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
Wouldn't you know it....a government employee.
Announce on your university website that any student who self identifies as a creationist can not get a recommendation from you no matter the grade they got in your class.
Or better yet announce on your website that creationists can not go to med school.
What the hell, maybe its time to give the private sector a shot.
What churches are they asking to back Evolution?
Christians, Jews and Muslims will have none of this.
Perhaps the church of the white witches, wicka, druids... get the point. This is not a threat.
The threat is that Christian churches are Biblically illiterate and do not know how to defend Creation.
But then, God can defend Himself. Having to explain God is like having to point out the sun.
Define "natural processes"
So if he said that, 'unless you are white, do not seek my recommendation'? Would that be OK?? Or do you favor discrimination against people who believe in creation, but are against discrimination because of skin color?
Your point has been addressed. He is a public employee. His recommendations go out on public letterhead. He cahnged the wording. So either he is loathe to risk losing the public check, he is making a tacit admission that he ran afoul of the constitution or he is trying to help everbody "just get along". My moneys on a or b, you can put yours wherever you please.
The fundamentalist mindset always wants "final answers". Scientists like questions--they are stimulating, and questioning is the motive force of scientific endeavors.
And...there are more questions than answers about what causes cancer, for instance, but that does not invalidate efforts to understand cancer. Or does it in your mind?
Some churches opposed the germ theory of disease--on the grounds that this interferred with god's punishments. However, it turned out that people were not really anxious to go to heaven sooner, and so religious opposition to germ theory quickly lost traction! (Except for Christian Scientists, faith healers, exorcists, and the like.)
It seems to me that the source of the objection to evolution is that some fundamentalist Protests insist upon an absolute literal interpretation of the Biblical account of the 7 days of creation and the story of Adam and Eve.
It does not bother me at all. Teaching evolution does not bother me at all. Studying evolution does not bother me at all. What bothers me is some state-paid professor making students honestly affirm a scientific answer to the origins of humans. That has no place in the class room.
Garbage. The recommendation should be based on the quality and quantity of work the student did in the Professors field and by personal knowledge the Professor has of the students abilities. If that student fails to meet those or other criteria applied across the board no recommendation. Meritocracy is fine.
How is it that ad hominem arguments re: the church so often take these bizarre and obscure "historical examples" and when asked for proof that this stuff really existed, I am told that the poster's great aunt Hephizbah swore up and down it was true and she was a lifetime member of the DoubleDoseHolyGhostTrulyConvertedHighlySanctified sect, so that the poster just assumed "lots of religious weirdos believed it."
I have never heard of this stuff. Anything other than another internet anecdote to back it up?
A summary: Athiests are waging a war on Christianity here.
Exactly -- I picked the 1st one in the dictionary, the most obvious, logical one.
You folk picked the only one that insults you.
And I'd say that is the crux of this entire debate -- you were looking for some way to get at a supporter of evolution on some technicality.
And you *still* haven't answered the core point -- can't he give his personal reccommendation to anyone he wants for any reason? If it turns out he gives a letter of reccommendation to the son of his mistress (assuming he had one!), pure favoritism, unfair in the extreme, wouldn't he still be completely within his rights?
Your side seems to be trying to use the state to infringe upon this man's right to reccommend who he wants for whatever reasons he wants.
I have no idea, as I did not go check.
I figure that if others want to know, they can go look to see if your references are correct.
I am simply going on the fact that all of us, at one time or another, has told a lie.
It could very well be that God counted himself 7 days, but that millions or even billions of years were passing.
God did not try to confuse us. YOU are confusing yourself!
When God says it is the Fifth day - that's what it is. And there was evening and there was morning - How much MORE SIMPLIER could HE have made it. EVEN the simply things confuse the wise!
Isaiah 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight.
You see, God knew there would be those that couldn't understand things in their own minds - so they create their own reasoning to things. God has it all covered in His Word. He created the world. Don't let the 'educators' trap you with their piddly little brains - trying to be more intelligent than their own Creator.
As I understand the laws of this country, he would be well within his rights.
(I would not agree with it, of course, as you disagree here. but I would *not* seek govt intervention in a private personal matter.)
For example, he *could* say I only write letters for people with miliatary families. Or I only write letters to people from my home town. And on, and on.
Cuz it's a PERSONAL LETTER.
What is your response to that point?
Do you pay to stay on this forum?
Its obviously not due to your charm that youre allowed to stay.
The lack of scientific evidence supporting creationism quickly dispels it a scientifically valid theory. It is not falsifiable, because the existence of God cannot be proven or disproven.
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