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
You did it again! That link -- oh, wait, I see.
You're quoting from the *thesaurus*, not the dictionary part!!!
And the bit you just quoted from the Thesaurus makes clear that is a *religous* usage only! Since we were talking about science . . . obviously not applicable (and don't give me the 'Evolution is religion' line, cuz that only suggests a total lack of understanding of religion).
Find a dictionary that defines 'affirm' in the way you claim, pleaze. Or else you lose on this one point, I'm afraid.
Quoting definitions from a thesaurus is an interesting tactic. Dishonest, in the extreme.
I might say, rather 'un-Christian' behavior, even . . .
Levin's case is irrelevant. And I already stated that concluding Dini's overheated rhetoric was discrimination is arguable.
But for the sake of argument, the Justice Department concluded a reasonable man would could see that as discrimination. I'm arguing that state paid employees using state money run afoul of the constitution when they state they will discriminate.
You disagree, we'll go on from there.
In Dini's case he went back to language that was more in the line of meritocracy rather than an oath of fealty. Good move on his part. Of course I'm sure it has no effect on who he recommends or doesn't recommend for medical school. He's already made his views clear on that. I work with Cardiologists and Radiologists on a daily bais. Many of them are theists. They are very smart folks who have no problem balancing the medical profession and their religious beliefs so after 25 years I know that you and Dini are full of crap when you claim that theistic medical professionals are inferior.
Do you mean that MOST of the 'handeroutters' believed in the ToE???
Science is neither "balanced" nor "fair."
But don't let me stop you, go right on thinking that state paid employees using state resources can state they will discriminate based on race, religion, creed, or sex.
In fact, just test it. If you are a public employee, just state on your public website that you will not hire or promote creationists. Let me know how you make out.
Neither I nor Dini said that or anything remotely like it, it appears you've reverted to type. Serves me right. Arguments with you almost invariably end with a lying slur on your part. Why would this time be any different?
I would have hoped there'd be TESTS and TRIALS and STUDIES!
Who knew it was done on FAITH!
Hey guys... Couldn't help but notice your discussion about oaths and vows. Hope this helps.
Ecc 5:4 When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for [he hath] no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
Ecc 5:5 Better [is it] that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
NOW you've done it!
Hitler, Stalin and Planned Parenthood won't be far behind!
Ooh, but see, I think that the trouble is that in BRITAIN politics and religion were divorced long ago.
The problem was that in the English Civil War, the Puritans won full, plenary, absolute power: Cromwell and his Ironsides were invincible in the field. He ruled everything, and they ruled everything.
But was Jerusalem builded there, among those dark satanic mills?
And that was the problem. The desiderata of plenary political power having been achieved, the Puritans very sincerely and with utterly true hearts (in my analysis) set about really and truly trying to build the New Jerusalem there, in England.
And it failed utterly.
It failed massively.
A Frenchman might have said "Mais, mon cher monsieur, il faut que vous sachiez que le monde ne veut pas etre sauver" - "But, my dear sir, you MUST understand that the world does not WANT to be saved", but you English actually had to play it out in three acts.
In the buildup to the war, there was tension, Anglican supremacy, and the Roundhead assertion that the established order was morally corrupt. Then the Roundheads WON, and they went to every length to build Jerusalem there in England's green and pleasant land. Gambling, card games, 'baccy, everything banned, restricted. England entire became Salem, and it stayed that way for a decade. The Puritans had no challengers really, and they did not lose any sincerity either. The true Puritan believers were as true at the end of Cromwell's rule as at the beginning. Trouble was, the rest of England, which by that point was the overwhelming majority, was well and truly SICK of the joyless Puritan impositions.
Now, remember, Catholicism is a pretty joyful religion, really. Lots and lots of feasts. Lots of candlelight and dancing and music. Drinking is alright. Dancing is alright. Gambling is alright (at least to a point). There are some moral demands in Catholicism, but it's a much less restraining corset than Roundhead Puritanism was.
A good American analogy is Prohibition. The Christian Women's Temperance Union succeeded in organizing and dominating the American political process sufficiently to actually amend the US Constitution to get alcohol banned after World War I. They won the victory, complete and absolutely. But then the sun came up the next day, and the day after, and a whole country full of people who WEREN'T Christian Women's Temperance ladies found themselves living in a country where they couldn't get a drink anymore. You had Catholics who have drinking wine as part of the religious rite, and Irish and Germans (Catholic and Lutheran both), not to mention Episcopalians!, for whom drinking in substantial quantities is an important part of normal social intercourse. But those shrivelled up old prudes managed to get the laws of the country changed to take the drink right out of their hands!
Obviously rigorous puritanism about drink didn't work in America, and Puritanism didn't work as the basis of government in England either. People do not WANT to live like that, and when faced with the argument that the religion and piety DEMANDS it, people will change their religion and chuck out the tenets of the bad religion in favor of something they could stand.
And that's what happened when Cromwell died. Puritanism was DEAD in England after that. It wasn't because Puritans themselves lost faith, but because the sum total of the rest of the people were well and truly and utterly SICK of the nagging little Puritan ninnies being in their faced. They were shoved out of power, forever, never, ever to return. Puritanism was DISCREDITED by the fact of governance, in the same way that Christian Temperance was destroyed by its very success. Once the Christian Temperance movement actually took drink away from Americans, their reaction, when they took power back, was to make sure that the Christian Temperance types became a very model of how NOT to govern a republic.
Charles II was invited back. Catholic, this worried a lot of folks, but the Church of England came back into command, and with it, the corset of Puritanism was untied. Embittered, the Puritans emigrated to America in droves.
The overall result was a general diminution of the importance of and respect for religion IN GENERAL in England. It's not that the English stopped being Christians. It was that they were no longer willing to tolerate an excess of piety in their laws. Anglican Catholicism, with its much looser rules of conduct and much greater pageantry, fit the bill nicely. The ceremonial and ritual demands are real, but the CIVIC demands, enforceable by the magistrate, these relics of the Puritan rule did not pass, and nobody would have tolerated their passing.
Ten years of Cromwell and the Puritans was enough to discredit the concept of theocracy in England FOREVER. Really, the candle of English piety was burnt at both ends by the Puritans, and by the time Cromwell's life was done, the English were quite done with EXCESSIVE piety forever.
And so this is why drawing parallels between the British Left today and the Roundheads seems a bit inapposite to me. I might agree that on certain concepts of the organization of government, that's true. But the crux of the difference is too important: the Left and Right, in Britain are worried about government and politics. Argument and history are means to a political end. The Puritans were really worried about piety and building the New Jerusalem; theirs really was a religious project. And it failed catastrophically, so much so that nobody, left, right, center, pious or impious dreams of that anymore in England.
That is also true on the Continent. The lesson of the intense bloodshed of the Protestant Reformation was a GENERAL diminution in the willingness to accept any sort of REAL religious power over affairs in the Protestant countries. The excesses of zeal of the victorious Reformers in the North, and Savanrola in the South, were quite sufficient to convince Germans and Italians to diminish the importance of Christianity as a POTENT force. Christianity remained, and remains, as a symbolic thing in Europe, but the torrents of blood that Puritans of all stripes unleashed in Europe in the 1500s and 1600s were sufficient to leave the lasting impression that, really, we do not want to attempt to build the New Jerusalem anywhere nearby, and to never let the really pious ever get CLOSE to the levers of power again.
The legacy of Christian rule in the Europe of Cromwell, the Lutheran Fathers, Calvin and Savanarolla is that Europeans recognize from experience that Christianity is NOT really a viable principle for remotely civilized government, and needs to be confined to the quaint traditions of Churches and the like. The worst government in English history was the Puritan. The worst government in German history was the Lutheran establishment. The worst government in Italian history was the likes of Savanarolla and his fanatics. The worst government in Spanish history was the Spanish Inquisition. All of Europe remembers, collectively, that Christianity rampant, armed with the sword, is evil. That's the real legacy of the Wars of the Reformation and the Cromwellian dicatorship.
America never went through that.
In America, the intense desire is still there among various Puritan elements to well and truly have a state that is founded upon and respects "Christian principles". This it the evolution argument. The public schools teaching Darwin are teaching apostasy and blasphemy, according to those who believe that the Bible is being traduced thereby. And so they seek to use their numbers to vote in people who will teach the truth as they understand it.
So, I think it would be fair to say that the activist religious right in America descends from Cromwell and the Roundheads, but that BOTH political traditions in England - whatever their pretenses - are post-Christian. They BOTH descend from the Restoration Compromise, whereby an overtly Catholic King was allowed to take back the throne, so long as he would, very hypocritically, allow the functioning of the Protestant Anglican Episcopacy, which would, in turn, ignore the core tenets of its faith, tolerate the heathen Catholic on the throne. And everyone would let people dance, play cards and fornicate without further religious intrusion...because to do otherwise would be to break the compromise. What got compromised away was ANY form of Christianity with any teeth in it, in favor of a government which everyone could stand. That compromise holds in England and across Europe in most places.
In America, the closest to any of that was Prohibition, but that was not so murderous as Cromwell and Savanarolla, and therefore religion as a viable force in politics is nowhere near spent in American politics. It has been spent in Europe since Cromwell and Louis XIII.
Well, I've been reminded (again) that arguing with creationists is like wrestling pigs; you may win, but you'll still end up wanting to take a shower. I'm taking a break for a few weeks, to try to reconcile myself to the unpleasant fact that I belong to the same species as these creatures.
My belief is that God did it His way and His way is good enough for me. Of course being a Catholic means that I am a Christian and so I don't believe that God started it all and then sat back to watch on the flat screen.
But I also don't believe that He moves us all around the board like checkers. Free will God gave us and I, for one, like to use it.
Main Entry: af·fir·ma·tion
1 a : the act of affirming b : something affirmed : a positive assertion
2 : a solemn declaration made under the penalties of perjury by a person who conscientiously declines taking an oath
So the affirmation is the equivalent of an oath for someone who does not believe in God. That is the distinction and why the definition says it is not an oath. Oath implies a belief in God, affirmation does not. An affirmation is an oath for a secular person. Reguardless, it is much more than an assertion.
Or at least hyperbolic...
Absolutetly, thanks for your permission. :-)
And you, please feel free to go on thinking it's against the law even tho you can't find any evidence to suggest it is.
At this point, it appears no one has ever lost a case in court on this basis. I could be wrong, but would need to see examples/evidence before that could be proven.
You feel no need for evidence, then that's cool too.
I could be wrong. It happens every day (just ask my wife, she'll give you a list!).
I think he's saying that the natural world is easier to study than God. The agnostic in me totally agrees. I find God nigh to unknowable and difficult for my puny brain to encapsulate.
What I know about God is what has been revealed to me directly, and that ain't much. And God is too important a subject to take any other man's word for it -- especially a single source. I wouldn't take a single source for the repair record for a used Nissan -- why would I accept it for anything actually important?
We're just curious about the actual definition of 'affirm'.
To most of the world, it simply means to answer in the affirmative in a serious manner.
We were searching for a dictionary somewhere that supported the definition of 'affirm' as an 'oath'. So far, no luck.
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