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
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Actually Catholicsm is growing as a share of American Christianity. About 24% now. But that misses the point. Catholics are NOT a distinct minority. Atheists and Buddhists yes, but not Catholics and conservaitve Catholics, conservative Protestants and conservative Jews are aligned in the culture war.
Spoken like a SS teacher!
I'll tell you why I am comfortably with Intelligent Design, although I will expect you're really NOT going to like the analysis.
Here's the truth: I hear the two words and take them literally. "Intelligent Design", as in, "God made everything"?
Sure. I have no problem with that.
So, Darwinian natural selection was the way by which God made his choices. "Chance" evolution happens, how? Some gene mutates. Why that gene? A cosmic ray hit it by chance. Why? God did it.
Darwinian evolution and natural selection are completely compatible with a very traditionalist Catholic view of the will of God, which sees in luck and "random" chance itself the purposeful CHOICE of God. (God CHOOSES the lottery winner, because what looks like chance to US is, of course, under the command of God). So, from our perspective, there is what science calls entropy, disorder and randomness. But from a traditional Catholic religious perspective, these are just the inscrutable parts of the natural universe where God makes His choices and decisions.
And when looked at through those very Catholic eyes, there is full compatibility between random Darwinian natural selection over eons of years, and the active will of God...because random luck events are in fact directed decisions of God, operating in override of the clockwork of natural laws.
"Chance" does not exist. God directs the outcome of every throw of the dice. That's intensely Catholic, mystical and medieval.
And obviously if you hold THAT view of cosmology, then Intelligent Design and random Darwinian Natural Selection are utterly and perfectly congruent, and there is no conflict between them, because "random" mutation is, in fact, the conscious decision of God, somewhere, somehow, and so "random" mutations are intelligently planned, and the result is intelligently designed.
Catholicism is a mystical religion. And that's how Catholics look at those words "Intelligent Design". Press a Catholic, and he'll tell you that God chose the Nebraska lottery winner, which would mean that God chose the balls to fall as they did in the lottery draw. Lottery outcomes are intelligent design.
That's why Catholics don't have any problem with the concept of intelligent design. They're nice words, and they fit perfectly well within the Catholic view of the universe. I support Intelligent Design, because I have decided that's what those words mean, and most Catholics are like me.
Have I actually READ what Intelligent Design proponents say? No. I'm not even interested, because I already KNOW how life evolved and how we got here, like most Catholics do. God made the world and life and people, evolution is how he did it. All science can do is give us details about something we already know.
This is an utterly MADDENING viewpoint...to the perspective of folks outside of it who are pressing an agenda. Catholics support "Intelligent Design" in the sense that they look at those two words and apply them literally to what they already believed, in precisely the fashion I have mentioned. That's what I think (know) "Intelligent Design" means, so I support "Intelligent Design." Of course I have never taken the time to actually read any of the pamphlets or any other material published by either intelligent design theorists or very much creationist stuff either.
This is probably the most maddening thing about religious and philosophical differences in general, and Catholics in particular. They'll take the same words and apply them to mean what THEY mean by them, and will take no care at all to try and use the words in the way that the original users meant them.
Catholics support "Intelligent Design" as I have described it. If that's not what Intelligent Design theorists mean by intelligent design, then they'd better adopt some new words, because that's what Catholics mean by it, and Catholics never change their vocabulary, or anything else, to suit social norms. (Of course, changing the terminology to something like "Directed Development" or, really, anything else, won't resolve this issue either, because Catholics will just adopt those words and graft them onto their pre-existing belief set without further ado. That's how we got Christmas trees, after all.)
Yes, Dini. He edited his state paid website.
The site you linked to said *exactly the same thing* as the one I linked to. And you even changed added an example to suit your needs that they never had.
af·firm Pronunciation (-fûrm)
v. af·firmed, af·firm·ing, af·firms v.tr.
1. To declare positively or firmly; maintain to be true.
2. To support or uphold the validity of; confirm.
To declare solemnly and formally but not under oath.
So, nowhere does it say, "oath". In fact, your link says, "NOT UNDER OATH".
Again, do you have any link to any definition supporting your idea of 'affirm'? If not, then I believe you lose this point.
I'm sorry, but you can't just say, "Blue means red".
Good. Then they won't be asking me for recommendation letters.
What guideline do you use to tell the difference??
That being said, for all my involvement in a couple different churches over the years and with different homeschooling groups, I could not tell you what any of the people I know believe on evolution. As matter of fact, while I know what my kids think of it, I couldn't tell you what my own family thinks of it; the subject simply never comes up for discussion.
Contrary to what appears on these threads, I also don't see it as an issue that is dividing the conservatives in this country as it is not a moral issue as significant to most people as abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, etc. The issues that are important are moral ones as jwalsh listed. I do agree with jwalsh07 with his observations in post 319.
The ToE simply does not come into play in peoples everyday lives. I don't make any decisions about who I associate with or do business with based on their belief or acceptance of the ToE. The only time it seems to be an issue is in regard to public education and that's not because evolution IS being taught but that there is such a concerted effort to keep creation from being taught. As far as I've noticed, there is not the effort by the creationists to keep the ToE out of the schools as by the *evolutionists* (or whoever) to keep creation out of school.
Good. Then they won't be asking me for recommendation letters.
That's irrelevant to the Dini case. Dini never said he would discriminate against anyone. He said he would require a belief in a scientific theory of human origins, something that is an entirely defensible requirment for a career in medicine.
[...Students would then have a poor understanding of what science is...]
Don't start yelling until you finish reading. I don't think evolution is good science. No, I'm not a scientist, but that doesn't mean I can't put two and two together.
In grade school, I went to a museum and saw an exhibit with a tooth or jawbone and then there was this long line of human/ape looking creatures up to "modern man". Except for the tooth, on each one it said "Artists Concept".
Even as a grade schooler, I could see there was a huge gap in evidence filled in with wishful thinking and artistic imagination.
I don't have to PROVE God. He proves Himself. Evolution is another story.
I'm sorry, perhaps I wasn't clear.
Do you know of any successful court cases like this? "Successful", meaning the court found against the person who wrote letters of reccommendation?
Unless you can point to one, then the suggestion that this is unconstitutional and illegal seems to be unfounded.
You will lose this point unless you can show prior examples.
Never taught Sunday School, but I have written a lot of Christian material including musicals, plays and Bible Studies. Just staying sharp in the Spirit.
Are you a teacher?
How will they 'damage' people?
There is plenty in the Bible that is not truly comprehensible to the mind of Man. There are many examples. We can't fathom how God can be three yet be one at the same time. Also, we can't fathom how Jesus can be truly Man and yet truly God at the same time.
Nowhere in the Bible does it explicitly and simply state that God is a Trinity. Yet this is something that we understand through the teaching of the Church. There are clues and pieces that when studied and interpreted correctly, lead the conclusion that God is a Trinity.
So why do you insist that the story of the 7 days of creation and the story of Adam and Eve must be take on the most simplistic, face-value, and absolute literal level?
This implies that the world was created. You are loading your question.
Is this any better?
Really? Look around you. How did it create itself?
For example: giving out antibiotics like candy because you don't believe bacteria can evolve 'new' capabilities to detoxify them. Using tissue or proteins from less-closely related animals because you don't believe in the mammalian tree of common descent. Etc.
Perhaps spacetime has always existed, and didn't need any "creation" by itself or any other entity.
Isn't that what you believe about a certain deity?
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