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Creationism: God's gift to the ignorant (Religion bashing alert)
Times Online UK ^ | May 21, 2005 | Richard Dawkins

Posted on 05/25/2005 3:41:22 AM PDT by billorites

Science feeds on mystery. As my colleague Matt Ridley has put it: “Most scientists are bored by what they have already discovered. It is ignorance that drives them on.” Science mines ignorance. Mystery — that which we don’t yet know; that which we don’t yet understand — is the mother lode that scientists seek out. Mystics exult in mystery and want it to stay mysterious. Scientists exult in mystery for a very different reason: it gives them something to do.

Admissions of ignorance and mystification are vital to good science. It is therefore galling, to say the least, when enemies of science turn those constructive admissions around and abuse them for political advantage. Worse, it threatens the enterprise of science itself. This is exactly the effect that creationism or “intelligent design theory” (ID) is having, especially because its propagandists are slick, superficially plausible and, above all, well financed. ID, by the way, is not a new form of creationism. It simply is creationism disguised, for political reasons, under a new name.

It isn’t even safe for a scientist to express temporary doubt as a rhetorical device before going on to dispel it.

“To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” You will find this sentence of Charles Darwin quoted again and again by creationists. They never quote what follows. Darwin immediately went on to confound his initial incredulity. Others have built on his foundation, and the eye is today a showpiece of the gradual, cumulative evolution of an almost perfect illusion of design. The relevant chapter of my Climbing Mount Improbable is called “The fortyfold Path to Enlightenment” in honour of the fact that, far from being difficult to evolve, the eye has evolved at least 40 times independently around the animal kingdom.

The distinguished Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin is widely quoted as saying that organisms “appear to have been carefully and artfully designed”. Again, this was a rhetorical preliminary to explaining how the powerful illusion of design actually comes about by natural selection. The isolated quotation strips out the implied emphasis on “appear to”, leaving exactly what a simple-mindedly pious audience — in Kansas, for instance — wants to hear.

The deceitful misquoting of scientists to suit an anti-scientific agenda ranks among the many unchristian habits of fundamentalist authors. But such Telling Lies for God (the book title of the splendidly pugnacious Australian geologist Ian Plimer) is not the most serious problem. There is a more important point to be made, and it goes right to the philosophical heart of creationism.

The standard methodology of creationists is to find some phenomenon in nature which Darwinism cannot readily explain. Darwin said: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Creationists mine ignorance and uncertainty in order to abuse his challenge. “Bet you can’t tell me how the elbow joint of the lesser spotted weasel frog evolved by slow gradual degrees?” If the scientist fails to give an immediate and comprehensive answer, a default conclusion is drawn: “Right, then, the alternative theory; ‘intelligent design’ wins by default.”

Notice the biased logic: if theory A fails in some particular, theory B must be right! Notice, too, how the creationist ploy undermines the scientist’s rejoicing in uncertainty. Today’s scientist in America dare not say: “Hm, interesting point. I wonder how the weasel frog’s ancestors did evolve their elbow joint. I’ll have to go to the university library and take a look.” No, the moment a scientist said something like that the default conclusion would become a headline in a creationist pamphlet: “Weasel frog could only have been designed by God.”

I once introduced a chapter on the so-called Cambrian Explosion with the words: “It is as though the fossils were planted there without any evolutionary history.” Again, this was a rhetorical overture, intended to whet the reader’s appetite for the explanation. Inevitably, my remark was gleefully quoted out of context. Creationists adore “gaps” in the fossil record.

Many evolutionary transitions are elegantly documented by more or less continuous series of changing intermediate fossils. Some are not, and these are the famous “gaps”. Michael Shermer has wittily pointed out that if a new fossil discovery neatly bisects a “gap”, the creationist will declare that there are now two gaps! Note yet again the use of a default. If there are no fossils to document a postulated evolutionary transition, the assumption is that there was no evolutionary transition: God must have intervened.

The creationists’ fondness for “gaps” in the fossil record is a metaphor for their love of gaps in knowledge generally. Gaps, by default, are filled by God. You don’t know how the nerve impulse works? Good! You don’t understand how memories are laid down in the brain? Excellent! Is photosynthesis a bafflingly complex process? Wonderful! Please don’t go to work on the problem, just give up, and appeal to God. Dear scientist, don’t work on your mysteries. Bring us your mysteries for we can use them. Don’t squander precious ignorance by researching it away. Ignorance is God’s gift to Kansas.

Richard Dawkins, FRS, is the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science, at Oxford University. His latest book is The Ancestor’s Tale


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: biblethumpers; cary; creation; crevolist; dawkins; evolution; excellentessay; funnyresponses; hahahahahahaha; liberalgarbage; phenryjerkalert; smegheads
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To: armymarinedad
I will not argue the fact that all evidence so far has pointed to evolution as fact.

Thank you.

However , I wonder why evolutionists are unwilling to admit they don't have all the answers and they could be wrong.

When have you *ever* seen an evolutionist actually be "unwilling" to admit that?

Now try to get an anti-evolutionist creationist to admit the same thing... *They're* the ones claiming to have Absolute Truth(tm).

It wouldn't be the first time science made a mistake. After all we are only human.

Of course. But on the other hand, it's perverse the way that some people cling to that thin reed as an excuse to deny what the vast amounts of evidence indicates.

"It *could* be wrong" is an intellectually dishonest reason for refusing to believe something that is extremely well supported by the facts. Liberals do that a lot, it depresses me to see a lot of conservatives do it on this issue. Wishful thinking is no substitute for honestly following the evidence where it leads.

201 posted on 05/25/2005 8:57:07 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: The_Reader_David

bttt


202 posted on 05/25/2005 8:59:36 AM PDT by trisham ("Live Free or Die," General John Stark, July 31, 1809)
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To: Bluchers Elephant
In fact, theres more likelyhood of finding an audience that at least appears simple-mindedly pious in places like Turkey
Interesting enough, Kansas anti-evolutionists hired an Islamic creationist (Mustafa Akyol) from Turkey (whose organisation [Bilim Arastirma Vakfi] quite successfully have stiffled education in the TOE with amongst other methods - threat of violence) to argue in the kangaroo court they had there earlier this month.
203 posted on 05/25/2005 9:01:48 AM PDT by anguish (while science catches up.... mysticism!)
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To: Junior
Which brings the debate here full circle and I am back to my original comment. Evolutionists and creationists both base their belief on faith. One has faith in man and science, the other faith in God.
204 posted on 05/25/2005 9:03:53 AM PDT by armymarinedad (Character makes you draw a line in the dirt.)
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To: armymarinedad

Evolutionists do not "believe" in evolution. Did you not read the essay Ichneumon posted to you? Evolutionists accept the validity of the theory based upon numerous lines of research and mountains of evidence. It takes no more faith to accept evolution than it does to accept that you are communicating across the internet right now.


205 posted on 05/25/2005 9:06:03 AM PDT by Junior (“Even if you are one-in-a-million, there are still 6,000 others just like you.”)
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To: armymarinedad
However , I wonder why evolutionists are unwilling to admit they don't have all the answers and they could be wrong.

This is far, far from the truth. Science is always our best guess, and scientists all have a healthy respect for margins of error. To suggest that people working in evolutionary science and molecular biology are unwilling to admit they "don't hate all the answers" is totally wrong. The "dominant paradigm" is always are best guess. With modern science, our best guesses are very, very good. We don't know for sure that Einstein's theories are true, but they hold up. There's more physical evidence for biological evolution (both fossil evidence and comparitive genomics) than there is for Einstein's theories. In fact, it wasn't believed that Einstein's theory of special relativity (time dilation) even had any practical application at all until the invention of the global positioning satellite network. Though the dominant paradigms are our best scientific guesses, they are well supported by evidence and the hard work of many in the field. This is not to say that some day, a better theory may come along to replace our current models. Of course, this may happen, just as Einstein's theories supplanted Newton's theories for gravitational attraction. Scientists have a healthy respect for what they don't know, but those things scientists do know are on solid foundation. That's why comments like "evolution is just a theory" and "you don't really know how this happened" are met with frustration. Extraodinary claims require extraordinary proof. If someone claims that evolution is wrong, then they need to do more than base that argument on "you're just not sure about it."

206 posted on 05/25/2005 9:07:34 AM PDT by Liberal Classic (No better friend, no worse enemy. Semper Fi.)
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To: anguish

anguish posted: "Interesting enough, Kansas anti-evolutionists hired an Islamic creationist (Mustafa Akyol) from Turkey (whose organisation [Bilim Arastirma Vakfi] quite successfully have stiffled education in the TOE with amongst other methods - threat of violence) to argue in the kangaroo court they had there earlier this month."

This bothers me no end.
A very strange set of bedfellows.


207 posted on 05/25/2005 9:10:45 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: nyconse
One of the most fascinating bits of science lately is that Palies now believe that all modern men (and women) are descended from one woman who came out of Africa-imagine that. It reinforces the biblical version of creation.

No it doesn't, actually. From a prior post of mine on this topic:

First, it's incorrect to say that "all humans living today can trace their ancestry to [just] one man and one woman". Genetically, we all have many ancestors and there is no one genetic male ancestor nor one genetic female ancestor, nor was there ever any time where there was just one pair of humans on the planet.

Second, as the article makes clear, the timing is inconsistent with the versions that you've "heard" before in certain books.

For a clearer understanding of what the difference is between a genetic common ancestor and a mitochondrial common ancestor, see this excellent interactive Flash webpage on tracing ancestry. First click on different descendants and note how they are all genetically descended from multiple ancestors, and how all the ancestors have left descendants. Then click on the "Show mtDNA ancestors" button, and repeat the check of descendants -- you'll find that their *mitochondria* all descend from a single female.

For a fuller discussion, see What, if anything, is a Mitochondrial Eve?.


208 posted on 05/25/2005 9:11:38 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: From many - one.

Wait until CAIR wants it's finger in the pie.


209 posted on 05/25/2005 9:11:53 AM PDT by Liberal Classic (No better friend, no worse enemy. Semper Fi.)
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To: N. Theknow

Then our transcribings and interpretations must also have the potential to be imperfect.


210 posted on 05/25/2005 9:13:50 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: L,TOWM

"What standards of "empirical proof" did you apply to your history textbooks?"

Interesting angle. I guess one has to have faith that written history is generally accurate much like members of an organized religion have to have faith in the accuracy of whatever book guides their worship. But if I don't think the Bible is perfect it doesn't mean I don't think there's alot of good things in it (like the Ten Commandments). I just don't find the Bible's version of how we got here is very believable.


211 posted on 05/25/2005 9:17:20 AM PDT by Sun Soldier
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To: Liberal Classic

You made my day - not!

Between moonie and Muslim backing (it seems there's a lot of moonie money running around also) I can hear the camel's nose snuffling away in the tent.


212 posted on 05/25/2005 9:17:54 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: Tantumergo
Yes, read some of Michael Behe's work in microbiology and biochemistry. How familiar are you with DNA structure and function and the processes by which DNA/RNA is transcribed for polypeptide/protein production?

Could you explain to me how Behe's research, which has largely been on the physical chemistry of DNA, shows that species did not evolve from each other?

BTW, don't be afraid to use big words; I've been doing research in a very similar area to Behe for 20 years or so.

213 posted on 05/25/2005 9:21:48 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: armymarinedad; Junior
Which brings the debate here full circle and I am back to my original comment. Evolutionists and creationists both base their belief on faith. One has faith in man and science, the other faith in God.

This is complete nonsense. Or at best, it's based on shifting definitions of the word "faith" -- you use it in two very different senses here and then pretend that they are the same.

Here's a good essay about the distinctions that you're overlooking:

Do You Believe in Evolution?
by Bob Riggins

Introduction

In my part of the country I get asked that a lot by students. That's partly because of the part of the country I'm in (South Texas). Fundamentalism-creationism is endemic around here, and somehow that noisy minority has convinced the indifferent majority that to be a Christian of any sort, one must reject evolution. Ironically, even many of my Catholic students think their church is "against evolution" (it isn't). Somehow Protestant fundamentalism has "converted" them, at least on this article of faith, without their even realizing it. Perhaps their own church has not strongly, positively, and publicly stated its position to parishioners.

Perhaps it's also because, as an English teacher in a science-oriented magnet school, I often include science fiction novels and, at least once a year, a science nonfiction book as assigned readings. Inevitably, there will be something (probably a lot of things) in those books that rub the creationists the wrong way, since to maintain their structure of beliefs they have had to reject the facts established in practically all areas of science, from astronomy through nuclear physics to geology and biochemistry. Perhaps they've actually never encountered a teacher who openly "believes in" evolution (a very real possibility around here). Now that's scary! No wonder on those international comparisons our students score worse than kids in Lower Slobovia or wherever.

The Question

But the problem I want to deal with here is how to answer that question: Do you believe in evolution? It's easy to say "Yes!" but that's not right. The problem is that the question itself is wrong. It's like the old "Have you stopped beating your wife?" question: either a yes or a no gives the wrong impression.

I certainly don't want to say no, since that would create an entirely wrong impression. But answering yes isn't quite right, either. The problem is the phrase "believe in," just as the "have you stopped" is the trap in the earlier example.

Concentrate on the believe in: no, I don't believe in evolution. Think of how that phrase is often applied. Little kids believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. We often judge their maturity by finding out which things they still believe in and which they have "grown out of" ("Aren't you a little old to still believe in the Tooth Fairy?"). The phrase believe in in common parlance seems to mean to take something literally for which there is little or no objective evidence. You must believe in the Easter Bunny, because you've never seen the real one yourself, there's nothing he has done that couldn't be simply explained by ordinary phenomena (parental trickery), and there's no objective, physical, replicable (in other words, scientific) evidence that he's real. If you had those last things, then you wouldn't have to believe in the Easter Bunny, you would know he was real.

Knowing vs. Believing

That's the difference: you absolutely know some things are real, through your own experience or other kinds of really solid proof. That's knowledge, not belief. Other things you believe in. You want them to be true. It would be nice if they were true. It's probably fun to believe in them. But you don't have solid, irrefutable (scientific) proof, so you have to keep believing in them, rather than knowing them (or you could just throw them out entirely, like most of us over six have done with Santa Claus). If you had that kind of evidence, then the folks whose job it is to find out the physical facts about the world (scientists) would know them too, and belief wouldn't be required. A mark of the immaturity of small children is that they haven't learned this distinction yet. About the only proof they may demand is what someone older tells them, or what they see on TV. Note also that you can't trust the believer. He may, of course, say he "knows" his favorite belief is true, and may trot out what to him is adequate proof ("But I saw Santa in the store, and look at all the stuff he brought, and on the news they saw him on the radar, and... and..."). Or he may be one of those incredibly shallow people whose answer amounts to, "I don't know why, I just believe it," or the ludicrous contradiction, "I just know it's true."

There's another common meaning for "believe in," as in "Do you believe in democracy?" "Do you believe in the American Dream?" "Do you believe in abortion under certain circumstances?" "Do you believe in the justice of our cause?" Here the meaning of "believe in" seems to be something like "trust," or "think it's probably best," or "are willing to go along with." That doesn't seem to be what someone is getting at when he asks me if I believe in evolution, or at least that's not how I take the question. So in that sense, no, I don't believe in evolution: it's not a matter of personal opinion, or philosophy, or a gray area where one must decide what might be best overall.

But back to the real distinction: no, I don't believe in evolution--I know that it's real. It doesn't require believing in. And I don't "just know it," like the vacuous air-head. I have all the objective evidence I need for real knowledge . The reality of evolution having occurred and continuing to occur is every bit as strongly established as the knowledge that the Earth is round, that germs cause disease, that electrons exist, or that the speed of light is ~300,000 kilometers/second. If anything, I have more daily-life experience to show me evolution happening than I have for those other things. I can see that offspring aren't identical to their parents. I have seen new varieties of plants and animals developed within my own lifetime. I live in an area where boll weevils often win the evolutionary race to develop resistance to pesticides. I can easily catch a case of (newly evolved) resistant staphylococcus, which might very well kill me. I have seen and touched and personally found the fossils of the now-extinct ancestors of living creatures.

Evidence of Evolution Is Stronger Than Evidence of Electrons

As a matter of fact, I have more down-to-earth proof of the reality of evolution than I have of the other things mentioned above, which I know to be real. I will never see an electron. How would I ever come close to accurately measuring the speed of light? My chances of ever getting far enough away from Earth to actually see for myself that it is round are practically nil; and I don't have the equipment or the expertise to ever really prove for myself that a particular breed of bacteria actually causes a particular disease. Then don't I just take those things "on faith"? Don't I believe in them, rather than actually knowing them? No. As a society, we have hired specialists to find out these kinds of things. We've done everything we can to assure that they are highly trained, that they are objective (not letting their philosophies or beliefs get in the way), that they are honest, and that their answers are true (they constantly check on each other, compete, and repeat experiments to make sure the results are real). We've set up a system (science) in which wrong answers are quickly thrown out, all answers are tested over and over in every imaginable way, right answers get righter all the time (e.g., relativity doesn't "disprove" Newtonian mechanics, it just improves on it; punctuated equilibrium doesn't "disprove" Darwinian evolution, it just clarifies it further), and the best way to make a name for yourself is to disprove an older idea (with enough proof of your own to stand up to the toughest tests). And finally, that system works far better than any other way mankind has ever tried for finding out about the physical world.

So what science knows, I know. They are my agents for finding out things I can't find out for myself. Science knows (and tells me) that there are electrons and what the speed of light is. I would be foolish to reject that knowledge. Science also tells me, with just as much assurance, that living things have evolved. I know that knowledge has been tested, tried, experimented with, and applied to real situations, and has proven its "fitness" by growing stronger through 150 years of severe testing. I would be foolish to reject that knowledge.

So no, I don't believe in evolution; I know that it has happened and still does. As a matter of fact, I should probably feel insulted. If you asked me if I believe the Earth is round, that would be insulting. Do you think I could be so ignorant as to believe it is flat? The same goes for evolution. Do you think I would reject the last two centuries of scientific progress and the evidence of my own eyes? I should be thoroughly offended.

Or, since this thread started with an article by Dawkins, here are his observations on the differences:
Given the dangers of faith [Dawkins was discussing Islamic suicide bombers -- Ich.] — and considering the accomplishments of reason and observation in the activity called science — I find it ironic that, whenever I lecture publicly, there always seems to be someone who comes forward and says, "Of course, your science is just a religion like ours. Fundamentally, science just comes down to faith, doesn't it?"

Well, science is not religion and it doesn't just come down to faith. Although it has many of religion's virtues, it has none of its vices. Science is based upon verifiable evidence. Religious faith not only lacks evidence, its independence from evidence is its pride and joy, shouted from the rooftops. Why else would Christians wax critical of doubting Thomas? The other apostles are held up to us as exemplars of virtue because faith was enough for them. Doubting Thomas, on the other hand, required evidence. Perhaps he should be the patron saint of scientists.

One reason I receive the comment about science being a religion is because I believe in the fact of evolution. I even believe in it with passionate conviction. To some, this may superficially look like faith. But the evidence that makes me believe in evolution is not only overwhelmingly strong; it is freely available to anyone who takes the trouble to read up on it. Anyone can study the same evidence that I have and presumably come to the same conclusion. But if you have a belief that is based solely on faith, I can't examine your reasons. You can retreat behind the private wall of faith where I can't reach you.

[...]

I want to return now to the charge that science is just a faith. The more extreme version of that charge — and one that I often encounter as both a scientist and a rationalist — is an accusation of zealotry and bigotry in scientists themselves as great as that found in religious people. Sometimes there may be a little bit of justice in this accusation; but as zealous bigots, we scientists are mere amateurs at the game. We're content to argue with those who disagree with us. We don't kill them.

But I would want to deny even the lesser charge of purely verbal zealotry. There is a very, very important difference between feeling strongly, even passionately, about something because we have thought about and examined the evidence for it on the one hand, and feeling strongly about something because it has been internally revealed to us, or internally revealed to somebody else in history and subsequently hallowed by tradition. There's all the difference in the world between a belief that one is prepared to defend by quoting evidence and logic and a belief that is supported by nothing more than tradition, authority, or revelation.


214 posted on 05/25/2005 9:23:07 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Junior
You have no empirical evidence that this is actually the case.

Fulfilled prophecy.

215 posted on 05/25/2005 9:25:07 AM PDT by agrace (All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen. - Ralph Waldo Emerson)
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To: Junior
empirical proof it is the Word of God.

And that is what I am discussing also. If I can establish first what you would consider empirical historical accuracy from work produced by men, I can then (perhaps) demonstrate to you that the Bible satisfies that criteria. Since the Bible claims to be "the Word of God", accuracy and corroboration on empirical historical fact can be used to support other, less measurable inferences.

But, typically, you did'nt give me a straight answer to see where I might be going, junior. You simply assumed I'm an idiot (like anyone that actually believes in God, right buddy?) and gave me the back of your hand.

My original question stands - What is your standard for accuracy in a history textbook?

Alternatively, please present any evidence you have of archeology, anthropology, or astronomy that directly demonstrates a statement from the Bible is false.

And please trot out something more original than "Solomon's Sea does'nt have the right proporations". A rounding difference on a "cubit" for a structure built 400 years before Euclid and Archimedes established 'pi' is a hair split of the lowest order.

216 posted on 05/25/2005 9:33:59 AM PDT by L,TOWM (Liberals, The Other White Meat [Born in California, Texan by the Grace of God.])
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To: narby
Sorry, I just don't think science and technology mix well with faith.

Considering that it was faith that gave us science and technology as we know them today I would have to disagree.

We can believe the super-natural is involved while still seeking natural explanations, which was what I meant by "super-naturalistic researchers."

Shalom.

217 posted on 05/25/2005 9:39:36 AM PDT by ArGee (Why do we let the abnormal tell us what's normal?)
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To: donh
Really? Like what? Suggest a fruitful research project to me.

I suggested one in the post to which you replied (#63).

Shalom.

218 posted on 05/25/2005 9:41:13 AM PDT by ArGee (Why do we let the abnormal tell us what's normal?)
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To: rollo tomasi
I guess all of human history is a "conspiracy" in your mind. Obviously Constantinople believed his mother's excursions of excavations in Jerusalem instead of some "conspiracy".

Come now. Who just got through explaining that the 500 witnesses to the Resurrection were tortured to death to hide some great secret Was that you or me?

219 posted on 05/25/2005 9:43:53 AM PDT by donh
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To: From many - one.
If they are, then the Bible is imperfect. And if it is, then why abide by any of its teachings?

In short, why bother with Christianity or God since both are based on the imperfection of man?

220 posted on 05/25/2005 9:44:04 AM PDT by N. Theknow (BXVI - The cafeteria is closed.)
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To: Right Wing Professor

"Could you explain to me how Behe's research, which has largely been on the physical chemistry of DNA, shows that species did not evolve from each other?"

I wasn't saying that this is what Behe's research shows. As you are no doubt aware, his work is more related to the structure and operation of sub-cellular organelles.

However, if you are expert in this field, perhaps you can answer a question which I have wondered about for a long time?

Why does a group of 3 nucleotides, when read by a ribosome, encode for a particular amino acid?


221 posted on 05/25/2005 9:51:07 AM PDT by Tantumergo
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To: Sun Soldier

I'm kind of a Pariah on these threads, which is why I am not often on them. My crimes?

1) I make a distinction between "Origins" (of the universe) and "Evolution" (an observable phenomena arising from the interaction of genetics, reproduction and living things with their environment).
2) I am also comfortable with the many aspects of God's message to us. Some of the Bible is historical fact, some literature, some biographical, some poetry -- It is filled with declarations, symbols, and allegory.

The nature of what God shared first with the Jews, then later the rest of the world and the nature of God leads me to believe that any of it is possible. That is, the 18 billion year old universe and spontaneous generation of life is possible and so is the 6,000 year old world with a 6 day creation.

I am comfortable in admitting that I do not everything, which is the most terrible crime of all on these threads, where both sides have every answer and the individual adherents on both sides know everything. And are not shy about telling how much they know and how stupid everyone that disagrees with them is.


222 posted on 05/25/2005 9:52:23 AM PDT by L,TOWM (Liberals, The Other White Meat [Born in California, Texan by the Grace of God.])
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To: All
It's probably too late in the thread, but we have some newbies to these evolution debates, so here's some information (which most creationists will probably ignore):
The scientific method. Exhaustive discussion.
What's a Scientific Theory? Encyclopedia article.
How to argue against a scientific theory.
The Theory of Evolution. Excellent introductory encyclopedia article.
Introduction to Evolutionary Biology. Another good introduction.
Is Evolution Science? It certainly is. Here's why.

All of that, and loads more, is here
The List-O-Links. Direct link to the right part of my homepage.

Another service of
Darwin Central
The conspiracy that cares

223 posted on 05/25/2005 9:55:19 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas. The List-O-Links is at my homepage.)
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To: donh
They were not tortured by hiding some great secret. Just the opposite, they saw history, spread what they saw and were punished for it.

Were they insane and tortured for a lie or did they believe what they saw with their own two eyes and communicated loudly in fear of death?

Also that "conspiracy" sure did spread. First 300 years of persecution and the "conspiracy" still survived? Must have been a lot of insane people be willingly tortured to death for a lie then.
224 posted on 05/25/2005 9:56:41 AM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians)
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To: Bluchers Elephant

You're right. It illustrates how the swipe at Kansans detracts from the message of the article.


225 posted on 05/25/2005 9:57:09 AM PDT by LiberationIT
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To: ArGee
Here is the only thing I found in post #63 that even approximates a suggestion for a fruitful research project:

The first task of ID is to define the characteristics of something that was designed vs. something that wasn't. This would provide the basis for discussion.

But, I am afraid that the specifics of my research project are not quite delineated yet. As far as I can tell, everything in the living world was, in some sense or another "designed" to serve some purpose. I'm afraid you will have to be more specific, or I will be unable to write my grant proposal.

226 posted on 05/25/2005 9:57:54 AM PDT by donh
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To: ArGee
Considering that it was faith that gave us science and technology as we know them today I would have to disagree.

Oooookay... I guess that's why they forced Galileo to recant the scientific theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun instead of vice versa, under pain of torture.

Furthermore, your claim flies in the face of the actual history of science, but keep believing it if you want to.

227 posted on 05/25/2005 10:00:00 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: gibonski

My most liberal college professor was a priest.


228 posted on 05/25/2005 10:00:05 AM PDT by LiberationIT
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To: Tantumergo
s you are no doubt aware, his work is more related to the structure and operation of sub-cellular organelles.

No, I'm not aware of that. Back when Behe was actually doing science, he was looking at the p. chem of DNA. I don't count his popular press and un-peer-reviewed meanderings about flagella.

Why does a group of 3 nucleotides, when read by a ribosome, encode for a particular amino acid?

The recognition anticodon of tRNA is three nucleotides. Each tRNA is specific for one amino acid, and it's what recognizes the codon. Two would be an insufficient number to account for 20 amino acids.

229 posted on 05/25/2005 10:01:22 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: donh; ArGee
Really? Like what? Suggest a fruitful research project to me.

You're in luck!

ID Research

Additionally, there are ID clubs forming at universities all over the country and more and more scientists are embracing it. Stay tuned for more ID-related research.

Lurkers can go to ARN.org for more info.

230 posted on 05/25/2005 10:02:53 AM PDT by Michael_Michaelangelo (The best theory is not ipso facto a good theory. Lots of links on my homepage...)
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To: L,TOWM
I'm kind of a Pariah on these threads, which is why I am not often on them. My crimes?

1) I make a distinction between "Origins" (of the universe) and "Evolution" (an observable phenomena arising from the interaction of genetics, reproduction and living things with their environment).

2) I am also comfortable with the many aspects of God's message to us. Some of the Bible is historical fact, some literature, some biographical, some poetry -- It is filled with declarations, symbols, and allegory.

Don't delude yourself. Those are not the reasons that you are (allegedly) a "pariah" on these threads. Those two points are true of many of the evolutionists who participate in these threads on a regular basis. (Quick, does the phrase "evolution is not abiogenesis" ring a bell? It's your point #1, a point commonly made by the evolutionists on these threads.)

I am comfortable in admitting that I do not everything, which is the most terrible crime of all on these threads, where both sides have every answer and the individual adherents on both sides know everything.

Now *THIS* is why you may not be welcome on these threads -- we really don't appreciate you telling slanderous lies about us like this. Go find somewhere else to insult the participants with falsehoods.

231 posted on 05/25/2005 10:05:08 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
Oooookay... I guess that's why they forced Galileo to recant the scientific theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun instead of vice versa, under pain of torture.

Point 1, I said "as we know it today" and you bring up Galileo? A lot has happened since then. Additionally, to say that Galileo was forced to recant because of his science is a gross oversimplification.

Point 2, who is the founder of modern taxonomy and what was his faith? Who is the founder of the modern scientific method and what was his faith? Who is the "inventor" of Calculus and what was his faith?

Shalom.

232 posted on 05/25/2005 10:07:57 AM PDT by ArGee (Why do we let the abnormal tell us what's normal?)
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To: Right Wing Professor

"Each tRNA is specific for one amino acid, and it's what recognizes the codon."

Yes, but WHY does a tRNA code for an amino acid? What is there about it that says that this group of nucleotides "means" this amino acid?


233 posted on 05/25/2005 10:13:47 AM PDT by Tantumergo
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo; donh; ArGee
[Really? Like what? Suggest a fruitful research project to me.]

You're in luck! ID Research

Okay, I'll bite -- exactly how (in your own words, please) is that actually "ID research" in any way? That is, how in the hell would the results of that research actually support/disprove any particular ID hypothesis, and/or distinguish it from possible alternative hypotheses? We'll wait. This should be highly amusing -- it's always fun to watch you ID folks play at science without actually understanding the first thing about how it's (properly) done.

Additionally, there are ID clubs forming at universities all over the country

Oh, well then, it *must* be science. And so must those "Lord of the Rings" clubs forming at universities all over the country, I guess.

and more and more scientists are embracing it.

ROFL! You're so cute when you're posting your false presumptions as if they were facts.

Stay tuned for more ID-related research.

What do you mean, "more"?

234 posted on 05/25/2005 10:13:56 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon

Did you read just the article or the linked article there?

If you didn't read the linked article, do.

It's bad enough to be funny, and, as I posted on that thread, a serious case of conclusions preceding facts.


235 posted on 05/25/2005 10:18:22 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: rollo tomasi; donh
Over 500 people observed Christ Resurrection after He died on the cross.

Please support this amazing statement.

Many people who saw and relayed it back were killed.

And this one.

Not quick deaths mind you, but tortured under extreme measures to shut people up.

And this one.

You would think if this was just sacred fiction they would be subdued about the subject or even keep it a secret.

No, I wouldn't think that.

Either they were telling the truth by using the observation and their experience of empirical evidence by their 5 senses or they were just insane, thus implying every Christian is insane.

Class, this is a marvelous example of the "fallacy of the false dichotomy". The number of alternative explanations which the author has overlooked is left as an excercise for the reader.

236 posted on 05/25/2005 10:18:51 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
insult the participants with falsehoods

Most of the regular participants do fine on each other.

How many bannings from arrogant know it alls screaming at each other have taken place as a result of these threads? Way too many. Or perhaps not enough in some people's opinion.

It would'nt break my heart to see these threads get killed instantly.

237 posted on 05/25/2005 10:18:56 AM PDT by L,TOWM (Liberals, The Other White Meat [Born in California, Texan by the Grace of God.])
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To: Ichneumon
Just keep your hands over your ears and continue to chant "la-la-la-la-la" as if nothing is happening and there is no paradigm shift afoot. As you and your ilk get too old to punch the keys on your PC anymore and this debate is turned over to the next generation, let's all hope they aren't as bullheaded and rude as the current group of Evo's here at FR. Oh - by the way - did you see the Discovery Institute opened a new field office in DC?

Discovery Institute Opens Office in DC

238 posted on 05/25/2005 10:27:02 AM PDT by Michael_Michaelangelo (The best theory is not ipso facto a good theory. Lots of links on my homepage...)
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To: billorites
The deceitful misquoting of scientists to suit an anti-scientific agenda ranks among the many unchristian habits of fundamentalist authors.

This should say, "...un-Christian..."

239 posted on 05/25/2005 10:27:37 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: L,TOWM

Huh? Historical accuracy does not correlate to evidence for the Word of God. It simply means that someone accurately recorded historical events. If he embellishes said events with references to the Almighty, one cannot infer that the Almighty exists. For example, the Greeks and Egyptians were pretty good about making records of just about everything under the Sun. Simply because they peppered their works with references to their gods does not, in any way, corroborate the exitence of those gods.


240 posted on 05/25/2005 10:29:25 AM PDT by Junior (“Even if you are one-in-a-million, there are still 6,000 others just like you.”)
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To: agrace

The Greeks could also claim a number of fulfilled prophesies. Does this mean that the Oracle at Delphi was chatting with real gods?


241 posted on 05/25/2005 10:30:40 AM PDT by Junior (“Even if you are one-in-a-million, there are still 6,000 others just like you.”)
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To: A Balrog of Morgoth

I'm not particularly fond of someone who attempts to impugn my character behind my back. By the way, what on earth do you mean by Sea-Lawyer? (Clarity in your comments seems to be generally lacking.)


242 posted on 05/25/2005 10:34:24 AM PDT by atlaw
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To: Tantumergo; Right Wing Professor
You never bothered to answer my question, so I'll reask it.

You stated:

OTOH creationists look for scientific data which seem to support their theory - i.e. that all species were created as they are and that one species does not develop or arise from another one.

And I asked:

Could you point me in the direction of this research? And what, exactly, would this data look like?

It's a simple question. Where is this research in creationism, and what would the data look like that supports their theory?

243 posted on 05/25/2005 10:34:28 AM PDT by TomB ("The terrorist wraps himself in the world's grievances to cloak his true motives." - S. Rushdie)
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To: wideawake

Here's two, but you will have to read them, and I think I probably have wasted my time looking for them


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/1351793/posts?page=36

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/backroom/1343600/posts?page=156


244 posted on 05/25/2005 10:35:16 AM PDT by furball4paws (One of the last Evil Geniuses, or the first of their return.)
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To: cyborg

see above


245 posted on 05/25/2005 10:36:01 AM PDT by furball4paws (One of the last Evil Geniuses, or the first of their return.)
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To: Junior; L,TOWM
Huh? Historical accuracy does not correlate to evidence for the Word of God. It simply means that someone accurately recorded historical events. If he embellishes said events with references to the Almighty, one cannot infer that the Almighty exists. For example, the Greeks and Egyptians were pretty good about making records of just about everything under the Sun. Simply because they peppered their works with references to their gods does not, in any way, corroborate the exitence of those gods.

Similarly, verification of the many historic events and places detailed in "Gone With the Wind" does not in any way bolster the claim that Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara actually existed.

Authors (of any time period) commonly write their stories and characters amid actual places and events. Historical accuracy of any of these books hardly supports the truth of *all* their contents.

246 posted on 05/25/2005 10:37:03 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: PatrickHenry
Thanks for the ping, didn't realize Dawkins was so funny.

Dear scientist, don’t work on your mysteries. Bring us your mysteries for we can use them. Don’t squander precious ignorance by researching it away. Ignorance is God’s gift to Kansas.

ROFL!

247 posted on 05/25/2005 10:37:19 AM PDT by CobaltBlue (Extremism in the defence of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.)
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To: furball4paws

Thanks. I appreciate but I'll be impressed when they do it from scratch.


248 posted on 05/25/2005 10:37:40 AM PDT by cyborg (Serving fresh, hot Anti-opus since 18 April 2005)
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To: L,TOWM
[insult the participants with falsehoods]

Most of the regular participants do fine on each other.

Ah, the old Clinton excuse: "Everyone does it!" Sorry, but that hardly excuses your own false slander, which is one of the worst examples I've seen recently, so don't try to play Mr. Innocent here, or try to pretend that you're sitting on any high ground. You made a transparently false and wildly overgeneralized accusation. And you were caught at it. Deal with it.

How many bannings from arrogant know it alls screaming at each other have taken place as a result of these threads? Way too many. Or perhaps not enough in some people's opinion.

The bannings have been almost exclusively on the creationist side, by the way.

It would'nt break my heart to see these threads get killed instantly.

Yes, I'm sure you'd appreciate it if opposing views were silenced.

249 posted on 05/25/2005 10:42:26 AM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: furball4paws
These are not spontaneous adaptations through natural selection - these are intentional hybrids.

Horticulture, not Darwinism.

250 posted on 05/25/2005 10:45:58 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave troops and their Commander-in-Chief)
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