1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

US school's new challenge to Darwin

Discussion in 'Serious' started by acrimonious, 9 Feb 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. f U z ! o N

    f U z ! o N What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    1 Feb 2004
    Posts:
    593
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a christian myself i can tell you that how God created the world has absolutely nothing to do with salvation. now don't worry im not gonna preach :). creationists like to say "well if you don't take Genesis literally how can you take the resurrection of Christ literally?" i tell them look, the resurrection of Christ cannot be tested scientifically. you have to believe it on faith. Genesis however, we know is not true. you will not go to Hell for believing in evolution. don't let creatonists tell you that junk. they are not mutually exclusive but emrace each other rather well. i believe its so much more divine to throw some laws together and let the universe do its own thing. i think thats how God did it and oneday i'll get to ask Him!
     
  2. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

    Joined:
    31 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    18
    I apologize for soundling as if I'm bashing, that was not my intention. The point I was trying to make is that there are people trying to take advantage of the status of the protected status of religon to defend themselves from argument. (hiding behind it as a shield, or setting up a straw man) Instead of involving themselves in a debate, they claim discrimination based on religon, so all arguments against them are invalid because they are anti (insert religon here). The bad guy in this is usally science, though it can be any party. In this debate, the 'bad guy' are the scientists.

    A debate is where one side presents an argument, along with fact to reinforce the agument then allows the other side to respond, with facts that are just as concrete. Concrete facts are those that have stood up to the scientific method. This means that the facts have withstood all attempts to disprove them using natural laws that we know. A short example is gravity. I drop somthing and it falls. There is no apparent means of it being drawn to the ground, so I suspect there is a force causing this. So I search for ways to either prevent from falling, thus floating in mid air without any support, or a case where things move away from the ground. If I find such a case, I look for the reasons for this happening (aerodynamic lift, electromagnetics, ect). OK, probally not the best example, but I hope it illustrates the point.

    As for ID being creationism, by it's very definition it is creationism. An intellegent design implise an intelligent force or being, most likely having sentience (SP?). If there is a being that makes stuff happen, then that being is a creator, or at least a force with abilities such as have been attributed to a creator in nearly all religons of the world.

    A deeper though on this, might this be a backlash on genetic modification and other biology research such as stem cells? By 'proving' mankind is 'special', its a shield against the implications of cloning, genetic screening, ect?
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2005
  3. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,578
    Likes Received:
    2,012
    The same could be said about science sometimes... Some people claim that their actions are above ethical or moral reasoning because "this is (rational) science" (or especially: "scientific progress"), and any arguments against whether we should do something just because we can are dismissed as the whining of luddites. As I said, both science and faith (or philosophy) are important.

    It is an interesting example... Gravity has undergone some interesting changes in conceptualisation. It started with scientific observation concluding that it behaves like a force acting on an object, therefore it must be. Later Einstein came along and said that actually, gravity curves space-time and therefore does not act on the object directly, but the space-time it moves in. It bends the path it travels in towards the center of gravity. Now we still do not actually know how gravity performs this trick. But we know where to look (i.e. in the domain of physics, rather than the supernatural), even if we don't know what to look for. But such is science: constantly tweaking and refining (and occasionally quite drastically changing) what we (thought we) know, to get more and more accurate facts. Science is a recursive process of self-correction and self-improvement. And again, ID is not. It starts with a hypothesis and seeks to confirm it, rather than test it through challenge.
     
  4. J-Pepper

    J-Pepper Minimodder

    Joined:
    20 Jul 2004
    Posts:
    1,492
    Likes Received:
    4
    Amen...
     
  5. Malvolio

    Malvolio .

    Joined:
    14 Dec 2003
    Posts:
    4,632
    Likes Received:
    178
    Figured this would be related to the topic:

    DOVER, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Voters came down hard Tuesday on school board members who backed a statement on intelligent design being read in biology class, ousting eight Republicans and replacing them with Democrats who want the concept stripped from the science curriculum.

    The election unfolded amid a landmark federal trial involving the Dover public schools and the question of whether intelligent design promotes the Bible's view of creation. Eight Dover families sued, saying it violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

    Dover's school board adopted a policy in October 2004 that requires ninth-graders to hear a prepared statement about intelligent design before learning about evolution in biology class.

    Eight of the nine school board members were up for election Tuesday. They were challenged by a slate of Democrats who argued that science class was not the appropriate forum for teaching intelligent design.



    More from CNN
     
  6. supermonkey

    supermonkey Deal with it

    Joined:
    14 Apr 2004
    Posts:
    4,955
    Likes Received:
    202
    And to throw more fuel on the fire...

    I think the citizens of Dover made the correct decision. However, Pat Robertson (of the 700 Club) might have a different opinion. Apparently he thinks God is going to come down on Dover for rejecting him. That's what happens when people make the jump from being religious to fundamentalist. I don't think fundamentalism, of any kind, is ever a good thing.

    More from Yahoo! News

    -monkey
     
  7. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

    Joined:
    31 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    18
    Concerning 'God punishing the sinners', I would like to see the reasoning and evidence. So far, in modern times, and from archeology, natural disaters are due to our dynamic planet, not magic. My point is that I scincerly doubt there will be any divine retrobution, not necessarially that there is no God. (see previous comments about a supreme being working within the rules of the created system)I would hope some of this will begin to die out as those preaching the power of God over sell that power.
     
  8. I'm_Not_A_Monster

    I'm_Not_A_Monster Hey, eat this...

    Joined:
    22 Dec 2003
    Posts:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    2
    just wait until something happens in one of the places that some fundie threatens. no matter how long ago they threatened, they will suddenly be the "voice of god" and more sheep will be attracted to them
     
  9. JChapman

    JChapman What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    18 Nov 2005
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  10. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,578
    Likes Received:
    2,012
    Uhm... yeah... OK.

    Welcome to the forums, JChapman. :clap: but I think it may help the discussion if you could rephrase all that in simpler, more user-friendly terms. Remember that eloquence is not about using big words, but using simple language effectively.
     
  11. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

    Joined:
    31 Dec 2002
    Posts:
    1,510
    Likes Received:
    18
    I'll try to be brief, but that may not leave me being terribly clear. I guess I'm just not very eloquent (not very good at typing either :) ).
    There is a religion I know of that, buried in it, states that mankind will eventually gain the same level of knowledge and power as God. So instead of becoming things to stroke the ego of a supreme being with mindless worship, we will get to try and fill his shoes, maybe in a few thousand millennia :)
    But from this point of view, consider creating the universe with one of it's primary goals of allowing a race to go from little better than animals to your equal. Just consider the challenge now of bringing a third world nation up to the level of the great powers of the world. That seems to be a lot more than we can handle now ourselves.

    But, looking at things in this perspective and considering how science has often challenged our concepts of morality, look at how we only have to deal with a shift in our concept of morality after we are ready. We are ready because we did not previously posses the capacity to come up with the scientific concept to bring about the new questions in morality, let alone the pure moral issues themselves.

    Take the concept of war. Up until recently, war was about 'punishing' all those involved in any small way with the opposing leadership. In other words, civilians were fair game. All weapons of war, until very recently, were about killing as many people as possible. Fire, explosives, and disease were the old ways of killing as many of the other side as possible with a single weapon. These reached a crescendo with automatic firearms, and aerial bombardment, and struck its final note with nuclear weapons. Finally, we had created something so terribly destructive that it made us really thing about what we had made. (We still had concepts of more powerful weapons, all we need to do is look at meteor impacts) We say was we had done, and had a crisis of morality. Now, warfare is becoming about doing small amounts of damage to very specific targets.
    Warfare is not the only thing that has brought about such changes in our moral thinking. This example was simply the most powerful I could come up with. Electricity, medical science, genetics, ect have all caused crisis of morality. Each time mankind has had to get back to the heart of morality and change it's definitions.
     
  12. Touchwood

    Touchwood What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    12 Jun 2005
    Posts:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Nice to read nearly everyone's got an opinion. I haven't got one, but I wish a Darwinist would show me an animal in transition, even in theory.
     
  13. I'm_Not_A_Monster

    I'm_Not_A_Monster Hey, eat this...

    Joined:
    22 Dec 2003
    Posts:
    2,480
    Likes Received:
    2
    thats the thing the creationists can't wrap their heads around, every animal is in "mid-transition." it's not like we're done evolving or anything*1, but you can see evolution in the small scale in your very own lifetime with bacteria.

    take a sample of bacteria and add a little penicillin, most will die, but if you added a small enough dose some bacteria will survive. leave these to incubate for a few days (hundreds of generations in the case of the bacteria) and take a sample of the living bacteria and put it in a clean dish (with no penicillin in it), leave that for a few days (enough to insure that all the "original" bacteria have died) and introduce some penicillin to them. nothing will happen.

    the penicillin killed off the "weaker" germs (the ones less resistant to the drug), and didn't kill the stronger ones. the stronger ones passed down the resistance to theie offspring, making them (all all their offspring) penicillin-proof. this is why "super germs" are so scary, it is perfectly possible that the black death could sweep across your hometown (again) because after centuries of almost killing it it has become more resistant as a whole to treatments.

    if you were to travel in time a million years into the future, you'd be dead in days. bacteria and virii evolve so quickly that a treatment could be useless in a single generation (of ours), imagine 500,000 generations!!! (assuming 1 generation = 20 yrs.)

    *1 - there has been a long-held theory that birds descended from dinosaurs, because they have similar structures and "designs" in their skeletons, not to mention hollow bones (for the most part, i doubt a bronchosaurus had hollow bones) and recently a dinosaur with feathers was discovered, proving a definate link between birds and dinos. find that on a neo-con creationist website.
     
  14. Touchwood

    Touchwood What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    12 Jun 2005
    Posts:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your posting, but would you mind clarifying a point in an earlier posting, which is; "we know Genesis is not true." After establishing some worthy foundation, such as the answer to this question for example, we can test the waters for future debate.

    Dymuniadau gorau
     
  15. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,578
    Likes Received:
    2,012
    Take eyes, for instance. Eminently useful but complex structures. How did they come about then? Nature is full of eyes in various stages of their evolutionary development, from light-sensitive patches (certain nematodes and oysters) to concave patches (which allow a sense of direction of movement) to concave patches that have turned into "pinhole cameras" (snails) with, in some, a droplet of mucus as a lens. From there it is a small step to more complex retina and lens structure. But it is not the only possible pathway; insects for instance developed a compound matrix of lightpatches instead.

    Well, I assume he meant: "not literally". It is an allegory. We know that Genesis gets the sequence in which the Earth and life upon it evolved pretty accurately, but a lot of that is common sense guesswork, really.

    The thing with Biblical stories like that is that people, in those days, weren't any stupider than they are now, and would have had the same questions: "Who are we, why are we here? What's the meaning of life?" (but only when more pertinent questions such as "what shall we eat?" were answered). So they would look around themselves and try and work things out --and explain things within their framework of reference.

    We anthromorphise, we see patterns in random information and cause and effect in two events that follow each other closely. Our perception and reasoning are governed by a priori expectations and therefore rather selective and biased. We can't help it --we're wired that way (for good survival reasons, by the way). Also we don't think in a neat stack of facts (let a=...) and hypotheses (If b=... then... for p<0.05); rather, we think in story (Once upon a time there was a... and when b happened...). Stories however need a certain structure and framework for them to appeal to us; they need drama. They need to be good stories.

    So you want to convey your ideas to the masses. Around 1000 B.C. most people do not get to philosophise beyond "What shall we eat?". Most can't even read or write. How are you going to tell a bunch of farmers and fishermen about your Theory of Everything? You have to appeal to their imagination, and a poor struggling farmer's imagination is quite literal. So you make a good story. A protective, loving (but strict) father figure, the First Man and Woman, heaven as a green paradise with an abundance of food and no more hardship and struggle for survival. Doesn't matter that this God person isn't an old bloke with white beard in the sky (in fact, that God isn't even a person as such), or that there wasn't one Adam, one Eve, because allegorically (or metaphorically) speaking there was. It's the principle ideas that counted.

    We know Jesus liked allegory --he used a lot of it. Like all prophets, he appreciated that people like a good story. Like all prophets he also knew people like drama and that therefore, being a prophet is risky business. You have to be prepared to die for your principles, often in very messy, painful, dramatic ways. Otherwise people won't sit up and pay attention. And in his case, it certainly worked: even now, roughly 2000 years later, we tell his story at Christmas to spellbound children, and we wear icons of his cucifixion.

    So there you are: Genesis is a good story: an allegory of what really happened. Don't feel bad about it though: in Science we also resort to metaphor and story, because the truth is often too complex to get your head around. People need the story to prepare or predispose their thinking with the concepts and frameworks necessary to understand the more complex truth later on (which is why your first University lecture often begins with: "Forget everything you learned in High School..."). For instance: we think atoms are like little solar systems: nucleus at the centre, electrons orbiting like planets. Wrong. We think current flows from + to -. Wrong. We think of gravity as a force that pulls. Wrong. We think of DNA as a tickertape of static information simply specifying the shape of our nose, the colour of our eyes, how tall we are etc. Wrong. We think that we are more evolved than a worm. Wrong.

    Things are way more complex than that. Evolution involves more complex principles than just the story you were taught with Darwinism.

    We all know that picture, chimp on the left, gradually walking to the right into a hairless, upright, noble human being (apparently looking pleased that he managed to undertake the whole journey without flashing his genitals). It's how people evolved right? Wrong. The real picture would have a proto-ape spreading out into a crowd of various different apes, some of which branch off again, some end abruptly, some merge again, split again, to eventually end in a series of branches ranging from Chimp, to Uran-Utang, to Gorilla, to Bonobo, to Human. Each as "evolved" as the other, just having taken a different meandering path through a maze of intersecting, merging and splitting branches. And the Bonobo would be flashing its genitals.

    The story (sic) is the same for every lifeform on Earth. And we're just discussing one facet of evolution now, not even considering nonlinear dynamics, chaos theory and Strange Attractors, reiteration, Critical Dependence on Initial Conditions, Emergence and all that stuff. You can see why Genesis makes for a more attractive story...
     
    Last edited: 10 Dec 2005
  16. Touchwood

    Touchwood What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    12 Jun 2005
    Posts:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    What an interesting point of view. Are you suggesting that the great variety of eyes are all part of the one evolutionary developmental pathway? The many different forms of eyes does not necessarily suggest an evolutionary connection. Science is a wonderful leveller for many people, but we all know the world is not flat. As knowledge increases so will our understanding. What is not a scientific fact today, may certainly be tomorrow, so let's not dismiss so easily that which we currently do not understand or simply does not fit in with our current way of thinking. Who would have thought that we would be able to communicate around spaceship earth so easily 100 years ago, which science could not prove then. Thanks Nexxo.
     
  17. kickarse

    kickarse What's a Dremel?

    Joined:
    6 Oct 2004
    Posts:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    0
    Simply, we don't need the eyes that hawks have and need better eyes then say dogs. There reason behind the way things are not just happen because it is.


    You have to remember the man who was inspired to write this part of the bible was not a scientist. For him to be as accurate, not just general, as he was is almost impossibly on his own doing. In fact I couldn't have guessed that without some very in depth scientific hypothesis and testing. You of all should know that one.

    There are many questions that science cannot answer. No given amount of time will suffice. That doesn't mean that science and the bible can't be the same. I say the bible and not religion because most religions(people in them) aren't living up to the bible.

    The bible still being around show's divine intervention. I was doing some research and just the Christian Greek portion has around 13,000 manuscripts available. All written on papryi, vellum or leather. These materials deteriorate rapidly over time. But they've been preserved. In fact the last bible writing was at 98 C.E. and the oldest known copy is 125 C.E. To put that into perspective, out of all the literary works of that time period from the Roman and Greek cultures there are very little available. And even then these copies are within centuries of the originals... Just to name a few reasons...

    Instead of thinking more that people appreciated a good story he understood that people remembered better when things were related to them in terms they would understand. Like fishing for men, pearl in a swines mouth, rich man and a camel and a needle, etc.

    You should know that from history that Christmas really has nothing to do with Christ's birth. And that the cross is not mentioned in the greek scriptures anywhere. Not even hinted at two pieces of anything perpendicular.

    ? I think your generalizing here.

    It's Uran-Utan. So wouldn't be considered a mutation? As such there is many mutating genes.

    It's all theory. You have to remember it's not proven. There's also string theory, black energy, anti-gravity, etc.
     
  18. J-Pepper

    J-Pepper Minimodder

    Joined:
    20 Jul 2004
    Posts:
    1,492
    Likes Received:
    4
    Personally, the word 'theory' is mis-understood by the general lay man and used ever too liberally.

    In a scientific sense, creationism is not a theory, and string 'theory' isn't technically a theory either and scientists acknowledge this (String 'theory' is working it's way to becoming a theory, but isn't one at the moment), but the general public don't know this.

    That is why there may be a change from calling String 'theory' to String 'phenomenon' (or something similar iirc) so not to confuse the public and also not to give fuel to the creationist camp who can then say that creationism is a 'theory'.

    But, the crucial fact is, evolution is a theory. Not the be all and end all, that's never possible in science, but it is the most relevant one we have within our frame of reference at this point in time.
     
  19. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    Joined:
    23 Oct 2001
    Posts:
    34,578
    Likes Received:
    2,012
    No, I am suggesting that they are all examples of more-or-less evolved eyes. We and oysters share the same common ancestor somewhere far back. We shared the same eyes. But we (and our eyes) evolved one way, and oysters in another, to be better able to exploit our respective ecological niches. We (and our eyes) became rather complex, but the oyster didn't have to, to function well in its niche. The eyes we find around us are simply "freeze-frame" examples of how it is possible for something simple to evolve into something complex.

    As I said. People weren't stupid. Even a farmer was a "biologist" in simple terms, where it concerned growing his crops, knowing about soil and seasons, pests and beneficial insects (e.g. bees). A fisherman was a simple "marine biologist", where it concerned knowing where and when to catch fish, knowing about the coastlines, spawing grounds, migratory patterns. People could look around themselves and ask questions. And if you are halfway logical, you know that the sky and earth have to exist before you can have lifeforms on it. Human beings seeing themselves as sort of the evidently most complex lifeforms, thinkihng themselves the most imporant, would see themselves as the pinnacle (even the purpose) of creation. Hence, logically we would come last.

    That's what I said: people think in Story. They will understand Story better, and remember Story better. It fits in their frame of reference and in how they think.

    Yes, but it makes a good story for Christmas, doesn't it? So guess what has prevailed? Accurate fact or the Story? :D

    I think you're misunderstanding. What I am saying is that we use story in preference of accurate fact because that helps us prepare our thinking to process those facts later on. It gives us a framework to think in. It is an incremental process, so to speak.

    Thanks for the correction. In Holland it's "Urang-Utang". ;) All species are mutations, and in process of mutation. It's an ongoing process.

    :sigh: Yes, there is lots of proof. But we've been here before and I'm not going there again, if you don't mind, for reasons I've also explained before...

    Frankly I do not think evolution, a process we can observe around us every day, and makes good logical sense, is any less plausible than assuming the Universe was "created" out of thin nothingness by an all-powerful entity that has Always Existed and will Always Exist just because some ancient scrolls written by non-scientists (as you call them) say so. To argue what came before the Big Bang is as valid as arguing what came before God.
     
  20. DreamTheEndless

    DreamTheEndless Gravity hates Bacon

    Joined:
    27 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    1,554
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe evidence is a better word....

    But then, I don't really want to get involved in this discussion. The people who believe that creationism is science will continue to think that it is science. And, to misquote Bill Shakespeare - "would creationism by any other name still smell like religion?" Yep - intelligent design is creationism. Interesting? Sure. Plausible? For some... Should it be taught in public school classrooms alongside of science? Not in the United States where our founding fathers guaranteed that no laws would be passed regarding an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

    Teaching creationism in public school would be teaching established religion and prohibiting free exercise of all other religions.

    Ok - I'll stop now. It's 4:30am and I'm too tired to be coherent.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page