Skip to comments.Leading Republican differs with Bush on evolution (Santorum)
Posted on 08/04/2005 12:43:01 PM PDT by Crackingham
A leading Republican senator allied with the religious right differed on Thursday with President Bush's support for teaching an alternative to the theory of evolution known as "intelligent design."
Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, a possible 2008 presidential contender who faces a tough re-election fight next year in Pennsylvania, said intelligent design, which is backed by many religious conservatives, lacked scientific credibility and should not be taught in science classes.
Bush told reporters from Texas on Monday that "both sides" in the debate over intelligent design and evolution should be taught in schools "so people can understand what the debate is about."
"I think I would probably tailor that a little more than what the president has suggested," Santorum, the third-ranking Republican member of the U.S. Senate, told National Public Radio. "I'm not comfortable with intelligent design being taught in the science classroom."
Evangelical Christians have launched campaigns in at least 18 states to make public schools teach intelligent design alongside Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Proponents of intelligent design argue that nature is so complex that it could not have occurred by random natural selection, as held by Darwin's 1859 theory of evolution, and so must be the work of an unnamed "intelligent cause."
Santorum is the third-ranking member of the U.S. Senate and has championed causes of the religious right including opposition to gay marriage and abortion. He is expected to face a stiff challenge from Democrat Bob Casey in his quest for re-election next year in Pennsylvania, a major battleground state in recent presidential elections.
"What we should be teaching are the problems and holes -- and I think there are legitimate problems and holes -- in the theory of evolution. What we need to do is to present those fairly, from a scientific point of view," he said in the interview.
"As far as intelligent design is concerned, I really don't believe it has risen to the level of a scientific theory at this point that we would want to teach it alongside of evolution."
He had a much longer post with more information recently, but it was so big it was removed ...
Here's an alternate copy: The tip-of-the-iceberg evolution mega-post.
[smokeman:] I am not claiming that all of TOE is crap, just that parts of it, i.e. ape to man is simply speculation based on a few bones and common genes found over a million years. I just don't buy it.
It is far, far more than "simply speculation". First, see the "mega-post" linked above. Then note that even though it's *HUGE*, it's only a vanishingly small fraction of one percent of the amount of evidence that has been accumulated supporting and validating evolution.
I recently went to a large university library in order to find a copy of a paper I couldn't get online (and PubMed, an online database of biology-related research papers, has over TWELVE MILLION papers cataloged). The archived biology journals filled the second, and half of the third floors of the library. Each volume of bound journals held around a thousand pages, and was the size of a big-city phone book. Each shelf held about twenty volumes in a row. Each 8-foot-tall rack held eight shelves. There were about twenty five racks to a row (fifty when you count both sides of the "aisle"), they were *really* long. It was a chore hiking up and down them. There were about seventy rows. I got lost in them several times. And that was just the one floor, there were more upstairs.
And of course, those weren't all the journal articles, just the ones from the biggest journals, and not a lot of the ones published in languages other than English.
*That's* the kind of magnitude of evidence we're talking about. You could hike into those stacks, walk as long as you like, and then pull out a volume at random and flip it open to any page you chose, and I'd make money betting you that if the exact page you chose didn't contain a study providing supporting evidence for evolution, flipping 2-3 pages on either side would. You could literally spend the rest of your life trying to read it all, and not make it through a fraction of it.
Even just the dozens of different specific ways in which "ape to man" has been validated involves enough evidence to literally bury people under.
"Simply speculation"? Not hardly.
But that's not all.
I've recently noticed that most creationists have absolutely no clue about how the scientific method works, so allow me to give you a *very* simple overview. The reality is far more rigorous than this, and subjected to endless review and retesting, but here's the short version...
Creationists imagine that scientists just gather some data, make up a "reasonable" speculation that they think could account for the data, and then kick back and go on vacation. The creationists think that's all there is to science, just the "speculation" part.
That's just the barest *beginning*.
That's called the "hypothesis" stage. Scientists all over the world try to come up with all the hypotheses they can as possible explanations for any given scientific puzzle. This is a good thing -- the more brainstorming, the better the chance that someone will come up with a "speculation" that hits closest to the right answer.
So then they just argue over it to "decide" which one's right, eh? Nope, sorry, that's the creationist version.
Instead, they *test* these various ideas to see which ones actually work when compared against reality, and which ones fail when compared against reality. You've heard of those "experiment" things, right? This is the testing.
But contrary to cartoon-level public impressions of experiments, they're not always done by guys in a lab pouring test tubes together, or by scientists attempting to actually *reproduce* the process they're studying. Those are *one* way to test a hypothesis, but nowhere near the only reliable way. It's not possible to recreate the entire Hawaiian Islands chain in order to test hypotheses about how they formed, for example, but there *are* countless other ways to test hypotheses about geology -- or evolution, or any other field.
That's why you've heard scientists talk about "predictions" so much. One of the most widely useful, and most reliable, methods of testing a hypothesis is to work out its consequences -- to determine what results would occur if that explanation *was* the correct one. If that really *is* how things happen (or happened) in the universe, what "side effects" would it have, aside from the data or phenomenon itself which we crafted the hypothesis to explain? These are its *predictions*.
This is how we test to separate the good explanations from the bad explanations. If the Hawaiian Islands formed as a result of continental drift carrying the Pacific tectonic plate across a crustal magma plume, this would leave many, many kinds of tell-tale results which would be noticeably (and *test-ably*) different than the kinds of things you'd find if some *other* explanation was correct about a different manner in which the Hawaiian Islands had formed.
So to decide between the two (or fifty) potential explanations (hypotheses), you work out the "side effects" (predictions) of each different explanation -- what you'd find if X had actually happened, versus what you'd find differently if Y had actually happened, etc., then you go and *look* to see which of those side effects (if any!) you actually find when you look.
This "looking" can take different forms depending on the nature of the process being explored. In the case of some physics questions, you can build a tabletop setup of lasers in a certain configuration, or whatever, to reproduce the conditions which should act one way if hypothesis X is right, or another way if Y is correct, etc. This is a classic "experiment" in the layman's mind. In the case of medical hypotheses about what disease a patient has, you can try different drugs to see which he responds to. In some cases of geology, you can take core samples of the rocks under the Hawaiian Islands to see whether their composition and structure matches the predictions of one hypothesis, or another. In evolutionary biology, you can go check the DNA of various species to see if the pattern of differences and similarities matches the precise patterns (not just *general* patterns) which distinguish one hypothesis from another, or go find new fossils (or re-examine old ones) to see whether predicted features which no one sat down to check before match the predictions of various hypotheses, etc.
When this is done over and over and over again, and the *dozens* of different predictions of any one particular hypothesis are tested and all the predictions are found to match, and perhaps even more importantly, the things that the hypothesis predicts you *won't* find are looked for and found *not* to be present as well, then you can have more and more confidence that the hypothesis is, if not 100% correct (since you can never be *entirely* sure), very much on the right track, and is very close to being right explanation. Meanwhile, you can have great confidence that the alternative explanations which made predictions that *failed* are wrong, and can be taken out to the trash dumpster.
(Also, any one person can obviously make mistakes about reasoning out the predictions, or how to test whether the real world matches the predictions, etc. This is why science places such stress on *repeatability* -- you have to publish your data, your reasoning, your tests, etc., so that thousands of other experts can go over it with a fine-toothed comb looking for mistakes or fraud or untested presumptions, and can repeat your tests to verify that your results were valid and/or not a fluke. Also note that *this* is the kind of "repeatability" that science requires -- creationists often think that it means that the *processes* need to be repeatable, like being able to repeat the formation of the Hawaiian Islands; that's not the case. The *tests* have to be repeatable, the *verification* needs to be repeatable by anyone who cares to double-check your results, or try a new method of validating them.)
The core tenets of evolutionary biology make *VERY* specific predictions about what we should find (and what we *shouldn't* find) when we go looking at nature, and make *hundreds* of different predictions which allow multiple independent validation tests (since any one prediction might "come true" and match just by luck, even if the explanation is wrong). The tenet of common descent doesn't just predict that DNA from closely related species will "be similar", it predicts that they will be similar in *very* precise, specific ways, and that they will *differ* in other precise, specific ways. And when we examine and compare DNA, this is *exactly* what we find, *every* time we compare new DNA sequences which we had never examined before.
But wait, there's more!
Creationists often say, "but maybe DNA doesn't match all those predictions of evolutionary common descent, maybe DNA just happens to be that way because God chose to make it that way, even if those features of DNA don't seem to make sense from a 'design' standpoint (because after all, He works in mysterious ways, and He might have some Design reason for that configuration which is beyond our understanding), and it just *happens* to 'look like' the results one would expect from evolution."
Ah, but that excuse doesn't hold water.
The beauty of the scientific method is not only that it can decide between the hypotheses that *have* been thought of, it can also validate a hypothesis in the face of alternate *unknown* hypotheses (like the "maybe God did it instead" hypothesis).
Here's how that works.
The beauty of the "make predictions and then test them" method (especially since it's iterative -- after you do that, you make *more* predictions and test *them*, repeatedly) is that if your hypothesis (explanation) is wrong, there's *no* rational reason for an entirely unrelated explanation to "just happen" to match *all* of your explanation's 70 or 80 predictions "by coincidence", no matter *what* unrelated explanation we're talking about, including ones you haven't even thought of.
An unrelated explanation, if true, might by chance match the results of 10 or 12 of the predictions of your "wrong" explanation, but it's just ridiculous to think that (and mathematically close to "impossible" for) a process which actually works in a different manner than your speculatory explanation to "just happen" to match *ALL* the same expected results.
It's like OJ saying, "it wasn't me who killed my wife, it was some *other* guy, I don't know who... who just happened to wear my same large shoe size... and just happened to be wearing a rare, expensive type of shoe... that I just happen to have owned too... and just happened to get injured during the struggle and drop blood from his right hand... on the same night I just happened to cut that same hand shaving... and his blood DNA just happened to match mine... and he just happened to leave a glove at the murder scene that just happens to match one found in my alley... and I just happened to have received gloves just like that from Nicole as a gift and been photographed wearing them... and hairs matching mine just happened to be in the hat left at the murder scene... and fibers matching the carpet of my Bronco just happened to also... and the only hour of that day I can't account for my whereabouts just happened to be the time of the murder... and my houseguest heard thumps like someone climbing over the fence into the yard which just happened to match the time I would have had to have returned from Nicole's... But I didn't do it, it was some other guy."
Not freaking likely, is it?
When *all* of the different pieces of evidence implicate OJ, even the most unlikely and specific ones -- when they match predictions of what you'd expect to find if the "OJ is the killer" hypothesis is the correct one -- the odds of those results being "coincidental" matches with some *other* guy actually being the killer, vanish to nothingness. As attorney Vincent Bugliosi wrote in his book, in his "how I'd have prosecuted OJ" speech:
"At what point do these things stop being a coincidence, ladies and gentlemen of the jury? When you folks, as intelligent human beings using your common sense, say to yourself- 'Aw, c'mon, you've got to be kidding. It's ridiculous to suggest all of these things are just an incredible coincidence. That's not life as we know it.' That's when all this circumstantial evidence stops being a coincidence. When you people, as intelligent, sensible human beings -and that's why we selected you folks for this jury- say to the defense attorneys in this case, 'Let's stop living in a fantasy world and come back to earth.'This is actually an excellent description of the manner in which scientific hypotheses are "proven beyond a reasonable doubt" as well.
"When a person is innocent of a crime, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, chances are there isn't going to be anything whatsoever pointing toward his guilt. Chances are there will be nothing. But now and then, because of the very nature of life and the unaccountability of certain things, maybe one thing, in rare situations maybe even two things, will peculiarly point toward his guilt even though he is innocent. And in highly unusual and virtually unheard-of situations, maybe even three things will point to his guilt, even though he is innocent. But ladies and gentleman of the jury, in this case, everything, everything, points to this man's guilt. [...] We've set forth for you a staggering number of pieces of evidence that point to this man, and this man alone, as the murderer of these two precious human beings. Under these circumstances, it is not humanly possible for him to be innocent."
When we test the biological hypothesis of common descent, we don't just test *one* prediction of that hypothesis. Any *one* prediction might, by chance, "just happen" to match the results of some *other* process that was "actually" responsible for the formation of modern living things. Any *one* successful prediction/test, as they say, "doesn't prove anything". The creationists are right about that. If God made living things through a process *other* than letting them evolve from a common ancestor, especially one we couldn't comprehend, it might "just happen" that this included the existence of a half-bird/half-reptile looking animal like Archaeopteryx. Just coincidence that you'd get something like that through common descent also. And maybe the non-OJ killer just happened to wear expensive, rare shoes that OJ had too. It could happen.
But science doesn't stop there.
Common descent *also* predicts that we should find shared endogenous retroviruses in the DNA related species (see the link at the top). And indeed, they are there in the DNA when we look. Match #2. Now, whatever God's beyond-our-understanding-but-not-by-common-descent method of making life, even though we *don't* know anything about it, there's *no* reason to expect that it *has* to match, down to the tiniest specific details, the several hundred exact characteristics of endogenous retroviral patterns which would have resulted from common descent. God's different-method-entirely would be very likely to have different characteristics, produce different patterns in DNA which, even if we didn't understand the reasons for those patterns, would be unlikely to match the intricate patterns produced by the common descent of past viral infections. But, gosh, they do! Does that make sense, that God's Method would *coincidentally* match the mathematically *hugely* unlikely exact patterns that common descent would have produced? It *could* happen by luck, I guess. And the real killer of Nicole Simpson might have been a one-in-a-trillion DNA match to OJ, too. It's not *impossible*.
Common descent also predicts that the number of synonymous codon SNPs between related species should be directly correlated to the time since their last common ancestor. There's no plausible "design" reason for this, by the way, since those nucleotides are functionally silent. Flip them on, flip them off, nothing changes. And when we analyze DNA, across thousands and thousands of species, the results *do* match the predictions of common descent (*and* the indications of LCA time match the fossil record -- another coincidence?) Once again, God's Method, whatever it might be, needn't "just happen" to match the results of common descent. Whatever God's design criteria, surely *some* of his choices are going to result in a design that "just happens" NOT to match the outcome of common descent in some respects or another. But here on test #3, we find that yet *again* the real-world tests beautifully match the predictions of common descent. But the creationists assure us that *this* is just a coincidence too, just like the random coincidence that Nicole's killer cut his left hand in the same place and on the same night that OJ cut his own hand too. Mere coincidence.
Item #4: Common descent predicts that synonymous protein substitutions should fit a very specific pattern across phylogenies, entirely apart from any phenotypic "design" considerations, because it has no effect on phenotype. Again, these very specific patterns *are* found every time we do DNA analysis. Again, there's no reason for God's Method to match these results, since God any other method than actual common descent would be unlikely to "just happen" to produce results that look *exactly* like the signature of common descent. And yet... that signature *is* found in DNA. Mere coincidence again? Still?
Items #5-#10,000... Well, you get the idea.
And even each "single" item above is actually *thousands* of smaller individual items in a "family" of predictions along that line of evidence, and they *all* keep matching the predictions of common descent. Coincidence?
If life is *not* the result of common descent, by what STAGGERINGLY enormous "coincidence" does God's "other method", *whatever* it might be, JUST HAPPEN to match in every large and small detail, EVERY prediction of common descent? What dumb luck for the evolutionists, eh? The evolutionists are wrong, the creationists say, but the evolutionists lucked out in the evidence lottery, because God's non-evolutionary Design criteria "just happens" to LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE RESULTS OF EVOLUTION IN EVERY WAY.
Just by mere coincidence, of course, and it don't prove a thing. The creationists assure us of that.
Thus endeth the lesson on the scientific method, and how it is used to validate theories in hundreds of ways, large and small, and carry them far, far beyond the shaky unreliability of "simply speculations". Speculations have not passed a mind-boggling battery of tests and reality-checks. Scientific theories have -- and continue to be tested and retested every day, and adjusted as needed to keep them as accurate as possible as new evidence and test results keep being added to science's vast body of knowledge.
Now, for a few clarifications. In the above, I have *not* said that science could rule out the existence of God. I have not said science could rule out the *involvement* of God. (For that matter, science can't rule out the existence of Santa Claus, and neither can any other method.) Some things are impossible to demonstrate even in principle, nor does science make the attempt. What I *have* said, however, is that the scientific method can rule out certain *kinds* of explanations. In the example I gave above, what we ruled out (to a high degree of probability) was any *alternative* to common descent that did not *include* common descent. In other words, we demonstrated that *whatever* (or "Whoever") else might be involved in the formation of life, common descent *was* part of the process. God may have made us, but if He did, he did it via some variation on common descent.
The second caveat is that yeah, there's some bogus "science" out there. But for the most part, it isn't really science -- it's not stuff that has passed through the "reality-checking" filters I've described above -- it's some quacks putting on some white coats and calling a press conference to masquerade their agenda as actual science. The things that deserve the name "science" are those that have really passed the gauntlet of heavy-duty testing and restesting, and have survived all challenges thrown at it. And yes, there have been mistakes and frauds (albeit not nearly as frequently as the creationists try to claim). But science, by its very nature, is self-correcting -- eventually someone will spot the problems, and weed them out. And almost without exception, that someone is another scientist.
The final caveat to the above discussion is that in order for predictions to be testable, the world has to work in ways that are, well, *predictable*. The world (Universe, whatever you want to call it) has to be non-capricious, it has to work within guidelines, so to speak -- it can't be *deceptive*. This is often misunderstood and mislabeled as a "presumption of materialism", but it's not. As long as God doesn't play tricks on us, or act capriciously, the world is still "lawful" enough to be testable, to operate by steady "rules". As long as God/Nature/pickyourfavoritename doesn't *actively* attempt to disrupt our quest to learn how things work, the scientific method still works too. But, in exactly the same way that all the evidence of the guilt of OJ really *could* be "coincidental" if someone carefully *framed* him for the crime, it's also possible (in concept) for all of the features of life, DNA, fossils, etc. to so exactly match the results -- the predictions -- of common descent in so many different ways, but common descent *not* to actually have happened, if God *purposely* set up all the evidence in order to falsely *mimic* such results. But I don't think that *anyone* is actually willing to claim that God might be a liar, trying for some unfathomable reason to convince us of something that isn't really true.
Barring that, though (and barring newly discovered evidence overturning everything we've already discovered -- and don't hold your breath on that one), the only rational conclusion is that so many findings, in so many different independent lines of evidence, *so* closely match the *countless* predictions of common descent, because common descent *is* actually the case. Common descent has been demonstrated to be true.
If you want the bumper-sticker version of all of the above, it's the old saying, "If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, it probably *is* a duck." Likewise, when the vast amounts of evidence overwhelmingly look like common descent, then...
[A dozen creationists posting, "that doesn't prove anything" in 3... 2...]
Hominidae: On the planet for 30 million years, small family-level taxon (4 genera, 5 species extant),
localized to Northern Africa for most of their history, not terribly successful until the rise of modern humans.
Dinosaurs: On the planet for 185 million years, covered the Earth as the dominant life form, extremely successful
and diverse subclass-level taxon (several hundred genera):
You do the math on how many more fossils will be found of dinosaurs versus the Hominidae...
It will be memorialized in The List-O-Links. And I will be posting links to it often. But that's hardly enough. Send that thing out for publication.
...one day when the Democrat base lies in splinters and the Republican party splits into the libertarian and the conservative branches...
You've read my mind.
I'll score that as another direct hit, and move on.
You know, there is another way of dealing with your issue with God. And that is... DEALING with your issue with God.
And my response to this is that WHY s the focus only on alternate theories to evolution? If people want to argue a more conclusive issue of better trained teachers, better textbooks, or less government involvement in schools, in all for it.
But that's NOT the argument that is usually presented ... it's that the theory of evolution is somehow flwaed ... sceintifically, that has NOT yet been proven, despite what ID supporters might hope ... and to let those with a misunderstanding of scientific techniques dictate what they think the techniques should be undermines science. (Some might so that's not a bad thing, but they would be confusing science with some of the political/social/religious theories people use science to attempt to support --- environmentalism, atheism, etc.).
Just because TOE might not be correct ... but has not yet been shown to be incorrect ... is not a reason to not teach it. In English class they (should) teach the current words used in English ... and not start throwing in words they might one day use in our language. SPending a day describing that "gerfjjfdsi" is a brown angry cat isn't very productive.
But how long were dinosaurs around versus ape-ancestors? And "dinosaurs" is a broad range of creatures, sort of like "mammals" today ... if would be more acurate to compare the number of complete apish fossils to the number of, say, complete brontosaurs skeletons (or pick another dino).
And what criteria are you using to separate the "human" fossils from ones that merely appraoch human?
Too many, oops where did that come from or maybe if we do this it will fit again.
Yes, but to know if new data fits the existing theory, and to "fix" the existing theory, one would need to actually know the existing theory. I can't run around saying that because I found a red sweater, the theory of gravity is incorrect, and expect to be taken seriously or positively contribute to science.
At least in terms of the ape to man evolution.
You sem to be applying a different standard to "ape to man" evolution than to many other species. Just how many fossils do we have for transition of other species as compared to human evolution? It would be very difficult to find a completely unbroken transition in every case, as you'd need a sample of each and every generation ...
Santorum and Frist should get a room.
1. So they understand what the current theory of evolution is.
2. Without this understanding, they could have no hope to ever effectively argue for or AGAINST the theory of evolution, or to be taken seriously in the scientific community.
3. What's the point of many classes? I'm never going to diagram a sentence in real life, why do I have to read all that Shakespeare if I'm not going to be an actor, why do I have to do all this math if I'll have a calculator, why do I need to learn about WWII if I'm never going to invade Poland, etc.
4. Why should any currently accepted scientific theory be taught, then? They are all so limited, trying to only describe a piece of the puzzle! They should only teach one big unified theory of everything in class, perhaps make it a math equation so there's little room for argument.
5. The kind of statement you made is what leads some to believe the ID side is equally happy with ignorance as with knowledge.
(I don't think all IDers are that way ... there are plenty that have serious concerns about the issue (usually because their teachers ignorantly stateed that the theory of evolution was fact, and didn;t bother to explain the basic scientific concepts between theories and evidence), and are trying, finally, to build a proper case for their argument.)
6. If we KNEW exactly what was going on, it wouldn;t be science :)
Please remove your bias and file it in a dark place.
Without the ligaments and skin to hold the bones together in a "person" shape, of COURSE bones are going to need to be fit back together ... sometimes scientists luck out and find a skeleton laid out wonderfully well in the "correct" order, but if the bones are moved around in the thousands of years since dying, there's not much that can be done. They do have to work with the available evidence.
Also, some of the specimens in the same transitional stage look nothing alike.
Look around at people on the street one day, and find 100 that look exactly alike ... same facial structure, same height, same leg length, same arm length, same fingers ...
As to your question, its impossible to discern because each transitional stage has very different looking specimens that are supposed to be from the same species.
There are variations within most species at a given time ... as I said, look around you. Is anyone who's not exactly like you not human? Is someone with dwarfism not human? Those NBA players are real tall. What's your standrard for "very different looking"?
Thanks for posting. I couldn;t seem to find the links ...
Well, that's not an accurate description of the debate. The question now is whether Neanderthals are a separate hominid species or whether they are a subspecies of Homo Sapiens. However, no scientist involved in the study of Neanderthals would say they were "just" humans.
Apes and humans share a lot of genes. Also, we share many, many physiological traits. Finally, the fossil record supports our common ancestry.
If you want to prove that humans come from apes then simply show me an ape that is in the process of becoming human
Something like that is highly unlikely, if not impossible. The next step in the evolutionary ladder for chimps is not becoming human. If they evolve into a species with comparable intelligence to humans, they still won't be human.
The mistake you seem to be making is the assumption that we evolved from chimps or gorillas. That's not the case. Rather, we share a common ancestor but our species' diverged some time ago and went down separate paths. Chimps and gorillas aren't in the process of evolving into humans.
And I might add that you would think that since the process of evolution takes so many millions of years to come to pass that there would be warehouses upon warehouses fo neanderthal, cro-magnum, etc.. to see.
The conditions required for fossilization are very, very rare. Furthermore, many of the hominid species existed for a fairly short timespan. They weren't around for millions of years, like some species of dinosaur, for example. So, it is not surprising that we have only discovered a limited number of hominid fossils. Still, there's a pretty good number out there. In the hundreds, IIRC.
I'd also like to point out that anyone who teaches in science class that there is no creator is not practicing good science.
Science is incapable of addressing the existence or non-existence of supernatural beings. I think that any good scientist would know that.
Those other things are functional, evolution is a curiosity, it is interesting to wonder about. It is more interesting to wonder about when we consider the catalyst.
4. Why should any currently accepted scientific theory be taught, then? They are all so limited, trying to only describe a piece of the puzzle! They should only teach one big unified theory of everything in class, perhaps make it a math equation so there's little room for argument.
Now you have placed me on the opposite side of the spectrum from what I've been suggesting.
5. The kind of statement you made is what leads some to believe the ID side is equally happy with ignorance as with knowledge.
Now you have placed me on the "ID side", I'm on no side.
Someone who is religious and would like to promote a particular religion should probably not want anything to do with creation being considered in school. I suspect that is where Santorum is coming from. I, being neither religious nor anti-religious, think that is exactly the place where creation should be considered, scientifically without the religious instruction.
Can't argue with that.
Though, to be fair, local school boards are responsible for their fair share of educational stupidity.
Misleading at best. Newton personally believed in God, but nowhere in any of Newton's scientific work is God or any other supernatural agency necessary. The laws of motion make no reference to anything supernatural. The law of gravity similarly makes no such reference. Even Newton's discredited ideas on optics make no such references. Like all scientific work, there is nothing in there about the supernatural, since, by definition, a supernatural explanation cannot be tested and falsified.
Frist is a doctor. I would be stunned if he didn't accept the TOE.
In another year we may not have any senator we can call conservative.
I wasn't aware that accepting creationism/ID was a requirement for being conservative.
"*Before* folks have kids they should understand and be committed to the enormous responsibility."
Agreed, but the current 'conservative Christians' appear to want gov't to be responsible for an increasing amount of responsibility, at least when it comes to enforcing certain beliefs.
You miss the point.
Newton's base assumption was that he lived in an ordered world and thus he proceeded as if the world was ordered.
It was his theism that told him that there were laws in the universe to be discovered.
Are you suggesting that Sen. Santorum was misquoted? And how does this make him look bad?
"I'll score that as another direct hit, and move on"
Score what? Your complete failure to address the obvious inbreeding and intra-family mating that Creation allows no room to avoid? Just a simple point that I am waiting (but not holding my breath) for you to address. Don't feel bad - it's tough to argue logic.
BTW, are you aware that both DNA evidence and the story of Creation suggest a common ancestry? Or can your mind grasp the similarities?
What would you define as a "transitional form?"
Every example of discoveries of prehistoric "man" have been exposed as hoaxes and frauds!
Not even close. There has been one example of a hoax fossil of a hominid. The rest are all actual fossils.
Men with rickets,
Actually, it was a Neanderthal with rickets.
That is, as more has been learned, evolution appears even weaker. It is a theory in crisis, a theory without a mechanism.
Creationists have been saying this for 150 years, yet the evidence for evolution keeps piling up.
It seems you want either creationism or ID taught as an alternative to the theory of evolution. Do you have any specific suggestions as to what should be taught?
You also want schools to teach the "weaknesses" of evolution. What specific "weaknesses" of evolution do you think should be taught?
You deny this coutnry has far more proselytizing Christians than proselytizing atheists?
I am not going to debate the definition of theory.
You're not going to debate the definition of theory because you got caught trying to apply the wrong definition.
"Theory" in science does not mean untested or unproven. If you keep insisting that it does, you demonstrate either wilfull ignorance or a tendency to ignore facts solely because they don't fit your personal cosmology.
Well thats nice and all Rick but President Bush never said it should. So in an effort to endear yourself to Pennsylvania liberals you create a strwdog and knock it down. You've been hanging with Arlen much too long.
In public schools, no contest.
Not around here. Just last year, I had to sit through an official school assembly where some idiot told the kids they couldn't be happy without Jesus in their lives.
You must not be getting the memos.
Atheist, in your mind, is anyone who disagrees with you.
Thomas Aquinas once set out to prove there was a God. When he was laying out the ground work he assumed that the universe has been around for infinity (an absurd assumption). Why? Because otherwise, he explained, it would be rediculously easy
First, I just found out my Mom's cancer may have taken a turn for the worse, so I probably won't be able to keep up with this thread. Don't assume anything from silence.
Second, I can't tell if this is supposed to be a serious point or just a snotty little jibe, but the original point was that you were arguing that there is a huge chasm between Christianity and "science", and I pointed out that all of modern science is built on the foundations of work done by Christians with all of the same faith commitments you so despise and demonize, and in many cases as a conscious outworking of those faith commitments.
They followed the science where it lead, as do we, which is back to worship of the Creator. Darwinistas are the ones imposing their ideology on the evidence. That's just simple history. You have always assumed your ultimate conclusion.
Anyway, if you guys are so committed to teaching children the truth undiluted by biased, unscientific agendas, how come they never get taught this fact about modern science's foundations in Christianity???? Dohh!!!
It puts you in an absurd position to say that science is completely separate from religion/Christianity when it's actually (historically and philosophically) founded on it. It amazes me that you can say that with a straight face, but if that's what your religion demands, so be it.
As an aside, I've never met any Christians more fanatical, dogmatic, or zealous than devout Darwinists. Riddle me that.
I do agree that Santorum is aping the DI line but he is doing it for self aggrandizement at Bush's expense. I find that less than admirable, even in politics.
Atheists disagree with me, but they are but a small part of those that do. There are Protestants, liberals, moderates, paleoconservatives, Muslims, secularists .....
But here we're talking about people who try to teach their belief that God is not the creator. You're welcome to suggest another term but atheist (or atheistic) works fine from my perspective.
I'm not sure that ID'ers and creationists would be satisfied with what you are saying, though. They don't want creationism/ID to be taught as an old idea that was superseded by evolution, but rather they want their ideas taught as a viable alternative explanation to evolution. I could support teaching that the generally accepted explanation of biodiversity was once that God did it, but now evolution is the accepted explanation. Teaching ID/creationism as a viable SCIENTIFIC alternative, however, is not something I would support.
You do know that nothing is ever proven in science, don't you? You also know that creationism is not a theory, right? Creationism cannot be tested, so it falls outside the realm of science. What's wrong with teaching science, ie. evolution, in science class and teaching creationism in some other class?
If you work at it, you can probably get it under 50.
I just got done exercising Professor, you know what exercise is and its effect on physiology right? As an aside, I've made it go as low as 39 in a hospital setting by force of the mind as a joke. Not dead yet.
Do you know what a theory is? Please explain what it is.
I already addressed this elsewhere. Yes, indeed, God did command the Israelites to do some very aggressive and disquieting things to people living in the Promised Land. But as I said, there is no coherent basis for you to object to this.
You think these things were morally wrong? Where does this morality of yours come from? It's either derived from Christianity (let's say theism) in which case, um, you can't accuse God of being immoral if God gets to define moral. Or else it's some arbitrary set of moral rules that are complete fabrications, myths, invented to help you sleep better at night. They may be shared by lots of other people, but as you'd no doubt point out, the belief in creationism is shared by lots and lots of people but that doesn't make it the slightest bit truer does it!!!
And from an evolutionary point of view, rape, murder, and bloodshed have been the norm, the modus operandi if you will, for gazillions of years; why suddenly so squeamish?
We evolved a tendency to treat our fellow human beings as creatures like ourselves because it's to our advantage to be able to understand them and predict how they'll act, and the best model we have of others is ourselves. We treat them well because we expect that reciprocally they'll treat us well. There is a basic evolutionary reason for moral behavior.
Too funny. Um, like the Hutus and the Tutsis in Rwanda? Like the Serbs and the Croats? Like the Bolsheviks in Russia/Eastern Europe? Like the Nazis? Like the Maoists? Like the Imperial Japanese? Like the Aztecs? Like the New Guinean tribespeople? Like the Mongol hordes? Like the Roman legions in Gaul? Like the 35 million babies slaughtered every year by abortion? No. As Hobbes pointed out, the vast majority of human life has been nasty, brutish, and short.
Nevertheless, you want to argue that fabricating some arbitrary morality by which we can all live has a self-serving quality. This argument is so flawed it's almost not worth dealing with, but it's the only argument you have, so I understand.
First, Darwinists love to mock Christians, etc., for believing in a made up fantasy to make their lives work better. How is your position any different? Has evolution caused us to believe in things that have no objective truth to them simply because it is adaptive? What other beneficial fictions have we evolved into believing? Is ToE another example? Do we believe in abstract truths because they are true, or because they make us "fitter" relative to our environment? Under ToE it must be the latter, right?
Second, there are, as I've pointed out, innumerable examples of people who don't find Christian morality to be quite as obviously in their own self-interest. What happened to their evolution? Are they a slightly separate species? Ok, now I'm just laughing at you.
Finally, what authority do you appeal to when confronting someone (either politically, or personally) who does not agree with you morally? There is no objective moral standard or authority that stands above you both to which you can appeal. Reason and logic will never get you to an objective sanctity of human life or anything else without an objective moral authority of some sort as a starting point.
When the first homo sapiens evolved, through a process of immense suffering, bloodshed, survival, death, starvation, competition, how is it that it suddenly became immoral for him to kill other homo sapiens with whom he was competing for survival? It's absurd.
Ok dearies, I've tried to review the argument a little more slowly and with shorter words in the above posts for those who graduated from government schools.
BTW, where would I find these 2 billion Buddhists? There are some anthropologists who would be fascinated by your discovery.
Seriously, though, I don't want to hold you to any sort of factual accuracies, but the fact that certain people behave a certain way bears no philosophical bearing on the coherency of the belief systems which lead them to live that way.
My argument is that if Darwinism is true, all moral beliefs and value judgments are arbitrary and relative. Sure, anyone can make up any moral beliefs that they want to try to live under, and they may succeed, but that doesn't make them true in any objective sense. You are forced to believe in fabrications, myths, to make your lives pleasant.
And when a Hitler comes along and says "this is absurd, why are we wasting all these precious resources on the unfit, the weak, the infirm, and polluting our gene pool", to what do you appeal?
You want the science that grew out of Christianity, and the civilization and moral order that grew out of Christianity, but then you want to toss Christianity aside as if the fruits can be separated from the roots in some sort of philosophical cafeteria. You want fries with that?
The snide-ness of the article is what I mean.
"A leading Republican senator allied with the religious right..."
"Santorum is the third-ranking member of the U.S. Senate and has championed causes of the religious right..."
We never see "A leading Democrat senator allied with MoveOn.org..." or "A Democrat senator who has championed causes of the liberal left".
If I am understanding Pope JPII's encyclical correctly, I think the Catholic doctrine actually allows for the belief that the physical body of humans is a product of evolution, so long as one believes that God gave us a soul directly. Obviously, such a doctrine would in no way conflict with the scientific theory of evolution, which cannot say anything about a soul.
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