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How Intelligent Design Hurts Conservatives (By making us look like crackpots)
The New Republic ^ | 8/16/05 | Ross Douthat

Posted on 08/18/2005 5:17:34 PM PDT by curiosity

The appeal of "intelligent design" to the American right is obvious. For religious conservatives, the theory promises to uncover God's fingerprints on the building blocks of life. For conservative intellectuals in general, it offers hope that Darwinism will yet join Marxism and Freudianism in the dustbin of pseudoscience. And for politicians like George W. Bush, there's little to be lost in expressing a skepticism about evolution that's shared by millions.

In the long run, though, intelligent design will probably prove a political boon to liberals, and a poisoned chalice for conservatives. Like the evolution wars in the early part of the last century, the design debate offers liberals the opportunity to portray every scientific battle--today, stem-cell research, "therapeutic" cloning, and end-of-life issues; tomorrow, perhaps, large-scale genetic engineering--as a face-off between scientific rigor and religious fundamentalism. There's already a public perception, nurtured by the media and by scientists themselves, that conservatives oppose the "scientific" position on most bioethical issues. Once intelligent design runs out of steam, leaving its conservative defenders marooned in a dinner-theater version of Inherit the Wind, this liberal advantage is likely to swell considerably.

And intelligent design will run out of steam--a victim of its own grand ambitions. What began as a critique of Darwinian theory, pointing out aspects of biological life that modification-through-natural-selection has difficulty explaining, is now foolishly proposed as an alternative to Darwinism. On this front, intelligent design fails conspicuously--as even defenders like Rick Santorum are beginning to realize--because it can't offer a consistent, coherent, and testable story of how life developed. The "design inference" is a philosophical point, not a scientific theory: Even if the existence of a designer is a reasonable inference to draw from the complexity of, say, a bacterial flagellum, one would still need to explain how the flagellum moved from design to actuality.

And unless George W. Bush imposes intelligent design on American schools by fiat and orders the scientific establishment to recant its support for Darwin, intelligent design will eventually collapse--like other assaults on evolution that failed to offer an alternative--under the weight of its own overreaching.

If liberals play their cards right, this collapse could provide them with a powerful rhetorical bludgeon. Take the stem-cell debate, where the great questions are moral, not scientific--whether embryonic human life should be created and destroyed to prolong adult human life. Liberals might win that argument on the merits, but it's by no means a sure thing. The conservative embrace of intelligent design, however, reshapes the ideological battlefield. It helps liberals cast the debate as an argument about science, rather than morality, and paint their enemies as a collection of book-burning, Galileo-silencing fanatics.

This would be the liberal line of argument anyway, even without the controversy surrounding intelligent design. "The president is trapped between religion and science over stem cells," declared a Newsweek cover story last year; "Religion shouldn't undercut new science," the San Francisco Chronicle insisted; "Leadership in 'therapeutic cloning' has shifted abroad," the New York Times warned, because American scientists have been "hamstrung" by "religious opposition"--and so on and so forth. But liberalism's science-versus-religion rhetoric is only likely to grow more effective if conservatives continue to play into the stereotype by lining up to take potshots at Darwin.

Already, savvy liberal pundits are linking bioethics to the intelligent design debate. "In a world where Koreans are cloning dogs," Slate's Jacob Weisberg wrote last week, "can the U.S. afford--ethically or economically--to raise our children on fraudulent biology?" (Message: If you're for Darwin, you're automatically for unfettered cloning research.) Or again, this week's TNR makes the pretty-much-airtight "case against intelligent design"; last week, the magazine called opponents of embryo-destroying stem cell research "flat-earthers." The suggested parallel is obvious: "Science" is on the side of evolution and on the side of embryo-killing.

Maureen Dowd, in her inimitable way, summed up the liberal argument earlier this year:

Exploiting God for political ends has set off powerful, scary forces in America: a retreat on teaching evolution, most recently in Kansas; fights over sex education . . . a demonizing of gays; and a fear of stem cell research, which could lead to more of a "culture of life" than keeping one vegetative woman hooked up to a feeding tube.

Terri Schiavo, sex education, stem cell research--on any issue that remotely touches on science, a GOP that's obsessed with downing Darwin will be easily tagged as medieval, reactionary, theocratic. And this formula can be applied to every new bioethical dilemma that comes down the pike. Earlier this year, for instance, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued ethical guidelines for research cloning, which blessed the creation of human-animal "chimeras"--animals seeded with human cells. New York Times reporter Nicholas Wade, writing on the guidelines, declared that popular repugnance at the idea of such creatures is based on "the pre-Darwinian notion that species are fixed and penalties [for cross-breeding] are severe." In other words, if you're opposed to creating pig-men--carefully, of course, with safeguards in place (the NAS guidelines suggested that chimeric animals be forbidden from mating)--you're probably stuck back in the pre-Darwinian ooze with Bishop Wilberforce and William Jennings Bryan.

There's an odd reversal-of-roles at work here. In the past, it was often the right that tried to draw societal implications from Darwinism, and the left that stood against them. And for understandable reasons: When people draw political conclusions from Darwin's theory, they're nearly always inegalitarian conclusions. Hence social Darwinism, hence scientific racism, hence eugenics.

Which is why however useful intelligent design may be as a rhetorical ploy, liberals eager to claim the mantle of science in the bioethics battle should beware. The left often thinks of modern science as a child of liberalism, but if anything, the reverse is true. And what scientific thought helped to forge--the belief that all human beings are equal--scientific thought can undermine as well. Conservatives may be wrong about evolution, but they aren't necessarily wrong about the dangers of using Darwin, or the National Academy of Sciences, as a guide to political and moral order.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: creationism; crevolist; education; evolution; hesaidcrackhehheh; immaturetitle; intelligentdesign; politics; science
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To: Tennessean4Bush

Hard to recover the atmosphere in which Galileo found himself. He was convinced of the rightness of his worldview and his vanity brought him down. The great majority of all scholars were Aristotelans of some sort, and they hated him for his unorthodoxy. Rebels live a hard life, especially intellectual rebels, because scholars more than ordinary people, never change their minds.


151 posted on 08/18/2005 6:40:38 PM PDT by RobbyS (chirho)
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To: DaveTesla
Are you threatened buy our beliefs?

The creos are running scared; threatened by what might be discovered by science.

152 posted on 08/18/2005 6:41:07 PM PDT by WildTurkey (When will CBS Retract and Apologize?)
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To: Servant of the 9
I believe that if God had designed life, rather than letting it happen at random, he would have done a much better job.

What God created was perfect...you are forgetting what man "created"......sin

It was sin, that set in motion the deterioration (sickness, disease)of the perfect creation

153 posted on 08/18/2005 6:42:10 PM PDT by apackof2 (In my simple way, I guess you could say I'm living in the BIG TIME)
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To: narby

That's a new one for me.

Who's the "large donor" who wants to replace the Constitution?

I know about the moonies and that the Kansas creationists were not above getting support from an Isamic guy who got evolution out of Turkish schools as un-Islamic


154 posted on 08/18/2005 6:42:20 PM PDT by From many - one.
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To: curiosity

I for one will take morality over science in a heart beat. When was the last time you saw a book burned in this country? The last great fire I recall was in Waco, TX. I believe that Janet and Bill were both playing with themselves while women and children were burned to death.

Not very moral. My I suggest that this event was more like Hitler taking on the Jews. And the government didn't give a sXXt. I guess it was for the chulrun...you know it takes a fxxking village.

Screw the flaming liberals and their creationism. I go with ID. They will loose!

Words that mean nothing. Actions that should wake many of you up. If you believe that we all came about because of a big BANG and that the gorilla at the zoo is a distant cousin than you do in fact have alot to be afraid of. Fear the unknown.


155 posted on 08/18/2005 6:42:33 PM PDT by gathersnomoss
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To: WildTurkey
Once again, bearing false witness. Shame, Shame on you.

Baloney! Neither off you read my original post. Your fight with me is misplaced if you believe in debate. Which I was assuming was axiomatic, given that you are Freeper.

156 posted on 08/18/2005 6:43:23 PM PDT by Tennessean4Bush (An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds, a pessimist fears this is true.)
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To: curiosity

I missed his cutting sarcasm in the first pass. I withdraw him from the anybody group but the statement stands.


157 posted on 08/18/2005 6:44:32 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: apackof2

You are saying that an omniscient didn't foresee all this? And being omnipotent, create it in the first place?


158 posted on 08/18/2005 6:45:05 PM PDT by js1138 (Science has it all: the fun of being still, paying attention, writing down numbers...)
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To: curiosity
Ahh...but the other "theories" themselves also end up really being a matter of faith as well...faith in those theories. There is no proven fact in this fight. Both are based on various components of science and belief.

Intelligent design is not without science to back it up, and objective reasoning to support it...in most cases the objective reasoning in support of intelligent design is patently much stronger IMHO than evolution...but also rejected and denied on its face in a very unscientific and subjective way by the other side.

My point was that those supporting the theories of evolution apply their own version of faith in that support, whether they call it that or not.

159 posted on 08/18/2005 6:45:13 PM PDT by Jeff Head (www.dragonsfuryseries.com)
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To: WildTurkey

You are right. I do normally avoid these science vs. theology threads. Too many terms that are defined diffrently by too many posters, apparently including myself. And too much hate, it seems to me. I didn't think there was room for vitriol among those who are scientists. Do scientists even CARE if anyone disagrees with them? I thought not. At bottom, or so it seems, we all have our agendas, even the "objective" ones among us.


160 posted on 08/18/2005 6:45:45 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: soupcon
The alternative to ID is spontaneous generation. The arguments for ID are logical and well founded. 1. We have never seen something of complexity that didn't have a creator. 2. We can create new life forms through our own intelligence (almost at least). Ergo, Intelligence is responsible for the original creation. The logical arguments for spontaneous generation are, what???
161 posted on 08/18/2005 6:46:15 PM PDT by webboy45
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To: GeorgiaYankee

It can be argued that scientists developed racism. "Notes from Virginia" show how much Jefferson was influenced by the anthropology of his day, and the longer he lived the further he moved from the Lockean view, which was essentially Christian, of the natural equality of man to the 19th century theory of essential differences between races. That is one reason why he supported slavery. Science taught him not to regard his black slave as his natural equal.


162 posted on 08/18/2005 6:47:21 PM PDT by RobbyS (chirho)
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To: gathersnomoss
I for one will take morality over science in a heart beat. When was the last time you saw a book burned in this country? The last great fire I recall was in Waco, TX. I believe that Janet and Bill were both playing with themselves while women and children were burned to death.

Not very moral. My I suggest that this event was more like Hitler taking on the Jews. And the government didn't give a sXXt. I guess it was for the chulrun...you know it takes a fxxking village.

Screw the flaming liberals and their creationism. I go with ID. They will loose!

Words that mean nothing. Actions that should wake many of you up. If you believe that we all came about because of a big BANG and that the gorilla at the zoo is a distant cousin than you do in fact have alot to be afraid of. Fear the unknown.


You speak in gibberish. Take a deep breath, calm down, pretend to be rational, and try again.

163 posted on 08/18/2005 6:49:25 PM PDT by onewhowatches
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To: AntiGuv
Well if that is the issue then ID would not matter anyway, now would it.

Really, you evos and IDers overestimate the publics concern over this all of this.

What if the Pope cam out for ID? What would that do?

Besides, you make it sound like the Dem's tack on the stem cell issue has that much traction. Bush's position is pretty reasonable here, and most people seem to agree with it when they actually find out what it is.

On one have you seem to be saying that the public will side rationally with the eveo side because they "rational, logical positivists" and on the other you seem to be saying that they can be "bludgeoned" with rhetoric, and "tempted with eternal life" (a pretty silly formulation - and a demeaning estimation of the American people, BTW) You cannot have it both ways, it would seem to me.

Believe me, having high school kids in Kansas spend two weeks hearing about ID is not going to move us "back to the dark ages," or somehow "stop bioscience<" and you evos do not help your cause with this sort of hysterical "warnings."

Do you really think the voter believe that this will keep them "from eternal life?"

Do you really think that the voter is so stupid to buy all the outrageous claim coming out from the stem cell crowd, when it is pretty obvious that they are yet again rattling a cup? We have been through the "War on Cancer" and the "War on AIDS," but to little avail. This aspect of the Evo argument seems pretty childish from the outside looking in. As the teacher lobby has begun to be seen as just another interest group at the trough, so do scientist risk this perception the more they are seen as political actor.

Perhaps the Left will be successful here, but it will be a phyrric victory in the end. The self-ipmortant posturings of the Earth sciences crowd, the evo crowd, the gay is biological crowd. the diverity crowd, etc is wearing a little thin. When we have Harvard taking the wholly irrational view that the problem with a "manpower" shortage is some how solved by "empowering women scientist" is is profoundly hard to take the academy seriously when one hears their cries about "the sanctity of science."

I think that you are falling for the Left's notion that they are they "rational; and scientific" ones when they are in fact pretty full of gobbledygook themselves. In fact, ID seems pretty mild here compared to what the left has been up too for years.

As someone with no dog in this fight, I will tell you that the stridency and seemingly mortification of you evos becomes you little in the public square.

It just goes to show that it is not just the Left that has contempt for "the public."

In the end the American people will chose correctly given and honest means of doing so.

164 posted on 08/18/2005 6:50:17 PM PDT by CasearianDaoist
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To: jwalsh07
"...all require life as a prerequisite."

Evolution does not address the creation of life since, as a scientific endeavor, the research activities called science, a methodology of inquiry, has stipulated that the supernatural is beyond science's ability.

165 posted on 08/18/2005 6:50:44 PM PDT by Rudder
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To: curiosity
There's a big difference between an opponent and and an enemy, but more important to your point, I agree with most of Douthat's article. He is not my opponent.
166 posted on 08/18/2005 6:50:46 PM PDT by GoLightly
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To: curiosity; All
The theory of evolution may be in big trouble, according to no less an authority than Charles Darwin, its founder.

“If it could be demonstrated,” he once wrote, “that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, excessive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”

167 posted on 08/18/2005 6:51:01 PM PDT by apackof2 (In my simple way, I guess you could say I'm living in the BIG TIME)
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To: aft_lizard
ID by its first proponents says it is meant to compliment and even explain processes that darwinism, neo darwinism anmd the like cannot explain. It is not meant to replace it, as evolution did to creationism, and you would assert.

Wrong.

168 posted on 08/18/2005 6:51:14 PM PDT by WildTurkey (When will CBS Retract and Apologize?)
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To: curiosity
Yes, and that's preciesely the problem. If it was merely a philosophical outlook, then there would be nothing wrong with it.

This is the part I do not understand. If, life the universe and everything, is the result of a Creator – as opposed to the random collision of atoms – is that not, at some level, a scientific fact? If the supernatural exists than science must be able to explain it.

Or is it specific aspects of ID that you object to?

169 posted on 08/18/2005 6:51:43 PM PDT by Friend of thunder (No sane person wants war, but oppressors want oppression.)
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To: soupcon

As for flaws, they themselves are things of beauty. They provide variation. It's the flaws in a blue diamond that give it the beautiful blue color (ie. electron holes).


170 posted on 08/18/2005 6:51:45 PM PDT by webboy45
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To: RobbyS
Good point. It is nice to see that the debate is finally being discussed in philosophical terms, since it has never been about good science versus bad science.
171 posted on 08/18/2005 6:52:06 PM PDT by Boiler Plate
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To: GeorgiaYankee

I am neither Greek nor Jewish so I guess all that does not apply to me.


172 posted on 08/18/2005 6:52:45 PM PDT by WildTurkey (When will CBS Retract and Apologize?)
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To: WildTurkey
"The creos are running scared"

Scared of what?

The truth is all that matters.

The truth for me is that my faith has given me hope.
It has carried me through hardship.
It has given me peace.
I don't see where that interferes with my creative ability.
In fact it has helped me.
Given me an understanding that God has a purpose for me.
173 posted on 08/18/2005 6:53:07 PM PDT by DaveTesla (You can fool some of the people some of the time......)
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To: RobbyS
Rebels live a hard life, especially intellectual rebels, because scholars more than ordinary people, never change their minds.

That's the truth.

I once saw a presentation by a scientist who was a believer and also a proponent of sound evolutionary theory. He started his presentation by quoting a Gallup poll that stated that 82% of all scientists surveyed believed in some kind of supreme being. He thought it was ironic because a few weeks later he saw a similar poll by Pew (or some other pollster) that stated that 79% of all clergy, pastors, ministers, etc., believed in a supreme being. People are people, eh?

174 posted on 08/18/2005 6:53:56 PM PDT by Tennessean4Bush (An optimist believes we live in the best of all possible worlds, a pessimist fears this is true.)
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To: Hotdog

Where did God come from?


175 posted on 08/18/2005 6:53:58 PM PDT by WildTurkey (When will CBS Retract and Apologize?)
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To: From many - one.
Progress will happen, just not here.

Practically speaking, what would Intelligent Design believers do differently than others, in the lab?

176 posted on 08/18/2005 6:54:03 PM PDT by syriacus (Cindy doesn't want our soldiers to shoot insurgent bombers who are murdering small Iraqi children.)
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To: curiosity
Liberals have always defined themselves by their intellectual snobbery and their embrace of secular humanism. I have no interest in hiding my views in order to make them more palatable to arrogant leftists.
177 posted on 08/18/2005 6:55:18 PM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: webboy45
As for flaws, they themselves are things of beauty.

Tune into Discovery Health Channel to see the beautiful "flaws of God" ...

178 posted on 08/18/2005 6:56:12 PM PDT by WildTurkey (When will CBS Retract and Apologize?)
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To: CasearianDaoist

I'm leaving in a few minutes, and might not get to your post until tomorrow evening. Just a courtesy FYI! I'll be back..


179 posted on 08/18/2005 6:56:28 PM PDT by AntiGuv ("Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." Philip K. Dick)
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To: WildTurkey

You said: That is what the creos/ID'ers are pushing. Just stop the progress and say God did it. Stupid.

Other than Scientologists, few believers in God suggest scrapping all science and research, at least few that I know of.

And not responding to your thread, but others who attack ID by saying that if God had created life, He would have done a better job than He did, I am not so sure. God could have created a world in which there was no death, no pain, nothing negative. Would that have been a better world? Depends on what you think is good. Those of us who believe in God and study our faith (at least those with whom I worship) don't think that life was created for Man, but rather for God. The true good in the world always, or nearly so, comes out of the bad. Healing out of illness; Generosity out of want, etc.


180 posted on 08/18/2005 6:56:41 PM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: gathersnomoss
I for one will take morality over science in a heart beat.

That's like saying that you will take chicken soup over an ergonomic keyboard. It makes no sense. They're two different concepts that address different things. There's no "choosing" one over the other.

When was the last time you saw a book burned in this country

I'm sure that there are more recent ones, but this article relates the story of one that occured in 2003.

I believe that Janet and Bill were both playing with themselves while women and children were burned to death.

This has nothing to do with the current discussion.

Not very moral. My I suggest that this event was more like Hitler taking on the Jews. And the government didn't give a sXXt. I guess it was for the chulrun...you know it takes a fxxking village.

Do you have a relevant statement to make, or are you just going to blather on about totally unrelated subjects?

Screw the flaming liberals and their creationism. I go with ID. They will loose!

What about the theory of evolution?

Words that mean nothing. Actions that should wake many of you up. If you believe that we all came about because of a big BANG and that the gorilla at the zoo is a distant cousin than you do in fact have alot to be afraid of. Fear the unknown.

Do you have a coherent argument to make, with facts and logic employed, or are you just going to set up an oversimplified strawman, swat at it with argument from incredulity and dance away?
181 posted on 08/18/2005 6:56:54 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: curiosity

Intelligent design is not creationism. Rather it is an more open question.


182 posted on 08/18/2005 6:57:17 PM PDT by stocksthatgoup (Polls = Proof that when the MSM want your opinion they will give it to you.)
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To: syriacus
Practically speaking, what would Intelligent Design believers do differently than others, in the lab?

Real IDers don't need no stinkin' lab. They already know all the answers!

183 posted on 08/18/2005 6:57:58 PM PDT by onewhowatches
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To: Rudder
Evolution does not address the creation of life since, as a scientific endeavor, the research activities called science, a methodology of inquiry, has stipulated that the supernatural is beyond science's ability.

First of all I didn't state that evolution addresses the creation of life, I merely corrected a statement made by a fellow poster. Second of all science does address the creation of life and there are numerous fields studying same. Some names given to these fields of study are Chemical Evolution, Abiogenesis and once upon a time Spontaneous Generation.

But thanks for the lecture.

184 posted on 08/18/2005 6:58:15 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: WildTurkey

Wrong?

The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion

Notice the word CERTAIN. I will let you figure out the rest.


185 posted on 08/18/2005 6:58:26 PM PDT by aft_lizard (This space waiting for a post election epiphany it now is: Question Everything)
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To: js1138
You are saying that an omniscient didn't foresee all this?

Of course not...but God gave man free will...or else man would not be human but a robot and man choose his fate, in addtion because God KNEW what man would choose He KNEW that He would sacrifice His only Son and His Son offered His life freely to reestablish the relationship between God and his Creation

Why?

One word

Love

186 posted on 08/18/2005 6:59:02 PM PDT by apackof2 (In my simple way, I guess you could say I'm living in the BIG TIME)
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To: spunkets
Where?
The Earth became formless and void?
darkness became over the surface of the deep?
or, the Spirit of God became over the surface of the waters?

What are "the waters" do you know?

Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD That created the heavens; God Himself That formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it "NOT" in vain, He formed it to be inhabited: "I am the LORD; and there is none else.

This "not in vain" is the same Hebrew word as without form = waste.

Something happened to cause this earth to become void and without form.

And the Spirit of God "MOVED" upon the face of the waters.

This word "MOVED" is not the same word as "vain" and/or "without form". The word "MOVED" a prim. root: to brood, by impl. to be relaxed: -flutter, move, shake.

Jeremiah 4:22 For My people is foolish, they have not known ME; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.

My dictionary says "science" is having knowledge.

23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.

24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.

25 I beheld, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.

26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by His fierce anger.


Some do try and claim this is talking about Noah's flood, however, this says no man and there were at least 8 souls on Noah's ark.
187 posted on 08/18/2005 6:59:11 PM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: curiosity

My Ford Explorer Sport Trac is made from metal, petroleum products and rubber. All these things were here before man arrived on the scene. How come cars weren't here waiting for us when man showed up on this planet? A car is nowhere near as complex and complicated as the human body. If human beings can evolve from "cosmic dust," it seems it wouldn't have been a big thing to have cars here waiting for us when we showed up. Maybe the wind wasn't blowing from the right direction.


188 posted on 08/18/2005 6:59:20 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (We did not lose in Vietnam. We left.)
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To: curiosity

In my mind, both the "Sponeaneous combustion" crowd and the folks who believe that Genesis is the absolute literal definitive true fact of how it happened are wrong........

or maybe they're both a little bit right:


EXTRATERRESTRIALS? THE VATICAN SAID 'YES'

The death of Pope John Paul II has occasioned widespread discussions about his own stand and the Vatican's position regarding a variety of subjects, from purely theological to social issues. Completely lacking has been any reference to an issue of concern to many, and especially to those interested in the subjects of UFO's, Life on other planets, and Extraterrestrials in general, and in Zecharia Sitchin's writings in particular.

As it happened, it was exactly five years ago, in April 2000, that Zecharia engaged in a public discussion of those very issues with a leading theologian of the Vatican, Monsignor Corrado Balducci, during an international conference held in Bellaria (Bimini) in Italy. The historic dialogue was reported at the time on this official website of Zecharia Sitchin; hereunder is the full text of that report which speaks for itself.



Dialogue in Bellaria

SITCHIN AND VATICAN THEOLOGIAN DISCUSS UFO's,
EXTRATERRESTRIALS, ANGELS, CREATION OF MAN

Report by Zecharia Sitchin

In what must be a historic first, a high official of the Vatican and a Hebrew scholar discussed the issue of Extraterrestrials and the Creation of Man, and though different from each other in upbringing, background, religion and methodology, nevertheless arrived at common conclusions:

* Yes, Extraterrestrials can and do exist on other planets
* Yes, they can be more advanced than us
* Yes, materially, Man could have been fashioned from a pre-existing sentient being.

The Participants

The high Vatican official was Monsignor Corrado Balducci, a Catholic theologian with impressive credentials: A member of the Curia of the Roman Catholic Church, a Prelate of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Propagation of the Faith, leading exorcist of the Archdiocese of Rome, a member of the Vatican's Beatification Committee, an expert on Demonology and the author of several books. Appointed in the Vatican to deal with the issue of UFO's and Extraterrestrials, he has made in recent years pronouncements indicating a tolerance of the subjects; but he has never before met and had a dialogue with a Hebrew scholar, and gone beyond prescribed formulations to include the touchy issue of the Creation of Man.

The Hebrew scholar was me -- Zecharia Sitchin: A researcher of ancient civilizations, a biblical archaeologist, a descendant of Abraham…
The Monsignor and I almost met for such a dialogue last December, but it did not come about. This time we were scheduled to meet in Bellaria, Italy, at a conference whose theme was “The Mystery of Human Existence.” I arrived there with my wife and a score of fans from the USA, on March 31st, scheduled to address the audience of over a thousand the next day. The Monsignor was nowhere in sight; but he was there the next morning to hear my presentation. “I drove the whole night from Rome to hear you,” he said.

Sitchin’s Presentation

My talk, ably translated by my Italian editor Tuvia Fogel, included a slide presentation that added a pictorial dimension to the evidence from ancient times in support of Sumerian texts, on which my eight books based the following conclusions:

We are not alone -- not just in the vast universe, but in our own solar system; There is one more planet in our solar system, orbiting beyond Pluto but nearing Earth periodically; Advanced "Extraterrestrials” -- the Sumerians called them Anunnaki, the Bible Nefilim -- started to visit our planet some 450,000 years ago; And, some 300,000 years ago, they engaged in genetic engineering to upgrade Earth's hominids and fashion Homo sapiens, the Adam. In that, they acted as Emissaries for the Universal Creator -- God.

The Dialogue

"We have much to talk about,” Msgr. Balducci said to me as he came forward to congratulate me on my presentation; "I have great esteem for your scholarship," he said.

We returned to the hotel for lunch. Our table was surrounded in a semi-circle by my American fans, intent on not missing a word of the forthcoming dialogue. In the hours-long session, Msgr. Balducci outlined the positions he was going to state, from a prepared text, in his talk the next day. While my approach was based on physical evidence, his was a purely Roman Catholic theological-philosophical one, seeking the spiritual aspects. Yet, our conclusions converged.

Msgr. Balducci's Positions

ON UFO's. "There must be something in it." The hundreds and thousands of eyewitness reports leave no room for denying that there is a measure of truth in them, even allowing for optical illusions, atmospheric phenomena and so on. As a Catholic theologian such witnessing cannot be dismissed. "Witnessing is one way of transmitting truth, and in the case of the Christian religion, we are talking about a Divine Revelation in which witnessing is crucial to the credibility of our faith.”

ON LIFE ON OTHER PLANETS: “That life may exist on other planets is certainly possible... The Bible does not rule out that possibility. On the basis of scripture and on the basis of our knowledge of God's omnipotence, His wisdom being limitless, we must affirm that life on other planets is possible." Moreover, this is not only possible, but also credible and even probable. '"Cardinal Nicolo Cusano (1401-1464) wrote that there is not a single star in the sky about which we can rule out the existence of life, even if different from ours.”

ON INTELLIGENT EXTRATERRESTRIALS: "When I talk about Extraterrestrials, we must think of beings who are like us -- more probably, beings more advanced than us, in that their nature is an association of a material part and a spiritual part, a body and a soul, although in different proportions than human beings on Earth." Angels are beings who are purely spiritual, devoid of bodies, while we are made up of spirit and matter but still at a low level. "It is entirely credible that in the enormous distance between Angels and humans, there could be found some middle stage, that is beings with a body like ours but more elevated spiritually. If such intelligent beings really exist on other planets, only science will be able to prove; but in spite of what some people think, we would be in a position to reconcile their existence with the Redemption that Christ has brought us.”

The Anunnaki and the Creation of Man

Well then, I asked Msgr. Balducci, does it mean that my presentation was no great revelation to you? We appear to agree, I said, that more advanced extraterrestrials can exist, and I use science to evidence their coming to Earth ...I then quote the Sumerian texts that say that the Anunnaki (“Those who from heaven to Earth came”) genetically improved an existing being on Earth to create the being that the Bible calls Adam.

My conclusion regarding your presentation, Msgr. Balducci answered, is that more than anything else your whole approach is based on physical evidence, it concerns itself with matter, not with spirit. This is an important distinction, "because if this distinction is made, I can bring up the view of the great theologian, Professor Father Marakoff, who is still alive and is greatly respected by the Church. He formulated the hypothesis that when God created Man and put the soul into him, perhaps what is meant is not that Man was created from mud or lime, but from something pre-existing, even from a sentient being capable of feeling and perception. So the idea of taking a pre-man or hominid and creating someone who is aware of himself is something that Christianity is coming around to…The key is the distinction between the material body and the soul granted by God."

From Anunnaki to God

Yes, I responded to the Vatican theologian, in my writings I deal with the physical evidence; but already in my first book (The 12th Planet), the very last sentence of the last paragraph raises the question: If the Extraterrestrials "created" us, who created them on their planet?

From this my own thinking and the contents of my subsequent books evolved toward the spiritual or "divine" aspects. The Anunnaki, I have explained, were just emissaries (and that is what the Hebrew word Malachim, translated Angels, means). They thought that it was their decision to come here for selfish reasons and to fashion us because they needed workers; but in truth they only carried out the Almighty God's wishes and plans.

If such Extraterrestrials were so involved, Msgr. Balducci said, even by your own interpretation they had to do with Man's physics, body and rationality: but God alone had to do with the Soul!

My second book, that deals with Man's aspiration to ascend the heavens, is titled The Stairway to Heaven, I told Msgr, Balducci, "it seems to me that we are ascending the same stairway to heaven, though from different steps," I said.

We ended the dialogue as friends, determined to stay in touch and continue.




Reproduction is permitted if accompanied by the statement

© Z. Sitchin 2005
Reproduced by permission.


189 posted on 08/18/2005 6:59:36 PM PDT by Chuckster (Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoset)
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To: apackof2
What God created was perfect...you are forgetting what man "created"......sin

So God's perfect creation created sin.

Why would a perfect creation create sin?
190 posted on 08/18/2005 6:59:36 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: NCLaw441
It seems to me that in every crevice of missing knowledge and understanding of science, there is room for a Creator.

That extremely bad theology. Also known as "God of the gaps." If God can only hide in the "crevices of missing knowledge", then the amount of space allocated to him is going to decline exponetially over time. Science has a tendency of filling those "crevices," you know. Right now, those crevices are very few in number. In a few years, they will be even fewer.

What happens if one day scientists are able to create a simple life form in the lab? It may happen. There is no a priori reason to think it won't happen. What would happen to your faith if it did? It would not shake mine.

191 posted on 08/18/2005 7:00:51 PM PDT by curiosity (.)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

Is your Ford Explorer Sport Trac -- or any Ford Explorer Sprot Trac -- capable of making an imperfect copy of itself, either on its own or with the aid of another Ford Explorer Sport Trac?


192 posted on 08/18/2005 7:01:13 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: apackof2
"The theory of evolution may be in big trouble, according to no less an authority than Charles Darwin, its founder. “If it could be demonstrated,” he once wrote, “that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, excessive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” "

None has been found. In fact there is so much evidence to the contrary, that this point is no longer a consideration. Now the mechanisms are known well enough, that this statement has been relegated to the "proof of a negative" catagory.

193 posted on 08/18/2005 7:04:21 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: Friend of thunder
If the supernatural exists than science must be able to explain it.

Science is the study of the natural and only the natural. Anything supernatural is outside of the explanatory power of science by definition.
194 posted on 08/18/2005 7:04:33 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio

Mine hasn't evolved that far yet but I'll check with the Ford on how these things come about.


195 posted on 08/18/2005 7:06:09 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (We did not lose in Vietnam. We left.)
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To: NCLaw441
God could have created a world in which there was no death, no pain, nothing negative.

He might have called it "Eden."

196 posted on 08/18/2005 7:06:17 PM PDT by syriacus (Cindy doesn't want our soldiers to shoot insurgent bombers who are murdering small Iraqi children.)
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To: Jeff Head
Intelligent design is not without science to back it up, and objective reasoning to support it

Then perahps you can provide references to this "science" that backs up ID?
197 posted on 08/18/2005 7:06:33 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: webboy45
It's the flaws in a blue diamond that give it the beautiful blue color (ie. electron holes).

No, it's the boron.

Type IIb: These diamonds contain no nitrogen - but they contain boron, which absorbs red, orange and yellow light. These diamonds therefore usually appear to be blue, although they can also be grey or nearly colorless. All naturally blue diamonds belong to Type IIb, which makes up 0.1% of all diamonds.

198 posted on 08/18/2005 7:07:02 PM PDT by WildTurkey (When will CBS Retract and Apologize?)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
Is your Ford Explorer Sport Trac -- or any Ford Explorer Sprot [sic] Trac -- capable of making an imperfect copy of itself, either on its own or with the aid of another Ford Explorer Sport Trac?

My F350 spits on your Ford Explorer Sport Trac.

Besides this argument shows you are very ignorant of science, evolution, and other closely related subjects. Analogies should relate!

199 posted on 08/18/2005 7:07:33 PM PDT by onewhowatches
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To: FlingWingFlyer
Mine hasn't evolved that far yet

Evolution only occurs on things that replicate imperfectly. If your motor vehicle cannot do that, then evolution can't occur with it and your analogy is completely invalid.
200 posted on 08/18/2005 7:07:40 PM PDT by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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