Skip to comments.Churches urged to back evolution
Posted on 02/20/2006 5:33:50 AM PST by ToryHeartland
Churches urged to back evolution By Paul Rincon BBC News science reporter, St Louis
US scientists have called on mainstream religious communities to help them fight policies that undermine the teaching of evolution.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) hit out at the "intelligent design" movement at its annual meeting in Missouri.
Teaching the idea threatens scientific literacy among schoolchildren, it said.
Its proponents argue life on Earth is too complex to have evolved on its own.
As the name suggests, intelligent design is a concept invoking the hand of a designer in nature.
It's time to recognise that science and religion should never be pitted against each other Gilbert Omenn AAAS president
There have been several attempts across the US by anti-evolutionists to get intelligent design taught in school science lessons.
At the meeting in St Louis, the AAAS issued a statement strongly condemning the moves.
"Such veiled attempts to wedge religion - actually just one kind of religion - into science classrooms is a disservice to students, parents, teachers and tax payers," said AAAS president Gilbert Omenn.
"It's time to recognise that science and religion should never be pitted against each other.
"They can and do co-exist in the context of most people's lives. Just not in science classrooms, lest we confuse our children."
'Who's kidding whom?'
Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, which campaigns to keep evolution in public schools, said those in mainstream religious communities needed to "step up to the plate" in order to prevent the issue being viewed as a battle between science and religion.
Some have already heeded the warning.
"The intelligent design movement belittles evolution. It makes God a designer - an engineer," said George Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory.
"Intelligent design concentrates on a designer who they do not really identify - but who's kidding whom?"
Last year, a federal judge ruled in favour of 11 parents in Dover, Pennsylvania, who argued that Darwinian evolution must be taught as fact.
Dover school administrators had pushed for intelligent design to be inserted into science teaching. But the judge ruled this violated the constitution, which sets out a clear separation between religion and state.
Despite the ruling, more challenges are on the way.
Fourteen US states are considering bills that scientists say would restrict the teaching of evolution.
These include a legislative bill in Missouri which seeks to ensure that only science which can be proven by experiment is taught in schools.
I think if we look at where the empirical scientific evidence leads us, it leads us towards intelligent design Teacher Mark Gihring "The new strategy is to teach intelligent design without calling it intelligent design," biologist Kenneth Miller, of Brown University in Rhode Island, told the BBC News website.
Dr Miller, an expert witness in the Dover School case, added: "The advocates of intelligent design and creationism have tried to repackage their criticisms, saying they want to teach the evidence for evolution and the evidence against evolution."
However, Mark Gihring, a teacher from Missouri sympathetic to intelligent design, told the BBC: "I think if we look at where the empirical scientific evidence leads us, it leads us towards intelligent design.
"[Intelligent design] ultimately takes us back to why we're here and the value of life... if an individual doesn't have a reason for being, they might carry themselves in a way that is ultimately destructive for society."
The decentralised US education system ensures that intelligent design will remain an issue in the classroom regardless of the decision in the Dover case.
"I think as a legal strategy, intelligent design is dead. That does not mean intelligent design as a social movement is dead," said Ms Scott.
"This is an idea that has real legs and it's going to be around for a long time. It will, however, evolve."
Among the most high-profile champions of intelligent design is US President George W Bush, who has said schools should make students aware of the concept.
But Mr Omenn warned that teaching intelligent design will deprive students of a proper education, ultimately harming the US economy.
"At a time when fewer US students are heading into science, baby boomer scientists are retiring in growing numbers and international students are returning home to work, America can ill afford the time and tax-payer dollars debating the facts of evolution," he said. Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/sci/tech/4731360.stm
Published: 2006/02/20 10:54:16 GMT
© BBC MMVI
I see it as much of an attack by science on religion. That's the problem. The science classroom should teach evolution as the theory that science accepts. It should not attack people's beliefs in intelligent design, and that's the biggest rub. There are professors who punish students who do not give up their religous views. This kind of bigotry in the scientific community is uncalled for. There are extremes on both sides.
Evolution urged to admit, "It's just conjecture."
LOL, the day may be yet young, but this may be post of the day (if not week) :)
So we all have to believe in the religion of evolution? Where is the tolerance? Where is the inclusiveness? The mullahs of Science need to be aware that millions of us will never bring up our children to believe that they are ape-men instead of created by God in His image. Science giants of the past have been Christians who believed that God created the world. Today's science pygmies are too insecure to have their religious ideas about evolution challenged. Whose fault is that?
There are many answers.
Most scientists are liberals who support our opponents. Some are inclined to applaud anyone who fights with them, even if they personally think the fight is stupid.
The best defense is a good offense. By tying up liberal lawyers defending against our lawsuits, they will not have the time or money to bring lawsuits against us.
We are a free country, so there is no official truth. Whatever the voters want to believe, that is what should be taught in the public schools.
The Darwinian model is unsophisticated, and predates our knowledge of how DNA works. If the brain can think, why can't the cell nucleus be said to think? We could generate a computer nodel of DNA, and test the theory of evolution in a simulation.
Why should all those subatomic particles obey the laws arbitrary sets of mathemathical formulae? It must be that at the subatomic level, matter is permeated and intermingled with the Divine Logos. Kai su, Plotine?
Anyway, welcome to FR, Tory.
Of course, this is utter foolishness, supported neither by the history of science itself (many of the "founders" of modern science were passionate Christians), nor by the scientific method. A Christian (or theist) looks at the laws of the Universe as the general workings of God in His creation, whereas a naturalist says we must work in the lab "as if" there were nothing but what is observable -- even if we currently do not have accurate means to observe it.
This is -of course- not about "science" at all, but about the philosophical underpinnings of science. A Christian sees God in all of life, and insists that the evidences for His existence, wisdom, morality and power are abundantly evident in creation. The Christian further claims that the inability to "see" these things comes not from the lack of evidence, but the deliberate unwillingness to see them. In fact, the modern Christian scientists claim echo Paul when he says that this blindness is the result of deliberate repression of clear and plain evidence, based on a desire to escape the presence of God (cf Romans 1:18-20).
This is certainly validated in statements by certain prominent men of science like Thomas Huxley when he claimed that he adopted a naturalistic worldview more from a desire to pursue sexual activity without guilt than from evidentiary examination, and from Thomas Watson's statement that he and Crick were driven to discover dna's structure primarily by a desire to escape a worldview which included God.
Since much of American evangelicalism is shallow, surface, uninformed and silly.... AND since we have hopped into bed with the Republican Party as though it was the messiah, there are all sorts of excesses and embarrassments in what they are trying to do. (to forstall the hail of slings and arrows, I will add that I have voted Republican in every election since Nixon).
The bottom line here is that it is a debate over how science should be done, not over whether "evolution" is true or not. Lots of Christiasn and genuinely confused secular scientists gloss right past it, but it is the only thing of real substance being barked about.
The debate is about the proper role of the teaching of religion.
For some reason Creatinists/IDers (CRIDers as I call them) believe that Creationism is an "alternate theory" even though it doesn't meet any of the scientific criteria as a "theory." It is like saying "angels hold planes aloft" is an alternate "theory" for aerodynamics.
Religion should be introduced as philosophy/theology/mythology. Now the other day I read where they didnt want to discuss religion in a phiosophy class and THAT was an attack on religion.
Another problem is that many don't just believe in evolution. Many people are hard left athiests who use evolution as a bludgeon against the church. Unfortunately, we have little choice but to fight evolution everywhere, for this reason.
They made a big mistake when they abandoned geocentrism just because the scientific evidence said so.
"Churches urged to back evolution"
And Bin Laden urged US to convert to Islam.
As many Americans never understood that whole monarchy concept you all have going on over there.
If you choose to believe that you're evolved from simians, fish, or even lichen, so be it. Just return the courtesy and allow us 'foolish believers' to continue thinking we were created by God.
Unless you can accept the Bible sometimes uses metaphoric expressions. When the Bible talks about serpents, I understand it as usually talking about Satan and evil and not a literal snake. The idea that a day must be taken in the literal sense even before the day was invented is kind of odd. Just because the rest of the Bible uses 'day' literally does not completely rule out the possibility that Genesis could have used it metaphorically. It is a good arguement, but not an absolute one.
The purpose of Intelligent Design/Creationsim is to destroy and discredit the Conservative Movement. The people that push this crap are either Evil, because they know this is a Lie, or they are ignorant dupes and Useful Idiots and don't know any better, in which case they should stay off these Threads because they just spew the same refuted-garbage time after time.
Yes, and it has been a war on religion since prayer was removed from schools. Something that was practiced for ~150 years with the same Constitution. In any case, the science will stand if it is true. The mere fact that a label is not permitted because it establishes religion is evidence of the warfare in this nation. The Democrats like some of the 15%(or the 7% Republicans) of Americans choose to filibuster rather than accede to the wishes of the electorate. As the case in Pennsylvania shows, the people should decide, not the courts nor a minority. The outcome in Pennsylvania may not be final, however.
There exists no vehement assault on science in general, only on those areas that have claimed to have swept the field of competitors. Finally, as it is proper and fitting in a democratic form of government, all warfare should be decided at the ballot box, not in the streets or in the courts.
It's a mystery to those of us on the pro-evolution (i.e. rational) side too. But now that you're here, you'll get a real taste of the turmoil.
Thanks for posting the article.
Jut picking a nit, but it's CHURCH and State..not 'religion'.
Intelligent explanations of the real issue here would be appreciated!
IMHO, the evolution vs creationism uproar is quite simple.
Evolutionists maintain that everything was created by a biomechanical process, brought about by the trial and error of nature. This makes humanity an accident.
Creationists believe the world was conceived and constructed by a higher being, brought about by His will and design. This makes humanity a miracle.
While creationism doesn't necessarily exclude evolution, evolution DOES exclude creationism.
You'd think in a land where we have the ability to freely discuss anything, we'd be able to find a middle ground.
As a historical footnote, the Bible was used regularly in schoolrooms up to about 1950.
The monoploistic educational bureaurcracy has difficulty when the public attempts to influence education. This explains the passionate opposition to school vouchers as well as the rise of home schooling. ID is not nearly the threat to science as is the dogma emminating from the Ivory Tower which will use the courts and the ACLU to impose their will on a recalcitrant public. In other words; how dare the peasants lecture their betters.
And finally, this ultimately goes back to the establishment clause in the US Constitution and how it should be interpretted vis-a-vis schools and religion. Since the 1960's the courts have upheld a God-free zone in the American classrooms, quite often to absurd lengths. ID is the push back.
Adaptation is a forgotten term among some ideologists.
Teaching children to think critically NEVER threatens literacy. Scientific truth must be vetted against competing eplainations, it is part of the process of arriving at the truth. Creationism is quickly dispelled with scientific evidence, and the showing this in a science classroom is always worth the effort.
On the other hand, tt is the Evil ID?Creationists that take a page out of their friend's, the Leftists, playbook by forcing their bilge on Society through the Courts.
And anyway, the neat distinction between poetry and narrative, as is the case in English, is not at all secure in Hebrew. There are very very few passages in the narrative sections of the Genesis that one can determine are prosaic forms of expression; one such passage is the words of Esau to Jacob in regards to the red stew. See the work of Robert Alter in his translation of Genesis.
And anyway, how is one to determine the literalist vs the metaphorical meaning of a passage? To do that requires life within the culture.
And finally, even if the creationist view is correct, why did the sacred author of Genesis adopt THIS way of describing the phases of creation? Why 7 days? why not 10? or 50? or 365? [hint: this is a loaded question]
assaulting science ping
Revelation 4:11Intelligent Design
See my profile for info
I'd like to hear you back up that statement with some facts. Most of the scientists I know, including myself, are decidedly not liberal. Most people who think rationally tend to be conservatives and that includes most scientists. When it comes to evolution, the same principle applies. It's logical and supported by evidence. Being a conservative does not imply you are a conservative, although both do share certain principles.
The principles behind this fight are simple. ID and creation stories aren't taught in science class because they are not science and do not stand up to scientific scrutiny. There are lots of people who choose to try to shout their position to try and get it accepted. When that fails, they try to use what is essentially court ordered intellectual affermative action for their strictly religious constraints that they believe must constrain and supercede science. If it isn't in the Bible, it isn't science to these people. They are taking a tactic right out of the extreme left wing playbook.
And science is for studying facts and making theories, and should not be taught in a way that makes it an assult on religious beliefs. For most, it is not a desire to get intelligent design in the classroom (although there are those who do), it is the absolute stance that science explains it all and you must accept that it does and disavow your religous beliefs that outrages people.
You have gotten 40 and you have yet to respond.....
Here's an essay -- a long one and not an easy read -- about a Brit "intellectual" who embraces ID. The author of the article rips him to shreds, correctly so in my opinion.
Steve Fuller and The Hidden Agenda of Social Constructivism.
Perhaps I can explain a little?
Please understand first of all that conservative Christians are not assaulting science by seeking to disprove the evolutionary model of origins.
The word science means knowledge. We do not have 'knowledge' of macro-evolution, because it (as the evolutionary model needs to be proven true) has never been observed. All we observe is the record, the record of geology (columns, layers, sediment, strata, etc.) and of fossils, among other things. We also witness ongoing mutation and micro-evolution of species, certainly, but those mutations are never incorporating the addition of positive information that wasn't there before to improve the organism, as would be necessary for evolution.
Evolutionists look at the evidence and interpret it according to their belief in evolution. Creationists look at the evidence and interpret it according to the account of creation found in the Bible.
Evolutionists look and they somehow deduce that the universe has no apparent order and everything we see today was brought about by disorder, chaos and random actions over billions of years. There are increasing amounts of evidence to disprove this idea; drastic flaws in the evolutionary arguments too innumerable to list here.
Creationists look at the evidence and see a designer written into the universe. It is puzzling how anyone could see anything else, when one takes biology and learns that the 'simplest' organism, the cell, is an incredibly complex and efficient little machine, whose processes we still don't fully understand.
Intelligent Design advocates, by the way, fall in the middle. They look at nature and see a designer, but they won't say who or what. They also say that the designer had his (or her, or its) hand in the process of evolution.
The evolutionary model is a drastic step outside of operational and observational science; it is a proposed explanation for the origination of our existence. (After all, what idea of science needs advocates to attempt to persuade the public of? What theory needs debating to convince people of, and why are there people trying to push this supposed idea of science in churches?)
Evolutionists will try to say that the evolutionary model doesn't account for the origin, but merely picks up on explaining the evolution of life soon after it began. (That's just a neat trick to avoid answering how life could have arisen from non-living matter, which is scientifically impossible.)
The Biblical idea of creation is that God created the world. A lot of people did not like that idea, and sought to find an alternative 'theory', one that did not need a supreme being as governor of our fates. They came up with the godless idea of evolution as an answer to origins. Thus, man is all there is, and is subject to no divine ruler; man can do as he will.
Of course, this opens the door to anything. If man evolved from monkeys, there is no morality (especially among monkeys) and so we can do as we will. What makes rape wrong? What makes murder wrong? What makes stealing wrong? The door is truly open to saying that any system of rules or morals is merely the invention of Man, and no man need be forced to follow another man's idea of morality.
Bottom line, both evolution and creation are faiths. They are tenets of religion. Evolution stems from humanism, IE, god does not matter even if he does exist, because man is all that matters. (The person mentioned above, Eugenie Scott, signed the Humanist Manifesto)
Creationism is a tenet of Biblical Christianity. If the humanists and secularists can get the church to accept evolution, they can continue to undermine religion and morality.
I hope I've cleared it up a little. You're right, the battles over the subject on FR do get heated. I won't say there is not fallacies galore on both sides, and I won't say there is not foul play on both sides (I've taken heat from BOTH sides, believe it or not, and I'm a creationist), but IF creation is just a religion, and its adherents are mere religious fundamentalists, then why are the evolutionists (stout supporters of a strictly scientific idea?) so vehement themselves? Why be so dogmatic about a scientific fact? Unless it isn't a scientific fact that is under fire, but a religious belief. And what is so threatening about a discussion between two religious beliefs? Evolutionists will not even permit an honest discussion of the issue.
William Rusher, writing for WorldNetDaily, put it this way. He said "The whole controversy thus becomes, as I see it, a subset of the larger dispute between those who believe in a God and those who prefer a strictly materialistic, and atheistic, explanation of the universe."
Any further questions or objections?
Let me tell you why Genesis 1 presents creation in terms of a 7 day period of time. Because the 7 day week was already in existence in the Ancient Near East. What Ancient Israel did during the Exile [or, at least, the leading lights of Ancient Israel] is to adopt an already existing 7-day scheme and "sanctified" it by showing that 1 day is to be set aside for the honor of the Creator--the glory of the Creator having just been outlined in the previous description. Why Creation in 6 days? because it leads up to the 7th.
You mean Aldous Huxley and Jim Watson?
Huxley, when he said this, was setting up a position to argue against. Jim Watson was motivated by a desired to beat Linus Pauling, and has never said what you claim he said.
But hey. if you're going to libel somebody, get his name wrong as well.
And you wonder why scientists hold creationists in such contempt? How about an inability to get simple details correct? How about posting damnable lies without the slightest care whether they're true or not?
A well tempered, clear and honest outline of the debate. Thenk you.
What are you saying is the source of the 7 day week that "was already in existence in the Ancient Near East"?
Acts 17:26-2726. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.
27. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.Romans 5:12-21
12. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--
13. for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.
14. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.
15. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
16. Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
17. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.
19. For just as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
20. The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,
21. so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
24. "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands.
Was LUKE wrong about this?
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