Skip to comments.Ayatollahs in the classroom [Evolution and Creationism]
Posted on 01/22/2005 7:38:12 AM PST by PatrickHenry
A movement to drag the teaching of science in the United States back into the Dark Ages continues to gain momentum. So far, it's a handful of judges -- "activist judges" in the view of their critics -- who are preventing the spread of Saudi-style religious dogma into more and more of America's public-school classrooms.
The ruling this month in Georgia by Federal District Judge Clarence Cooper ordering the Cobb County School Board to remove stickers it had inserted in biology textbooks questioning Darwin's theory of evolution is being appealed by the suburban Atlanta district. Similar legal battles pitting evolution against biblical creationism are erupting across the country. Judges are conscientiously observing the constitutionally required separation of church and state, and specifically a 1987 Supreme Court ruling forbidding the teaching of creationism, a religious belief, in public schools. But seekers of scientific truth have to be unnerved by a November 2004 CBS News poll in which nearly two-thirds of Americans favored teaching creationism, the notion that God created heaven and earth in six days, alongside evolution in schools.
If this style of "science" ever took hold in U.S. schools, it is safe to say that as a nation we could well be headed for Third World status, along with everything that dire label implies. Much of the Arab world is stuck in a miasma of imam-enforced repression and non-thought. Could it happen here? Our Constitution protects creativity and dissent, but no civilization has lasted forever, and our current national leaders seem happy with the present trends.
It is the creationists, of course, who forecast doom if U.S. schools follow a secularist path. Science, however, by its nature, relies on evidence, and all the fossil and other evidence points toward an evolved human species over millions of years on a planet tens of millions of years old [ooops!] in a universe over two billion years in existence [ooops again!].
Some creationists are promoting an idea they call "intelligent design" as an alternative to Darwinism, eliminating the randomness and survival-of-the-fittest of Darwinian thought. But, again, no evidence exists to support any theory of evolution except Charles Darwin's. Science classes can only teach the scientific method or they become meaningless.
Many creationists say that teaching Darwin is tantamount to teaching atheism, but most science teachers, believers as well as non-believers, scoff at that. The Rev. Warren Eschbach, a professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pa., believes that "science is figuring out what God has already done" and the book of Genesis was never "meant to be a science textbook for the 21st century." Rev. Eschbach is the father of Robert Eschbach, one of the science teachers in Dover, Pa., who refused to teach a school-board-mandated statement to biology students criticizing the theory of evolution and promoting intelligent design. Last week, the school district gathered students together and the statement was read to them by an assistant superintendent.
Similar pro-creationist initiatives are underway in Texas, Wisconsin and South Carolina. And a newly elected creationist majority on the state board of education in Kansas plans to rewrite the entire state's science curriculum this spring. This means the state's public-school science teachers will have to choose between being scientists or ayatollahs -- or perhaps abandoning their students and fleeing Kansas, like academic truth-seekers in China in the 1980s or Tehran today.
It's the "establishment of religion" on public land quasi-issue pertaining to the Danbury Letter.
Now, Balrog, back to my question. Should Bibles and prayer be allowed in schools, or should all Korans be banned from campus--along with all stories of the mythological Roman and Greek gods, etc? Answer me, please, exactly what is your position and why?
I don't, the 1st Amendment protects my right to not practice religion as much as it protects your right to practice.
This country was founded by Christians. To deny that is to deny the truth.
I don't. Though I will debate their piety with you any day of the week.
If you study history, you know although there was no official church, society was based on the beliefs of Christians.
American law and society was (and still is) based on English common law, most of which is designed to define and protect property rights.
Who are you to change my country's history and try to deny its foundation?
It's my country too, compadre. Excercising my rights to be free from religion in the public sphere is neither denying history nor denying the foundations of my country. Rather, I think of it as honoring the Constitution and the men who wrote it.
The first school systems were Bible-based as were the first colleges.
Interesting, but not pertinent.
This country was founded to honor God.
I disagree. It was to give good men a chance to live free of tyrrany.
The Constitution only prohibits Congress from establishing a religion as the "official" religion.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." In mandating the teaching of ID, or otherwise intruding on religious grounds into the teaching of a public school class creates a situation where Congress is making a law respecting the establishment of religion.
Congress has not established any religion by local governments allowing religious expression by Christians.
Local governments are as bound by the Constitution as the Federal government is. Local laws violating the 1st Amendment are equally as unconstitutional.
You would bend history itself to conform to your non-belief.
You would bend the Constitution to conform to your beliefs.
You didn't answer my earlier questions.
No, it's not "here we go again." You've failed to comprehend to what I replied.
The claim was that *theory* was the closest possible thing to the truth. I corrected the poster by pointing out that reality, actual observations of facts in the wild and in the lab, is/are much closer to the truth than mere postulations of a theory to an audience, no matter how well thought said theory may be.
Thus, the observations of the truth, when accurate, are considered more precise than theoritical ramblings.
Doth thou trolleth?
Hmmmm...they're also very much like those protestors at the inagural.
I support prayer in schools. I think the more Christianty in schools, the better (although I'm sensitive to how Jews think about this). And within a reasonable interpretation of the First Amendment.
But there just is no reason to believe that Genesis procribes Evolution, except in some peoples interpretations that I don't agree with.
And Evolution, despite all the bleating around here, I am firmly convinced as fact. I do not want to teach children false science, merely to ease the sensibilities of a few fundamentalist Christians (you do realize that the Catholic church and other major denominations do not have a problem with Evolution).
God does not manhandle the earth in its orbit around the sun. And I don't believe that Genesis says that God zapped man into existence in 6 litteral days. Gravity and orbital mechanics (created by God) takes care of the planet, and Evolution (created by God) takes care of life.
I agree. The problem is, I don't think science alone is going to convince evangelicals to drop this issue. They will reject whatever scientific argument you give them so long as they believe evolution conflicts with Christianity. That's why we need to focus on how the two are compatible. Unfortunately, I don't see too much progress being made on this front.
You've seen no math to "debunk" the link that I provided, I assure you, though if you disagree you are welcome to post such math (you won't).
Likewise, you've failed to correctly characterize the debate. Big shock.
I'll do it for you (this is like being the teacher who gave you the answers to your tests in advance).
There are two possibilites:
1. That the origin of species is due to an unaided, unintelligent, natural process or processes... or
2. That the origin of species is due to an aided, intelligent intervention of some sort.
Those are your only two choices. There are no others, though it is *feasible* that both may be valid (at this point, we don't know).
This does *not* mean, as you incorrectly stated above, that everything must be "random." In fact, mathematically, we already know that there must be some form of bias. This bias may turn out to be from a natural process and/or from an intelligent intervention (i.e. one or both of options 1 and 2 above).
"Doth thou trolleth?"
Mainly I fish from the shore.
And some pretend that they haven't yet had the explanation of what is "theory" and what is "fact".
My example of "Music Theory" classes in college certianly should have swayed most open minded. But some around here want to impose their own definitions on science, and they're sticking with it.
Believe what you want, but you're still wrong.
I interpret the Constitution literally, just as I interpret the Bible literally. And I don't believe there is such thing as an atheist - just humans who imagine they are greater than God. The federal government has no business in local school matters. The Department of Education should be abolished and all powers and responsibilities for education returned to the states.
There are 2 possibilities that I claim, not just 1.
One possibility is that abiogenesis was unaided.
The other possibility is that abiogenesis is aided.
Rasmussen's current experiment at Los Alamos is attempting to prove that the first possibility above is feasible.
In contrast, we've *already* proven that aided abiogenesis is possible (e.g. computer viri, self-replicating machines, cloning, etc.).
On the contrary, math gives wonderfully precise answers.
You heard wrong. In science, a theory has already met the criteria of being tested, and being consistent with the available data. It is an order of magnitude up from hypothesis.
Not in science classes.
I'm open to any possibilities that meet the criteria of being a scientific theory. ID does not yet do that.
We post the links to show our sources. That way, anyone who wants to can check our claims. Creationists often forget to "footnote" their work.
Let me clarify: the science-only aspect is a subset of the larger question of religion on campus/the purported Establishment Clause.
I do not contend that Greek mythology is taught as science. Nor do I contend that creation should be taught as science. I contend that evolution should NOT be taught as science in that it is neither proven nor replicable. (IMO, in the same speculative class as Creationism. BTW, I am glad to know of real Missing Links in the 'fossil record'...)
Now back to the other issue. Seek: Do you contend prayer and Bibles on campus are OK, or do you discriminate against the Jews and Christians while finding the Koran, other Eastern religions and occultic books and practices OK?
You are mistaken. Intelligent Design *already* explains, correctly, the process behind the creation of artificially intelligent software, self-replicating machines, computer viri, etc.
Should Bibles and prayer be allowed in schools outside of science classes?
What has that got to do with what is taught in science classes?
ID/IOT explains nothing. Ever. That is why it exists.
You are mistaken. Of course, you are welcomed and encouraged to show another theory *besides* Intelligent Design to explain how artificially intelligent software was formed, or how computer viri were made, or how self-replicating machines were built, etc.
Not that you can...
Are you in such a need of a boogy man to oppose that you fail to see the difference between those of us who have nothing against Christianity, we just don't want children taught false science. We believe in the truth, and Newdow and his ilk have nothing to do with it.
I believe that this ID stuff has the potential to do great damage to Christianity. Science and the elite classes have ignored religion for years. But ID is picking a fight with them and they are reacting. Can Christianity handle genuine attacks? And I mean genuine attacks, not just eliminating prayer in schools.
What happens when professors actively challenge the faith of students? How many will reject their faith under such direct attacks? Some will, for sure.
Christians are provoking this issue. Not the other way round. I'm afraid this will do great damage to Christianity. If I were genuinely against God and religion, I would keep my mouth shut and let the damage occur. But I genuinely support what Christians are doing, and I don't want to see the carnage that will result in this war of faith.
Christians will lose. Big time.
No, they are the result of calculations, not estimates. First of all, they represent an upper bound on the mass loss (not change in size) a star can undergo during the "life" of a star. That calculation comes from the maximum energy conversion available via the various nuclear reactions that take place in a star such as the sun, and would only be that large if the entire supply of hydrogen in the sun were fused into heavier nuclei, which can't happen because most of the hydrogen in the star lies in regions outside of the fusion reaction zone. Most stars switch to helium burning after about 10% of the hydrogen is fused, which for the sun should be in about another 5 billion years.
The point is that the mass change of a star such as the sun is exquisitely small, and hence the change in gravitation is also minute.
What is difficult to understand is that if you are interested enough in the subject to have formulated "your own hypothesis" that stars are burning fuel like giant furnaces, why didn't you do some simple research on the subject on the internet to discover that hypothesis could not possibly be true? The text book I cited for you gives a wonderful discussion of the arguments that refute all sources of energy in stars (including chemical reactions, as you proposed) as being adequate other than fusion reactions.
Thanks for your link. The topic is of interest and I'll save it for future reference.
But it doesn't explain biological processes, and that's what we're talking about here.
The sun HAD to be larger. It's on fire!
What specifically makes you claim that?
Tell me when scientific evidence was in 'opposition'.
[besides, that is, to darwinite beliefs.]
And in science classes you can learn that precision and accuracy are not the same.
Big fire in sky. Oook, oook!
And these people want to decide what gets taught in science classes.
Biological computer prototype unveiled
The model shows how a biological computer could work
By BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse
A large-scale prototype of a computer that could be smaller than a living cell has been designed by an Israeli scientist.
Some scientists believe that, in the future, small biological computers could roam our bodies monitoring our health and correcting any problems they may find.
The prototype has been developed by Professor Ehud Shapiro of the Computer Science Department at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
|Ehud Shapiro hopes new biotechnology will make his computer possible|
In terms of the logic on which it operates, the prototype will behave in a similar way to molecules inside a living cell, a "biomolecular machine".
A living computer
Each cell of our bodies is a collection of machines made out of biological molecules. These molecules can form pulleys and gears to move other molecules around the cell.
Some molecules have the ability to assemble and take apart other molecules. Others gather small molecules and use a template to construct new molecules.
In a sense, each of our cells is a complicated city of biological machines all working together.
It is possible that a future biomolecular version of Professor Shapiro's device could lead to the construction of computers, smaller than a single cell, and with the ability to monitor and modify them.
Math give precision, but only answers the question asked. No one can ask the question needed to settle the question of abiogenesis, because no one knows what steps are necessary and sufficient. No one assumes that DNA and proteins just poofed into existence in one step, and no one (yet) knows the steps necessary. And no one knows if these steps lead naturally to each other. We do know it is possible to synthesize self-replicating molecules that are much less complex that proteins and DNA. This doesn't solve the problem, but it suggests the universe is inherently biased towards self-replication.
No, I'm afraid you don't realize what a real attack against faith would be. I don't know, but it would not surprise me if Newdow was motivated by opposition to ID. He is only the beginning.
Christians are doing the provoking here. This will not be pretty.
After having experienced a few of the evolution religion exchanges ...it is obvious that the darwin cult is the most hysterical, desperate and defensive. All the other sides are doing the Lord's work to show them the light.
But don't expect the willingly blind to see.
That, and tghe fact that conservatism is already losing many potential converts, is why some of us post.
If you insist that ID gets mentioned in school, teachers are going to challenge students to find examples of research that supports it. Other than the bogus probability argument there isn't any.
Neither proven nor unproven.
Probability Math tells us that the odds of intelligently sequencing data into a specific order is usually 1.
That same math also shows that the probability of correctly sequencing billions of genetic programming instructions without any aid/bias is 0, given any amount of time less than infinity (e.g. the 17 billion years of our universe's existence).
This doesn't tell us that abiogenesis was aided or unaided, but it does show that there has to be some bias (either natural or intelligent) of some form to sequence so many instructions correctly.
Such examples abound. Intelligent Design correctly explains the creation of computer viri, artifically intelligent software, self-replicating machines, cloning, etc.
There has been a nonstop virulent attack on Christianity for 80+ years. Thomas Dewey, Freud, Marx, Darwin and others "rule from the grave" as has been said. These are indeed genuine attacks, always have been as far back as the Scopes trial and earlier....Some teachers and professors constantly challenge the faith of students daily....
Holding the door open a little bit?
Does that not allow for discussion of the two without the demagoguery?
Is lying part of the Lord's work? What do you say to the manufactured quotations found on dozens of the most popular creationism web sites?