Skip to comments.Evolution and intelligent design Life is a cup of tea
Posted on 10/07/2005 4:59:16 AM PDT by shuckmaster
How should evolution be taught in schools? This being America, judges will decide
HALF of all Americans either don't know or don't believe that living creatures evolved. And now a Pennsylvania school board is trying to keep its pupils ignorant. It is the kind of story about America that makes secular Europeans chortle smugly before turning to the horoscope page. Yet it is more complex than it appears.
In Harrisburg a trial began last week that many are comparing to the Scopes monkey trial of 1925, when a Tennessee teacher was prosecuted for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Now the gag is on the other mouth. In 1987 the Supreme Court ruled that teaching creationism in public-school science classes was an unconstitutional blurring of church and state. But those who think Darwinism unGodly have fought back.
Last year, the school board in Dover, a small rural school district near Harrisburg, mandated a brief disclaimer before pupils are taught about evolution. They are to be told that The theory [of evolution] is not a fact. Gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence. And that if they wish to investigate the alternative theory of intelligent design, they should consult a book called Of Pandas and People in the school library.
Eleven parents, backed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, two lobby groups, are suing to have the disclaimer dropped. Intelligent design, they say, is merely a clever repackaging of creationism, and as such belongs in a sermon, not a science class.
The school board's defence is that intelligent design is science, not religion. It is a new theory, which holds that present-day organisms are too complex to have evolved by the accumulation of random mutations, and must have been shaped by some intelligent entity. Unlike old-style creationism, it does not explicitly mention God. It also accepts that the earth is billions of years old and uses more sophisticated arguments to poke holes in Darwinism.
Almost all biologists, however, think it is bunk. Kenneth Miller, the author of a popular biology textbook and the plaintiffs' first witness, said that, to his knowledge, every major American scientific organisation with a view on the subject supported the theory of evolution and dismissed the notion of intelligent design. As for Of Pandas and People, he pronounced that the book was inaccurate and downright false in every section.
The plaintiffs have carefully called expert witnesses who believe not only in the separation of church and state but also in God. Mr Miller is a practising Roman Catholic. So is John Haught, a theology professor who testified on September 30th that life is like a cup of tea.
To illustrate the difference between scientific and religious levels of understanding, Mr Haught asked a simple question. What causes a kettle to boil? One could answer, he said, that it is the rapid vibration of water molecules. Or that it is because one has asked one's spouse to switch on the stove. Or that it is because I want a cup of tea. None of these explanations conflicts with the others. In the same way, belief in evolution is compatible with religious faith: an omnipotent God could have created a universe in which life subsequently evolved.
It makes no sense, argued the professor, to confuse the study of molecular movements by bringing in the I want tea explanation. That, he argued, is what the proponents of intelligent design are trying to do when they seek to air their theorywhich he called appalling theologyin science classes.
Darwinism has enemies mostly because it is not compatible with a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis. Intelligent designers deny that this is why they attack it, but this week the court was told by one critic that the authors of Of Pandas and People had culled explicitly creationist language from early drafts after the Supreme Court barred creationism from science classes.
In the Dover case, intelligent design appears to have found unusually clueless champions. If the plaintiffs' testimony is accurate, members of the school board made no effort until recently to hide their religious agenda. For years, they expressed pious horror at the idea of apes evolving into men and tried to make science teachers teach old-fashioned creationism. (The board members in question deny, or claim not to remember, having made remarks along these lines at public meetings.)
Intelligent design's more sophisticated proponents, such as the Discovery Institute in Seattle, are too polite to say they hate to see their ideas championed by such clods. They should not be surprised, however. America's schools are far more democratic than those in most other countries. School districts are tinythere are 501 in Pennsylvania aloneand school boards are directly elected. In a country where 65% of people think that creationism and evolution should be taught side by side, some boards inevitably agree, and seize upon intelligent design as the closest approximation they think they can get away with. But they may not be able to get away with it for long. If the case is appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, intelligent design could be labelled religious and barred from biology classes nationwide.
375 was absolutely positively definitely yours and contained your initial position statement on slavery as preserved in quotes elsewhere before your post was deleted.
As to your "free discussion" point, you can have free speech and use it to do a bad thing. Elenil dodged the issue by waving around a Gould quote saying that, post 1859, biological justifications for slavery increased. (Well, we WERE heading into a Civil War here just then.)
Gould implies that that was a bad thing. Elenil's point in quoting Gould would seem to be that it was Darwin's fault that this bad thing happened, so we Darwinists are just as bad as you, or something like that. But I disagree. I'm not doing what you're doing and neither are any of the other evos. I don't agree with you on this so I'm not just as bad as you.
Furthermore, elenil doesn't have the integrity to say that it's bad when you do it, and you're the only one doing it. You're "witnessing" by attacking evolution and upholding the Bible, you see. It's only bad if I have no problem with slavery because I'm not covered by your blanket exemption.
I have a problem with all of this.
[VadeRetro] 375 was absolutely positively definitely yours and contained your initial position statement on slavery as preserved in quotes elsewhere before your post was deleted.
My position on slavery? I don't consider it is wrong to have slaves.
375 posted on 10/08/2005 5:49:05 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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taxesareforever can't deny the accuracy of this post (I did a cut and paste at the time 'cuz I couldn't believe it). The most he can do now is to disavow it. We're all waiting.
Point of order: Taxesareforever is an utterly shameless liar.
Prediction: Not creationist one will call him on his lie. "Witnessing for the Lord" always gets a free pass, no matter how many lies you tell.
Looking back through the thread I found this interesting exchange between SmartCitizen and TaxesAreForever:
[SmartCitizen] Don't argue with these God-hating liars. They claim that evolution has nothing to do with belief in God, then they proceed to bash Christianity in the very same thread. They never miss the opportunity. Don't cast your pearls to swine.
[TaxesAreForever] You do have a point.
Now, by this point in the thread it was clear to all but the most dimwitted that TaxesAreForever approves of slavery on Biblical Authority, though at that stage he hadn't quite dared to come out and say it plainly. That drunken admission came later. SmartCitizen meanwhile was foaming at the mouth at the temerity that anyone should ask the question. But I cannot find anywhere where SmartCitizen unequivocally condemns slavery; indeed he was one of the "if only we could call it something else" pleaders. Looking at Smart and Taxes stroking each others fevered brows I guess we can draw our own conclusions about where Smart's sympathies lie. I read into post #320 a concern that Taxes was about to let the cat out of the bag and a desperate shushing.
I'm not pinging SmartCitizen on this, though I don't care if he reads it. It may be rude of me, but it is a lot less rude than the personal and unpleasant attacks he has made against me both in public and private mails. He has clearly stated that he wants nothing more to do with the thread, and that is fine with me.
Let me see if I can help solve the self imposed riddle developed by the atheist crowd regarding slavery.
Atheists and evolutionists may need to state their opposition to slavery forthrightly, repeatedly, and constantly given the fact of lack of moral clarity in the atheist fold.
Christians do not.
Since not a single creationist can be found who will disavow the point of view expressed in #375 (or even to express mild distaste at the sentiments) I think it is stretching credulity to expect the OP to disavow it.
Gould is but a tiny sample of those whose quotes demonstrate clearly the narrowness and corruptness of atheism and evolution. His meaning is clear for all to see except those of you who worship at the altar of secularism.
How about another quote to make your day:
"Darwinism was welcomed in Communist countries since Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had considered The Origin of the Species (1859) a scientific justification for their revolutionary ideology. As far as Socialist theorists were concerned, Darwinism had proved that change and progress result only from bitter struggle. They also emphasized its materialist basis of knowledge, which challenged the divine right of the czars."*R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 119.
Keep on struggling...
I am not disavowing my statement. I believe it whether you like it or not. What is the difference between the government passing laws allowing abortion, which I abhor, and the government passing laws to allow slavery? I hate abortion but there are many who take advantage of this detestable right. If the government passed such a law on slavery I would not own slaves but you can bet there would be those who would and it would be legal because the government allows it.
[taxesareforever] My position on slavery? I don't consider it is wrong to have slaves.OK, you creationists, you heard it here: Eleni121 has just said that christians' position on slavery has moral clarity. Is there anything in this exchange you care to comment about?
[jennyp] I never thought I'd have to do this on FreeRepublic, but here it goes: I, an atheist conservative, forthrightly and without reservation state that slavery is morally wrong.
[eleni121] Atheists and evolutionists may need to state their opposition to slavery forthrightly, repeatedly, and constantly given the fact of lack of moral clarity in the atheist fold.
Christians do not.
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?
Other than the fact that both the Old and New Testaments sanction salvery, give instructions on the acquisition of slaves, the care and beating of slaves, and specifically instruct slaves to obey their masters?
[taxesareforever] My position on slavery? I don't consider it is wrong to have slaves.Ah-ah-ahhhh... You can't weasel out of your statement like that. You cannot not-disavow the statement "I don't consider it wrong to have slaves" by redefining it as the meaningless tautology "if it were legal to have slaves then it would be legal."
[taxesareforever] I am not disavowing my statement. I believe it whether you like it or not. ... If the government passed such a law on slavery I would not own slaves but you can bet there would be those who would and it would be legal because the government allows it.
I'm curious: If you don't consider it wrong to own slaves, then why wouldn't you own slaves if it were legal? Too expensive? Not enough land to locate the slave quarters on?
Another question would be this: Given the scriptural teachings on the subject of slavery, if you were a legislator and a bill legitimizing slavery came up for vote, would you vote for or against it? If your vote is against, would you not be taking an anti-scriptural position?
13: "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I made a covenant with your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying,
14: `At the end of six years each of you must set free the fellow Hebrew who has been sold to you and has served you six years; you must set him free from your service.' But your fathers did not listen to me or incline their ears to me.
15: You recently repented and did what was right in my eyes by proclaiming liberty, each to his neighbor, and you made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name;
16: but then you turned around and profaned my name when each of you took back his male and female slaves, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them into subjection to be your slaves.
17: Therefore, thus says the LORD: You have not obeyed me by proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and to his neighbor; behold, I proclaim to you liberty to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine, says the LORD. I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.
18: And the men who transgressed my covenant and did not keep the terms of the covenant which they made before me, I will make like the calf which they cut in two and passed between its parts --
19: the princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf;
20: and I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives. Their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth.
21: And Zedeki'ah king of Judah, and his princes I will give into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their lives, into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon which has withdrawn from you.
22: Behold, I will command, says the LORD, and will bring them back to this city; and they will fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire. I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without inhabitant." '
I now return you to your regularly scheduled arguments.
Rules regarding the keeping of fellow Jews as slaves.
Thank you for those inspirational passages.
He is just a skinflint, tightwad, and cheapskate. Me I'm going to have hot and cold running 18yo female slaves all over the family property once the theocrats get in charge. If my wife lets me, that is.
What???? I've got to let them go after 6 years if they are Jewish? I guess they'll be 24 by then. Time to buy some new models.
We've all lost count of the number of times the fallacy of equating atheism with evolution has been pointed out here. That you continue to hurl the accusation again demonstrates that you don't know and don't care ... this time about facts repeatedly presented.
You can fling out-of-context quotes as long as you like. They won't make any impression because it's too easy to look them up and find out what they really mean. So if you'd like to continue wasting your time, by all means, continue. The only person you discredit is yourself.
No, quote miners bring discredit to their religion, to their parents, to the people who taught them to lie.
The only ones being discredited here are the atheists and self described evolutionists and darwinists who cannot handle an alternative view of creation. They/You demand that their thory be the only considered view on things. That is wrong and unscientific!
They need a stranglehold on the public school system and expect their lackeys in the secular world to support them.
My interest in all this is that our kids' minds are not force fed one theory to the exclusion of all other possibilities.