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God, Science [evolution], and the Kooky Kansans Who Love them Both
Lawrence.com ^ | 12/05/2005 | Sarah Smarsh

Posted on 12/08/2005 7:57:08 PM PST by curiosity

Turns out, Paul Mirecki might be a prophet.

Or, Mirecki — the Kansas University professor who caught considerable hell for smack-talking religious fundamentalists — might at least be a spot-on social analyst.

We interviewed Mirecki, chair of the KU religious studies department, about the modern-day tension between science and religion shortly after the Kansas Board of Education’s controversial November vote to revise classroom science standards.

That was more than a week before his controversial email — in which he referred to himself as “Evil Dr. P” and called fundamentalists “fundies” — was publicized.

At that time, he didn’t know that conservative lawmakers soon would call for his job. He didn’t know that, as even more divisive emails turned up, he would become a national figure in the ongoing hullabaloo over evolution, religion and education.

But when we asked for his take on the modern-day tension between science and religion, he attributed it not to genuine human soul-searching but to “a political movement to change society.” And he said that more turmoil was afoot.

Paul Mirecki, chair of the KU religious studies department.

Photo by Sarah Smarsh

Paul Mirecki, chair of the KU religious studies department.

“It’s basically politics,” he said. “This is only the beginning.”

Only the beginning indeed.

After Mirecki’s emails surfaced, the science and religion debate flared up again, with his proposed class — “Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationisms and other Religious Mythologies” — and email about that class serving as fuel on the fire:

“The fundies want it all taught in a science class, but this will be a nice slap in their big fat face by teaching it as a religious studies class under the category ‘mythology.’”

His words outraged conservatives and others, and a horde of nationalmedia outlets, including Fox News’ “Hannity and Colmes,” sought interviewswith the professor.

He declined them all, but the “fundies” email traveled worldwide, becoming a featured quote in the latest issue of Time magazine.

Mirecki apologized for his words and later withdrew from teaching the course. But there was little forgiveness — State Sen. Kay O’Connor said he “has hate in his heart.” Other state legislators questioned KU’s integrity and the professor’s competence. Mirecki’s boss, Chancellor Robert Hemenway, called the e-mails “repugnant and vile.” And Monday, Mirecki said that he was treated and released from the hospital after being beaten by two people who were making references to the controversy that had propelled him into the headlines.

Lawrence Journal-World poll, Oct. 9

Lawrence Journal-World poll, Oct. 9

Tracking the coverage surrounding Mirecki, one might gather that Kansas is a hotbed of civil war. It would seem there’s an impassable rift between the God-fearing and the God-doubting. Between the far right and the far left. Between two caricatures: the religious crusader and the atheistic intellectual.

Yet two-thirds of respondents to a recent Lawrence Journal-World poll reported believing in evolution theory and God.

Could it be, then, that Mirecki was right? That an issue seemingly close to the human heart has been hijacked and exploited in the public sphere?

We set out to find what’s really going on, from the most basic level of term definition to the cognitive formation of belief systems. We talked to a biologist, a religious studies scholar (guess who), a Christian pastor, a cognitive psychologist, the founding creator of the “Explore Evolution” exhibit at the KU Natural History Museum, exhibit visitors, a former Christian fundamentalist and a blogger of Kansas politics.

Interestingly, most of them said the same thing. We give you our findings.

Note: Our process was not scientific, and the results aren’t quantifiable (though we do have a lot of interviews on tape).

Another note: Holders of many religious and spiritual beliefs may struggle to reconcile their ideologies with science. But, to our knowledge, the current political debate involves no evolution-wary Wiccans, nor fundamentalist Buddhists, Jews or Spaghetti Monsterists. So the discussion here focuses on organized religion and, specifically, Christianity.



Finding #1: By definition, religion and science hold different missions and purposes.

Leonard Krishtalka thinks people are confused about what science is.

Throughout the current evolution debate and the opening of the new exhibit, the director of the KU Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center has told the local press that mis-definition is at the root of the current uproar.

Science, he points out, deals with natural phenomena and is based on testing of evidence; religion deals with the supernatural, and is based on faith. Furthermore, science deals with how the world works, while religion deals with why.

Leonard Krishtalka, director of the KU Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center

Photo by Sarah Smarsh

Leonard Krishtalka, director of the KU Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center

“The two are separate in mission and approach by a definite, wide gulf,” Krishtalka tells us. “They should not be mixed. Religion should not practice science, and science should not practice religion.”

But it’s a modern mandate, this separation of the tangible world and intangible gods. The Enlightenment happened just a few centuries ago, and humans have been constructing meaning and mythology since the time of cavemen.

So says religious studies scholar Karen Armstrong, author of the new book "A Short History of Myth". She writes: “In our scientific culture, we often have rather simplistic notions of the divine. In the ancient world, the ‘gods’ were rarely regarded as supernatural beings ... People thought that gods, humans, animals and nature were inextricably bound up together ... There was initially no ontological gulf between the world of the gods and world of men and women.”

Audio interviews

Mirecki agrees that the current demarcation between the natural and supernatural is anomalous in our vast human history.

“People didn’t really deal with this issue in the ancient world,” he says. “None of the Biblical writers dealt with it, because they never even conceived there would be a difference between the two.”

Mirecki says we need to clearly delineate not just science and religion but knowledge and belief.

“You’ll often hear fundamentalists say, ‘Science is a religion, Darwin is the high priest, and you have to have faith to believe in evolution.’ This is just nonsense,” Mirecki says. “I don’t believe in evolution. I accept the findings of scientists. There’s a big difference between the two.”

For Rev. Peter Luckey, pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church in Lawrence, the important distinction is between types of truth. Those who would insert Intelligent Design alongside evolution theory in textbooks are comparing apples and oranges, he says.

Rev. Peter Luckey, pastor at Plymoth Congregational Church in Lawrence

Photo by Sarah Smarsh

Rev. Peter Luckey, pastor at Plymoth Congregational Church in Lawrence

“Religion asks questions of meaning, of purpose. ‘Why was the universe created?’ Scientists can’t give us the answers to questions of purpose. They can give us some theories about how the universe was created. But they can’t get at the why questions. That’s really the province of religion,” Luckey says.

“I think the great fallacy of fundamentalists is that they want to put religious truth and scientific truth on the same plane and say they’re the same kind of truth — and that they’re in conflict with each other. I don’t think the fundamentalists are able to accept the fact that religious truth is truth of a different kind.”



Finding #2: In the modern world, people have found ways to reconcile scientific information and spiritual beliefs.

Growing up among a Pentecostal congregation in Andover, Kan., Burt Humburg learned extreme views on God and the world. According to his charismatic church, Jews and homosexuals were doomed, the world was flat and evolution theory was blasphemy.

Now a graduate of KU Medical School and an internal medicine resident at Penn State College of Medicine, Humburg remains a Christian. He’s also an “evolution advocate” and member of Kansas Citizens for Science, an organization that has fought the rewriting of state science standards. But reconciling his religious roots with his scientific knowledge required some redefining.

“The God I was taught about as a fundamentalist Christian is not compatible with what I learned in the world,” Humburg says. “The understanding of God I have now is compatible with science.”

He says his current understanding, theistic evolutionism, “disarms the bomb” of conflict between science and God. Theistic evolutionism embraces scientific findings about the natural world, but allows that some force — albeit one that can’t be proved by science — created that world.

“No matter what science says, God could still be behind it all. Behind everything,” Humburg says of theistic-evolution theory. “What appears random, blind, uncaring, aloof — that’s our inability to discern God’s purpose.”

Though she may not have heard the term “theistic evolutionist,” that’s just the philosophy that KU freshman Stephanie Strinko brought to the “Explore Evolution” exhibit, a hands-on look at the development of several species.

“The way I look at is, God created the pieces way in the beginning, and they came together,” Strinko says. “They evolved on their own, but He put them there.”

Another exhibit visitor, Lawrence resident Lisa Pazdernick, brought her four-year-old son to learn about evolutionary biology. Pazdernick, an OB/GYN, grew up as a Catholic intrigued with comparative anatomy.

“I never thought one made the other impossible,” Pazdernick says. “My parents explained it to me that we don’t know God’s timeline. We don’t know what his seven days were.”

Religion and reason

On their way out of the exhibit, visitors may contribute written feedback about their experiences. The comment cards are meant to gauge visitors’ reactions to evolution theory at KU and the exhibit’s six other locations, says exhibit creator and University of Nebraska professor Judy Diamond.

“We’re interested in how this exhibit is going to affect ways of thinking,” Diamond says. “It’s not going to turn a creationist into an evolutionist, but it may cause small shifts in understanding.”

E. Margaret Evans, author of "Teaching and Learning about Evoution"

E. Margaret Evans, author of "Teaching and Learning about Evoution"

Comment cards from all exhibit locations will be analyzed by a team of researchers, including E. Margaret Evans, a professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Michigan.

Evans already conducted formative research to help create the exhibit. After interviewing randomly selected visitors to seven similar exhibits in Nebraska, Michigan and Oklahoma, she concluded that evolution theory is met by three types of reasoners — naturalistic reasoners, who rely on an informed scientific view; novice naturalistic reasoners, who blend some knowledge of evolution with creationist views; and creationist reasoners, who rely solely on creationist views.

“My research has demonstrated that most people are mixed reasoners,” says Evans, who estimates that 10 percent of Americans are evolutionists, 10 percent are creationists, and 80 percent are some combination of the two.

Evans says it’s a misconception that inconsistency causes human beings psychological turmoil.

“We can deal with contradictions,” Evans says. “We can go to church and then go to science class.”

The capacity to deal with contradiction varies among people, though. Some, for example, “accept the evolution of butterflies, but not of humans,” Evans says. Accepting human evolution would be too uncomfortable for them in the face of religious teachings, she says. To demonstrate the cognitive process, she describes human interpretation of an ant gathering food. People may characterize the ant’s behavior as planning, working toward a goal, when in fact the behavior is purely instinctual.

Burt Humburg, KU Medical School graduate, Christian, and evolution advocate

Burt Humburg, KU Medical School graduate, Christian, and evolution advocate

“We imbue the world with meaning — that everything has a purpose,” Evans says. “That’s why people have a profound feeling of discomfort when confronted with evolution. If you’re going to have purpose, you’re not going to get that from science. And as science develops, it’s bringing out these contradictions with the way we view the world.”

Many people are content with those contradictions, according to Evans’s chapter in Diamond’s new book, "The Virus and the Whale: Exploring Evolution in Creatures Large and Small". Evans writes, “Religion and evolution are perfectly compatible, with a few exceptions.” One of those exceptions is Biblical literalism.

“Now clearly there is no way that evolution is compatible with fundamentalism,” she says.

Religious studies professor Mirecki says that, while “a lot of Christians today read the Bible in the light of modern discoveries,” it would be impossible to reconcile literal interpretations of the Bible with today’s science.

“These major religions today that are very popular in the U.S. are based on an ancient, pre-scientific worldview where people express their ideas using impressionistic images, parables, poetic language,” says Mirecki, who likens the current hoopla over evolution to 17th-century Catholic resistance of Galileo’s findings. The church refused to accept his theory that the Earth was round and not the center of the universe.

“One of the main arguments against him was that the Bible says so many times that the sun goes across the Earth,” Mirecki says. “We’re still trying to live in this modern, scientific, technocratic world and still hold onto these ideas that go back three, four, five thousand years.”

Lawrence pastor Luckey says that many of those ancient ideas are valuable after all this time. Stories of a seven-day creation, stories of flood — they’re relevant even to the non-fundamentalist Christian, he says.

“We don’t look at these as stories that reveal the factual truth,” Luckey says. “We look at them as stories that reveal a religious truth. About life, about existence, about our relationship with God.”

He cites the Genesis story of Adam and Eve.

“Did woman come out of Adam’s rib? No. But does the story speak to the truth about the human condition, that human beings are creatures, that human beings have temptations, that human beings are tested in their lives? Yes, it does. It speaks to the deep truth about how we are and what our nature is. So the story is true, even if it’s not factually correct.”

Finding Darwin’s God

Evolution advocate Humburg says that, while religious people reconcile their beliefs with science, many scientists conversely seek religious and spiritual meaning.

“As human beings, we don’t have to be scientists with every step we take. I love my brother. But no one’s going to prove that scientifically,” Humburg says. “The biggest atheists in the world, I’m sure, have made decisions in the absence of empirical evidence. Like marriage. Marriage is an act of faith. We all use faith. It’s not a dirty word.”

One of Humburg’s fellow members of Kansas Citizens for Science, famed blogger Josh Rosenau, admits that scientists tend to keep their thoughts on faith and God private.

“Many scientists seek to explain God’s world through science — they just don’t talk about it,” says Rosenau, a KU graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology. “Religion is a personal thing. You spend your days looking at empirical evidence, but you can’t base religion on empirical evidence. Ultimately, there’s what you feel in your heart, and that’s the evidence.” Natural History Museum director and biologist Krishtalka doesn’t offer his personal view on the existence of God, but he does discuss the “magnificence” he sees in the natural world.

“That all organisms have a humble, yet in my opinion magnificent, genetic heritage that stretches back 4 billion years on a magnificent tree of life — that indeed makes us special.”



Finding #3: A perceived conflict between science and religion has been constructed, through media and public forums, by people with political aims.

Krishtalka says that by attempting to place science and religion on the same plane — public school classrooms — Intelligent Design proponents have created unnecessary conflict.

“This is about politics. This is about the insertion of fundamentalism into the nation’s laws and education,” Krishtalka says. “It is this brand of fundamentalism that deliberately, through demagoguery, causes religion and science to clash. It does a great disservice to both science and religion. They are harming both institutions, both ways of thought.”

Josh Rosenau, "Thoughts from Kansas" blogger

Josh Rosenau, "Thoughts from Kansas" blogger

Evolutionary biology student Rosenau fights politics with politics. Last year he created a blog, “Thoughts from Kansas,” to track state political developments, mostly relating to the evolution debate. The blog is a huge hit, solidified by attention from Slate.com, and Rosenau recently won The Pitch’s 2005 award for “best blogger.” He doubts that a less objective, more personal blog would have been so successful.

“You can construct politics in a broad way. How I see it personally doesn’t necessarily affect how other people see it,” Rosenau says. “My goal is not to argue with people. My hope is to engage them in an issue.”

Rosenau says the debate too often is categorized as “atheists vs. Bible-beating hicks.”

“That’s not constructive,” he says.

Humburg, on the other hand, uses his unique story to connect with people on both sides of the issue. As a medical doctor with a fundamentalist-Christian past, he sees contributing to the political battle as a personal endeavor.

“It is kind of a Christian mission. Some people do their missions in Guatemala. I spread the word of science. How God is cool with it. He doesn’t expect us to check our brains at the door to church.”

One such mission occurred in September at an anti-evolution meeting in Dover, Penn. The meeting convened amid a federal trial between Dover residents and the local school board, which voted to include Intelligent Design in a revised curriculum. When the meeting’s organizer claimed that teaching evolution leads to atheism, Humburg objected — a dramatic, Scopes-ian moment documented in a recent issue of The Nation.

Humburg says anti-evolutionists claim the education battle is about a balanced curriculum, when in fact it’s about fear.

“What they’re actually saying is, ‘Evolution threatens my understanding of God,’” says Humburg, who admits that a similar sense led him to participate in the political discussion.

“Here I am as an M.D.,” Humburg says. “Anything that undermines science is a threat to me. Be it politics, religion, Intelligent Design. As a scientist, I should have something to say about that.”

Humburg points to another Kansas Citizens for Science member, Keith Miller, as a political activist who believes in science, religion and separation of the two. Miller, a paleontology professor at Kansas State University, has addressed the topic at state and national levels and edited the related book "Perspectives on an Evolving Creation."

As it turns out, Miller sums up our unscientific findings in a note at the bottom of his personal university Web page:

“The public ‘Creation/Evolution’ debate has been destructive to both the public understanding of science and to the discussion of important theological issues within the Christian community. The widespread perception of a ‘warfare of science and faith’ is an historically false caricature. Christian theologians and scientists, including evangelicals, since the time of Darwin have seen no necessary conflict between orthodox theology and an evolutionary understanding of the history of life. Modern science is not a threat to Christian faith, and people need not feel forced into a choice between evolution and Creation.”


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; US: Kansas
KEYWORDS: crevolist; darwinism; evolution; highereducation; ku; mirecki; religion; scienceeducation
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There may be hope for Kansas yet!
1 posted on 12/08/2005 7:57:10 PM PST by curiosity
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To: narby; Varda; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; PatrickHenry; marron; D-fendr; Junior; Aquinasfan; ...

Faith and Science Ping.


2 posted on 12/08/2005 7:58:10 PM PST by curiosity
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To: Right Wing Professor

You may find this interesting.


3 posted on 12/08/2005 7:58:40 PM PST by curiosity
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For tomorrow when I'm awake ===> Placemarker <===
4 posted on 12/08/2005 8:02:47 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: curiosity

“We can deal with contradictions,” Evans says. “We can go to church and then go to science class.”

Interesting article. But I don't think believing in God and studying science are contradictory from one another.


5 posted on 12/08/2005 8:07:23 PM PST by Firefigher NC (Volunteer firefighters- standing tall, serving proud in the tradition of Ben Franklin.)
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To: curiosity


There is absolutely no way to recocile Genesis- and by extension the Christian God- with the patently ridiculous theory of evolution, no matter anyone's wishful thinking.
6 posted on 12/08/2005 8:08:45 PM PST by WinOne4TheGipper (When in Rome, yell and complain until Romans do what you want them to do. If that fails, sue.)
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To: curiosity

Let's see - John Brown started the civil war in Eastern Kansas and exported it to Harpers Ferry, Brown VS the Board of Education was started by a KC.KC attorney whose housekeeper's family was in Topeka public schools, and now we have academicians vs the public right to religion. Looks like Kansas is as big as you think (their crummy motto)


7 posted on 12/08/2005 8:26:06 PM PST by i.l.e. (Tagline - this space for sale....)
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To: curiosity
Mirecki staged a country road fight between himself and two other thugs. He faked his own beating and was asked to leave his head of dept position by the other dept members. Mirecki is a media hound trouble maker, the advisor for the KU atheists and said that the best qualified teachers in the religion dept were secular humanists due to their objectivity.

Didn't the Nazis embrace paganism and Wagnerian romanticism and anti-Christian theology in their drive to creat the uber man? And weren't a bunch of top Nazis butch gays who even persecuted their more effeminate brethren?

Universities are breeding grounds for radial secular humanism - an anti christian theology protected by the state and therefore is our new state religion. Mirecki is a symptom of the greater problem.

8 posted on 12/08/2005 8:31:18 PM PST by i.l.e. (Tagline - this space for sale....)
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To: WinOne4TheGipper

"absolutely no way" "patently ridiculous theory of evolution"?

Richard Rubenstein, professor of conflict resolution and public affairs at George Mason University, and author of `When Jesus Became God' (a Publishers Weekly Best Religion book) Harvard graduate, Oxford University, Rhodes scholar and Harvard law school--and thousands of other learned people--might question your imperative, categorical statement on an ontological, teleological or cosmological basis, as you wish.
From his latest book, "Aristotle's Children, Harcourt Inc., 2003, page 298:
"Reason could transform the earth, if only science and technology were inspired and guided by a new global morality. Faith would expand and mature, if only the world's religions addressed themselves to the long-term trends in society and nature, and helped create that global majority. And--since the split between faith and reason divides each of us against himself--we could become more loving and useful to each other and more satisfied with ourselves, if only we could integrate these fundamental aspects of our being."
I suppose as sentient beings with an understanding of right and wrong, we will still probably continue trading shots like: 'Intelligent Design' is a pseudo-science for crackpots, or that evolution--as far as it goes, hard science--is "wishful thinking", instead of attempting to advance cogently to our Maker our claim to return to the garden and eat from that other tree, the Tree of Life.
FRaternally, OK


9 posted on 12/08/2005 8:37:08 PM PST by OkieDoke
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To: WinOne4TheGipper; All
Could it be, then, that Mirecki was right?

One is that Mirecki has a personalized license plate that reads "MIRECKI" or the "EVILDRP," his online nom de guerre

Searching google for EVILDRP does not help his case at all.

10 posted on 12/08/2005 8:39:06 PM PST by perfect stranger
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To: Firefigher NC
Interesting article. But I don't think believing in God and studying science are contradictory from one another.

I agree with you. The sentence you quoted I found objectionable. But the rest was pretty good, I think.

11 posted on 12/08/2005 8:47:26 PM PST by curiosity
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To: perfect stranger

ping to read later


12 posted on 12/08/2005 8:48:07 PM PST by Mercat (God loves us where He finds us.)
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To: curiosity
Finding #4--the left has found a possible way to chip away at the successful alliance between the GOP and religious conservatives.

Build on the resentment that libertarians (cultural liberals) feel when they realize they have to share a table with unfamiliars like conservative Christians--throw around the "theocrat" libel and "know nothing" ( appeal to intellectual snobbery/vanity). There's nothing that scares an "educated" libertarian more than being thought stupid or unsophisticated.

Try to make Republican pols disavow, shun or otherwise betray religious conservatives (make Santorum a target?) so that a few religious conservatives stay home instead of vote.

All it takes is a few, after all.

There you go--Democratic majority in the Senate. And all they had to do was call a few Christians a few bad names.

I'd be willing to bet that George Soros might even front a little money for such a project.

13 posted on 12/08/2005 8:48:53 PM PST by Mamzelle (The best offense-- is the unbeatable defense...Darrell Royal)
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To: All
Merry Christmas
14 posted on 12/08/2005 8:54:29 PM PST by Baraonda (Demographic is destiny. Don't hire 3rd world illegal aliens nor support businesses that hire them.)
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To: curiosity
Thanks for the ping. It's a remarkably intelligent article.

I have a feeling that after this week, Kansas will draw back from the abyss. They're a little loonier than Nebraskans down there, but violence, or even just allegations of violence, over a college course is something that will make them think seriously. I haven't posted this here, but some Kansas Republicans just formed a group to take the party back from the fundamentalist fringe. About time.

15 posted on 12/08/2005 8:55:52 PM PST by Right Wing Professor
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To: i.l.e.
Mirecki is a media hound trouble maker, the advisor for the KU atheists and said that the best qualified teachers in the religion dept were secular humanists due to their objectivity.

But they're not really objective because they have their own belief system and it colors their attitudes. I sure hope they are not *objective* in the same way that Mirecki is, or perhaps I should say that I hope he's not an example of *objectivity* among academia.
16 posted on 12/08/2005 8:56:58 PM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: curiosity

Thanks for the ping!


17 posted on 12/08/2005 9:00:37 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Mamzelle
Build on the resentment that libertarians (cultural liberals) feel when they realize they have to share a table with unfamiliars like conservative Christians

Not all conservative Christians are creationists. Worldwide, most are smart enough to realize that there is no necessary conflict between Darwinian evolution and the Fatih. It's only in America where they've been hoodwinked into believing that their faith compels them to reject reason.

And you don't have to be a libertarian to value sound science. I'd venture to say many, if not most pro-evolution freepers would reject the libertarian label.

18 posted on 12/08/2005 9:10:32 PM PST by curiosity
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To: curiosity

I saw this with the greatest respect, and a little trepedation because most Christians that believe in evolution are ~SINCERE~ Christians, but they are ~wrong~ where they're theology is concerned (and therefore wrong on the truth of what is 6-day-literal-creation-by-miracle-by-God!

Evolution (macro-evolution) Naturalistic, can not be Compatable with The Bible becuase if YOU as a 'Christian' believe in the Bible (and in Genesis) wherein God claims that He ~created~ the world in 6-Literal days (YES THAT WOULD BE A MIRACLE/ or Demonstration of God's POWER), then HOW CAN YOU THEN CLAIM THAT YOU DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS IN GENESIS (And deny his power to do miracles in Genesis-Origins), and then claim that Later Miracles by God happened (Did God change, did His POWER?...). How can you claim that YOU know that Christ miraculously ROSE from the Grave, but not that GOD WAS TELLING THE TRUTH IN GENESIS (..and by Hebrew Language, the cleares/plainest reading of GENESIS says that God Created-The-World In 6 Literal Days..)?

ANSWER me? Will YOU be consistent? DID HE DO IT OR NOT!?


19 posted on 12/08/2005 9:26:26 PM PST by JSDude1 (If we are not governed by God, we WILL be governed by Tyrants-William Penn..founder of Pennsylvania)
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To: WinOne4TheGipper

Genesis says that God commanded the earth to bring forth grass, "And the earth brought forth grass." How can this be reconciled with Intelligent Design? This seems to be a clear statement of abiogenesis.


20 posted on 12/08/2005 9:27:35 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: Mamzelle

Sorry. GOP != Creationists. Plenty of republicans still believe in things like physical evidence, sound rational thinking, analysis and deduction. Good old-fashioned conservative things like that...


21 posted on 12/08/2005 9:31:39 PM PST by blowfish
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To: curiosity

YEC INTREP - They still don't understand


22 posted on 12/08/2005 9:31:48 PM PST by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America)
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To: JSDude1

*Excuse me let me fix some mistakes:

I mean to say that: How can Christians who 'believe in the Bible', be consistent, and deny God's power in Genesis to create the world in 6-Literal Days (thereby ~almost~ calling God a liar, becuase that IS what Genesis says in Hebrew-In COntext), and then Later claim that they believe in Christ's Resurection/Moses Snake Miracles/ THe Passover/ The Ten Plagues/ Israel's defeats of her enemies during JUDGES/ Feeding The 5000 (both miracles..) , and on, and on- Is it possible that God is saying: believe in me, because I CREATED ALL MATTER, and therefore I can manipulate it if I want, and have the will, therefore I care about YOU (and want to save YOU TOO?).

Could it be, isn't this reasonable.??


23 posted on 12/08/2005 9:33:33 PM PST by JSDude1 (If we are not governed by God, we WILL be governed by Tyrants-William Penn..founder of Pennsylvania)
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To: Mamzelle

"There's nothing that scares an "educated" libertarian more than being thought stupid or unsophisticated."

What Eve was made to feel like when she hesitated in taking
the Forbidden fruit..."For God knows that when you eat of it, you shall be wise, like the gods knowing good from evil"

The same old tricks are being used today to separate other wise good people from their Godly heritage and personal integrity as was what was used on Eve and Adam in Eden and human kind has lived "east of Eden" ever since.

East of Eden...where one finds the gates of Hell!


24 posted on 12/08/2005 9:40:04 PM PST by mdmathis6 (Proof against evolution:"Man is the only creature that blushes, or needs to" M.Twain)
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To: dr_lew

NOPE God said "let the earth produce fresh growth, let there be on the earth plants bearing seed, fruit-trees bearing fruit each with seed according to its kind"- That's what it says Gen 1:11..

Does John 20-21 Not mean what it says it means when it says "he must raise from the dead"-

THE HEBREW IS PRETTY CLEAR, which means that abiogensis is wrong!!


25 posted on 12/08/2005 9:41:34 PM PST by JSDude1 (If we are not governed by God, we WILL be governed by Tyrants-William Penn..founder of Pennsylvania)
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To: curiosity
It's only in America where they've been hoodwinked into believing that their faith compels them to reject reason.

When evolution becomes a reasonable explanation for the intricacy and complexity of living creatures, then we will cease to reject it.

26 posted on 12/08/2005 9:44:14 PM PST by GSHastings
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To: JSDude1

Then Gen 1:12, "And the earth brought forth grass".

Gen 1:24 : "And God said, Let the earth bring forth
the living creature after his kind, etc." but then
Gen 1:25, "And God made the beast of the earth after
his kind etc."

But it never says that God made the grass, just that the earth brought it forth. So grass is not made, it just occurs.


27 posted on 12/08/2005 9:58:55 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: curiosity

“Turns out, Paul Mirecki might be a prophet.”

Glad to see there’s no agenda here.

“But when we asked for his take on the modern-day tension between science and religion, he attributed it not to genuine human soul-searching but to “a political movement to change society.”

Yeah, a political movement to stop your political movement, and, one hopes, to reverse the damage your ilk has done.

“State Sen. Kay O’Connor said he “has hate in his heart.”

Sky is blue, ocean is wet . . . you ain’t gotta be Fellini to figure that one out.

“Other state legislators questioned KU’s integrity and the professor’s competence.”

And in other news, sources claimed that Jeffrey Dahmer may not have been a very nice fellow.

“Mirecki’s boss, Chancellor Robert Hemenway, called the e-mails “repugnant and vile.”

I only hope he meant it, and was not just posturing for the media. But did he really not know what kind of vipers he was harboring?

“It would seem there’s an impassable rift between the God-fearing and the God-doubting.”

One would more accurately term them the God-loving and the God-hating.

“Between the far right and the far left.”

That would be, “Between the far left and the rest of humanity.”

“Between two caricatures: the religious crusader and the atheistic intellectual.”

That would be, “Between a caricature, the ‘religious crusader,’ and the ubiquitous atheist pseudo-intellectual.”

“Yet two-thirds of respondents to a recent Lawrence Journal-World poll reported believing in evolution theory and God.”

You astound me, Holmes.

“Could it be, then, that Mirecki was right? That an issue seemingly close to the human heart has been hijacked and exploited in the public sphere?”

No. It is rather that the scurrilous conduct of Mirecki and his ilk has been dragged out into the light of day.

“We set out to find what’s really going on”

No, you set out to slam Christians.

“to our knowledge, the current political debate involves no evolution-wary Wiccans, nor fundamentalist Buddhists, Jews or Spaghetti Monsterists.”

Oh, yes, Wicca and Spaghetti Monsterism are on the same moral plane as Judaism, Buddhism, and Christianity. In a pig’s eye.

“They should not be mixed. Religion should not practice science, and science should not practice religion.”

However, both are practiced by human beings, and it is folly to ignore the implications of the one for the other.

“humans have been constructing meaning and mythology since the time of cavemen. So says religious studies scholar Karen Armstrong”

No bias there, eh? Looks like the “religious studies” field may be as heavily infiltrated as the other departments.

“Mirecki says. “I don’t *believe* in evolution. I accept the findings of scientists.”

And in the same way a lot of people do not *believe* in God, but accept the evidence of their senses.”

“I think the great fallacy of fundamentalists is that they want to put religious truth and scientific truth on the same plane and say they’re the same kind of truth”

And here we see the big lie at the core of the opposition to any mention of intelligent design.

The initial problem was atheists saying that scientific truth can prove things about religious truth, and that what it proved was that there was no God. Everything that has ensued is a *reaction* by people of faith to that abuse.

Religion was *already* being taught in science classrooms, and what was being taught was atheism. People of faith, seeing this, started saying that the science classroom should not be the exclusive purview of atheists to teach atheism, and, since atheists are unable not to teach atheism, they wanted a bit of time for the other view.

“The God I was taught about as a fundamentalist Christian is not compatible with what I learned in the world,” Humburg says.”

Which is immaterial to any discussion of intelligent design, since intelligent design does not include 7-day, young-earth creationism.

“No matter what science says, God could still be behind it all. Behind everything,”

Which is ID in a nutshell.

“Evans . . . estimates that 10 percent of Americans are evolutionists, 10 percent are creationists, and 80 percent are some combination of the two.”

All she can see is creationists, evolutionists, and hybrids? I wonder if she’s deliberately misusing the word “creationist” to further her agenda, or if in her view everyone who believes in God should be lumped together.

“Burt Humburg, KU Medical School graduate, Christian, and evolution advocate . . . “We imbue the world with meaning — that everything has a purpose,” Evans says. “That’s why people have a profound feeling of discomfort when confronted with evolution.”

I wonder how hard they had to look to find this theological idiot. If you accept that the fossil record reflects some sort of process, and you accept that God created everything, then clearly evolution has a purpose.

“Religion and evolution are perfectly compatible, with a few exceptions.” One of those exceptions is Biblical literalism.”

Well, after all that talk about “creationists” we finally get to this?

“The church refused to accept his theory that the Earth was round and not the center of the universe.”

Another distortion that won’t die.

“famed blogger Josh Rosenau (says) “ . . . you can’t base religion on empirical evidence.”

You can if you have the evidence.

“Krishtalka says that by attempting to place science and religion on the same plane — public school classrooms — Intelligent Design proponents have created unnecessary conflict.”

Another repetition of the central big lie. Atheists have created unnecessary conflict by using the science classroom to proselytize their religion.

“Rosenau says the debate too often is categorized as “atheists vs. Bible-beating hicks.”

He must read FR.

“He (God) doesn’t expect us to check our brains at the door to church.”

Quite true, but try telling that to a fundamentalist atheist.

“One such mission occurred in September at an anti-evolution meeting in Dover, Penn. The meeting convened amid a federal trial between Dover residents and the local school board, which voted to include Intelligent Design in a revised curriculum.”

Note the association of “anti-evolution” and intelligent design. ID is not anti-evolution.

This is a three-cornered fight, with the atheists muddying the waters by conflating the other two points of view.

“Here I am as an M.D.,” Humburg says. “Anything that undermines science is a threat to me. Be it politics, religion, Intelligent Design. As a scientist, I should have something to say about that.”

And once again the association of ID with "anti-evolution."

“As it turns out, Miller sums up our unscientific findings in a note at the bottom of his personal university Web page: . . . Christian theologians and scientists, including evangelicals, since the time of Darwin have seen no necessary conflict between orthodox theology and an evolutionary understanding of the history of life.”

IOW, ID.

The author admits that the notion of a severe separation of science from religion is a new one. This even newer insistence on a hermetic seal on the science classroom, to prevent any acknowledgement of the existence of religious belief, can have only one motivation: to ensure that the teaching of religion in science classes remains the exclusive prerogative of the atheist.


28 posted on 12/09/2005 3:33:48 AM PST by dsc
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To: curiosity

Thanks. This thread may carry us through the weekend.


29 posted on 12/09/2005 3:52:00 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, common scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
Evolution Ping

The List-O-Links
A conservative, pro-evolution science list, now with over 320 names.
See the list's explanation, then FReepmail to be added or dropped.
To assist beginners: But it's "just a theory", Evo-Troll's Toolkit,
and How to argue against a scientific theory.

30 posted on 12/09/2005 3:54:04 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, common scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: curiosity

"A perceived conflict between science and religion has been constructed, through media and public forums, by people with political aims."

This is really all one really needs to know. The controversy is mostly construed. It makes good media and that sells papers and gets ratiings.

Have you ever seen a media report on a consensus? Agreements are boring, conflict is exciting.

The fact that 99% of scientists agree that humans contribute to climate change is much less a story than the 1% that disagree.

Of course if 99% of people beleived the world was flat and only 1% thought it was round, the 1% would be right. That is why science is not a democratic process.


31 posted on 12/09/2005 4:07:17 AM PST by Einigkeit_Recht_Freiheit ("A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both." - Dwight D. Eisenhower)
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To: blowfish

Old fashioned things like that are better protected by the GOP in power. That's why the left would like to chip away at what put us in power in the first place.


32 posted on 12/09/2005 4:12:43 AM PST by Mamzelle (The best offense-- is the unbeatable defense...Darrell Royal)
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To: curiosity
It's only in America where they've been hoodwinked into believing that their faith compels them to reject reason.

Nah, I think the Islamic world still beats us in that regard. We appear to be making a concerted effort to close the gap though.

33 posted on 12/09/2005 4:21:23 AM PST by RogueIsland
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To: JSDude1

Pounding the table, shouting, (or CAPITALS) is the sign of a weak argumnet.


34 posted on 12/09/2005 4:22:12 AM PST by Oztrich Boy ( the Wedge Document ... offers a message of hope for Muslims - Mustafa Akyol)
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To: JSDude1

Man wrote the Bible, God didn't. The Bible is subject to interpretation.

I don't have a problem with people believing in Creation, or ID, but it is not science, and never will be. Keep Creation and ID in the philosophy/religion classes.


35 posted on 12/09/2005 6:06:15 AM PST by Redgirl (Son, you got a pantie on your head!)
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To: curiosity
Rev. Peter Luckey, pastor at Plymoth Congregational Church ... Scientists can’t give us the answers to questions of purpose. They can give us some theories about how the universe was created.

Yet another demonstration of the mis-use of the word "theory". The proper word here, I believe, should be "hypothesis". A "theory" is an entirely different thing, describing how something operates, like "gravity theory", "music theory", and "semiconductor theory". It is NOT a guess.

36 posted on 12/09/2005 7:10:19 AM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: narby

Give him a break. He's not a scientist.


37 posted on 12/09/2005 7:14:07 AM PST by curiosity
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To: RogueIsland
Nah, I think the Islamic world still beats us in that regard.

Well, actually, I was speaking of conservative Christians, and America is not the only place where we exist, you know.

I actually know a couple conservative Christians from the Islamic world, and they have no trouble reconciling their faith with modern science. In fact, one of the things they pride themselves on is that they are able to do it and the Moslems aren't.

38 posted on 12/09/2005 7:16:43 AM PST by curiosity
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To: Mamzelle
Finding #4--the left has found a possible way to chip away at the successful alliance between the GOP and religious conservatives.

It's not the left that's attacking science. It's troglodyte "conservative" school board members in Dover Pa, and their close relatives in Kansas.

The "left" isn't doing anything but laughing at a small subset of conservatives who are so wound up in their religion that they're willing to torpedo the very political organization that can actually do a few things they want (like oppose abortion, etc.).

These people are the same kind of idiots as the "gay marrage" idiots in the Dem party. Willing to torpedo their political power over a silly issue of no real importance.

39 posted on 12/09/2005 7:32:18 AM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: JSDude1
Christians that believe in evolution are ~SINCERE~ Christians, but they are ~wrong~ where they're theology is concerned

And that's where this fight belongs, between the various Christian denominations that believe entirely different things from reading the same Bible.

This subject SHOULD NOT be brought into the public square with attempts to force it into science class. That's out of line. It's damaging to conservative politics, and it's damaging to peoples faith as well (just observe how this discussion will devolve into arguments against the existence of God - trust me, some will reject God because this discussion came up - and it's the fundamentalists that are bringing it up)

40 posted on 12/09/2005 7:38:35 AM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: curiosity
“a political movement to change society.”

Wow. He's honest.

As I have stated, most support for "evolution" has nothing to do with biology or evolution but is used as a means to change socierty.

It is socio-political. The Miricki hoaxer KU dude is a perfect example -- he's a professor of religion -- what does he have to do with evolution or biology?

Nothing -- he's a rabid leftist liberal who simply wants to change society which meand excising anything traditionally conservative.

I give Mireski props for being honest and straightforward about it.

I wish the evolutionite cultists here were as intellectually honest.

41 posted on 12/09/2005 7:45:14 AM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: narby
You know, science is a great tool, but it's hardly a god (small or large G, take your pick). Even though these are just keyboards clicking away, I imagine I hear a sonorous awe in your i-voice when the word "science" is spoken. And I am well-compensated by many things scientific and value it highly--I also know that it's no answer to everything and confers no Holy Orders from the House of Reason.

Just a few days ago a scientist in South Korea got slapped for his overreaching and possible fraud concerning embryo and stem cell research. Human beings, even scientists, are subject to human failings.

There's greed and vanity and deceit in science, because it is a human enterprise. All this Truth and Reason and Knowledge is great, but there's the graft at the universities (look at tuition) and exaggeration and posturing...Life.

The reason I speak sharply about libertarians is that I still have my "Taxation is Theft" button in my junk drawer. I still think taxation is theft, it's just that I've learned that when you're dealing with people....you have to deal--the libertarian mindset is that all they have to say is "principal" and "reason" and that's all she wrote. It is, if you're willing to lose. And I left libertarianism behind very quickly, and all my Ayn Rand rants, when I figured out that they bring a "loser gene" to the party.

Religious conservatives, OTOH, have brought winning to the party. The exact time the religious conservatives joined forces with the GOP is when the GOP started winning.

That's why the left would love to do anything it could to chip away at the alliance.

Are they here, in FR, sowing discord?

42 posted on 12/09/2005 8:02:47 AM PST by Mamzelle (The best offense-- is the unbeatable defense...Darrell Royal)
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To: tallhappy
I think you've read far too much into that. I think there's not nearly enough there to tell us whether he's talking about the left or the right as a political movement.

But then again, that's what you get when you define "honest" as "agrees with me".

43 posted on 12/09/2005 8:11:47 AM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: Mamzelle

44 posted on 12/09/2005 8:14:09 AM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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Speaking of betting one's money on science--scientists are putting so many people on these meds that the Pharm stocks have a long-term growth potential. The older the population gets, the more demand . Of course, pharm stocks are also a good way to lose money, fast.


45 posted on 12/09/2005 8:33:40 AM PST by Mamzelle (The best offense-- is the unbeatable defense...Darrell Royal)
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To: Senator Bedfellow

What does a professor of religion know of or have to do with a sub-discipline of Biology?


46 posted on 12/09/2005 8:38:14 AM PST by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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Thay are called "doctors", the ones putting people on medications. Some of whom should really do a better job of monitoring their patients' dosages, obviously.


47 posted on 12/09/2005 8:38:30 AM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: tallhappy

You tell me - you're the one who's parsed his entire worldview out of six words divorced of all context.


48 posted on 12/09/2005 8:39:29 AM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: Senator Bedfellow

Thay. Right.


49 posted on 12/09/2005 8:40:06 AM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: PatrickHenry

Thanks for the ping!


50 posted on 12/09/2005 8:46:16 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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