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
Perhaps, but do you think God just looked around one day, saw that life had appeared and evolved on earth without His involvement, and decided to stick a soul inside of us?
[...God's inerrant word clearly states that evolution
did not happen, and the two are mutually exclusive...]
Isa 48:3 ... I have declared the former things from the
beginning; and they went forth out of My mouth, and I
shewed them; I did [them] SUDDENLY, and they came
Proof text for future reference. Well done ES!
I refuse to believe that. Even your average deist believes God is less impersonal and more caring than a gov't employee. :-)
God doesn't need a domain, he is just God@heaven.
All your domain are belong to HIM!!!
By 150 B.C., the Greek astronomer Eratosthenes had already measured the 25,000-mile circumference of the earth. The round shape of our planet was a conclusion easily drawn by watching ships disappear over the horizon and also by observing eclipse shadows, and we can assume that such information was well known to New Testament writers. Earth's spherical shape was, of course, also understood by Christopher Columbus.
Which is true, but is irrelevant regarding the Bible. As I noted in post 590, the text, as a whole, is consistent with the view held in that part of the world contemporaneously with the time the Old Testament was written (i.e., the earth as a flat disk or rectangular shape, surrounded by ocean, capped with a canopy ("vault") of sky on which the sun, moon, planets and stars traversed.) This is inconsistent with anything approaching a modern cosmology.
I'm sure if you study your bible, you can find the references on your own.
[...Religion need not be specifically theistic to be religion...]
Excellent point. I am religious about hygiene and paying my bills.
There are plenty of "Religious" people in the world. But FAITH...
That is the question.
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless
when the Son of man cometh, SHALL HE FIND FAITH on the earth?
If you want biblical discussion on the shape of the earth, and the motion of the earth and planets, you have to go to the oldest writings:
The epistles of Enoch. There is considerable description therein, and it is all in keeping with the current general understanding of the solar system.
As to whether the earth hangs on nothing, it definately appears to hang on nothing, and to that extent, the description in Job is accurate for the purpose of the statement, and the context thereof.
Fast forward to when my son is about through high school, didn't go to college, does not attend any church regularly or read the bible, but he is a person of faith albeit imperfect. One day out of the blue, he said, "Mom, evolution just can't be true."; I can't remember the rest of the conversation, there wasn't much, because now and then I had kicked it around myself, but hadn't been able to reconcile my belief system with the theory of evolution. Now just because my son came to that conclusion doesn't make it so.
I know it is Neanderthal to believe in creation, but I do, the six days being epochs of what duration I don't know. I do not believe in evolution, but do believe in mutation and survival of the fittest. Mutation if continued unchecked seems to adversely affect any given species, making prone to slide into extinction. Some mutations appear to be positive and beneficial. Human mutations since we have been able to track them tend to be negative overall and cause untold numbers of undesirable genetic conditions at the point we are in history. Man's three score and ten have been extended by science in the west causing the actuarial tables to be revised and by unexplained phenomena in other small populations of the non-western world where average life span is longer.
To further muddy the waters, I believe that life was created by benevolent being(s) (the bible and credo claims Christ did it) and some evil force entered the picture and tampered with it, the fall being an allegorical explanation of a process no one can explain to this day.
In college, I took an anthropology class which focussed on Australopithecus, Homo Erectus, Neanderthal, etc., wasn't convinced by it but kept quiet so I could pass the course (I may have anyway; things were more tolerant then). It was a catholic college, and I didn't have any counter arguments anyway. As a child I was exposed to some of the new ideas, saw the reassembled dinosaur in the Chicago Museum of Natural History, my father had a mastodon tusk from Alaska, but I was never swayed by any of it. When I went to high school, I don't remember any talk about evolution; we studied other things in science class and that was left alone, probably because parents at that time would have objected strenuously. There could have been hints at it along the way.
That's it. I can understand why it cannot be taught in science class, but it should be presented as theory and not fact.
I do believe that if we are allowed to continue long enough, science, abrogating the role of creator, will eventually be able to create new speciation which will be able to mate with itself and blocked from mating with the parent species or genetic manipulation will allow for inter-breeding. It will require the intervention by man to bring it about.
If science comes up with something convincing enough, I will change my position. So far they have not. We have been conditioned to accept it as fact, and they should leave the churches alone, and I suppose the churches ought to leave the state schools alone.
It's the same thread, and already the short-term amnesia's kicking in.
[...I'm sure if you study your Bible, you can find the references on your own...]
Oh no. Rules of engagement. The burden of proof is on you. Nice try.
Maybe God told you personally that the Bible is his Word. He hasn't revealed such to me. Until then, it's only men who have told me such.
If anyone could demonstrate that the world was created by God then we wouldn't be having this "discussion", such as it is.
If I look up the word "oath" in the dictionary, will the word "religious" be anywhere in the result?
I don't see how the word implies religiosity per se.
Perhaps the Bible isn't a science textbook, but a book of metaphor and ancient religious narratives?
One can take the Bible seriously without being a fideist.
[...Evolution does not advance civility, it excuses depravity...]
If I am a beast, then I am accountable to nothing but "instinct"
and my behavior is excused.
Job 12:7-8 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee;
and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: God's hand
is the life and breath of every living thing.
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible
attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly
seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are
without excuse. 3:10 for they exchanged the truth of God for a
lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator,
who is blessed forever.
[...substantiate your claim by pointing out specific deficiences in the evidence presented for evolution rather than relating vague anecdotal tales...]
This personal "anecdote" is a fact that I observed. Which is more than I can
say for some scientists. Evidence should be observable, repeatable and documentable.