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Tennessee was home to the infamous "Scopes Monkey Trial" in the 1920s.  (Source: Google Images)

Tennessee Sen. Bo Watson (R) (center) insists the state's new bill isn't an attack on evolution, despite the fact that the bill explicitly labels it a "controversial" theory.  (Source: Times Free Press)

Even politicians supporting the bill acknowledge that religious-based alternative ideas to the theory of evolution may not have scientific foundations. But they argue they should be able to be taught in science classes, if teachers want.  (Source: MASS Live)
But will the politicians protect those who believe the Sun orbits the Earth?

Tennessee is an infamous hotbed of rhetoric attacking the merits of researching evolution and teaching what scientists have learned.  Returning to a long history of legislative efforts to undermine the teaching of evolution, state representatives are trying to push a bill through the House that would allow students to reject evolutionary teachings in the schools and not comply with testing, assignments, and examinations on the topic.

I.  Scopes, 86 years Later

In 1925 Tennessee witnessed the Scopes Monkey Trial, or The State of Tennessee v. Scopes, which sought to ban a teacher from sharing modern scientific theory and the insight of Charles Darwin with his students.  Scopes ended up losing the case in Tennessee Supreme Court, but was later vindicated by the higher U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Epperson v. Arkansas.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that bans on teaching evolution contravene the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Today the situation has shifted dramatically.

Armed with new fossil discoveriesgenetic evidence, and directly observed evolution of radically new metabolic pathways in bacteria, evolution in the schools is taught as a rule, rather than an exception. 

Like other theories rebuked by religious organizations of yore, such as the theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun, scientific evidence has eroded religious barriers mounted against evolution and the theory is now widely accepted.

But in Tennessee, 86 years later, there is still strong opposition to evolution in the religious fundamentalist community.  Christian organizations in the state continue to ardently reject evolutionary theory, and in particular the idea of "macroevolution".

To be fair, they are not alone.  Followers of fundamentalist Islam in the Middle East also believe in a young Earth and rebuke the idea that life evolved naturally over millions of years.  And hard line elements in the Judaism do as well.

II. Bill Provokes Passionate Debate

The Republican-controlled Tennessee House has proposed a controversial new law entitled HB 368 Dunn/SB 893 Watson.  The bill states:

This bill prohibits the state board of education and any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or principal or administrator from prohibiting any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught, such as evolution and global warming.

By lumping global warming and evolution advocates have united their conservative base in support of the measure.

But the bill raises tough questions.  Who can be the fair judge of whether a theory broadly accepted by the scientific community is "controversial".  If a cultist believed the Sun to orbit the Earth, could they break with curriculum and present this idea to students?

Ultimately the language of the bill isn't overly troublesome as much as its ambiguity and decision to single out evolution, a strongly supported theory.

III. Advocates Say Bill Will Improve America's Science

Bill co-sponsor Sen. Bo Watson (R-Hixson) insists the bill isn't about evolution, despite the fact that it specifically singles it out.  He states in an interview with the Times Free Press, "It’s not an evolution bill. That’s a red herring. It germinates an emotional response that [critics] want."

But he adds, "[Creationism and intelligent design] may not meet the scientific standard, but if they come up in a science class ... and it’s not listed in the state’s curriculum, a teacher should not be off-putting and say that’s not in the curriculum — if you want to talk about intelligent design you should go down the hall to the religious studies class. Teachers should be able to say, look, there are people who view that as a competing idea."

The bill has received limited support Tennessee's scientific community.  States, "[Current scientific teaching methods are poor and] our falling national aptitude reflects this. This bill offers an improvement in our approach to science education."

Similarly Nashville biology teacher Harold Morrison states, "Now I would never try to proselytize any of my students into believing what I think. But I do think students should be knowledgeable of scientists who go against conventional thought so students can draw their own conclusions."

Religious groups also staunchly support the measure.  David Fowler, president of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, is one of those advocating it.  He states in an interview with Nashville Public Radio:

I met earlier in the year with some teachers. I met with the Professional Educators of Tennessee and discussed the question of whether or not there were teachers who might be concerned to bring up any of the questions that are raised by scientists about the difference between microevolution, for instance, and macroevolution…

Essentially it would be the starting from some kind of amoeba, or some kind of single-celled organism out of which all the complex diversity of life has come. That’s what macroevolution would essentially be.

He adds:

To ever cast any questions about some of the evidence offered in support of macroevolution gets them blackballed from the academy.

This bill would make clear that schools should create an atmosphere conducive to questioning scientific theories and that no teacher can be fired for questioning scientific theories.

Critics claim a recent ranking of scientific education by nation supports their theory that the current system is flawed.  That ranking put the U.S. in 31st place.

While most of the nations ahead of the U.S. do not include creationism or intelligent design in their curriculum, proponents of the bill seem to believe that doing so would help propel the U.S. ahead, nonetheless.

IV. Opponents Label Measure a "Monkey bill"

Former House Speaker Rep Jimmy Naifeh, (D-Covington) dislikes the measure. In a House debate he called the bill an attacked on science and labeled it a "Monkey bill" alluding to the Scopes trial.

Many members of the scientific community are opposed to it as well.

Molly Miller, a geology professor at Vanderbilt University, says that the bill is an effort to attack a theory that is well researched and long-standing.  She states:
My objection to this bill is primarily based on the fact that it is not needed. There are science standards that are already set in place.

She says the use of the term "theory" is sufficient qualification.  A theory is a set of rules confirmed by careful scientific observation.  But theories are not infallible and may have limitations or exceptions.

Rep. John Deberry (D-Memphis), who is also an ordained minister, took offense at Ms. Miller’s comments, calling them "totally anti-American."

But Ms. Miller is not alone in her criticism.  Even in conservative Tennessee the bill has many other opponents, particularly in academia.

In testimony before Tennessee's state assembly Hume-Fogg High School biology teacher Wesley Roberts complained that the bill would create an atmosphere in which myths and fairy tales would prevail over science.  He points to a Chinese creation myth "in which fleas become humans" as a sufficient example of the outlandish ideas that could occur.

He comments:

Part of our rich cultural history in Tennessee is opposition to evolution education. This bill is part of that tradition. It is not inviting students to discuss the controversy of the Vietnam war. It's not encouraging students to discuss the true value of pi. It’s aimed at science and evolution.

[The bill is a] mandate to allow any idea, no matter how scientific or nonscientific into the classroom.

However attractive it may sound to have the discussions of nonscientific ideas in our science classroom, it's not the souls of our students that are at stake here. What is at stake is how they will perform on standardized tests in which they will be compared to students across the state, the nation and the world.

Opponents argue the bill would leave America further behind more-educated nations that don't teach such theories.

V.  What Does Science Say?

It's important to consider the science here, in addition to the support and criticism of the bill

While science can offer no evidence directly contradicting fantastic faith based arguments -- such as that the notion that the Earth is thousands of years old and that the world was created in an elaborate fashion to make it appear as if evolution occurred, when it actually did not -- what it can offer is theory based on real-world observation.

Part of many people's difficulty in accepting evolution is difficulty in understanding the theory.

In fact the term "macro-evolution" so beloved by opponents of evolutionary theory, is viewed as rather outdated by evolutionary theorist themselves.  Modern genetics has shown us that minor alterations to genes can create dramatic anatomical and physiological changes.  So the distinction between "micro" and "macro" evolution is virtually non-existent making such terms somewhat inappropriate.

What is clear is that evolution is the result of pressure.  Direct observations of this principle in action include the evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria in hospital settings, and the evolution of a unique sugar metabolism pathway by famished E. Coli bacteria in a Michigan State University lab.

Genetic changes tend to occur more slowly in animals, especially vertebrates, than in "lower" lifeforms, like bacteria.  Thus typically it might take hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years to witness such an event.

What used to be called periods of "macro-evolution" refers to an era of dramatic population reduction.  During times of mass extinction genetic drift can greatly accelerate the evolution process, by allowing modifications that might formerly have been selected out.  But in reality, these modifications, again, return to simple changes to the genome.

The fossil and genetic record offers evidence to fill in the gaps of what Mr. Fowler or other critics would term "macro-evolution".  While not infallible, this scientific evidence gives researchers a good idea of how these kinds of events work.

Fortunately or unfortunately, researchers have not been able to directly observe such dramatic events in the wild, because mass extinction has not yet occurred in the modern era of man (though some believe we may be on the verge of causing one).

In contrast with the body of evidence supporting evolution, theories like creationism and intelligent design have little in the way of scientifically verifiable evidence Thus most scientists feel these ideas are novel, but have no place currently in science or scientific education.

VI.  Vote is Upcoming

Tennessee's State House will soon get to decide on this bill.  The measure passed the House Education Committee via a voice vote and will now head to a full vote on the House floor. 

Thus for better or worse the bill is now green lighted to potentially become law.



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While I see your point...
By JakLee on 4/1/2011 5:03:02 PM , Rating: 4
I can't help but think that this could be helpful though in science. Yes it is portrayed in a way as to say "I think hippy fairy's from mars created people out of crayon pooped from unicorns" could be taught as a viable alternative to evolution I don't think that is a fair assessment. It appears simply that if a student was to ask "teacher - my mom says evolution is malarkey and we were taught "X""; that the teacher could then respond in a way that was appropriate without fear of reprisal.

Not that the teacher has to believe that way. Not that a teacher would be forced into some half-baked psudeo-sceintic curriculum. But the nature of science is to question. If we go back in time (like this article so reminds us) we will see a time where society "knew" that the sun revolved around the earth and only ignorant people thought otherwise.

Scientific knowledge changes over the course of time as new information becomes available. We should not let a theory, no matter how well accepted be held in such esteem that it cannot be revised or reviewed or questioned. As long as we can be honest about it, I have no issues with any questions brought up in regards to students wanting to learn. Otherwise you have children who are even MORE confused as they learn to either not trust their teachers or parents or authority as a whole due every side saying the other is wrong & no we can't discuss it!




RE: While I see your point...
By morphologia on 4/1/2011 5:56:33 PM , Rating: 2
I'll heartily support the presentation of creationism as a scientific theory in competition with evolution...as soon as someone provides even the smallest shred of scientific proof of its validity.

Mathematics could have clearly shown that the geocentric model was incorrect, if there had been enough people capable of understanding that explanation. It's not as if there wasn't any basis for that belief. The same cannot be said about ID or creationism...both philosophies depend on not knowing all the facts, making assumptions and interpreting everything in a way that supports the belief. Believers have yet to demonstrate satisfactorily why even the slightest inconsistency in evolutionary theory renders it invalid, yet the gaping holes in creationist logic are no concern.

As far as parents are concerned, teaching their children only the things that they want to believe despite the presence or absence of proof seems like a flawed plan.


RE: While I see your point...
By Lazarus Dark on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By BZDTemp on 4/1/2011 7:13:05 PM , Rating: 5
Science is not a religion. If you don't science teached in schools you may as well call for having schools closed.

And as for there being no need to learn about evolution just because it may not matter in a future job that is just silly. School education is the foundation on which further education and career choices are based so basic knowledge matters.

Do tell - what else should the schools keep hidden from the pupils? Perhaps political and social economic issues, or sexual education or how about geography or maybe history?


RE: While I see your point...
By Lazarus Dark on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By Lazarus Dark on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By PaterPelligrino on 4/2/2011 12:12:35 AM , Rating: 5
Science is by design a very contentious pursuit; if something can be shot down, it is the duty of the scientist to do so, for that is his very reason for being. However, the evidence for evolution is so overwhelming that there exists no serious challenge within the evidence-based discipline of science to evolution.

The only people who object to evolution are biblical literalists - even the Catholic Church accepts evolution. That tells you all you need to know in this controversy. The creationist is motivated by doctrinal reasons to reject evolution; whether the theory is supported or controverted by the evidence is of no concern to the religious zealot. Those Christian fundamentalists who do put forth reasons for their rejection of evolution are just attempting to give their beliefs a patina of credibility.

That is clearly shown by the fact that the only science the biblical literalist objects to is that which threatens his pre-existing supernatural belief system. His take on the content of the theory of evolution is entirely dependent on what it says in the Bible. If the Bible asserted that god engineered the rise of species by the action of natural selection on pre-existing species, then the Old Testament guys would be singing the praises of Darwin. If it said in the Bible that life began on another planet, the biblical literalist would blindly accept that as the truth.

Therefore, the only question here is do you require evidence for your understanding of the world, or do you uncritically accept something written in a three thousand year old book that has for historical reasons become the dominant religion of the societies in which most of us live.


RE: While I see your point...
By ekv on 4/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By PaterPelligrino on 4/2/2011 3:06:47 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
There is a flip side to that statement which suggests scientists are fully engaged in the pursuit of truth. The emphasis to you may be so subtle as to be indistinguishable, but I gather the dumbed-down version is akin to the-glass-half-full vs. the-glass-half-empty.


The pursuit of truth inevitably involves the debunking of the false - one necessarily entails the other. I concentrated on the shooting-down aspect of the scientist's role to emphasize the fact that there exists no evidence-based challenge to evolution; that if there were, it would be science's duty to make that case. Not to mention the fact that it would be instant fame and glory for any scientist that succeeded in overturning a theory so fundamental to our understanding of the world we live in.

quote:
Rationalists, since around the beginning of the Enlightenment, were a big proponent of 'faith can only be blind'. By the rule of repeated assertion, critically acclaimed no less, here we are.


If by that you mean that faith is not required for that for which we have proof, of what practical use is that? The same thing has been/is said by the devout of all of mankind's many mutually-contradictory religions. To me, all that says is, "This is important to me and I'm going to believe it no matter what the evidence implies." That certainly doesn't cast a flattering light on mankind's well-known penchant for wishful-thinking and self-deception.

Though ignoring the evidence might be useful on an individual level - whatever gets you through the night - it certainly shouldn't institutionalized in public policy.


RE: While I see your point...
By ekv on 4/2/11, Rating: 0
RE: While I see your point...
By PaterPelligrino on 4/2/2011 10:09:54 AM , Rating: 4
Wow, Heinlein, William James and Lenin - even if the quotes were not to the point, I'm impressed. Throw in a few words from Heidegger, and you're a shoo-in as Harvard's next guest commencement speaker.

You seem to be hung up on teachers. I never mentioned teachers, I wrote about scientists.

quote:
Those who can ... do. Those who can't ... teach.


And those who can't do either, preach; or rather those who sole talents are the curious inclination to ignore fact in favor of feel-good myth, and the ability to memorize endless nonsensical biblical quotes, preach.

quote:
"A lie told often enough becomes truth" Vladimir Lenin.

William James (1842-1910) The father of modern Psychology "There's nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it."


Exactly! which explains why the Irish are Catholic, the Saudis Muslim, Tibetans Buddhists, and sub-continent Indians mostly Hindus. It is geography and history that determine the gods one worships - in a word, tradition, the received opinions passed down from one generation to the next. Do you really think your religious beliefs were not influenced by tradition? James's comment explains why the other guy's religion always seems so goofy, while our own traditional beliefs - the religious myths we've been steeped in since birth - seem so plausible we exempt them from the same critical reason we apply to the others.

That is the single biggest difference between the religious skeptic and the believer. The skeptic applies the same logical standards to all religions that the Christian applies to every religion save his own. Every fallacy you think I commit when refuting your god, you are guilty of vis-a-vis the others. You tell me who has taken Lenin's and James's words to heart.


RE: While I see your point...
By knutjb on 4/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By eskimospy on 4/3/2011 2:55:02 PM , Rating: 5
Einstein was not 'very religious' at all, in fact he was a confirmed agnostic who repeatedly stated he did not believe in a personal god.

What you are asking for now is the last refuge of a failed argument, that all points of view should be included. In a world of unlimited resources, time, and student understanding, perhaps educators could have the luxury of exploring fanciful ideas of how life came to be.

In the real world though, we have a line of what is to be taught that is quite logical, and quite clear. In science classes we only teach science. Banning the teaching of creationism in science class is important for two reasons. First and most importantly, it is not a scientific theory and it is devoid of scientific evidence supporting it. Secondly, once you start allowing religious creation mythology into the classroom you have to confront the issue of which creation myth you're going to try and teach. They are all equally devoid of any evidence, and since all standards of science need to be abandoned to put them in the classroom to begin with, how do you decide which made up story you're going to teach the kids anyway?

Creationism isn't kicked out of class because of some anti-religious prejudice or because they think they hold some key to absolute truth, it's kicked out of the classroom because it is a made up story that has no factual basis.


RE: While I see your point...
By JakLee on 4/8/2011 7:48:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Creationism isn't kicked out of class because of some anti-religious prejudice or because they think they hold some key to absolute truth, it's kicked out of the classroom because it is a made up story that has no factual basis.


1. Einstein was not agnostic, he was very sparce in his sharing of his beliefs, but he never said he did not believe in a God.

2. Science changes as new information is found and accepted. If everyone was honest, we wouldn't need politicians, police, prostitutes. I don't believe telling kids in sceince class "Hey, some of you may have heard of "X"; but at this time the facts we DO have support Evolution. However please keep an open mind to other information that you learn elsewhere because as we learn new things these theories can change".

However you somehow equate a person saying "hey, I think this is too complex to have happened by chance" with "today in sceince class we are learning about how Krishna created the elephant!" is just rediculous. The problem with ID in sceince is the lack of proof. The problem with ID is the proof to the contrary of it's claim. The problem is not with the belief in a Creator.

Keep an open RATIONAL mind and don't get caught up in any religious hating argument or your ideas are not different than those you are arguing against.


RE: While I see your point...
By PaterPelligrino on 4/3/2011 4:20:01 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
James didn't get caught up on proving God's existence since it we cannot do so, he looked at it's impact on those following it. For him to try and prove God was nonsensical.


He was right; one can't prove or disprove the existence of any supernatural being. Tho, given that that is also true of the Tooth Fairy, I don't see how that would be much comfort to the follower of any of man's many religions.

I too have read "The Varieties of Religious Experience", but it was so long ago I've forgotten most of what he said. I do, however, remember that he limited his inquiry to the experience of religion. I have never doubted that people have religious experiences. What I do doubt is that those experiences indicate the presence of a supernatural being existing anywhere outside the confines of someone's head. Gods are human inventions, and tho religious experience is interesting as a purely psychological phenomenon, it says nothing about objective reality. Certainly a monotheist Christian would never admit that the religious experiences of a Buddhist or Hindu prove the existence of their gods.

quote:
As for Lenin; eventually people question and the begin to doubt the lies crammed down their throat, particularly when forced by he government.


But the interesting question is why are we expected to suspend credulity when those lies come from priests.

quote:
As for scientist they don't get it right all the time either and they don't always follow Socrates style acceptance that they could be wrong. Look how hard Einstein had to work to prove Newton wrong. Both very religious with Newton all but an ordained priest. Scientist and followers of science are frequently as inflexible on ideas as any religion.


Einstein's views on religion are widely misunderstood. He most definitely did not believe in a personal god. His statement that "god does not play dice with the universe" was a metaphor as he himself made clear in his letters. "It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

In any case, the conflict between evolution and creationism isn't a clash between two competing scientific theories; there is no evidence for creationism. Creationism derives form a slavish subservience to biblical dogma. Since the creationist is not interested in evidence, he will never be convinced he is wrong.

quote:
To push only one side of an argument kills the discourse. Thoughtful, open discourse of all ideas is beneficial because it forces one to consider more than one accepted idea. To not do so is elitist, condescending, and limiting. Just talking about it doesn't mean you must believe or accept it. Right now many believe those running the educational system are overzealous and intentionally thwarting their personal beliefs.


As I've pointed out countless times, the guys who object to evolution, the so-called creationists, only talk about a generic, first-cause god when arguing with religious skeptics in online forums. In reality, creationists are all biblical literalists. What you guys are really interested in is the whole Old Testament, burning-bush, Noah's-Ark, Jehovah Road Show; the first-cause thing is just a Trojan-horse ruse to advance your religious agenda; your campaign against evolution has nothing to do with science or evidence, your sole motivation is to defeat evolution's threat to Old Testament literalism.

But let's pretend for a moment that you are a strict creationist with no religious affiliation. So does this open discourse thing you are advocating apply to all the religions? Do we also alter school curriculums to remove anything unfriendly to all the other creeds? Should our school systems draw up their lesson plans taking in consideration the teachings of Hinduism, Islam, Chinese traditional religions, African animism, Sikhism, Juche, Spiritism, Baha'i, Jainism, Shinto, Cao Dai, Zoroastrianism, Tenrikyo, Neo-Paganism, Unitarian-Universalism, Rastafarianism, Amerindian and Australian Aboriginal pantheism, Voodoo and Scientology? You advocate "thoughtful, open discourse", so tell me, once we start pandering to religious sensibilities, where do we stop?

quote:
Since when did educators hold the position of absolute truth? Look at how they have applied political correctness to history and twisted it out of period context meaning.


That is a non sequitur and has nothing to do with the question at hand. Teachers don't teach their own personal theories on the nature of reality.


RE: While I see your point...
By knutjb on 4/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By PaterPelligrino on 4/4/2011 12:18:45 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Ok if James was right as you have said how can you prove the priest is lying?


So priests don't lie? How is that? Putting aside charlatans like Jim Bakker who prey on the gullibility of the naive to enrich themselves, all one need do is consider the fact that there exist myriad mutually-contradictory religions. Even if I can't prove that any one of those religions is mistaken, obviously they can't all be correct; therefore, all but one is a sham and what the priests and holy books of all the others proclaim is a lie. Tho I have no doubt that a majority of those deluded priests believe what they proclaim, it must be false nonetheless.

Furthermore, it is a fact that one can't prove the non-existence of anything, let alone gods. If it could be done, someone in the last 2000 years would have done it. If it were possible to prove/disprove the existence of supernatural beings there would be, at most, one religion; we certainly wouldn't be living in a world of warring creeds each claiming to be The Truth.

The fact that I can't prove the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist doesn't mean I'm not justified in denying its existence. In any case, if you really were concerned with being consistent, and not just a closet Christian Fundamentalist trying to sneak his preferred god in the back door, you would also have to advocate that our schools not teach anything that contradicted the Bhagavad Gita or Amerindian animism. Or is it only Christian sensibilities that should determine what science is taught in our schools?

quote:
Look how long it takes science to accept new facts that replace the old facts, i.e. Einstein.


Yes, it takes time for new ideas to gain acceptance. But religion is not concerned with fact and can never be overturned. That the writings in a 3000 year old book are still considered literally true in spite of all the counter-evidence is proof of that.

The most famous example of this is Kurt Wise who, incredible as it may seem, has a Ph.D. in Geology from Harvard University where he studied under the supervision of Stephen Jay Gould(!). Wise is famous for stating that "if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. How can you have a fruitful debate with that kind of close-minded, intellectual pigheadedness.

quote:
The idealism/fundamentalism of science and say the Church of Positivism is no less dogmatic than the religion you belittle. The belief of scientific fact as absolute, an idea established in the age of enlightenment, is also misguided. You run off and bash religions but fail to accept that science and science related facts are not as solid and unchanging as you attempt to put so much faith in.


And with that nonsense you betray you hidden religious agenda. There is no equivalence between science and religion, as has been demonstrated countless times here in this very forum. This is what is so discouraging about engaging biblical literalists in these arguments: you have to demonstrate the same points over and over again, and then two weeks later, the same guy comes back and repeats the same old tired fallacies. If science and biblical literalism are equivalent beliefs, do you extend the same courtesy to Islam, Hinduism, Voodoo and Scientology. Of course not, you creationists don't speak for all religions, you are only concerned with advancing your own biblical agenda.

quote:
We disprove old scientific beliefs and replace them with new ideas. Many of those who hold onto the old ones find themselves unable to accept the new. Your bitterness, as I read it, towards religion is as strong and unforgiving as any fundamentalist.


Which attests to the strength of science; those ideas can be replaced because they are open to rebuttal, religion is not. But let me ask once again, do we teach the dogma of all the religions, or just you preferred brand of Christianity?. That's rather unfair to all the other religions isn't it?

quote:
Teachers are human and do express their opinions, even at school.


Teachers should not teach their own personal take on the physical nature of the universe. Should the astronomy teacher be allowed to teach that the sun revolves around the earth, or the biology teacher claim that disease is caused by evil spirits. We don't allow teachers to teach their own versions of chemistry or biology, so why permit them to mythologize the teaching of evolution?

quote:
If you don't believe in a religion fine but why be so bigoted towards those who do so peacefully? Are they hurting you?


Shoving irrational dogma down the throats of impressive children is not peaceful. Telling them to believe or suffer never-ending torment in a place so vile and depraved as to be beyond human imagination, is not peaceful. Without the behavior-modifying promises of eternal bliss and treats of never-ending pain, how many Christians would there really be in this world?

In any case, I merely apply to all supernatural beliefs the very same skepticism that the Christian applies to every religion except his own. Every fallacy you think I commit when refuting your god, you are guilty of vis-a-vis the others. As a monotheist, you are compelled to deny the existence of all gods but your own, yet you accuse atheists of bigotry when they deny your god. How can you not be considered a hypocrite?

quote:
I am not defending religion but am criticizing inflexible scientific beliefs, science does not have all the answers they like to think they do.


Rubbish. You are just another Old Testament biblical literalist pretending to be a reasonable, open-minded guy. So open-minded guy, should we teach your children Wiccan and Hindu-friendly science?

If you going to answer this post, try to address the issues I've raised here; I get tired of having to make the same points over and over. What I'd really like to see is one of you Jehovah guys rebut the post I made at the bottom of this page.

There is a really good article in today's The Guardian about the ideological conflict between atheists and theists; I recommend that anyone interested in the topic check it out - tho I realize that very few theists are interested in hearing conflicting opinions, one can hope.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/apr/03/grayli...


RE: While I see your point...
By knutjb on 4/4/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By PaterPelligrino on 4/5/2011 12:17:50 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Contrary to your baseless implication that I am this or that merely shows your inability to reasonably or even to rationally deal with the subject of religion.

Your personal bias and inability to let others believe as they wish in peace is simply close minded.

Easy to reply, you fail to recognize your abhorrence of those whom you disagree with. You make numerous false allegations as to what I believe. You are blinded by your beliefs and seem to be unable see it.

Your commentary shows how little you truly know about religion, any religion.

That's it?! Yes, I'm a flawed individual and it's obvious I think religion is irrational nonsense, but you haven't dealt with any of the issues I raised in my post - not one.
quote:
Belief in religion extends beyond our logical world and to paraphrase Kierkegaard it takes a leap of faith.

So as a theist, you need not bother with logic and your supernatural beliefs are forever beyond the challenge of critical reason. How very convenient for someone asserting the existence of a supernatural being for which there is not one shred of direct evidence. It must be a comfy place that feel-good, insulated bubble you call home.

The self-serving claim of immunity from rational criticism is probably one of the few things all of mankind's bickering religions have in common. I've always thought that if the inmate wanted to get out of the asylum, all he need do is call his imaginary creature god.
quote:
Humans are irrational beings.

Finally you have said something that I can wholeheartedly agree with. Given the truly astonishing number of gods and mythical creatures with which man has embellished his world, no other conclusion is possible.


RE: While I see your point...
By rsmech on 4/7/2011 2:12:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think religion is irrational nonsense, but you haven't dealt with any of the issues I raised in my post - not one.


I apologize but I haven't read all the post, just breezed through them but you speak of issues you have raised. I too have just one question. Can you or science explain to me the beginning of all things? If you could do this I don't see how faith could exist. But it does because science cannot answer this one question which the bible has already answered.


By PaterPelligrino on 4/4/2011 12:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ok if James was right as you have said how can you prove the priest is lying?


So priests don't lie? How is that? Putting aside charlatans like Jim Bakker who prey on the gullibility of the naive to enrich themselves, all one need do is consider the fact that there exist myriad mutually-contradictory religions. Even if I can't prove that any one of those religions is mistaken, obviously they can't all be correct; therefore, all but one is a sham and what the priests and holy books of all the others proclaim is a lie. Tho I have no doubt that a majority of those deluded priests believe what they proclaim, it must be false nonetheless.

Furthermore, it is a fact that one can't prove the non-existence of anything, let alone gods. If it could be done, someone in the last 2000 years would have done it. If it were possible to prove/disprove the existence of supernatural beings there would be, at most, one religion; we certainly wouldn't be living in a world of warring creeds each claiming to be The Truth.

The fact that I can't prove the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist doesn't mean I'm not justified in denying its existence. In any case, if you really were concerned with being consistent, and not just a closet Christian Fundamentalist trying to sneak his preferred god in the back door, you would also have to advocate that our schools not teach anything that contradicted the Bhagavad Gita or Amerindian animism. Or is it only Christian sensibilities that should determine what science is taught in our schools?

quote:
Look how long it takes science to accept new facts that replace the old facts, i.e. Einstein.


Yes, it takes time for new ideas to gain acceptance. But religion is not concerned with fact and can never be overturned. That the writings in a 3000 year old book are still considered literally true in spite of all the counter-evidence is proof of that.

The most famous example of this is Kurt Wise who, incredible as it may seem, has a Ph.D. in Geology from Harvard University where he studied under the supervision of Stephen Jay Gould(!). Wise is famous for stating that "if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate. How can you have a fruitful debate with that kind of close-minded, intellectual pigheadedness.

quote:
The idealism/fundamentalism of science and say the Church of Positivism is no less dogmatic than the religion you belittle. The belief of scientific fact as absolute, an idea established in the age of enlightenment, is also misguided. You run off and bash religions but fail to accept that science and science related facts are not as solid and unchanging as you attempt to put so much faith in.


And with that nonsense you betray you hidden religious agenda. There is no equivalence between science and religion, as has been demonstrated countless times here in this very forum. This is what is so discouraging about engaging biblical literalists in these arguments: you have to demonstrate the same points over and over again, and then two weeks later, the same guy comes back and repeats the same old tired fallacies. If science and biblical literalism are equivalent beliefs, do you extend the same courtesy to Islam, Hinduism, Voodoo and Scientology. Of course not, you creationists don't speak for all religions, you are only concerned with advancing your own biblical agenda.

quote:
We disprove old scientific beliefs and replace them with new ideas. Many of those who hold onto the old ones find themselves unable to accept the new. Your bitterness, as I read it, towards religion is as strong and unforgiving as any fundamentalist.


Which attests to the strength of science; those ideas can be replaced because they are open to rebuttal, religion is not. But let me ask once again, do we teach the dogma of all the religions, or just you preferred brand of Christianity?. That's rather unfair to all the other religions isn't it?

quote:
Teachers are human and do express their opinions, even at school.


Teachers should not teach their own personal take on the physical nature of the universe. Should the astronomy teacher be allowed to teach that the sun revolves around the earth, or the biology teacher claim that disease is caused by evil spirits. We don't allow teachers to teach their own versions of chemistry or biology, so why permit them to mythologize the teaching of evolution?

quote:
If you don't believe in a religion fine but why be so bigoted towards those who do so peacefully? Are they hurting you?


Shoving irrational dogma down the throats of impressive children is not peaceful. Telling them to believe or suffer never-ending torment in a place so vile and depraved as to be beyond human imagination, is not peaceful. Without the behavior-modifying promises of eternal bliss and treats of never-ending pain, how many Christians would there really be in this world?

In any case, I merely apply to all supernatural beliefs the very same skepticism that the Christian applies to every religion except his own. Every fallacy you think I commit when refuting your god, you are guilty of vis-a-vis the others. As a monotheist, you are compelled to deny the existence of all gods but your own, yet you accuse atheists of bigotry when they deny your god. How can you not be considered a hypocrite?

quote:
I am not defending religion but am criticizing inflexible scientific beliefs, science does not have all the answers they like to think they do.


Rubbish. You are just another Old Testament biblical literalist pretending to be a reasonable, open-minded guy. So open-minded guy, should we teach your children Wiccan and Hindu-friendly science?

If you going to answer this post, try to address the issues I've raised here; I get tired of having to make the same points over and over. What I'd really like to see is one of you Jehovah guys rebut the post I made at the bottom of this page.

There is a really good article in today's The Guardian about the ideological conflict between atheists and theists; I recommend that anyone interested in the topic check it out - tho I realize that very few theists are interested in hearing conflicting opinions, one can hope.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/apr/03/grayli...


RE: While I see your point...
By rsmech on 4/7/2011 2:06:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If by that you mean that faith is not required for that for which we have proof, of what practical use is that?


I'm a little late posting so I probably won't get a response.

That is exactly what they mean. You need no faith if you have fact. Fact erases faith. They cannot coexist and you are saved by faith alone.

But you truly have no factual belief in evolution either, it also is just faith. You have faith that science truly can find the beginning of all which they scientifically cannot.


RE: While I see your point...
By rsmech on 4/7/2011 1:59:11 AM , Rating: 2
I know many Christians who see evolution fitting in with their beliefs. Their may be many who don't but there are just as many evolutionist who don't believe creation fits with evolution. The creationist has a more believable concept of the beginning than science. Science will never be able to find the beginning because there is no such thing according to science.


RE: While I see your point...
By cmdrdredd on 4/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By SlyNine on 4/1/2011 7:48:29 PM , Rating: 5
Dude that is the biggest bunch of BS I've ever heard, Understand evolution has had huge benefits to medical discoveries. Understanding that we all come from a single DNA double helix has helped geneticists a great deal in development of cures and a understanding of DNA and genetic diseases, hereditary disorders and OH SO MUCH MORE.

In fact understand evolution could drastically change a persons view on the world and what they do with there lives. Like wasting it on religious, unfounded BS.


RE: While I see your point...
By Lazarus Dark on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By PReiger99 on 4/1/2011 10:07:15 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
As I implied, the benefit comes from simply understanding how DNA works period, evolution does not improve ones understanding of DNA one way or another.

I'm not sure why you bother making such statement when it's obviously false. So evolution doesn't improves our understanding of DNA? The only problem with that is evolution, genetics and the whole field of biology depend (a lot) on the concepts behind heredity. To claim that you can understand DNA (such as dormant sequences coding for teeth in chicken, for example) without the concepts put forward by the theory of evolution, is ridiculous.


RE: While I see your point...
By MeesterNid on 4/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By TeXWiller on 4/4/2011 4:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
It would be quite tedious to teach a high school biology course in such a small space. It's quite difficult to argue rationally if the participants of the argument don't share a common context.


RE: While I see your point...
By ShaolinSoccer on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By BZDTemp on 4/2/2011 9:43:39 AM , Rating: 5
If you're thinking religion is a prerequisite for love then that is a mistake and an insult to the people which have chosen to think for them self rather than need religion.


RE: While I see your point...
By Azethoth on 4/2/2011 2:43:10 PM , Rating: 3
I think he meant priest-child love. It is a special god-ordained love. It is not for the unbelievers. It is for those that sing in the choir. The Pope keeps these special lovers safe from a world that does not understand the forbidden passion of their love.


RE: While I see your point...
By ShaolinSoccer on 4/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By TeXWiller on 4/1/2011 8:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No medical discoveries, technological innovations, or anything benificial to mankind has ever come from the study of evolution.
Would the manufacturing of insulin and other modern biotechnology, genetic algorithms and genetic manipulation as a catalyst for the next agricultural revolution count as medical discoveries, technological innovations and benefits for mankind?
quote:
we shouldn't be indoctrinating young children.

In my opinion, I don't think we should be teaching children any religion in schools, evolutionist or creationist beliefs.
You write about evolution as if it were a political ideology. Personally, I prefer to be informed about various forms of religious thinking and prefer that children would receive understanding about the mechanics of religious thinking similarly how a modern curriculum teaches about media criticism is the elementary schools in my country. Our obligatory classes on religion(s) last all the way to the end of the local high school equivalent and I feel that it has improved my understanding of the motives and reasons for historical and current events, even after many years. In my opinion, more informed adults should end up less frequently as victims of cults and other aggressive religious organizations, as well.


RE: While I see your point...
By Lazarus Dark on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By mcnabney on 4/2/2011 11:58:00 AM , Rating: 5
You do understand that there are no 'flaws' to evolution.

And teaching unsupported opposing views is like:
Astronomy classes including segments on astrology
Geography classes teaching 'flat earth' ideas
Economics classes including frequent contrasts with commune lifestyles.
Anatomy classes touching on ghosts.
Chemistry classes including efforts to reproduce alchemy results.
English classes, that also teach Portuguese.


RE: While I see your point...
By Conner on 4/3/11, Rating: -1
RE: While I see your point...
By TeXWiller on 4/4/2011 4:50:47 PM , Rating: 2
I think you just explained how evolution works..


RE: While I see your point...
By Belard on 4/5/2011 3:40:33 AM , Rating: 1
evolution is not a religion. No more than reading a manual on how to put together an inkjet printer.


RE: While I see your point...
By JediJeb on 4/1/2011 6:59:39 PM , Rating: 2
I keep my mind open to both sides of the debate and I still do have problems with some of the assumptions of evolution. If all life began from more or less an accident, or happenstance of a few chemicals mixing in the right ratio to begin life, then why can't man with our advanced scientific knowledge do what was possible by sheer luck?

Giving the explanation that it "just happened" to describe how life began is like Apple saying their computers "just work". DNA is more or less a computer code far more complex than even something like Windows and yet we have trouble writing programs without fatal bugs in them, how did luck get it right? Billions of years, iteration after iteration and we have humans, seems with that type of luck we could write a computer program that simply puts together strings of 1s and 0s and eventually we would end up with Windows 7. How probable is that?

Scientific evidence points to evolution being the beginning of life, and also to a beginning of the universe, yet no explanation exactly describes that very beginning moment with certainty. Even now a 12 year old genius is working on extensions to Einstein's Theory of Relativity( the kid is at IUPU )and brings forth a very interesting problem with current Big Bang thinking, that there is too much carbon in the universe for it to be only 14-15 billion years old. He has figured out that for the amount of carbon to exist that does exist, it could not have come from star deaths spreading it around as is the current theory unless the universe is at least 22 billion years old. Could it be a 12 year old understands more about the universe than all the PhD physicist working today? If he is proven correct would that bring doubt on all the conclusions they have made so far about how the universe works? It will be interesting to watch and see how it develops. If such doubts can be cast on such strongly held beliefs about science, can anyone say for certain we know all there is to know about what is fact? As Mick pointed out, neither theory can be either proven or dis-proven beyond a shadow of a doubt so why should anyone criticize the beliefs held by the other side?


RE: While I see your point...
By Netjak on 4/2/2011 8:50:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Scientific evidence points to evolution being the beginning of life, and also to a beginning of the universe, yet no explanation exactly describes that very beginning moment with certainty. Even now a 12 year old genius is working on extensions to Einstein's Theory of Relativity( the kid is at IUPU )and brings forth a very interesting problem with current Big Bang thinking, that there is too much carbon in the universe for it to be only 14-15 billion years old. He has figured out that for the amount of carbon to exist that does exist, it could not have come from star deaths spreading it around as is the current theory unless the universe is at least 22 billion years old. Could it be a 12 year old understands more about the universe than all the PhD physicist working today? If he is proven correct would that bring doubt on all the conclusions they have made so far about how the universe works?


You are correct and wrong. Science ie scientific method gives mankind a method to extract facts and gather knowlege about anything. scientific method works by asking questions and finding answers no mather who will be dissapointed or proven wrong. So, 12-year old may contribute to are knowlege about universe if he can doubt, if he can ask. Yes, we can ask so "big bang" and evolution aren't dogmas. There is no doubt in Bible, everything is given as is...


RE: While I see your point...
By aegisofrime on 4/2/2011 10:15:51 AM , Rating: 2
Evolution works by constantly "churning" out random code (mutations) and then testing them to see which one works best under a certain situation (natural selection).

One thing that people often miss out is that evolution happens on a massive scale. At the dawn of life, during the age of unicellular organisms, it's happening to every single bacterium. I imagine trillions might be an understatement for the amount of bacterium.

On top of that, it's happening for billions for years. When you take those numbers into consideration, then you get a sense of how evolution might even be considered inevitable.


RE: While I see your point...
By mcnabney on 4/2/2011 11:49:21 AM , Rating: 4
You should also remind the doubter that Natural Selection and Origin of Species was written a long time ago. His theories predate Mendel (actually, Mendel wasn't really acknowledged until the 20th century) and everything we now know about DNA. You might have noticed how all of the scientific discoveries of the past 150 years have perfectly lined up with Darwin's ideas. Many of the gaps in the fossil record have been filled in, and surprise, everything supports Evolutionary assertions.

The problem is that 'evidence' for divine causation and actions has always existed in the gaps of understanding. Back when we lived in caves and understood nothing, everything originated from the divine. The sun wasn't a big ball of hydrogen and helium, it was a chariot being driven across the sky. As our understanding of the natural world has expanded, the divine has had fewer and fewer places to hide. Right now religion isn't needed to explain the world, but is necessary for many people in their understanding of their place in the world. That is fine, but it is wrong for the faithful to attempt to destroy knowledge because it threatens the old stories that have been cobbled together from orally passed tribal lore. It is the equivalent of book-burning and all those with a grounded understanding of science should be offended by Creationism and Intelligent Design because it is an intellectual fraud.


RE: While I see your point...
By Arsynic on 4/4/2011 11:57:50 AM , Rating: 2
Some scientists now believe that the universe was created by a mysterious "Invisible Force". They have more in common with religious people than they thought.


RE: While I see your point...
By Belard on 4/5/2011 3:43:54 AM , Rating: 3
The Jedi are all but extinct.


RE: While I see your point...
By rsmech on 4/7/2011 1:53:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The same cannot be said about ID or creationism...both philosophies depend on not knowing all the facts


If your still posting you don't understand ID and do not have all the facts about evolution no will you scientificly ever be able to. Where or when was the beginning? If you have an answer I would gladly hear it.


RE: While I see your point...
By rsmech on 4/7/2011 2:16:28 AM , Rating: 2
sorry for the rushed thoughts, they didn't come out as fluidly as I would have liked.


By Wiggy Mcshades on 4/1/2011 6:55:22 PM , Rating: 3
Evolution offers an answer to the question, "how is there such variety amongst living things if we all came from the same basic parts?". An answer offers you a complete path from the question you asked to the answer given. An answer details the steps that would be taken if you wanted to go observe or test what you were told for yourself. You can observe evolution with bacteria if you wanted to do so. Religion does not offer the steps taken to get to the answer they give you, that's because it's not an answer at all. It's someone's idea that they put into words. School's shouldn't offer you a non answer to a question when there is a real answer available to them. Even if you didn't understand the logical progression that results in the theory of evolution, you would be able to understand if you want to spend the time learning. You can literally CHOSE to understand. Religion doesn't give you the option of understanding anything they tell you, the answer's they give defy the rules we've proven exist. Did you know that if 1 + 1 doesn't equal 2 everywhere in the universe then all of math isn't true? So I just defeated god. He/She/It can't make 1+1 not equal 2, so either that means god locked himself out or just isn't there. I promise you the view of existence you get by believing in yourself rather than a magical force is far more beautiful, rewarding, and happy than anything a holy book has promised. At least give it a try, worst case scenario you can just change your opinion again? So no, teaching religion in school can't help science, it can only produce a miserable and forever confused populous that believe understanding the world around them is out of their grasp.


RE: While I see your point...
By rs2 on 4/3/2011 7:45:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It appears simply that if a student was to ask "teacher - my mom says evolution is malarkey and we were taught "X""; that the teacher could then respond in a way that was appropriate without fear of reprisal.


The only "appropriate" way to respond in such a situation is with something along the lines of:

"Well I'm sorry Little Johnny, but your mom is an idiot. Across the scientific community there is virtually no disagreement that evolution is a real, natural, and observable process, and even if one chooses to believe that the initial spark of life had divine inspiration a rational person cannot deny that evolution has played a major role in shaping and changing that life since its creation. To completely denounce evolution is foolish in the extreme, and you should let your mom know that she is acting like an idiot so that she might have a chance to change her backwards views."

...and I don't think any special legal allowance is needed for a teacher to say such a thing.


RE: While I see your point...
By zixin on 4/4/2011 4:25:28 PM , Rating: 2
They are teachers, in primary and secondary schools. Their duty is to teach the basics, which include and should include only the accepted scientific theories. They shouldn't be introducing half-baked ideas with no evidence supporting it at all in their classes. If they want to do that, they should go get their Ph D. and go teach in a college class.


Hilarious Quote
By Flunk on 4/1/2011 4:59:21 PM , Rating: 5
"[Creationism and intelligent design] may not meet the scientific standard, but if they come up in a science class ... and it’s not listed in the state’s curriculum, a teacher should not be off-putting and say that’s not in the curriculum — if you want to talk about intelligent design you should go down the hall to the religious studies class. Teachers should be able to say, look, there are people who view that as a competing idea."

No, they shouldn't. They should say exactly that "if you want to talk about intelligent design you should go down the hall to the religious studies class".

Intelligent design can't be viewed as a competing idea because it doesn't fit the requirements for a scientific theory. Religion shouldn't be taught at public schools, except for in an analytic context. That's one of the main reasons for the separation of church and state, the other being avoiding persecution.




RE: Hilarious Quote
By morphologia on 4/1/2011 6:08:31 PM , Rating: 5
It's kind of like that bit in "The Life of Brian" where Eric Idle says he wants the "right to have babies," even though it's physically impossible. :)

Creationism may compete with evolution, but not on equal terms and not in a scientific frame of reference. That's like saying that cornflakes and roofing tar are equally good breakfast cereals.


RE: Hilarious Quote
By JediJeb on 4/4/2011 3:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Religion shouldn't be taught at public schools, except for in an analytic context. That's one of the main reasons for the separation of church and state, the other being avoiding persecution.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of Grievances.

That is the whole First Amendment and I have yet to see where it says that church and state can never have anything to do with one another. It simply says that congress can not impose any religion upon a citizen, and it may not prohibit any citizen from their exercise of their religion. It would seem to me that telling a teacher what they can and can not say about religion would be a violation not only of the religion part of that amendment but also the free speech portion also. Only writing a law promoting or restricting a religion is prohibited by this part of the constitution. Nowhere does it say that an elected official or an employee of the government can not express their beliefs under any circumstances. Thomas Jefferson was the person to originally use the phrase "separation of church and state" yet in many of his official correspondences from the time he was in office as President he makes mention of God and his religious beliefs. If the President of the United States can say in a speech " God bless the United States of America" ( which he can legally do) then a teacher should be able to express their beliefs. Parents have the right and obligation to tell their children how they feel about what a teacher says. By law everyone has a right to their own opinions and the right to express their own opinions just as everyone else has a right to believe or not believe what others say.


RE: Hilarious Quote
By bh192012 on 4/4/2011 5:03:46 PM , Rating: 2
"Nowhere does it say that an elected official or an employee of the government can not express their beliefs under any circumstances."

Actually, it's the very first part. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" You can't really have your public teachers and officials going around pushing their religious views at work, that would be establishing religion. I don't think you want Mr. Mohammed Omar teaching your kids about white man conspiracy theories or how woman shouldn't work. However if he 100% sticks to published scientific information, that's fine.

You see, that's the thing. Once you open the door to things beyond science, you open the door to everything. School is science. Otherwise they might as well be learning Witchcraft and astrology. Teachers can practice Witchcraft all they want.......... on their own time. Also, just to be clear. In my mind, Christianity is equivilant to Witchcraft, Raëlism or Pastafarianism.


RE: Hilarious Quote
By rsmech on 4/7/2011 1:46:16 AM , Rating: 2
What one religion are they establishing, Jason says it't the Christians, Jews, and Muslims who don't buy into evolution. If they have not instituted or protected one religion over all others I don't see your argument. Your argument sound like a Geico commercial. You may not agree with it but just say so, your twisting the constitution.


hmm
By karndog on 4/2/2011 12:05:17 AM , Rating: 2
Why is there no mention of dinosaurs in the bible?




RE: hmm
By Camikazi on 4/2/2011 9:26:27 AM , Rating: 2
Don't you know? The religious people say that fossils and all evidence of dinosaurs were put there by Satan in order to test the faith of humans. Believe in dinos and your souls are lost and become property of the devil.


RE: hmm
By Quadrillity on 4/4/2011 9:32:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The religious people say that fossils and all evidence of dinosaurs were put there by Satan in order to test the faith of humans.


Actually creationists say that the trillions of fossils are the result of rapid burial from a world wide flood. The "Cambrian explosion" is the evolutionary timeline equivalent. Where do you get that "we think the devil did it"? Putting words in mouths of others?

The Bible perfectly describes several dinosaurs; yet they are called "dragons". Look up behemoth and Leviathan for starters


RE: hmm
By bh192012 on 4/4/2011 5:18:11 PM , Rating: 2
Because the only creationists who would say that are the ones that failed Gelology and cling to the equivilant conspiracy theories. The devil theory is at least plausible, even though it can't be proven.


RE: hmm
By Quadrillity on 4/4/2011 7:09:47 PM , Rating: 1
Did you just claim "what people would (?) do"? Where is your data to back up that creations failed at geology? How about those creationists that are experts in the field of geology; They must be retards right? I believe that the earth is young, and that there was a world wide flood that rapidly buried trillions of fossils and created huge strata around the globe.

Evidence is always subjective, and doesn't modify the truth. For example, the grand canyon was created by water. There are several different theories for it's formation. Just because your world view is different from mine doesn't give you the right to be a total douche. Grow up.


RE: hmm
By wordsworm on 4/5/2011 9:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
Have you ever met a kid who was utterly convinced that Santa Claus was real? Of course you probably smiled and patted him on the back. But what if he has a great deal of political clout, and he's trying to force the education system to teach about Santa Claus and the North Pole and all the flying reindeer into a science class? That's what creationists are trying to do: forcing myth and fairy tale into science. Quite frankly, it would be like forcing Sunday school classes to teach evolution.

Then there's my theory: that all the major animals of the animal kingdom: the lion, the ape, the cow, the dog, etc., came together one day a long time ago. They decided to create a new species of animal that was a part of them all, yet different. That new species was man. That's why some people look like dogs, others like apes, like cows, etc. Now, I think that ought to be taught in science classes also!


RE: hmm
By Conner on 4/3/2011 9:21:55 AM , Rating: 2
Because barney wasn't invented till the later 1900s ;)


RE: hmm
By Arsynic on 4/4/2011 12:18:54 PM , Rating: 2
Because the Bible isn't a science textbook. However, when the Bible does touch on matters of observed science, it does not contradict what we know. For example, the Bible has always stated that the Earth is round and that it is suspended in space.

In fact, the book of Genesis revealed that the Earth used to be barren wasteland like the rest of the planets in our solar system.

The one thing that the Bible does reject is Creationism, which claims to be based on the Bible.


What a bunch of losers
By gorehound on 4/1/2011 4:34:54 PM , Rating: 2
all i can say is these people who are putting this bill forth are a bunch of ignorant losers.figures it happens to be a republican conservative ass who takes his religious beliefs and now wishes to force those on the rest of tennessee.
Scopes Trial all over again.
Religion has no place in Government including my own Jewish faith.No religion has the right to dictate their belief systems on the rest of us.Not my religion or yours.
This is some of the stupidest news I read in awhile although here in Maine we have an arse of a governor who is making a fool of himself.guess what he is a conservative republican too.




RE: What a bunch of losers
By MartyLK on 4/1/2011 5:07:45 PM , Rating: 1
Thank you! Glad to know there are other logical people in the world.

What you said is dead on correct. I am a victim of Republicanisn...I call the Repubs. They firmly believe if you have faith, you can plant a 1000 pound, 33 foot long peer pencil by yourself with no help. If you can't do it, you are a heathen and subject to retribution from God...which they claim amounts to themselves dishing out all the punishment they want till they are sated. That means, if something bad happens to you at their hands...even if it is fully illegal...it is God's will and therefor justified...they have the right to punish anyone and everyone in any way they desire.

Then they will go to church the next day and praise God for handing the heathen to them for punishment.

Those who oppose the Tennessee action will be deemed heretics and will face all manner of harm from the religious kooks. Guaranteed.


RE: What a bunch of losers
By Belard on 4/5/2011 3:52:00 AM , Rating: 3
hmmm... they sound like terrorist extremist to me.

How did these idiots get jobs in govt? Oh yeah, people dumber than those elected officials.


RE: What a bunch of losers
By Ben6821 on 4/2/2011 2:35:40 AM , Rating: 5
Separation of Church and State is a bit of a myth. Religion has several parts. When it comes to theology, tradition, ritual, and practice, these are private matters. However, the pragmatic side of religion is concerned with the morality of human behavior. Every person and every government espouses a set of moral principles and expects others to comply. I repeat, every person attempts to assert their moral views upon others! If you think religious people are alone in this, you are hopelessly naive. Moral relativism is itself also a morality viewpoint that is thrust upon modern society. Morality is the meat and potatoes of religion, and religious moral visions are just as legitimate as any other moral vision (i.e. that of an atheist).

If you think that you can set aside your moral views as private doctrine, then you basically assert that you don't really believe your private doctrine at all. If it does not apply equally to everyone, then it does not apply to you either. What you are left with is an arbitrary opinion without power, force, or logic.

I would add one slightly off-topic comment. Rational religious people cannot dismiss good science, or they must also dismiss their religion, because good religion and good science both rely on the idea that human reason can lead to truth. If we attack this notion, we have nothing left.


Only in America!
By Mumrik on 4/1/2011 5:55:24 PM , Rating: 5
The US is such a strange place... at least for the rest of the western world.




RE: Only in America!
By morphologia on 4/1/2011 6:11:56 PM , Rating: 4
I'm pretty sure there's places in the world where a person could be stoned to death for teaching evolution...and not all of them are in the US. Maybe some, but not all. :p


Double Standard
By morphologia on 4/1/2011 5:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
So it's OK to afford these academic dissenters what amounts to "special rights?" Doesn't that violate some deeply-rooted Republican precept, or is it OK so long as their politics agree with the far-right standard?

I swear, every time I look at the news, there's another Republican publicity stunt. And they all feed on ignorance and the willingness to believe absolute BS. I honestly don't see how they can take themselves seriously.

Fact is, they're desperate to gain ground in American politics, and the easiest way to do that is by pandering to the fringe. Only problem is, the fringe is both volatile and very open to suggestion. The conservatives are going to start a second Civil War if they don't tone down their clownish antics.




RE: Double Standard
By Lerianis on 4/3/11, Rating: 0
RE: Double Standard
By GTVic on 4/3/2011 8:30:51 AM , Rating: 3
This is the kind of moronic comments you get from people who supposedly believe in logic and facts.

The fact is what you know is grossly exceeded by what you do not know.

The fact is that the real IDIOT is anyone who proclaims that they know the absolute truth and that therefore they are entitled to determine how other people should live their lives.


RE: Double Standard
By PReiger99 on 4/3/2011 9:06:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The fact is that the real IDIOT is anyone who proclaims that they know the absolute truth and that therefore they are entitled to determine how other people should live their lives.

Knowing the absolute truth and determining how other people should live their life is what religious believers do every day of their life. If you think those people are idiots, that's fine with me.

As for science, it doesn't care about what people do, it doesn't tell people how to live their live, it's a methodology that explain how the universe works regardless of the absurd beliefs people believe into. Evolution is fact (just like gravity is) and the theory of evolution is the best explanation that account for all the available data.


RE: Double Standard
By Conner on 4/3/2011 9:17:15 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Knowing the absolute truth and determining how other people should live their life is what religious believers do every day of their life.

Sounds more like the current US governing vector to me.


RE: Double Standard
By Lerianis on 4/4/11, Rating: 0
Part of our rich cultural history
By Murloc on 4/1/2011 5:33:13 PM , Rating: 3
when I saw that stuff defined as culture, I was a bit shocked.
http://dudelol.com/DO-NOT-HOTLINK-IMAGES/Whats-the...

now seriously, teachers should just define the words theory, postulate, etc. and explain the scientific process in general.
It could be done before the evolution theory.
That way there's no controversy, because they students understand it's a theory, and they are asked to remember a theory, which is not necessarily the truth.
That's as far as it can go imho.




By Wiggy Mcshades on 4/1/2011 7:48:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know about the rest of the US, but I had to learn the scientific process and what a scientific theory is long before evolution ever got brought up. It literally was a chapter in my text book, not even 2 weeks worth of material. If any student was actually interested in finding out how humans came to be exactly how they are today, then the student will be the one to pursue the "truth". This isn't even anything that's useful in our daily lives unless you're a biologist or in another related field, so it makes me wonder if these people are really just arguing about something to kill time.


By Scootie on 4/3/2011 6:30:00 AM , Rating: 5
I cant believe that things like this happen in a country that has pushed so much in science and technology over the last century. Really, where do people live who are totally against evolution. Writing these from a poor considered country(Romania) makes me really think that are we really that poor or just the world makes us look that way. We dont have such problems here. We got real big problems like coruption in politics, world economy crisis afecting us as well and so on ... And you are forced to spend money on lawyers to be able to teach evolution in schools ...




Idiot Jason
By rsmech on 4/4/2011 9:30:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
But will the politicians protect those who believe the Sun orbits the Earth?


I don't have to read the article. Your first comment suggests that since I believe in God I'm an idiot. I suppose you also think Christians believe the wolrd is flat. Your an idiot. These are the beliefs of the early philosopher, not christians. If I was as stupid as you thought I wouldn't be on a site like this. But if you feel I'm so ignorant maybe that says something about your articles I read.




RE: Idiot Jason
By DarthKaos on 4/5/2011 12:20:45 PM , Rating: 2
If you were smart, you would have read the article rather than letting your emotions get the best of you. You would have realized that the author was simply showing that if this is made into law, there could be some pretty far fetched ideas that have to be discussed.


RE: Idiot Jason
By rsmech on 4/7/2011 1:30:53 AM , Rating: 2
and what far fetched ideas would that be?


Sad is an understatement
By DBissett on 4/1/2011 4:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
That sheer faith and belief and any manner of personal opinion can be placed on the same level as scientifically researched knowledge is beyond sad. No wonder that we are withering away as a country under the lunacy of political correctness, i.e. sure, go ahead, you not only have the "right" to believe and espouse any belief you want regardless of the presence, or absence, of any validation, but so there is no discrimination amongst "more" vs "less" valid beliefs and opinions we will automatically place them all on the same level, so that when the time comes that we fall off the cliff we may all do so together.




RE: Sad is an understatement
By morphologia on 4/1/2011 6:02:26 PM , Rating: 2
It's somewhat of an extreme viewpoint, but I'd almost think it was child abuse to set your kids up like that. Kind of like when they feel heartbroken and betrayed to learn that Santa doesn't really exist, and their parents lied to them. Taking personal liberty to the point where you're prejudicing your kids against fact in favor of belief is irresponsible. But then again, so is thinking that "because I said not to" is all the sex-education that a kid needs.


Pure GOP Posturing
By v3rt1g0 on 4/1/2011 6:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
The amount of mental gymnastics it takes..




RE: Pure GOP Posturing
By morphologia on 4/1/2011 6:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
It's the amount of the population that goes along with it that worries me. Enough GOP posturing could cause a massive stampede of ignorance.


Evidence
By tech329 on 4/2/2011 1:23:18 AM , Rating: 2
The body of evidence supporting the age of the earth and of the universe is huge. This has been examined at length by scientists the world over and has stood the test of time. They may not know everything but it's fairly certain that the general precepts of evolution are in unison with what is observable and knowable. Pursuing a different tack which is demonstrably in conflict with the general body of scientific knowledge isn't a very wise expenditure of time or of public funds.

The author points out that the theoretical variances being offered are supported by a number of religions and in that regard I am immediately suspicious because with religion there is always this requirement that one believe something which by its nature cannot ever be proven.

There has to be a distinction made between those things which through scientific investigation we can know and those which defy investigation. It may be worthwhile, on some level, to contemplate those things which defy investigation but it's also necessary to make an accommodation to practical necessity.

In scientific terms, when you cross over into a realm that requires an unsubstantiated belief you face the untenable condition of scientific progress coming to a halt. There is always the possibility that what appears to be a dead end isn't a dead end at all. However, facing that dead end implies a need to shift your investigative efforts. Maybe, at some future time and armed with additional knowledge, that dead end will be revealed in a different light but you cannot pursue that dead end when it impedes your investigation. It's crucial that we are both willing and able to alter the scope of our investigation and understand the reasons why.




RE: Evidence
By JediJeb on 4/4/2011 2:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The body of evidence supporting the age of the earth and of the universe is huge. This has been examined at length by scientists the world over and has stood the test of time.


Only if that test of time has been a decade or two. The accepted age of the universe has been changing and will probably change again. Just recently it has been set to approximately 14 billion years as the age of the universe, now there is a theory that it may actually be 22 billion years old, which would better account for the amount of carbon in the universe which can not be accounted for with the current age. Even the Big Bang theory has evolved over time and come into question several times altering just how we think of it.

The rotation of galaxies defies our current theories on gravity so dark matter and dark energy were invented. Problem is we assign to them the characteristics we need them to have to make the equations work out but can not even prove their existence. It is called unthinkable to alter our beliefs in how gravity works to explain it, so it becomes a case of inventing new things to make the observations fit the beliefs instead of altering the beliefs to fit the observations. Which path is the right one to take?

We look back and laugh at what scientists believed 100 or 1000 years ago, I imagine 1000 years in the future scientists will be looking back at many of our current theories and laugh at us for believing such things. Currently some scientists laugh at the Creationists for their beliefs, but who is to say that in the future some facts will be reveled that will make scientists look back and laugh at both the Creationists and the Evolutionists of today? How many times in the past few decades not to mention centuries has things like Relativity, Quantum Theory, Gravity, Cosmic Theory and others been strongly brought into question and even altered to make them better fit new evidence? As soon as we have a Theory that seems to explain everything, someone finds an exception to it that then has to be explained. Think of superconductivity, it has been known about for decades yet we still do not understand it. Just recently a new state of matter was discovered/proposed to help explain it.

Anyone who believes we currently know everything about how the universe and life came to be is either ignorant, arrogant or both.


What does this have to do with tech?
By Chaser on 4/4/2011 8:55:23 AM , Rating: 2
Where's the tech here Daily tech ?




By callmeroy on 4/4/2011 3:43:14 PM , Rating: 2
New here? DT has posted topics purely on scientific merit or interest for years....I think i first happened across this site (when it was still part of Anand) in something like '03 or '04 (this isn't my original user name though)...and they have always posted these types of stories...anything that hints at religion v. science = sure bet of generating TONS of forum traffic.


Why is this still even an issue?
By mikeyD95125 on 4/1/2011 6:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
The supreme court already ruled on this very clearly. To qualify to be taught in a science classroom the material must meet the requirements placed on all science. Science unlike any faith based theory has the ability to be provable, and likewise, falsifiable.

Religion states itself as absolutely true, but by its own definition of being the one infallible truth cannot be falsified.

Religion is something that should be taught to all students, as it is critical to understanding history and the world as it is today. However, that teaching needs to be done in a religion class, not a science classroom.




By frozentundra123456 on 4/2/2011 11:27:10 PM , Rating: 1
I understand what you are saying, but I disagree that everything taught as scientific can be proven. I dont think you can "prove" evolution as the source of life on earth. It may be the theory which best explains the observations we see today, but it is not proven. I would not argue that evolution does occur to select out superior organisms, but as to how life originated, I dont really know.
I have a degree in chemistry and have worked in medical research for many years, and I have seen many scientific theories be proven wrong and changed over time. It seems that some people that criticize religion so strongly almost make the "scientific method" into a religion of itself that can magically explain the universe and is never wrong. I have seen many dedicated and brilliant scientists in my work, but have also seen a fair number of incompetent ones who seemed more interested in proving their own ideas instead of making an objective conclusion.


But wait..
By kraeper on 4/1/2011 8:28:23 PM , Rating: 3
Isn't science all about questioning? The day science, or scientists, refuse any explanation other than their own, is the day it becomes (became) religion. I mean, calls to wipe out religion? Doesn't that sound .. I dunno.. religious? Taking the stand that anyone who opposes your viewpoint are not only wrong, but also lower-class humans requires a belief system, not empirical evidence.

If science still took itself seriously, it would be open to questioning, debate, and open discussion. That's what makes science stronger. Silencing critics makes science weaker.

This is a silly bill for targeting "evolution and global warming" specifically. But to make the case that "religion is wrong because they only believe what they want" is where empirical science ends, and a whole new faith begins. Remember, we have the theory of relativity because someone questioned gravity, not because they went along with what "science" said.




The South
By sleepeeg3 on 4/2/2011 4:16:41 PM , Rating: 3
Would do itself a favor by not dragging its feet to keep itself 30 years behind the rest of the states in cultural beliefs.




Evolution Doesn't Have Any Scientific Basis
By Arsynic on 4/4/2011 11:49:18 AM , Rating: 1
Creation (in general) has been observed. Evolution hasn't been.




By Leebean01 on 4/4/2011 5:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
I find this quite alarming as I have witnessed evolution first hand, yet have never seen anything created out of nothing. Can you cast some light on what you have seen appear and why the thousands of experiments demonstrating evolution are in fact false?


By stm1185 on 4/1/2011 7:27:13 PM , Rating: 2
As long as we keep teaching kids everyone is created equal, everyones opinion matters, everyones culture is worthwhile, and violence never solves anything we might as well let some people teach an alternative to evolution.

It won't be the most incorrect thing they learn by far.




By TheRealArdrid on 4/1/2011 8:00:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While science can offer no evidence directly contradicting fantastic faith based arguments -- such as that the notion that the Earth is thousands of years old and that the world was created in an elaborate fashion to make it appear as if evolution occurred, when it actually did not -- what it can offer is theory based on real-world observation.


The burden is not on science to disprove fanciful thoughts, magical bases, or mythological creation stories, though it can in part given the dating methods we have available to us. The burden is on the proponents of such ideas to prove those ideas and they, quite simply, cannot.




By frozentundra123456 on 4/2/2011 11:14:08 PM , Rating: 2
Wait, I just had a terrible thought. If all motion is relative, as Einstein said, is it not possible that the sun DOES rotate around the earth???




Here we go again.
By MrHanson on 4/3/2011 1:03:39 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, but they KNOW evolution is a FACT. Considering stories like these, on what grounds are we supposed to give the priesthood of Evolutionary scientists such epistemic priority that their opinions matter by default more than those of any other honest scholar in any other field of knowledge?
After all, evolutionary scientists are not the only ones interested in finding the truth about nature. When aspects of that truth are inaccessible to empirical observation, such as the history of the world, and when their stories keep changing so drastically and so often, it would seem other honest truth seekers should have a place in the discussion.




Why do comments need headlines?
By DKantUno on 4/3/2011 3:41:18 PM , Rating: 2
"My objection to this bill is primarily based on the fact that it is not needed. There are science standards that are already set in place."

Nuff said.




The Origin of Religion
By MartyLK on 4/4/2011 12:18:34 AM , Rating: 2
Everything in the world or universe is relative, as Einstein says, and usually the simplest and most down to earth explanation is the correct one. Explanations leading to deities and spirt worlds are common human fabrications. You don't have to be a "rocket scientist" or elite acedemic to come to a sufficient rationalization of what our human nature is and what is in all of us. The only thing required to understand is, I believe, nothing more than down-to-earth thinking and common sense. Even the least thinker among us could eventually come to some semblance of understanding as I propose here. It also depends on nurture...how your mind develops with circumstances of life...how you were raised and what you experienced in life.

Think beyond human civilization; back beyond pre-historic days to get past any notion or idea of deities or demons, angels or anything relatiing to the church or religion or superstition. This will help you have a rational view of reality and see the church and religion for what it really is: a human fabrication.

Humanity evolved the same way any other creature evolved on Earth and we began without any type of civilation or higher social structure. This means it wasn't until humanity evoled to sentience that our social structures began appearing and taking ever greater complexity. Ideas like gods, demons, angels and all associated superstitions were an inevitable by-product of early primitive sentience. Primitive self-awareness was bound to bring about ideas of how and why things happened. Being primitive in consienceness, these ideas couldn't be properly answered so, out of fear and a sense of a "better-safe-than-sorry" attitude, we developed ideas rooted in our own nature and social structures of higher beings that might deal harshly with us and who might need appeasing. Our social structure revolved around a hierarchies and position in society. It was natural that our creation of deities also be of similar hierarchies and be minded as we were.

According to some thinking today, the origin of the Judaic religion, which sprouted the Christian and Islam religions, likely came from a lower-class sect of Cannanites who broke off from the Cannanite society to make a new name for themselves in the world, which are known today as the the Jewish society. For whatever reason these lower-class Cannanites developed legends and myths about themselves handed down by word of mouth and through sung poems, which were probably societal requirements very much like modern education is today, through the millenia and has developed into the complexity we see to this day as it went from generation to generation. Nothing but pure legend and myth, the lower-class Cannanites likely developed them as a clever means of safety for their fledgling and tiny beginning. Much like propaganda is today. If skillfully done, legends and myths, combined with cyclical natural events, can demoralize the enemy enough to stop them from attacking you.

The human mind's tendancy to believe in superstition and be afraid of the unknown is what successfully powered the Cannanite's legends and myths. I'm sure there were instances of natural calamities that were timed with the stories about the legendary conquests that aided in making the myths and legends seem real. The modern Christian religion has a name for this and is called "half-truths", which is associated with the mythological Satan. Without a proper understanding of natural geological cycles and events, the legends and myths likely would not have had much success. Today scientists are uncovering many cyclical events in nature that seem related to many of the tales and stories of the Hebrew bible.

The whole system of legends and myths was so successful that it took on a thriving life of its own. It became ever more complex and detailed as the centuries passed and more and more exploits (half-truth exploits) were continually added to the whole story. I think it is also proper to comment that in order for these legends and myths to have the success they've had, the lower-class Cannanite's society needed deep unity and separation from all other societies. This is seen in their religious demands and requirements written in their Hebrew bible, the Tenakh. Without the kind of close-knit community and loyal social structure seen in the Jewish society, the probablity that the tales and stories handed down from generation to generation wouldn't have as much impact and success.

The beginnings of the Christian religion likely had a similar method of creation in the Roman governemnt of the time. It was probably rationalized and understood among the elite philosophers and thinkers in Rome in those early days how legends and myths have aided societies and sought to bring about one of their own, split off from the Hebrew religion and crafted into what is today the Christian religion. However, it is also possible the Christian religion could have been crafted by a lower-class segment of Jews who felt oppressed by the religious order of their society. Islam, the other offshoot of the original Judaic religion, also likely had similar beginnings as the Christian religion.

This kind of thinking in the human mind is a horrible by-product of primitive sentience, but it doesn't have to remain with humanity forever. As the human mind evolves to an ever greater capacity for understanding, the answers of the unknown will come through science and discovery. The illumination of the human mind through ongoing understanding will bring ever greater relief from superstition and fear. But science must be allowed to prevail. Humanity must be allowed to freely discover all that the universe has to say. Governments, as well as powers and authorities in the church and elsewhere, must not be allowed to stifle or hinder humanity's progress for understanding. Nothing less than paradise can be the reward of the illumination of the human mind.




Could be a reasonable action
By trooper11 on 4/4/2011 10:42:39 AM , Rating: 2
This is another one of those subjects that is best left to those that actually live in the state and decide what is important to them.

I dont see why its a problem to acknowledge the existance of the creation theory, regardless of its factual basis or scientific respect, its a popular theory that cant be ignored.

I would welcome any teacher discussing the topic if the question is raised or as a chance for open debate among student where appropriate. In areas with large populations of people that learn about these theories through thier religion, this topic is going to come up. If teachers blow off the subject, its just going to cause more animosity towards the subject of evolution and a divide in the community.

So Im fine with this new law. I hope the end result is that it leads to open debate of the subject and then maybe both sides can gain an understanding. Teachers shouldnt be afraid to engage students in this discussion. Besides, since evolution is still a theory (albeit one with alot of evidence to support it), there should be room for discussing other sides of the subject.

As hard as we try to apply science to explain the universe (in effect replacing a god to explain why we exist), there are still things that allude us. Heck, even what we 'know' is often contridicted years later when we find something that doesnt fit the model we were so confident in, thats why so much that we 'know' are just theories, open to change at anytime.

Im not convinced that God cant play a role in this right along with science. I dont think they have to be incompatible.




Finally!
By Hieyeck on 4/4/2011 10:45:04 AM , Rating: 2
A place where I can freely teach my beliefs without persecution! Our kids MUST know the truth of the true creator, His Noodliness The Flying Spaghetti Monster, for it is by His Hoodly Appendage that the mountains, the trees, and one dwarf were created.

PRAISE BE MARINARA, AND BY HER, THE CREATOR'S SON CHEESUS!




Something is wrong here
By Leebean01 on 4/4/2011 11:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
So after reading the quote from the bill, specifically:

"This bill PROHIBITS the state board of education and any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or principal or administrator from PROHIBITING any teacher in a public school system..."

Doesn't this mean they are NOT allowing any teacher to refuse "from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught, such as evolution and global warming."

Or am I reading this wrong? As that is worded, I understand it to be that they are prohibiting teachers that won't teach those things...




By callmeroy on 4/4/2011 11:54:52 AM , Rating: 2
This topic is always a sure fire way to get a lot of attention on the boards (the post counts are ALWAYS triple digit on this topic)....

Anyway-- I am a big support of keeping full blown religion out of public schools....as someone said evolution is "science", regligion is not. I agree with that and I *DO* believe in God as well. As I state all the time when there is a story like this -- I am of the mindset that while I think science is "real"...as is evolution...as is the fact that earth is about 3-4 BILLION years old, I still believe that God created it all at the "beginning" of time (and no I don't pretend I'm smart enough to even fully comprehend the thought of time having a real beginning).

Does this view of mine cause me to raise a lot of questions referring if I read through the bible -- of course it does. Taken literally the bible will have you thinking the planet is just thousands of years old. Does it mean its all BS, it could...but at the same time -- not really! We just don't know for 100% sure is the fact, no matter what anyone on the planet argues otherwise. Either side may be right or wrong. But at the same time, I question everything I believe repeatedly -- oddly enough that's what helps me to have faith and belief in the things I do (in all aspects of life not just religius beliefs but personal values and what not)...strong belief is like "love".....how do you know its real if you never test it? Its easy to be someone's friend when all you do is fun stuff , are you that person's friend still when they need help and are down and out? Same concept.

I rather believe in something and question it...then believe in nothing.

But that's just me.




By jahwarrior on 4/4/2011 1:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
Evolution is a religion unto itself a false religion..

It is filled with so much dogma, money, politics and disingenuous research and scientists.

Flash back to 2009 Remember the so called missing link Ida, which was brought out to much fanfare on this blog and others. It was touted as the missing link, the proof of evolution. But wait a minute! after gracing the front pages of Nature and other publications, Ida is quietly being swept under the rug, just like Lucy, Java Man, Archaeopteryx, Confuciusornis, Pakicetus, and Eosimias. How much longer to another so called missing link is brought out and discredited. And where is Jason Mick on this, seems he only tells one side of the story.

http://www.icr.org/article/ida-missed-her-link-hum...

http://www.icr.org/article/more-evolutionists-say-...

Evolutionary scientists should be looking into the formation of the first cell and DNA because without this you have nothing. Too bad this is an evolutionary dead end as well. Since a cell is an all or nothing structure and can’t exist without all of its functioning structures. So scientists will find that it could not have evolved. Then these scientists will use the back up plan like my college evolutionary professor and say aliens seeded the earth with the first single cell, or if they teach at a better college they will tell a nice store using fancy language, hundreds of assumptions and made up words, with no actual research to back it up, but they will leave that part out.

http://www.icr.org/article/bacteria-study-shoots-d...

http://www.icr.org/article/cell-division-defies-ev...




Science Class
By DarthKaos on 4/5/2011 12:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
This is not religion class or debate class. It needs to be treated like math class. There are approved science books that teach all about theories, tests, and scientific subjects. Use these books and teach about science.

If you want other ideas to be taught or the option available to students, a class should be created for that. It could be a science philosophy or debate class. Students could take that rather than commons.

Another solution would be to include in the syllabus some time (1 week, 2 weeks, etc...) to discuss other opinions about how the world and universe works.

Making a law that has teachers constantly entertaining ideas and thoughts of students would make it nearly impossible to stay on topic. It would be difficult to give a quality, focused, and structured class to students. The end result being students that don't have the same knowledge as other students who were able to stay on track and cover material that is being used for standardized testing.




I will be blunt on this subject
By Lerianis on 4/3/2011 4:01:20 AM , Rating: 1
These anti-evolution loonies should be fired immediately. We KNOW for a FACT that evolution is the reason that humanity and all other animals are on the planet today.

The only reason that the THEORY of Evolution is not called the LAW of evolution is because no one has been able to see it in action yet because it takes so damned long for anything but bacteria.




Many misinformed people
By INeedCache on 4/5/2011 9:50:39 AM , Rating: 1
Sadly, one of the biggest scams ever known to man is pawning off the current neo-Darwinian evolution theory as fact. Many scientists, including a lot of microbiologists, don't even believe it. I read where many high school biology teachers do not even want to teach it. The fact is, scientists who come out publicly and denounce this theory often face retribution in the form of loss of job or funding. Scientists who go along with the theory as fact remain "scientists". Those who don't are labeled crackpots, not "real scientists". Yet, they are basing their opinion on observed facts, or lack thereof to prove the theory a fact. So much for the scientific process. It is simply a matter of bullying on the part of groups like the National Academy of Science. Many of you will, as part of the uninformed, will take issue with my statements. So be it, but that still won't make your theory a fact. I am not defending any other points of view here, merely saying the current evolutionary theory remains theory as it has many holes and inconsistencies.




Jason Mick Reminds Me of Bill Maher
By GTVic on 4/3/11, Rating: 0
By zinfamous on 4/1/2011 4:39:24 PM , Rating: 5
that's fine for them, but they their beliefs should not be injected into the science room--as it is not science. It confuses students.

if they want their kids to believe in sky fairies and reject modern science, and all of modern medicine (useless without the fact that is evolution), then they can do it on their own time. protecting idiocy through a belief system is not a protected write--I call it social terrorism.

Or perhaps, the voting public and those who elect local school boards are perfectly happy with sub par education and pumping out kids completely unable to find success in the modern work force.


By joex444 on 4/1/2011 4:42:02 PM , Rating: 2
lol at the turning of "protected right" into "protected write."

Seriously though, teaching science in a science class is what you do. Science says evolution, so teach it. Religion says God created whatever, two people (and for the amount of inbreeding that suggests there are very few retards...), and etc.


By icemansims on 4/1/2011 4:51:01 PM , Rating: 2
Careful Zin.

Actually, I agree with you, but don't stoop to their level.

Spam:

What Zin is so inelegantly saying is that intelligent design (as separated from Creationism, which I will address in a moment) is not considered a scientific theory. It is not based on empirical, verifiable data. The correlation to the author's byline is that both intelligent design and Geocentric models have a great deal in common. Both are (or were) based on faith that Man is the focus of all, e.g. the world was designed for us to be the pinnacle of creation/we are the center of the universe/solar system.

The difference between intelligent design and creationism is the difference between fundamentalism and allegory. Creationism might be based in truth (if not in facts) in that something started the chain of evolution, not necessarily having built things as they are today.


By Aikouka on 4/1/2011 5:02:23 PM , Rating: 3
Intelligent Design is kind of like believing in Creationism without the religious deity part. It's a simplification, but the main point brought up by ID is evolution can't be true, because it's statistically impossible because of (here's their coined word) "irreducible complexity." So, they think that there was some "prime mover" that started everything.

In my opinion, it belongs in a philosophy class, which is where I heard about it.


By kleinma on 4/1/2011 5:05:12 PM , Rating: 5
Believing in a creator, and denying modern science because of what some person wrote thousands of years ago in a book we call the bible are not equal. Even if you do believe in a god, he didn't write the bible, a bunch of ordinary humans did. If someone wrote a similar piece of work now, we would all laugh at it and think it was a nice piece of fiction. "Bible: the movie. Rated R in 3D and IMAX!"

They just happened to have written theirs back in the days where people were too fearful of god to question anything there was to do with him.

Teaching America's youth false information that is based on absolutely no fact and backed by no science or logic will just further cripple our already eroding math and science skills as a country. Even the guys who founded this country (who were all very religious) had the common sense to keep church and state seperate. These "teachers" (or is it preachers) should be kept out of our schools.


By SKiddywinks on 4/1/2011 7:32:47 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Even the guys who founded this country (who were all very religious)...


Wait, what?
http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

I think it is probably closer to none than it is to all.


By mcnabney on 4/2/2011 12:24:08 PM , Rating: 2
What we think of as "The Bible" was created at the first Council of Nicea in 325AD. Before that there were all kinds of books and documents floating around that were held in various degrees of importance by the evolving Christian faith. A lot of edits were made and 'books' falling into disfavor were excised. Because of this "The Bible" is very clearly a work of 'man' that has a foundation in various records. What we call the New Testament was written by people decades after the events in question. And this was also an age that careful documentation was uncommon. The Romans might have recorded a lot of things, but the natives of the region were not the best historical documentarians.

I would also point out that only a couple dozen people are documented in the Bible of ever seeing the resurected Jesus - the foundation of the Christian faith. If someone told you that they saw the ressurected David Koresh would you believe them?


By JasonMick (blog) on 4/1/2011 5:11:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
...What does this statement have to do with anything in the article. (other than your obvious disdain for ~30%-50% of the US population that believes there is a god or creator)


I first would respectfully request you don't assign opinions to me before checking what exactly my opinion is.

I have no disdain for those who believe in god or a creator. In fact I believe in God myself, so I'd have to be pretty self loathing to have all this disdain you imagine.

Rather I feel that science and religion don't have to be mutually exclusive unless you follow the path of fundamentalism. Tens of thousands of respectable scientists have faith, yet respect scientific logic.

That said, to explain what it has to do with the article let me reiterate a couple of passages from the article itself:

quote:
Like other theories rebuked by religious organizations of yore, such as the theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun, scientific evidence has eroded religious barriers mounted against evolution and the theory is now widely accepted.


quote:
But the bill raises tough questions. Who can be the fair judge of whether a theory broadly accepted by the scientific community is "controversial". If a cultist believed the Sun to orbit the Earth, could they break with curriculum and present this idea to students?


Now let me share with you a history lesson. Much as the certain sects of Christianity (e.g. the Baptist church) now vocally oppose evolutionary theory as blasphemous, the Christian church during the late Roman Empire, Dark Ages, and through start of the Renaissance denied the notion that the Earth orbited the Sun. They believed this theory was heretical and contradicted a literal interpretation of the Bible, much as some now feel about evolution.

In 391 the Christians under Emperor Theodosius I outlawed paganism. As a result they burned down the Library of Alexandria, and murdered Hypatia, a great female scholar who at the time proclaimed that the Earth revolved about the sun. Christian monks stripped her naked and dragged her through the streets, according to historical records, before brutally murdering her.

She was but one of many who died due to the church's refusal to accept a sun-centric solar system. To theorize such a notion was heresy, punishable by imprisonment, torture, and/or death.

This does have a bearing on the current debate as it shows how the church in the past rejected a scientific principle that today they have come to accept.

Ultimately even the sponsors of this bill admit that alternative theories to evolution do not have a firm footing in science. In admitting that, they've essentially suggested that teachers be allowed to teach fundamentalist religious theories in the school system.

The people of Tennessee obviously want a government with religion in it, just like radical Muslims in the Middle East want a government with religion in it.

And just like fundamentalist Muslims in the Middle East they want a repudiation of evolutionary theory due to their notion that it contradicts their literal interpretation of their holy book.

In parts of Turkey, teaching evolution has been banned and creationism is taught. This is due to the strong fundamentalist Islamic movement that disavows evolution, similar to the fundamentalist Christian movement in the U.S.

Ultimately the question boils down to whether the separation of church and state is worth preserving. I feel it is, but I understand others can have different opinions.

And I don't blame the politicians who are backing this measure. The nature of being a politician is try to appeal to your voting base, and the voting base essentially wants a theocracy, just like some do in Iran, Afghanistan, or Iraq. Thus politicians will understandably try to pass measures to install a theocratic government system.

This isn't about politicians, or Republicans, or Democrats (some of whom also support the bill). It is about the citizens of an American state seeking to transform their government on a local level into a theocracy.

From a self-governance stand point I can appreciate their right to do that, but from a social equality standpoint it disturbs me.

Personally I would be opposed to this measure, but be clear, the debate here is NOT between political parties or between religions.

Rather it is the conflict between science and a SPECIFIC prevailing interpretation of certain PARTS of several religions, at least one of which is present in this state (fundamentalist Christians -- there may be a few fundamentalist Jews and Muslims who support this, too, of course).


By wyrmslair on 4/1/2011 8:32:12 PM , Rating: 2
Bravo. Well said. Sadly, I agree with your primary concern - the erosion of the separation of church and state. Down that path lies the destruction of this country and those who seem to trumpet patriotism the loudest in the last decade also seem to be those who drag us down this dark path. Unfortunately, the dragging doesn't seem to require too much coercion for the masses.


By Belard on 4/5/2011 4:12:33 AM , Rating: 2
Thats a pretty fair observation.

Yes... radical Christians are not much different than radical Muslims.
When you PUT religion (Church) into the government (State) - you also remove the freedom of speech & rights.

If the USA became a SUPER Christian Country, kind of like Iran, etc. Then yes - Pagans, Atheist, etc would be hunted down and killed and it would be legal. And there would be more religious wars because God A has a bigger penis than God B. Even thou for the most part - these main religions are pretty much one in the same with different names.

Examples of Christian Terrorists: Anti-Abortion groups, especially those who murder. And besides, many of those people in the middle east are just trying to raise their families too.

One of things I think, that pisses off Muslims the most is the womans rights factor. By their religion - women are equal to pets. They have no rights. If a woman in the middle east is raped, she must have 4 men to confirm the rape, otherwise she'll be jailed and/or killed. So the women are slaves, nothing more.

But here is the thing. They loathe women, useless things other than a place to put their penis and reproduce. Women, such evil and vial things! Yet, they don't think about the simple fact that EVERY MAN comes from a woman - we are born, being part of our mothers. She is inside us. These guys are born from horrible women! So perhaps that fact makes them nuts, who knows.

And the REST of the world looks down on them, as they pretty much live in the past, like 2000 years in the past.

In in the USA, I've seen a mother being abuse/slave to her 8~9 yr old son in that she has to ask HIM for permission for things as petty as a candy bar in Walmart.


Never heard of radiometric dating?
By Alchemy69 on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By mooty on 4/1/2011 5:08:55 PM , Rating: 2
The sentence fortunately doesn't end there...

quote:
"While science can offer no evidence directly contradicting fantastic faith based arguments -- such as that the notion that the Earth is thousands of years old and that the world was created in an elaborate fashion to make it appear as if evolution occurred, when it actually did not "


You indeed can not distinguish between the earth being 5 bill years old in a 14bill year old universe or just appearing to be so. It's a clear case for Occam's razor though...


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By MartyLK on 4/1/2011 6:45:09 PM , Rating: 1
And animals don't evolve, huh? Nah, since God created the world and universe perfect and there was no death or decay in it, the animals just have their flesh eating and ripping teeth just for scary looks? Oh wait, a God created perfect world isn't meant to be scary. Hmmm...where the shit did animals get all of their armor and weapons??

The church would have us all believe a lie. The fact is, there is death and destruction in the world and universe and it isn't unnatural. It is all perfectly natural and proper...it is renewal. The church would enslave our minds and bind us all up in fear of death. But the goddamn sack of catshit know as the church and religion isn't going to get its way.

Just like the church could not sielnce all the scientists it murdered down through history, it won't stop the progress of science today. The fact is, we all will know there is no God eventually because science...the onward determination of the human mind, spirit and will to free itself from the bonds of religious tyranny...will answer all questions sufficiently.

The facts are the bible(God) says the universe is 6,000 years old. Through science, we all know that to be a pure lie. The fact is...and as it is even today...that the ancients could not fathom humanity ever being able to discover the truth about the universe or its age so they felt confident that such things can never be answered and religion would remain impervious to truth. Even today you have people believing the current unanswered questions about the universe can never be answered. Science continues to prove them all wrong. What we see as impossible to answer today will be answered tomorrow.

The true and real light that comes on the world is not some God or faith. It is the truth of reality and all that science can answer. The more unblinded humanity is by the truth that science provides, the freer the human spirit becomes. And that freedom is a freedom from the tryanny of religious leaders all over the world who love to enslave humanity to false beliefs for no other reason than to control the human spirit.

It was said once that, "They may chain my body, but they will never chain my spirit". The rich and powerful took that as a challenge and decided to prove us wrong. They actually did accomplish chaining the human spirit...through religion.

My response to them? Fuck all you goddamn religious sacks of catshit. Fuck you and I hope your spirit are chained forever to destruction because you would have all humanity chained to you. Your time is at a bitter end you worthless goddamn maggots! I will laugh my asshole completely off at your bitter demise!


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By Rhodenator on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
By MartyLK on 4/1/2011 9:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
If you allow death and decay into "God's perfect world" the church will fall apart. Reason?? How can God hold anyone accountable for their sins if they live in a corrupt world. God would have no right to accuse us all of sin and wrong doing if we live in a world filled with death and destruction. This also means the "Cross of Christ" loses it's power to save. If the world was perfect, as the church teaches, at the beginning, then there would be nothing harmful or detrimental in it. If there were, we could not be accountable for our sins. It is sin and corruption, as the church teaches, that has made the world imperfect and a place of hostility.

The perfection of the world goes also to the perfection of humanity and all living things. The bible teaches that death entered the world through sin. Okay...so before sin there was no death??? If there was no death, why do animals evolve with fierce flesh eating teeth and why are they all killing and eating each other?? Why are there earthquakes that cause devastation and destruction?? I know your answer, by the way. I will answer you on it

Why is there decay and destruction throughout the universe...on planets like Mars and elsewhere?? Why is destruction a major part of the universe?? If God's perfect creation was supposed to be a paradise where death and decay was no part of it...read through the bible if you don't believe me...then why is there so much destruction in it?? Why do animals and all living things die?? The bible says we die because of sin. Why do animals die? You can't answer any of these questions logically. The best you can do is suppose and then say, "Because that's what God says". But God says the universe and the Earth and all things were made in six days. God also, through genealogy, accounted completely for the Earth's entire existence from Adam and Eve to Christ, which is under 10,000 years. But we now know, through the discoveries of science, that it is billions of years since the "big bang". But your answer is, "Science is wrong!" Science has proven time and again the church to be wrong and the church murdered the scientists proving it wrong.

But! Lets just suppose the Earth isn't billions of years old. We can account for more than 100,000 years. If even more than 10,000 years old, God is a liar and religion is false. But actually, God is not a liar...because God does not exist. If God, in fact, did exist, he would not be so ignorant as to claim ages of things the way the bible does. God cannot lie! Because God doesn't exist!

The whole foundation of the church's "sin & consequence" position is that humanity lived in perfect harmony with God in the beginning in a veritable paradise of existence where all animals were also in perfect harmony with each other and were given plants to eat. Nowhere in the pre-sin bible account does it speak of any living thing eating the flesh of any other living thing except plants. If an animal eats another animal, death is present. If death is present, the creation is not the perfect paradise the bible describes. If death is present, we are guiltless of our sins because we had no choice. God cannot say to us, "I put you in a perfect paradise and this is how you repay me!" The who;e argument of the church depends on our perfect existence and harmony with God in order for him to be able to stand in condemnation of us all.

You won't be able to answer these concerns no matter how hard you try or how twisted you make your answers. You can never prove God's existence but science can prove he does not exist.


By MartyLK on 4/1/2011 9:33:25 PM , Rating: 2
"Yeah that pretty much sums it up. You have a lot of hate for Religious people which is unfortunate. There are plenty of caring and loving people in this world, some religious and some not. I am a Christian and I only want to help others, not hurt. There's no money, power, or other gain that I want nor receive from others. I just want to share a message of faith through witnessing and hope they can find salvation through Jesus Christ some day. If not, it does sadden me but I won't say "well I don't want them there anyways". May God bless you this week and forever so that your heart might be softened and you might experience his amazing power."

You say you are a Christian and want only to help people. But you can't see how much harm religion has caused. The fact that you think you are innocent is the problem. Anyone who holds to reality and truth cannot accept what the bible says; cannot logically adhere to it knowing that science proves it wrong. Now the problem is, you, as an innocent, condemn those who don't adhere to your beliefs. You don't do it directly, but you are a part of the whole system that does condemn people who don't believe the church. You are guilty by association. Anyone who promotes the church promotes murder and death and chaos because that's what the church does. If that isn't what you are about, you would not be a part of the church's system. But since you profess approval of the church and religion, you also are as guilty of all deaths and condemnations done in the church's and religion's name.


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By MartyLK on 4/1/2011 9:53:15 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Yes and this will never stop. However, there's intelligent people on almost every side of a debate, even this one. I wouldn't ever say NEVER, I believe in science. However, most everything is a theory, which some believe is also what religion is. How many times has science PROVEN something without a shadow of a doubt only years later to discover it was incorrect and they had to adjust their 'theory'?


The fact is, science has proven the church wrong all the time. If you adhered to the church's teaching and tried to make a trip to Mars, you'd get lost or worse. If you adhered to the church's teaching, you would never have technology such as electronics and automobiles because the creation of them opposed the church's truth. Technology requires absolute truth. Otherwise we wouldn't any success in what we do. And just because we don't have ALL the answers today does not mean we won't have them tomorrow. Humanity didn't have the current answers of the universe 500 years ago. In 500 years we will have many more answers...if the religious kooks and Repubs don't destroy the world, that is.

Without the answers of science, you would not be browsing the web like you are now. It wasn't the church that invented the web. It was scientists and inventors. It isn't the church that is working to perfect battery technology. It is science that is finding the answers and someday will provide us all with limitless free energy. Ewwww! That is something the Repubs just purely hate! Free energy for humanity. Repubs and religious kooks hate anything that gives humanity freedom, liberty, peace and relaxation. Their idea of a proper world is one where everyone is suffering...because of their sins against God. The Repub and religious kook believes only a suffering humanity is a good humanity. But they, themselves, don't want to suffer. They just want everyone else to suffer. It makes them feel good. It makes them feels special and privileged in God's eyes...makes them feel closer to God...when they see everyone else suffering and themselves not suffering.

So that is what they desire in life. They convince themselves this world is only temporary and proceed to make it a living Hell for everyone...because they believe it is purely a temporary place of existence. Each Christian has this belief in them...if they truly believe the bible and are bible thumpers. They pretty much say, "Oh well, I caused the world grief through my faith, but take heart!, this is only a temporary suffering because this is only a temporary place".

That is a horrific belief system when the actual truth is this world is a permanent place where we all can make it a paradise through technology.


By Arsynic on 4/4/2011 12:40:23 PM , Rating: 2
How could science prove the church wrong when at the time the church WAS "science."

Like then, people with an obvious bias used the scientific method to prove their point of view. What is the scientific method?

"The principles and empirical processes of discovery and demonstration considered characteristic of or necessary for scientific investigation, generally involving the observation of phenomena, the formulation of a hypothesis concerning the phenomena, experimentation to demonstrate the truth or falseness of the hypothesis, and a conclusion that validates or modifies the hypothesis."

Some people who say the fossil record "proves" evolution is like a man going to a metal scrap yard and assuming that cars magically evolved from bicycles just because they have common features.

Since the belief in Intelligent Design relies on the existence of an Intelligent Designer, defenders of this point of view often have the scientific method thrust on them to prove that the "Spaghetti Monster" exists. The problem with this is that the scientific method fails to explain evolution and the Big Bang. The Big Bang (originally a derogatory term deriding the absurdity of such a notion) only attempts to explain the obvious fact that the universe is expanding. However, the scientific method is absolutely crippled when it tries to explain how something came out of nothing. There is a scientific term for this: "Spontaneous generation"--which ironically, the scientific method has disproved.


By phxfreddy on 4/1/2011 11:50:49 PM , Rating: 1
If they can teach global warming then they can teach creationism.

They're both tantamount to the same thing: Religion


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By ChoadNamath on 4/1/2011 5:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that line doesn't really fit in with the article. We *do* have reliable methods for dating that have shown us that the earth is nowhere near just "thousands of years old."


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/1/2011 5:35:44 PM , Rating: 3
My point is that faith and science are separate things.

You can come up with a logically plausible scenario that's impossible to support scientifically -- for example that God created the radioisotopes as partially decayed, that he created those photons in mid-flight from other galaxies, that he created our sun partially aged via its nuclear fusion reactions, that he created our Moon partially weathered from meteor strikes, etc., etc.

It's impossible to prove.

And it's impossible to disprove.

But that's something separate from science. That's a "fantastic faith based" argument, as I state.

It's kind of like believing we're all plugged into a matrix. There's no real way of knowing.

But does it make sense to teach children unsupportable, outlandish theories just because they're logically plausible? I don't think so, personally.

Because if you teach them intelligent design and creationism, you'd have to teach them the alternative theory that the omnipotent spaghetti monster made the universe out of spaghetti exactly 11 million years and 11 days and 11 hours and 11 minutes and 11 seconds... ago and then transformed his spaghetti into the stuff of the cosmos. Because that idea is equally logically valid and equally scientifically unprovable...


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By mdogs444 on 4/1/2011 6:37:43 PM , Rating: 2
I got to agree with mick here. The problem is that neither side is possible to disprove. I'm a devout catholic for my whole life, but only an idiot would take the entire bible as something to be meant literally. I believe that its full of good life lessons. Who can disagree with the 10 commandments from a moral standpoint? Seeing as how old those are, whoever created them knew what they were doing.

Is there something "more"? I don't know. I'd like to think so. Do I want to sit around and think we come from a bunch of stupid gorillas? No.

I think people need to look at this with some common sense and faith at the same time.


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By Helbore on 4/1/2011 9:17:40 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Who can disagree with the 10 commandments from a moral standpoint?


Well let's take a look at them;

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

Has no moral basis beyond the religion. If you don't believe in god, it's meaningless and has no moral value.

It doesn't even define an absolute moral value for theism. Polytheistic religions have no moral problem with having one god above another or worshipping several at onece.

2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.

No level of generally accepted morality at all in here. All we have is a specific religious requirement that you don't make idols. Then we get that lovely piece about god being jealous to the point that he will inflict his wrath upon the children of those who commit this sin.

Punishing people for the sins of others? No nice and not what I'd consider moral.

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

Again, no moral value beyond the religion in question.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Again, more religious-only instructions - so much so that pretty much everyone ignores this nowadays.

5. Honour your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Well you can argue that this is too simplistic to take as an absolute commandment (eg. should a child honour an abusive parent?), but on a general position, I can accept this one.

6. You shall not kill.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.


6 - 10 are a little more straight-forward and most would generally accept them (though there are still obvious exceptions to them)

So in reality, half the commandments have a useful moral value and half are nothing more than pointless religious rules that offer no moral code to anyone outside the religion.

And that's not even bothering to go into the fact that there's actually more like 26 commandments and not simply 10. They continue on for a while and most of the others are all about how you should sacrifice animals so god can enjoy the smell and how you should execute rape victims.

Overall, whomever wrote those commandments was a raving nutcase and not someone who got something right. Most of it is crazy talk at best and immoral nonsense at worst.


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By drycrust3 on 4/1/2011 11:27:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

Look at the freedoms you have in America and compare them to what you get in countries where Christianity isn't a political force.


By Helbore on 4/4/2011 5:50:54 AM , Rating: 2
1. I don't live in America.

2. That quote of Bible passage has nothing to do with American freedoms - those having been devised by the founding fathers in relation to the treatment of subjects by the British government. It certainly has nothing to do with god taking Jews out of Egypt!


By mcnabney on 4/2/2011 12:08:46 PM , Rating: 2
Those commandments functioned to keep a tribe together and united. That was their whole purpose - basic morality and required loyalty to the tribe's faith. And it worked. It kept the tribe together and alive. But to be fair, I am sure all of the tribes that have been destroyed over the passage of time had similar tribal rules.


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By The Raven on 4/1/2011 6:55:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
My point is that faith and science are separate things.
I have to 'kind of' disagree with you here. I have faith in the scientific community. If I saw that scientists were always making correct conclusions from their findings then I would follow them blindly. But they don't. Take the somewhat recent findings and infighting amongst scientists regarding climate change. How do you know who to believe ? Which scientists do you have faith in?

I think the bigger question is why do they even teach anything about how the earth was allegedly formed? (Especially since it is not KNOWN. There is no video of what went on back then. Big bang "THEORY" anyone?)

This stupid debate shouldn't even be going on. Why do kids need to know how the Earth was created? Are they going to make one of their own when they grow up?

Let's just agree that teachers in public schools can mention that some people believe in the BBT and others in some sort of creationism. If the kids are so inclined, they can go 'Google it' to learn more.

I learned a lot about Islam's religious practices and terminology in middle school (but nothing on Hinduism, Christianity, or the J-dubbs.) It angered me to no end. Not because I don't believe it (which I don't BTW), but because there was no reason they should be teaching about that unless it was about how it fit into history or science or something.
It is public school we are talking about here. Not some genius private school that my parents chose for me.

Anyway, back to my point... religious organizations and the scientific communities do have their similarities (and also political parties for that matter), so teaching anything other than fact in schools should be frowned upon. Let the kids think for themselves. Mention the dinosaurs and what not, but they don't have archeology class in K-12. Kids should learn about what they need to survive first. This argument of BBT v. God should be limited to churches and college (both of which are not mandatory like K-12).


By SlyNine on 4/1/2011 7:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
Really, You don't think understanding the history of the world can help those who live on it.

Bullcrap, For instance how can we possibly take any of this climate change seriously if earth isn't 5 billion years old.

No, understanding evolution and where you come from helps you understand what you are and what you should be doing, and more important what you shouldn't be wasting your Fking life on *cough Religion*


By Aikouka on 4/1/2011 8:02:03 PM , Rating: 3
Raven, there's one thing to remember... typically when people refer to "faith" in regard to religion, it is actually a more specific thing called "blind faith." Blind faith is placing trust in something or someone that you have absolutely no (proven) evidence to back.

I used to be a religious person... albeit, I was forced to by my father, and there was an exercise that we would do to show us "faith." They would have you stand in front of someone and simply fall back. You would have to rely on the person behind you to catch you, or as they would call it... "have faith." The problem with this exercise is that their definition of faith is completely different from the faith you use in a religion. In the faith building exercise, there's a bit of evidence to back up your faith that you will be caught (you know someone is behind you, someone told you someone is behind you, you may know the person behind you, etc). A more apt exercise is walking "blindly" (on your own volition) into a random pitch black room, choosing a random spot and simply falling backward. There's no guarantee that anyone is even in the room with you or even near you! In that example, if you truly think someone is going to catch you, then that's the type of faith you exhibit with religion.

Now, my point is that you said you would follow the scientists that tend to make apt/correct conclusions blindly, but that is not true at all. You are not following someone blindly if you have evidence to back up the fact that what they're saying could be factual.


By TSS on 4/1/2011 8:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have to 'kind of' disagree with you here. I have faith in the scientific community.


Faith is the act of unquestionally beliving whatever you have faith in. Something can throw you off your faith, but in general that shouldn't happen.

Science is the act of repeatedly checking if something is true through proof, the fact that 2 exactly the same experiments will yield exactly the same results.

If we where to describe science in a human emotion, which is what faith is, it would definitly come in as "skeptisism", which is the exact opposite of faith, a lack of faith in everything.

You said it yourself. You have faith in the scientific community, not science itself. Having faith in humans is noble, but stupid. This goes for God and "Religion" as well, or the "Theological Community". Which is as it should be by the way, i don't have faith in science either because science doesn't require me to have faith in it.

IMO the best result would be teaching creationism next to everything else in the class room. The material should consist of, and nothing more then, at the beginning of the first history lesson in school simply say "some people belive that in the beginning, there was god and that he created the big bang". and let science take it from there. The only interaction science has with religion is if god exists, finding out when he pulled the trigger. I have no problem teaching that to my kids.


By Thats Mr Gopher to you on 4/2/2011 12:04:55 PM , Rating: 2
You have trust in the scientific community, not faith. (Unless you're a fool).
Trust is earned. Faith isn't.


By espaghetti on 4/1/2011 7:44:42 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you think I came from.......Omnipotent Spaghetti Monster, of course.

You can neither prove or disprove a lot of things.
Maybe teachers should get back to teaching facts.
Maybe their bosses could stop pushing an agenda (left, right, up, down, whatever)and push actual knowledge.
Maybe we could get high school kids to read at a high school level while they are still in high school.
It's an idea I have.
I agree with JM. meh...


By TheRealArdrid on 4/1/2011 8:05:32 PM , Rating: 3
And the very reason that it's impossible to prove is why it's absolute nonsense. Faith, by it's very definition, is irrational thought in the face of rational facts. As I say below, the burden isn't on science to disprove the nonsense; the burden is on the fanatics to prove it. If they can't, which admittedly they can't since they always hearken back to the fallback of faith when confronted with a lack of evidence to support their claims, they need to sit there and learn.


By PReiger99 on 4/1/2011 8:22:23 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
But that's something separate from science. That's a "fantastic faith based" argument, as I state.

It's kind of like believing we're all plugged into a matrix. There's no real way of knowing.

But does it make sense to teach children unsupportable, outlandish theories just because they're logically plausible? I don't think so, personally.

Those wild fantastic faith based arguments may be "possible" but certainly not "plausible" or "logical". A fundamental principle of logic is that when one makes an assertion it is their sole responsibility to prove that the assertion is true. Whoever is hearing the proposition has no logical burden whatsoever. So when someone claim that we are trapped in a matrix or that there are invisible unicorns around us feeding on our emotions, it's not logical to believe such claims unless that person can bring logical arguments to validate their position.


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By ShaolinSoccer on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By ShaolinSoccer on 4/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By PaterPelligrino on 4/3/2011 4:13:35 AM , Rating: 5
It is inherent in human nature to invent gods, religions, and mythical creatures. We are psychologically constructed - perhaps, even at the genetic level - to do this. Given the truly astonishing number of mutually-contradictory gods and supernatural beings with which man has embellished his world, no other conclusion is possible. I may be unable to prove the nonexistence of any one god, just as I can't prove the nonexistence of the Tooth Fairy, but they can't possibly all exist. When the entire human race, irrespective of time and place, demonstrates a unfailing bias towards error in the invention of these supernatural belief systems, it is logical to assume that no such belief is free from that bias.

The existence of all those mutually-contradictory religions - many of which predate and/or arose independently of OT Judaism - proves that man does, in fact, create gods, he does invent religions out of thin air. The invented gods met the needs of the societies that invented them. Because those societies differed, the religions based on those contingent social circumstances also differed: different social needs, different gods. Every society that has ever existed has had its gods. That it is largely tradition and geography that determine religion (Saudis are Muslim, Tibetans Buddhists, Irish Catholic, sub-continent Indians mostly Hindu, etc., etc..) indicates how contingent religious belief is. That is what the myth-making, social animal Homo Sap does. Are you really so naive as to think that accidents of geography and tradition played no role in determining which god you pray to?

Once a belief system takes root, the True Believer of every religion acts as you act, says what you say, argues as you argue. Like you, they all claim that all competing gods and religions are fictions; like you, they all want us to believe that theirs is the one exception. The defining characteristic of every True Believer is the total incapability/unwillingness to question the rationality of his own cherished beliefs.

To a non-believer, that is a devastating indictment of all supernatural belief systems. My religious skepticism is not only motivated by the absurdity of supernatural beings and holy-book miracles, it is also firmly rooted in an unsentimental appraisal of human nature as it really is. It is undeniable that people see things that aren't there, worship gods that don't exist.

I merely apply to all supernatural beliefs the very same skepticism that the Christian applies to every religion except his own. Every fallacy you think I commit when refuting your god, you are guilty of vis-a-vis the others. As a monotheist, you are compelled to deny the existence of all gods but your own, yet you accuse atheists of hypocrisy when they deny your god. How can you not be considered a hypocrite?


By Digimonkey on 4/4/2011 10:14:19 AM , Rating: 2
Can we give this a 6?


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By jahwarrior on 4/4/2011 2:07:02 PM , Rating: 1
But just as 1+1=2, there is absolute truth. You may beat around the bush and say man invented gods because man was scared of the dark forest or man has the need to have faith in a higher power because he is weak etc. etc. but the fact of the matter is man is weak, we are the only species that can see our impending death. You know that you face death, whether it happens 1 second from now or 60 years down the road, the fact remains the same. Time is not on your side and just as you have no knowledge or awareness of life before you were born or before you existed, do you know what will happen when you travel to the other side? The bible says a way seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death. And it is appointed once for a man to die and then face judgment. You will stand before the most high God and Creator someday and you will have to give an account of your life. You probably already know what happens when you are found lacking….

Anyway you will probably brush this off and rate my post down but just know, what happens with evolution will not really affect my life in anyway I will keep living just fine, but what happens after you die will affect your life and eternity. And you know if you look deep down you think that there is an off chance I might be right.


By Digimonkey on 4/4/2011 3:20:03 PM , Rating: 3
Way to prove his point.


By PaterPelligrino on 4/4/2011 3:53:54 PM , Rating: 5
You say your god loves us. Yet you also believe that if we don't accept Jehovah/Christ as our savior, and live as he commands, we go to hell.

I think that was a brilliant propaganda ploy by the early Christian strategists to secure victory in the religious war for the hearts and minds of the citizens of the Roman Empire: repent, become a good Christian, recognize our authority, and all your sins are forgiven and it's straight to heaven with ya; or continue with the false gods, in which case you rot in hell forever. I’ve got to admire the tactical genius behind that strategy.

Anyway, Jehovah loves us. Yet every single human being born before Christ's appearance on the scene, is now, at this very moment, enduring unimaginable pain and torment in a place so vile and evil that it is beyond our ability to imagine. So some 12-yr-old girl, born in Indonesia in 50 BC who lived a perfectly innocent life, and was killed by tuberculosis - itself one of god's creations - that child must endure unbelievable pain forever, for hundreds of billions of trillions of years because a remote ancestor - yet another of god's creations - disobeyed an order not to eat an apple. I'd like you to explain how this god who loves us could possibly do that to an innocent child - not that I think anything a flawed individual could do would justify such sadism.

However, not only those who lived before Christ, but every child now born in parts of the world where parents and culture espouse a different religion – Tibetans and Saudis, for instance – children who will never even hear a coherent version of the Biblical narrative – those children will also suffer horrendous torment for all eternity simply because of where they were born. And since he determined where those children were born, didn't your god condemn them to hell just by placing them there? Yet you say your god loves us.

I’m certainly a flawed individual, but I fail to understand why I deserve indescribable, eternal torment simply because I find the Christian narrative far fetched and implausible. That seems particularly unfair when you consider it was god who designed this skeptical brain of mine.

Sorry, but it's all too ridiculous to be true. You will go through life "misunderstanding all you see", to one day die, never realizing your mistake. I suppose there is some comfort of the ignorance-is-bliss sort in that; especially if you have no intellectual integrity.


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By Arsynic on 4/4/2011 12:45:52 PM , Rating: 1
Faith (as defined by the Bible) and science do have a lot in common. They are based on observation and facts. For example, I have faith that the sun will "rise" tomorrow. Why? Well, I know that each 23 hours and some change, the Earth rotates once on its axis. Secondly, the sun has risen every day since I've been alive. Thus I can say that I have faith that the sun will rise tomorrow.

Faith is not a synonym for "gullibility" or "credulity". It's a totally different word with a completely different meaning.


By Digimonkey on 4/4/2011 1:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Faith is never based in facts. If it were, it turns into knowledge. You have knowledge that the sun rises and sets in a 24 hour cycle. With this knowledge you therefore know that the sun will rise tomorrow, baring any catastrophic event.


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By mdogs444 on 4/1/2011 6:39:53 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you. I like Sarah, albeit shes a bit over the top. But no sense in making this into a "god I hate Sarah Palin" article.


RE: Never heard of radiometric dating?
By room200 on 4/1/2011 11:11:47 PM , Rating: 3
Never stopped anyone here from turning threads into an Obama-is-the-antichrist moment.


By Skywalker123 on 4/2/2011 1:19:50 AM , Rating: 2
I thought that fact has already been proven without a doubt


By MartyLK on 4/2/2011 5:06:41 AM , Rating: 1
Palin is a friggin idiot. She's a female Dubya. She's and anyone like her is a serious threat to humanity and all freedoms and liberties. Their beliefs cause them to destroy the world and all goodness. They fully believe the world is getting more and more corrupt and the end is inevitable because the bible tells them so and they believe it.

Do you want to live in a world where such kooks are trying to bring it to an end because they believe humanity is evil by nature and God's coming is assured? I warn you, such a belief system cannot abide any peace or paradise on Earth. They can't allow it because they firmly believe this world is merely temporary and that Heaven is the place of paradise.

If religion is allowed to run rampant, no matter how innocent the believers claim to be or how well intentioned they say they are, it will destroy a real paradise right here. *THAT* is the horror of religion...especially the Christian, Judaic and Islam religion.


By Arsynic on 4/4/2011 12:58:43 PM , Rating: 1
What a silly argument. Old Looking? Looks like evolution? That sounds like a silly cop-out and I don't even believe in evolution.

Animals having the same features is about as much proof about evolution as different types of transportation having the same features (e.g. space ships evolved from horse-drawn chariots).


Anit-evolution more like pro-reality
By hawwah on 4/2/11, Rating: -1
RE: Anit-evolution more like pro-reality
By mcnabney on 4/2/2011 12:02:37 PM , Rating: 2
After reading that, I feel superior to you.


By MartyLK on 4/3/2011 12:13:09 AM , Rating: 2
I read it and my IQ dropped 20 points. It's like watching really crappy, mind numbing TV.


By Helbore on 4/4/2011 6:11:59 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Though I don’t think I’ve read a book a religiously racist and completely incompetent as the God Delusion


So you've not read the Bible then?


Thank you for proving the point
By Lazarus Dark on 4/1/11, Rating: -1
By PReiger99 on 4/1/2011 6:52:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've been dealing with this issue for 15+ years. It doesn't matter how much proof an evolutionist is shown or how much of their evidence you disprove, an evolutionist will stand firm in their belief even after they know there is not one shred of scientific proof.

The only relevant thing I see here, is that you can honestly state that you are able to disprove evolution. You're either terribly ignorant of the field of study, or have an agenda you're pushing so hard you're willing to disregard reason.

Moreover, it's rather sad to see someone discards science when it proves their religious occultism mistaken. The evidences supporting evolution are overwhelming and I would suggest you take a biology 101 class to better understand what you are talking about (it would probably also explain why no one is taking your arguments seriously).


RE: Thank you for proving the point
By JasonMick (blog) on 4/1/2011 6:54:55 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Even though you can't see it... you believe it to be true.
I gotta say, most evolutionists in my experience have far more faith than anyone else I've known. I base my faith in God on what I can see and my experience, but the evolutionist is a far more dogged fanatic.


NO.

You almost understood, but than you failed. So please don't attribute your faulty interpretation to me...

There is evidence that can be observed here -- genetics and the fossil record.

Just because the Big Bang isn't happening now doesn't mean we can't observe evidence of it like cosmic background radiation.

Drawing conclusions on past events based on observed evidence that persists to the present is scientifically sound and decidedly not faith based.

That said, it is easier to convince skeptics (like yourself) of something you see occurring in the PRESENT. Most people, even if they lack the facilities to accomplish complex scientific reason based on analysis of past events, can be convinced by something they see with their own two eyeballs in the present.

That was my point, which you misunderstood badly before going off into a rant about your favorite pseudoscientist and how you thought my text somehow supported you/him...


RE: Thank you for proving the point
By Lazarus Dark on 4/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: Thank you for proving the point
By Paj on 4/4/2011 12:58:29 PM , Rating: 1
Many people on both sides of the fence dont like Dawkins, becuase quite frankly, he is a douche.


By Arsynic on 4/4/2011 12:23:22 PM , Rating: 1
How does the fossil record prove evolution.


RE: Thank you for proving the point
By SlyNine on 4/1/2011 7:36:47 PM , Rating: 3
LOL, NO. Evolution does not rely on faith, it simply does not subscribe to predetermined ideals. Such as a "god" created the universe, And where is all this proof you speak of. There is none.

However there is A LOT of evidence supporting the age of the earth and evolution, but then again when you keep your head buried in the sand of religious beliefs (mostly fear of going to hell or having your entire belief system flipped upside down). You can never even attempt to study evolution.

Case and point, you start of saying"Sooo...
Even though you can't see it... you believe it to be true."

There are TONS of evidence backing evolution, Hell even a quick study of genetics prove to you all DNA on the planet came from a single DNA double helix , the fact that people are born with horns, tails, and all sort of pre human features should tell you that we have the genetic code from all the animal's we evolved from.

But then again you could just say "god" did it or someone else could say the cookie monster did it. But then you're the one not justifying anything any more then the cookie monster theory.


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