example, think about the game of Bridge. In bridge, 13 cards are dealt to each of 4 players. The odds of a certain deal occurring is about 5.36*10^28. The odds of two deals happening how they happened is 2.88*10^57. The odds of six deals happening is about 2.38*10^178.

This means that, according to I proponents, by the time you’ve played a rubber of Bridge (2 or 3 games), you’ve done something so unlikely that some unnamed higher power must have been involved.

It’s just not valid reasoning. There’s nothing in science that says that unlikely things can’t happen. Unfortunately, ID assumes there is.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 23, 2005 11:42 PM
Comment #106977

I apologize, Darren7160, for not taking the time to read every post on this site in intimate detail.

A few thoughts…

1) I had to go back and check Darren, but nowhere in my original posting did I chide anyone for being “stupid” or “lazy.” I am perhaps guilty of chiding people for being “whatever.”

2) My comment on spelling began as sass, but it brings up an important point, I think. Namely, it’s absurd to carry on an intellectual conversation about education if you can’t even spell correctly. I’m an attorney and a professor of law and political science at one of those Ivy League schools that Dawn tells us “we can’t all attend,” and I can tell you that if a student of mine were to turn in a brilliant and well articulated argumentative paper, but it was rife with spelling and grammatical errors, I would return the paper to the student and suggest he revisit his mean third grade teacher.

3) I don’t know how to respond to your first bullet point except to thank you for reiterating one of my major points.

4) I’ve read the constitution numerous times and I cant seem to recall any instance wherein it refers to ‘the appropriateness of religion in schools.” Regarding case law, you’re absolutely right, there is some case law that does speak to religion in public schools, though I’m not certain it states exactly what you think it does. There are several significant cases, however, that examine the establishment clause and public school curricula. The most important of these cases thus far is of course Kitzmiller v. DASD. Check Westlaw for the citation.

5) I completely agree with bullet 3. I firmly believe that any mature high school student ought to be taught religious studies and religious literature (even those in public schools), for how can one claim to understand the great works of western poetry, literature, music, opera and even science without at least a basic primer on how christianity and the bible influenced these works. I take issue, however, when religion is passed off as hard science, as was clearly the case with ID.

6) The term “theory” does not have the same denotation in the fields of Economics, Political Science or History as it does in hard sciences. Anyone to tell you otherwise is lying to you. The reason for this is that social science cannot (or at least not easily or ethically) duplicate social phenomena in a laboratory setting, in the same way that Particle Physicists and Geneticists can.

7) Bullet 5: no, no, no and no. Parents have the ultimate responsibility for determining what THEY teach their children, not what public schools teach their children. I’m going to get into trouble for this one, but I maintain that teachers, education officials and the broader public ought to determine what should be taught to public school children. Primary and secondary school curricula should be fair and broad and conceived not to teach our youth that x or y is true or false, right or wrong; but rather to give children the cognitive abilities to decide for themselves in a rational and methodological manner whether x and y are right, wrong, true or false.

Honestly Darren, if it were up to parents to determine what public schools taught our children, we would have madrassas in some communities, technical and trade schools in others, and I swear to god there would be schools out there teaching young women that they’re place in life was either in a kitchen or with their ankles behind their ears.

8) You’re right, Darren, it’s difficult to have a debate when people resort to name calling and character attacks. But it’s even harder to have a debate when people don’t stick to an organized analysis of the issues at hand. I just spent an entire post answering an number of objections that are only casually, if at all, related to teaching ID in public schools.

The reason I may have glazed over your other posts is because half of this page isn’t actually answering Dawn’s question…like I mentioned earlier, posts are either rants by people that don’t like Christians, rants by Christians that don’t like science, or a redundant regurgitation of the definition of ‘scientific theory.’ Hell, there’s even a conversation between a French king and a Russian doctor about the tooth fairy and a pediatric dentist (no offense, Dr. Poschek, I tried to read your post and got as far as you applauding my statement, but it’s the night before Christmas and I lost interest when you addressed a dead Frenchman and started talking about mythology.)

If you want to have a legitimate debate, let’s break open a bottle of Scotch and try to answer some real questions. Some things to get us started:

1) I read a very convincing article by Jerry Coyne (in the New Republic, last August, I think), a Professor at the University of Chicago, that laid out abundant evidence that evolution is more than just a crackpot theory (in the non-scientific sense) and that ID is nothing more than creationism version 3. Any of you IDers out there want to counter Dr. Coyne’s assertions and explain how ID is, indeed, science?

2) If ID is indeed religiously based, and not scientific as some claim, how does teaching it in public schools not violate the Establishment Clause?

3, etc.) And, if the teaching of ID in public schools does violate the Establishment Clause, why are some people still claiming it ought to be done? Do they think the constitution is wrong to set up a wall between the state and religion? If so, should we amend the constitution to allow for religious teachings in schools? If so, which religion should we teach? Only Christianity? Is that because most Americans identify as Christians, or because a few of our more quotable founding father are identified as Christians? If it’s the former, wouldn’t an argument derived from majority rule suggest that we only teach evolution, since the majority of Americans believe this theory to be true? If it’s the latter, why should we care what the religious beliefs of those founders were? Also, for those of you who don’t acknowledge that there is a division between church and state in this country, do you claim that the constitution is a dead document? If you do truly believe in constitutional absolutism, then do you also believe that in our census, we ought to count African Americans as a fraction of a person?

With that friends, I’ve said more than too much.

Posted by: mike at December 24, 2005 1:01 AM
Comment #106983

LawnBoy, the analogy I like to use is imagining an infinite river that flows down from resource-rich mountains, through all kinds of diverse terrain, and then, well, it just keeps on flowing, because it is infinite.

Now imagine that, purely by chance, all the ingredients to make a paddle wheel steamboat come together by chance, bumping and grinding together, maybe whole sub-structures being formed in little eddies and side channels, then coming out into the flow and all getting together.

Let’s say this steamboat has about 150,000 parts. That is really pretty comparable to the complexity of the first living prokaryotic cell. By accident and chance all the materials have come together to make a functioning steamboat, then lightning strikes the boiler and kindles a fire. Steam is produced, the pistons drive, the paddle turns, and the steamboat begins chugging up river, against entropy. It has a metabolism.

That’s a pretty miraculous story, but now our boat, the Infinite Belle, shows some more miraculous behavior. Belle somehow senses that she needs coal or wood to keep the boiler going, and also other supplies as essential pieces do tend to need upkeep and periodic replacement.

Belle handles all that. She gathers in supplies and all ashes and other waste go over the fantail. Belle is not ever exactly the same boat from day to day. She could be growing, or shrinking in certain parts, or trying out new systems or discarding old ones.

But then, one day, Belle gets a strange urge. She wants to reproduce herself! The simplest way to reproduce is to use each existing part as a template, which cookie-cutter fashion in a couple steps can make a duplicate of the original part. Somehow Belle has a pretty good plan of where all her parts belong, so somehow she starts building a smaller, simpler copy of herself on the fantail. Most importantly, she puts the steamboat plan into Little Belle so that L.B. herself will be able to finish the job of growing up to be as big as Belle herself.

This ability to pass along the main steamboat plan is pretty important, for otherwise Belle would have to build a fullsize copy of herself right along side somehow. Maybe she could manage that, maybe not.

Changing the analogy around to suppose that rafts came first, then sail boats, then a steam engine was assembled by a chance on an island and somehow fell into a passing sail boat, etc., does not really ever simplify the picture.

To me the hardest part of all to wrap the mind around is the one where Belle makes a tiny compact plan of herself—indeed,an actionable plan, as the plan itself has to do work.

Well, we can imagine that, somehow, the plan came first, maybe even before Belle. The plan was really a kind of genetic code, a bunch of information. Somewhere on the river a bunch of proteins were formed, mindless worker bees just waiting around for a plan so that they can do something.

By sheer accident, a plan was written which coded for an operational steamboat. Good thing, because the Blind Watchmaker some theories rely on has never built anything with more pieces than a pocket watch in his life, about 100, and the Belle-class riverboats have 150,000 pieces.

Accident and blind chance produced everything in this scenario, and the river with its bends, storms, and obstacles becomes the instrument for selecting bad plans from good plans.

It’s a big, big universe. Somewhere in all the vastness, if this kind of miraculous thing can happen once, it should be happening again and again.

Intelligent Design is basically kind of an intuitive feeling that, somehow, the plan had to have come first. If there is a pre-existing infinite river, and all kinds of diverse pre-existing resources lying around, why not a pre-existing plan lying around as well?

The plan is really not a more unlikely thing to just EXIST without explanation then is a river, or a bunch of logs, or deposits of coal, is it?

I suspect that the strong Darwinist interpretation has been lucky to get by with the assertion that the Earth is OK to accept as a “given” in the creation of life, but that a plan isn’t, because a workable plan especially SEEMS to be something that only humans can produce.

Actually we don’t know that only humans create good plans, that is plans which actually work.
It is the universe which actually tests these things, so when a plan does work what that really says is that somehow the universe were already pre-fitted to each other, like a lock is pre-fitted for a key.

Intelligent Design looks at some pretty complex plans which are chugging along in nature and basically assumes that right from the get-go that plan and the universe were somehow mated.
Chance, probability, accidents, are really illusions produced by our consciousness, a point of view that some of modern physics affirms.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook at December 24, 2005 1:28 AM
Comment #106991

Scientists are like detectives. We uncover clues and try to paint a picture of what happened in the past according to the information we find. Unfortunatly I believe this is a case, where we have a tremendous amount of information regarding most of the case, however we dont have enough information to close this case and move on. We can only make assumptions about missing pieces that are crucial to the understanding of the complete history of what has happened here in ages past. I believe that there are alot of assumptions made about both theories. For example, while we have found bones etc. that indicate the development of one species into the next, we can only take the best educated guess at what power, (be it nature or an intelligent creator), that provoked this change. There will always be a debate about what was the motivational force behind this adaptation and change. I cannot refute the scientific evidence that one creature devolped adaptations and differences in form to better exist in a different environment. (Nor do I believe any person can). I believe that the understanding and study of multiple theories cannot hurt the scientific process, and will only encourage further study. I am dissapointed that as scientists we do not welcome
the challenge of new and different theories to the playing field. Perhaps we are up in arms because we cannot prove that God (the intellegent designer) has nothing to do with the development of our world? So what, long ago they couldn’t prove the Earth wasn’t flat either. Perhaps the understanding of both theories will lead to a break through that will finally prove one theory over the other, and help to further advance the understanding of our world. Thank God, ( no irony intended) someone had the courage to believe something different then the common held truths in the past. Some of these truths turned out to be wrong. Some of them were further understood and are now even more unshakable than before. My point being, all of you who are so dead set against teaching ID, shame on you. Have faith in the scientific process, even if ID cannot be testes and proven, Evolution can be. The theory of evolution is not going anywhere, unless it is proven wrong. If evolution turns out to be wrong, you should be happy. Because it would mean somewhere, someone made a huge scientific break through, and human understanding and knowlege was made better and stronger. I welcome the flow of different ideas, and feel that without this flow, we might as well be in the dark ages.
-Steve
I apologise for the spelling and hope you can wade through my dissheveled thoughts.

Posted by: Steve L. at December 24, 2005 2:23 AM
Comment #107054

There is a way to test Intelligent Design. All we have to do is load a wide selection of current Earth microbes into a space vehicle and send them off to an Earth-like but sterile planet.

Then we have to wait a few billion years. I.D. indicates that the entire fossil record should be reproduced pretty much as it happened here, barring catastrophic intervention by a meteor. An intelligent species should be produced, probably about our size, hominid, and having two sexes.

If we don’t have the patience for all that, we should just look around the universe real well. There may not be such a thing as a sterile Earth-like planet. There may not be such a thing as intelligent life that looks like a lobster. Smart hominids everywhere would be a pretty good proof that a standard design is intrinsic to the bio-chemical rules and composition of the universe. In a sense, the universe would be FORCED to always produce something man-like, it would have no choice.

We should be curious enough about this to keep funding and expanding all SETI programs.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook at December 24, 2005 7:23 AM
Comment #107056

Lets inject a little clarity in to the discussion here. The arguments from the other side have degraded in to a lot of “Is not! Is not!!” drivel as they try to lie and deny their way through the debate.


Lets destruct a few of the arguments here.

1. Poshek says “your defense of ID is NOT rational. In fact, it fails even by the dictionary definition you advocate:”
a. This is a lie. I posted the theory and the dictionary definition. Fortunately all someone has to do is look at the stated theory of ID and the dictionary to know that Poshek has lied.
2. Poshek goes on to say “(ID)is soundly rejected by every creditable scientist”
a. He is playing the deny game. Deny everything, never admit one piece of evidence or one logical argument. Yet we see here that someone posted a very long list of doctors and scientist who believe in ID. Poshek is being dishonest by saying that all of them are not credible while reserving that honor for himself.
3. Lawnboy, says “ID says that the scientific approach is wrong”
a. This is a lie. Proponents of Intelligent Design do not say that the scientific approach is wrong. LB has set a straw man, attributing a view to the other side and then knocking it down.


Lets expose some of the dishonest tactics here.

Deny Deny
A common defense lawyer tactic is to never admit one piece of evidence, one good sound argument, nothing. Good for winning trials, not good for science or finding the truth. The pitfall is that it even pits those who use it against the dictionary. Clinton would be proud (“That depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is”)

Use my definition
These jokers here are trying to set some kind of lofty high bar for what qualifies as a “Scientific theory”. What they really mean is that a “valid scientific theory” is one that they chose to accept. The only “credible” scientist to Poshek is one who believes like he does. It’s the old “I control the doorway” game. You can’t enter until you meet his standards but you will never meet his standards because he doesn’t want you to.
The truth is that anyone here can make a scientific theory. Simply go somewhere and pick up an object. Theorize about how that object was made, what its uses might be, if it was made or not and if it was made, what ancient peoples could have made it etc. etc. Scientist do these exact same things all the time. There is nothing “unscientific” about it.


A bit of advice, don’t tell us who you are. Firstly you might be lying and secondly you might be a bad and discredited academic. Let your arguments and logic speak for you. For all you know I might be a doctor with more degrees and years under my belt than you.

Let what Poshek and Lawnboy post be viewed in the light of their dishonest tactics. Remember that they are people who are so closed minded and dogmatic that they will not admit any evidence, even the dictionary.


P.S. There is a good example of the Lie and deny game on Fox news. John Gibson has written a book documenting attacks on Christmas. He had a debate with some guy and the guy said that that they had no evidence whatsoever, right in the presence of profound evidence and stated cases. Then he admitted that he had not read the book. Sadly, far to many on the pro Evolution side don’t play by the rules and lie to easily.

Posted by: Marty Mar at December 24, 2005 8:03 AM
Comment #107061

Hi Dr. Poshek,

“However, if your child’s dentists posits the tooth fairy myth as a scientific fact, then you will probably want to find another pediatric dentist.”

I’m with you there. I appreciate the differences between myth and science.

I love both mythology and science…one needs both to feel fulfilled.

One of the reasons I study theology is for the mixture of logic and fantasy….One minute one argues that an idea is completely illogical and the next one is speaking about “huge, eagle-winged, human-faced, bull-lions” (Cherubim).



Posted by: LouisXIV at December 24, 2005 8:47 AM
Comment #107062

Hi Marty,

” What they really mean is that a ⶡlid scientific theory⠩s one that they chose to accept.”

You are being ignorant and dishonest.

What we mean by a scientific theory is just that…a scientific theory.

The fact is that ID isn’t a scientific theory. There is no experimental evidence that supports it.

“Proponents of Intelligent Design do not say that the scientific approach is wrong.”

Of course they say that the scientific approach is wrong. They want to expand the definition of science to the point where it includes astrology.

Behe (the big idea guy) said in so many words that he’s proposing to expand the definition of science to the point where it includes astroligical theories.

Would you care to stop dancing and admit the obvious fact that ID isn’t science?

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 24, 2005 8:54 AM
Comment #107063

Late to this discussion, but here goes:

I think evolution is part of God’s “intelligent design.”

Having said that, I can not fathom what the God who set this universe in motion is like. It’s certainly not a Michaelangelo-styled man with long white hair.

Even believers in the Big Bang (I count myself among them) have to wonder what came before. How did this impossibly dense piece of matter or energy come into existence? We don’t know and unless we evolve to almost God-like status, we will almost certainly never know. It’s a great, fascinating, mind-boggling mystery.

For those who don’t believe all the complexity in the world could just happen by accident, I think part of that is a failure to grasp how immense this universe is. We like to ask, “What are the odds this is all chance?” But when you are dealing with an almost infinite system, even infinite odds become possible. We may have simply been the lucky winners in a 1 in Googol lottery (a Googol is a 1 followed by 100 zeroes).

I even think that Genesis from the bible offers an amazing, though simplified, insight into how this could have evolved, down to the eating of the forbidden fruit which forced man from the Garden of Eden. They say ignorance is bliss, and once man moved (evolved?) beyond instinctive behavior to cognitive understanding, that ignorance - that Garden of Eden, so to speak - was lost forever.

Bottomline, I can’t explain it. No one can. All we can do is go on faith, however one defines it.

Posted by: Paul Szydlowski at December 24, 2005 8:56 AM
Comment #107066

I forgot to add perhaps the most important point: I do not believe that teaching evolution negates the existence of God. The science can be taught, and if the curriculum includes the simple disclaimer that no one knows precisely how it all began, and that some believe it was begun by God, I think that should suffice.

Discussion of God can then be left to theology, philosphy and our own individual religious studies.

Posted by: Paul Szydlowski at December 24, 2005 9:05 AM
Comment #107067

OK, finally…

Somehow, somewhere our ID friends have laid claim to the idea that supporting Evolutionary Theory precludes a belief in God (or some other deity). NOT TRUE!!!

If anything, the belief in God should strengthen your appreciation of evolution. Here’s why:

As you may have noticed from my somewhat sarcastic posts yesterday, I can’t stand a closed-minded point of view. If you stop to think about it (something apparently very difficult for many who are here), why wouldn’t God use evoltionary processes to keep His creation functioning smoothly??? Do you expect Him to intervene daily in routine matters of life and death??? There is absolutely nothing in the Bible to suggest that God is busy running around deciding which amoeba is better suited for survival. He has far more important things to worry about. The same arguments being issued by the ardent ID supporters should be applied to other scientific disciplines. Why aren’t we arguing over Newton’s Three Laws of Motion? THe reason is, that while revolutionary in his day, those Laws have come to be recognized as irrefutable. Ask your religious leaders; they will tell you that while Newton was attacked by clerics in the 17th Century, today’s clerics accenpt Newton’s discoveries as simply explaining the method by which God ensures a sense of order within His universe. What a novel idea…God might actually have done things in the beginning, so he wouldn’t have to task Himself with day-to-day operations later.

So: ID (or creation) is useful as an explanation for the WHY universe exists. That is a philosophical argument; however, not a scientific one. Evolution is a scientific examination of how God set biology into motion.

That is the principle difference between the two. Religion and Philososphy seek to explain the why; science seeks to explain the how. So, ID belongs in the Philosophy class and Evolution belongs in Biology class.

Posted by: Ray at December 24, 2005 9:07 AM
Comment #107069
Intelligent Design is basically kind of an intuitive feeling that, somehow, the plan had to have come first.

Michael L. Cook,

Yep, you’re right. It’s a personal interpretation. It’s not a scientific explanation, though.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 24, 2005 9:12 AM
Comment #107070
My point being, all of you who are so dead set against teaching ID, shame on you. Have faith in the scientific process

We are dead set against teaching ID because we have faith in the scientific process. The scientific process has examined ID as it currently stands, and there’s nothing there worth teaching in science curricula. It’s only the political process that we don’t have faith in.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 24, 2005 9:14 AM
Comment #107073
Lets inject a little clarity in to the discussion here. The arguments from the other side have degraded in to a lot of �Is not! Is not!!� drivel as they try to lie and deny their way through the debate.

Please. We are debating the arguments based on their merits. That’s all. Don’t accuse us of lying simply because you don’t like the conclusions that logic and reason bring us to.

3. Lawnboy, says �ID says that the scientific approach is wrong� a. This is a lie. Proponents of Intelligent Design do not say that the scientific approach is wrong. LB has set a straw man, attributing a view to the other side and then knocking it down.

It’s not something that ID explicitly says, but it is part of ID. The approach in Kansas was to change the definition of science to allow ID into the devaute. That’s an example of saying that the approach science has always taken is wrong because it didn’t lead to the conclusions that ID-supporters want.

I’m not lying.

Deny Deny A common defense lawyer tactic is to never admit one piece of evidence, one good sound argument, nothing. Good for winning trials, not good for science or finding the truth. The pitfall is that it even pits those who use it against the dictionary. Clinton would be proud (�That depends on what your definition of �is� is�)

This is a distraction. Basically, you’re saying that we’re lying because we can refute all your points. The fact that we can do so logically means that your argument is weak, not that we’re being dishonest.

Also, nice distraction with the Clinton reference. Can we stick to the issue at hand?

Use my definition These jokers here are trying to set some kind of lofty high bar for what qualifies as a �Scientific theory�.

No, we are not setting an arbitrary standard just to exclude your argument. Dr. Poshek is using an objective standard, not a subjective one.

In fact, we used the definition that you presented to analyse ID, and we found it wanting. Again, we didn’t pick the standard; you did, and ID was still insufficient.

The truth is that anyone here can make a scientific theory. Simply go somewhere and pick up an object. Theorize about how that object was made, what its uses might be, if it was made or not and if it was made, what ancient peoples could have made it etc. etc. Scientist do these exact same things all the time. There is nothing �unscientific� about it.

You don’t know what a theory is. What you just described is a hypothesis. It’s not a scientific theory. You’re changing the definition of words to suit your purpose, not us.

Let what Poshek and Lawnboy post be viewed in the light of their dishonest tactics. Remember that they are people who are so closed minded and dogmatic that they will not admit any evidence, even the dictionary.

There is nothing dishonest in our tactics. You just don’t like our conclusions. We used your dictionary definition to discredit you. Don’t smear us, please, for your logical shortcomings.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 24, 2005 9:25 AM
Comment #107075

Hi Marty,

“The truth is that anyone here can make a scientific theory.”

How DARE you speak of truth that way!

You have no idea what a scientific theory is.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 24, 2005 9:28 AM
Comment #107079

Marty Mar,

Also, if you think we are incorrect in how we logically complared the principle of ID to the definition of science, then explain how. Reason with us.

Resorting immediately to name-calling and accusations of lying does nothing to lend credibility to your argument. Actually debating with us would.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 24, 2005 9:37 AM
Comment #107085

Mike,

“2) My comment on spelling began as sass, but it brings up an important point, I think. Namely, it’s absurd to carry on an intellectual conversation about education if you can’t even spell correctly. I’m an attorney and a professor of law and political science at one of those Ivy League schools that Dawn tells us “we can’t all attend,” and I can tell you that if a student of mine were to turn in a brilliant and well articulated argumentative paper, but it was rife with spelling and grammatical errors, I would return the paper to the student and suggest he revisit his mean third grade teacher.”
Posted by mike at December 24, 2005 01:01 AM


I agree with you about the papers your students turn in. I would expect the same.
WB won’t boot everyone from the site who is grammatically incorrect. Although, the managers do try to keep the editors to a certain standard.
Every time I write on this site I imagine my mother, the English Teacher, looking over my shoulder. Unfortunately, I am still likely to make mistakes.
May I ask? How long have you been posting here?
It is my hope that you join more of our public debates and enlighten us with your views. At times we need people who can bring the discussion back to it’s original intent.


Posted by: dawn at December 24, 2005 10:29 AM
Comment #107089

Mike,

I believe that the lawyer and professor explains the spelling issues. *Grin* Most people I have run into who mention spelling are one of the two.

Apropriateness of the level of care to the final article would, I believe, depend on my intent of the final article. I always suggest to people to turn off all formatting and spell/grammer checkers as they start to write a paper. They distract from the thought process.

If my intention is to make a point on a blog where the post I am replying to may get lost in the shuffle if I don’t reply quickly… I tend to spend my time on arranging my thoughts and trying, as best I can, to make sure that it will be readable. Not perfect. By the time I did “cut-and-paste” do the spell/grammer checking, paste back and send the post I am replying too could be 5 or more posts back!

Then you see? It appears as if I am not following the converstation and I am off on a tangent of the reader of my post is not aware of my referencing the post 7 posts up!

I wish to make a slight point here. A professor needs to special education into the “best teaching methods” to become a professor. They are specialized in their area and they teach their area. They may be brilliant in other things (My professor had memorized a citing style and that was her particular thing. She did not care about the content of the paper but boy could you lose enough points on wherer or not a word was capitalized or a semi-colon was used instead of a comma) I was so happy to see that she could focus on what was important.

A teacher, an educator, in the grades 1-12 are taught the best ways to help children attain their very best.

That mean old third grade teacher? She is gone. In her place are concerned teachers that use tools such as 6+1 Writing Traits that is designed to work on the higher level aspects of intelligence. It is designed to let the child explore their ideas, their arguments, their logic… the last one is the presentation part. The spell checking, grammer, punctuation, etc.

It is not forgotten. It is placed at the appropriate level. After everything else. We may disagree with this, but that is what is being found to be most effective based upon modern research by the universities (some Ivy League). As a matter of pride and personal boasting… chide me on it. The UW system, and the UWO campus is considered one of the best producers of educators in the nation. A graduate from here has the same type of interest by school districts as someone with a law degree from an Ivy college. Because? Each University has a tendancy to create exceptional graducate from particular fields.

So, for us that cannot “afford” it… we search out the Univeristy for the best education in our field…. not upon its history or snob appeal.

See how easy it is to get off onto a “tangent” when something as innocous as “spelling” gets into the conversation?

4) I do not believe I said that the constitution said anything about schools. I though I had said that it was quiet on the whole school thing and that is why people would have to go to their STATE Constitution. I believe that I used the example of the Federal Gov. having to use funding and not law when it came to things like NCLB and national speed.

I did cite case law. That is the way to determing what the courts are saying in regards questions concerning law.

I have my 7th Edition, School Law, Cases and Concepts, by LaMorte (please forgive me if I do not use a specific citation style… I hate them and only use them when I present a paper for a grade… because that is what education has turned into… attaining a grade instead of attaining knowledge.)


5)I have heard this argument before and I agree. Our literature and culture is very much tied into Biblical literature and teachings. I don’t know if you saw a posting from a teacher here that said she used the Bible to help student with reading an Ayn Rand book. She had no problems.

I absolutely agree that ID or the Bible should not be used in a science class! Once a Bible is vaild as a reference source within a science class how can we say it is not valid in any other class???


6) The “soft” sciences will then need particular protection from using a source (the Bible) that is considered valid in a “hard” science class!

As I said in #5… if we allow the Bible to be used in science then we will have a hard time keeping it out of social science.


7) This might be semantics. I think we agree with each other completely. The question might be how much control.

How much at the Federal level (not Constitutionally unless it is determined to be a “separation of Church and State” issue, which I believe ID is) and financially?

How much does that state board of education have?

How much does the school board have?

These can cause tension and that, I believe, is what can help keep all sides honest.

Have you ever really disagreed with the “correct” answer on a test and decided to choose the “wrong” one because you believed the teacher was wrong and you were willing to loose the points to stand true to your beliefs? I have.

My parents taught me that… and I am teaching it to my children.

“Honestly Darren, if it were up to parents to determine what public schools taught our children, we would have madrassas in some communities, technical and trade schools in others, and I swear to god there would be schools out there teaching young women that they’re place in life was either in a kitchen or with their ankles behind their ears.”

Sir, you have just described “Charter Schools.”


8) This might require a bit of compensation for what I mentioned above. A post may seem out of whack with the rest of the discussion because it is addressing something that has since been lost in recent posts.

Between us is a perfect example of how the tangents happen.

I just spent an entire post answering an number of objections that are only casually, if at all, related to teaching ID in public schools.

I understand the thoughts about using Logic, English, History, Econimics, etc. 101. However, not everyone can or wants to go to college but they do have intelligence and they do have beliefs.

My ability to go to college is only because of my thirst for knowledge instilled (fortunately) by my parents, my military disability which allowed me to have the VA pay for my Business degree, and now my parents again helping me get my Education degree.

Conservatives sneer at us liberals and call us the “Intellectual Elite” which I think is unfair because we want everyone to be intellectual because we believe that it is more importance than proudly embracing ignorace.

I try not to attack the education of a person… I know that some things do not conform to basic college learning… but, instead of denigrating a person and tell them that they need to take a college course to participate in a debate I try to focus on what I percieve as their weakness and focus attention on it. I have attacked people who give basic ECON 101 examples, but only if they distort (through comission or omission) the information.

“If you want to have a legitimate debate, let’s break open a bottle of Scotch and try to answer some real questions. Some things to get us started:”

Sir, I cannot drink but if you have a pot of coffee I will join you!

However, I believe that it would be both of us (excuse the religous metaphore(?)) “preaching to the choir.”

I do not believe in ID. I do believe that it is an attempt to introduce God into the classroom.

It has been thought that my following question is being “smug” or “sarcastic” or an attempt to trick people but it is an incredibly important (in my estimation) question with incredible significance to the whole debate, which I believe is why the Discovery Institute did not answer me… You will love this because it does use logic and religion and all the rest!

ALL: PLEASE CONTEMPLATE THIS FOR A FEW MINTUES BEFORE REPLYING

IF life is too arranged, perfect or anything else to have been randomly generated, thus suggesting an Intelligent Designer… who or what created the Designer?

a) Was the Intelligent Designer randomly created? (would this take us into an increasingly smaller spiraling argument?)
b) Was the Designer itself created? (If so, by who (whom?).)
c) Was the Intelligent Designer always here? (is this not the Christian belief in the “Alpha and Omega” of God. He has always been here, is here now and is in the future type of thing).
d) Because limiting the possibility of aliens would be considered intellectually dishonest if we are to freely consider all legitimate possibilities, could it have been aliens? (But, who created the aliens?)
e) Some other explanation I haven’t thought of?

The implications of this question takes us to the unknown. Some say that this is unknown and thus not subject to this debate?

To me, it is the next logical question. One that does have significant ramifications.

Thank you sir for your contributions and I really do hope that we can continue on this thread because I would love to hear your opinion on that last question. Seriously with no hidden sarcasm at all! Because to me, this is the ultimate question of ID and will determine the rest of the arguments.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 24, 2005 10:43 AM
Comment #107092

Lawn Boy,
I think you have misunderstood my meaning about ID. I do not believe ID is eaisly catagorized by science. It is not testable or able to be proven. And therefore, we cannot call it,(by our definition), science. ID is a idea. An idea that challenges evolution, just as any quailfied “true” scientific theory would. I am not suggestion we treat ID as science, but rather treat evolution as science, and welcome any challenges to it’s credibility. This whole debate can only help our further understanding of the world, or merely leave more questions to be answered. The smuthering of ID can only lead to arrogence and the belief that while yes, evolution has alot of scientific evidence and credibility, we dont need to test and explore further. Great minds never think like this.
-Steve

Posted by: Steve L. at December 24, 2005 11:05 AM
Comment #107094

Marty, you gave many definitions of theory. You did not give a definition of a scientific theory. I claim that only one of your definitions was of a scientific theory. So, I ask you, how do you define a scientific theory if it not the way the rest of us are definining it?

Posted by: Erika at December 24, 2005 11:14 AM
Comment #107095

Steve,

Maybe this is a case of the different side of the same coin.

My fear is that if ID is introduced into the science of evolution it will lead to dogma.

Please, I do not believe a wild “slippery slope” argument. I believe that once we attach an unknown such as ID there will be those that attach significance to the ID that will lead to discomfort with research questioning it in the future. It will attain a, possibly symbolic signigicance that people might feel uncomfortable with questioning.

I do believe we both might see a problem with introduing ID into science at this time. I could be wrong.

Your belief that we, through arrogance, need not explore further. Mine, that because it may ultimately call ID into question be should not explore further.

I really do enjoy everyones takes on this.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 24, 2005 11:15 AM
Comment #107096

Steve, people are going to misunderstand you as long as you call what you believe ID. ID is a political agenda that attempts to come off as science. It is distinct from the belief that the universe was designed. One is psuedo-science, the other a reasonable “why” to science’s “how”.

Posted by: Erika at December 24, 2005 11:16 AM
Comment #107108
The smuthering of ID can only lead to arrogence and the belief that while yes, evolution has alot of scientific evidence and credibility, we dont need to test and explore further.

The pro-ID PR on this is great. They present the scientific process that examined and rightly disgarded ID as insufficient as “smothering.” You’re right; as long as people don’t understand that the scientific reaction against ID is based on reason and logic and fairness, then people will come to inaccurate conclusions about the implications of not allowing bad science to be forced on the scientific world through political and religious pressure.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 24, 2005 11:53 AM
Comment #107109

Mike,
I agree, you have said more than enough. Good luck with your bottle of Scotch.

BTW, please check point #8 of your last post for your own spelling error.

Posted by: shueevon at December 24, 2005 11:57 AM
Comment #107113

I.D. may be testable and falsifiable. I would consider it to be pretty well refuted once someone creates life in a test tube at the level of a prokaryotic cell that thereafter can self-reproduce in a stable environment. I won’t even quibble and insist that we add up all the improbabilities of forming substructures in vastly different environments and then bringing them together before they deteriorate.

One comment on the style and content of the I.D. debate. When I read the classic and some of the hot new I.D. books, what I find generally is a lot of biochemical technical detail and pretty specific biophysical situations being discussed, sometimes even some daunting forays into probability analysis.

When I read the anti-I.D. side the arguments presented are almost always philosophy of science and a rehash of scientific method and that’s it. No nuts and bolts. No informed ponderings on punctuated equilibrium or if the selfish gene has been replaced by the altruistic gene, what does that mean? I think altruistic genes are the gateway to the I.D. point of view, because they get away from the narrow definition of natural selection and tend towards legitimizing the Gaia concept of not only animate objects cooperating at some level towards a common goal, but inanimate things as well.

Further, there are well-known elements of theoretical physics which tend to the conclusion that “chance” per se may be an illusion of consciousness. That is, spacetime is a frozen plateau and our window of consciousness slides along it. We may seem to have free will in that we can direct our window one way or another, but even then all the many-world possible tracks are pre-existing and still frozen, as are the pathways we didn’t take.

The frozen spacetime tableau point of view not only undermines the primacy of “accidents” or “chance”, it invites us back into contemplating who created it.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook at December 24, 2005 12:17 PM
Comment #107117

Michael, that is because most people here, most people in the general population, whether they believe in ID, evolution, or something else, do not understand the basic scientic process. The popular understanding of ID and evolution, as far as I can tell, appear to be “God was involved” and “it was random”.

The points you bring up are valid criticisms of evolution, but evolution, like many scientific theories, is still developing actively. I believe that the intelligent design movement points out some valid shortcomings of evolution, but that it is far as it is scientific. It’s response is that “evolution has short comings so God must have done it.” This is not a sufficient answer to those short comings. As much as the ID literature denies it, I have not seen any way that it is more than a modern day God in the gaps theory.

Posted by: Erika at December 24, 2005 12:27 PM
Comment #107120
When I read the anti-I.D. side the arguments presented are almost always philosophy of science and a rehash of scientific method and that’s it.

Then I invite you to dig deeply into talkorigins.org and EvoWiki. There is plenty of detailed scientific and mathematic discussion about why the arguments presented by Intelligent Design do not hold up. For example, there’s this article on Evolution and Chance and this article on The Second Law of Thermodynamics, Evolution, and Probability.

You’re right that some articles defending Evolution stay on a more readable level; it all depends on the audience. Of course, there are plenty of arguments for ID that are far from rigorous in their approach.

I.D. may be testable and falsifiable. I would consider it to be pretty well refuted once someone creates life in a test tube at the level of a prokaryotic cell that thereafter can self-reproduce in a stable environment.

That’s an awfully strange way to prove or disprove Intelligent Design, IMO. Essentially, it’s saying that Intelligent Design depends solely on whether the claims of Evolution can be verified. This means that Intelligent Design is not a positive theory that can stand on its own, but just a band-aid to cover whatever gaps we currently have in our understanding of Evolution. It also means that Intelligent Design doesn’t provide any predicitions or useful information; it’s just filler for the gaps, and it will necessarily lose its reason to exist over time as our knowledge increases.

Of course, if I misunderstood your point, then I apologize. (I’m not intentionally creating a straw man - I’m just trying to analyze the implications).

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 24, 2005 12:33 PM
Comment #107123

At some point you come to a conclusion that we as humans willalways fear and dislike what we cannot understand. It is funny how some people will argue that they want to instill a certian amount of religion in their childs education,but it should not be done so unless it is in a certian class. i would sumbmit that prayer happens in about every class that a test is administered. I would love to get into the legal aspect of the constitution, and how it is inteperated or amended. For our legal friends here, Does the Supreme Court need to interperate every aspect of the document, then amend it to fit a political agenda? Simply put, the court is appointed buy politics and is influenced by such. So with that being the case, did the founding fathers of this nation intend us to take this document and bend it to political whims?

This leads me to these questions:(1) Is our Constitution adequate to the demands of our present day national life? (2) Is the Supreme Court preserving our Constitution or obstructing its normal and healthy expansion?

Posted by: G at December 24, 2005 12:42 PM
Comment #107124

ALL: PLEASE CONTEMPLATE THIS FOR A FEW MINTUES BEFORE REPLYING

IF life is too arranged, perfect or anything else to have been randomly generated, thus suggesting an Intelligent Designer… who or what created the Designer?

a) Was the Intelligent Designer randomly created? (would this take us into an increasingly smaller spiraling argument?)
b) Was the Designer itself created? (If so, by who (whom?).)
c) Was the Intelligent Designer always here? (is this not the Christian belief in the “Alpha and Omega” of God. He has always been here, is here now and is in the future type of thing).
d) Because limiting the possibility of aliens would be considered intellectually dishonest if we are to freely consider all legitimate possibilities, could it have been aliens? (But, who created the aliens?)
e) Some other explanation I haven’t thought of?

The implications of this question takes us to , what I see the whole issue. Some say that this is unknown and thus not subject to this debate or is somhow unfair or smug?

To me, it is the next logical question. One that does have significant ramifications.

I hope that someone else can see the dillema that this brings regardess if we every answer the qustion of ID or not. Who or what or where did this Intelligent Desgner come from?


Erika,
I do not know if I will get in trouble for pasting a previous question I have asked more than once on this board… But, gosh, I would really love an answer from someone.

While we all argue the definition of a theory, hypothesis, open verus closed system, maybe I am not enjoying the chase and looking to the capture.

Regardless of whether or not ID is a religion and should be taught in school… it will all lead to, in my belief, to the above question.

This is asked in all seriousness and not as an attempt to stump or deny anyone’s arguments… I just see it as a very vaild point in the whole discussion and would like to get some ideas.

Thank you!

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 24, 2005 12:43 PM
Comment #107127

D

It is interesting. Yes, politicans do appoint the judges, but there is a surprising difference between the way the appointer thinks the judge will rule and the way the judges actully do rule.

I would guess since this is the way that the founding fathers determined that judges were appointed the realized the dangers… but I believe that they fealt that a judge would put our nation, its rule of law, and the Constitution and I believe for the most part that has been the case.

There are lots that can argue against me and have very valid examples. Which, is part of the process.

I believe that the Constitution was intentionally written with a minimalist approach. That is one of the reasons that the Bill of Rights was not included into the main document. There was disagreement between the writers of whether these rights would be federal of left to the states. I it my understanding that the states came back and demanded that these rights be put in because they were too important to be inplemented piece meal across the states.

I believe that the Constitution does meet our needs. It may not be pretty, popular or fast… but I do believe that it is the best that was ever created and still operational.

I am interested in which need is not being met. I believe that all our needs are being met. It may require compromise which some do not like. But I am not seeing where it is causing us harm in the process as used since our founding.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 24, 2005 12:53 PM
Comment #107131

Darren, to give an answer to your question, I believe the standard answer was that the designer always was and always will be/is outside of time and therefore does not need to have a cause. However, there are similar hypotheses about the universe, that it always has been and always will be and cyclically expands and contracts.

However, I think the question is somewhat irrelevant because we cannot fault ID for not having all the answers any more than we can fault evolution for not having all the answers.

Posted by: Erika at December 24, 2005 1:15 PM
Comment #107135

Thank you Erika,

I appreciate it… I did not see if from that point. That is why I was asking so persisently (sorry for spelling (Grin)).

I feel like such a jerk (thank you to those who will agree that I am), but I was looking for an answer and your’s was very helpful and did not treat me as if I had no right to ask.

I just see it as if we insist there was an intelligent designer because we cannot answer questions yet… we will ultimately hit that wall. As my philosophy professor said, eventually all arguments lead to a point where we cannot answer.

This brings to the point the orginal question this blog was started with (as I see it)… and my answer is that ID is not ready for public grades 1-12.

If a person wishes to discount evolution they may enroll their children into a private school which reflects their beliefs…

Talk to their children about why their families beliefs differ in this instance with that of what is being taught in school…

Most want the government to have the lightest touch possible in our classroom.

Those that argue that it is only an attempt to clarify a student’s understanding of the nature of a theory may do so at home. It does not require the government to do this.

So, for my opinion as relating to the original question…

NO, ID should not be taught in school.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 24, 2005 1:46 PM
Comment #107145

Thanks for the links, lawnboy. I will read them.

In the meantime, in physics there is a pretty clear distinction between theorists and researchers. They do almost entirely different types of work. In between them lie only the science popularizers and the few textbook publishers who try to soften up students to really difficult concepts by actually describing them in English.

It is in this in-between world that I.D. theorists have found their niche. The foot they get in the door with the average joe generalist is that, sure, the strict evolutionists can explain away anything by saying that ten billion to one odds against a particularly involved bio chemical pathway will still happen, and the old standby, in four billion years anything can happen.

The problem is that most “popular” scientific theories want to find the simplest possible explanation. The Copernican solar system is somehow conceptually simpler than the Ptolemaic. That is nice. The Ptolemaic system, however, worked just as well when it comes to calculations and until very, very recent times the people who calculated tide charts still used the Ptolemaic system. A computer would be happy using either system and not notice a big simplicity advantage either way, especially when relativistic corrections have to be put in.

I have often argued that extraterrestials might stubbornly insist upon their home planet being the center of the universe. Everything revolves around them! But since these E.T.s actually think like computers, the flaws in their paradigm conceptually aren’t particularly noteworthy to them. They can still navigate around the universe just find.

I.D. proponents are working the fringes of conceptual simplicity. I suspect when a better theory of evolution comes along, it will draw from insights gained by fierce arguments in these realms.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook at December 24, 2005 2:17 PM
Comment #107193

Paul Szydlowski said,

Even believers in the Big Bang (I count myself among them) have to wonder what came before. …

I find your combination of faith and science perfectly reasonable. The reason I picked out your statement above is that this is a common misconception, and a fair one at that. One of the deeper implications of relativity theory is that time & space cannot be treated seperately, and the standard scientific view of the Big Bang is that space AND time came into existence together. There is no ‘before’ in that view.
Not that this in any way invalidates your view, just spreading the knowledge. Any God worth their salt should be capable of existing outside of time.

Posted by: Jon at December 24, 2005 7:28 PM
Comment #107196

A few more thoughts…

1) Ray: ID most certainly does not belong in a Philosophy course. For one, where would we put it? I’m certainly not teaching ID in my Political Philosophy course, and I doubt any of my colleagues are willing to throw it in with their discussions of ethics, epistemology or metaphysics. If ID can barely meet the standards for scientific method of the hard sciences, there’s no way that this ‘theory’ meets the standards for philosophical inquiry, as logic of the deductive sort used by Philosophers is more demanding and less forgiving than the inductive logic used by Biologists and Geneticists.

2A) Paul: if a high school student needs a disclaimer to know that “some believe [the universe] was begun by God,” he should be held back a few years in order to get in touch with reality.

2B) Be careful, Paul, when you mention ‘faith’ in a debate such as this. I believe someone (possibly the Russian doctor) already mentioned that Theology, as an academic discipline, has its own methods and structure. These methods are derived, believe it or not, from the word ‘faith.’ The Gnostic scriptures, as well as the original translations of most Biblical texts, use the word, “pisits.” as the word for “faith.” Pistis, translated, means “faith through reason,” or “faith through wisdom;” occasionally referred to as ‘pistis sophia.’ Most biblical scholars, though interestingly less Christians, believe that this diction was not accidental—God it seems, was telling his flock not to trust in a ‘blind faith,’ but rather to to have faith in that which can be verified by reason. Aquinas argued this in the Summa, asserting that God gave men the faculty of reason and it would be insulting to not vindicate his gift by utilizing it. The point here is that it seems that God is telling his followers that any theory they might have, be it regarding the origins of life or the origins of God, must be derived from method and reason.

3) Marty, I’m not a crim-pro expert, but I have a hunch that if I ever showed up in court (god forbid that day would ever happen) and did nothing but deny all the evidence and deny the existence of any sound argument, I’d be held in contempt, laughed out of the courtroom, be disbarred, or all of the above.

4) Dawn, these are my first postings on this site. A student recently brought my attention to it before the holiday.

5) Darren, you’re right, we do seem to agree, but also seem to be discussing different issues. A few thoughts on your questions…but first I need to confess that any knowledge I have of domestic civil law and national and state government is purely incidental. While I am a member of the bar in several states, my primary fields of study are political theory and i-law. With that in mind, it’s tricky to determine how much influence, if any, the federal government ought to have on high school curricula. As the federal government does subsidize much of public schooling in this country, it’s reasonable to assume it should have some say. However, I firmly believe that this control should merely be standardizing, such that a student in Maine and a student in Hawaii will have studied the same material, giving them relatively equal footing when it comes to college admissions, the military or what not. All other curricula development, I believe, ought to be left to the BOE.

6) Darren makes two interesting points about the nature of education. Let me first address putting the wrong answer on a test: Education, either at the primary or secondary level, is not about vindicating one’s beliefs. It’s about giving a person the mental faculties necessary to determine their beliefs for themselves. Which brings me to your next point, that not being college educated shouldn’t be a bar to joining an intellectual debate. You’re right and wrong on this one, I think. I don’t believe that the average hs graduate has the refined cognitive capacities and understanding of sophisticated ideas to engage intelligently in a debate the same way that the average college graduate does. This is not to say that people that haven’t gone to college aren’t as smart as those who have, but rather that a less sophisticated, or lesser trained mind is less apt to understand the intricacies of law, religion, sociology and science that are present in a civic debate such as this one.

7) Steve, I have NEVER met a scientist that denies the possibility that there might be another plausible theory other than evolution. Further, I’m fairly certain that every scientist out there is eager to “to test and explore further,” in the hopes that an even more sound elegant theory might be arrived upon. I think the point is that most scientists have determined that ID is not that alternative theory, and there seems to be a lack of other options.

8) Michael, I have no idea what physicists are saying these days about the nature of “chance,” but I know personally a dozen statisticians, and can give you a list of a few million more, that will swear oaths in blood that chance is not “an illusion of consciousness.” Further, I don’t believe that accidents and chance invite us back to contemplating “who” created these things, but rather “how” these things were created. Once we understand how they were created, I’m certain we’ll discover whether or not there is a creator.

Posted by: mike at December 24, 2005 7:32 PM
Comment #107220

Mike,

The problem I have with limiting debate is that it really does set us up as an “Intellectual Elite.” This really is sad to contemplate because it says that only those with the proper credentials are considered worthy of having their opinion listened to.

To call the Democrats, to which the liberals are associated with, the “intellectual elite” is especially troublesome because I come from a long line of blue-collar, labor organizing democrats. Their concerns were a fair wage, safe working enviroment, decent hours and many other simple issues.

To me, these are still the core ideas I believe Democrats stand for and why I stay with this party. It isn’t to win debates over some very esoteric ideas based upon rules of debate and logic…

I believe that it is better to be proud of what a person does know, or wants to learn, or to express to the best of their ability than to have that person proclaim with pride their ignorance.

Like curiosity… if I can have a student that is curious I can do anything. If he doesn’t have it then it is hard work for us both.

If a person discusses he learns as he builds his argument, explores the opinions of others and then either reenforces his argument or adapts the new knowlege to his own. This, sir, is learning.

Much of it is not done in the classroom. It is done in the dorm rooms where students discuss new ideas with others. It is done in the coffee shops, at home with their parents, on blogs with others.

I know when I entered college at the age of 27 after 10 years in the military I was way ahead of my fellow students. Today I am 46 and still going to college. This summer I took 3 graduate classes. When young students tell me I am smart I tell them that I am just older. More experienced.

I agree that sometimes people may think themselves a Rush Limbaugh or a Michael Moore. Instead of debate they want to try to impress people with the nastiness of their contempt for a person’s opinion. I believe they think they are cute, but most when I have expressed my feelings have been very warm and apologized.

I would hate to see contempt of a person’s opinion simply because of an error in their logic. Instead of attacking the person or minimizing the person I would focus on the error of their logic. Maybe they could fix that error and still reach the same conclusion. Or, maybe come to my side of the argument.

With my love of teaching and my desire to teach social science, I want each student to be able to participate in school and in the political process to the highest level of his ability. Whether or not I agree with him is irrelvelant.

As with a person wanting to give a speech or to write a paper… the audience needs to be taken into consideration. The intent of my presentation is not to impress the people there… I will assume that this is so because they are there (either in person or reading what I have written). They want to hear what I have to say. The level of my address would be tailored to the needs of that audience.

If background is required, or maybe an agreement on definitions, whatever I would try to supply it. Again, my intent is to inform or persuade and it is my responsibility to make myself understood.

Now, I am not talking about someone walking in off the street and listening to a speaker talk about advanced physics… I am talking about political positions in this case.

After many attempts I got a reply from Erika about the questions I had… the one concerning where would an Intelligent Designer come from?

I appreciated her reply because she gave it and because she gave me respect and an answer I had not thought of before.

One last thought… I was driving back from the store tonight and it is Christmas Eve. I was thinking about the importance of this argument and why some people feel it is so important to introduce ID into the schools…

It reminds me of a woman I knew from Lebanon. She was a Christian. When Americans talk about Christians being censored or persecuted by the government they really are cheapening the plight of the censorship and persecution of Christians in other countries.

They do not have freedom to worship. They do not have gauranteed rights that are enforced. They do not have tax free status.

Their country is dominated by a different religion.

Just as Americans want to proclaim this as a Christian country and demand certain things because of their majority… do we show the best America has as an example to other countries?

Do we say that their mingling of Islam with the government is only fair and the minority just has to take what freedoms is bestowed on them?

Merry Christmas

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 24, 2005 9:13 PM
Comment #107223

Darren7160,

I agree with you.

Being an “intellectual elite” doesn’t mean that you are always correct, it just makes it easier to convince yourself that you are.

What I mean is: There are always other points of view based on varying life experiences.

Just because someone can read a book, it does not mean they can actually apply what they read to ‘real life’.

Plain old common sense can go a long way.

Using a combination of both usually works best.

Posted by: dawn at December 24, 2005 9:30 PM
Comment #107234

Does it really matter what public school can or cannot teach? Seems to me they are haveing a real hard time teaching basic math, reading, and writing. That is why it is a non issue with most people. The real issue is why the public schools in this country can not teac the basics, much less complex science or nonscience!

Posted by: G at December 24, 2005 10:37 PM
Comment #107236

Dawn,

AMEN to your last point on good ole common sense.
Common sense helps us understand science when it’s
right and tolerate it when it’s just theoretical.
Kind of like faith.
There are so many good points on this thread on both sides of the issue and not enough time to respond to them all. By the time I tried, we will all have evolved into beings of energy ( like on “Stargate-SG1”…okay, don’t tell me I’m the only sci-fi nerd here ).


LawnBoy,

you may have already divulged this info in past
threads, but please enlighten me. I’m curious to
know what you do for a living and what your level
of education is. If you don’t mind letting us know. It’s quite obvious that you’re a very well
educated and intelligent person ( as are most on
this blog ) and we may not always agree completely
on certain issues. But that doesn’t mean that
your ability to intelligently get your points
across doesn’t have my respect. You do. So if
you wouldn’t mind, I’m just curious. And I think
you’ll agree that if Darwin hadn’t been curious,
we would be having this lively, mostly civil and
intelligent debate.

Posted by: Dale Garland at December 24, 2005 11:08 PM
Comment #107240

Dawn,
You ask if we should teach Evolution or Creation to our children and to that I ask which one?

A Simple Life: Plain Living and High Thinking in American Culture
by David Emory Shi

http://books.google.com/books?ie=UTF-8&hl=en&id=-wSbGrOXJv8C&pg=PA197&lpg=PA197&dq=Simple+productive+life&prev=http://books.google.com/books%3Fq%3DSimple%2Bproductive%2Blife&sig=p6_FifsQsNQ7Ys6uC7wuUIJP5yc

Wants everybody to begin the standard of a simple life at “Crumbled bread and oatmeal, washed down with a little tea or water from a mountain stream.
————————————————————-
A real good layout of History

http://forums.atlantisrising.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/001035.html
—————————————————-
Wikipedia explains Civilization

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization
——————————————————
The Primitivism Critique of Civilization
by Richard Heinberg June 15, 1995

http://www.eco-action.org/dt/critique.html

Proof that I am not the only one who questions our Elders.
——————————————————-
Wikipedia: Evolution

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

Good proof of the Carbon Unit
——————————————————-
Social Evolution
by Benjamin Kidd 1894

http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=28570007
——————————————————-
Wikipedia: Creation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation
————————————————-
Human’s Natural Creation

http://www.novan.com/hum3imag.htm
——————————————————-
Universal Laws that govern Creation: Metaphysics

http://www.som.org/2laws/universallaws/alawdirectory.htm

__ What is Metaphysics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics
——————————————————
Religious Evolution

http://www.ethicalatheist.com/docs/religious_evolution.html
—————————————————-
Ancient Religions and Myths

http://www.meta-religion.com/World_Religions/Ancient_religions/ancient_religions.htm
——————————————————-
Masonic History in the Creation and Evolution of Humans and their Societies.

Sorry for the long list, but I do this to demonstrate the vast knowledge and wisdom required to understand the simplicity in nature in dealing with the complexity that we call life. Therefore, IMHO I think it is best to teach our children that science can not and should not answer everything. The fact that something must consume in order to exist is a puzzle left better off alone for a few more centuries; nevertheless, it is after that point when Creation and Evolution begin in our mind. In fact, it is what America’s & Humanity’s Civilizations are based on as well as most religions of today. However, to really rock the world of Our Elders we are going to have to explain to them just why their way of thinking is wrong. For can anyone tell me why we teach all children and adults that a cube has only six sides? Because in the “Real World” a cube must have 12 sides to exist. It is this long standing gap between Common Sense Knowledge and Book Knowledge that would help our children the most wouldn’t it?

Thus, instead of creation or evolution we should teach them that like in all Nature something or some one twisted reality as we know and understand it like a Great Experiment in the Art of Consuming and it is our role as Americans to design and build a Nation and Society in which all Citizens can become self-sufficient so that they may live to consume properly. Because like it or not guys we are going to have to build a Righteous World if ???? It’s the only way to Peace on Earth.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 24, 2005 11:23 PM
Comment #107253
I.D. may be testable and falsifiable. I would consider it to be pretty well refuted once someone creates life in a test tube at the level of a prokaryotic cell that thereafter can self-reproduce in a stable environment.

Forgive me if I’m misunderstanding something here, but wouldn’t that just prove that life CAN be intelligently designed? How would creating life in a test tube prove evolution over ID? It wouldn’t appear, at least to me, to address the question of which processes originally caused life to happen on earth. It would just show one way that life could be created, and in this instance a way that implicitly requires human intervention. Doesn’t that provide more support for ID than for evolution?

Posted by: Jarandhel at December 25, 2005 12:54 AM
Comment #107260

Dale Garland,

LawnBoy, you may have already divulged this info in past threads, but please enlighten me. I’m curious to know what you do for a living and what your level of education is. If you don’t mind letting us know.

I don’t mind at all. I have two engineering bachelor’s degrees (Chemical Engineering and Systems Science), with a minor in Russian Studies. I’m currently 80% finished with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. For employment, I’ve been working as a Software developer for the past five or so years.

It’s quite obvious that you’re a very well educated and intelligent person ( as are most on this blog ) and we may not always agree completely on certain issues. But that doesn’t mean that your ability to intelligently get your points across doesn’t have my respect. You do.

Thank you. I know that we have crossed swords in the past on the Gay Marriage debate, but I found it interesting to debate with you, too.

And I think you’ll agree that if Darwin hadn’t been curious,we would be having this lively, mostly civil and intelligent debate.

Absolutely.

Merry Christmas

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 25, 2005 1:59 AM
Comment #107268

Looks like the party’s moved over to Roach’s thread! =)

I’m not sure I should get involved in another one of these threads but we just have such good discussions.

Merry Christmas and see those of you who still have more to say on the new thread.

Posted by: Erika at December 25, 2005 3:14 AM
Comment #107314

Thank you to all who joined me in my ‘experiment’.
It seems it was a success.

I answered my own questions.

Do I really need to post my own opinion to get others to tell me theirs?
Can a thread be sucessful without giving the opportunity to bash first?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

Happy Holidays to All!

Posted by: Dawn at December 25, 2005 9:34 AM
Comment #107315

Henry,

“Dawn,
You ask if we should teach Evolution or Creation to our children and to that I ask which one?”

Did I?

I was actually more interested in why anyone would want to keep information about EITHER one away from our children.
The more knowledge our children have - the better chance they will have to fix this world we live in.

Posted by: dawn at December 25, 2005 9:38 AM
Comment #107318

To no deny that there is a theory is draconian to me. Secularism is the way of the world now. Devoid of belief and basicly agnostic. When you hold up a mirror and see a human face looking back at you what is it inside of you that strives to know why? Are we better off as humans, knowing that we will die, age, and basiclly fighting all of natures ways to get us there? Do wild animals feel sorry for themselves when they are about to die? Do they seem unhappy? Deep within us,IMO, we all have a soul. That is what seperates us from any other species. When science can prove or disprove this, then it can be my defacto belief.Till then, the best they can do is some fossil records and the fact we have opposing thumbs. Do not get me wrong. I feel science has a real place in this world. It is for lack of a better explaination our best defense against disease,our rationalization, of matter, and our key to advanceing as a civilization of technology.It will not, and will never, replace faith as the binding glue of our society. I certianly hope not for our sakes.

Posted by: G at December 25, 2005 10:06 AM
Comment #107321

Jarandehl, I suspect that the sequence of steps used to create life in the test tube would all have a certain probability to occur naturally, and even when you multiply those probabilities all sequentially and get some ridiculous number like 10 to the 20th power, scientism would argue that, given billions of years, etc., it could happen.

Of course, I would counter that first life on Earth did not have billions of years, maybe several hundred million to get to the kind of simple cell we find today (which is not really so simple inside, having structure that some theorists think must have sought refuge inside the cell and thus escaped extinction.)

I’ve thought of a stronger proof for I.D. Suppose we start contacting intelligent beings in outer space? They turn out to all be hominids no more different from us in appearance than Star Trek’s Spock. Even though all their religions and science clubs may have other notions, I would argue that finding a similar fossil record and current biota on two entirely different worlds would be convincing proof that the universe was built on some type of limiting scheme that only produces a particular result. That smacks of design.

Posted by: Michael L. Cook at December 25, 2005 10:15 AM
Comment #107340
I’ve thought of a stronger proof for I.D. Suppose we start contacting intelligent beings in outer space?

Unfortunately, a proof that requires doing something that might be impossible isn’t usually considered a very good proof.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 25, 2005 11:56 AM
Comment #107343

Hi G,

“To no deny that there is a theory is draconian to me.”

Science and math are draconian. Saying “It just doesn’t feel right that E=mc^2” won’t get you anywhere in a science class.

“Secularism is the way of the world now.”

Secularism is the basis for the Constitution. Our government is based on secularism.

That doesn’t mean our private lives should be based on secularism but religion and government have been shown to be a very bad mix.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 25, 2005 12:12 PM
Comment #107344

Hi G,

“To no deny that there is a theory is draconian to me.”

Science and math are draconian. Saying “It just doesn’t feel right that E=mc^2” won’t get you anywhere in a science class.

“Secularism is the way of the world now.”

Secularism is the basis for the Constitution. Our government is based on secularism.

That doesn’t mean our private lives should be based on secularism but religion and government have been shown to be a very bad mix.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 25, 2005 12:14 PM
Comment #107359

Yes in science class it may not get you anywhere,but in real life it gets you everywhere. To simply rule something out and not to continue to question it is human nature. Less, we become machines.

As for the Government being secular. I think that it is and has been, but then,this country was founded by men who had faith and they did not intend religion to be devoid in this nation, only that one religion not be the national religion and persicute the others.

There is religion in all facets of our government right now. Just look on the walls of the supreme court, and ask yourself if all of our elected leaders are Agnostic?

Posted by: G at December 25, 2005 1:17 PM
Comment #107361

Hi G,

Our country was founded on the notion that man can rule himself fairly. This is a secular humanistic idea.

Our Constitution is based on the philosophy of secular humanism.

Our founders didn’t expect that the citizens of this country be secular but they set up a secular government.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 25, 2005 1:26 PM
Comment #107364

Interperate it what way you will. I will say that most of us have a deep faith in something.I do not subscribe that people of this country have a single national religion, but i do subscribe that the majority rule where someone lives. it is not he federal governments job to make religion disappear either. Funny how somewhere in all this the Majority of this nation caved to the minority. Nothing like letting the few lead the many.

Posted by: G at December 25, 2005 2:06 PM
Comment #107368

Hi G,

“i do subscribe that the majority rule where someone lives.”

The majority can’t dictate religion to the minority.

“it is not he federal governments job to make religion disappear either.”

I wasn’t saying that. I’ve never heard anyone say that.

“Nothing like letting the few lead the many.”

The majority can’t dicate religion to the minority.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 25, 2005 2:25 PM
Comment #107373

Aswell,the minority can not dictate the belief and practices of the majority. Here in lies the problem. Inorder to not offend a few the vast and larger numbersd of a group must suffer inorder to please these few. Hence Socialism!

Posted by: G at December 25, 2005 2:47 PM
Comment #107375
Inorder to not offend a few the vast and larger numbersd of a group must suffer inorder to please these few. Hence Socialism!

Huh? What does one have to do with the other? And what do either have to do with the debate at hand?

Nothing and nothing.

Socialism is a way of structuring an economy. How you connect that to any of this makes no sense, unless you don’t actually know the principles you’re talking about.

Then, it makes complete sense.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 25, 2005 3:25 PM
Comment #107376

dc,
let me know what university you will be teaching at and what university or universities you have attended to receive your masters. I want to make sure none of my children attend either.

Posted by: ec at December 25, 2005 3:41 PM
Comment #107377

Myopic,veiw would be the assertion you have just made. It has everything to do with this disscussion. To let the State dictate what people can and can not study and let the state or this case the government rule the way we think and operate is a principle of this. When the people no longer can vote and have a say in their own life, and when we elect someone who does not represent our interests,then we are turning over the power of the government form us to the State or the government in this case. When all along the power is ours not the elected officals. Some would like schools to be a vaccum in which only a sterile group of ideas are allowed to be disscussed! Yes it is pretty sad when you look at how we are moving more and more in the direction of the state running our lives,instead of the state working for us. So here in is the comparison. To not teach all theory is a comprimise, IE socilism, and not cometition, which is capitolism. Last time i checked that was our economy and our country.

Posted by: G at December 25, 2005 3:45 PM
Comment #107378

rhinehold,
if private companies ran our national parks they would be filled with condominiums, shopping malls, theme parks, et etc.,ad infinitum.

Posted by: ec at December 25, 2005 4:05 PM
Comment #107379

G,

No, you are wrong. To teach ID would be a compromise. The hard-nosed capitalistic competition has been fought, and ID lost. Maybe someday it will be able to compete, but right now it has nothing to bring to the challenge.

To allow ID to be taught in our public schools would be a capitulation to compromise. It would be a choice not to offend mediocracy instead of championing success.

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 25, 2005 4:07 PM
Comment #107380

g,
with all the dicussion that’s been going on there is one concept that seems to be ignored. that is, that id is a religious concept masquarading as science. it is not. i, for one am for the 1st amendment seperation clause.

also, capitalism is not democracy. they are two seperate entities and hopefully will be treated as such. if “not to teach all theories is a compromise, ie socialism…”. Can you relate the socialsm in your comment to democracy? i don’t see relationship nor how capitalism fits in.

Posted by: ec at December 25, 2005 4:26 PM
Comment #107403

Today, after the collapse of `actually existing socialism’, most self-styled ‘socialists’ have abandoned any vision for a marketless, stateless, noncapitalist society and identify economic democracy with the enhancement of civil society’ within the context of ‘radical’ democracy. Furthermore, they do not propose any dialectical tension between the nation-state and civil society. The enhancement of the latter has nothing to do anymore with the process of withering away of the former, but it solely aims to counterbalance or just check the state’s power, within a market economy system. In other words, the vision of a socialist planned economy, to emerge after a transition period, has simply been abandoned by most ‘socialists’ today.

Neoliberals, for instance, identify economic democracy with `popular capitalism’, which, however, can secure neither democratic ownership nor control. Thus, as the Thatcherite experiment of popular capitalism has shown, a wider spreading in the ownership of shares does not imply a smaller concentration of ownership and economic power. Furthermore, the spreading of shares is not, by itself, related to a higher degree of democratic control since the crucial economic decisions are still taken by managers and technocrats on the basis of profit-making considerations.

Posted by: G at December 25, 2005 9:19 PM
Comment #107422

Dawn,
I think that the Founding Fathers recognized the connection and relationship that Religion and Societal Law play in the creation and evolution of Knowledge and Wisdom throughout America’s and Humanity’s Civilizations. Because why Religious Laws and Teachings seek to expand one’s knowledge of what is right, Societal Laws seek to Limit the Freewill of the Individual by telling us that something is wrong. However, both must answer to that which is known by The Spoken Word of a Righteous Man. Maybe the fact that Human Nature has alot to do with it is the reason most fear to teach young men.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 25, 2005 11:08 PM
Comment #107426
Today, after the collapse of ‘actually existing socialism’…

Translation:
Socialism is basically dead, but the word still has powerful negative connotations in American society. So, I will use it to describe any idea I don’t like that I think is coming from the Librullls. I will do this even when the idea I’m attacking has nothing to do with Socialism, economics, or the free market, and I will use it to support my ideas, even if those ideas have been rightly analysed and dismissed in the proper forum.

Attacking ideas by mislabelling them as Socialism is much easier than being accurate, being precise, or thinking.

So, supporting Evolution is Socialism, baby!!!!

Posted by: LawnBoy at December 26, 2005 12:33 AM
Comment #107483

Hi LouisXIV,

“i do subscribe that the majority rule where someone lives.”

In a sense they do, by electing the politicans that represent what they believe in within the laws that rule us as a nation. Wait until my argument futher down. You will love it and keep this statement firmly in mind.

The majority can’t dictate religion to the minority.

Nor should they make the minority support the majority. Our system is based on some fundamental rights which cannot be taken away. However, chipping away at the edges of these rights with restrictive laws enough and it starts to appear as if these rights are because the government GIVES them to us… rather than us giving the government just enough power to do what needs to be done.


“it is not he federal governments job to make religion disappear either.”

Sir, I have not personally ever seen one law that has attempted to censor a religion, limit its doctrine or the manner in which people worship.

There are some instances of Native American and Paficif Island religions that have been challenged as far as their ceremonies.

Not having mangers in the city square is not going to make a religion disappear. If a religion is in danger of not surviving unless it is supported by the government than:
a) It is a very weak religion. Mine, I believe, is strong enough.
b) Christians are very weak and insecure in their faith. My faith is based upon my personal relationship with Christ and God, not whether the government participates in anyway.

The majority can’t dicate religion to the minority.

Are the rights of the minority protected because we deign to protect them or because their rights are just as sacred as our because they are Americans. All Americans, regardless of religion, color, ethnicity, level of education… equally have these rights. Not based upon the size of the group.

Your argument of the limitations of the majority is based upon AMERICA’s Constitution, not on the definition of Democracy, Republic, Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, whatever.

Since you use the name, LouisXIV, I am sure that you are aware of what happens when the rule of the majority becomes a mob? What happens when the rule of law is discarded for the rule of passion, power and those with the belief that they are the only ones who know what is RIGHT?

TO ALL TO ALL TO ALL TO ALL

This is not on topic for the question of whether or not ID is for public schools BUT…

TODAY real CHRISTIANS are living with persecution. In countires that have a MAJORITY religion, usually Islam but could be Hinue or any other.

Most would agree that the world would be better if Democracy ANDthe Rule of Law of a CONSTITUTION demanding the Separation of Church and State. This would allow the Christian minority freedoms that they currently do not enjoy.

If we argue that within our culture and society, because it is a Christian based one(can be argued, stay with me), we need to somehow support a religion (as if respect and adherence of law is only possible if it based on the Bible, Koran or…)then, if or when, democracy (simply defined as one-person, one-vote and rule of the >50%)does enter these countries we cannot argue the protection of the Christian minorities!

The Will of the majority has spoken.

To all the Political Science people, my belief:
1) Democracy is 1-person, 1-vote, rule of the majority. (Some Greeks were seriously scared by this and did not like it.)
2) Republic is a representative for of government. In our case democratically elected where each person votes for their representative.
3) CONSTITIUTION is a system of laws defining the minimum and maximum of some specific responsibilities and powers.

TO MY FELLOW CHRISTIANS TO MY FELLOW CHRISTIANS
When it is time to meet your Maker and He asks why you did not try to help other Christians in countries where they needed your support, you are free to tell Him that you were more concerned with forcing the government to place a manger in the public square than supporting ideas which could be used by the rest of the world to cease the persecution of Christian MINORITIES.

I am not sure He will appreciate your priorities.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 26, 2005 9:26 AM
Comment #107486

Henry Schlatman,

Sir, if your assertions were supported by history in any way then it would be good…

However, heresy, dogma, inquisitions and
persecution of people with findings not supported by the Church litter our past.

To be honest, the cannot be denied. What can be debated is the “expand one’s knowledge of what is right” which is much different from “expand one’s knowledge of what is TRUE.”

RIGHT would be a value judgement and open to the interpretation of whether or not it was right within the teachings of a religion.

TRUE would be an objective statement of reality, not based on approval of a religion. (Others can play with these definitions and lose the point.)


“Societal Laws seek to Limit the Freewill of the Individual by telling us that something is wrong.”

Most, if not all, of societies laws limit the action of the Freewill Individual so the rights of the other Freewill Individuals to do not get trampled on.

Those laws which might limit thought are those that can be called into question and even here it can only limit the ACTIONS… not the THOUGHTS. Stem-cell research, cloning, etc.

Sir, as an educator I do not fear teaching any young man or woman. As a matter of fact, I have one of each in the form of my son and my daughter.

My philosophy of teaching is to help students attain knowledge and the tools they will need in life to determine for themselves what is right… even if it is not something I believe is right. Can they support their beliefs? If so, then they are critical, thoughtful citizens who will be able to understand “The Spoken Word of a Righteous Man.”

Please read my question concerning the role of religion in a Constitutional Democratic Republic and then I would love to discuss this with you.

One last question sir…

Say you become a judge, you take an oath to God to interpret laws without bias…

You come upon an instance of where your ruling would conflict with your religous beliefs… the law clearly says one thing and your beliefs say something else…

Would you:
1) Honor your oath to God and rule in favor of the law? (If so, then you are now in the same position that all politicans, judges and teachers of all faiths are in that you might condem.)

2) Break your oath and rule in favor of your faith? (Of what value is your oath or word worth anymore?) Can you then say that you are a Righteous man? Would not a Righteous man be honest and say that he could not be a judge, politican or a teacher because it could put him in conflict with his beliefs and he would act on his beliefs at the detrement of the Oath he would take?

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 26, 2005 9:51 AM
Comment #107491

Hi Darren,

“I am sure that you are aware of what happens when the rule of the majority becomes a mob?”

I am aware of that. That is a good point you raised.

Tyranny of the majority is something people tend to forget about. Our founders were well aware of it of course.

The mess in Iraq has made me aware of just how amazing our democracy is. It takes incredible cooperation to have a democracy. A violent minority, of say 10%, can easily put an end to a democracy.

Nice post there Darren!

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 26, 2005 10:12 AM
Comment #107518

LouisXIV,

Thank you.

What brought this to my attention was that about 10 years ago or so the radical Islamic party was about to win the elections in Algeria and they stepped in to stop the elections which set off a bloodbath. The Muslim Brotherhood is also growing strong in Egypt through the democratic process which most fear will not respect the democratic principles and the rule of law because they will have the majority and in a democracy it only requires >50% to make the rest dance to their tune.

Democracy, Republics, Capitalism which are some of the ideals that a lot of us hold to be “good” depends on the respect of the law. It is my belief that the law needs to be secular.

Secular does NOT have to mean without morality. The morality of the law can come from religions or not. What is best for society may be considered secualar.

If the government is not trusted/mandated to perform so many things in society, why do some believe that it can be trusted/mandated to ride that fine line of supporting one religion while still “respecting” (whatever thay may mean) that of the minority?

In themsevles, none of the above ideals will give us what we want in life or in a government.

If we really want to propose to the rest of the world that our form of government is better than strapping bombs around their waist or crashing planes into buildings, then we need to make sure that we show the very best of what we have to offer.

That is all I ask of people. Expand an argument out to encompass where we want this pretty little blue marble to grow towards.

If that means I worship in my own way based upon my beliefs and the decorations I want to use in the little part of this world that I am responsible for (my church, my home, my family) and not worry about governmental support of my beliefs, and each does the same, then maybe in Syria, Egypt, Algeria, Lebabon, Iran, Iraq and other countries their minorities might do the same.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 26, 2005 11:28 AM
Comment #107586

I’m all for teaching ID in school. Just as soon as they start teaching evolution in church.

Posted by: ElliottBay at December 26, 2005 3:53 PM
Comment #107808

Darren7160,

You say that my facts which can be backed up by any Historian are “Findings not supported by the Church.” Does not history repeatedly show us that most churches fall into appeasing or oppressing their flock? Even in the 21st Century there exist those Sages that do not want “The Masses” to know the “Truth.” In fact, they have been found in bed with Societal Leaders to divide the populous in our society. Just in Christianity there exits how many Churches teaching their people how many different ways that the Church is right and all knowing. So may I ask which Church is it that does not support the cold hard facts of life?

On your argument of what is Right and True, I will have mercy on your idea that Right belongs to just one Religion. Again, what Church believes that their Teachings are above that which is known to be Right and True by The Spoken Word of Man? What is True is found in every Human’s own voice and mind. This fact of Human Nature has not been proven wrong in over 15,000 years. Sometimes misinterpreted, but never wrong. Although I have the idea that you are younger than I am because of your remarks and comments, I do recommend to you that you seek a Sage outside your normal societal ring and have a talk with him/her.

Most, if not all, of societies laws limit the action of the Freewill Individual so the rights of the other Freewill Individuals to do not get trampled on.
Those laws which might limit thought are those that can be called into question and even here it can only limit the ACTIONS… not the THOUGHTS. Stem-cell research, cloning, etc. Close, actually America’s Laws should teach us how to consume properly by law, but that is a real long story about our Founding Fathers.

As an Educator, you have been taught and you teach your students that a cube has six sides, correct? For this Common Knowledge has been known for at least a 1,000 years. However, the Information Age has proved that fact wrong. View any cube in 3D and one has to come to terms with the fact that a cube has 12 sides (6 on the outside and 6 on the inside; the difference being the thickness of the walls of the cube). Now is this Common Knowledge today? No, because it would screw up to many minds. Shot, changing our temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius still hasn’t happened and that started in our society over forty years ago. Nevertheless, at which Realm of Reality do you think Right and True should fall into about a cube? Like the story of the “Red Hot Coal” some facts of life stand solid regardless of one’s Race, Color, or Creed. We can argue the degree of the burn, but not the fact that it will burn you if you pick it up.

On your question about “God” and the Judgment over one’s own actions as well as that of others. Ok, Disclaimer; this is not legal advice, but is an attempt to answer the question of where is right when torn between one’s belief in their religion and the acceptance in the Cardinal Knowledge that “God’s Law’s” are held to the standard of being unalienable right regardless; thus, to be Right and True I must find in Man’s Law that which is Right and True based upon the evidence placed before me. The reason why is the fact that while my belief in being right does not match the evidence placed in front of the Judge. For how can someone call any Religious Belief that is shown to unalienable Right Regardless wrong by their beliefs? Now, are Man’s Laws perfect? In intent, they are petty close. However, I must agree with you that in the Words and Actions of our elected officials, they are being lead blindly down a road that even our Sages must wonder were we are headed.

Now, here is my question to you. Can you name me one thing in this world to include the universe, itself, that does not have to consume in order to exist in our Reality? Hint: if you can think of something it at least consumes thought? Why are Governments driven to see that their citizens have what they need to consume and be happy? For what reason can be given by any Church for the fact that they try to teach their followers how to consume properly in society? And Constitutionally, Our Nation is founded on governing from the view point of the Consumers, not the Church nor any other belief that does not hold “The Creator” of this Great Experiment called Society in the Art of Consumption to the Standard of being “Unalienable Right Regardless.”

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 27, 2005 2:22 AM
Comment #107931

Henry Schlatman,

In the 21st Century there are “Sages” who wish to withold the truth.

If you are talking about secular interests not wanting to explore the idea of an Intelligent Designer then you are corrent.

If you are talking about religous interests not wanting to explore the idea of evolution.

I agree. You mention age and experiece, reread your proposition and try to imagine some one even younger than I am (by the way, 46) trying to support or aruge a debate such as this…

Again, I will say that ID is not ready for public schools grades 1-12. Why not just let the parent’s that have trouble with evolution explain it to their own children?

We will assume that the parents who are concerned about this argument and wish to introduce the explaination that this is all a “theory” are not the only concerned parents. That those who do not wish to introduce ID are just as concerned.

One gives the power to the parents to decide what is right while the other wants to give the power to the governement.

Each parent should be equally interested in ALL subjects. As an educator, what I DON’T know far far far outweighs what I do know. As in, “The more I learn the more I realize that I don’t know.”

If a person want to deny the number of sides of a cube, then I would have to look at the intent of that person. If the evidence does not support what is before a person’s eyes, then why is that person insisting that REAL isn’t REAL.

In the instance of the Dover ID case, the judge, who swore the oath we were discussing, saw that the proponents of ID were trying to introduce ID as a means of introducing religion. I read his judement and he was convinced that through the testamony, the evidence presented and the actions of the school board, they were trying to us ID as a means to violate the law.

We may or may not disagree with his judgment. I do not know his heart. Somone out there may know more about him and it could turn out that he has an agenda, I do not know.

What I will assume, and yes, I am making assumptions all over the place, this judge is an experiencd man with knowledge of the law. I will also assume that he does or does not have a faith in some religion, which we, I think, have agreed he must (should) disregard if in conflict with the evidence…

Here, he ruled that based on everything that was presented to him, this was not about open discussion in the classroom and the questioning of whether or not the theory of evoltion was questionable enough to introduce, through the governments intervention, an alternative theory. He found that this was an attempt by a group of people to introduce a religous viewpoint into a public school.

As an aside, society too often insists that the courts determine the truth or reality of science, which it really isn’t capable of doing. Before evidence is in people have tried to sue for brain cancer because of microwave radiation from transmitters. There can be other instances such as this.

Anyone that has ever tried to follow the proper recommended dietary guidelines and weight loss is well aware that what science says one day may not be true the next.

Is this a fault of science? That what we know changes? If there is scientific dogma that attempts to preclude investigation then I do not believe it is the fault of science, but of the people who are being dogmatic.

Scientists and doctors absolutely knew that ulcers could not be caused by bacteria. They laughed the person suggesting it off the stage. He was right! Ulcers are now treated with anti-biotics.

I believe that those that doubted him did not label his beliefs heresy, sinful or immoral. I do not believe that their judgement of him was because of Truth (with a religous, regardless of denomination or sect) but because they believed he was wrong.

Sir, I do appreciate your intelligence and consistency. I honor that most highly above so many other things. Thank you!

With the judge in the quandary… you are very consistent with the absolute morality and even though it makes it difficult at times, absolute morality is a bedrock from which all else can be founded.

If the inalieable rights of Man are based upon those give to him by God, then when it comes to man determining the exercise of those rights over a person’s faith then, as a judge, he is sworn to protect those rights. Thus moral.

Did I paraphrase that correctly?

That is an excellent argument and point taken if I did get it right.

Sir, as to consumption and the role of the State. As a Christian, I find the defense of unfettered Capitalsim troublesome.

We may go and look at the interpretation of some of the religous sects that determined that hard work and profit were a sign of God’s Grace. This is a Protestant belief from a couple of hundred years ago. I do not defend this, nor do I believe it.

This has been described at the great White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant (WASP) belief of old. That a man’s Grace is reflected in his success.

Christ was very clear through His words and His actios that the lowest among us is worthy of His love.

Unfortunately, Captialism as an economic model (theory) seems to be synonomous with democracy and America. I find this sad because when it comes time to question, as a society, what we should do about OUR air, water, and natural (God given) resources then it comes down to dogmatic name calling. It happens all the time.

Question any aspect of Capitalism and risk being labeled Communist, Socialist, Marxist or what have you. I can pretty much promise that once any of those words pop into a persons mouth then all chances of discussion are out the window.

In answer to your question (I hate it when a point is made, a question is asked and then not answered, don’t you?

No, I cannot think of anything living that does not consume.

I do not know why governments would do this, other than to say that the government is not a separate entity capable of independant thought and it is composed of people. It is these people that make up our government believe that this is the proper path.

I do hope I am understand this correctly. If not, then I am sorry.

If a church is attempting to teach its members how to consume properly because our world is a gift from God and He gave us dominion over all its creatures and land, then we should be responsible consumers and manager of this gift. Some also argue that the body is a temple or a gift from God so smoking, drinking, excessive eating is wrong.

If a church is attempting to tell people that consumerism and the attainment of things is an important then I believe they have lost sight of Christ’s teachings.

I would say, that in either case, the people should decide for themselves and if they chose accordingly, with prayers and God’s guideance… one of those churches would have a person preaching to empty pews.

Thank you very much for your thoughts and I do hope to hear from you.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 27, 2005 10:40 AM
Comment #108012

Hi Darren,

“Secular does NOT have to mean without morality.”

That’s what our founders had in mind when they wrote the Constitution.

Like the Enlightenment philosophers our founders thought that the highest form of governmental morality is aquired through reason.

It’s probably too soon to tell whether secular government is more moral than religious government but it’s not too soon to say that religious governments have consistantly been extremely imoral.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 27, 2005 1:47 PM
Comment #108022

Hi LouisXIV,

Yes sir. I really hate to make arguments based on the relative morality of the actions of one group versus another because I believe that this encourages bad behavior based on the precedence of bad behavior.

“Yes, my person did a bad thing, but yours did too so we have to somehow balance the scales.”

As a father of two children I gave up trying to be absolutely fair to each and had to admit that at times one might have an advantage over the other but it isn’t because I don’t love them equally.

I do hope to hear from Henry because I am interested in the question concerning the Church and consumption.

Do we (meaning me and others who might believe in Christ) accept the gift of this world and our stewardship over it from God and treat it with reverence and respect?

I cannot see how a Christian with the above belief cannot want to carefully manage and treasure what was given to us.

Does this maybe put us uncomfortably close with environmentalists? I would say my discomfort would depend on which environmentalists you are talking about. There are extremists in all belief systems… religous and secular.

I do not believe in spiking trees. I do not believe in raiding labs or setting fire to SUVs.

I would, as a Christian, encourage each person to be as gentle in their footprints on God’s earth. I would encourage each to save a bit of its beauty for our grandchildren.

I would encourage people to gaze in awe of His sunrise as it shows through clean air, are sparkles off of clean water.

To personalize it… If I gave my children something wonderful, a family heirloom that I wanted them to pass down to the next generations, I would not appreciate their treating it with contempt.

If, on this issue, I happened to be in agreement with some group or person that I did not agree with on other issues I would try to work together for this issue.

One issue at a time if nothing else.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 27, 2005 2:01 PM
Comment #108033

The amazing thing about science is that it is self correcting. For every scientist that says that the answer is “X” there are thousands of other scientists out there trying to prove him/her wrong. We see this self correcting especially when we see cases of fraud in science, such as the piltdown hoax and the more recent fraud in South Korea regarding stem cells. Falsified information was put forth and struck down, these cases emphasize and clearly show how science corrects itself. Scientific information is carefully scrutinized and if incorrect or suspect it is harshly refuted. Religious “theories” are not scrutinized at all, they are based on faith not fact, and need no evidence to back up any wild claims. For instance the Mormans believe Jesus was resurrected and came to North America. They based an entire religion on zero evidence including the fact that before the white folk showed up none of the locals “Indians” had ever even heard of any type of monotheistic religion, let alone christianity. If ID were brought forth in a court of law as evidence it would be thrown out as conjecture and circumstantial. If people want to believe in ID no problem, but to try to insert it into scholastic curriculum as scientific theory is absolutely wrong. It is based on faith not fact (even if you really want to believe in it and it has become “fact” to you).

Posted by: jeff at December 27, 2005 2:15 PM
Comment #108058

For all of you that are interested there is a wonderful article about the dangers of fundamentalism for all of you who like to go strictly by faith alone and ignore all that science has to offer.

“VATICAN CITY - A Vatican cardinal said Thursday the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into “fundamentalism” if it ignores scientific reason.”

http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/34594.html
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=47205
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamentalism


or ignore this so that we may start our own american taliban … woo hoo GO IGNORANCE!!!

Posted by: Jeff at December 27, 2005 2:52 PM
Comment #108089

For all of you that are interested there is a wonderful article about the dangers of fundamentalism for all of you who like to go strictly by faith alone and ignore all that science has to offer.

“VATICAN CITY - A Vatican cardinal said Thursday the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into “fundamentalism” if it ignores scientific reason.”

http://www.freenewmexican.com/news/34594.html
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=47205
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamentalism


or ignore this so that we may start our own american taliban … woo hoo GO IGNORANCE!!!

Posted by: Jeff at December 27, 2005 3:27 PM
Comment #108090

Darren7160,
In dealing with people withholding the Truth from us, I have to say that the Individual is the one at fault. My History Teacher in high school IMHO stated it best after I asked him why didn’t they teach us that Life is nothing but a Game. For before answering me, he asked the question “Would you of listened?” Even as we set here today, I can ask several questions that I know for a fact “Societal Standards” would keep them from being answered. Also I know for a fact that there exist several questions that I do not want to know the answer to and do not want to seek them. Nevertheless, Our Society must be taught to come to terms with the undeniable fact that Life as we know it consist of the Art of Consuming. And it is the Role of Government and Society to find away to meet the Needs and Wants of the Citizens. Therefore, the duty and responsibility of Every American Citizen is to learn how to consume properly for “We the People” are those entities.

Creation and Evolution of Nature, Individuals, Nations, and Society can be taught without reference to religion nor personal beliefs. All one has to do is to look at America’s Society over the last 40 years to see that Our Elders created the idea of changing our industrialized nation into a service based economy. Having no more than blind faith and the Laws of Human Nature, the Elders set into place the political goal of our Nation to serve the Beast of Nature “I the Corporation” so history teaches. However according to the Laws of Nature; the Beast of Nature “I the Corporation” must serve the Beast of Nature “We the Consumers” in order to feed itself. The evolution has been the life’s that we have learned to live given our “New Found Freedom.”

Yes, some of the results have been by any measure appalling. $40 trillion dollars in “Consumer Debt” should force any reasonable person to come to the conclusion that something is not right. Humans surviving without the proper food to feed them or the ability to purchase what they consume is an other issue that should stifle one’s reasoning and logic into knowing something is not right in our Societal Thinking. However, our society has advanced in almost every area that was an issue in the 70’s and everyone has come to realize that Individuals must prove in Society that they are living “A Simple, Productive, Prosperous Life” for on that they will be judged by Society.

Now, the Devine Laws of Nature incorporated into this line of Reasoning and Logic or Realm of Thought seeks to answer and provide for the questions and answers that come forward as “We the Consumers” are awakening to the Right and True power that we have as American Citizens in a Free Market (the A-heel of the Republican Party). The Public Debate between Labor and Management that use to exist in our politics and societal interests is now being replaced by the very public debate over “Rich” vs. “The Poor” and how can we ethically and morally sue Society so that all Humans can “Consume Properly” as intended by “The Creator” of Humanity’s Civilization which brings together Conscious, Freewill, and Knowledge to pay forward that which is all ready known to exist.

While actions and words show up in the fact that the Democrats and Republicans have for the most part settled the argument of “Making Money,” the divide in which they find themselves has left both of them “Clueless” in coming to terms with that which is making itself known among the “Enlightened of Our Society.” Today, all I can say is that America and Humanity’s Civilization stands at a Crossroad of Life and our future as a Nation rest on the fact that by Our Founding Documents clearly establishes that “We the People” be governed by the Laws of the Land that make Common Sense to the average Citizens general understanding of what is Right. However, (important note to all students) Our Society allows for one’s own personal ability to be “Unalienable Right” (as judged by your Peers) based solely on the Knowledge and Wisdom one has in between their ears and how to apply that Cardinal Knowledge properly to The Laws of Nature; The Intent of the Laws of the Land; and this thing called “The Natural Course of Human Events” (i.e. Life). For the role of a Judge is not to find one to be unalienable Right Regardless, but close enough so that when “The Judge” renders their verdict in Writing than others can see the Reason and Logic used vindicate that ruling.

In 2006 and beyond, the American Society must make up its mind. Do we want our children to be able to openly discuss and politically debate what it will actually take to build a Future where every Consume on Earth can afford to purchase that what they consume and do it in such a manner that it adds positively to our environment or do we let like some Republicans and the President wants to do and allow “I the Corporation” tell us what is right and wrong to consume as they grow wealthier and The Poor grow poorer. You are a Father and a Teacher which is easier to remember “The Truth” or a set a beliefs or facts that attempt to sway one’s opinion. Better yet, which one should we follow as a Society.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 27, 2005 3:27 PM
Comment #108099

Hi Darren,

“I really hate to make arguments based on the relative morality of the actions of one group versus another because I believe that this encourages bad behavior based on the precedence of bad behavior.”

I’m not much on moral relatavism. Everybody is to some extent unless one is the Pope or the Dalai Lama.

I’ve had war supporting right wingers accuse me of moral relatavism. I always indicate that anybody in favor of war is a moral relatavist.

I also frequently get accused by right wingers of being a “secularist” or “secular humanist”.

I believe that our secularist form of government is the best sort of government but in my day to day life I’m less of a secularist than most people I encounter.

I’m an avid kayaker and I spend a lot of time in remote areas. When I’m out in nature I’m not out there as a secularist by any means….I’m seeking the devine when I’m out in nature.

What I’m saying is that secularism is a silly thing to base one’s life on but a really good thing to base a government on.



Posted by: LouisXIV at December 27, 2005 3:42 PM
Comment #108125

LouisXIV,
Could it be that the two Realms of Tought and Reality are opposed to each other? Our Founding Fathers believed that our two party political system could use that to our society’s advantage in creating and governing a Nation based on what is proven to be found Unalienable Right Regardless in a Court of Law by Man. Perrty radicule even by Today’s Standard, huh?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 27, 2005 4:19 PM
Comment #108156

Hi Henry,

“Could it be that the two Realms of Tought and Reality are opposed to each other?”

I spend a lot of time wondering about just that.

I’ve studied biology and theology so, to a certain extent, I live the dichotomy you speak of.

The scholastics (Aquinas and those guys) tried to tie in religion and reason and failed miserably (religion lost out).

The Enlightenment philosophers did quite a bit better. They managed to make science look divinely inspired where as, with all the knowledge we now have, science is largely technical rather than inspired.

Here’s an example of how I try to bring the two together:

I once took a comparative physiology course and was studying nitrogen metabolism and excretion. One day at the end of a hard day hitting the books I went for a walk on the beach at sunset and brought some brandy along.

It was low tide so I found myself standing on slimy rocks surrounded by molluscs and whatnot drinking brandy and peeing into the water. I felt a tie in with all the life around me in the sense that I was dealing with nitrogen metabolism just like all the other life.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 27, 2005 5:11 PM
Comment #108166

Hi Henry,

“Could it be that the two Realms of Tought and Reality are opposed to each other?”

I wonder about that a lot.

I’ve studied biology and theology so, to a certain extent, I live the dichotomy you speak of.

The scholastics (Aquinas and those guys) tried to justify religion and reason. They failed miserably and religion suffered for their attempts.

The Enlightenment philosophers managed to make science seem mystical. They had an easier time of as these days science is more technical and less inspired (in general I mean).

Here’s an example of how I attempt to merge the two:

I once took a comparative physiology course. We were studying nitrogen metabolism and excretion. One day after hitting the books hard I went for a walk on the beach at sunset with a bottle of brandy.

I found myself standing on slippery rocks near the waters edge at low tide drinking brandy and peeing into the water. I felt one with the mollusks and other life around me in that our life was, to a large extent, all about nitrogen metabolism.

One needs literature and poetry I think to bring theology and science together.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 27, 2005 5:24 PM
Comment #108202

Henry,

Sir, as I have mentioned, I appreciate your consistency. In the political arena so often the focus is in trying to justify the actions of the current administation based upon the actions of the previous one.

With an absloute belief in the rightness or wrongness, the actions of a person are not based on whether or not someone did something or not.

In law, intent and precedence are often used. I do not have trouble with that actually… as a society we have decided that:

Intentional murder, murder for profit or the killing of a police officer are worse and punished harsher than murder without prior intent (crime of passion).

We should not shoot into a crowd to stop a jaywalker… but if the person is intent on harming someone else then that might justify it.

These are codified and constistent. I like that because it implies and hopefully works out that we are treated equally and we have expectations of the consequences of our actions.

My objection to politics and its partisan followers is that the winning by beating the opponents is more imporant than the issue.

We, as Americans, might have a better life if we were able to take good ideas, regarless of where they came from and work together. However, it seems to be an unwritten law that if one party comes up with a position the other party has to come up with an absolutely opposite one. Sometimes this causes a bit of gymnastics but it seems to be that way.

For any that have problems with teachers, just imagine all the things we are asked (required) to do that is above and beyond the 3 Rs.

We are not trained to teach religion. In the grades 1 - 8 we are basically general educators that can teach the subjects to an appropriate level for the students of these grades.

I am older, more experience, but mostly older than 98% of the students I am going through the licensure program with. In most classes I am the only male!!!

These young ladys want to teach children. They want to be teachers. They are not qualified to teach religion or even some religous concepts.

One young lady from a religous private school was saying that the writer of Revelations was John the Baptist. I knew that it was John of Patmos but it wasn’t relative to our discussion so I just noted it and let the discussion move on.

The point is, even with an undergraduate degree and 2 additional years in education, I do not feel qualified to discuss these issues to the satisfaction of all parents. I am sure that I could probably meet the needs of a lot of my students, but I shouldn’t be asked to do this and I shouldn’t be having to discuss how fosslized bones can be millions of years old when the student’s parent says that the world is only 6,000 years old.

I do want to respect the parents of the students even when I disagree with them. I would not want to tell the student that their parents are wrong as far as I (and most of the other people) am concerned. I would much rather explian that this is the belief of most people and the student needs to talk with their parents for the reason.

If a parent cares enough about this issue then that parent should talk to their child. As has been noted in other posts by people, there are a lot of objections to what teachers are teaching. If so, then those parents are welcome to work with a teacher to find a way to reconcile their concerns…

Just like TV should not be a babysitter, schools should not be a place to dump kids to stuff their heads with information and keep them off the streets for 6 to 8 hours.

If a parent does not care and wants to leave the teaching of evolution up to the schools then their child should get the evolution lecture.

I do invite people to call the local school and ask to sit in on a class. I know you will be most welcome. Talk to the teacher and I am sure you will meet a very concerned, thoughtful and cooperative person. If you don’t then I apologize because most of them are.

Posted by: Darren7160 at December 27, 2005 8:41 PM
Comment #108223

LouisXIV,
Are you not equal with all that consumes? Or are Humans above the rock that consumes the earth below their feet?

Darren7160,
You are correct about the problems that you discussed and IMHO the Founding Fathers Ideology about Society can be used to explain why Right & Wrong matter and why “The Line in the Sand” is where it is at. As well as the argument that some people want to believe that the world (i.e. Civilization) started only 6,000 years ago.

Both being of importance to the development in the Human Race’s Evolution into Today’s Society, they make up the essence of Human Nature. Thus, Right & Wrong is given to the fact that while all Consumes have the Freewill to have what they Need & Want, it is the “Righteous Width” that is controlled by “We the Consumer.” and a “Room full of Grandma’s.” Thereby making right that which falls into a story of the Natural Course of Human Events that will prove to others that one’s actions and words were the correct response given Human & Self-Nature. As far as “The World” beginning 6,000 years ago, “Ancient & and Old World Teachings” for that point in Space & Time is marked by a Greek or Latin Word which meaning escapes me right now. However, it does have something to do with the understanding of Good vs. Evil and Humanity’s Nations fight to win the War.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 27, 2005 10:07 PM
Comment #108238

Hi Darren,

“One young lady from a religous private school was saying that the writer of Revelations was John the Baptist.”

I don’t think that’s a popular view but it is asserted by J Massyngberde-Ford, a Proffesor at Notre Dame, in her book “Revelation, a New Translation with Introduction and Commentary” makes a strong case for John the Baptist being the author.

I have no opinion on the matter but, as I say, Proffesor Massyngberde-Ford makes a strong case.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 12:13 AM
Comment #108239

Hi Henry,

“Are you not equal with all that consumes?”

I eat and excrete therefore I am and that goes for the rest of life.

Posted by: LouisXIV at December 28, 2005 12:15 AM
Comment #109679

So, a Religious theory, is the same as a Scientific theory, which is the same as a psychology theory, which is the same as a sociological theory….
Why go to school at all when I could just read the bible…who knew!

Posted by: elgringo at January 1, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #109681

So a ball is a ball is a ball…who knew? A baseball is the same as a football, which is the same as a soccer ball, which is the same as a tenis ball. Cool…now I can practice one sport and be a pro in ten!

Posted by: Elgringo at January 1, 2006 5:18 PM
Comment #109775

Hi LouisXIV,

If that is the case, then it just proves my point. Sorry it took so long to get back on this one.

Myself, and just about every other teacher is not qualified to do this type of teaching. There just isn’t enough time to take the classes it would require, along with all the other classes needed to become a teacher, and still have time to work towards a pension before retirement!

I am sure that even Sunday school teachers are versed in the particulars of the religion at which they teach.

ESPECIALLY if we get into Revelations…. was it all a metaphore for the Roman Empire? Or was it meant to be interpreted literally?

I enjoy studying the history of the Church and of all religions… but I sure don’t want to step into trying to teach it.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 2, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #109882

Elgringo,
You said the following “So, a Religious theory, is the same as a Scientific theory, which is the same as a psychology theory, which is the same as a sociological theory….” and that “A baseball is the same as a football, which is the same as a soccer ball, which is the same as a tenis ball” Wrong, although at a very fundamental state of being they may all hold a common thread, their role in our lives are as different as night and day.

Like you said a ball is a ball is a ball. However, the word “ball” can take on the realm of being alot of things. Go to a dictionary like the one at Answer.com and you quickly find that the word “ball” has several meanings based upon the way a person uses it. Thereby allowing us simple folks to enjoy a game of baseball or football uniformely acround the world. For if we didn’t have these different levels of word association our world would realy be alot harder to live in. How would you define a baseball if you could not use the word “ball?” Yet, as reality shows us today “The Word” has been made to discribe things that don’t even come close to being a “Ball.” Have a ball; Get on the ball; and one that I’ll not mention all prove my point. So how can a ball be a ball when reality states defferently?

It is the same way in looking at the theories that you mentioned. Although we have to accept the fact that in “Reality” all things must consume in order to exist (call it a flaw in our Thinking), the words Psychology; Religious; Scientific; & Sociological takes on their own realms of being & thoughts when dealing with “I the Consumer.” And it is this difference that makes up the world that we live in. Nevertheless, if you asked me to explain them in detail I should not and will not answer that question. Instead I would send you to your Elders so that they could show you the gentle side of Human Nature. However, I’ll leave you with this insight to what the Founding Fathers figured out some 229 years ago.

Psychology Theory: A study that dates back eons which seeks to answer the question; “Am I nothing more than a Consumer?”

Religious Theory: The study and practice of Human Nature’s endless drive to seek what is Right and True so the “I the Consumer” who is Human does not become Rapitalistic by Nature. Hence the Beast of Nature “I the Consumer” For it was the raping and pilfering of the Rapitalistic Kingdom which caused Man’s Laws that have ever since Oppressed The Human Race.

Scientific Theory: Truly the most purest form of Thought for this is the only theory that requires a Human to prove what he inalienable knows to be Unalienable Right Regardless. Fact known to all Parents throughout the Ages is that every Human by Nature is given a Voice of Truth and the Freewill to listen to it or not. However, saying one is right and having the ability to prove to others that you are Unalienable Right Regardless goes right to the heart of the debate between Man & Woman. The split being that only time will prove one Right or Wrong. Surely, we accept the fact that gold is in Reality “Gold.” Nevertheless, science can be said to be a study on how and why all things consume.

Sociological Theory: The study and practice of building “The Righteous Nation.” Yes, if we are to be governed by Laws than how can our leaders of our nations ensure that all the “I the Consumers” who are citizens have what they want and need for that is The Law of Nature. And better yet, how can we build it in such a manner that the Beast of Nature “I the Consumer” can not eat? Hence; since the Beast can only consume what is wrong, anything left over has to be Unalienable Right Regardless; thus, The God of Nature.

Combined they make up the four corners of the Pyramid of Existence. On the other hand, the four corners of the Pyramid of Life are controlled by Human Nature and thus represent the World that we live in today. Those corners grow and retract as more and more Individuals learn and come to understand that by consuming properly they to can have it all as was promised by The Ancient Ones long, long ago.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at January 3, 2006 1:54 AM
Comment #111249

The only thing I would underline here is that “Evolution” has become a religion to many and makes many assumptions because, to a large degree, it is un-testable and, therefore, not true science. Those of us who have a belief in a higher power yet are also educated well enough to understand “Scientific Fundamentalism” can only cringe when the idea of random selection and other various postulates are stated as fact in almost every form of media and in the classroom. I believe that children should be taught the mechanics of science that are provable and testable (genetics, chemistry, embryology, fossil records), but I don’t believe that they should be taught in public schools, one way or another, a theory of how or why we came to be. Let this be reserved when their minds are less impressionable so they can form real opinions. What I am sick of is that I pay taxes to have the “religion” of an, un-provable, and large degree “random” theory taught as fact to my children. I simply don’t want them to view their lives in such a pathetically narrow and boring way. The truth is we can’t even accurately determine or recall what happened 100 years ago, let alone define as fact how we came to be millions of years ago.

Posted by: Tom Robbins at January 8, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #111250

Evolution does NOT have predictive power - unblievalbe to state this. Genetics has predictive power. It seems very reasonable to POSTULATE that genetics played the primary role in developing life. Thus the question is did an intellegent being “drive” genetics to produce a result, or is that result a question of random mutations and populations shifts etc. The preachers of Evolution refuse to aknowledge the miriad of questions that the THEORY of Evolution brings up. Evolution raises more questions than answers, but is still treated as fact, go figure.

Posted by: Tom Robbins at January 8, 2006 7:00 PM
Comment #114356

Kenneth Miller, a biochemist from Brown, did an excellent job of articulating the validity of evolution from a theological perspective on the Colbert Report last week. Watch the video here.

Posted by: The Screaming Centrist at January 18, 2006 1:52 PM
Post a comment