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Pennsylvania School District to Defend Policy on Intelligent Design
The Christian Post ^ | 9/19/05 | Francis Helguero

Posted on 09/19/2005 3:32:34 PM PDT by dukeman

The Dover Area School district in Pennsylvania will soon defend its policy to require ninth grade students to hear a short statement about “intelligent design” before biology lessons on evolution.

Dover is believed to have been the first school system in the nation to require students to hear about the controversial concept. The school adopted the policy in October 2004, after which teachers were required to read a statement that says intelligent design is different than Darwin’s theory of evolution and refers students to a text book on intelligent design to get more information.

“All the Dover school board did was allow students to get a glimpse of a controversy that is really boiling over in the scientific community,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, which is defending the school district, according to the Associated Press.

The civil trial is set to take place on Sept. 26 and will only be the latest chapter in a long-running legal debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools.

The controversy over intelligent design in public schools has received national attention with statements by President Bush expressing approval for the theory to be taught in class, along with the recent approval by the Kansas Board of Education to give preliminary approval to science standards that allow criticism of evolution.

Intelligent design theory states that some parts of the natural world are so complex that the most reasonable explanation is that they were made as products of an intelligent cause, rather than random mutation and natural selection.

In contrast to "creationism," which states specifically that God is the creator, intelligent design is more general, simply saying that life did not come about by chance. The "designer" could be anything or anyone, though many place God in the position of the designer.

Experts on the case include biochemist Michael Behe of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, who is proponent of intelligent design. He holds that the concept of “irreducible complexity” shows that there is an intelligent creator. He cites the example of a bacterial flagellum, an appendage to a bacterium that allows it to move about.

"Whenever we see such complex, functional mechanical systems, we always infer that they were designed. ... It is a conclusion based on physical evidence," AP reported Behe as saying in testimony before the state legislative panel in June where he was asked to talk about intelligent design.

Critics of intelligent design have dismissed the theory as a backdoor to creationism, with some calling it pseudo science.

In a 1999 assessment of intelligent design, the National Academy of sciences said the theory was not science.

''Creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science," the NAS stated.

The controversy over Intelligent Design has been so highly talked about that the debate was also featured last month as a cover story for Time Magazine. In the feature article, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (SBTS) President Albert Mohler, Jr., tackled the controversy with three other scholars in a forum addressing the question “Can You Believe in God and Evolution?” Behe was also among those whose views were addressed in the article.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: behe; creationism; evolution; intelligentdesign
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To: TheHound
I have decided, like one rooting for the underdog in a football game, to oppose evolution

No disrespect meant, but by that logic, why not go the whole nine yards and go for the "underdog" theory of the Flat Earth? That way, angels can preside over the four corners of the Earth like Isaiah said. My only point here is that the foundations of solid science aren't backed by what appeals to us or what we "root for," but rather by the outcome of research, like the answer or not.

That I believe in God might be a factor as well

Many of us who acknowledge the science behind evolution believe in God; many of those specifically believe in the Bible. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. When polled, a majority of scientists have revealed they believe in God, but almost 100% of scientists acknowledge evolution.

101 posted on 09/20/2005 8:30:33 AM PDT by Quark2005 (Where's the science?)
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To: Dinsdale; js1138

We generally prefer not to rip peoples religion. But we would have to in order to use ID as a punching bag.
***So it would appear that the scientific community is refraining out of politeness? Would you mind commenting on JS1138's post:


Actually character assassination is part of any competitive enterprise. In sports it's called trash talk. Science is extremely competitive. If you want religion tossed int this environment, be my guest. It's about time religion got the chip off its shoulder and started duking it out in an arena where only physical evidence counts.
***It looks to me that the ID folks are ASKING for the chance to duke it out. I say, Let them in. Have at it.


This punching should be done in philosophy classes after the students have a basic understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of science.
***I agree completely. Teach science in science classes, and philosophy in philosophy classes.

Bottom line untill someone comes up with a test that would prove ID false you can't call it science.
***I see it as a kind of analogy. Both sides are armies meeting across a river. Whichever army ventures across to the other side will have the extreme disadvantage. On the creat/ID side, they use inductive reasoning, a form of spiritual frequency domain. On the haps side they like to use deductive reasoning, not trusting that inductive stuff. But the haps army has the high ground and decides to dam the river every once in awhile, taking water for themselves & not leaving water for the other army. This is considered bad manners.

The equivilant test of evolution is finding a highly developed fossil in rock strata too old for it. Creationists attempted to disprove it with foot prints of men and dinosaurs in the same fossilized mud flat. Of course it turned out to be a big fat self-rightous creationist lie. Someone will be along shortly to claim it's all true.
***Well, so far no one has chimed in to claim that it's all true so maybe the ground rules have changed enough to have an intelligent debate with those folks. I'm not quite sure.


102 posted on 09/20/2005 9:12:55 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: CarolinaGuitarman

Then you never had an understanding of what evolutionary theory is or what it's limits are.
***This is one of the dangers of the haps side of the evo philosophy. It takes experts to be able to discourse on the subject matter. So the attempt to teach children this stuff is really just an attempt at indoctrination, kinda like the NAMBLA guys trying to access youngsters with their thoughts on certain subjects. Now I grant that this isn't as spiritually dangerous as NAMBLA, but the hyperbole helps you to see that there is some danger there.


103 posted on 09/20/2005 9:16:20 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: Kevin OMalley
If you want to have a discussion, don't mix quotes from two different posters. It would also be nice to learn to put quotes in italics.

Try this:

<i>text in italics</i><p>

new paragraph

104 posted on 09/20/2005 9:22:14 AM PDT by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: Kevin OMalley
"It takes experts to be able to discourse on the subject matter."

No, it really doesn't. The issue really isn't that complicated. You though have not attempted to even try to critique the science. You claim to be knowledgable on the sybject but have only shown you haven't a clue.

"So the attempt to teach children this stuff is really just an attempt at indoctrination, kinda like the NAMBLA guys trying to access youngsters with their thoughts on certain subjects."

Disgusting poisoning of the well. You should be ashamed (but won't, of course).

"Now I grant that this isn't as spiritually dangerous as NAMBLA, but the hyperbole helps you to see that there is some danger there."

No, it doesn't help us to see anything. All you have done is said *Evolution is bad*, without saying anything at all about the theory, or how it applies to society. You don't because you can't. Your willfull ignorance is your own problem, stop trying to stuff it down the throats of our children.

Just smoke coming from your butt.
105 posted on 09/20/2005 9:25:11 AM PDT by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is a grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: Coyoteman

From this post, you have declared that you do not believe science, you do not understand science, and if you did it wouldn't matter anyway.
***Wow, nice straw argumentation, Coyoteman. Now, instead of arguing against the straw position, why don't you argue against what I really said and stop putting words in my keyboard?


If this is the case, why should anyone who comes from the science side of the argument listen to a thing you have to say?
***Ok, we're in good shape then, because this is not the case. But if it were the case, I see your plan amounts to just not listenining. Ok, that's a good plan, very good plan, just ignore that large majority of voters & policy makers and continue on with what you were doing, make no attempt to engage in educating the masses, go ahead, go ahead....


106 posted on 09/20/2005 9:25:23 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: dukeman

Good.


107 posted on 09/20/2005 9:26:43 AM PDT by TAdams8591
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To: js1138; Dinsdale

I you have studied evolution and used to be an evolutionist, then you could, no doubt, present a good summary of the best case to be made for evolution.
***Ok, good challenge. In a nutshell, evolution sees itself as a scientific deductive pursuit where facts are the overriding concern. The factual weight of the overall theory is gigantic. The main thing is that there was one common ancestor that all creatures descended from, and there even appears to be some genetic evidence for this. The mechanism for speciation is adaptation and survival of the fittest. Before life was formed, evo has nothing to say about that, the theory is one aimed at how species came about. In the evo theory, mankind is a species of ape that was smart and started to build tools to survive, passing this knowledge onto the next generation and gaining a significant foothold.


You do that and post it, and I'll do the same for ID. We'll see who has the best understanding of the other's position.
***OK, go ahead and post your understanding. But what will that get us? The social policy stuff is really what I would prefer to discuss, and whether or not I understand that theory of yours isn't as significant as you make it out to be. Do evolutionists understand the OBVIOUS moral implications that their disturbing theory generates? If they did, they would probably state something like what Dinsdale says, "This punching should be done in philosophy classes after the students have a basic understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of science. " If someone like me can't understand the theory well enough to pass muster in a forum like this, why is there an attempt to teach this to kids? That is indoctrination.


108 posted on 09/20/2005 9:35:17 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: jess35

And evolution is?

They are both theories.


109 posted on 09/20/2005 9:38:18 AM PDT by luckystarmom
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To: Kevin OMalley
From this post, you have declared that you do not believe science, you do not understand science, and if you did it wouldn't matter anyway.

***Wow, nice straw argumentation, Coyoteman. Now, instead of arguing against the straw position, why don't you argue against what I really said and stop putting words in my keyboard?

If this is the case, why should anyone who comes from the science side of the argument listen to a thing you have to say?

***Ok, we're in good shape then, because this is not the case. But if it were the case, I see your plan amounts to just not listenining. Ok, that's a good plan, very good plan, just ignore that large majority of voters & policy makers and continue on with what you were doing, make no attempt to engage in educating the masses, go ahead, go ahead....


My comments were in response to your post #62.

Every time someone brings up science you turn it to a question of public or social policy. You consistently duck the science questions.

I think you actually explained the reason in another post:

I am trying to stay away from the scientific end of this argument for the same reason that I stayed away for 7 years: It's too acrimonious, requires too much time/knowledge/digging/etc, and I see very little ROI for myself [from your post #76].

So, now where is my lead statement (repeated again below) wrong?

From this post, you have declared that you do not believe science, you do not understand science, and if you did it wouldn't matter anyway.

110 posted on 09/20/2005 9:58:31 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Is this a good tagline?)
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To: CarolinaGuitarman



Too bad, science is the center of this debate.
***As far as I'm concerned, the center of gravity of this debate has shifted to social policy, not whether one theory is a better scientific model than the other.

So, you really can't provide any scientific critiques of evolution. I didn't think you could. I don't see how you expect to bring anybody over to your side with no argument whatsoever. Not even an attempt.
***I'm happy with that. I'll leave that stuff to folks who appear to have more training than I do in your chosen fields of inquiry.



So, you look to the president for science? How odd.
***I look to the president for guidance on social policy, which in this case includes science teaching policy. It really isn't that odd, but thanks for the straw argument.


What problems? You refuse to even touch on the science, why should anybody care what you think?
***Why do you ask me to touch on such problems? I choose to be a lurker in that regard because there is a certain point where I simply do not understand what EITHER side is saying. It's eggheads arguing with eggheads. If you will ONLY engage in debating social policy with people who understand the theory, you miss a huge segment of the population who have a thing or two to say on the subject. Who is it that determines such policies? Is it PhD biochemists? There simply aren't enough of them. It's normal workaday folks who have a heart for what gets taught to our kids. So, by all means, bypass me and folks like me and continue your egghead discussions.


Your *Baloney* means nothing when you hide from discussing the science. Just more smoke out yer butt.
***I see several people on this forum discussing the science, so take that up with them, they seem to know what they're doing. I'm not hiding, just expressing a preference about what I choose to engage in arguing about. I see that eggheads have been arguing with eachother for 150 years over this subject, and to be candid, I'm just not interested in wasting my time on it. The social policy stuff strikes me as important, so that's what I want to spend time on. As far as your insult, do you prefer blue smoke or white smoke?



Are you capable of understanding English?
***Yes.
What did you not comprehend?
***If I sit down and go through some scientific egghead junk about supernatural, non-material causes, I waste my time. The big bang theory is one. What caused it? Some force that's above nature (supernatural) that we don't really have material information about, but it happened that way. Gravity theory. What causes it? We can describe its effects, but we don't know what causes it, it appears to be "non-material". But I would rather not talk about such things because they detract from what I choose to talk about, which is the social policy angle.



So you want science by poll.
***That's not what I said, don't put words in my mouth.

And 2/3rds of the population do NOT want evolution out of the classrooms.
***Again, that's not what I said. 2/3 of the population want them taught side-by-side, and the haps folks appear to be frightened by this prospect.



False dichotomy. Show how science is making people *amoral*.
***Very good, that's what I was thinking about it when I wrote it and it slipped my mind that I should have qualified it as a forced choice. For your second sentence, I will offer primary source material: Myself. The way that I processed the evo theory was that I saw justifications for bad behavior and could even condone murder if it "furthered the species". Scientists like to stop right there, and say this is how far the science goes, we don't have anything to say from this point on. The folks who deal with dangerous philosophies and religions take it from there and start to point out the disturbing moral implications to the theory, and science says that it is outside of its realm. Fine, so be it. Let the folks who deal with inductive stuff take over from here and push positive things onto society. If you don't like the social policies that they come up with, then start dealing with them on the social policy level and acknowledge the disturbing social implications of the theory, limit whatever evil arises from it and amplify whatever good comes from it.


111 posted on 09/20/2005 9:59:12 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: luckystarmom

Do you accept that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is also a theory?


112 posted on 09/20/2005 10:01:18 AM PDT by jess35
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To: Coyoteman


I am trying to stay away from the scientific end of this argument for the same reason that I stayed away for 7 years: It's too acrimonious, requires too much time/knowledge/digging/etc, and I see very little ROI for myself. If you folks are discussing science on this thread, please ask me to leave.
Tempting... But no, nobody should be asked to leave. This is FR!
***Darn, I thought I could sucker someone into actually going down that path. That would have been fun.

The problem is that we need to keep science and its methods separate from belief and their ways.
***Well, maybe you have something there. Why can't we set up a philosophy class that investigates the implications of science and religion and let the discussion take place there? I would have loved to have been empowered to steer my professors, "shut up and teach. This isn't a philosophy class, stick to [fillintheblank]. "

Science works from data and theory, with theory being the attempts to explain those pesky facts (data). Sometimes theories have to change when new facts arise, or when better theory emerges.Belief is unchanging, and based on faith. The two really are separate and should not be used to argue against one another.
***There is a faith element in the evo/abio side as well: at the point of unknown.


You say you don't have time to study science and then proceed to trash science and its methods. Then don't enter into science-bashing.
***Good point. I suppose that has been some bad manners on my part. It is how I feel. Let me know if I'm expected to apologize. I did enter into the crevo threads with my hackles raised due to the level of trash talk & acrimony, but that doesn't mean we have to keep it that way.

But don't leave an FR thread (especially an old fossil like yourself!) because of something like this. ; )
***We really would have had an juicy thread going if you had given in to your temptation.


113 posted on 09/20/2005 10:08:47 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: Kevin OMalley
"As far as I'm concerned, the center of gravity of this debate has shifted to social policy, not whether one theory is a better scientific model than the other."

Whether evolution or ID are better scientifically is the HEART of the debate. No matter what your opinion might be.

"I'll leave that stuff to folks who appear to have more training than I do in your chosen fields of inquiry. "

Or you could just refrain from talking about things you know nothing about.

"I choose to be a lurker in that regard because there is a certain point where I simply do not understand what EITHER side is saying."

Yet you feel free to make ludicrous statements about the social consequences of a theory you admit to having no understanding of.

"The big bang theory is one. What caused it? Some force that's above nature (supernatural) that we don't really have material information about, but it happened that way."

Why do you say it is *above* nature and therefore supernatural? This is nutty.

"So you want science by poll.
***That's not what I said, don't put words in my mouth. "

It's exactly what you want. You want Joe six-pack with no understanding of the science (like you) making decisions on what is or isn't science. Stop hiding from your own arguments.

"The way that I processed the evo theory was that I saw justifications for bad behavior and could even condone murder if it "furthered the species"."

Then you know nothing of what evolution says, just as we figured. The species is not the unit of selection. It is an explanation of what is and what has happened, not a proscription for behavior.

All smoke, no substance. It's hard to tell if you are trying to come off sounding as ignorant as possible as a joke or you really mean it.
114 posted on 09/20/2005 10:12:15 AM PDT by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is a grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: js1138
If you want to have a discussion, don't mix quotes from two different posters. ***It saves time. It would also be nice to learn to put quotes in italics. Try this: text in italics

new paragraph ***I gave up on italicising several years ago. When it gets to the point that I can copy a paragraph and paste it back into MSWord and/or into a post/preview window at FR and the italics survive, I will re-learn it.

115 posted on 09/20/2005 10:13:54 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: Kevin OMalley
If you folks are discussing science on this thread, please ask me to leave.

Tempting... But no, nobody should be asked to leave. This is FR!

***Darn, I thought I could sucker someone into actually going down that path. That would have been fun.

I'm smarter than I look!

116 posted on 09/20/2005 10:21:03 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Is this a good tagline?)
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To: CarolinaGuitarman; JoeSixPack1



Whether evolution or ID are better scientifically is the HEART of the debate. No matter what your opinion might be.
***The HEART of the debate is what is good for us as a society and what should be taught to our children.




Or you could just refrain from talking about things you know nothing about.
***I'm here to discuss social policy, not the minute details of a theory that I don't care much about. I know as much as others who make policy know about this subject.



Yet you feel free to make ludicrous statements about the social consequences of a theory you admit to having no understanding of.
***NO understanding? A bit of an exxageration, isn't it? And if someone like me can't understand the theory, why are you folks trying to teach it to our kids? As far as ludicrous thingie, good insult. Good Holy Warrior. Comfort yourself.




Why do you say it is *above* nature and therefore supernatural? This is nutty.
***First 2 entries for "supernatural" at Dictionary.com: Of or relating to existence outside the natural world.
Attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces. Super comes from the word that means Above, and natural, is...well... nature. How is that nutty? I see that you didn't bother to insert some egghead scientific stuff here, so does that mean I can't expect it from you on this subject?



It's exactly what you want.
***That's not what I want, so stop trying to read my mind. Just read my posts.

You want Joe six-pack with no understanding of the science (like you) making decisions on what is or isn't science.
***Wrong. Straw argument, and it even ignores what I posted about the subject, which I reproduce here: Ok, I'll answer your question, feel free for the sake of those honest and genuine lurkers, to IGNORE my question. The answer is, no, I don't WANT such people deciding what the science curriculum is, but I ACCEPT that such people are, I AGREE with them on a philosophical level, I SEE some of the same problems with this theory that they see, and I THINK that there could be some good science that results from all of this discussion and exercise. The social policy implications are fascinating. SHOULD we let Astrologers into Astronomy classes? At what point is a fun pursuit a pseudoscience? From all the evidence I've looked at on both sides, I do not think that ID rises to the same level of pseudoscience that Astrology does. So, what should be the critera for establishing that something is a pseudoscience? I happen to think that when one of my professors bloviated about haps-based evolution, she was crossing the same kind of line.


Stop hiding from your own arguments.
***Stop using straw arguments.




Then you know nothing of what evolution says, just as we figured.
***The plain and simple fact is, this is how some young evolutionists process the moral implications of the theory. Maybe they know enough, maybe they don't. If the theory itself is so sophisticated that youngsters can't process it properly when it gets applied to their own behavior, then it has no business being taught to impressionable kids. It belongs in a 2nd or 3rd year bio class for bio majors and maybe philosophy majors.


The species is not the unit of selection. It is an explanation of what is and what has happened, not a proscription for behavior.
***Yeah, I've heard that one before, in the islamofascist community. Here's how it goes... "Now, kids, whatever you do, never [wink wink] ever [wink wink] point one of these rocket propelled grenades at a SLIMY, Baby-eating, pig-worshipping [note no winking here] american convoy [wink wink] or Allah will be very [wink wink] displeased." And to both of them I say, bull cookies. There are obvious moral implications to this theory that need to be dealt with if you guys want it to be taught to impressionable kids.


All smoke, no substance. It's hard to tell if you are trying to come off sounding as ignorant as possible as a joke or you really mean it.
***I get that a lot.



117 posted on 09/20/2005 10:38:31 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: Right Wing Professor; CarolinaGuitarman

Gotta go, will respond to #86 & #88 later on.


118 posted on 09/20/2005 10:56:27 AM PDT by Kevin OMalley (No, not Freeper#95235, Freeper #1165: Charter member, What Was My Login Club.)
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To: Kevin OMalley
"The HEART of the debate is what is good for us as a society and what should be taught to our children."

Don't you think that the subject matter being taught is germane to whether that subject matter should be taught? Are you really that dense?

"I'm here to discuss social policy, not the minute details of a theory that I don't care much about. I know as much as others who make policy know about this subject."

That's a scary thought. You are arguing that your total ignorance of the subject makes you just as qualified to discuss whether it should be taught or not than those who actually have studied it. Incredible.


"NO understanding? A bit of an exxageration, isn't it? "

Not at all. It's being kind.

"And if someone like me can't understand the theory, why are you folks trying to teach it to our kids? "

So anything YOU can't understand shouldn't be taught? Your ignorance should be everybody's?

"That's not what I want, so stop trying to read my mind. Just read my posts."

I have. You want science by poll. Stop hiding from your arguments.

"The plain and simple fact is, this is how some young evolutionists process the moral implications of the theory."

Some people took Einstein's theory of relativity to mean that all morality is relative. Was it Einstein's fault that some people are stupid? Just because some people who know next to nothing about evolution completely misunderstand the implications doesn't in any way mean that there is any problem with the theory on a scientific level.
Why should we lie to our children that there is a scientific controversy because people like you are ignorant?

"If the theory itself is so sophisticated that youngsters can't process it properly when it gets applied to their own behavior, then it has no business being taught to impressionable kids."

It has nothing to do with their behavior. It is not applied to their behavior. Just because it is too sophisticated for YOU, doesn't mean that the average 12 year old won't get it.

"The species is not the unit of selection. It is an explanation of what is and what has happened, not a proscription for behavior.
***Yeah, I've heard that one before, in the islamofascist community. "

Your smearing of evolution by associating it with child molesters and now Islamo-terrorists is a disgusting display, indicative of the paucity of your evidence (and very telling about your character). Unless you have something of substance to critique about the theory, none of your opinions count for anything.

"All smoke, no substance. It's hard to tell if you are trying to come off sounding as ignorant as possible as a joke or you really mean it.
***I get that a lot. "

I am certain you do. I for one don't believe it's a joke.
119 posted on 09/20/2005 11:15:02 AM PDT by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is a grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: Kevin OMalley
Quick paraph formatting trick.

Type or copy the text of your post into the box, hit the spell checker and apply corrections. Magically the paragraph html will be inserted. Then you can apply formatting like italics without having to do all the paragraph formatting.
120 posted on 09/20/2005 11:28:56 AM PDT by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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