Skip to comments.Backward, Christian Soldiers! (Intel-Design supporters equivalent to 'Holocaust Deniers')
Posted on 10/10/2005 4:59:55 PM PDT by gobucks
Why must intelligent design be stopped? Because thisGod forbidcould be the moment when the theocratization of America makes a real advance.
Will the Yankees win the pennant and the World Series? Dont know, dont really much care. Its the same with religion: I just dont get it. There may be a God orI was raised Unitarianan oversoul or divine oneness of creation, but I have no conviction one way or the other, nor any itch to shuck off my uncertainty in favor of either atheism or firm belief.
I realize Im a freak, entirely out of step with the mainstream. According to the polling data, about 5 percent of Americans say they dont believe in God, and only another 5 percentmy 5 percentarent sure. But almost the whole other 90 percent subscribe to some flavor of (Christian) faithmost of those say that the Bible is literally true, and a good 30 percent believe that it was dictated by God.
And whether they are strict scriptural literalists or not, a huge supermajority of Americans believe inwhat else to call it?magic: 61 percent think the world was created in six days, 70 to 78 percent say that hell and the Devil and angels exist, 81 to 85 percent believe in Heaven. If opinion polling had existed in the Middle Ages, its hard to imagine that the numbers would have been much higher.
For practical reasonsreasons both of politics and civilityit ordinarily behooves our tiny minority of reality-based infidels to keep quiet about our astonishment that most of our fellow citizens are in thrall to fantastic medieval fever dreams, just as it behooves secular minorities in Islamic countries to keep their modern sentiments to themselves. In countries like ours, the Iraqs and Afghanistans and USAs, liberals need to pick their battles.
So complaining about under God in the Pledge of Allegiance really isnt worth the trouble. Im pleased, of course, when judges declare the display of the Ten Commandments on public property unconstitutional, but even there Im not quite willing to go to the mat, especially concerning the rules about stealing, killing, and filial respect. How about the giant menorah over the door of the Municipal Building on Centre Street every December? Whatever. Discretion is the better part of valor.
But not always and no matter what. Sometimes we have to make an impolitic stink in support of the Enlightenment, and of the pieces of the Constitutionlike the first words of the Bill of Rights, about government making no law respecting an establishment of religionthat are its revolutionary political expression. Intelligent design (ID), the hot new rebranding of Christian creationism, is extremely clever, profoundly disingenuous, and, I think, dangerous. It must be beaten back and kept out of the public schools.
Why have I gotten so riled now? Because when and if, God forbid, the history of Americas theocratic transformation is written, these past few months will be seen as a turning point. When I read in June that the Discovery Institute, the Seattle think tank behind intelligent design, was premiering its new movie, The Privileged Planet: The Search for Purpose in the Universe, at the Smithsonian, I literally moaned and shouted. In his inaugural Mass last spring, the new pope had included a sentence dissing evolution, but in July, Cardinal Schonborn, his close friend and doctrinal Kommandant, elaborated the Churchs aggressive new anti-Darwinism in a Times op-edan article placed, it turned out, through the offices of the Discovery Institute.
Then came August, when I discovered that Bill Gatess foundation is a principal funder of the Discovery Institute (although not primarily its intelligent-design work). And watched the president say that the decision whether to teach evolutionary biology or faith-based pseudoscience should be made by local school districts, but that both sides ought to be properly taught . . . so people can understand what the debate is about. And watched Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, the Harvard Medical School graduate, scramble onto the bandwagon. And then, depressingly, watched the hard-truth-telling maverick John McCain do the same. Finally, at the end of the month, the Times ran a friendly three-part series on intelligent design. The barbarians had breached the gate.
So now my interest in the outcome of Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School Districtthe federal trial of a lawsuit over a Pennsylvania school systems embrace of intelligent designis intense. Dover is close, only two hours beyond Philadelphia. Instead of rooting for Derek Jeter this fall, every joule of my home-team passion is going to the heroic team of dissenters in Dovernot just Tammy Kitzmiller and her ten fellow parents who filed suit, but Bertha Spahr and her six fellow teachers who declined to go along with the school boards crypto-Christian meddling in their science curriculum.
This is the anti-evolution disclaimer the Dover teachers were ordered to read to their ninth-grade classes before they could teach evolution: Because Darwins Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. . . . Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. . . . Intelligent design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwins view. In a letter to the school superintendent explaining their refusal, the teachers at one point became especially emphatic: INTELLIGENT DESIGN, they wrote, caps lock on, IS NOT SCIENCE. INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS NOT BIOLOGY. INTELLIGENT DESIGN IS NOT AN ACCEPTED SCIENTIFIC THEORY.
The teachers are right; the school boardand Bush, Frist, and McCainis simply wrong. Creationists, now reborn as design theorists, imagine that finally, instead of merely ignoring or denying evolutionary science, they are using bona fide but Genesis-friendly science to discredit it. Their crucial, we-are-not-insane concession is that the Earth really is a few billion years old, rather than only a few thousand.
Evolution is a theory, not a fact, say the stickers that another school system, in Cobb County, Georgia, affixed to textbooks. But all scientific knowledge continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered, and therefore all science is nominally theorytheory that exists along a spectrum, however, from deeply knowledgeable speculation (like superstrings in particle physics) to virtual certainties (such as evolution). In science, there is no such thing as fixed, irrefutable truth. Thats the difference between empiricism and faith.
So heres a compromise: Im willing to print the reasonable-sounding liberal core of the Cobb County disclaimer on every textbook in AmericaThis material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically consideredas soon as the Christians agree to put the same sticker on all of their Bibles. Disingenuous? Sure, just like the ID movements apparently liberal, apparently evenhanded strategy to sneak religious ideas into the classroom by saying they want to teach the controversy. In fact, the brilliance of the IDers (and of the new New Right generally) has been to recast all sorts of old liberal paradigms and habits for their own ends. We say intelligent design is camouflaged religion, and therefore a violation of the First Amendment? Well, says one of Discoverys directors, the Dover case is indeed about adhering to the First Amendmentby protecting the right to free speech in public-school classrooms.
For several decades the philosophical ground has been softened up by the relativism and political correctness of the secular left, which succeeded in undermining the very idea of objective reality and of calling a spade a spadeso now, in the resulting marsh, fantasies like intelligent design (or Scientology or feng shui or 9/11 as a CIA plot) take root and spread like weeds. Liberals pioneered squishy-minded indulgence of their key constituencies unfortunate new ideas, like reparations and criminalized hate speech; now its the rights turn.
The ID people, Im afraid, remind me of Holocaust deniers. Theyre not evil, but they are distorting and ignoring a century and a half of overwhelming empirical evidence to make it easier for people to believe in a historical miracle, just as Holocaust deniers distort and ignore half a century of overwhelming empirical evidence to make it easier for people to disbelieve a historical crime. Both are enemies of truth.
John E. Jones III, the judge hearing Kitzmiller v. Dover, is an active Republican whom Bush appointed. Still, so far he has ruled in favor of the teachers, and it would be shocking if he issued a verdict that the school system is behaving constitutionallyin other words, if he ruled that intelligent design has a bona fide secular purpose and is not intended to advance religion. Those are the constitutional tests that the big lie of ID was designed to end-run.
Whatever his verdict, the losing side will undoubtedly appeal the case up to the Supreme Court. The last time the court ruled on creationism, overturning a Louisiana education law in 1987, the vote was 7-2, with Justices Scalia and Rehnquist dissenting. That court didnt include Clarence Thomaswho in last years one nation under God case made the Talibanic argument that the First Amendments establishment clause applies only to the federal government and was never meant to prohibit individual states from adopting official religions. But even in the unlikely event that both Chief Justice Roberts (an observant Catholic) and, say, Harriet Miers (a born-again Evangelical) voted with Scalia and Thomas to allow intelligent-design provisos in science classes, the court would presumably still be 5-4 in favor of keeping church and state separated.
So we are probably safe for nowas a jurisprudential matter. But politically, secularism will lose no matter what. If its decided correctly, Kitzmiller v. Dover can become a new Roe v. Wade, a landmark judicial bone in the craw of Christian America, a fresh means for right-wingers to depict their children as victims of godless liberals. At least on Roe v. Wade, a big majority of Americans have consistently supported the decision. As far as teaching straight science goes, however, the big majority is against us. According to a new Pew Research Center poll, 64 percent of Americans are in favor of having creationism and evolution taught in schooland it seems most of those would actually prefer to replace evolution altogether with scriptural teaching. Like I said, those of us who believe wholeheartedly in science and the First Amendment are the freaks.
You'll like this one.
Ahh, that explains so much.
Q: How many Unitarian Universalists does it take to change a light bulb?
A: ...well, first you'd have to know whether it's a fluorescent, an incandescent, or a halogen bulb, but even then you may have made a false assumption because not all Unitarian Universalists necessarily even find lightbulb-oriented illumination useful, or even believe in Electricity or the Electric Company.
ROFLMAO - My uncle was a Unitarian. I'm assuming based on your joke you knew him!
Isn't Barry Lynn a Unitarian? Or was that Universal Life (the mail order people)?
He equates those who believe the Bible with those who believe in magic. He has no credibility.
The first is that it is no longer a religion, but more of a political discussion club that meets on Sundays.
The second is that these folks don't see the Bible as an authoritative document, yet they expect me to not only live by it as if it is, but live by their interpretation of it. If not, I'm a greedy warmongering fundamentalist.
No, didn't know your uncle....but did you know the first few years of Charles Darwin's life, his mother to him to church?
The Unitarian Church on High Street, in Shrewsbury.
Wonders never cease.
I especially enjoyed his comment about how the poll numbers wouldn't have been different in the Middle Ages. He should move to Sweden and leave us hicks alone.
"his mother to him to church? "
"his mother took him to church."
"He equates those who believe the Bible with those who believe in magic. He has no credibility."
Honestly, I'm pretty sure he is a Freeper, but well hidden.
The only Unitarians I meet are here at FR ... and many are very tiresome, I have to report.
Exactly. If you don't want God running your life, just go ahead and stop believing in Him, and leave me and society the heck alone.
I once heard Unitarians described as "atheists who are hedging their bets."
I laughed that day.
Well, after the last 400 years of technological advances I think most people by now SHOULD accept the power of the scientific method.
The fact is scientific thinking has had more success explaining things than theology.
Some people just let their emotions, in this case hate, get in the way.
If you can't see the similarity, then the problem isn't with him.
Thanks for your opinion. I'll file it with all those others I don't value.
Q. What does the Ku Klux Klan do when a Unitarian moves to town?
A. They burn a question mark on his lawn.
What we know scientifically is that the genetic material in species that look alike is similar. We know you can count the differences in DNA sequences and assume some reasonable mutation rate, that makes the species seem to be arranged in plausible trees of evolution.
The big problem with Evolution as preached today is that the only way anyone has been able to make new species has been by splicing entire sets of genes into chromosomes. In other words, we only have scientific evidence that it requires a purposeful intelligence to make a new species.
That is pretty strong scientific evidence that Intelligent Design is a more likely scientific theory that the Random Mutation doctrine of Evolution.
A old friend of mine, who was raised Unitarian, explains that Unitarians believe in at most one God.
"That is pretty strong scientific evidence that Intelligent Design is a more likely scientific theory that the Random Mutation doctrine of Evolution."
My friend, Intelligent design, is nothing more than theology masquerading as objective (measurable) reality. Evolution is happening today, and if there is an intelligent designer floating about, we'd eventually catch him in the act, because he would have to cheat the observed (and predictive) laws of nature. Don't tell me he can't be caught. The almighty himself was caught once and got nailed to a tree for his trouble.
Now God may or may not have a sense of humor, but I can't believe he'd mess with our heads by making a fake fossil record, fake random mutations in DNA, etc.
"Intelligent Design" belongs in the Sunday school from whence it came.
What do you mean by "random"? Do you mean random mutation or random selective pressures? If you mean random mutation, then yes, new species have indeed arisen out of other species. There are several of examples here including fruit flies that have evolved into new species of fruit flies.
The big problem with Evolution as preached today is that the only way anyone has been able to make new species has been by splicing entire sets of genes into chromosomes.
Nope. This isn't true. See the link above. Random mutation has indeed created new species.
Darwin's original theory was a theodicy, an attempt to understand God and evil.
And not to rock the boat but the concept of Intelligent design does leave room for the devil to have a hand in design also. Job got boils from the devil. Some of the designs of inimical organisms or mechanisms are degenerate forms of other beneficial structures.
The real problem we have is that the government runs the public schools. Since they run the schools and since the country by decree of the USSC has sharply separated church and state Parents are not happy. Society is not happy. Power has been taken from the people. Sending your children to school is mandated by the government, everyone is taxed to support these schools that many are unhappy with. The problem can be solved with a good dose of democracy. Let vouchers flourish. Let partents have back to power to choose where to send their children to school or to homeschool. Let schoold of many types develop and lets the parents choose. The church state line should be drawn with the parents with said voucher in their hands. The system as it is now is unfair. The rich can choose religious schools for their children. The rich liberals can send their children to red diaper baby schools that are still open. The every day person does not have the same choice.
This is so ridiculous. All of the examples provided in your post are hybridization experiments. In other words, "intelligent designers" (which I will cautiously refer to as "scientists") mechanically combine genetic pairs to create an unexpected result which is then labelled as a successful mutation --many of which are sterile?!
I think intelligent design may be flawed theory but thus far, most attacks, like this one make no sense.
We are dutifully informed that intelligent design is not subject to scientific testing yet this is precisely the kind of testing that science continually does. Forensics science examines apparently accidental or random events and attempts to assess whether they could have been "intentional." Many scientific studies are dedicated to showing how events are not random but in fact causal. Mathematics provides many useful tools for showing that various events are unlikely to be random.
How is it that evolutionary theorists can so readily assert that randomness is a rule? There is no comparable rationale within science. Though no random mutations have been observed-- as we discover in your post-- we are continually assured that the infintesimal possibililty of such a change multiplied by ":billions of years" must have obviously created the incredible diversity of life forms on earth.
That might be correct but I find it highly suspicious that even the discussion of alternatives to such a view is deemed intolerable.
Yep, and it's resposnible for killing George Washington with it's success - bleeding him to cure his disease.. The proud always gloat in the hopes that no one paid attention to their ills. Evolutionists have done two things - stood on the shoulders of those who "proved" science while at the same time shouting that scientific theory cannot be proven. Who proved the theory of flight? Hint, it was a pair of brothers at Kittyhawk. We're supposed to carve such trivialities from our minds in order to bolster the concept that Evolutionists should be required to prove their drivol. Evolution isn't gravity. Evolution is a religion pretending at science and attempting to hide behind lame disclaimers that they are under no obligation to prove themselves.. you are just obliged to believe them. Where else but in a cult does one expect to hear such notions. Where else but from charlatans has one heard such sales pitches.
Polystrait fossils were argued by christians to be evidence of flooding for a long time. The damage presented by the 1980s eruption of Mt. St. Helens proved to science what Christians had been saying all along. St. Helens at once explained coal formation, rapid sedimentation, rapid carving of canyons, etc. One relatively small scale natural disaster destroyed many evolutionist fairytales about "millions of years". It isn't the notion that non-science is overtaking science that bothers them. It's that the truth is overtaking propaganda and evolution is quickly approaching it's demise as mock science and is headed for the ash-heap of history. It cannot withstand many more Mout St. Helens like events which expose the lack of candidness or truthfulness on behalf of the evolution crowd. Truth matters. Proof matters. We are, afterall, discussing what is supposed to be observeable. And life and it's properties are observeable lest we be treated to some thesis on how superstrings are not directly observeable.
As regards superstrings, gravity and other phenomina, we have to interject a bit of common sense when discussing these things. They are not terms which lept to life out of the ether. They are terms applied to things science observed and couldn't understand. Evolution, contrarwise, is something Science has theorized and never seen. It didn't arise out of an observation that couldn't be explained, it arose as a theoretical possibility that they have been chasing proofs for since.. to no avail. What's more, Evolution is not a single theory. It is a set of theories that are discarded and replaced under the umbrella of a religious idea. The idea never dies, it just invents new theories when the old ones are disproven. And, yes, lest we allow them to get away with saying science isn't about proof, we must note that they disprove their own ideas and discard them, then noting the damage done, replace the old set of theories with new ones - thusly remaining a constantly moving target. Observations like those surrounding the investigations after Mt. St. Helens have served to pin them down bits at a time. The more this happens, the more nervous their side gets. Like it or not, that is the nature of things being attempted to be hidden from truthful and candid conversation in the public. The danger on the horizon is what to do when the faithful no longer have this theory to believe in and science has to answer for the long fraud... Screaching and gnashing of teeth aren't quit apt impressions; but, are close. Think of liberals losing power and you'll be pretty close. We have examples of that sideshow daily.
I have a friend who was raised in the UU, and he told me a story about someone in his congregation asking their UU minister "why don't you just meet on Wednesdays, and call it 'bowling night'?"
The answer back? "Because we find most members have Sunday open on their calendars"
Not government, Congress -- i.e. the federal legislature (and sure as hell not the federal judiciary). This "enlightened", "rational" man seems to want to obfuscate the difference. Is he a constitutional ignoramus like most of the left, or is he doing it on purpose? I'm not sure, but he sure looks like a fool to those of us who really are rational.
True enough. But science and biology are not the sole way to pursue truth. Matter of fact, evolution gets too be less and less a science the further you go back -- I'm inclined to think evolution happened although the origin of life through evolution remains a working model more the a testable theory -- like intelligent design is.
As for intelligent design, I know it happened, but not through the scientific method. I also know my daughter loves me. No science there either. Matter of fact I know 2+2 is 4. No science there either, just a conventional model.
Depends on the kind of thing. Science is great for some things, but doesn't work well with others. It is just one of the ways honest rational people try to determine what is true. To limit oneself to science alone is just sad.
I think Barry Lynn is/was in the UCC - United Church of Christ (descendents of the Congregational Church, mostly)
As a recent "scientific" convert to ID, the most that evolution can possibly explain, by the evidence, is the gradual change of a single species that has been around a very long time.
What it cannot explain is all the creatures the theory projects as required to have existed in the transitions from long gone species to the species we have today. There are fossils for the long gone species and very old fossils for species alive today. There are no fossils for the transitions. In each case, it's as if there used to be X and now there is Y, but Y had to have something else because the precurors for too many of its attributes do not exist in X. Evolution posits that there must be/have been transitionary creatures, yet for the tons of species that should have them, there are no fossils for them.
So, with no transitionary figure by which a long evolutionary slog of cause and affect slowly changed the DNA, how did present species come to acquire their DNA?
Who is it that believes in magic?
Uh. Try reading beyond section 5.1
Section 5.2: Speciations in Plant Species not Involving Hybridization or Polyploidy
You're wrong. There are plenty of transitional forms.
There are examples put forth here.
The whole point of science is to throw out prejudice and look strictly at the facts.
But, hey. Feel free to "go beyond" science and believe whatever. Isn't that what you want? To believe in something that science doesn't support? You have to rationalize it somehow I guess.
There are plenty of people that have "gone beyond" science. Most of the time they end up believing foolish things. Science helped up put aside foolish things.
Of course it's a free country. So believe what you will.
Yeah. Communists and Islamofascists.
If ever you wanna tick off a Leftist, just remind 'em that Nazis were Leftists, too. That's right...the Nazis were National Socialists.
It's guaranteed that the Leftist who hears this will either have an aneurysm, give birth to broken glass, or spontaneously combust on the spot. If you're lucky, all three. :o)
I just came to say hi. Miss talking to you.
"There are several of examples here including fruit flies that have evolved into new species of fruit flies."
And they're still FRUIT FLIES. Evolution tries to turn a one celled amoeba into a fish which crawled up out of the sea onto land and somehow turned into a monkey which somehow turned into a human. Never happened, not happening now, never will happen.
"If ever you wanna tick off a Leftist, just remind 'em that Nazis were Leftists, too. That's right...the Nazis were National Socialists. "
Several years ago, when I was first being exposed to FR, I saw a thread here that changed so thoroughly exactly how I viewed the term "leftist", encompassing what wrote you wrote here. Until I read that I had always wondered why my antipathy toward the USSR and Nazi Germany was the same, but I kept being told that they were so different, that the labels really meant something.
Thank God for this website.
Thanks, but I'll pass.
I never see you on these threads; my own view is that this particular fight underlies many of the other conflicts at the political level.
It is nice to see you here.