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The Crafty Attacks on Evolution
The New York Slimes ^ | 23 January 2005 | EDITORIAL

Posted on 01/23/2005 1:11:01 AM PST by rdb3

January 23, 2005
EDITORIAL

The Crafty Attacks on Evolution

Critics of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution become more wily with each passing year. Creationists who believe that God made the world and everything in it pretty much as described in the Bible were frustrated when their efforts to ban the teaching of evolution in the public schools or inject the teaching of creationism were judged unconstitutional by the courts. But over the past decade or more a new generation of critics has emerged with a softer, more roundabout approach that they hope can pass constitutional muster.

One line of attack - on display in Cobb County, Ga., in recent weeks - is to discredit evolution as little more than a theory that is open to question. Another strategy - now playing out in Dover, Pa. - is to make students aware of an alternative theory called "intelligent design," which infers the existence of an intelligent agent without any specific reference to God. These new approaches may seem harmless to a casual observer, but they still constitute an improper effort by religious advocates to impose their own slant on the teaching of evolution.•

The Cobb County fight centers on a sticker that the board inserted into a new biology textbook to placate opponents of evolution. The school board, to its credit, was trying to strengthen the teaching of evolution after years in which it banned study of human origins in the elementary and middle schools and sidelined the topic as an elective in high school, in apparent violation of state curriculum standards. When the new course of study raised hackles among parents and citizens (more than 2,300 signed a petition), the board sought to quiet the controversy by placing a three-sentence sticker in the textbooks:

"This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered."

Although the board clearly thought this was a reasonable compromise, and many readers might think it unexceptional, it is actually an insidious effort to undermine the science curriculum. The first sentence sounds like a warning to parents that the film they are about to watch with their children contains pornography. Evolution is so awful that the reader must be warned that it is discussed inside the textbook. The second sentence makes it sound as though evolution is little more than a hunch, the popular understanding of the word "theory," whereas theories in science are carefully constructed frameworks for understanding a vast array of facts. The National Academy of Sciences, the nation's most prestigious scientific organization, has declared evolution "one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have" and says it is supported by an overwhelming scientific consensus.

The third sentence, urging that evolution be studied carefully and critically, seems like a fine idea. The only problem is, it singles out evolution as the only subject so shaky it needs critical judgment. Every subject in the curriculum should be studied carefully and critically. Indeed, the interpretations taught in history, economics, sociology, political science, literature and other fields of study are far less grounded in fact and professional consensus than is evolutionary biology.

A more honest sticker would describe evolution as the dominant theory in the field and an extremely fruitful scientific tool. The sad fact is, the school board, in its zeal to be accommodating, swallowed the language of the anti-evolution crowd. Although the sticker makes no mention of religion and the school board as a whole was not trying to advance religion, a federal judge in Georgia ruled that the sticker amounted to an unconstitutional endorsement of religion because it was rooted in long-running religious challenges to evolution. In particular, the sticker's assertion that "evolution is a theory, not a fact" adopted the latest tactical language used by anti-evolutionists to dilute Darwinism, thereby putting the school board on the side of religious critics of evolution. That court decision is being appealed. Supporters of sound science education can only hope that the courts, and school districts, find a way to repel this latest assault on the most well-grounded theory in modern biology.•

In the Pennsylvania case, the school board went further and became the first in the nation to require, albeit somewhat circuitously, that attention be paid in school to "intelligent design." This is the notion that some things in nature, such as the workings of the cell and intricate organs like the eye, are so complex that they could not have developed gradually through the force of Darwinian natural selection acting on genetic variations. Instead, it is argued, they must have been designed by some sort of higher intelligence. Leading expositors of intelligent design accept that the theory of evolution can explain what they consider small changes in a species over time, but they infer a designer's hand at work in what they consider big evolutionary jumps.

The Dover Area School District in Pennsylvania became the first in the country to place intelligent design before its students, albeit mostly one step removed from the classroom. Last week school administrators read a brief statement to ninth-grade biology classes (the teachers refused to do it) asserting that evolution was a theory, not a fact, that it had gaps for which there was no evidence, that intelligent design was a differing explanation of the origin of life, and that a book on intelligent design was available for interested students, who were, of course, encouraged to keep an open mind. That policy, which is being challenged in the courts, suffers from some of the same defects found in the Georgia sticker. It denigrates evolution as a theory, not a fact, and adds weight to that message by having administrators deliver it aloud. •

Districts around the country are pondering whether to inject intelligent design into science classes, and the constitutional problems are underscored by practical issues. There is little enough time to discuss mainstream evolution in most schools; the Dover students get two 90-minute classes devoted to the subject. Before installing intelligent design in the already jam-packed science curriculum, school boards and citizens need to be aware that it is not a recognized field of science. There is no body of research to support its claims nor even a real plan to conduct such research. In 2002, more than a decade after the movement began, a pioneer of intelligent design lamented that the movement had many sympathizers but few research workers, no biology texts and no sustained curriculum to offer educators. Another leading expositor told a Christian magazine last year that the field had no theory of biological design to guide research, just "a bag of powerful intuitions, and a handful of notions." If evolution is derided as "only a theory," intelligent design needs to be recognized as "not even a theory" or "not yet a theory." It should not be taught or even described as a scientific alternative to one of the crowning theories of modern science.

That said, in districts where evolution is a burning issue, there ought to be some place in school where the religious and cultural criticisms of evolution can be discussed, perhaps in a comparative religion class or a history or current events course. But school boards need to recognize that neither creationism nor intelligent design is an alternative to Darwinism as a scientific explanation of the evolution of life.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: crevolist; evolution; faithincreation; faithinevolution; religionwars; scienceeducation
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But over the past decade or more a new generation of critics has emerged with a softer, more roundabout approach that they hope can pass constitutional muster.


Ha! We Bible believers are sneaky, aren't we?


Real men don't whine.

1 posted on 01/23/2005 1:11:02 AM PST by rdb3
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To: rdb3
So the New York Times crowd thinks the Creationists are sneaking something past them.

Could be.

Lots of things get slipped by the NYT by many people every day.

2 posted on 01/23/2005 1:21:44 AM PST by muawiyah (Egypt didn't invent civilization time)
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To: rdb3

Classic myopic projectionism, emblematic of the power of secular humanism to collapse on itself with its symptomatic hypocrisy..."Silly fascists, moral relativity is for genocidal maniacs." {/Trix wabbit}


3 posted on 01/23/2005 1:31:06 AM PST by Outraged (Time to put pressure on the party)
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To: rdb3
and that a book on intelligent design was available for interested students, who were, of course, encouraged to keep an open mind. That policy, which is being challenged in the courts,

Figures that they want to avoid the truth of the Bible with their self-admitted 'theories.'
4 posted on 01/23/2005 1:31:48 AM PST by rhtwngwarrior
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To: rdb3
"This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered."

That's still the wrong warning. The one they need would look more like this:

Warning: Parents and students should understand that the motives of the people pushing evolutionism in public schools are somewhat questionable:


5 posted on 01/23/2005 2:08:53 AM PST by judywillow
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To: JFK_Lib; rdb3
Although the board clearly thought this was a reasonable compromise, and many readers might think it unexceptional, it is actually an insidious effort to undermine the science curriculum. The first sentence sounds like a warning to parents that the film they are about to watch with their children contains pornography.

Pornography? Who on this sweet earth would make such an insidious connection?

(Better yet, why on earth would the NY Times even wish to introduce such a connection?)

Talk about planting false notions!! Certainly not all the folks on this Ga. School Evolution thread who have the movie Dr. Strangelove memorized!

JFK, I figured that you were struggling about what you are supposed to be thinking about today - we insidious creatures don't think very well as I'm told, but hey!, we need to stick together. Thus, my thoughtful, sensitive, compassionate ping - don't let it spoil your breakfast!

Hmmmmm. I have a deep suspicion regarding what websites these NY Slimes editorial writers visit to get their ideas.

6 posted on 01/23/2005 2:09:14 AM PST by gobucks (http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/classics/students/Ribeiro/laocoon.htm)
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To: Outraged
Classic myopic projectionism, emblematic of the power of secular humanism to collapse on itself with its symptomatic hypocrisy..."Silly fascists, moral relativity is for genocidal maniacs." {/Trix wabbit}

You are my new favorite Freeper.

7 posted on 01/23/2005 2:17:35 AM PST by explodingspleen (http://mish-mash.info/)
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To: gobucks
Funny thing, I used to view evolutionary biology as totally worthless but it's possible I could be wrong. I've read at least one report recently of a guy claiming that a degree in evolutionary biology prepared him fairly well for a career in the packaging and shipping business:


8 posted on 01/23/2005 2:40:11 AM PST by judywillow
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To: judywillow
Maybe you have seen this?

Homosexual males, their brains and evolution

9 posted on 01/23/2005 2:53:26 AM PST by gobucks (http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/classics/students/Ribeiro/laocoon.htm)
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To: rdb3
That said, in districts where evolution is a burning issue, there ought to be some place in school where the religious and cultural criticisms of evolution can be discussed, perhaps in a comparative religion class or a history or current events course.

Of all the sentences in this editorial that drip with disingenuousness, this tops them all. This statement ranks up there with Bill Clinton saying "Nobody said it was supposed to go on forever" about affirmative action. I cannot believe that people who equate the Dover sticker with a warning about pornography are serious about endorsing any public school forum that might possibly result in a victory of religious rhetoric over secular curricula.

I don't have any references to prove it, but I would be willing to bet that the Times opposed laws that would allow a minute of silence at the beginning of the school day in lieu of mandatory classroom prayer on the notion that voluntary private prayers in class could lead to discrimination against those children who did not use the time to pray.

10 posted on 01/23/2005 2:56:52 AM PST by L.N. Smithee (NHL Owners and Players: Take the advice of Benjamin Franklin - "Unite, or die.")
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To: rdb3
The National Academy of Sciences, the nation's most prestigious scientific organization, has declared evolution "one of the strongest and most useful scientific theories we have" and says it is supported by an overwhelming scientific consensus. -New York Times editorial

First, here is my understanding of the truth.

There is an underlying physical reality in which first there was no life, then there was life, and different plants and animals, including humans, appeared. Clearly something was happening. The known facts are compelling, but it is a complex field. And there is a deep problem with objectifying humanity.

The reputation of scientific consensus, like the MainStream Media, is in crisis and getting worse. Both institutions have work to do to reestablish credibility.

11 posted on 01/23/2005 3:04:16 AM PST by NutCrackerBoy
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To: rdb3
Indeed, the interpretations taught in history, economics, sociology, political science, literature and other fields of study are far less grounded in fact and professional consensus than is evolutionary biology.
Indeed. In fact, the interpretations of how gravity works over distance are "less grounded in fact and professional consensus than is evolutionary biology". (Gravity is mediated by the postulated, but undiscovered, graviton.)

If we're talking about the very origin of life itself, that first set of one-celled critters in the sea, then yes, there is still some mystery.

But if we're talking about how those critters went on to grow shells, fins, feet and finances, then sorry, folks: case closed.

12 posted on 01/23/2005 3:23:34 AM PST by samtheman
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To: rhtwngwarrior

First the IDers say there is no religion in their ideas and want it taught in science class. Then you say there is "Biblical truth" in their ideas.

The truth is, ID is nothing more than a new title for "creation science", a heresy of misinterpretation of the Bible with absolutely no science in it.

ID has no place in science class. Those of you that advocate its value are hurting science education and turning intelligent people away from Christ.

ID is a money making con by people who prey on the scientifically ignorant.


13 posted on 01/23/2005 4:00:14 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: NutCrackerBoy

The Theory of Evolution contains nothing about creation. Biology works with the life it sees and the history of life in the fossil record.

There is no conflict between the Bible and science. The Bible is not a science text and science can't explore the spiritual.


14 posted on 01/23/2005 4:02:33 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: rdb3

"Real men don't whine."

Which begs the question, why all the whinning about the "theory" of evolution?


15 posted on 01/23/2005 4:02:47 AM PST by Smartaleck
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To: shubi

"There is no conflict between the Bible and science."

Some are able to grasp both notions at the same time and be quite comfortable in their understanding of both. Others struggle...it has to be one or the other and the notions are mutually exclusive?


16 posted on 01/23/2005 4:09:24 AM PST by Smartaleck
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To: Smartaleck

The creationists clever strawman, putting creation in evolution leads many who have been undereducated about biology and science to believe there is a contradiction.

This, combined with superficial translations of Genesis and purposeful use of these translations to divide the Church have been very effective in propagandizing many Christians.

It also has made many educated people think (wrongly) that Christianity is a religion of the stupid.


17 posted on 01/23/2005 4:19:16 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: judywillow

LOL judywillow. Why are you so obsessed with flamingos? You always post them in the evolution threads.


18 posted on 01/23/2005 4:34:04 AM PST by floridarolf
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To: Smartaleck
Which begs the question, why all the whinning about the "theory" of evolution?


It begs no such thing from me. I'm not whining at all about evolution.


Real men don't whine.

19 posted on 01/23/2005 4:39:03 AM PST by rdb3 (The wife asked how I slept last night. I said, "How do I know? I was asleep!")
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To: judywillow

A scientific theory is not a fact it is a series of propositions that are supported by facts. Facts are states of affairs, observable events. They are contingent not absolute. There are no scientific 'laws' only theories that have come to be widely accepted or not.

Creationism is absolute in it's insistance on a 'designer' who is God with an alias. It isn't science it is theology pretending to be science.

Evolution is not a failed theory it's an incomplete theory but all scientific theories are incomplete because they are constantly changing according to new theories and observations.

If you are uncomfortable with contingency and change go to church and let scientists do their work.


20 posted on 01/23/2005 4:39:45 AM PST by beaver fever
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: shubi
ID is a money making con by people who prey on the scientifically ignorant.

So if you found a hamburger wrapper, you would say "Look what the atmospheric conditions produced?"

I say life is too complicated to arrive by chance, something like eyeballs focusing light with a lens to different receptors, and these receptors are wired to the brain, all by luck?

Hearing sound waves, by chance?

The chemistry of digesting food, just stumbled upon?

Before I even heard of ID, I was always suspicious of such a highly integrated systems, all developing by chance. It's the monkey at the typewriter thing.

22 posted on 01/23/2005 4:54:59 AM PST by Mark was here (My tag line was about to be censored.)
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To: beaver fever
A scientific theory is not a fact it is a series of propositions that are supported by facts.

If that were the case nobody would be calling evolution a theory at all; all of the facts contradict it.

23 posted on 01/23/2005 5:15:12 AM PST by judywillow
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To: rdb3

Well at least the Slimes admitted they think Christians are "INSIDIOUS"


24 posted on 01/23/2005 5:18:35 AM PST by marty60
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To: shubi
"This, combined with superficial translations of Genesis and purposeful use of these translations to divide the Church have been very effective in propagandizing many Christians."

The Bible is replete with scripture and parables yet how many discern the difference?

Biblical scholars even differ on what the "Word of God" truly is.

Did He actually write the scripture?
Did He work through others and use "man" to write the words for him?
Did He "inspire" others to write his words?

Given that the old and new testaments were written in Hebrew and Greek, later translated to Latin and still later translated to English.....each subject to the interpretation of the writer/interpretor, how can the King James Bible be taken literally?
25 posted on 01/23/2005 5:35:28 AM PST by Smartaleck
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To: rdb3
I hate to quote Pat Buchanan in any context but he did have the best line I have ever heard on the subject of evolution.

He turned to the other panelist and said.....if you want to believe your ancestors were monkeys that's alright with me.

26 posted on 01/23/2005 6:00:17 AM PST by OldFriend (America's glory is not dominion, but liberty.)
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To: Mrs Mark

Evolution theory does not contain speculation on origin of life. Many people confuse that because of the conmen propaganda and the title of Darwin's book The Origin of SPECIES.


27 posted on 01/23/2005 6:07:25 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: Smartaleck

"how can the King James Bible be taken literally?"

Good question.

I have been studying Genesis in the Hebrew for many years.
It does not mean what the creationists say it means.

For instance the word translated day, clearly is an indefinite period of time, as Gen 2:4 confirms. Since the Sun was not created until the fourth day, it is absurd to think the first 3 days were of a fixed 24 hr period.

The only thing on this point that goes the creationists way is the phrase "morning and evening". Since Gen 1 is Hebrew poetry, though poetry, this repetition shows that there is poetic license and a misunderstanding of what causes morning and evening to happen.


28 posted on 01/23/2005 6:15:24 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: judywillow

Scientific theories are not the same as mathematical theories or theories of logic.

They are affirmative but not demonstrable. There is no such thing as a scientific theory that can be contradicted. There are no proofs in science only strong or weak evidence. Facts don't contradict anything. They are just states of affairs, determined only by accident and circumstance.


29 posted on 01/23/2005 6:29:04 AM PST by beaver fever
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To: shubi
"Since the Sun was not created until the fourth day, it is absurd to think the first 3 days were of a fixed 24 hr period."

Minor details. LOL

A minister at a church I used to attend was also a Biblical scholar and read from the original language(s). One of the most interesting books he had referenced all the oldest known manuscripts of the Bible.

He too brought up the subject and interpretation of "day" but I don't recall what his comments were other than the word couldn't be interpreted or understood as we know it today.

He was a most interesting in his teachings in that he always tried to set the cultural context of whatever passage was being discussed.

One example I recall pertained to the Last Supper. Imagine if you will, you are a Roman soldier passing by just outside where the Supper is taking place.

You overhear somebody say...."this is my blood...drink it" "this is my body eat it".
What would be your reaction should you overhear such a thing on your way home from church?

Sounds a bit like some cultist satanic ritual? hmmmmmm
30 posted on 01/23/2005 6:31:43 AM PST by Smartaleck
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To: rdb3
I don't do crevo threads.

But note the status the NYT gives "evolution" - a fortress, something concrete and formidable, unmoveable even, capable of being "attacked".

It's an hypothesis. There is data that tends to support it, and data that tends to call it into question.

It's perfect for teaching the scientific method-there's nothing better that middle schoolers and HS students can grasp for the purpose.

But for the NYT, and far, far too many scientists, it has achieved Holy Grail status, so that teaching the data that tends to undermine the hypothesis is a revolutionary act.

It's pathetic.

Back to politics, have fun, y'all.

31 posted on 01/23/2005 6:32:34 AM PST by Jim Noble
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To: Smartaleck

Your minister is correct. We must try to understand the cultural milleu at the time. We must try to put ourselves in the heads of the writers of the Bible and see what they could know in their age, the limitations of language and unscientific thinking.


32 posted on 01/23/2005 6:44:15 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: Jim Noble

You are dead wrong. Evolution is a theory, essentially a fact of science.

Evolution is an observed fact and the Theory of Evolution explains that fact.

For once, the NYT is correct.


33 posted on 01/23/2005 6:45:47 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: judywillow

I see you haven't learned much from all the links you were given to understand the science behind evolution.


34 posted on 01/23/2005 6:47:17 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: marty60

Only if you consider creationists Christians. I think they are on the fringe, perhaps a Christian-like cult.


35 posted on 01/23/2005 6:48:27 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: beaver fever

"There is no such thing as a scientific theory that can be contradicted. "

One of the main criterion for a system of principles to be elevated to the high status of scientific theory is that they must be able to be falsified.

Find a human skeleton in the same strata as dino bones and you would falsify evolution.

Your statement just doesn't reflect the realities of how science defines theory.


36 posted on 01/23/2005 6:51:03 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: rdb3

-The first sentence sounds like a warning to parents that the film they are about to watch with their children contains pornography.-

Pronography provided by the NYT, perhaps?


37 posted on 01/23/2005 7:15:56 AM PST by AmericanChef
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To: Smartaleck
I see no conflict between the Bible and evolution.

In fact, the Bible clearly states that it is the Seas that brought forth the life, and the Earth. (In that actual order, too, btw!)

Doesn't say that God created it directly. Says the ocean and land produced life. Eerie, eh?

Name another religion that describes the creation of the world in the correct order!

Genesis even (correctly!) claims the first thing to be created was LIGHT. Everything followed after, and still in the correct order that our scientists tell us happened: Molten Earth, empty ("without form and void"), then stars (which were not visible due to opaque atmosphere--again, just as science tells us--then plants, then animals, and finally, man.

Would it not make sense, as some religions have it, to CREATE MAN FIRST, and have him an observer, given a special place to assist the gods, as is done in some other religions?

How 'bout havin' Earth rest on the back of a giant turtle? Or suspended from a giant tree? Both, as in some other religions.

The creation accounts of some of these other religions are hilariously funny. That of Geneis mirrors our scientific understanding as it exists today.

Please explain how the author of Genesis could have guessed so correctly on so many matters. Too coincidental, and I am not one for coincidence.

Considering that Genesis wasn't written to be an explanation of how/why of everything, but only as a quick genealogical explanation of the history of people, and you have to wonder how much more detail could have been provided to us about science...if the intention of the author of Genesis were to focus on science.

38 posted on 01/23/2005 7:22:00 AM PST by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: Smartaleck
To: Smartaleck I see no conflict between the Bible and evolution.

In fact, the Bible clearly states that it is the Seas that brought forth the life, and the Earth. (In that actual order, too, btw!)

Doesn't say that God created it directly. Says the ocean and land produced life. Eerie, eh?

Name another religion that describes the creation of the world in the correct order!

Genesis even (correctly!) claims the first thing to be created was LIGHT. Everything followed after, and still in the correct order that our scientists tell us happened: Molten Earth, empty ("without form and void"), then stars (which were not visible due to opaque atmosphere--again, just as science tells us--then plants, then animals, and finally, man.

Would it not make sense, as some religions have it, to CREATE MAN FIRST, and have him an observer, given a special place to assist the gods, as is done in some other religions?

How 'bout havin' Earth rest on the back of a giant turtle? Or suspended from a giant tree? Both, as in some other religions.

The creation accounts of some of these other religions are hilariously funny. That of Geneis mirrors our scientific understanding as it exists today. No other religion's creation account even comes close, which immediately "flags" Genesis as distinct from other accounts.

Please explain how the author of Genesis could have guessed so correctly on so many matters. Too coincidental, and I am not one for coincidence.

Considering that Genesis wasn't written to be an explanation of how/why of everything, but only as a quick genealogical explanation of the history of people, and you have to wonder how much more detail could have been provided to us about science...if the intention of the author of Genesis were to focus on science. Posted on 01/23/2005 7:20:22 AM PST by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)

39 posted on 01/23/2005 7:27:48 AM PST by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: sauron

Apologies for the double posting.

It did't show up, even after refreshing the list.


40 posted on 01/23/2005 7:30:17 AM PST by sauron ("Truth is hate to those who hate Truth" --unknown)
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To: shubi
Find a human skeleton in the same strata as dino bones and you would falsify evolution.

No you wouldn't. The faithful would cry out, that it is just an anomaly. Look at all the other evidence. Just ignore the skeleton as something curious and unexplainable for the moment. We essentially found a similar situation when some "junk" DNA of humans and mice were identical(humans, mice, and the common ancestor lie in the same strata). There is no reason for that situation to have occurred according to Darwin's theory.

41 posted on 01/23/2005 7:31:22 AM PST by AndrewC (Darwinian logic -- It is just-so if it is just-so)
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To: AndrewC

That's because it would probably be proven to be an anomaly. But my point was if you could find a legimate human fossil in with dinos it would falsify.

I didn't mean a faked up piece of trash like the creationist museum in Kentucky or the nonsense of human footprints faked in Texas by those epitomies of Christian behavior in the creationist con game.


42 posted on 01/23/2005 7:47:08 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: AndrewC

"No you wouldn't. The faithful would cry out, that it is just an anomaly. Look at all the other evidence. Just ignore the skeleton as something curious and unexplainable for the moment"

It would, there would be so many problems with a human skeleton with dinosaurs evolution would be in dire peril.

"We essentially found a similar situation when some "junk" DNA of humans and mice were identical(humans, mice, and the common ancestor lie in the same strata). There is no reason for that situation to have occurred according to Darwin's theory."

This is NOTHING like finding a human skeleton beside a t-rex my friend! Genetics is a very new, and very complicated field of study, new, unanticipated discoveries happen all the time. Assuming what you say is even true.

When the first test pilots tried to break the sound barrier, the intense vibrations from traversing the phenomena locked the controls and destroyed the planes. They've since corrected the problem. According to your logic, sicne the theory of flight didn't warn them about it before hand, planes can't fly?


43 posted on 01/23/2005 8:28:33 AM PST by Alacarte (There is no knowledge that is not power)
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To: sauron

"In fact, the Bible clearly states that it is the Seas that brought forth the life, and the Earth. (In that actual order, too, btw!) "

It also says the earth was created before the stars, get a grip man.


44 posted on 01/23/2005 8:30:56 AM PST by Alacarte (There is no knowledge that is not power)
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To: Smartaleck
Some are able to grasp both notions at the same time and be quite comfortable in their understanding of both. Others struggle...it has to be one or the other and the notions are mutually exclusive?

In fact they ARE mutually exclusive.

Sir Arthur Keith (Evolution and Ethics) said it best:

Chapter 3

The Behavior of Germany Considered from an Evolutionary Point of View in 1942

VISITORS TO GERMANY IN 1934 FOUND AN emotional storm sweeping through masses of the people, particularly the more educated. The movement had much in common with a religious revival. The preacher in this case was Adolf Hitler; his doctrine was, and is, tribalism; he had stirred in the emotional depths of the German people those long-dormant tribal feelings which find release and relief in mutual service; men and women who had been leading selfish lives or were drifting aimlessly were given a new purpose in life: service to their country the Third Reich. It is worth noting that Hitler uses a double designation for his tribal doctrine National Socialism: Socialism standing for the good side of the tribal spirit (that which works within the Reich); aud Nationalism for the ethically vicious part, which dominates policy at and outside the German frontiers.

The leader of Germany is an evolutionist not only in theory, but, as millions know to their cost, in the rigor of its practice. For him the national "front" of Europe is also the evolutionary "front"; he regards himself, and is regarded, as the incarnation of the will of Germany, the purpose of that will being to guide the evolutionary destiny of its people. He has brought into

10.

modern life the tribal and evolutionary mentality of prehistoric times. Hitler has confronted the statesmen of the world with an evolutionary problem of an unprecedented magnitude. What is the world to do with a united aggressive tribe numbering eighty millions!

We must not lose sight of the purpose of our visit to Germany; it was to see how far modern evolutionary practice can provide us with a scientific basis for ethical or moral behavior. As a source of information concerning Hitler's evolutionary and ethical doctrines I have before me Mein Kampf, extracts from The Times covering German affairs during the last twenty years, and the monthly journal R.F.C. (Racio Political Foreign Correspondenee), published by the German Bureau for Human Betterment and Eugenics and circulated by that bureau for the enlightenment of anthropologists living abroad. In the number of that journal for July 1937, there appears in English the text of a speech given by the German Fuhrer on January 30, 1937, in reply to a statement made by Mr. Anthony Eden that "the German race theory" stood in the way of a common discussion of European problems. Hitler maintained his theory would have an opposite effect; "it will bring about a real understanding for the first time." "It is not for men," said the Fuhrer, "to discuss the question of why Providence created different races, but rather to recognize that it punishes those who disregard its work of creation." I may remark incidentally that in this passage, as in many others, the German Fuhrer, like Bishop Barnes and many of our more intellectual clergy, regards evolution as God's mode of creation. God having created races, it is therefore "the noblest and most sacred duty for each racial species of mankind to preserve the purity of the blood which God has given it." Here we have expounded the perfectly sound doctrine of evolutionary isolation; even as an ethical doctrine it should not be condemned. No German must be guilty of the "greatest racial sin" that of bringing the fruits of hybridity into the world. The reproductive "genes" which circulate within the frontiers of Germany must be kept uncontaminated, so that they may work out the racial destiny of the German people without impediment. Hitler is also a eugenist. Germans who suffer from

11.

hereditable imperfections of mind or of body must be rendered infertile, so that "the strong may not be plagued by the weak." Sir Francis Galton, the founder of eugenics, taught a somewhat similar evolutionary doctrine namely, that if our nation was to prosper we must give encouragement to the strong rather than to the weak; a saving which may be justified by evolution, but not by ethics as recognized and practiced by civilized peoples. The liberties of German women are to be sacrificed; they must devote their activities to their households, especially to the sacred duty of raising succeeding generations. The birth rate was stimulated by bounties and subsidies so that the German tribe might grow in numbers and in strength. In all these matters the Nazi doctrine is evolutionist.

Hitler has sought on every occasion and in every way to heighten the national consciousness of the German people or, what is the same thing, to make them racially conscious; to give them unity of spirit and unity of purpose. Neighborly approaches of adjacent nations are and were repelled; the German people were deliberately isolated. Cosmopolitanism, liberality of opinion, affectation of foreign manners and dress were unsparingly condemned. The old tribal bonds (love of the Fatherland, feeling of mutual kinship), the bonds of "soil and blood," became "the main plank in the National Social program." "Germany was for the Germans" was another plank. Foreign policy was "good or bad according to its beneficial or harmful effects on the German folk now or hereafter." "Charity and humility are only for home consumption" a statement in which Hitler gives an exact expression of the law which limits sympathy to its tribe. "Humanitarianism is an evil . . . a creeping poison." "The most cruel methods are humane if they give a speedy victory" is Hitler's echo of a maxim attributed to Moltke. Such are the ways of evolution when applied to human affairs.

I have said nothing about the methods employed by the Nazi leaders to secure tribal unity in Germany methods of brutal compulsion, bloody force, and the concentration camp. Such methods cannot be brought within even a Machiavellian system of ethics, and yet may be justified by their evolutionary result.

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Even in that result we may harbor a doubt: can unity obtained by such methods be relied on to endure?

There are other aspects of Nazi policy which raise points which may be legitimate subjects of ethical debate. In recent years British men of science have debated this ethical problem: an important discovery having been made a new poison gas, for example is it not the duty of the discoverer to suppress it if there is a possibility of its being used for an evil purpose? My personal conviction is that science is concerned wholly with truth, not with ethics. A man of science is responsible for the accuracy of his observations and of his inferences, not for the results which may follow therefrom. Under no circumstances should the truth be suppressed; yet suppression and distortion of the truth is a deliberate part of Nazi policy. Every anthropologist in Germany, be he German or Jew, was and is silenced in Nazi Germany unless the Hitlerian racial doctrine is accepted without any reservation whatsoever. Authors, artists, preachers, and editors are undone if they stray beyond the limits of the National Socialist tether. Individual liberty of thought and of its expression is completely suppressed. An effective tribal unity is thus attained at the expense of truth. And yet has not the Church in past times persecuted science just in this Hitlerian way? There was a time, and not so long ago, when it was dangerous for a biologist to harbor a thought that clashed in any way with the Mosaic theory of creation.

No aspect of Hitler's policy proclaims the antagonism between evolution and ethics so forcibly as his treatment of the Jewish people in Germany. So strong are the feelings roused that it is difficult for even science to approach the issues so raised with an unclouded judgment. Ethically the Hitlerian treatment of the Jews stands condemned out of hand. Hitler is cruel, but I do not think that his policy can be explained by attributing it to a mere satisfaction of a lust, or to a search for a scapegoat on which Germany can wreak her wrath for the ills which followed her defeat of 1918. The Church in Spain subjected the Jews to the cruelty of the Inquisition, but no one ever sought to explain the Church's behavior by suggesting that she had a

13.

lust for cruelty which had to be satisfied. The Church adopted the Inquisition as a policy; it was a means of securing unity of mind in her flock. Hitler is an uncompromising evolutionist, and we must seek for an evolutionary explanation if we are to understand his actions. When the Huguenots fled to Germany they mingled their "genes" with those of their host and disappeared as an entity. The Jews are made of other stuff: for two thousand years, living amid European communities, they have maintained their identity; it is an article of their creed, as it is of Hitler's, to breed true. They, too, practice an evolutionary doctrine. Is it possible for two peoples living within the same frontiers, dwelling side by side, to work out harmoniously their separate evolutionary destinies? Apparently Hitler believes this to be impossible; we in Britain and in America believe it to be not only possible, but also profitable.

It must not be thought that in seeking to explain Hitler's actions I am seeking to justify them. The opposite is the case. I have made this brief survey of public policy in modern Germany with a definite object: to show that Dr. Waddington is in error when he seeks to place ethics on a scientific basis by a knowledge of evolutionary tendencies and practice.

Chapter 4

Human Life: Its Purpose or Ultimate End

IN THE COURSE OF GATHERING INFORMATION concerning man's morality and the part it has played and is playing in his evolution, I found it necessary to provide space for slips which were labeled "Life: Its Ultimate and Proximate Purposes." Only those who have devoted some special attention to this matter are aware of the multitude of reasons given for the appearance of man on earth. Here I shall touch on only a few of them; to deal with all would require a big book. The reader may exclaim: Why deal with any of them! What has ultimate purpose got to do with ethics and evolution! Let a man with a clearer head and a nimbler pen than mine reply. He is Edward Carpenter, who wrote Civilization: Its Cause and Cure (1889).

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It is from the sixteenth edition (1923) I am to quote, p. 249:

If we have decided what the final purpose or Life of Man is, then we may say that what is good for that purpose is finally "good" and what is bad for that purpose is finally "evil."

If the final purpose of our existence is that which has been and is being worked out under the discipline of evolutionary law, then, although we are quite unconscious of the end result, we ought, as Dr. Waddington has urged, to help on "that which tends to promote the ultimate course of evolution." If we do so, then we have to abandon the hope of ever attaining a universal system of ethics; for, as we have just seen, the ways of national evolution, both in the past and in the present, are cruel, brutal, ruthless, and without mercy. Dr. Waddington has not grasped the implications of Nature's method of evolution, for in his summing up (Nature, 1941, 150, p. 535) he writes "that the ethical principles formulated by Christ . . . are those which have tended towards the further evolution of mankind, and that they will continue to do so." Here a question of the highest interest is raised: the relationship which exists between evolution and Christianity; so important, it seems to me, that I shall devote to it a separate chapter. Meantime let me say that the conclusion I have come to is this: the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed. Clearly the form of evolution which Dr. Waddington has in mind is not that which has hitherto prevailed; what he has in mind is a man made system of evolution. In brief, instead of seeking ethical guidance from evolution, he now proposes to impose a system of ethics on evolution and so bring humanity ultimately to a safe and final anchorage in a Christian haven.

45 posted on 01/23/2005 10:23:26 AM PST by judywillow
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To: judywillow
The key point and highlight:

Here a question of the highest interest is raised: the relationship which exists between evolution and Christianity; so important, it seems to me, that I shall devote to it a separate chapter. Meantime let me say that the conclusion I have come to is this: the law of Christ is incompatible with the law of evolution as far as the law of evolution has worked hitherto. Nay, the two laws are at war with each other; the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.

Remember that: the law of Christ can never prevail until the law of evolution is destroyed.

A man can no more be a Christian and believe in evolution than he can be a Christian and believe in naziism.

46 posted on 01/23/2005 10:26:21 AM PST by judywillow
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To: judywillow

A woman who believes in paganism believes in magic.


47 posted on 01/23/2005 10:38:36 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: judywillow

Social darwinism has nothing to do with biological science.


48 posted on 01/23/2005 10:39:46 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: judywillow
Goebbels use the big lie of blaming Jews to promote Nazism the same way the creationist con men promote the big lie that science contradicts Christianity.
49 posted on 01/23/2005 10:45:05 AM PST by shubi (Peace through superior firepower.)
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To: judywillow
Clearly the form of evolution which Dr. Waddington has in mind is not that which has hitherto prevailed; what he has in mind is a man made system of evolution.

Darn right what he says has absolutely nothing to do with evolutionary science! Which begs the question.. what was all that about?

In brief, instead of seeking ethical guidance from evolution,

Who seeks 'ethical' guidance from evolution? WHat does that even mean? Using the word 'evolve' does not presuppose biological evolution?!?! Science and ethics are completely seperate issues.

he now proposes to impose a system of ethics on evolution and so bring humanity ultimately to a safe and final anchorage in a Christian haven.

Uhhh, you mean like a christian version of iran? *cough* dark ages *cough*

Evolution is science, it cares nothing for ethics or democracy, it is interested only in defining our natural world. You can't falsify something scientific by pronouncing it is unethical!!!

Gravity is directly responsible for thousands of deaths each year, very unethical! When does the trial start? Down with gravity!
50 posted on 01/23/2005 10:46:59 AM PST by Alacarte (There is no knowledge that is not power)
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