Skip to comments.How 19-year-old activist Zack Kopplin is making life hell for Louisiana’s creationists
Posted on 01/16/2013 4:41:13 PM PST by EveningStar
For Zack Kopplin, it all started back in 2008 with the passing of the Louisiana Science Education Act. The bill made it considerably easier for teachers to introduce creationist textbooks into the classroom. Outraged, he wrote a research paper about it for a high school English class. Nearly five years later, the 19-year-old Kopplin has become one of the fiercest and most feared advocates for education reform in Louisiana. We recently spoke to him to learn more about how he's making a difference.
(Excerpt) Read more at io9.com ...
There is only One Christian faith, though it is true it gets refracted differently in minor ways by different confessions or denominations of the faith.
leads me to wonder if you've ever been on the religion thread. You'd never guess there were only "One Christian faith" as in One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism. Some don't even believe in baptism anymore.
An interesting but extremely odd point of view, IMO.
I quite agree that science is often perverted in today's world into scientism, in which proponents of various ideologies attempt to use science to promote their ideas in realms where science is not applicable.
But the scientific method is the only method we (presently) have for knowing anything on the "fact" level, as opposed to the speculation or faith level.
I can (and do) believe in things that aren't demonstrable facts, as such, but I cannot really have any logical reason for expecting others to do the same. And science is the only method we have available for demonstrating facts to be such.
IOW, we can demonstrate by repeatable experiment that gravity is a fact. We cannot demonstrate the existence of God or his nature to the same level of factual certainty.
While I don't rank these various types of belief, I think it odd to claim that the only one we can demonstrate to be true is the "lowest" on the scale, while those supported solely by mental gymnastics are the "highest."
Not sure what exactly you mean by this. If you mean that the idea of "more highly evolved" is meaningless in evolutionary theory, you are quite correct.
If you mean that evolutionary theory does not allow for the possibility that some "races" or sub-species of humans will develop average characteristics that differ from the average characteristics of other "races," then you are quite incorrect. In fact, such differentiation is exactly what separates one "race" from another.
Given the fact that races differ from each other, there is no evolutionarily valid reason for assuming in advance that such differentiation cannot include intellectual and character aspects. In fact, a logical person would expect such differences.
Careful measurement has the potential to prove or disprove that such differences exist, but saying in advance that they cannot exist is an act of faith, not of science.
I went back to Jim's statement on the home page and found nothing about FR being Christian-based or opposed to "heretical" Christian doctrines.
FR is fairly obviously based on Christian values. Doctrine, to my knowledge, not so much.
It is entirely possible for Hindus, Buddhists and atheists to agree with the basic goals of FR. Some branches of Islam, even, though that is more difficult.
Absolutely. The extraordinarily rapid Muslim conquest of Syria, Egypt and North Africa correlates exactly with the areas where Christian "heretics" of various types were being severely persecuted by the "Orthodox" Christians in control of the Byzantine Empire. These sectarians, logically and accurately, decided they would have greater religious and personal freedom under the Muslims than the Byzantines. They at minimum stood aside, and apparently often covertly or overtly supported the Muslim conquest. Same for the Jews in these areas.
In the long run, it turned out they did not choose wisely, but there was no particular way for them to know this at the time.
Even the complete collapse of the Visigothic Spanish kingdom as the consequence of a single battle may be related to religious dissension and persecution. It took the Romans two centuries to conquer the same territory, and the Christians seven centuries to reconquer it.
I am always particularly amused by Protestants who "know" what constitutes heresy. Catholics, with their single source for approved doctrine, at least have a logical basis for pronouncing those who differ as heretical. (Some) Protestants, with no such authority, confidently denounce Catholics, Orthodox and other varieties of Protestants as heretical. Which means they have set themselves, as individuals, up as infallible interpreters of God's Book and Will.
Poor me. I'll never be able to understand how people whose ultimate reality is oblivion feel so motivated to combat "evils" and solve "problems."
The hydrology and other sciences involved in this issue would seem to have little directly to do with biology or other sciences where evolutionary theory is important.
Differences do not imply superiority or inferiority, and especially not that one group has more of that evolution stuff and the other less. Europeans are evolved to live in Europe, drink milk and absorbe sunlight in northern climes. New Guineans are evolved to filter out excess sunlight and better dispose of heat rather than conserve it. Both are regional adaptations brought about by evolution to each particular environment.
“We cannot demonstrate the existence of God or his nature to the same level of factual certainty.”
Spirited: Neither can you demonstrate your dreams, memory, and thoughts, yet you accept their existence.
Furthermore, facts, principles, theories, suppositions, presuppositions, etc. are of the unseen realm, they occur within mind which is spirit. They are not things we can see, touch, smell, weigh, measure, etc.
How very bizarre that on one hand, empiricists deny things of the unseen realm while on the other they are forced to utilize mind to make their utterly absurd claims.
However, there is no particular reason to assume that all such groups just happened to evolve to have average intellectual capabilities equally suited to success in the modern world.
Please note that I’m not saying that greater average intellectual capability constitutes “superiority.” But I do think that a belief that every human sub-group has equivalent average capability is an act of faith, and that any questioning of this belief constitutes heresy against that faith and is enthusiastically punished as such.
Also please note that I am discussing AVERAGE characteristics of groups. Which means that it has absolutely nothing to say about the abilities of any individual within any of these groups.
From an evolutionary standpoint, discussion of “more evolved” or “less evolved” is an utterly meaningless concept. All you can discuss is whether a particular organism is better suited to success in a particular environment.
And one must also recognize that the modern high-tech economy is an utterly new environment, that whether specific human groups are better suited genetically on average to succeed in competition in this environment is entirely random, since evolution for such characteristics has not had time to even start. These characteristics were in all likelihood not particularly well-suited to provide evolutionary advantage in previous human environments, and might in many cases have been a disadvantage.
Yet liberals INSIST that all ethnic groups MUST be equally well adapted to succeed in this new economic environment and therefore any differential in success can ONLY be due to evil people intentionally discriminating against them. For those who are painfully aware of their failure in competition, being told that others are entirely responsible obviously creates bitterness and resentment, which unfortunately those who spend a lot of time placing blame on others then mine for political power.
I assume you will agree that “facts, principles, theories, suppositions, presuppositions” are all matters of opinion? That there is no way to “prove” that any of them are true or untrue. By which I mean proof with the certainty of a mathematical axiom.
If you have a way, I’d be really happy to see it.
I am unclear if you are referring to me as an empiricist, or if you are using the term accurately. “Empiricism is a theory of knowledge that asserts that knowledge comes only or primarily from sensory experience.”
Since our interface with the real world is entirely through our senses, it’s difficult to see what other source of knowledge humans can have. With the possible exception of direct inspiration, and in that case I don’t see how one is able to prove that it is indeed inspiration and not delusion or hallucination, even to oneself.
Which does not mean that I believe the only source of truth is the scientific method. Certain critically important areas of existence just cannot be addressed by science. Notably ethics and morality.
I believe that God created all men equal. That equality is because they are all children of God, and has nothing to do with their differential capabilities. But I cannot prove this belief to be true using the scientific method, because science is not capable of answering the question.
So you propose there may be a biological reason why Jewish and Asian populations score one standard deviation higher on IQ tests than those of European descent?
Some part of the argument with some folks seems often to be rooted in the idea that proving evolution somehow dethrones or disproves God as creator. So you have folks arguing with great passion trying, on the one hand, to debunk a myth and on the other hand to defend the God of the Universe.
For me, that God is Creator is not even in question. So all we are really arguing about are the nut-and-bolt-”hows” of creation. I'm happy to let the science guys do what they do and dig up the data, and pose the questions, and investigate the apparent contradictions in their theories. Thats what they do and I'm glad to let them, while I look on in awe and wonder at what God has wrought.
What I observe is that, while there are eternal principles, the manifestation and unfolding of those principles takes on endless variety and the process of creation never stops and I believe never will. Each stage of creation merely sets the stage for the next one. When we talk about evolution, we aren't really discussing “whether” God created the universe but rather we are discussing tools in the toolkit. When you have seen God in action his existence is not in question and is not threatened by any discussion of mechanical or chemical processes.
Creation is central to God's essence I believe (and ours). Creation that is continuous is going to look a lot like evolution.
Well worth repeating....
Still batting zero as to what useful purpose you could put special creationism to.
Youre still throwing out accusations like a drunken cowboy, but batting zero in demonstrating any intellectual honesty respecting the issues at hand. Your inability to even engage in a discussion sans sliding a term over to another term conformable to your propagandist obsessions is illustrative of the mental poverty you share with all the propagandists of your stripe (which is why you cannot answer questions such as the question with which Ive opened this message). You are so frightened of Creationism ... nothing more than a philosophical tenet of Christianity ... that you have to resort to the destruction of all the norms and conventions of communication and meaning to calm your fear. Your humiliation is obvious to everyone who frequents this thread, but in your hubris I imagine you think you can overwhelm everyone with snarky insults and that you see yourself simply the most clever fellow about.
If you dont measure up to deserving the Goebbels Award, perhaps you can at least manage being a finalist for the Alinsky Prize.
If youll check the definitions of Creationism you will find that they cover quite a wide range of philosophical ideas involved in the Judeo-Christian tradition. None of them conform to your desperate propagandist needs. What you cant stand is that they are an acid that dissolves your pretensions.
What makes you gag ... what you cant stand ... is that Creationism is a fundamental tenet of Christianity and is the wellspring of Americas devotion to liberty for all mankind. This has to be an endless nightmare for you.
Sherman: “I assume you will agree that facts, principles, theories, suppositions, presuppositions are all matters of opinion? That there is no way to prove that any of them are true or untrue. By which I mean proof with the certainty of a mathematical axiom.”
Spirited: If as you say, all theories are matters of opinion with “no way to ‘prove’ that any of them are true or untrue” with the “certainty of a mathematical axiom” then Darwinism, materialism, empiricism, and naturalism are nothing more than someone’s opinion, an opinion that originates in the unseen realm of the mind rather than in the senses.
Like your dreams, aspirations, and misplaced belief that physicalism is our only source of knowledge, opinions originate in the spirital dimension (mind) and cannot be sensed.
Empiricism, Darwinism, physicalism and naturalism are absurdities. All are devoid of life, consciousness and soul, hence all are self-refuting theories. They self-anihilate because all are forms of nihilism.
1. the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed.
Your humpty dumptyism notwithstanding - creationism as defined above is absolutely useless in terms of any practical application in explaining and predicting the natural world.
Science is of use, creationism (as defined above) is useless.
Crying about it doesn’t help, but I do find it amusing!
Not possible, mom. Propagandists are little children, trapped in a juvenile fantasy world, forever doomed to perpetrating the shameful and embarrassing falsehoods they vainly hope will lead others down the wrong path. They should be treated with a certain cautious tolerance like anyone suffering a mental disorder.
Well jeepers, what can I say to those who reject One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, and still manage to describe themselves as "Christians???" Except to remind people that just because President 0bama calls himself a "Christian" and pops out pieties at the drop of a hat doesn't show or mean he actually is one.
Certainly I have attended threads on the Religion Forum, and have done so for a long while now. Many times I have observed things that just made me cringe. But I remain an observer; I do not participate in such disputes.
And the reason why is, for sheer love of God, I actually try to live up to His Great Commandment: To Love God with my whole heart and soul and mind and strength; and my neighbor as myself.
I take the corollary "love my neighbor as myself" to indicate that it is my job to love my brother and sister in Christ, not to "judge" them. I figure Judgment is God's business, not mine. Given His Great Commandment, it seems to me that what my neighbor holds in his heart and soul is a matter between him and God, the absolutely most private relation there could possibly be, that I must respect.
But then, I am a very simple-minded person, keeping this line in mind:
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.Thank you so much for writing, 1010RD, and for your kind words!
I propose that there may be a hereditary component involved. Or at least I think it would be interesting to do the actual research to find out. Even though I am neither Jewish nor Asian.
I think you're off on your numbers. My understanding is that Ashkenazi Jews score roughly 1/2 to one full SD higher, although Sephardic and other Jews are roughly average.
East Asians, or at least some nationalities in this group, score about 5 IQ points higher on average, not the 15 or so points of the SD.
I don't understand why any of this should be considered controversial. Various human groups vary over a multitude of traits. Why should intelligence be the only one evenly distributed?
What a remarkably penetrating insight!!!
God "hides" in plain sight....
But those who refuse to look will, of course, not see let alone find Him.
But that seems to be the entire point of the "willful blindness" so assiduously cultivated by materialist reductionists of all stripes. They insist on a "causally-closed" universe. God cannot exist, because we don't need Him: The Universe "explains itself" over time, and reveals itself to be an evolutionary development that bottoms out in physics and chemistry. Seek no further for explanation. As with Karl Marx, all questions that may challenge the preferred orthodoxy are "streng verboten."
Thank you so very much, dear marron, brother in Christ, for your wonderfully thought-provoking essay/post.
[ But then, I am a very simple-minded person, keeping this line in mind: On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. ]
Exactly.. the american people have deemed to PUNISH themselves for four more years with BArry Half-White..
I agree with their choice.. they NEED to be PUNISHED..
Punished for far more than 75,000,000+ brutal deaths of their own babies..
But for brutal enslavement of a good bit of the populace..
And.. the wholesale looting of the National Treasury..
There are many more “crimes” to be accounted for than I am willing to number..
Suffice it to say America desperately NEEDS PUNISHMENT..
American voters generally have become political “MASOCHISTS”...
The list of democrat “SADIST” groups are not lacking..
There is a kind of symbiosis in that..
Note: It appears that many of my “neighbors” are a strange lot.. but they know what they want.. and what they want is financial and political PAIN.. SO BE IT!.. They do deserve it..
For me, that God is Creator is not even in question. So all we are really arguing about are the nut-and-bolt-hows of creation. I'm happy to let the science guys do what they do and dig up the data, and pose the questions, and investigate the apparent contradictions in their theories. Thats what they do and I'm glad to let them, while I look on in awe and wonder at what God has wrought.
There are two things that are being missed here. The first is that Kopplin isn't merely a scientific opponent of creationism but a hard left activist who believes in global warming and who puts doubts about global warming in the same category as doubts about creationism. While there are both evolutionists and creationists on this forum, it was my understanding that they both rejected this particular "scientific" claim.
The second thing (and getting to your own post, marron), is the question of why the events related in the first eleven chapters of Genesis are uniquely threatening to science in a way nothing else is. I have never heard of any scientific crusade to battle against belief in the virgin birth, in the resurrection of J*sus, in the miracle of the loaves and fishes, in the sand of Egypt turning to lice, in Balaam's donkey speaking, or in Mary playing basketball with the sun in Fatima, Portugal on October 13, 1917. Each and every one of these claims (logically) is just as much a threat to uniformitarianism as the events of Genesis 1-11, yet for some reason they are not perceived as threatening. Indeed, the most agnostic scientist seems to respect the people who hold these beliefs. What's the problem then with Genesis 1-11? Is it somehow "more" impossible? How could that conceivably be?
I have never heard of a theistic evolutionist claim that the "virgin birth" is a primitive way of explaining a purely natural phenomenon. But the "virgin birth," if it actually happened, shoots just as big a whole in uniformitarianism as anything in the early chapters of Genesis. Suppose a public school (or a private school that accepts public funding, which is Kopplin's target) taught in its history classes that J*sus didn't have an earthly father, that he rose from the dead, that he worked miracles, or that Mary appeared and made the sun "dance" on the date mentioned above. Would the scientists of the world have a conniption and crusade against it? I don't know, because I've never heard of a scientific crusade against anything other than those eleven chapters of Genesis.
Are scientists who stand up to creationism but who refuse to condemn the numerous supernatural events that have allegedly taken place since then any integrity at all? I think not.
As to the often made claim that creation "isn't science" or is "useless," the laws of science are what they are whether they go "all the way back" to the big bang or whether they "miraculously" came into being less than six thousand years ago. Whether fifteen billion or six thousand years old, those laws are still there and still function in exactly the same way (other than the innumerable miracles theistic evolutionists have no problems with). What goes up must come down. Heavy objects will sink in water. Donkeys can't talk (usually). The historical veracity of Genesis 1-11 has absolutely nothing to do with this. If you think that they do, that a world that came into being supernaturally would look and operate like an LSD hallucination rather than a rationally functioning universe, then on what grounds do you defend post-creation miracles, whose acceptance must logically lead to the exact same thing?
Let's all admit it--Genesis 1-11 is no different than any other allegedly supernatural in history except that it is associated with "trailer trash." And that is the only reason it is treated differently than any other religious/supernatural belief.
Along this line another much-vaunted philosophical relic is the presumption of atheisim. At face value, this is the claim that in the absence of evidence for the existence of God, we should presume that God does not eist. Atheism is a sort of default position, and the theist bears a speicial burden of proof with regard to his belief that God exists. So understood, such alleged presumption seems to conflate atheism with agonosticism. The assertion, "God does not exist" is just as much a fact claim as the statement, "God exists." As a result the latter claim requires justification just as much as the proponent of the latter. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
I would only add, regarding yours and others statements as to how do we know, we examine the world to discern the truth of metaphysics in exactly the same way the scientist does. We do not rely on sociological imput, paternal teachings, psychological evaluation...we use philosophical tools and induction to evaluate for truth. Scientific inquiry has its own set of presuppositions. It relies on logic, reason, rational thought, numbers, sets, (all are metaphysical in nature or have a metaphysical nature qualia). These are the same tools we use to in examining for proofs of the existence of God. Plantinga refernces natural law and the basicality of knowlege of God as a starting point, and he makes a very good case for it (don't be too quick to write off that notion, but that is another story entirely).
Excellent expression, that! And ya know what, the human soul/spirit is evolving under God’s guidance, also. What did Paul write? ... ‘We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’
Indeed, dear brother in Christ! You demonstrate that reductionism affects not only the natural sciences, but can affect religion itself. It seems to be an acquired modern habit but one that needs to be resisted, if we are ever to make any sense of the World and our place in it as human beings, not to mention our relation with God.
I'm reading an interesting book right now, Thomas Nagel's Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False. [Our dear sister in Christ, Alamo-Girl, may be reading this work now, too.]
Anyhoot, it seems Nagel University Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the School of Law at New York University is on an anti-reductionist tear. I gather that, as a philosopher, he is mainly hanging out on the phenomenological branch of philosophy, the branch that most closely emulates the "scientific method," in that it tries to incorporate a certain affinity with direct observation in its own methods. And he simply finds that such "reductions" of Nature such that we find in the NeoDarwinist conception of biological evolution are "almost certainly false."
The book description:
The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology.In a footnote, he spells out the apparent inadequacy of NeoDarwinist that is to say reductionist orthodoxy to account for certain features of Nature that have been clearly observed::
Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such.
Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. In Mind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic.
In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.
A problem with the most salient current research is that the synthesis of individual components of the genetic material is so heavily controlled and guided by the experimenters that it provides little evidence that the process could have occurred without intelligent guidance. And the crucial question of how these components could have combined into an information-rich coded sequence is left unaddressed.Indeed, within the reductionist realm, such questions are impossible to raise.
Nagel actually has some good words to say about the Intelligent Design theorists. While he, as a self-described atheist, absolutely rejects any idea of God = the Designer, he seems to be very glad that the ID types are around and active, if only to put a burr under the saddle of self-complacent orthodoxy of the reductonist NeoDarwinists. He clearly thinks that pack's days are numbered....
It's an interesting book, so far I am still "in progress." It's short (128 pages), but enormously "dense." A non-specialist can read it provided he is willing to "do work" from his side.
I have no way of predicting how this book turns out in the end. But I do have a quibble about how it started, in the beginning. That is, its foundational idea needs some explaining (JMHO FWIW).
Nagel's foundational, prime methodological idea seems to be that theism (or what AMD calls "creationism") and scientific materialism can be meaningfully, directly compared.
I'm simple-minded; so instantly I have to object: One can directly "compare" apples-to-apples, but not so apples-to-oranges.
But it seems to me the apposition of theism v. scientific, materialist naturalism is not, nor can be, an "apples-to-apples" comparison.
But as a philosopher pursuing dialectical methods, Nagel needs stuff "to compare," in order to come up with the requisite "ThesisAntithesis" format of dialectical reasoning.
But what "direct" comparison can possibly exist between a thesis that declares the Universe is "causally open" (that would be theism), and a thesis that holds the universe is "causally-closed" (i.e., scientific reductionism in principle, NeoDarwinist orthodoxy as example).
Anyhoot, it's a very interesting work by a guy who, although a self-declared atheist, strikes me as both fair-minded and honest....
Thank you so much, dear brother in Christ, for sharing your experience and wisdom!!!
They deny the very thing that brought them into existence.
“They deny the very thing that brought them into existence.”
Spirited: Yes, and because they do they have reduced themselves to dead bodies that somehow speak and walk.
Ideas really do have consequences.
Apparently, you would have us believe, as a matter of objective fact, that 2 billion people around the world crack open their bibles to adore special little busses that will take them to a land of fairy tales. Further, you would have us believe that such a claim must be accepted as a common assumption, because . . . well, you are, after all, you.
What you are is a child of Darwinian Materialism. It is your ultimate religion. It is your position that anything a Materialist asserts must be admitted as objective. But you dare not preach the doctrine, so you must indulge in propaganda practices so blatant they amuse the whole Forum.
What you practice is known as the fallacy of the Hijacked Concept. It is the practice of appropriating a concept while denying the validity of the generic root upon which the concept logically depends. It is closely related to the The Stolen Concept. The slogan all property is theft is its most frequent example.
You go so far as to hijack The Pope into your calumnious propagandizing schemes. You quote The Pope as saying that evolution is a truth which enriches our understanding of life and being and such; and use this to assert your opinion and as such is NOT a creationist..
You think your quote of Pope Benedict is your open sesame to slander any Christian who disagrees with you (on anything)? What you cant stand . . . what you gag on what you flee in terror from . . . is that Pope Benedict went on to observe (according to the same MSNBC report you cited) that evolution does not answer all the questions: Above all it does not answer the great philosophical question, Where does everything come from? Thats as quintessentially Creationist as is philosophically and religiously possible, whether or not the Pope calls himself a Creationist. Pope Benedicts question, Where does everything come from? is a question that Darwinian thought cannot answer, but it is a question that goes to the very core of Creationism, and it is an endless nightmare for you.
So, cling to your little intellectually dishonest out-of-context quote (a characteristic your superheroes The Darwinian Mullahs claim to particularly hold in contempt), just as you have refused to hold up your end of the conversation in every thread involving any of the issues provoked by your categorical declarations.
Now we come to your feeble offering of a definition:
1. the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed.
Re my message#167 If youll check the definitions of Creationism you will find that they cover quite a wide range of philosophical ideas involved in the Judeo-Christian tradition. You will see that I reference definitions - plural indicating the truth, which you dare not recognize, that Creationism is a complex religious tenet of the Judeo-Christian tradition. You even lack the honesty to quote the full definition in the reference you cite:
2. (sometimes initial capital letter) the doctrine that the true story of the creation of the universe is as it is recounted in the Bible, especially in the first chapter of Genesis.
3. the doctrine that God immediately creates out of nothing a new human soul for each individual born.
Actually, there is a considerable variety of definitions of Creationism to be found, many apropos to Judeo-Christianity, and exhibiting a wide spectrum of views and understandings:
(beginning with a selection from my own collection of dictionaries:
Creationism noun 1 the belief that the universe and living creatures were created by God in accordance with the account given in the Old Testament.
. . . . . Compact Oxford English Dictionary, revised edition 2003
Creationism n 1 In philosophy, the doctrine that matter and each new form was created by a direct exercise of the Divine power; opposed to evolution.
. . . . . Websters Universal Dictionary of the English Language, unabridged, 1937
The original 1828 Websters Dictionary doesnt show the word creationism or creationist but simply defines the word Creation as The act of creating; the act of causing to exist; and especially, the act of bringing this world into existence (emphasis mine). I include this last because it most closely reflects the understandings of the men who were key in the creation of The Constitution and The Bill Of Rights hence the First Amendment and was authored by a man who was a correspondent with many of these men and was himself an authority on The Constitution as well as the English language.)
And, following, see a selection of other ordinary and modern definitions:
n the belief that God created the universe
. . . . . Encarta® World English Dictionary, North American Edition
n a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis.
. . . . . Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, 11th Edition - no change since 1880
n 1. the doctrine that God creates a new soul for every human being born. n 2. the doctrine that ascribes the origin of matter, species, etc. to an act of creation by God, specif. to God's creation of the world as described in the Bible.
. . . . . Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th Ed. 2005
n 1. the doctrine that the world, life, and matter were created out of nothing by an omnipotent god, rather than that they evolved from other forms. n 2. the theological doctrine that each human soul is created out of nothing for each individual born.
. . . . . The Wordsmyth English Dictionary
n Belief in the literal interpretation of the account of the creation of the universe and of all living things related in the Bible.
. . . . . The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.
n 1. the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed. n 2. (sometimes cap.) the doctrine that the true story of the creation of the universe is as it is recounted in the Bible, esp. in the first chapter of Genesis. n 3. the doctrine that God immediately creates out of nothing a new human soul for each individual born. Cf. traducianism.
. . . . . Infoplease Dictionary - Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
n The literal belief in the account of creation given in the Book of Genesis: creationism denies the theory of evolution of species.
. . . . . UltraLingua English Dictionary
n. The doctrine that a soul is specially created for each human being as soon as it is formed in the womb; -- opposed to traducianism.
. . . . . Webster's Revised Unabridged, 1913 Edition
Creationism (Latin creatio)
(1) In the widest sense, the doctrine that the material of the universe was created by God out of no pre-existing subject. It is thus opposed to all forms of Pantheism.
(2) Less widely, the doctrine that the various species of living beings were immediately and directly created or produced by God, and are not therefore the product of an evolutionary process. It is thus opposed to Transformism.
(3) In a restricted but more usual sense, the doctrine that the individual human soul is the immediate effect of God's creative act. It is thus opposed to Traducianism.
. . . . . CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA
It is more than a little presumptuous to reserve for yourself exclusivity in commanding the lexicon. You wish your meaning of Creationist to prevail, and for the ordinary complex meanings to disappear into the night. You know those who can dictate the meaning of terms in a discussion can attain political domination. For that reason alone you must be contested.
There are a number of special terms for some Creationist ideas: Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, Day-Age Creationism, Gap Creationism, Evolution Creationism (whatever that is), Intelligent Design, Modern Geocentrism Creationists, Omphalos Hypothesis Creationists, Creation Science Creationists, Gap Creationists, Progressive Creationists, Neo Creationists, Intelligent Design Creationists, Creation literalists, Evolution Theist Creationists, Micro-Evolutionary Creationism, Progressive Creationists, Flat Earther Creationists, hard core Creationists, and, your very favorite, Special Creationists (I do not represent the above as an exhaustive list).
Most any one of them, or others (or a combination), might suit your purpose in describing the philosophy you oppose, but you refuse to follow the norm. You wish to pillory all Creationists by attempting to associate them with heinous, traits and with snide references to their intelligence. When you stigmatize the generic term with your array of vile implications, you are seeking to destroy the norms and conventions of meaning for the purpose of calumny, malicious aspersions, and political domination.
You rate a huge FAIL.
I read what you write but all I hear is the crying of a spoiled brat who thinks he owns the language. You don’t. Creationism as defined is USELESS. Crying about it to me doesn’t change that.
I will readily admit that evolution and the theory of natural selection does nothing to answer the origins of life or the meaning of life or what God values in us all or any number of questions. But it is the only useful scientific model that explains how species change and have changed.
The Pope is not a creationist as defined. Neither am I. Neither are many millions of Christians. Crying about it and trying to use non standard definitions will not change it. Creationism as defined is useless. Science is useful. Creationism and Christianity are not synonymous.
God is the only realistic explanation of incredible complexity of life and all that is. Any other explanation is an impossible dead end.
Al Glory be to God!!! for you and me and everyone and everything else in His justly created order!
I aver that the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences (Wigner) is like God's copyright notice on the Cosmos.
The king of making up definitions on the run.
Indeed, as betty boop discusses elsewhere on this thread, lots of people tend to reduce problems to whatever they can wrap their minds around.
Some see the physical world through the Newtonian paradigm and shudder when others point out that there are more effective mathematical models for living systems (Rosen, Shannon et al)
Some cannot envision God doing something more than they can comprehend and so tend to superimpose their own human properties and logic onto Him. You gave an example of Michelangelo's beautiful painting, the Creation of Adam. Though beautiful, it wrongly portrays God as an old grey-haired man on a cloud.
And some cannot seem to factor in that space and time are part of the creation, not a restriction on or property of the Creator of them. Or that He is not restricted by the "identity problem" or the "law of the excluded middle" and so on. They are also part of the creation.
Hoping to find some common ground, I have pointed out on crevo threads that when we consider inflationary theory and relativity, that 13 billion years from our present space/time coordinates is equal to 6 equivalent "days" from the inception space/time coordinates (Shroeder et al). In other words, that both statements are true.
But it doesn't seem to help nor is it all that important. Indeed, one of the most delightful reactions I recall reading on a crevo thread went something like this: I believe that Jesus Christ is God enfleshed, born of the virgin Mary, that He made wine out of water, healed the sick, made the blind see, walked on water, raised the dead, was crucified for my sins, arose on the third day, is sitting on the right hand of God the Father and will come again some day. And you think I should have a problem with Creation Week? LOLOL!
In my view -- as a believer and as a scientist -- is that God performed only one act of CREATION -- of space, time, matter and energy ...all that is and ever will be -- where absolutely nothing had existed before. (Ex nihilo)
And then, He FORMED all that we see or can detect -- either through direct intervention, as when He, in His own good time, formed the physical body of Man from matter He had already created (the "dust of the ground") -- or via processes and laws that he put into place as part of His (unique) act of creation. And, of course, those FORMATION (not creation) processes are still ongoing.
I am convinced that the aforementoned continuing formation proceeds essentially "on autopilot"-- controlled by the laws (PV=nRT, E=MC^2, V=IR, F=MA, etc, etc.) that He established at Creation. In fact, my scientific work depends on -- and validates -- that viewpoint.
But, personal experience has proved to me that He, on occasion, does directly intervene in the progress of His creation. There are instances where He, IMHO, "puts things back on plan" by overruling his own physical laws and making adjustments that ignore those laws. We believers call those events, "miracles"...
Those events are, indeed, rare. And, indeed -- like chaos theory's hypothetical "flap of a butterfly's wing in Amazonia" that, through cascading natural amplification triggers a hurricane -- may be mostly undetected by us.
Nonetheless, I am convinced that He monitors the progress of all of His creation in real-time and in the minutest detail -- and that He is completely in control of its continuation.
I am immeasurably blessed that, as an observational scientist, I have had a lifetime of examining and discovering the beauty, intricacy, majesty and sheer genius of His creation and its ongoing formational processes. And that He has allowed me to derive a lifetime of awe, pleasure, worship -- and sheer joy -- through those observations!!
So, please permit me to re-state your last paragraph -- in my terms:
Creation and formation are central to God's essence I believe (and ours). Formation that is continuous and under the control of His Will is going to look a lot like evolution.
(FYI, I mostly use the term, "development" where I have used "formation" here, but I stuck with "formation" for consistency with Genesis. Furthermore, unless I am strictly discussing Darwin, I typically substitute "development" for "evolution".)
To HIM be the glory!!!
A soul can begin at a known point in time, and extend "forever after", just as a ray can in space.
God can be forever in both directions, just as a line.
So I didn't understand why a soul lasting forever would need to imply that it had existed from all eternity.
This is only the general application of the null hypothesis which is used within science to minimize the number of false positives (Occam's razor and all that). It is very useful for winnowing competing models; but it lies open to the systematic weakness of false negatives.
Plantinga is very good at discussing the philosophical difference between physics and metaphysics: in particular, much of what underlies the scientific method is metaphysics which originally derived from Christianity; now that the "general" regularity and (shall we call it?) "categorizability" of the Universe is well understood, many pretend that such regularity is not only reasonable on its face, but well-nigh inevitable; thus undercutting (in their mind) the "need" for a Creator to "explain."
But in doing so, they in fact are making serious metaphysical errors which are not apparent to non-philosophers; they pretend in response that as long as they can more or less accurately predict the behaviour of nature with their models, then their metaphysics doesn't matter, or have been substantiated after the fact.
I may need to write an essay on this and one or two related topics...
1) I don't think it is necessarily true that all miracles violate the laws of nature; it may be that he simply "steps in from outside of the Universe" to manipulate things without our knowledge, and then lets nature take its course from that point. To those of us just looking at the events unfolding, it *looks* like a miracle.
An analogy. According to Newton's laws of motion, an object at rest stays at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force. You know, like the screen door which stays shut unless moved by a gust of wind or a cat climbing up it.
But if God or an angel or The Invisible ManTM tiptoed up to the door, pulled it open, and then let it shut, it would look miraculous to us -- because, even though the door was obeying the laws of physics in opening to the pull, and then slamming shut, all we would see is a door opening "by itself".
Creation ex nihilo is different, as presumably the laws are defined at the same time as the cosmos over which they hold sway.
And two other discontinuities would be The Fall and Good Friday / Easter, where the relations of matter and spirit are changed in a discontinuous fashion.
2) God also works through the hearts and minds of Men to effect his will.
Primary source materials are better than cut and paste of paraphrase from secondary sources.
You know, like you atheists are always complaining about the unreliability of the Bible because of the supposed prevalence of oral transmission during ancient times.
But somehow, smearing Christians doesn't just protect against such distortions, it justifies them.
The time in Heaven is "Eternity".
Nobody on this side of the pearly gates has defined a Jacobian to map between that coordinate system and ours.
Obligatory red herring: Since God is the "unmoved mover" does this imply the existance of a true inertial reference frame in Him, and therefore, that General Relativity is invalid in Heaven?
Follow up: Riddle me this, Batman. "In Him is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all." Is it applicable to the preceeding, or a coincidence?
Your timeframe for this development, please?
Arthur C. Clarke's third law was predated by Jesus (and even then Clarke garbled it), see Matthew 17:20.
The shoe definitely is on the other foot now.
I am perfectly well aware of this, thank you.
That doesn't mean those who believed this were right. Once the scientific method was developed, it was in fact quickly shown that they were wrong.
It should be pointed out that metaphysics and the other purely speculative disciplines reached wildly diverse results, not only between different civilizations such as the Middle East, Europe, India and China, but within those civilizations. So which of these results are we to accept as "the truth" and on what basis can we base that conclusion?
Science, otoh, properly done will reach exactly the same conclusions whether the experiment is performed in Palo Alto or Peking.
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