MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby brenok » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:58 pm UTC

TrlstanC wrote:A state senator from Missouri introduces a bill that would require all websites hosted in MO that include pictures of cats to include an equal amount of pictures of slugs because there’s a legitimate debate about which is cuter, cats or slugs.

This kicks off a big debate between some religious folks (who believe that slugs are in fact the cutest animal) and everyone else. There are arguments about the relative cuteness of cats and slugs, books are written, people go on talk shows to argue about it. Atheists post screenshots from facebook where they get in to an argument with their aunt over how slugs aren’t cute. Turn on Fox News and there’s Bill O’Reilly yelling at someone “Antenna are cute, you can’t argue with that!”

Some poor shmuck tries to make the point that it’s not that big deal if a website, dedicated to pictures of cute animals, includes a picture of slug. Maybe it’s there because at one point in history people actually did think slugs were cute (I assume, before the invention of cats) or maybe it’s there as a counterpoint to show things that aren’t actually cute. But he’s seen lots of sites with cute animals on them, and some of them have actually had a slug on there somewhere.

But isn’t the real point that some politicians somewhere are trying to pass a law that would define what is and isn’t cute, and force an entire state to change what pictures they have on their sites? Isn’t that an inappropriate use of government power? Who cares what kind of animals we’re talking about, the government is trying to define cute, and force people to use that definition. An entire state is going to lose the ability to decide, as they have been for forever, what kind of pictures to have on their sites, and how they want to present them. And shouldn’t we focus on that issue, the important issue, instead of trying to argue with people that have no idea what cute means?

Everyone goes nuts and argues that slugs have no place on a website dedicated to cute animals…



It looks like more that it's more like a contest between what is more feline, Felis Catus or Felis Silvestris, and some congressmen, want to include slugs, dinossaurs (dinossaurs? do they really exist or are inventions of mad "evolutionists"?) and the Flying Spaghetti Monster on it.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby ahammel » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:11 pm UTC

c_programmer wrote:[referring to the claim that the earth is too young for evolution to have taken place]
4. Never heard that one, I'd love to see the evidence they initially had.


Lord Kelvin made an estimate of the age of the solar system based on the assumption that the sun was in the process of cooling off, which got him a date of a few million years. He argued that this was not long enough for natural selection to have acted in the absence of divine intervention.

It's been said a couple of times here that intelligent design was the best explanation of the natural world we had before natural selection. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I thought that the movement dated from about 1987 in response to the ruling that the teaching of creation science in US classrooms is in contravention of the First Amendment.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby DSenette » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:36 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
c_programmer wrote:[referring to the claim that the earth is too young for evolution to have taken place]
4. Never heard that one, I'd love to see the evidence they initially had.


Lord Kelvin made an estimate of the age of the solar system based on the assumption that the sun was in the process of cooling off, which got him a date of a few million years. He argued that this was not long enough for natural selection to have acted in the absence of divine intervention.

It's been said a couple of times here that intelligent design was the best explanation of the natural world we had before natural selection. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I thought that the movement dated from about 1987 in response to the ruling that the teaching of creation science in US classrooms is in contravention of the First Amendment.

i think the assertion that intelligent design was the best explanation isn't referencing the movement of intelligent design as it's seen now, but the concept that is implied by intelligent design. i.e. that sure, maybe evolution has occurred in some way shape or form, but it only did that because god told it to.

the actual movement, and the name intelligent design is totally a new thing
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:38 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:It's been said a couple of times here that intelligent design was the best explanation of the natural world we had before natural selection. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I thought that the movement dated from about 1987 in response to the ruling that the teaching of creation science in US classrooms is in contravention of the First Amendment.
I'm not sure of the specific date, but yes--ID is a recent phenomenon. It's Creationism tied up in scientific jargon to make it sound more secular--as part of a wholly conscious effort to circumvent the establishment clause.

Creationism is ancient, of course, and rarely has it been scientific. It's only when science started having things to say about who we are and what put us here that Creationism began trying to sound more scientific.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby TrlstanC » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:39 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:It's been said a couple of times here that intelligent design was the best explanation of the natural world we had before natural selection. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I thought that the movement dated from about 1987 in response to the ruling that the teaching of creation science in US classrooms is in contravention of the First Amendment.


The term "Intelligent Design" is relatively recent, and carries quite a bit of baggage now, but as you said it's basically an attempt to rename creationism. Even the term creationism is relatively modern, originally people who still believed in some sort of super-natural creation after the wide acceptance of evolution were just called 'anti-evolutionists.' The same goes for many modern terms like 'irreducible complexity' which are new terms, but describe ideas that have been discussed for hundreds or thousands of years. The history of people only being able to explain the complexity of the world by resorting to a supernatural creator however goes back much further than the bible. Even ignoring creation myths, we have philosophers discussing the topic in these ways in ancient Greece.

It sounds like many people would like to restrict science education, or at least science classes in public K-12, to just modern science, and the modern scientific method i.e., the 'new method' in Novum Organum. Personally, when I think about science, I usually include the long tail going back past Cicero and Plato and would even go way-way back to some nameless Homo habillis improving a flint knife. I'm not sure if the 'how old is science' is that productive a discussion (and probably isn’t appropriate for a high school science class), I suspect it's mostly one of semantics, but as long as it stays out of the various government legislative bodies, I'll be happy.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:57 pm UTC

TrlstanC wrote:It sounds like many people would like to restrict science education, or at least science classes in public K-12, to just modern science, and the modern scientific method i.e., the 'new method' in Novum Organum. Personally, when I think about science, I usually include the long tail going back past Cicero and Plato and would even go way-way back to some nameless Homo habillis improving a flint knife. I'm not sure if the 'how old is science' is that productive a discussion (and probably isn’t appropriate for a high school science class), I suspect it's mostly one of semantics, but as long as it stays out of the various government legislative bodies, I'll be happy.
Time is already at a premium in the classroom; how much of it should be spent teaching biology and how much of it should be spent teaching the history of biology? Which will be more useful to a student interested in being a doctor?

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby DSenette » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

TrlstanC wrote:
ahammel wrote:It's been said a couple of times here that intelligent design was the best explanation of the natural world we had before natural selection. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I thought that the movement dated from about 1987 in response to the ruling that the teaching of creation science in US classrooms is in contravention of the First Amendment.


The term "Intelligent Design" is relatively recent, and carries quite a bit of baggage now, but as you said it's basically an attempt to rename creationism. Even the term creationism is relatively modern, originally people who still believed in some sort of super-natural creation after the wide acceptance of evolution were just called 'anti-evolutionists.' The same goes for many modern terms like 'irreducible complexity' which are new terms, but describe ideas that have been discussed for hundreds or thousands of years. The history of people only being able to explain the complexity of the world by resorting to a supernatural creator however goes back much further than the bible. Even ignoring creation myths, we have philosophers discussing the topic in these ways in ancient Greece.

It sounds like many people would like to restrict science education, or at least science classes in public K-12, to just modern science, and the modern scientific method i.e., the 'new method' in Novum Organum. Personally, when I think about science, I usually include the long tail going back past Cicero and Plato and would even go way-way back to some nameless Homo habillis improving a flint knife. I'm not sure if the 'how old is science' is that productive a discussion (and probably isn’t appropriate for a high school science class), I suspect it's mostly one of semantics, but as long as it stays out of the various government legislative bodies, I'll be happy.

can you please acknowledge that there is a difference between science and history, and that you're talking about science history, and not science.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby TrlstanC » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
TrlstanC wrote:It sounds like many people would like to restrict science education, or at least science classes in public K-12, to just modern science, and the modern scientific method i.e., the 'new method' in Novum Organum. Personally, when I think about science, I usually include the long tail going back past Cicero and Plato and would even go way-way back to some nameless Homo habillis improving a flint knife. I'm not sure if the 'how old is science' is that productive a discussion (and probably isn’t appropriate for a high school science class), I suspect it's mostly one of semantics, but as long as it stays out of the various government legislative bodies, I'll be happy.
Time is already at a premium in the classroom; how much of it should be spent teaching biology and how much of it should be spent teaching the history of biology? Which will be more useful to a student interested in being a doctor?

Perhaps we should agree that the teacher of the class should decide? And maybe even that any attempt to micro-manage teachers through government legislation, regardless of whether we agree with the specific topics in the bill, is a bad idea.

DSenette wrote:can you please acknowledge that there is a difference between science and history, and that you're talking about science history, and not science.

I'm just talking about things that I learned in science classes. If you think that 'science history' is an inappropriate topic for a science class than I suspect that you should be having an argument with some high school teachers I used to know, and not me. Or maybe, you might be able to make your point more clearly by lobbying for legislation that would restrict science teachers from also teaching 'science history' in their classes?

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:09 pm UTC

TrlstanC wrote:Perhaps we should agree that the teacher of the class should decide? And maybe even that any attempt to micro-manage teachers through government legislation, regardless of whether we agree with the specific topics in the bill, is a bad idea.
What if the teacher decides only to teach the history of biology? What if the teacher decides to teach evolution and ID side-by-side?

I don't think it's unreasonable to tell teachers that in a biology classroom, they're expected to teach biology. And ID isn't biology; it's sophistry. Creationism isn't biology, either; it's a set of beliefs that were upset by a scientific process. Claiming Creationism belongs in a biology classroom is a lot like claiming a discussion on Zeus' lightning bolts belongs in a meteorology classroom. I mean, maybe for a joke, or a brief mention of what science replaced. But otherwise?

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby DSenette » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:10 pm UTC

TrlstanC wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:
TrlstanC wrote:It sounds like many people would like to restrict science education, or at least science classes in public K-12, to just modern science, and the modern scientific method i.e., the 'new method' in Novum Organum. Personally, when I think about science, I usually include the long tail going back past Cicero and Plato and would even go way-way back to some nameless Homo habillis improving a flint knife. I'm not sure if the 'how old is science' is that productive a discussion (and probably isn’t appropriate for a high school science class), I suspect it's mostly one of semantics, but as long as it stays out of the various government legislative bodies, I'll be happy.
Time is already at a premium in the classroom; how much of it should be spent teaching biology and how much of it should be spent teaching the history of biology? Which will be more useful to a student interested in being a doctor?

Perhaps we should agree that the teacher of the class should decide? And maybe even that any attempt to micro-manage teachers through government legislation, regardless of whether we agree with the specific topics in the bill, is a bad idea.

DSenette wrote:can you please acknowledge that there is a difference between science and history, and that you're talking about science history, and not science.

I'm just talking about things that I learned in science classes. If you think that 'science history' is an inappropriate topic for a science class than I suspect that you should be having an argument with some high school teachers I used to know, and not me. Or maybe, you might be able to make your point more clearly by lobbying for legislation that would restrict science teachers from also teaching 'science history' in their classes?

i have absolutely no problem with science history being taught in a science class. i have a problem with someone teaching not science, as science in a science class. which is the point that you're not acknowledging.

these bills aren't to allow people to teach science history (i.e. this is some shit someone USED to believe, but we don't anymore because it's crap), it's to allow people to teach THINGS THAT ARE NOT SCIENCE as if they are science.

you keep NOT acknowledging that and going back and forth about how you learned about creationism in highschool as a thing. i SERIOUSLY doubt you were taught creationism in highschool as a viable alternative to evolution. i'm QUITE certain you were taught about the history of how creationism USED to be the thing that people believed, which is TOTALLY history and not science.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:13 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:you keep NOT acknowledging that and going back and forth about how you learned about creationism in highschool as a thing. i SERIOUSLY doubt you were taught creationism in highschool as a viable alternative to evolution. i'm QUITE certain you were taught about the history of how creationism USED to be the thing that people believed, which is TOTALLY history and not science.
To be fair, when I took a course on biology and evolution, I was given a brief synopsis of the debate that rose up shortly after Darwin published his 'Origin of Species', including a summary of what some of the alternate positions were. This was to give broader context, and because sometimes a little history in your science can be fun. When my SO took radiography courses, she learned about the history behind the discovery of radiation. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

But Creationism was never science, and I see no reason to dwell on it in the biology classroom.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby TrlstanC » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:16 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:What if the teacher decides only to teach the history of biology? What if the teacher decides to teach evolution and ID side-by-side?

I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a hypothetical question or not. I know what I think would happen, do you have a guess what would happen? Does it involve state senates passing laws? Or, to put it another way, how have science classes in public school systems been taught, supervised and managed for the last few generations?

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby DSenette » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:17 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
DSenette wrote:you keep NOT acknowledging that and going back and forth about how you learned about creationism in highschool as a thing. i SERIOUSLY doubt you were taught creationism in highschool as a viable alternative to evolution. i'm QUITE certain you were taught about the history of how creationism USED to be the thing that people believed, which is TOTALLY history and not science.
To be fair, when I took a course on biology and evolution, I was given a brief synopsis of the debate that rose up shortly after Darwin published his 'Origin of Species', including a summary of what some of the alternate positions were. This was to give broader context, and because sometimes a little history in your science can be fun. When my SO took radiography courses, she learned about the history behind the discovery of radiation. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

But Creationism was never science, and I see no reason to dwell on it in the biology classroom.

that's what i'm saying. you weren't being taught that the other sides of those debate represented current science, so you weren't being taught science, you were being taught history.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby TrlstanC » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:19 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:you keep NOT acknowledging that and going back and forth about how you learned about creationism in highschool as a thing. i SERIOUSLY doubt you were taught creationism in highschool as a viable alternative to evolution. i'm QUITE certain you were taught about the history of how creationism USED to be the thing that people believed, which is TOTALLY history and not science.


I get the impression that you might've jumped in to this discussion without quite reading all the posts? I don't think anyone is having the argument you think they're having, including me.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:28 pm UTC

TrlstanC wrote:Or, to put it another way, how have science classes in public school systems been taught, supervised and managed for the last few generations?
It depends on the state, county, and school district. But the short answer is 'legislation'.

This is what is confusing me about your stance; as far as I'm aware, we already legislate curriculums. On several levels. Teachers are not free to teach whatever they wish in the classroom; they've got curriculums and standardized tests to deal with. And while this is far from a perfect system, it's probably a good idea to control, on some level, what teachers are doing in the classroom.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby TrlstanC » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:42 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
TrlstanC wrote:Or, to put it another way, how have science classes in public school systems been taught, supervised and managed for the last few generations?
It depends on the state, county, and school district. But the short answer is 'legislation'.

This is what is confusing me about your stance; as far as I'm aware, we already legislate curriculums. On several levels. Teachers are not free to teach whatever they wish in the classroom; they've got curriculums and standardized tests to deal with. And while this is far from a perfect system, it's probably a good idea to control, on some level, what teachers are doing in the classroom.


There is certainly a school board and, principals that oversee teachers, committees pick text books for the next year, etc. There is an entire system set up to make sure that public schools teach certain topics, and hopefully teach them well. As far as I know however, there are no laws on the state or federal level that specifically say "use these facts and these definitions" or "spend this much time on topic X and this much on topic Y." At that point we're not talking about laws that say "teach competently" instead laws like that (of which ID laws are the only examples I know of) would come down to basically saying "a bunch of politicians voted, and we decided that these things are facts now, and have to be taught that way."

I hope everyone agrees that laws like that are a terrible idea, especially in regards to science classes. I also hope that most people would agree that those laws are terrible whether we agree with the facts they would force classes to teach. Whenever I hear a debate about one of these laws it's always one side arguing that "ID is correct" and the other that "evolution is more correct." But where are the people arguing that the government legislating facts, based on the opinions of some politicians, to be taught in public schools is a bad idea?


*of course we also have no child left behind now, which actually only sets 'standards' that kids have to meet, but is generally criticized for forcing teachers to "teach to the test" and taking away their freedom to exercise best judgment in the classroom, but that's an entirely different topic.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Feb 15, 2012 6:07 pm UTC

So, if I'm understanding you correctly, this is a polity thing? You're saying that curriculum details would be better handled through the executive bureaucracy than through the legislature?
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby curtis95112 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:49 am UTC

It's not ideal, but considering that the US has presidential candidates endorsing ID, they're definitely necessary. In the opposite direction to the MO Bill, of course.

TristanC, I think you're being way too optimistic. If teachers aren't regulated, I can guarantee you that somewhere, ID will be taught as a well-established scientific theory that has withstood all tests. In many places actually. People who oppose the ID movement aren't trying to stop teachers teaching creationism as the dominant belief before evolution, they're trying to stop people teaching creationism as fact and evolution as discredited.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Soralin » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:15 am UTC

TrlstanC wrote:But where are the people arguing that the government legislating facts, based on the opinions of some politicians, to be taught in public schools is a bad idea?

Well it is a public school, so every single person working there is a government employee. So no matter where something is decided to be taught, from the individual teachers, up to national politics, it's the government deciding facts to be taught, in every case.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Wynand » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:40 am UTC

If controversy exists, why not discuss it? Instead, we're only going to teach the theory that claims all living life spawned randomly, by accident, through a giant explosion. It's origin? Unknown. Yet, somehow this natural accident lead to complexity that cannot be recreated or even understood by our greatest minds: DNA, genomes, the brain, eyesight, ... , etc. Evolution can't explain any of that. Its best answer is an explosion followed by some endosymbiosis.

On to my point: Although I'm sure that most of you have settled on various rebuttal to the gigantic list of controversy on a macro+microevolutionary theory that does not involve a creator, that list unfortunately still exists. By all means, teach evolution. However, allow for criticism. You don't have to teach various religious theory. Intelligent Design is pretty simple and will take a couple of seconds to outline. Its premise is that life originated from a supernatural creator. It's easy. As I've read countless times on this forum, it ignores logic. Supernatural beings have the privilege of cheating with regard to logic. Then, when teaching about evolution, list criticisms and rebuttal. If your theory is as sound as the last 3 pages of this forum suggest, then it will hold up, no harm done.

Why not discuss this in a philosophy or history class? Because those criticisms are typically scientific and the format of a science class is best suited to discuss and either prove or discount those criticisms/theories.

I'm sure most of you also fear biased, creationist teachers. I don't have a solution for that.

Wait, what? Criticisms of evolution? I know the forum rules say not to post links, as they don't offer much serious discussion or thought, but I'm not really looking to discuss and argue each individual point. So instead, I'll just post this link that outlines a bunch of criticisms for evolution: http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html

Click it and read it if you wish, or don't. Or, moderators, edit and remove it from my post. Whatever. It's here for when you quote my post and say there are no valid criticisms of evolution. Perhaps there aren't and my link contains a bunch of pages of nonsense that's easily refuted.


Look at it this way. A student goes to school, learns about evolution. Later in life he reads that disastrous article I posted above. Because he doesn't know any rebuttal, he accepts all its claims as fact and becomes an illogical creationist. Orrrr, student goes to school. He learns about ID and evolution. He learns pros/cons for both, arguments/rebuttals for both, stumbles across that link I just posted and laughs at all of the flaws in it.

Perhaps that's what you're doing right now? In short, the only reason for an ID v evolution debate is that to your average person, that debate isn't over. There are unanswered questions, presumably for both sides.

Overall, there's no point in using the blinders. I didn't think we lived in an era that was so keen on academic censorship. Teach both, along with the flaws of both, and the most sound theory will prevail, assuming it is taught with objectivity. Nothing to worry about.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby DSenette » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:16 pm UTC

Wynand wrote:If controversy exists, why not discuss it? Instead, we're only going to teach the theory that claims all living life spawned randomly, by accident, through a giant explosion. It's origin? Unknown. Yet, somehow this natural accident lead to complexity that cannot be recreated or even understood by our greatest minds: DNA, genomes, the brain, eyesight, ... , etc. Evolution can't explain any of that. Its best answer is an explosion followed by some endosymbiosis.

On to my point: Although I'm sure that most of you have settled on various rebuttal to the gigantic list of controversy on a macro+microevolutionary theory that does not involve a creator, that list unfortunately still exists. By all means, teach evolution. However, allow for criticism. You don't have to teach various religious theory. Intelligent Design is pretty simple and will take a couple of seconds to outline. Its premise is that life originated from a supernatural creator. It's easy. As I've read countless times on this forum, it ignores logic. Supernatural beings have the privilege of cheating with regard to logic. Then, when teaching about evolution, list criticisms and rebuttal. If your theory is as sound as the last 3 pages of this forum suggest, then it will hold up, no harm done.

Why not discuss this in a philosophy or history class? Because those criticisms are typically scientific and the format of a science class is best suited to discuss and either prove or discount those criticisms/theories.

I'm sure most of you also fear biased, creationist teachers. I don't have a solution for that.

Wait, what? Criticisms of evolution? I know the forum rules say not to post links, as they don't offer much serious discussion or thought, but I'm not really looking to discuss and argue each individual point. So instead, I'll just post this link that outlines a bunch of criticisms for evolution: http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html

Click it and read it if you wish, or don't. Or, moderators, edit and remove it from my post. Whatever. It's here for when you quote my post and say there are no valid criticisms of evolution. Perhaps there aren't and my link contains a bunch of pages of nonsense that's easily refuted.


Look at it this way. A student goes to school, learns about evolution. Later in life he reads that disastrous article I posted above. Because he doesn't know any rebuttal, he accepts all its claims as fact and becomes an illogical creationist. Orrrr, student goes to school. He learns about ID and evolution. He learns pros/cons for both, arguments/rebuttals for both, stumbles across that link I just posted and laughs at all of the flaws in it.

Perhaps that's what you're doing right now? In short, the only reason for an ID v evolution debate is that to your average person, that debate isn't over. There are unanswered questions, presumably for both sides.

Overall, there's no point in using the blinders. I didn't think we lived in an era that was so keen on academic censorship. Teach both, along with the flaws of both, and the most sound theory will prevail, assuming it is taught with objectivity. Nothing to worry about.

see, the problem with all of that is that there isn't any scientific controversy. none, there are no scientist* who do not support evolution. macro or otherwise. the only controversy that arises comes from people who, quite frankly, don't know what they're talking about, or think they know what they're talking about but don't.

just like the only people who deny that climate change is happening** have no idea what they're talking about with regards to the science involved.

so, there's absolutely no scientific question as to whether or not evolution has happened or is happening as we speak. none what so ever. it's an observable, repeatable phenomenon of nature. that's science.

the question as to whether or not a god, a bunch of gods, or no gods started the process and/or is actively shaping the results is not a scientific question. it's not testable, it's not falsifiable and it's not scientifically relevant at all. so it has FUCK ALL to do with a science class. you want that concept taught to anyone? fine, teach the fuck out of it, just not as if it were science. that's religion or philosophy or history, not science. at all, ever.


*who are remotely involved in the sciences that are concerned with evolution
**not why it's happening, just that it is at all
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Diadem » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:11 pm UTC

Wynand wrote:If controversy exists, why not discuss it? Instead, we're only going to teach the theory that claims all living life spawned randomly, by accident, through a giant explosion. It's origin? Unknown.

This is a remarkably common misconception. The theory of evolution and the big bang theory however have nothing to do with eachother. The theory of evolution concerns life on earth, how species gradually change, and how new species are formed. The big bang theory is about the origin and history of the universe. The theory of evolution predates the big bang theory by 82 years (1857 vs. 1931). Heck they aren't even from the same disciplines (biology vs. cosmology, which is a branch of physics).

There is 10 billion years between the big bang and the formation of the earth. Ten billion years. That's a very long time. Longer than you've ever waited in line for anything :)

Yet, somehow this natural accident lead to complexity that cannot be recreated or even understood by our greatest minds: DNA, genomes, the brain, eyesight

We understand all of those pretty well actually. The eye seems to be a particular favourite of creationists, which is rather funny because it was already well understood in Darwin's time. Darwin himself devotes an entire chapter to it in On The Origin of Species.

But let's back up a bit:
Wynand wrote:If controversy exists, why not discuss it?

Agreed. But the thing is, there is no controversy. There is scientists saying one thing, and non-scientists saying another. Ok, sure, technically that's still a controversy. But not a scientific one. The scientific debate happened a 150 years ago, and was convincingly won by evolution. And everything we have discovered since has only confirmed it. There's a famous quote from Russian biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky, that has become somewhat of a motto of biology: "Nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution". Every single branch of biology requires evolution to make sense, and would be left with huge gaping holes everywhere if not for evolution.

By all means, teach evolution. However, allow for criticism. You don't have to teach various religious theory. Intelligent Design is pretty simple and will take a couple of seconds to outline. Its premise is that life originated from a supernatural creator. It's easy. (...) Then, when teaching about evolution, list criticisms and rebuttal. If your theory is as sound as the last 3 pages of this forum suggest, then it will hold up, no harm done.

This is a deceptively attractive argument. "Why not teach everything and let people make up their own minds". Sounds good. But that's not the purpose of education. You don't teach, I don't know, geocentricism and geocentricism and let kids make up their minds about which is correct. You don't teach kids both the words "regardless" and "irregardless" and let them make up their own minds about which one is correct. You don't teach kids that the French revolution began in 1789 and 1689 and let them make up their own minds about date one makes more sense.

The sum of human knowledge is huge. Even the most brilliant people can only possibly learn the tiniest faction of it. The goal of education is to select a good subset of basic knowledge and teach that to people. You can't consider the pro's and con's of every single fact in great detail, there is no time, and it's only confusing. Teaching kids how to think critically is important, but there is a time and a place for everything. And you first need to know stuff before you can appreciate the limits of knowledge.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Diadem » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:13 pm UTC

Also, Wynand, if you are interested and willing to learn more about evolution, I'd be happy to explain any question you might have, or redirect you to some good reading material. I promise you it is fascinating stuff.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Wed Feb 22, 2012 5:29 pm UTC

Wynand wrote:Wait, what? Criticisms of evolution? I know the forum rules say not to post links, as they don't offer much serious discussion or thought, but I'm not really looking to discuss and argue each individual point. So instead, I'll just post this link that outlines a bunch of criticisms for evolution: http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html

A common misconception among creationists (one I held for many years) is that evolutionists have ignored the pressing questions of creationists. The reality is that they have answered all the creationists answer with science. Most creationist claims have to do with "what ifs" and no observed instances. For instance some young earth creationists have argued that the speed of light changed to explain that we can see stars that are really far away. The scientific community responded with a scientific answer despite the lack of scientific rigor on the part of the questioners. Nine times out of ten they construct models to explain both sides because the creationists provide none.

This article is really long so I don't have time to go though it all. Here's the first few to show you how intellectually dishonest that source is.

Evolution" mixes two things together, one real, one imaginary. Variation (microevolution) is the real part. The types of bird beaks, the colors of moths, leg sizes, etc. are variation. Each type and length of beak a finch can have is already in the gene pool and adaptive mechanisms of finches. Creationists have always agreed that there is variation within species. What evolutionists do not want you to know is that there are strict limits to variation that are never crossed, something every breeder of animals or plants is aware of.

Do these big changes (macroevolution) really happen? Evolutionists tell us we cannot see evolution taking place because it happens too slowly. A human generation takes about 20 years from birth to parenthood. They say it took tens of thousands of generations to form man from a common ancestor with the ape, from populations of only hundreds or thousands. We do not have these problems with bacteria. A new generation of bacteria grows in as short as 12 minutes or up to 24 hours or more, depending on the type of bacteria and the environment, but typically 20 minutes to a few hours. There are more bacteria in the world than there are grains of sand on all of the beaches of the world (and many grains of sand are covered with bacteria). They exist in just about any environment: hot, cold, dry, wet, high pressure, low pressure, small groups, large colonies, isolated, much food, little food, much oxygen, no oxygen, in toxic chemicals, etc. There is much variation in bacteria. There are many mutations (in fact, evolutionists say that smaller organisms have a faster mutation rate than larger ones16). But they never turn into anything new. They always remain bacteria. Fruit flies are much more complex than already complex single-cell bacteria. Scientists like to study them because a generation (from egg to adult) takes only 9 days. In the lab, fruit flies are studied under every conceivable condition. There is much variation in fruit flies. There are many mutations. But they never turn into anything new. They always remain fruit flies. Many years of study of countless generations of bacteria and fruit flies all over the world shows that evolution is not happening today.

Plain and simple deception. Creationists move the goal posts every time we see more evolution, they define the limits of evolution to be one step farther than we've done in a lab. This will continue to be an effective pseudo-scientific method because all of evolution can not take place in our lifetimes. The reason it is pseudo-science to use this method is becuase to make a claim there has to be evidence. It would be like seeing a car that you don't believe can move speed up and claiming the following as you are proven wrong:
  • This car can not move
  • This car can only move 5 miles a hour, it can not be street legal
  • This car can only move 20 miles per hour, it can not move off of side streets

Any real inquiry on the car notes that this is a Ferrari 612 that can hit nearly 200mph.

Here is how the imaginary part is supposed to happen: On rare occasions a mutation in DNA improves a creature's ability to survive, so it is more likely to reproduce (natural selection). That is evolution's only tool for making new creatures. It might even work if it took just one gene to make and control one part. But parts of living creatures are constructed of intricate components with connections that all need to be in place for the thing to work, controlled by many genes that have to act in the proper sequence. Natural selection would not choose parts that did not have all their components existing, in place, connected, and regulated because the parts would not work. Thus all the right mutations (and none of the destructive ones) must happen at the same time by pure chance. That is physically impossible. To illustrate just how hopeless it is, imagine this: on the ground are all the materials needed to build a house (nails, boards, shingles, windows, etc.). We tie a hammer to the wagging tail of a dog and let him wander about the work site for as long as you please, even millions of years. The swinging hammer on the dog is as likely to build a house as mutation-natural selection is to make a single new working part in an animal, let alone a new creature.

This shows a strong lack of knowledge of evolution. Random mutations, non-random deaths. In our lifetimes we aren't supposed to see much, if we did it would debunk a lot of evolution. In hundreds of millions of years we will. All mathematical models confirm this as do fossils.


Only mutations in the reproductive (germ) cells of an animal or plant would be passed on. Mutations in the eye or skin of an animal would not matter. Mutations in DNA happen fairly often, but most are repaired or destroyed by mechanisms in animals and plants. All known mutations in animal and plant germ cells are neutral, harmful, or fatal. But evolutionists are eternally optimistic. They believe that millions of beneficial mutations built every type of creature that ever existed.

Flat out lie. They are either lying about being knowledgeable or lying about the facts they know.

But "major transitions in biological evolution show the same pattern of sudden emergence of diverse forms at a new level of complexity." "The principal 'types' seem to appear rapidly and fully equipped with the signature features of the respective new level of biological organization. No intermediate 'grades' or intermediate forms between different types are detectable."20

This is a strawman, no evolutionary model supports sudden major changes. If such changes were common it would be strong proof against evolution as we know it.

Since the fossil record does not show tiny changes between one type of creature and another, a few evolutionists proposed a modification to evolution theory. It says that change occurred by occasional leaps (punctuated equilibrium), not gradually. However, each hypothetical beneficial mutation could only make a slight change. Any more than that would be so disruptive as to cause death. So punctuated equilibrium is not really about big leaps. It envisions a lot of slight changes over thousands of years, then nothing happens for millions of years. Evolutionists say with a straight face that no fossils have been found from a leap because thousands of years is too fast in the billions of years of "geologic time" to leave any. On the other hand, without fossils there is no evidence that any leaps ever happened, and of course there is no evidence that leaps or gradual changes beyond variation are happening today in any of the millions of species that still exist.

This again shows lack of knowledge, fossils are a rare occurrence and we are lucky to have as many as we do. Saying that lack of transitional fossils is a problem is pretty well explained in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sztt70n6geE

Evolution is all about constant change, whether gradual or in leaps. Consider a cloud in the sky: it is constantly changing shape due to natural forces. It might look like, say, a rabbit now, and a few minutes later appear to be, say, a horse. In between, the whole mass is shifting about. In a few more minutes it may look like a bird. The problem for evolution is that we never see the shifting between shapes in the fossil record. All fossils are of complete animals and plants, not works in progress "under construction".

This is a lie. I'm not sure what exactly they define as a "work in progress" and a "finished product" because evolution never stops working; everything is a work in progress. This points to them knowing nothing about evolution, they can not even correctly state the theory they are trying to refute.

Two prominent origin-of-life evolutionists have laid out their vision of how life arose from chemicals:

There is no such thing as an origin of life evolutionist. Evolution is not concerned with how life started. God could have created it, aliens could have planted it, it could have come on an asteroid or it could have accidentally formed. It does not matter; evolution is a theory of everything living no matter how it became living. The field of how life began is called abiogenesis.

Every claim they make has a scientific explanation, I strongly urge you to look past a single source and see what the other side has to say about it. In every instance the scientists have the last word.

One more thing I'd like to note about their limits of evolution claims is how little they understand about the theory. Evolution never claims that a dog will evolve into a hamster, ever. Evolution claims that simple life turned into complex though random mutation and non-random deaths. Dogs, carrots, dinosaurs and people came out of this from a common decent -- not form each other.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby yurell » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:19 pm UTC

Wyand, I'm going to presume that you're honestly trying to learn here, and will discuss in that fashion.

Wynand wrote:If controversy exists, why not discuss it?


As others have explained, there is no controversy amongst people who know what they're talking about. There are people who believe in a flat-Earth; should we teach that controversy? Those who argue quantum mechanics doesn't exist? That relativity doesn't exist?
The fact is, the vast majority of scientists that have any expertise in the field (and did not have their degrees printed off at a diploma mill) accept evolution, since it is a theory that is falsifiable, and readily explains our observations. 'God did it', while nice to the un-inquisitive mind, tells us absolutely nothing, is completely unfalsifiable and serves no scientific purpose.

Wynand wrote:Instead, we're only going to teach the theory that claims all living life spawned randomly, by accident, through a giant explosion. It's origin? Unknown.


I suggest learning the theory of evolution before trying to explain how bad it is (a good start would be the FAQ at talkorigins.org). That life spawned in the first place is called 'abiogenesis', which is not part of evolution, and I don't believe it says that life spawned 'randomly' so much as through a series of complex interactions. The 'giant explosion' isn't so much an explosion, nor is it part of evolutionary theory; it's the Big Bang theory. And yes, the origin is unknown, but that doesn't leave it open to arguments from ignorance.

Wynand wrote:Yet, somehow this natural accident lead to complexity that cannot be recreated or even understood by our greatest minds: DNA, genomes, the brain, eyesight, ... , etc. Evolution can't explain any of that. Its best answer is an explosion followed by some endosymbiosis.


I'm sorry, whoever told you that was either lying or incredibly ignorant. In fact, in the first few result on google for 'Evolution of DNA', 'Evolution of the Brain' and 'Evolution of the Eye' show that we have a very firm understanding of the evolution of these parts of our body.

Wynand wrote:On to my point: Although I'm sure that most of you have settled on various rebuttal to the gigantic list of controversy on a macro+microevolutionary theory that does not involve a creator, that list unfortunately still exists.


I'm sorry, it doesn't — once an argument has been proven wrong in science, it ceases to exist as a legitimate argument. I can claim that 2+2=5 in maths, but once a mathematician demonstrates that 2+2≠5, that argument is over no matter how much I insist or my god says so.

Wynand wrote:By all means, teach evolution. However, allow for criticism.


Do you not understand how science works? We encourage criticisms of our theories — if they're wrong we want to know about it, and if they're right they'll emerge all the stronger for the criticism. However, what we don't need are the same tired, dogmatic arguments constantly repeated after they have been rebutted. Evolution has some of the strongest evidence in the entirety of science, and I'm sorry, but the gradual change in species by natural selection has been observed under controlled, laboratory conditions.

Wynand wrote:You don't have to teach various religious theory. Intelligent Design is pretty simple and will take a couple of seconds to outline. Its premise is that life originated from a supernatural creator. It's easy. As I've read countless times on this forum, it ignores logic. Supernatural beings have the privilege of cheating with regard to logic. Then, when teaching about evolution, list criticisms and rebuttal. If your theory is as sound as the last 3 pages of this forum suggest, then it will hold up, no harm done.


We don't have to teach all religious theories, just the Abrahamic one? That's ... comforting. Why should we teach intelligent design any more than we should teach about spontaneous generation and the luminiferous aether (outside of history, of course)? It's unfalsifiable since it makes no predictions (unlike the latter two), and requires extra terms that aren't needed when we've demonstrated that evolution can happen naturally (and thus falls to Occam's razor).
As far as criticisms and rebuttals go, should we teach them for every theory, or just evolution? And what criticisms and rebuttals do you propose we teach? Ones that have already been addressed by the scientific community (that way you can show them how the science proved that criticism wrong), or do you mean the tiny fringe-case criticisms that appear in the scientific literature that the students simply don't know enough to understand.

And yes, 'our' theory will hold up under scrutiny. But that isn't to say indoctrinated children can't be swayed away from it — hell, the children don't know enough to even comprehend the stronger arguments for evolution, so what makes you think they'll be able to make an informed decision on any level?

Wynand wrote:Why not discuss this in a philosophy or history class? Because those criticisms are typically scientific and the format of a science class is best suited to discuss and either prove or discount those criticisms/theories.


Most of the arguments against evolution are scientifically historic (i.e. have already been addressed and disproven), or are logical fallacies. Tell me, did you spend a few classes talking about how nice the theory of gravity is, but there's always the option of a geocentric universe, while re-hashing arguments that have already been addressed and presenting them as 'problems' for those poor, deluded fools who believe in gravity? How about the luminiferous either? Do you want us to misrepresent all science, or just evolution.

Wynand wrote:Wait, what? Criticisms of evolution? I know the forum rules say not to post links, as they don't offer much serious discussion or thought, but I'm not really looking to discuss and argue each individual point. So instead, I'll just post this link that outlines a bunch of criticisms for evolution: http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html

Click it and read it if you wish, or don't. Or, moderators, edit and remove it from my post. Whatever. It's here for when you quote my post and say there are no valid criticisms of evolution. Perhaps there aren't and my link contains a bunch of pages of nonsense that's easily refuted.


The website is terrible and contains no valid criticisms of evolution from what I could see. All that stuff has already been refuted before, and no doubt Diadem will be happy to make good on their offer of providing you sources to answer your questions if you ask them.

Wynand wrote:Look at it this way. A student goes to school, learns about evolution. Later in life he reads that disastrous article I posted above. Because he doesn't know any rebuttal, he accepts all its claims as fact and becomes an illogical creationist. Orrrr, student goes to school. He learns about ID and evolution. He learns pros/cons for both, arguments/rebuttals for both, stumbles across that link I just posted and laughs at all of the flaws in it.


Why are the only two options 'not teaching any arguments against evolution' and 'teach religion and evolution at the same time'? That's a false dichotomy. I know in our class we were taught some of the arguments against evolution to show just how wrong and stupid those arguments were, but most of the argument for evolution in schools comes from positive evidence. Should we also teach the Hovind Theory? How about the Invisible Pink Unicorn Theory? TeVeS instead of dark matter?

Wynand wrote:Perhaps that's what you're doing right now? In short, the only reason for an ID v evolution debate is that to your average person, that debate isn't over. There are unanswered questions, presumably for both sides.


Really? The average American may be uneducated enough to buy into this intelligent design bullshit, but most people in the rest of the educated world aren't. The debate is over, that's why they're only being taught evolution in schools. It's only from the pressure applied by organised religion that people question, and it's the reason real scientists have to waste their time dealing with people who think faith is legitimate as logic. The problem isn't that they believe there's controversy, the problem is that they've already demonstrated they'll accept their world view on faith and simply don't care about whether evolution is true or not, they just 'have faith' in the Bible.
Intelligent Design is religion, and there is no need to include it in our schools.

Wynand wrote:Overall, there's no point in using the blinders. I didn't think we lived in an era that was so keen on academic censorship. Teach both, along with the flaws of both, and the most sound theory will prevail, assuming it is taught with objectivity. Nothing to worry about.


We don't live in an era that's keen on academic censorship. That idea exists only in your mind.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby userxp » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:17 pm UTC

Teaching Intelligent Design in schools as if it were a real scientific theory is undoubtedly bad. But I believe there is something much, much more important than not teaching ID: teaching evolution. Why? Because I have literally never seen a creationist that actually understood evolution. Every time I hear stuff like "why do monkeys still exists if humans evolved from them" or "why haven't we ever seen a human mutate into a more advanced animal", I wince. I'm probably being way too optimistic here, but perhaps if everyone understood the basics of it (and there was fewer fanaticism), we wouldn't have to argue.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Armanant » Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:35 am UTC

I've met a firm opponent of evolution who believed that 'evolution' meant the kind of evolution they have in pokemon, and was arguing that evolution is false on that basis. This was a quite a few years ago so I can't recall if I laughed or cried in response.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:17 am UTC

Armanant wrote:I've met a firm opponent of evolution who believed that 'evolution' meant the kind of evolution they have in pokemon, and was arguing that evolution is false on that basis. This was a quite a few years ago so I can't recall if I laughed or cried in response.

Wow, reminds me of this comic:
Spoiler:
Image

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:29 am UTC

Wynand wrote:Wait, what? Criticisms of evolution? I know the forum rules say not to post links, as they don't offer much serious discussion or thought, but I'm not really looking to discuss and argue each individual point. So instead, I'll just post this link that outlines a bunch of criticisms for evolution: http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html

Click it and read it if you wish, or don't. Or, moderators, edit and remove it from my post. Whatever. It's here for when you quote my post and say there are no valid criticisms of evolution. Perhaps there aren't and my link contains a bunch of pages of nonsense that's easily refuted.


I would say this particular website is the latter: Easily refuted nonsense. It hits the checklist of many standard creationist claims, many of which have been debunked half a century or more ago. Evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Irreducible complexity. Gaps in the fossil record. Evolution being too improbable. No evidence of speciation. Random chance doesn't work. All of these arguments have been addressed, disproved, and debunked. Moreover, not a single one of these claims provide any evidence for the author's preferred hypothesis, presumably Intelligent Design. Even if all of these claims were true, there would still be no reason to teach Intelligent Design in schools, because there is still no positive evidence to indicate that hypothesis is valid.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:16 pm UTC

userxp wrote:Teaching Intelligent Design in schools as if it were a real scientific theory is undoubtedly bad. But I believe there is something much, much more important than not teaching ID: teaching evolution. Why? Because I have literally never seen a creationist that actually understood evolution. Every time I hear stuff like "why do monkeys still exists if humans evolved from them" or "why haven't we ever seen a human mutate into a more advanced animal", I wince. I'm probably being way too optimistic here, but perhaps if everyone understood the basics of it (and there was fewer fanaticism), we wouldn't have to argue.

The sad thing is that it isn't even just creationists who seriously misunderstand evolution. (Well, ok, that should probably be "another" sad thing.) It never ceases to amaze me how obstensibly pro-science "science" fiction can present evolution in a way that more closely represents the worst caricature of it than anything the scientific community would actually teach. (See: Stark Trek Enterprise's Dear Doctor for a particularly rage-worthy example)

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Jave D » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:33 pm UTC

I guess I'm one of those guys who believes evolutionary theory is valid and also believes in a Creator God as the origin of all things, including life. Evolution is, like gravity or stellar fusion, just another of God's processes in which he acts in the physical universe. It's a beautiful thing, and the beauty is not diminished in any way by understanding it through science; quite the opposite. The more of science I know, the more amazed I am at the beauty of all creation and the wonder and the power of God.

It's unfortunate that not everyone who believes in God can get past this really quite insignificant mental hurdle. It's a cultural thing more than anything else, and it's a shame that politicians exploit this with fear and ignorance to divide people and keep them from understanding.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby ahammel » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:41 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:[...] It's unfortunate that not everyone who believes in God can get past this really quite insignificant mental hurdle. [...]

I think the train of thought generally goes "if the first few pages of Genesis isn't true, how can I trust the rest of it?" Actually quite a reasonable question, particularly if you believe that the Bible was transcribed perfectly according to the dictation of God Omnipotent.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:47 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
Jave D wrote:[...] It's unfortunate that not everyone who believes in God can get past this really quite insignificant mental hurdle. [...]


I think the train of thought generally goes "if the first few pages of Genesis isn't true, how can I trust the rest of it?" Actually quite a reasonable question, particularly if you believe that the Bible was transcribed perfectly according to the dictation of God Omnipotent.


I think the point is that there's no reason to assume that everything in the Bible ought to be taken literally. Indeed, many parts of the Bible make no sense whatsoever taken completely literally. The Parables of Jesus, for example, are clearly not talking about real events, but are simply illustrating some theological or moral point.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby ahammel » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:57 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:I think the point is that there's no reason to assume that everything in the Bible ought to be taken literally. Indeed, many parts of the Bible make no sense whatsoever taken completely literally.

True, but that doesn't stop a certain brand of Christian from believing it.
LaserGuy wrote:The Parables of Jesus, for example, are clearly not talking about real events, but are simply illustrating some theological or moral point.

The parables are explicitly parables. Jesus tells an illustrative story to the deciples and then usually explains what it mean immediately after. Genesis is not like that. Genisis reads like a historical record and was treated as such for centuries. There's no real textual justification for treating like a parable, except that we now know it to be false.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:18 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:I think the point is that there's no reason to assume that everything in the Bible ought to be taken literally. Indeed, many parts of the Bible make no sense whatsoever taken completely literally. The Parables of Jesus, for example, are clearly not talking about real events, but are simply illustrating some theological or moral point.

If the Bible is perfect it must be held beyond how we hold science. We must interpret the Bible by itself then view everything though its perfect view; to do otherwise is to render the Bible fallible to science and our senses. The BIble is infallible1,2 and there is no reasonable basis to think that Genesis is anything but a historical account3,4,5 other than us knowing it is false though science.

1John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
22 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
3Matthew 24:37–39 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 nFor as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
4Luke 17:28–32 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
5Luke 11:51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:44 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:The Parables of Jesus, for example, are clearly not talking about real events, but are simply illustrating some theological or moral point.


The parables are explicitly parables. Jesus tells an illustrative story to the deciples and then usually explains what it mean immediately after. Genesis is not like that. Genisis reads like a historical record and was treated as such for centuries. There's no real textual justification for treating like a parable, except that we now know it to be false.


Biblical literalism as it is understood today is a fairly recent phenomenon. Catholic and Orthodox traditions have very different views about inerrancy and literalism that date back to nearly to the founding of Christianity. Although I can't find a good source for it, my recollection is that Jewish tradition has a similar view of the Torah.

"The early Fathers held that the Bible was inerrant. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches affirm this as well. However, this is the case only when the Bible is properly understood, interpreted by the Church. This is inerrancy by ancient standards and not modern, fundamentalist standards. The early Fathers did not think that minor contradictions rendered the Bible errant, nor did they insist all stories were meant to be interpreted literally. For instance, the creation stories were often allegorized, interpreted in ways so as to prefigure Christ, or interpreted through the lens of the science of the day (or all three!). Thus St. Augustine could say each day in the Genesis creation story was equal to a thousand years, or that the science of the day should shape our understanding of the creation stories, without ever denying the divine inspiration of the Scriptures. So when a Catholic affirms the inerrancy of Scripture, the idea has far less baggage than the fundamentalist understanding."


c_programmer wrote:The BIble is infallible1,2 and there is no reasonable basis to think that Genesis is anything but a historical account3,4,5 other than us knowing it is false though science.


Quotes from Scripture cannot be used to determine the fallibility of Scripture. Your cite [1] does not refer to the Bible anyway, but rather to Jesus. If you read the rest of John 1, this will be made very clear. I'm not sure that any of your quotes [3-5] require the Scripture to necessarily be literally true for the text to make sense. If I say "Just as Gandalf protected his friends from the Balrog, so to you should protect your friends from evil", the analogy holds regardless of the existence of an actual Gandalf or Balrog.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby DSenette » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:04 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
ahammel wrote:
LaserGuy wrote:The Parables of Jesus, for example, are clearly not talking about real events, but are simply illustrating some theological or moral point.


The parables are explicitly parables. Jesus tells an illustrative story to the deciples and then usually explains what it mean immediately after. Genesis is not like that. Genisis reads like a historical record and was treated as such for centuries. There's no real textual justification for treating like a parable, except that we now know it to be false.


Biblical literalism as it is understood today is a fairly recent phenomenon. Catholic and Orthodox traditions have very different views about inerrancy and literalism that date back to nearly to the founding of Christianity. Although I can't find a good source for it, my recollection is that Jewish tradition has a similar view of the Torah.

"The early Fathers held that the Bible was inerrant. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches affirm this as well. However, this is the case only when the Bible is properly understood, interpreted by the Church. This is inerrancy by ancient standards and not modern, fundamentalist standards. The early Fathers did not think that minor contradictions rendered the Bible errant, nor did they insist all stories were meant to be interpreted literally. For instance, the creation stories were often allegorized, interpreted in ways so as to prefigure Christ, or interpreted through the lens of the science of the day (or all three!). Thus St. Augustine could say each day in the Genesis creation story was equal to a thousand years, or that the science of the day should shape our understanding of the creation stories, without ever denying the divine inspiration of the Scriptures. So when a Catholic affirms the inerrancy of Scripture, the idea has far less baggage than the fundamentalist understanding."


c_programmer wrote:The BIble is infallible1,2 and there is no reasonable basis to think that Genesis is anything but a historical account3,4,5 other than us knowing it is false though science.


Quotes from Scripture cannot be used to determine the fallibility of Scripture. Your cite [1] does not refer to the Bible anyway, but rather to Jesus. If you read the rest of John 1, this will be made very clear. I'm not sure that any of your quotes [3-5] require the Scripture to necessarily be literally true for the text to make sense. If I say "Just as Gandalf protected his friends from the Balrog, so to you should protect your friends from evil", the analogy holds regardless of the existence of an actual Gandalf or Balrog.

per official church (catholic) doctrine you're right, but frequently, in actual understanding from the adherents it's not always the case. the difference between church doctrine, and the belief that the bible is the word of God wasn't really communicated very well when i was a catholic growing up (in a catholic school). we frequently ended up in situations where you were expected to believe both things at the same time, that the church was the source of the true meaning of the bible, and that the bible was the word of God. to be perfectly fair, this was probably specifically related to the people who were educating us about this not exactly being that bright, or actually knowledgeable about catholic doctrine.

but that only accounts for catholicism and Judaism (from what i understand about Judaism), not the plethora of other christian based religions that do, in doctrine and practice, expect the bible (at least most of it) to be the literal word of god put down on paper, and do in fact expect the scripture itself to determine the infallible nature of the scripture itself. these groups make up more than a statistically significant portion of the christian population, especially in the US.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby induction » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:08 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Quotes from Scripture cannot be used to determine the fallibility of Scripture.


Of course they can. It happens all the time. Just because it's circular reasoning and unconvincing to anyone who doesn't already agree with you, doesn't mean you can't do it. I assumed that was c_programmer's point: Logical arguments don't work on people who disagree with your premises.

I'm not sure that any of your quotes [3-5] require the Scripture to necessarily be literally true for the text to make sense. If I say "Just as Gandalf protected his friends from the Balrog, so to you should protect your friends from evil", the analogy holds regardless of the existence of an actual Gandalf or Balrog.


I read that more like 'It happened before and it will happen again,' which doesn't work as well if the story you refer to is believed to be fictional.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:52 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Biblical literalism as it is understood today is a fairly recent phenomenon. Catholic and Orthodox traditions have very different views about inerrancy and literalism that date back to nearly to the founding of Christianity. Although I can't find a good source for it, my recollection is that Jewish tradition has a similar view of the Torah.

I have seen their doctrines but see no reason other than science that they accept certain parts as metaphors. If there is significant internal reason I'd like to see that perspective.


LaserGuy wrote:Quotes from Scripture cannot be used to determine the fallibility of Scripture.

It's circular reasoning, a source can not logically be authoritative to itself. But that is the approach taken. I think the premise behind it is that if the Bible is errant there is simple no point to any of it, if one can write anything they want as an error they may as well just live without it.

LaserGuy wrote:Your cite [1] does not refer to the Bible anyway, but rather to Jesus. If you read the rest of John 1, this will be made very clear. I'm not sure that any of your quotes [3-5] require the Scripture to necessarily be literally true for the text to make sense. If I say "Just as Gandalf protected his friends from the Balrog, so to you should protect your friends from evil", the analogy holds regardless of the existence of an actual Gandalf or Balrog.

Having looked further into [1] that does make sense, I had always been shown it the other way. As for the rest, Jesus spoke of them as fact. The parables were close metaphors to the point, they always were relevant to people of that time. Genesis was cited as history, not a metaphor. Still, they could have just been stories but I see no positive reasoning to interpret it as such. Had genesis been presented as a metaphor there might be basis, but I see no indication that Bible accounts for any of it as anything except history.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby TrlstanC » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:24 pm UTC

One part of the debate that I never really understood was the switch from calling it "creationism" to "intelligent design." I mean, I understand why using the term "creationism" ran in to all sorts of legal troubles starting in the 80's because it was a term/belief of only certain religions. What I don't understand is why anyone thought "intelligent design" would be a better name? I think that the term actually describes the concept very well (living organisms were designed and created in a similar way to how people design things they create), but if the goal is to teach this to children as an alternative to evolution it doesn't seem like a strong argument to make. If you show any school-age child some things that are intelligently designed (cars, books, pencils, etc.) and any living organism (grass, slugs, cows, etc.), it will be clear which was the product of intelligence, at least human intelligence (which is the only example we have). No one would ever confuse something that was designed with something that's alive.

If you're going to come up with a new name for creationism, why give that process the same name as what people do? If it's something god did, shouldn't it be called something else, something that people can't do?


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