Skip to comments.Churches urged to back evolution
Posted on 02/20/2006 5:33:50 AM PST by ToryHeartland
Churches urged to back evolution By Paul Rincon BBC News science reporter, St Louis
US scientists have called on mainstream religious communities to help them fight policies that undermine the teaching of evolution.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) hit out at the "intelligent design" movement at its annual meeting in Missouri.
Teaching the idea threatens scientific literacy among schoolchildren, it said.
Its proponents argue life on Earth is too complex to have evolved on its own.
As the name suggests, intelligent design is a concept invoking the hand of a designer in nature.
It's time to recognise that science and religion should never be pitted against each other Gilbert Omenn AAAS president
There have been several attempts across the US by anti-evolutionists to get intelligent design taught in school science lessons.
At the meeting in St Louis, the AAAS issued a statement strongly condemning the moves.
"Such veiled attempts to wedge religion - actually just one kind of religion - into science classrooms is a disservice to students, parents, teachers and tax payers," said AAAS president Gilbert Omenn.
"It's time to recognise that science and religion should never be pitted against each other.
"They can and do co-exist in the context of most people's lives. Just not in science classrooms, lest we confuse our children."
'Who's kidding whom?'
Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, which campaigns to keep evolution in public schools, said those in mainstream religious communities needed to "step up to the plate" in order to prevent the issue being viewed as a battle between science and religion.
Some have already heeded the warning.
"The intelligent design movement belittles evolution. It makes God a designer - an engineer," said George Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory.
"Intelligent design concentrates on a designer who they do not really identify - but who's kidding whom?"
Last year, a federal judge ruled in favour of 11 parents in Dover, Pennsylvania, who argued that Darwinian evolution must be taught as fact.
Dover school administrators had pushed for intelligent design to be inserted into science teaching. But the judge ruled this violated the constitution, which sets out a clear separation between religion and state.
Despite the ruling, more challenges are on the way.
Fourteen US states are considering bills that scientists say would restrict the teaching of evolution.
These include a legislative bill in Missouri which seeks to ensure that only science which can be proven by experiment is taught in schools.
I think if we look at where the empirical scientific evidence leads us, it leads us towards intelligent design Teacher Mark Gihring "The new strategy is to teach intelligent design without calling it intelligent design," biologist Kenneth Miller, of Brown University in Rhode Island, told the BBC News website.
Dr Miller, an expert witness in the Dover School case, added: "The advocates of intelligent design and creationism have tried to repackage their criticisms, saying they want to teach the evidence for evolution and the evidence against evolution."
However, Mark Gihring, a teacher from Missouri sympathetic to intelligent design, told the BBC: "I think if we look at where the empirical scientific evidence leads us, it leads us towards intelligent design.
"[Intelligent design] ultimately takes us back to why we're here and the value of life... if an individual doesn't have a reason for being, they might carry themselves in a way that is ultimately destructive for society."
The decentralised US education system ensures that intelligent design will remain an issue in the classroom regardless of the decision in the Dover case.
"I think as a legal strategy, intelligent design is dead. That does not mean intelligent design as a social movement is dead," said Ms Scott.
"This is an idea that has real legs and it's going to be around for a long time. It will, however, evolve."
Among the most high-profile champions of intelligent design is US President George W Bush, who has said schools should make students aware of the concept.
But Mr Omenn warned that teaching intelligent design will deprive students of a proper education, ultimately harming the US economy.
"At a time when fewer US students are heading into science, baby boomer scientists are retiring in growing numbers and international students are returning home to work, America can ill afford the time and tax-payer dollars debating the facts of evolution," he said. Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/sci/tech/4731360.stm
Published: 2006/02/20 10:54:16 GMT
© BBC MMVI
I see it as much of an attack by science on religion. That's the problem. The science classroom should teach evolution as the theory that science accepts. It should not attack people's beliefs in intelligent design, and that's the biggest rub. There are professors who punish students who do not give up their religous views. This kind of bigotry in the scientific community is uncalled for. There are extremes on both sides.
Evolution urged to admit, "It's just conjecture."
LOL, the day may be yet young, but this may be post of the day (if not week) :)
So we all have to believe in the religion of evolution? Where is the tolerance? Where is the inclusiveness? The mullahs of Science need to be aware that millions of us will never bring up our children to believe that they are ape-men instead of created by God in His image. Science giants of the past have been Christians who believed that God created the world. Today's science pygmies are too insecure to have their religious ideas about evolution challenged. Whose fault is that?
There are many answers.
Most scientists are liberals who support our opponents. Some are inclined to applaud anyone who fights with them, even if they personally think the fight is stupid.
The best defense is a good offense. By tying up liberal lawyers defending against our lawsuits, they will not have the time or money to bring lawsuits against us.
We are a free country, so there is no official truth. Whatever the voters want to believe, that is what should be taught in the public schools.
The Darwinian model is unsophisticated, and predates our knowledge of how DNA works. If the brain can think, why can't the cell nucleus be said to think? We could generate a computer nodel of DNA, and test the theory of evolution in a simulation.
Why should all those subatomic particles obey the laws arbitrary sets of mathemathical formulae? It must be that at the subatomic level, matter is permeated and intermingled with the Divine Logos. Kai su, Plotine?
Anyway, welcome to FR, Tory.
Of course, this is utter foolishness, supported neither by the history of science itself (many of the "founders" of modern science were passionate Christians), nor by the scientific method. A Christian (or theist) looks at the laws of the Universe as the general workings of God in His creation, whereas a naturalist says we must work in the lab "as if" there were nothing but what is observable -- even if we currently do not have accurate means to observe it.
This is -of course- not about "science" at all, but about the philosophical underpinnings of science. A Christian sees God in all of life, and insists that the evidences for His existence, wisdom, morality and power are abundantly evident in creation. The Christian further claims that the inability to "see" these things comes not from the lack of evidence, but the deliberate unwillingness to see them. In fact, the modern Christian scientists claim echo Paul when he says that this blindness is the result of deliberate repression of clear and plain evidence, based on a desire to escape the presence of God (cf Romans 1:18-20).
This is certainly validated in statements by certain prominent men of science like Thomas Huxley when he claimed that he adopted a naturalistic worldview more from a desire to pursue sexual activity without guilt than from evidentiary examination, and from Thomas Watson's statement that he and Crick were driven to discover dna's structure primarily by a desire to escape a worldview which included God.
Since much of American evangelicalism is shallow, surface, uninformed and silly.... AND since we have hopped into bed with the Republican Party as though it was the messiah, there are all sorts of excesses and embarrassments in what they are trying to do. (to forstall the hail of slings and arrows, I will add that I have voted Republican in every election since Nixon).
The bottom line here is that it is a debate over how science should be done, not over whether "evolution" is true or not. Lots of Christiasn and genuinely confused secular scientists gloss right past it, but it is the only thing of real substance being barked about.
The debate is about the proper role of the teaching of religion.
For some reason Creatinists/IDers (CRIDers as I call them) believe that Creationism is an "alternate theory" even though it doesn't meet any of the scientific criteria as a "theory." It is like saying "angels hold planes aloft" is an alternate "theory" for aerodynamics.
Religion should be introduced as philosophy/theology/mythology. Now the other day I read where they didnt want to discuss religion in a phiosophy class and THAT was an attack on religion.
Another problem is that many don't just believe in evolution. Many people are hard left athiests who use evolution as a bludgeon against the church. Unfortunately, we have little choice but to fight evolution everywhere, for this reason.
They made a big mistake when they abandoned geocentrism just because the scientific evidence said so.
"Churches urged to back evolution"
And Bin Laden urged US to convert to Islam.
As many Americans never understood that whole monarchy concept you all have going on over there.
If you choose to believe that you're evolved from simians, fish, or even lichen, so be it. Just return the courtesy and allow us 'foolish believers' to continue thinking we were created by God.
Unless you can accept the Bible sometimes uses metaphoric expressions. When the Bible talks about serpents, I understand it as usually talking about Satan and evil and not a literal snake. The idea that a day must be taken in the literal sense even before the day was invented is kind of odd. Just because the rest of the Bible uses 'day' literally does not completely rule out the possibility that Genesis could have used it metaphorically. It is a good arguement, but not an absolute one.
The purpose of Intelligent Design/Creationsim is to destroy and discredit the Conservative Movement. The people that push this crap are either Evil, because they know this is a Lie, or they are ignorant dupes and Useful Idiots and don't know any better, in which case they should stay off these Threads because they just spew the same refuted-garbage time after time.