Hammerin’ Creationism

Charles Krauthammer layeth down the smack on the creationist attempts to re-write science curricula:

The half-century campaign to eradicate any vestige of religion from public life has run its course. The backlash from a nation fed up with the A.C.L.U. kicking crèches out of municipal Christmas displays has created a new balance. State-supported universities may subsidize the activities of student religious groups. Monuments inscribed with the Ten Commandments are permitted on government grounds. The Federal Government is engaged in a major antipoverty initiative that gives money to churches. Religion is back out of the closet.

But nothing could do more to undermine this most salutary restoration than the new and gratuitous attempts to invade science, and most particularly evolution, with religion

This conflict between faith and science had mercifully abated over the past four centuries as each grew to permit the other its own independent sphere. What we are witnessing now is a frontier violation by the forces of religion. This new attack claims that because there are gaps in evolution, they therefore must be filled by a divine intelligent designer.

How many times do we have to rerun the Scopes “monkey trial”? There are gaps in science everywhere. Are we to fill them all with divinity? There were gaps in Newton’s universe. They were ultimately filled by Einstein’s revisions. There are gaps in Einstein’s universe, great chasms between it and quantum theory. Perhaps they are filled by God. Perhaps not. But it is certainly not science to merely declare it so.

To teach faith as science is to undermine the very idea of science, which is the acquisition of new knowledge through hypothesis, experimentation and evidence. To teach it as science is to encourage the supercilious caricature of America as a nation in the thrall of religious authority. To teach it as science is to discredit the welcome recent advances in permitting the public expression of religion. Faith can and should be proclaimed from every mountaintop and city square. But it has no place in science class. To impose it on the teaching of evolution is not just to invite ridicule but to earn it.

Meanwhile, the idiots are marching in Missouri:

“I knew you’d be excited to hear my bill,” Davis begins. “Good things are going on in Missouri education today.”

It’s a cheerful introduction to a case that later will link the lessons Missouri students yawn through in high school biology to the Holocaust.

Eager to present her witnesses, Davis gets to it.

“My bill is only three sentences,’’ she says. “It says that all biology textbooks sold to the public schools of the state of Missouri shall have one or more chapters containing a critical analysis of origins. The chapters shall convey the distinction between data and testable theories of science and philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may generate controversy, such as biological evolution, the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society.”

Yes, we must examine this controversy.

To Davis, evolution means “we all come from pond scum.”
“It’s saying that human life came from nothing, and that makes no sense to reasonable people,” Davis says.

Science refers to evolution, sometimes called microevolution, as inheritable changes within a population over generations. Evolutionary theory, or macroevolution, says that all life on Earth evolved from a common ancestor and that the processes propelling the diversification of living organisms are gene mutation, which creates variety, and natural selection, which filters it.

The theory of evolution makes no claims about the origin of life, although much of evolutionary criticism, including Davis’ bill, tackles the two in the same breath.

Sitting before the committee, Davis abstains from making scientific claims. Instead she turns the floor over to Ann Ihms, a chemistry teacher from Indiana, who gasps through her testimony without pause.

“Columbine. Despair. There’s trauma, there’s panic, there’s depression among our young people at levels that have never been before,” Ihms says. “And part of that is the evolutionary teaching.”

A few committee members fidget in the chairs. The evolutionists who have come to testify put palms to foreheads as Ihms continues.

“There are some reasons that evolution does lead to the conclusion that some human beings cleanse the gene pool — Hitler’s ideas — which is an evolutionary idea.”

Ugh.

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74 replies
  1. 1
    ppGaz says:

    Wow. Evolution theory blamed for Hitler, and Columbine. And depression.

    I say we cut to the chase: Blame it on the Bossa Nova.

    Blame it on the bossa nova with its magic spell

    Thus does life imitate art.

  2. 2
    Steve M says:

    Well, Godwin’s Law had to show up sooner or later in a discussion of evolution. And this was a particularly stupid invocation of it.

  3. 3
    Sojourner says:

    The biggest evidence against evolution is the existence of these idiots.

  4. 4
    JonBuck says:

    Of course, he conveniently forgets little things like The Inquisition, the burning people for heresy, the Witch Trials, and the like.

    You can twist any philosophy to evil purposes.

  5. 5
    DougJ says:

    Evolution is a hoax, a left-wing crock perpertrated by liberal scientists and foisted off on generations of school children as fact.

    I almost feel that this new dinosaur embryo is a joke that is being played upon scientists. The embryo seems to designed to walk on four legs, but we know that this particular species of dinosaur walked on two legs. This just goes to show that animals can change during their lifetimes, not just by natural selection. Here is the Times article about this dinosaur embryo
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07.....9dino.html

    The fact that it is an embryo — which liberals seem to love to see murdered — only adds to the irony.

    And here is an account of how humans and dinosaurs likely coexisted

    http://www.csama.org/199711NL.HTM#NewDino

    I’m tired of the “intellectual” right like Krauthammer whining…Chuckles is just another RINO.

  6. 6
    Michael D says:

    “It’s saying that human life came from nothing, and that makes no sense to reasonable people,”

    And Creationism is what, exactly???

  7. 7
    W.B. Reeves says:

    I don’t know why anyone would be surprised at this line of thinking. It’s seemed apparent to me for sometime that a major unifying theme on the far right is its opposition to such enlightenment legacies as rationalism. Blaming Darwin for the Holocaust is logically indistinguishable from blaming war critics for battle field casualities.

  8. 8
    DougJ says:

    “Blaming Darwin for the Holocaust is logically indistinguishable from blaming war critics for battle field casualities.”

    Correct — both assertions make a lot of sense. In that way, they are alike.

  9. 9
    KC says:

    Whew, the awesome logic of DougJ. Gawd, I need to grab a towel to wipe off my forehead. Thinking . . . to . . . hard . . .

  10. 10
    Joel B. says:

    How many times do we have to rerun the Scopes “monkey trial”?

    Of course, this is a great line, because the Scopes monkey trial in many ways showed the how dangerous evolutionary theory truly was. Few seem to realize that the book that Scopes tought from was quite racist in Social Darwinist. But hey, anything for the cause of science.

    Evolution that teaches than men descended from lower order creatures, does undermine so much of the equality of men. Why do we so assudiously hold to the assumption that all men are equal, if we know, that all men are not, some, must be further along the evolutionary chain then others. If evolution is to be true. These will be our betters, and eventually they would rule over us, as we do the lower order creatures. But this isn’t the way the world has arranged itself is it? If, however, we are all sons of Adam then the issue solves itself, we truly our equal, God has created us that way.

    Intellilent Design is unnecessary, and really a bad move by creationists. Ultimately, as mentioned before it all comes down to what assumptions you’re going to start with. If you assume the Bible is wrong, no evidence in the world could overturn that, if you assume the Bible is correct, you start to see that a lot of “conflicting” evidence, is actually quite in harmony with the Bible.

  11. 11
    Mike S says:

    Whew, the awesome logic of DougJ. Gawd, I need to grab a towel to wipe off my forehead. Thinking . . . to . . . hard . . .

    The funny thing about Dougie is that even though he’s a wacked out troll, he does such a good job of sounding like a wingnut that people have a hard time figuring that out.

  12. 12
    DougJ says:

    Thank you, Joel B. I didn’t have that info at my fingertips but I thought I recalled reading that the book Scopes tought out of it had racist ideas related to evolution.

  13. 13
    DougJ says:

    And, Joel, you also touch on something important that the liberals overlook: what theory tells us morally is every bit as important as whether or not it is a “scientific” theory. The liberals, in their rush to embrace all that is scientific, all too often grab onto ideas that degrade our society morally. They gain the “truth” but lose their souls, to paraphrase Scripture.

  14. 14
    W.B. Reeves says:

    It is not a question of ideas but of fact. The divide here is between those who take positions based on how congenial they find them, regardless of the facts and those who take positions regardless of how uncongenial they find them, because the facts dictate that they do so.

  15. 15
    ppGaz says:

    what theory tells us morally is every bit as important as whether or not it is a “scientific” theory. The liberals, in their rush to embrace all that is scientific, all too often grab onto ideas that degrade our society morally. They gain the “truth” but lose their souls, to paraphrase Scripture.

    Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha!

    You are one funny sumbitch, Doug. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Even if you are putting us on, you need to do better than this. You’ll blow your cover.

    Pray tell, what exactly is a “scientific” theory, as opposed, to say, to a non-scientific one? Be sure to explain your, uh, answer.

  16. 16
    JonBuck says:

    So, Doug, you’re essentially arguing against evolution from a moral and religious standpoint. Well, I’ll just quote that notorious liberal Barry Goldwater:

    “However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D.’ Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.’ “

  17. 17
    KC says:

    DougJ, watch it with the “liberals, in their rush to embrace all that is scientific” stuff. I’ve met a lot of liberals who are not scientifically minded whatsoever. In fact, I’ve met plenty who are creationists too, though not Christian scientific creationists.

    A buddy of mine from Eureka, for example, who’s more liberal than a Green Peace Volvo driver, hunts for Bigfoot on his offtime and thinks evolution is a sham. He believes in some creation story he heard when he was living on an Indian reservation. Like scientific creationists, he sees evidence of design everywhere, that is design by a magical animal (I’m not sure what kind of animal, though I know a talking snake isn’t involved). Of course, he’s not pushing to have his beliefs included in school curriculum. He’s just a creationist who will tell you evolution is a sham if you ask him about it.

  18. 18

    […] For a commensurate display of right-wing idiocy, check out John Cole’s new Creationism quotes. I swear, sometimes I think people like John and I are the only rational people in this country, and that in the battle for primacy of inanity between La Shawn Barber, Scott McClellan, and James Dobson on one side, and Nancy Pelosi, Michael Moore, and Air America on the other, guys like us are the collateral damage sandwiched in the middle. trackback address: Previous: Haruki Murakami: The L. Ron Hubbard to my Tom Cruise […]

  19. 19
    Knemon says:

    “what theory tells us morally is every bit as important as whether or not it is a “scientific” theory.”

    This is actually semi-true.

    I believe in evolution (wow, I can’t believe it’s even necessary to state that as a disclaimer), but I’m also all about the devolution of power.

    My solution: If Kansas, or Missouri, or whatever state, wants to teach Creationism, ragism, bagism, thisism, thatism, to their kids … let ’em. Don’t move there (or, if you’re already there, move away). Let them shoot themselves in the foot.

    Now if they start monkeying (ba-dum-dum) with mandated curricula at the federal level, that’s not cool.

  20. 20
    ppGaz says:

    My solution: If Kansas, or Missouri, or whatever state, wants to teach Creationism, ragism, bagism, thisism, thatism, to their kids … let ‘em. Don’t move there (or, if you’re already there, move away). Let them shoot themselves in the foot.

    Now that’s a uniter, not a divider. Americans should have to choose their states based on whether their kids can be taught basic, sound science. (Science, which I mean here to include an understanding of what is, and what is not, science. It has less to do with evolution and more to do with the ability to practice critical thinking. I have no problem with teaching about the history of “Genesis”, as long as it’s made clear that the core story cannot stand up to scientific scrutiny. That doesn’t make it wrong, it just makes it what it is: A story. At the end of the day, you end up with two things of value: A great story, with its various meanings, and a method for disciplined inquiry, with its capacity to expand the horizons of knowledge. Win win.)

  21. 21
    Joel B. says:

    It is not a question of ideas but of fact. The divide here is between those who take positions based on how congenial they find them, regardless of the facts and those who take positions regardless of how uncongenial they find them, because the facts dictate that they do so.

    If only it were so. People believe evolution to be a fact because it is so often repeated. Ironically, much like the Inherit the Wind version of the Scopes trial. Thing about this however…there is absolutely no way to prove or disprove evolution as the “true” origin of the life/species. NONE…We can look at things that happen today and extrapolate back from those things and say this is what we think will happen. But we can’t say what actually happened because none of us actually saw it! And interestingly, we don’t really see it happening now. (We see mutations in cellular organisms, we see new birds, but they’re still birds, we do not see however any creation mutating into another distinctly different creature. More evidence of something but of what?)

    We can all take a look at the evidence, and all of us will come to very different conclusions. Some look at the Grand Canyon and say…must have taken forever. Some look at the canyon created in one day near Mount St. Helens and wonder…hmmm, that’s interesting, that happened unusually fast. Some go to Zion National Park, and are told of a road that are engineered to last one hundred and last 2 and a half, and think…hmmm…maybe we’re not so smart.

    People look at the fact that there are numerous seashells on the top of Mt. Everest. Some would say, wow, that’s totally strange, but whatever, others might say hmmm, that seems to confirm that at least at some point at least Mt. Everest was under water, and think maybe that’s a little clue. But look people will interpret the evidence whichever way they want to, but I doubt creationists are the only ones with closed minds. We’re all working from current information about past events. And of course, the stock market kindly reminds us, that past performance does not guarantee future results. Perhaps, we should be slow to assume that future results informs us about past performance. Especially when we tend to be interpreting the results of 50 years over 50 million. That might be similar to extrapolating the entire Dow Jones Average from witnessing about 15 minutes of trading.

    We could, disprove the Bible, find the bones of the one called Jesus Christ, or find some evidence that something the Bible wrote was truly wrong. However, you don’t see that. What we do see however, is the very strange change that happened in the life of the disciples after Christ’s resurrection. A complete change in the life of Saul, to the point he become the most prolific apostle to the gentiles. And also telling, we see the entire Roman Empire converted to Christianity, seen as a Jewish sect initially, and the Jews and the Romans were not the most…agreeable with each other, after 3 and a half centuries. That’s pretty impressive, or lucky, or supernatural but hey. Again everyone gets the same evidence, but as to the few most basic assumptions, each individual has to make those for themself. And we tend to find things that can be interpreted many ways, and the secular world, often interprets them in ways that undermine the authority of the Bible, do not forget…Satan’s name is the father of lies. Shouldn’t we then maybe be wise to not so quickly accept society’s “truth.”

  22. 22
    DougJ says:

    “and the secular world, often interprets them in ways that undermine the authority of the Bible.”

    Which is why we must reject secularism in all of its guises, in particular the guises of liberalism and science. The liberals like to talk about the quest for truth, but all too often they go too far in this quest and undermine the values our civilization was founded on. It is sheer arrogance to think that human observation and experiment will answer all of the riddles of the universe. Look at the record so far on this front: strange, complicated theories like evolution, quantum mechanics, plate tectonics, string theory. Surely, these theories are not the “scientific truth” of which the liberals like to speak. They are mere sophistry, overly complicated explanations hatched by overly clever (and overly secular) minds.

    Observation, experiment, and theory are by their very natures limited in scope. There are many questions that are best answered via faith.

  23. 23
    UNCoRRELATED says:

    Teaching science in science class

    Charles Krauthammer speaks in favor of education in our children’s science classes. What’s amazing is that this is somehow considered controversial by the peanut gallery.

  24. 24
    Joel B. says:

    FWIW, I think Plate Tectonics is genuine science, if by that you mean the moving of crust plates that form mountains, and the like. The interesting thing is, that even the Bible confirms it. Consider the naming of Peleg, for in his days, the Earth was divided. Interestingly, 100 years before the Flood, God informs Noah of his intentions and animals start coming to Noah, 100 years after the flood, Peleg is born, and the Earth is divided.

  25. 25
    BoZ the Rider says:

    Sojourner Says: The biggest evidence against evolution is the existence of these idiots.

    Not true in human society. Society itself is a guard against the state of nature that would have naturally weeded out problems like this a long time ago. Thats David Hume for you.

    Look, I’m not against teaching students that intelligent design or creationism is a bad thing. Teaching both sides is how you get students to actually THINK. When you spurt out science theories and facts, it requires none of that higher brain stuff that you’re trying to teach about!

    What I don’t want to see is specific religious beliefs interjected into schools. I don’t want to walk into an elementary school some day and hear the students singing gospel. Thats what church, temple, and mosque are for. Save the schools for facts, formulas, and creative thinking.
    ———————
    DougJ says: The liberals like to talk about the quest for truth, but all too often they go too far in this quest and undermine the values our civilization was founded on.

    DougJ, do you even know what the Founding Fathers stood for? America was founded on English common law, Thomas Paine, John Locke, and several other social philosophies.

    “The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” -George Washington.

    No, science won’t answer everything. But thats not how it works. Science simply allows humans to understand more deeply the world we live in, and to possibly make it a better place. Personally, I’d take a science book over the Bible anyday.

    “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.” -Galileo Galilei

  26. 26
    Tractarian says:

    And interestingly, we don’t really see it happening now. (We see mutations in cellular organisms, we see new birds, but they’re still birds, we do not see however any creation mutating into another distinctly different creature. More evidence of something but of what?)

    Presuming evolution and natural selection are correct, there’s still no way we would see, in the 150 years since “The Origin of Species” was published, a “distinctly different creature” emerge from natural selection. Remember, according to the best scientific evidence, life first appeared on Earth about 4 BILLION years ago. Mutations occur all the time but natural selection takes eons to produce visible changes.

    You suggest that, since evolution cannot be proved, we must entertain conflicting theories. There’s a word for the type of limitless open-mindedness you suggest – relativism. It shows the shameless and senseless hypocrisy of the extreme religious right wing, in that they are quick to condemn cultural or moral relativism but believe that “anything goes” when it comes to science.

    I, for one, am very comfortable in my twin beliefs that (1) life originated as a single strand of RNA billions of years ago, and (2) God exists and is present in the soul of every human being. There is no conflict in my beliefs. There is a conflict, however, between evolution and a literal interpretation of the Bible.

  27. 27
    rmwlaw says:

    Tractarian:

    As my people have said for generations, OMEN!!!

    I also am a dualist, in that I believe in my religion, and its teachings (not in Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.), but have fully immersed myself within the rationalism and critical thinking of the modern world.

    These parallel mechanisms for perceiving the world are consistent and actually compelled upon those who deem themselves jewish. We are taught from an early age to believe but to test, question and indeed criticize so-called established facts, and to learn from such exercises whether such established facts are indeed true, or at least withstand criticism.

    From my understanding, many other religions do not compel such critical thought, but rather, mandate a blind faith and acceptance of the literal teachings that serve as the underpinnings supporting their faith. Not to denounce any particular religions, including my own, but I am happy that mine allows and compels me indeed to seek both faith and rational thought.

  28. 28
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    What are the moral implications of shifting from the Ptolemaic to the Copernican model of the Solar System?

    Should these implications affect which model is taught in school?

    Feel free to refer to this work.

  29. 29
    W.B. Reeves says:

    …there is absolutely no way to prove or disprove evolution as the “true” origin of the life/species.

    This is a good example of fact taking a back seat to what one prefers to believe. Evolution is not a theory of the origin of life, it is a theory of how living organisms develope. “Life” and “species” are not interchangeble terms as they don’t have the same meaning. The fact that you confuse them is telling.

    We can all take a look at the evidence, and all of us will come to very different conclusions.

    Only if you refuse to use a common standard of evidence. This is what you proceed to do. In addition to muddling the argument with false equivilancies, you dismiss Geology. You might not be able to tell the difference between the Grand Canyon and the St. Helena “canyon” but a geologist could in a heart beat.

    We could, disprove the Bible, find the bones of the one called Jesus Christ, or find some evidence that something the Bible wrote was truly wrong. However, you don’t see that.

    Actually, I can supply you with an example of an error in the Bible right now. According to the Old Testament, King James version, Nebuchanezzer was the King of Babylon. We know that this is false. According to inscriptions from the period, Nebuchanezzer was a Satrap of the King of Babylon. I suppose the ancient Hebrew scribes can be forgiven for being confused on this point but it remains factually incorrect.

    Not to be rude but are you aware that there is more direct evidence for the existence evolution than there is for the existence of Moses? Of course that isn’t a proof of evolution, since there is no evidence whatever for the existence of Moses outside of scripture.

    If you actually believe that no one has enumerated factual errors in Biblical scriptures, that simply indicates that you haven’t bothered to look for any materials on the subject. Another example of ignoring fact in favor of one’s chosen prejudice.

    What we do see however, is the very strange change that happened in the life of the disciples after Christ’s resurrection. A complete change in the life of Saul, to the point he become the most prolific apostle to the gentiles.

    Of course Saul of Tarsus, better known as the Apostle Paul, was not, in fact, one of the twelve Apostles. He never knew Jesus prior to his crucifixion and did not become a Christian until long after. Your loose grip on the facts is getting the better of your argument.

    … we see the entire Roman Empire converted to Christianity, seen as a Jewish sect initially, and the Jews and the Romans were not the most…agreeable with each other, after 3 and a half centuries.

    You think that this is evidence of what exactly? That it was all fore-ordained? Do you think the conquests of Islam were fore-ordained as well? How about the Bolshevik revolution?

    I don’t expect that any of this will make an impression on you since you apparently don’t realize that your post proves my earlier point. Your argument boils down to asserting that there are no facts or, if they do exist, they are not knowable. This argument didn’t overly impress me when the post-modernists made it and it impresses me even less when it attatches itself to religion.

    Since you reject the existence of knowable facts, it follows that you choose to believe whatever suits you without regard for them. Those of us who base our judgements on testable hypothesis don’t have the option of deciding that facts do not exist. As I indicated, the line is drawn between those who act from a factual basis and those who do not.

  30. 30
    Joel B. says:

    So in 150 years we’re not supposed to be able to see any existing evidence for a distinctly different creature to emerge, but we’re supposed to be able to extrapolate out 4 billion years of history from that 150? That seems exceedingly presumptuous. As someone mentioned there are something like 2 million species and we don’t see much evidence of anything like evolution would suggest.

    I’m not saying anything goes when it comes to science. Science does need to be factual, but science needs to be honest about it’s assumptions. Because those assumptions will make all the difference. When you assume things take 4 billion years, your evidence backs that up.

    You are welcome to be comfortable with your current beliefs. People just need to be aware that the part of evolution that conflicts with the Bible is the part that is built on assumptions about the world. But not all of evolution conflicts with the Bible, but part of it does. The part that presumes to know more than it can.

    Am I the one being too open minded? Or are you being too close minded? One is not worse than the other, instead it is a balance between the two. One needs to be skeptical, yet open. And I’ve been very skeptical at times of both evolution and creation. I made a decision though, and I keep to it, until I really seem some persuasive evidence that makes me thing I need to change my view.

    I will say this much, many of the alleged proofs that people argue for 4 billion + years dating, are never argued in a way that the relatively intelligent individual could deciper in my experience. I think, there’s a reason for that, because as long as it’s above our pay grade, we can’t easily argue about the assumptions made. This secrecy, hiding in excessively technical explanations (technical is fine, but go too far and I’m lost), does not suggest well for why I should trust “science.”

  31. 31
    RickJ says:

    wow..dougJ has it all figured out and I’m going to hell.

    “The theory of evolution makes no claims about the origin of life”

    See that? Makes NO claim…and your religion does. Beleive what you want and so will I. But it has no place in science.

  32. 32
    Mr Furious says:

    Wow. Evolution theory blamed for Hitler, and Columbine. And depression.

    Slow down guys, just last week we were blaming evolution for homosexuality, pornography and abortion…

  33. 33
    ppGaz says:

    I made a decision though, and I keep to it

    Yeah, an example of faith.

    Science is not about making decisions and keeping to them. It’s about a discipline for discovery. It’s about discovery.

    Faith, according to my dictionary, is belief in the absence of proof.

    Scientific method, according to my dictionary, is a discipline for the pursuit of knowledge.

    Because the pursuit of knowledge is frightening to some persons who prefer faith, they attempt to discredit it and slander it.

    It’s an old struggle. Establishments based on abuse of faith have always tried to suppress, prevent or deflect the advance of knowledge. They have failed, and will continue to fail. And they should fail.

  34. 34
    Zifnab says:

    Probably the best way to handle Evolutionary Theory is to compare it to a number of other commonly accepted theories. Theory of Electricity hypothosizes the existance of electrons and the concepts of electron levels surrounding an atom as well as electron flow through different materials. We have yet to ‘prove’ the existance of electrons – they can’t be photographed, they can’t be physically seen – but much of our mathematical and physical sciences rest on the foundation that they exist and from that foundation we have produced a great deal of technology.

    Even if the Theory of Electricity were disproven tommorrow and it was shown that there is no electron cloud, but some other rationale, TVs would still display picture and cell phones would still send signals. Right or wrong, the Theory of Electricity has produced a large number of practical results.

    Likewise, the Theory of Evolution has lead to research into Genetics, Stem Cell research, theories on speciation, domestic breeding, pathology (the study of diseases), etc etc. Evolution is the foundation for many of these fields. If Evolution was disproved tommorrow, gene therapy and stem cells would still function. Meanwhile, I have yet to see one significant scientific field or study emerge from Intelligent Design. The theory has not generated new avenues of drug development or new techniques for vacinations. There are no rehabilitative therapies based on Intelligent Design, nor are there any medical procedures that benefit from the study of the Theory. Regardless of ID’s validaty, it is the epitamy of junk science. Completely useless outside of the classroom.

    So the question you have to ask yourself is, do we teach our children a scientific idea that may be wrong but stands as the backbone of modern biology? Or do we teach them a legend that could be rooted in absolute truth but serves absolutely no scientific purpose? Its our call.

  35. 35
    Joel B. says:

    This is a good example of fact taking a back seat to what one prefers to believe. Evolution is not a theory of the origin of life, it is a theory of how living organisms develope. “Life” and “species” are not interchangeble terms as they don’t have the same meaning. The fact that you confuse them is telling.

    This is an important point, I use the term interchangeably because my point is not to argue against basic genetic mutations and changes within a species. Which is part of evolutionary theory. My point, is to argue with the part of evolutions which presumes to explain the origin of life, and the origin of the various different species. I did not confuse them, and to suggest I did, is unfair to my point.

    Only if you refuse to use a common standard of evidence. This is what you proceed to do. In addition to muddling the argument with false equivilancies, you dismiss Geology. You might not be able to tell the difference between the Grand Canyon and the St. Helena “canyon” but a geologist could in a heart beat.

    I didn’t say that there weren’t vastly important differences between the canyon left in the wake of Mt. St. Helens and the Grand Canyon, but…if you go to Zion, and listen to the talk they will tell you about how scientists believe that x hundreds of millions of years ago, the American Southwest was the largest desert in the world, vastly larger than today’s Sahara. And you think…Desert maybe sandyish…no…Have you ever see a hose on sand? For 15 minutes? Try the Colorado for 4000 years…You could probably get a pretty deep ravine. My point was we assume things take a long time, because that’s what we want to assume.

    Actually, I can supply you with an example of an error in the Bible right now. According to the Old Testament, King James version, Nebuchanezzer was the King of Babylon. We know that this is false. According to inscriptions from the period, Nebuchanezzer was a Satrap of the King of Babylon. I suppose the ancient Hebrew scribes can be forgiven for being confused on this point but it remains factually incorrect.

    Not to be rude but are you aware that there is more direct evidence for the existence evolution than there is for the existence of Moses? Of course that isn’t a proof of evolution, since there is no evidence whatever for the existence of Moses outside of scripture.

    If you actually believe that no one has enumerated factual errors in Biblical scriptures, that simply indicates that you haven’t bothered to look for any materials on the subject. Another example of ignoring fact in favor of one’s chosen prejudice.

    I have never heard that accusation for error before, I’m not familiar enough with it to address it at the moment, I may try to resolve it however.

    As to Moses, his relative historical scarcity is not really at all telling, as how much would the egyptians really like to write that part of history.

    I’ve reviewed many alleged Biblical errors, and my experience is that they are trumped up and a result of poor interpretation, and that they tend to resolve eventually in the Bible’s favor.

    Of course Saul of Tarsus, better known as the Apostle Paul, was not, in fact, one of the twelve Apostles. He never knew Jesus prior to his crucifixion and did not become a Christian until long after. Your loose grip on the facts is getting the better of your argument.

    I didn’t say he was, Saul’s conversion was seperate from the acts of the 12…11 remaining apostles after Christ’s resurrection. The change most notably in Peter, denying him 3 times to save his skin, and then never wavering from faith again, truly becoming a rock. The manor in how the disciples scattered in the way Christ prophesied and then upon his resurrection came back to truly change the world. I feel like you’re twisting my words to accuse me of errors I did not make.

    You think that this is evidence of what exactly? That it was all fore-ordained? Do you think the conquests of Islam were fore-ordained as well? How about the Bolshevik revolution?

    No, but it’s pretty darn amazing and taken together with a various other evidences it supplies a narrative.

    I don’t reject knowable facts, I do reject the idea that some facts that people say they know, they actually don’t.

  36. 36
    RickJ says:

    How is it a poor interpretation?

    in·ter·pre·ta·tion (n-tûrpr-tshn)

    NOUN:

    The act or process of interpreting.
    A result of interpreting.

    An explanation or conceptualization by a critic of a work of literature, painting, music, or other art form; an exegesis.

    In other words…you disagree, therefore he is wrong…ok.

  37. 37
    ppGaz says:

    Have you ever see a hose on sand? For 15 minutes? Try the Colorado for 4000 years…You could probably get a pretty deep ravine.

    Wow, just when you think you’ve seen everything.

    The Grand Canyon is a mile or so deep along a good deal of its length. You can’t make a mile deep ravine in sand, with vertical walls. The Grand Canyon is carved in rock, not sand. By water. Over millions of years. Around six million, according to the account I read recently.

    The exact number of millions is arguable, but the fact that there are millions is not in dispute, sir. And your saying that it is, does not make it so.

    You talk as though pointy-headed people came along one day and found this big hole in the ground, and decided it must be millions of years old, because, you know, it looked old.

    In fact, thousands of individual, but related, pieces of knowledge all connect to the methodology used to study and understand a great geological feature such as the Canyon. And what is particularly interesing about those thousands of pieces of knowledge, which connect and build a mountain of proof, if you’ll pardon the metaphor, is that these pieces of knowledge were not scraped up and connected by people who were out to “prove” the age of the Grand Canyon. They were gathered by people exploring a myriad of answers to a myriad of questions, and they connect together so well, all by themselves, really, because they are pieces of truth. We know they are truth, because they correlate and validate each other.

    But please, go ahead and talk about ravines created in 4000 years, as if your nutty idea invalidated the most basic earth sciences and its empire of knowledge. Quite honestly, I don’t give a flying fig. The relentless search for knowledge and information will go on unimpeded despite your best efforts.

    And don’t think that you are doing “faith” any service by saying these idiotic things. You aren’t. You are making faith look absurd, backward, ignorant, and foolish … when in fact, it is none of those things. It’s just your abuse of it that is those things.

  38. 38
    gswift says:

    So in 150 years we’re not supposed to be able to see any existing evidence for a distinctly different creature to emerge,

    Who knows what you guys mean by “different”, but the evolution of new species has been directly observed numerous times now. It’s especially easy to see where we’ve introduced things like mice to the Faeroe islands. Why do you think this kind branching and genetic diversification wouldn’t be extremely dramatic over a timescale of billions of years?

    we’re supposed to be able to extrapolate out 4 billion years of history from that 150?

    Evolutionary lineages of extinct species are determined by structural comparisons. We know that structural comparisons reflect degree of relationship by genetic testing on modern examples. Species with the greatest structural similarities also share the greatest genetic similarities.

    I will say this much, many of the alleged proofs that people argue for 4 billion + years dating, are never argued in a way that the relatively intelligent individual could deciper in my experience. I think, there’s a reason for that, because as long as it’s above our pay grade, we can’t easily argue about the assumptions made.

    Hell Joel. There’s no easy way around it. If you want to understand radiometric dating, you’re going to have to have a certain amount of geology and physics at your command. Basically, certain isotopes break down at very specific observable rates. Rates of decay are determined by the physics involved just like any other atomic interaction. Attempts in the lab to alter rates of decay suggest these are not significantly altered by heat, pressure, etc. Ridiculously extreme conditions alter rates by numbers like 1 percent. In order to have a several thousand year old earth, you’d have have to either explain how the laws of physics were different in the past, or propose credible conditions that would alter these rates by over a million percent. Moreover, you’ll also have to explain how the Flood deposited all these rocks in order of isotopic ratios. It’s kind of hard to explain how a flood or any other type of rapid deposition would sort rocks from bottom to top with ever increasing amounts of radioactive isotopes.

  39. 39
    wyldpirate says:

    gsmith, thanks for the take-down of JoelB. I was working on a reply to his blinding intellectual laziness much along the lines of yours, but my piece of $&%& laptop froze up.

    Just to add to your comments, there have been dozens of instances of speciation that have been observed by scientists. I doubt, however, that this would do much to convince lazy fuckwits like JoelB and lying fools like DougJ, though.

    After all, learning something new is just too hard for some folks.

  40. 40
    W.B. Reeves says:

    I don’t reject knowable facts, I do reject the idea that some facts that people say they know, they actually don’t.

    So, in reality, they do know the facts?

    Perhaps you meant that the other way round.

    In any case I reject the idea that all opinions about evidence are equal.

    I didn’t say that there weren’t vastly important differences between the canyon left in the wake of Mt. St. Helens and the Grand Canyon, but…if you go to Zion, and listen to the talk they will tell you about how scientists believe that x hundreds of millions of years ago, the American Southwest was the largest desert in the world, vastly larger than today’s Sahara. And you think…Desert maybe sandyish…no…Have you ever see a hose on sand? For 15 minutes? Try the Colorado for 4000 years…You could probably get a pretty deep ravine. My point was we assume things take a long time, because that’s what we want to assume.

    Do you seriously believe the Grand Canyon is made of sand? Here’s an experiment for you that’s a little more in line with the reality. Take your garden hose, find a stone and direct a stream of water on to it. Continue doing this until you have worn a channel half way through the stone. Let me know how long it takes.

    I’m getting the impression that you have never seen the Grand Canyon and have little knowlege of its character or dimensions.

    As to Moses, his relative historical scarcity is not really at all telling, as how much would the egyptians really like to write that part of history.

    Which is an admission that my earlier statement was factual. There is less direct evidence for Moses than there is for evolution. Nevertheless you prefer to believe in the former while citing lack of proof as reason for doubting the latter. Obviously, ascertainable facts weigh very lightly in the scales of your belief.

    I’ve reviewed many alleged Biblical errors, and my experience is that they are trumped up and a result of poor interpretation, and that they tend to resolve eventually in the Bible’s favor.

    So you believe in scriptual inerrancy?

    II didn’t say he was, Saul’s conversion was seperate from the acts of the 12…11 remaining apostles after Christ’s resurrection. The change most notably in Peter, denying him 3 times to save his skin, and then never wavering from faith again, truly becoming a rock. The manor in how the disciples scattered in the way Christ prophesied and then upon his resurrection came back to truly change the world. I feel like you’re twisting my words to accuse me of errors I did not make.

    Fair enough, let’s look at what you said.

    What we do see however, is the very strange change that happened in the life of the disciples after Christ’s resurrection. A complete change in the life of Saul, to the point he become the most prolific apostle to the gentiles.

    Hmmm. I don’t see you making a clear distinction here between Paul and the other disciples but perhaps you assumed that people would understand your meaning. However, the construction is misleading without my having to “twist” it at all.

  41. 41
    dano347 says:

    And here is an account of how humans and dinosaurs likely coexisted

    http://www.csama.org/199711NL.HTM#NewDino

    From the Creationist Scientists? You kidding? I’ve heard they even have representaions of DINOSAURS WITH SADDLES!

    If you want to be taken seriously, you’re gonna’ hafta’ do better’n that, dude.

  42. 42
    George of the Jungle says:

    I just had to get in on this discussion – if one can call it that. I am not an intellectual that can argue with lovely rationalism and logic, I just tend to see things as they are.

    Couple of points then:
    a. Joel B says “But we can’t say what actually happened because none of us actually saw it!” Excuse me, but is there some sort of very obvious false logic in this statement? By your logic, I did not see my mother being born – therefore it did not happen – therefore I don’t exist. Or, the 2nd World War did not happen, because I did not see it, therefore all those stories and movies are lies and have been fabricated to fool us all. I did not see America drop a nuclear device on a Japanese city, therefore all those 200,000 that were supposed to have been instantly vapourised are actually still here with us?

    b. Joel B says: “But we can’t say what actually happened because none of us actually saw it!” I did not see anyone – not an old man, or some women, or any scribe writing the Bible. So, the Bible did not happen, it has been invented by some Kook who wants to thump it in front of people for political effect.

    c. Joel B says: “I will say this much, many of the alleged proofs that people argue for 4 billion + years dating, are never argued in a way that the relatively intelligent individual could deciper in my experience.” My, oh my. What a chip you have on your shoulder – you are actually anti-intellectual, and therefore by logic anti-education. This is where most of the most intolerant Christian nuts would like to stand. They would like to abolish school altogether and have everyone “learn” the Bible and the Faith – and have all the little girls staying at home learning how to be “good” mummies, and the boys out in the fields learning how to be “good daddies”.

    By the way, Joel B. Did you know that the present day Bible has absolutely NO resemblance to the original? It has been changed, altered, added to, and bastardized so much by so-called “Christians” over the last 1500 years, so that it will suit what they would like to hoodwink the unwary masses with, that it is now not an account that can be taken with any sort of confidence. Nice stories, though – they do hold a lot of values about human behaviour that could be palatable to most religions and faiths.

    So, just to cap this whole thing off. I did not see the creation of the earth, therefore it did not happen. Right? Therefore I cannot say “I think, therefore I am – I think.”

    What a bunch of stupid, semi-intelligent hogwash and swill you spout, Joel B. It could be funny, if it wan’t so sad.

    By the way, the creationists and ID thinkers and pushers are very, VERY dangerous people – bigoted and low-life intelligence life-forms that should be treated with supreme caution and scepticism… as they are the sort of radical Kooks who cause most of the pain, suffering, misery, conflict, bloodshed and war in this world: regardless of religious stripe. Now this is true, because it is soemthing I can see.

  43. 43
    dano347 says:

    Here’s a few alleged examples of Creationist “proof” (from the website so thoughtfully provided as a “source”)

    “If you want to learn the truth about men and dinosaurs, there is an incredibly simple way to do so, study history! If men and dinosaurs lived together you should be able to find out about it in the writings of the men.”

    And if one were to unearth a prehistoric comic book which detailed the exploits of a certain rock quarry worker, would we then proclaim Fred Flintstone to be on an equal footing (historically speaking) with Adam?

    “When you look at the problem of dinosaur extinction this way, you quickly learn, if you really want to, that large creatures with reptilian characteristics, some flying, some two-legged, some four-legged, some marine, appear in the art, sculpture, literature, chronicles, and legends of virtually every culture in world history. But none of them were called “Dinosaurs” because the word wasn’t invented until the early 1800’s!”

    We also have legends about trolls, fairies, three-headed dogs, witches (who flew without wings!) and shapeshifting metamorphs (who could have transformed themselves to look like dinosaurs, the wily bastards).

    “In short, I believe that anyone who bothers to study the “real evidence” [emphasis dano] will come to regard the notions that “dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago,” and “A living Dinosaur never saw a Living man, and a living man never saw a living dinosaur” as two of the silliest notions ever proposed by so many supposedly educated people.”

    Except for “the bible is the true and infallible Word of God”, that is.

    “There are many categories of evidence that dinosaurs lived very recently and coexisted with man. But there are two keys to understanding the dinosaur question:
    You must realize that you cannot learn when dinosaurs lived or died by studying their fossils. The so-called fossil record is not a record of life on earth, but an essentially random set of “photographs” of a very unusual form of burial … one capable of mineralizing the dead. This process virtually never happens on earth today.
    If you want to learn the truth about men and dinosaurs, there is an incredibly simple way to do so, study history! If men and dinosaurs lived together you should be able to find out about it in the writings of the men.”

    And these “photographs” were taken before we were even born! How can we know that bones were made in the same way as they are today? They could have been changed by the Lord to LOOK like they were millions of years old, to test the faith of his Children! And as everyone concedes, bones and such are so unreliable – legend (the bible)is MUCH more accurate that carbon-dating!

  44. 44
    AlanDownunder says:

    Some people keep confusing science with atheism.

    No true scientist claims that science disproves deistic creation – because science is the study of the natural, not the supernatural. Also because science makes no claim to the ultimate truth about anything; science proceeds by knocking down its own partial truths in favour of improved ones that better accord with observed evidence. A scientific theory is not scientific unless it is falsifiable by observation that would disprove it or necessitate its amendment.

    Likewise, no true Christian finds science (as opposed to atheism) in conflict with his/her faith. Only crackpot religious extremists do that. Unfortunately the US is a hotbed of highly organised crackpot religious extremists who also bedevil the world with faith-based politics and faith-based war. If you’re faith-based in all things – whether they have anything to do with Christ’s teachings or not – you can be readily herded and the GOP have shown themselves to assiduous herdsmen.

    Some advice for religious crackpots. Since electrons are a figment of ‘atheistic’ science, do us a favour and disconnect from the ‘atheistic’ WWW. As an even bigger favour, get serious about faith-based medecine and faith-based aviation. Meanwhile, this Christian will thank God for the talents in Christ’s parable and not abuse his God-given brain with literalist recipe book pseudo-faith best described in Biblical terms when trained in highly-organised manner against scientists as “false witnes”.

  45. 45
    Steve J. says:

    DOUG J. – “Evolution is a hoax, a left-wing crock perpertrated by liberal scientists”

    LMFAO –

    Of the five founding fathers of twentieth-century evolutionary biology—Ronald Fisher, Sewall Wright, J. B. S. Haldane, Ernst Mayr, and Theodosius Dobzhansky—one was a devout Anglican who preached sermons and published articles in church magazines, one a practicing Unitarian, one a dabbler in Eastern mysticism, one an apparent atheist, and one a member of the Russian Orthodox Church and the author of a book on religion and science. Pope John Paul II himself acknowledged, in a 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, that new research “leads to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis.”

    MASTER PLANNED
    by H. ALLEN ORR
    Why intelligent design isn’t.
    Issue of 2005-05-30
    Posted 2005-05-23

    http://www.newyorker.com/print.....530fa_fact

  46. 46
    Steve J. says:

    JOEL B. – “if you assume the Bible is correct, you start to see that a lot of “conflicting” evidence, is actually quite in harmony with the Bible.”

    The Bible conflicts with itself, e.g., the two different account of creation in Genesis.

  47. 47
    Steve J. says:

    JOEL B. – “But we can’t say what actually happened because none of us actually saw it! And interestingly, we don’t really see it happening now. ”

    Oh yes we do:

    There is substantial scientific evidence for the conclusion that complex biochemical systems can and have evolved on earth. There is direct experimental research (Hall 2003). There are observed instances of it occurring in nature (Copley 2000, Seffernick & Wackett 2001, Johnson et al. 2002). There is also much evidence from comparative studies (Melendez-Hevia et al. 1996, Cunchillos & Lecointre 2003 as two examples). http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000480.html

    Hall BG (2003) The EBG system of E. coli: origin and evolution of a novel beta-galactosidase for the metabolism of lactose. Genetica 118(2-3) :143-56.
    Copley SD (2000) Evolution of a metabolic pathway for degradation of a toxic xenobiotic: the patchwork approach. Trends Biochem Sci. 25(6): 261-5.
    Johnson GR et al. (2002) Origins of the 2,4-dinitrotoluene pathway. J Bacteriol 184(15): 4219-4232.
    Seffernick JL & Wackett LP (2001) Rapid evolution of bacterial catabolic enzymes: a case study with atrazine chlorohydrolase. Biochemistry. 40(43): 12747-53.

    Cunchillos C & Lecointre G (2003) Evolution of amino acid metabolism inferred through cladistic analysis. J Biol Chem. 278(48):47960-70.

    Melendez-Hevia E et al. (1996) The puzzle of the Krebs citric acid cycle: assembling the pieces of chemically feasible reactions, and opportunism in the design of metabolic pathways during evolution. J Mol Evol. 43(3):293-303.

  48. 48
    Steve J. says:

    More on Bible contradictions:

    Literalists assume that Moses wrote the first 5 books but if that were true, it would be the first time anyone wrote a full account of his own death.

  49. 49
    Joel B. says:

    Lots to respond to, and I have a long day ahead of me putting a patio in. In any event, I’ll address some of the issues.

    Steve J. notes that Moses, supposedly wrote his own death. While Moses is considered the author of the first 5 books, Joshua is considered to have added the portion relating to Moses death.

    a. Joel B says “But we can’t say what actually happened because none of us actually saw it!” Excuse me, but is there some sort of very obvious false logic in this statement? By your logic, I did not see my mother being born – therefore it did not happen – therefore I don’t exist. Or, the 2nd World War did not happen, because I did not see it, therefore all those stories and movies are lies and have been fabricated to fool us all. I did not see America drop a nuclear device on a Japanese city, therefore all those 200,000 that were supposed to have been instantly vapourised are actually still here with us?

    This is actually perhaps the crux of the matter. As we get further back in time, history gets more and more muddled. Because a. it’s been distorted by the historians of that time (Winners write history) b. Fewer accounts of the same events c. less human eyes to remember or tell of such things. In other words, as we do get further back in time, I get more skeptical of supposed truths. And for all those who are high on the accept evolution as the basis for the origin of life hog, their like of scientific skepticism is disappointing.

    We do know, that a variety of different, entirely different cultures, retell a story of a global flood. We know that the history of Sumer describes its kings in a manner much similar to the pre-flood patriarchs. We don’t know that that hisotry is write, but we do know that someone bothered to write that down…To mislead us? Because that’s what people saw happen?

    I will say this much, many of the alleged proofs that people argue for 4 billion + years dating, are never argued in a way that the relatively intelligent individual could deciper in my experience.” My, oh my. What a chip you have on your shoulder – you are actually anti-intellectual, and therefore by logic anti-education. This is where most of the most intolerant Christian nuts would like to stand.

    I have 20+ years of education under my belt, and am very far from anti-education. I figure that if someone who is relatively familiar with engineering and somewhat complex science can not reasonably decipher how scientists arrive to their statements that maybe that is a basis for skepticism. Have many of you ever examined the mathmatical basis for radiological dating, every place I have seen it explained makes it impossible to decipher (except for the simple explanation which omit the description of the required assumptions).

    Do you seriously believe the Grand Canyon is made of sand? Here’s an experiment for you that’s a little more in line with the reality. Take your garden hose, find a stone and direct a stream of water on to it. Continue doing this until you have worn a channel half way through the stone. Let me know how long it takes.

    I’m getting the impression that you have never seen the Grand Canyon and have little knowlege of its character or dimensions.

    I’ve been to the Grand Canyon twice, and done a fair amount of walking around and hiking. I didn’t say the Grand Canyon was made of Sand, what I did say was that the same geologists who tell us that the Grand Canyon is millions of years old, also tell us, that the entire American Southwest was a large sandy desert.

    Who knows what you guys mean by “different”, but the evolution of new species has been directly observed numerous times now. It’s especially easy to see where we’ve introduced things like mice to the Faeroe islands. Why do you think this kind branching and genetic diversification wouldn’t be extremely dramatic over a timescale of billions of years?

    But Diversification and Speciation is not contrary to the Bible. God provided for a lot of variety in life. A lot, that we see sepeciation only shows that what we expect to happen does. Dogs brought up to the North eventually end up being long-haired through speciation. Yet does anyone seriously contend that a Samoyed is not a dog? Or that a chiuaua is not a respresentation of the same affect in reverse. But both are dogs, and neither is becoming something other than a dog.

    There’s no easy way around it. If you want to understand radiometric dating, you’re going to have to have a certain amount of geology and physics at your command. Basically, certain isotopes break down at very specific observable rates. Rates of decay are determined by the physics involved just like any other atomic interaction. Attempts in the lab to alter rates of decay suggest these are not significantly altered by heat, pressure, etc

    I have no argument with rates of decay, but, one needs NEEDS to know the start amount of the radiometeric material to properly date it from today’s date with a rate of decay. If something was created or forged by natural forces with less than the complement than the assumption suggests, the conclusion will be wrong. This point is rarely discussed.

    I stop now because, I need to keep working on installing my patio in the backyard. I hope that to many this is at least interesting.

  50. 50
    Janus Daniels says:

    BoZ the Rider Says:

    “The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” -George Washington.

    George Washington agreed with this, but the exact quote has an even more telling origin. It comes from a formal document of the US government at large, in fact, a treaty.

    Little-Known U.S. Document
    The Early America Review, Summer 1997

    “Unlike governments of the past, the American Fathers set up a government divorced from religion. The establishment of a secular government did not require a reflection to themselves about its origin; they knew this as an unspoken given. However, as the U.S. delved into international affairs, few foreign nations knew about the intentions of America. For this reason, an insight from at a little known but legal document written in the late 1700s explicitly reveals the secular nature of the United States to a foreign nation. Officially called the “Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary,” most refer to it as simply the Treaty of Tripoli. In Article 11, it states:

    “As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

    The preliminary treaty began with a signing on 4 November, 1796 (the end of George Washington’s last term as president).”

    http://earlyamerica.com/review.....cular.html

    The article briefly outlines real religious influences in the early US; a partial anodyne for the pseudo Christian bigot version of history.

  51. 51
    W.B. Reeves says:

    I’ve been to the Grand Canyon twice, and done a fair amount of walking around and hiking. I didn’t say the Grand Canyon was made of Sand, what I did say was that the same geologists who tell us that the Grand Canyon is millions of years old, also tell us, that the entire American Southwest was a large sandy desert.

    Really? Let’s look at what you actually said.

    I didn’t say that there weren’t vastly important differences between the canyon left in the wake of Mt. St. Helens and the Grand Canyon, but…if you go to Zion, and listen to the talk they will tell you about how scientists believe that x hundreds of millions of years ago, the American Southwest was the largest desert in the world, vastly larger than today’s Sahara. And you think…Desert maybe sandyish…no…Have you ever see a hose on sand? For 15 minutes? Try the Colorado for 4000 years…You could probably get a pretty deep ravine. My point was we assume things take a long time, because that’s what we want to assume.

    You were clearly drawing an analogy between the garden hose washing away sand and the Colorado river carving the Grand Canyon. That you would attempt to deny this after the fact is an example of both personal and intellectual dishonesty on your part. Further, if you knew that the Grand Canyon was carved from rock when you made this comparison, then you knew it was a false comparison to begin with. If you are going to practice this sort of dishonesty in debate there really is little point in talking to you.

  52. 52
    Zifnab says:

    There’s no convincing people of what they don’t want to believe.

  53. 53
    Joel B. says:

    My word, all I doing is using the evidence science is supposedly providing for us.

    I was drawing such an analogy, and I used 4,000 years for a reason, because 4,000 would still leave 2,000 years for whatever might happen, to happen. Evidently sceince believes that the sandy desert turned in places into rocky formations. It was by no means a false comparison. It is a comparison based on what geologists told us the American Southwest was supposedly like 4 million years ago, but evidently changed to in the course of today.

    You seem awfully quick to ascribe a deceptive motive to me, and it’s frusterating, I do in no way attempt to decieve. Although even the Rock point is not that important as the erosive power of water is pretty substantial, especially coming down from the Rocky Mountains.

    There’s no convincing people of what they don’t want to believe.

    There’s an awful lot of truth in that quote, but it cuts more ways than one. My point has not been to convince anyone else that the world is only 6,000 years old, that’s close to what I believe, but everyone else must look at the evidence and decide for themself. I am trying to convince people that the “science” isn’t nearly as cut and dried as people make it out to be, and that it’s built on a lot of assumptions that may or may not be.

  54. 54
    W.B. Reeves says:

    I am trying to convince people that the “science” isn’t nearly as cut and dried as people make it out to be, and that it’s built on a lot of assumptions that may or may not be.

    Nonsense. You’re trying to suggest that evidence and non-evidence be given equal weight. You showed this plainly in your response to my point about the lack of evidence for the existence of Moses. This presented no problem to you because you prefer to believe that Moses existed sans independent confirmation. When it comes to evolution, the fact that there is at least some evidence for it matters not a whit to you because you prefer not to believe it. In fact, you are not so much suggesting that non-evidence be given equal weight with evidence as you are insisting that non-evidence be given greater weight, so long as it conforms to your prejudice.

    This might be scepticism but it is not scientific scepticism. It is clearly faith based, not fact based. Pretending otherwise is dishonest whether or not it is intentionally deceptive.

  55. 55
    Richard Bottoms says:

    F*** the South.

  56. 56
    Bugboy says:

    EVOLUTION IS NOT A BELIEF, GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF YOUR ASSES! Believing in evolution is like saying you “believe” in gravity! It’s an observable phenomena, LOOK AT IT! Or is looking at the world around you a sin?

    Can you not see it is possible to believe in God/Creation while acknowledging the factual existence of evolution?

    Case in point is the American Kennel Club, one of mankind’s greatest institutions of managed evolution. Even Darwin believed in God, he felt evolution was one of His greatests accomplishments!

  57. 57
    BinkyBoy says:

    Creationism, Intelligent Design and evolution all create different sects within our society. The main thing I see that separates the faithful from the rational is a need to believe that Man is the endpoint of a design. Its a method of feeling superior, much as the “ultimate religion” does for those that want to belong to it. An air of superiority divides those that want to be “Gods chosen special few” vs. “monkey-men”.

    Also, I noted a few early instances of the idea that evolution always creates an “upgrade”. Nothing could be further than the truth.

  58. 58
    r4d20 says:

    [quote]Evolution leads to Columbine.[/quote]

    And idiots like this woman lead to the Inquisition.

  59. 59
    Tractarian says:

    Even Darwin believed in God, he felt evolution was one of His greatests accomplishments!

    This is important because it clarifies where the conflict is. It is not between evolution and God. It is not even between evolution and the Judeo-Christian Bible. Rather, it is between evolution and a strict literal interpretation of the Bible as an inerrant account of history.

  60. 60
    Andrew J. Lazarus says:

    Lighten up on Joel B. We need something in reserve for when he tells us he chooses to believe (like many Biblical authors) that the Earth is flat.

  61. 61
    Alex Roberts says:

    This is another example of how Religion is proof of evolution.

    These dinosaurs of thought are living fossils of an outdated view of existence. This then proves that evolution is not only physical, but also social and intellectual.

    Unfortunately, they want to drag everyone back into their fantasy of some glorious past when religion ruled the world, which, for good reason was called the “Dark Ages” and a nightmare of poverty, disease and war.

    Insanity is clinging to something you know not to be true. Others call this ‘conviction of one’s beliefs’.

  62. 62
    ppGaz says:

    There’s no convincing people of what they don’t want to believe.

    Dunno. I want to believe there’s a Santa and a Tooth Fairy.

    I want to believe that there’s a God out there who will look away from children dying slow horrible deaths in Niger, but will answer my prayer to end a toothache.

    I want this more than I can tell you.

  63. 63
    BoZ the Rider says:

    An air of superiority divides those that want to be “Gods chosen special few” vs. “monkey-men”.

    Thats really all it has to do with; that man is superior to everything else created. Hate to say it, but there are creatures on this planet much more suited to survive than we are. Cockroaches ring a bell?

    Religious indoctrination begins at youth, and as their brains develop more and more, they carry this dogmatic way of thinking. By the time they’re old enough to have their own kids, it’s almost like it’s hardwired. They can’t question it because they don’t really know how. And those that do question it are too biased to be left to their own devices with which to question it.

    I have friends just like these people. We’ve made it a point to never bring God into the conversation because I can’t change their minds and they can’t win the arguments.

    I want to believe that there’s a God out there who will look away from children dying slow horrible deaths in Niger, but will answer my prayer to end a toothache.

    This is the greatest argument against the existence of a merciful God. If God exists, why is there so much suffering among the innocent? Sadly, Christians too afraid to ask the question themselves will answer with things like “its God’s will” or “he has a plan for us all.” Some even argue its the work of the Devil. Oooh!

    Nope, sorry, don’t buy it. Once thrown into the world, man is responsible for everything he does. Jean-Paul Sartre said something to that effect. However, I will say that, if there is a God, I hope we all figure that out before we die. It would help so much during eternity.

  64. 64
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Once thrown into the world, man is responsible for everything he does. Jean-Paul Sartre said something to that effect.

    Camus, too–“Man is nothing but what he makes himself.” Which requires a hell of a lot more personal responsibility, thought, and integrity than simply chalking everything up to “god’s will” and washing your hands of it.

  65. 65
    Stentor says:

    Which is why we must reject secularism in all of its guises, in particular the guises of liberalism and science. The liberals like to talk about the quest for truth, but all too often they go too far in this quest and undermine the values our civilization was founded on. It is sheer arrogance to think that human observation and experiment will answer all of the riddles of the universe. Look at the record so far on this front: strange, complicated theories like evolution, quantum mechanics, plate tectonics, string theory. Surely, these theories are not the “scientific truth” of which the liberals like to speak. They are mere sophistry, overly complicated explanations hatched by overly clever (and overly secular) minds.

    Wow, I mean, Wow! I didn’t believe it at first, but DougJ, you really are as fucking stupid as the others say you are. To equate evolution, plate tectonics, quantum mechanics, and string theory in the same breath as overly complicated sophistry, shows just how many IQ points you’re lacking. As someone who has studied theoretical and quantum physics at UC-Berkeley, one of the premiere universities for research in this area, I have to say that you are so full of shit, there should be a funny taste at the back of your mouth. Feel it? You should, because that statement above shows so much willful ignorance, it’s breathtaking. Merriam-Websters definition of Sophistry is thus:
    Main Entry: soph·ist·ry
    Pronunciation: sä-f-str
    Function: noun
    Date: 14th century
    1 : subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation

    There is nothing subtle or deceptive about quantum mechanics, or plate tectonics, it works, and the math shows that it works. String theory, while belonging more in the realm of theoretical physics, has as its underpinnings, quantum electro-dynamics, and quantum mechanics, so there is some truth to that too. Nobody ever learned anything by not questioning faith, questioning faith is what lead to the technology that we have today, so unless you’re prepared to give up all of modern technology today, no doctors, no houses, no vaccinations, no central heating, then I would modestly suggest to you that you are so wrong that your picture and name should appear in the dictionary as a reference.

    Oh, by the way? Any Creationist who wants to poo-poo evolution? You can just walk from now on, because where the fuck do you think all that oil and gas came from? Dead dinosaurs, plant vegetation, etc. from the mass extinctions of 65 million years ago, and 300 million years ago. No more fill-ups at the gas station for you, here’s your donkey and wooden cart, no niceties of rubber wheels either, that’s secular technology. Thinking must really, really hurt your brain. If you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the laboratory. What a tool!

  66. 66
    God says:

    “To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.”
    Cardinal Bellarmine, 1615, during the trial of Galileo.

    Exactly!!!!

  67. 67
  68. 68
    observer says:

    Richard Bottoms Says:

    F*** the South.

    I couldn’t agree more

  69. 69
    gswift says:

    But Diversification and Speciation is not contrary to the Bible. God provided for a lot of variety in life. A lot, that we see sepeciation only shows that what we expect to happen does. Dogs brought up to the North eventually end up being long-haired through speciation. Yet does anyone seriously contend that a Samoyed is not a dog? Or that a chiuaua is not a respresentation of the same affect in reverse. But both are dogs, and neither is becoming something other than a dog.

    Neither is something other than a dog YET. You acknowlege that evolution results in new species, but you seem to think it magically stops there. Why wouldn’t we expect that same process to continue? If we can observe the evolution of new species in a single human lifetime, why wouldn’t that same process over hundreds of millions of years result in new families, orders, etc.?

    I have no argument with rates of decay, but, one needs NEEDS to know the start amount of the radiometeric material to properly date it from today’s date with a rate of decay. If something was created or forged by natural forces with less than the complement than the assumption suggests, the conclusion will be wrong. This point is rarely discussed.

    It’s not rarely discussed. It was and is a known problem. But there are solutions to this. You can extrapolate initial ratios using other isotopes and constructing what’s called an isochron. Many geology professors have the notes online.

    These kinds of things can be tested where we can directly observe new rock being formed, like at mid Atlantic ridge. As the magma is pushed up to form new sea floor, the older rock on either side of the ridge is pushed out towards the edge of the basin. When the rocks are dated, we see new rock at the ridge, and the rocks get gradually older as we head toward the rim of the basin, where we end up with rocks approx. 150 million years old. How do you account for this? Why do we see increasing amounts of daughter isotopes as we head toward the basin rim? If the rates can’t be altered, how is this possible in the context of a 6000 year old earth?

  70. 70

    Oh, for pete’s sake.

    The Grand Canyon is not made up of sand, or even entirely of sandstone. The Grand Canyon has got limestone and lava and shale, schist and even granite layers. The idea that it’s the work of, say, even 6000 years of river erosion is just silly.

    And the idea that the Flood deposited literal cubic miles of crinoid skeletons in layers that alternate with animal-burrowed sand in a matter of months is simply…how best to put it? Ah: unbacked by anything resembling a workable explanation. Sooner or later, the literal Creationists are going to have to come to the realization that Genesis doesn’t explain the Earth as we now know it.

  71. 71

    It’s not rarely discussed.

    No, it’s not. It’s only “rarely discussed” if one doesn’t attempt to do a little reading.

  72. 72
    Stentor says:

    GSwift,

    If the rates can’t be altered, how is this possible in the context of a 6000 year old earth?

    Even better than that JoelB, according to the laws of nuclear physics, guess how long light produced at the center of the Sun produced by nuclear fusion of the hydrogen nuclei into helium nuclei takes to reach the surface of the Sun, and then take that short eight minute journey to Earth at the speed of light? Take a wild-ass guess.
    Give up? It takes approximately 10,000 years. Guess we’re not due for any sunshine for another 4,000 years according to your model of the universe. That big disk shining in the center of the sky that you see every day? It’s a figment of your belief that the Sun is NOT Thousands of years old, but Billions of years old.
    Here endeth the lesson.

    Now for some homework. If you don’t understand radiological principles, there’s a good book, Principles of Radiological Physics by Donald Graham, and Paul Cloke

    Here’s the link Principles of Radiological Physics

  73. 73

    […] And he sounds a lot like Charles Krauthammer the other day: […]

  74. 74
    gswift says:

    Stentor Says:

    guess how long light produced at the center of the Sun produced by nuclear fusion of the hydrogen nuclei into helium nuclei takes to reach the surface of the Sun, and then take that short eight minute journey to Earth at the speed of light? Take a wild-ass guess.
    Give up? It takes approximately 10,000 years.

    A creationist will be along any moment now with “but the Bible says He created Light before the sun!”

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  1. […] And he sounds a lot like Charles Krauthammer the other day: […]

  2. UNCoRRELATED says:

    Teaching science in science class

    Charles Krauthammer speaks in favor of education in our children’s science classes. What’s amazing is that this is somehow considered controversial by the peanut gallery.

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