Skip to comments.Do you believe in accidentalism? (Creation vs. evolution)
Posted on 09/01/2005 6:36:09 PM PDT by wagglebee
Some commentators have compared the current argument over whether "intelligent design" merits mention in high school classes on evolution to the famous Scopes "monkey trial" in Tennessee in 1925. They seem to feel that it's the same old dispute, dolled up in new clothes. They miss the delicious irony that it is, instead, the exact reverse of the Scopes trial.
In Scopes, the central issue was whether the theory of evolution could be put forward in the public schools of Tennessee (the school system subscribed to the belief that human beings were created directly by God). Today, the central issue is whether "intelligent design" may be mentioned in science courses in the public schools of Kansas, Pennsylvania and other states as a modification of the theory of evolution, which today reigns there as the exclusive explanation of the development of species, including our own. The supporters of evolution are as determined to ban all references of intelligent design as Tennessee's schools were determined to ban all references to the theory of evolution.
Webster's New World Dictionary defines evolution as "the theory, now generally accepted, that all species of plants and animals developed from earlier forms by hereditary transmission of slight variations in successive generations." Evolutionists would agree that, for strict accuracy, the word "accidental" should be inserted before the word "variations." I see this as so important that I suggest we substitute the term "accidentalism" for the word "evolution." For that is what is at issue in the current debate: whether those slight variations are in fact totally accidental (in which case there is no need to posit the existence of a God, or anything else, to bring them about) or whether they are the product of intelligent design on the part of a pre-existing designer. The whole controversy thus becomes, as I see it, a subset of the larger dispute between those who believe in a God and those who prefer a strictly materialistic, and atheistic, explanation of the universe.
Thanks to the Supreme Court's wildly imaginative interpretation of the First Amendment, atheism has become the default conviction of American society. Because of the supposed "wall" between church and state, no serious reference to a God may intrude upon the public square. In public schools, children may indeed, must be taught the accidentalist theory of humanity's origins; any notion that God played a part in the process is strictly prohibited.
But the concept of intelligent design presents a new problem, because it doesn't depend upon the existence of a God, in the ordinary sense of that word, but only suggests that certain steps in the development of species are too complex to have been accidental, but require the pre-existence of some sort of intelligent designer. This modest argument has won the support of some thoroughly respectable scientists.
It has also won the undying enmity of many others, because they recognize the threat it poses to their own unstated but passionate atheism. They have flatly denied that there are any steps in the development of species too complex to be explained as sheer accidents though there are numerous instances of steps they cannot ("yet") explain. They have pointed to the failure of intelligent-design proponents to publish their arguments in "respectable peer-reviewed scientific publications" while fighting doggedly to keep them from being published there.
And, of course, they are battling furiously to keep any mention of intelligent design out of the hearing of the millions of students whom they are systematically drilling in the supposedly unchallengeable theory of accidentalism.
Why, I ask, should reasonable people be so afraid of an intuitively appealing suggestion that a scientific theory may need modifying? They reply that the suggestion itself is not "scientific," and thus has no place in a class on science. Let it be studied, if at all, in courses on religion.
And let their response be included in courses on logic, as a stellar example of intellectual dishonesty.
The conservative coalition that has put the GOP in power is more fragile than you may think.
***I know it's fragile. I came to FR when it seemed that conservatives might never make a difference. Even after we managed to catch the pres red-handed in lying under oath, it didn't matter to the Congress. But you stick to your faith and I'll stick to mine until I see compelling evidence that it is in vain.
BTW, this article explained how I felt pretty decently...
Science Classes Should Educate, Not Indoctrinate
But you stick to your faith
The crux of the matter...it's not a matter of faith. Que sera, sera.
The crux of the matter...it's not a matter of faith
***I posted the following on another crevo thread, and it was unanswered.
Here is where I see that evo/abiog becomes a philosophy. There are always going to be things that we don't know. Even in that abiog article, they say, "At the moment, since we have no idea how probable life is, it's virtually impossible to assign any meaningful probabilities to any of the steps to life except the first two .... For the hypercycle->protobiont transition, the probability here is dependent on theoretical concepts still being developed, and is unknown." At that point of the unknown, the way all of us connect the dots is an inner matter of faith. Some have faith that the probabilities/the missing link in the fossil record/ the great microparticle discovery that explains everything/whatever will be found by scientists because they are so clever and their fact-filled theory explains so much. At the point of the unknown, it is a philosophy. It belongs in a philosophy class, right next to some other fascinating philosophies.
I posted the following on another crevo thread, and it was unanswered.
When there is a basic unreconcilable difference, no answer is adequate and any attempt is a waste of effort. The only purpose is to inform/convince the lurkers. There are no more on this thread. It is a dead thread. Bye.
When there is a basic unreconcilable difference, no answer is adequate and any attempt is a waste of effort.
***That's interesting to know. Now that this has become a public policy discussion, when one side disengages, there are more consequences than before. You lose that chance to educate the public.
The only purpose is to inform/convince the lurkers.
***That may have been true before, but the definition of lurkers has just changed and expanded to include that 2/3 of the general public that agrees the two philosophies should be taught side by side.
There are no more on this thread. It is a dead thread. Bye
***Good enough. I may be new to crevo threads, but I'm no newbie to FR. In my experience, people disengage when they have no more to say, and can't come up with strong enough rebuttals.
I believe that John Adams was the 18th president. Hancock, the president of the Continental Congress that voted for independence, was the First President.
John Hanson, of Maryland was the 9th, the first elected under the terms of the Articles of Confederation.
Gosh, does anyone learn history anymore?
Thanks for your contribution to the ongoing dialogue Kevin. As you've noted, blowing the smoke off the smoke and mirrors of Evolution isn't going to convert those who've been turned over to reprobate status by God. It can serve as example to lurkers as you seem to have duly noted. The vacancy of Evolution reduces it to a religion and/or philosophy that has no footprint in fact - only a belief system. To this extent, it is not science and does not belong in science. And amazingly enough, the public gets that. Evolution's days are now numbered. Accountability of results is coming. And they don't like it at all.
You're welcome. When I review your posts, it seems like you've been doing a lot of the technical heavy lifting. Keep up the good work.
Oh, and.... Welcome to Free Republic, Newbie :-)
Just caught this.. lol. Newby?
Sure, you're only Freeper #2693. You're not even a 99 percenter ... heh heh heh ;-) In the old days, people didn't even say, "welcome to FR".
ROFL.. by that measure I am a newby then.
If he desires to be known by me, He can pick up a phone, or send me an email.
If he is all-knowing, he knows my number.
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