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
Quit turning things around and looking at them from different directions!
I think its because some people's faith is so shaky that they need science to prove God exists.
 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth...
The Earth, of course, is neither a circle nor a sphere. It is an irregular oblate spheroid. So even we mistranslate "circle" as "sphere," the passage is still factually wrong.
Yes, I did.
(You just haven't heard MY prayers! ;^)
No kids yet; eh?
The Devil's in the details!
And you've been on FR a couple months longer than I....
Unless God then asked you why you wasted the brain he gave you; ignoring the the wonder of evolution that he created and set out for you to discovery in favor of near idolatry of a book written by men. Then your problem is probably greater.
But we're asking about the word, "affirm".
Using that site you linked to, the definition is,
v., -firmed, -firmÂ·ing, -firms.
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.
In fact, this is the exact same definition as the other links.
Nowhere in there does it say anything about 'affirm' means to take an oath . . .
Three of them.
You won't understand this . . . but . . . you can't understand this.
This line of argument never made any sense. If a person is an atheist, then that have no fear, let alone a deathly one, of God, because they believe his no more real than Cap't Crunch or Darth Vader. The atheist believes God is fictitious. Are you afraid of Mighty Mouse or Scarlett O'Hara? Why then would you believe the atheist has a deathly fear of God?
Actually, have you seen the new evidence suggesting that the 'Rig Veda' flood story may actually refer to the flooding from the end of the last ice age, ~9000 years ago?
"Underworld" is a fascinating book . . .
Author, please. You can't dangle something like that out in front of me and not give me the details, or at least the background.
Maybe the fella in question wanted an affirmation because he thought an anti-evolutionist might lie. Perish the thought! :-D
But you still have doubts...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.