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Warnings from the Ivory Towers
American Enterprise Institute Online ^ | 10/11/05 | Joe Manzari

Posted on 10/11/2005 7:27:16 AM PDT by Valin

In the most recent issue of the American Scientist, Pat Shipman issued a warning to his fellow Darwinists, informing them of the impending threat placed upon their theory by intelligent design (ID):

“These events prompted me to take ID seriously, and this movement scares me. Now I feel like a jogger in the park at night who realizes that she is far too isolated and that the shadows are far too deep…. I fear my days are numbered unless I act soon and effectively. If you are reading this, the chances are that you are in the same position.”

Shipman has officially sounded the alarm. This comes after twenty years of warnings from the ivory towers, issuing the message, “Protect Darwin, or else.”

In 1983, Dr. John Patterson, self-avowed atheist and evolutionist, was serving as one of the members of the Iowa State University committee on instruction in the sciences and humanities. He presented a proposal to the committee suggesting that any student who was enrolled in a science-related course, and who, at the conclusion of the course, continued to maintain a personal belief in creation, should receive a failing grade. Furthermore, Patterson said that if the university discovered that it inadvertently had conferred a degree upon a student who, upon having graduated, nevertheless believed in creation, the degree should be rescinded.

Twenty years later, Micah Spradling, a pre-med student at Texas Tech University, applied for entrance to Southwestern University’s medical school. In order to complete his application, he needed a letter of recommendation from a specific faculty member, Michael Dini, an associate professor of biology at Texas Tech. Dini required that in order to receive a letter of recommendation with his signature, a student was required to meet a three part criteria. The first two criteria were standard academic requirements. The third criteria, however, is one Spradling was not prepared to fulfill. Dini asked that Spradling “truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer” to the question: “How do you think the human species originated?” Spradling was denied a recommendation based entirely on the fact that he did not accepted Darwinism as a fact.

Just the next year, Nancy Bryson, a biology professor at Mississippi University for Women, was asked to give an extra-curricular presentation on a topic of her choosing. Bryson, who earned her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of South Carolina, held a talk entitled “Critical Thinking on Evolution.” The talk presented evidence—marshaled by scientists, philosophers of science, mathematicians, law professors, and geologists—of serious problems with Darwinian evolution. Immediately following the talk, a professor of biology stood in front of the group, reading a prepared statement attacking Bryson’s presentation. “This is just religion masquerading as science" he urged in his five minute soliloquy. After the diatribe, students warmly approached Bryson, thanking her for her talk, sharing their disgust with the attack pointed at her by the professor. The following morning, several professors from the Department of Sciences and Mathematics filed complaints to the Vice President of Academic Affairs regarding her presentation. The next day, the VPAA informed Bryson that in the next academic year, she would lose her position as the Division Head of her department. She was also told she was in grave danger of losing her tenure-track appointment.

This June, Bryan Leonard, who received his Master's Degree in microbiology, presented his doctoral dissertation to the committee responsible for granting his Ph.D. at Ohio State University. Leonard’s doctoral dissertation deals with the area of evolution education, specifically looking at how students react and shape their beliefs when presented with the scientific information both supporting and challenging macroevolution. In his dissertation, Leonard presents clear data that shows the majority of students are interested in learning both sides from a scientific perspective. Leonard's dissertation was suddenly postponed after three professors at OSU struck down his dissertation research because of his views on evolution, his use of human subjects for testing, and his public association of his beliefs with OSU. The three professors, in their letter to the committee, said, "We note a fundamental flaw: There are no valid scientific data challenging macroevolution. Mr. Leonard has been misinforming his students if he teaches them otherwise…” Of the 350 students polled by Leonard, 312 said that they would be more interested in learning the scientific information supporting and challenging macroevolution.

Earlier this month, President Timothy White of the University of Idaho issued a letter informing faculty that it was “inappropriate” for anyone to teach “views that differ from evolution” in any “life, earth, and physical science courses or curricula." The statement prohibits any views that differ from evolution, “no matter how scientific,” and no matter how related to the courses under study. White’s letter was released just as University of Idaho biologist and ID supporter, Scott Minnich, was set to testify about ID in a Pennsylvania lawsuit. Ironically, the university's own faculty handbook declares that "academic freedom is essential for the protection of the rights of faculty members in teaching and of students in learning" and that "teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subjects" so long as they don't introduce irrelevant material.

There are two ways to win in the marketplace of ideas: you can either make the best products—formulating robust arguments and communicating your ideas clearly—or sabotage your competitor’s—stopping their research and censuring their work.

Joe Manzari is a research assistant at the American Enterprise Institute.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: academia; academicbias; college; crevolist; darwin; id; intelligentdesign
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1 posted on 10/11/2005 7:27:21 AM PDT by Valin
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To: Valin
In 1983, Dr. John Patterson, self-avowed atheist and evolutionist, was serving as one of the members of the Iowa State University committee on instruction in the sciences and humanities. He presented a proposal to the committee suggesting that any student who was enrolled in a science-related course, and who, at the conclusion of the course, continued to maintain a personal belief in creation, should receive a failing grade. Furthermore, Patterson said that if the university discovered that it inadvertently had conferred a degree upon a student who, upon having graduated, nevertheless believed in creation, the degree should be rescinded.

Twenty years later, Micah Spradling, a pre-med student at Texas Tech University, applied for entrance to Southwestern University’s medical school. In order to complete his application, he needed a letter of recommendation from a specific faculty member, Michael Dini, an associate professor of biology at Texas Tech. Dini required that in order to receive a letter of recommendation with his signature, a student was required to meet a three part criteria. The first two criteria were standard academic requirements. The third criteria, however, is one Spradling was not prepared to fulfill. Dini asked that Spradling “truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer” to the question: “How do you think the human species originated?” Spradling was denied a recommendation based entirely on the fact that he did not accepted Darwinism as a fact.

Ping for later reading - despite grammar and spelling errors

2 posted on 10/11/2005 7:32:51 AM PDT by Alex Murphy (Psalm 73)
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To: Valin

I agree with the evolutionists that ID is not science. However, I also believe that evolution is not science. Good science is testable. Macroevolution is not.


3 posted on 10/11/2005 7:58:18 AM PDT by jsmith48 (www.isupatriot.com)
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To: Alex Murphy

> In 1983, Dr. John Patterson, self-avowed atheist and evolutionist, was serving as one of the members of the Iowa State University committee on instruction in the sciences and humanities.

One of the best teachers I ever had. I had him for only one class, his last semester there before retiring; I forget exactly what the course was supposed to be (materials science, I think), but he turned it into "how not to be a dumbass engineer." One of his common teaching tactics was magic tricks, which he was quite good at. A good engineer would figure out how such a trick was done *without* resorting to the supernatural or magic powers or the like. Those who refused to believe that a trick was just a trick (there were a few)... did't fare so well. As it should be, for engineers.

Another big aspect of his course was "how to be an *ethical* engineer." Not just how to do the math, but when to stand your ground with honesty. A firm recognition of what the facts say, even when they say you're dead wrong. And ignore people's feelings (including yours, your boss', etc.) when it comes to facts, as engineers hold peoples lives in their hands. When you design based on feeling, you get the Titanic.

We need more teachers like him.


4 posted on 10/11/2005 8:10:07 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: Alex Murphy

> Spradling was denied a recommendation based entirely on the fact that he did not accepted Darwinism as a fact.


A note: a teacher is within his rights to recommend, or not, whever he likes. Someone whom he feels has failed to learn the subject or the methodology... well, too bad.


5 posted on 10/11/2005 8:12:12 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: Valin

These are terribly sad and unfair situations. These anecdotes are just the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure, too.

There are at least two books for those interested in the radical notion that science should continually consider challenges to the status quo, rather than perpetuate a suffocating chorus of uniformity.

One is "Ideas in Conflict" by Theodore J. Gordon, 1966. In it, he recounts multiple case histories of visionaries whose ideas were correct, but were severely derided by their scientist buddies. One case history was about the guy who insisted that Venus was a planet, not a comet as dictated by the astronomers of the time. I think some of the right thinkers died before their ideas came to be known as scientific and then popular truths.

Another really excellent book on the changes in who controlled science over history is "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas S. Kuhn. Make sure you get the 3rd edition (1996) because the older ones are extremely difficult to read. This is more of a scholarly style book than Gordon's.

The tyranny of statistics did not begin until 1820 in the Western world. Statistics, like polls, are used and abused by scientists to advance their agendas.


6 posted on 10/11/2005 8:13:52 AM PDT by LurkedLongEnough
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To: LurkedLongEnough

> One case history was about the guy who insisted that Venus was a planet, not a comet as dictated by the astronomers of the time.

Entirely backwards. Velikovsky [sic?] loudly proclaimed that Venus was a comet spat out (somehow) from Jupiter, that (somehow) wandered around the inner solar system and (somehow) caused much of the ruckus described in the Odl Testaments (stopping the sun ion the sky, partign the Red Sea, etc.) and then (somehow) settled into a perfectly sedate solar orbit.

Astronomers have known that Venus was a planet and not a comet for millenia.

You do raise a point with Velikovsky, though. Many people have produced "radical" views, like Galileo, Kepler, Darwin and Einstein, and been sometimes badly and wrongly mauled by their peers. But many *more* radical ideas, like Velikovsky, the Dean Drive, Larmarck, Marx, the IDers, etc. are just dead wrong. Just because you're novel doesn't mean you're right.


7 posted on 10/11/2005 8:26:16 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: orionblamblam

He presented a proposal to the committee suggesting that any student who was enrolled in a science-related course, and who, at the conclusion of the course, continued to maintain a personal belief in creation, should receive a failing grade. Furthermore, Patterson said that if the university discovered that it inadvertently had conferred a degree upon a student who, upon having graduated, nevertheless believed in creation, the degree should be rescinded.

Proof you can be a good teacher and still be an idiot.


8 posted on 10/11/2005 8:26:44 AM PDT by Valin (The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
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To: Valin
It took me all of two seconds to find Pat Shipman's article in the American Scientist, entitled Being Stalked by Intelligent Design.

Having read the article, I must disagree with Joe Manzari's assessment that the "Ivory Towers" are trying to "protect Darwin, or else." In fact, by my reading professor Shipman's point of view is that the situation is much the reverse. It is science which is under assault.

From Shipman's article:

The main premise of ID is that the living organisms on Earth are so complex and so intricately constructed that they cannot plausibly have arisen through the unguided action of natural selection, so there must be an "intelligent designer." (This entity is usually identified as God, but in a deposition taken January 3, 2005, Dover Superintendent Nilsen suggested that the "master intellect" described in an ID textbook might also be an alien.)

In rhetoric, the line of reasoning used by ID advocates is known as an argument by incredulity. Because what is entirely plausible to one person is ludicrously unlikely to another, arguments by incredulity are inherently weak. ID is not a scientific theory amenable to testing, but an opinion, a philosophical preference, a belief. That fact made it easy for me to dismiss the ID movement as scientifically unimportant.

I might have settled back into complacency had I not learned that students in the public high school in my town—a town dominated by a major university—can "opt out" of learning about evolution if their parents send a letter to the school. Allowing students to "opt out" of learning the basic facts and theories of biology is about as wise as allowing them to "opt out" of algebra or English: It constitutes malfeasance.

Do not mistake my objection. If my neighbors and their children wish to believe in Intelligent Design as a matter of faith that is fine with me. What I object to most strenuously is the presentation of a religious belief as a scientific theory in a science class.

9 posted on 10/11/2005 8:28:45 AM PDT by Liberal Classic (No better friend, no worse enemy. Semper Fi.)
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To: Liberal Classic
Do not mistake my objection. If my neighbors and their children wish to believe in Intelligent Design as a matter of faith that is fine with me. What I object to most strenuously is the presentation of a religious belief as a scientific theory in a science class.

I feel the same way about Macro Evolution. Test it for me, and prove to me it works. If you can't test it (you can't) then it isn't science.

10 posted on 10/11/2005 8:33:51 AM PDT by jsmith48 (www.isupatriot.com)
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To: Valin

Tell me: if you enrolled in a Catholic seminary (or, to avoid needless sectarianism, just assume the religious trainign academy of your choice) and at the conclusion of your training professed a belief that Ba'al was your lord and master, and that the universe was sneezed out the nose of the Great Green Arkleseizure... what kind of priest would you be?

If you trained to be an engineer, and at the conclusion of your studies you maintained that F=M+A and that the ultimate structual material would be an alloy of butter, paint and wishing real hard, what kind of engineer would you be?

If you trained to be a doctor and at the end professed that the germ theory of disease was bunk and that one must treat the "humours," what kind of doctor would you be?

In all these cases, assume that you passed all your courses with flying colors. Yay! But you're still an idiot. And the school in question would know that its reputation and even accreditation would be put at risk, not to mention the lives (or souls, as you wish) of an unsuspecting public if they unleashed you upon them with a diploma.


11 posted on 10/11/2005 8:36:25 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: Valin
The third criteria, however, is one Spradling was not prepared to fulfill. Dini asked that Spradling “truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer” to the question: “How do you think the human species originated?” Spradling was denied a recommendation based entirely on the fact that he did not accepted Darwinism as a fact.

I have to agree with the professor on this one. The student was specifically asked for the scientific answer. Even if he believed in creationism or ID, the student should be fully cognizant that those concepts, at a college level, are not science. Based on that alone, I would asses that this science student does not have a sufficient grasp of science to warrant a bachelor's degree in any science, let alone a letter of recommendation.

12 posted on 10/11/2005 8:43:34 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: orionblamblam

Please do not discredit yourself by attempting to compare that which can be demonstrably and objectively proven with macroevolution, which cannot.


13 posted on 10/11/2005 8:46:23 AM PDT by Elsiejay (Forever wondering)
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To: Elsiejay

"Cannot?"

Wow.

Well, there goes forensic science! Better throw open the prisons.


14 posted on 10/11/2005 8:50:05 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: jsmith48
I feel the same way about Macro Evolution.

Sure, I wouldn't want to force the teaching of evolution in Sunday School.

Oh wait, that's not what you meant.

If you can't test it (you can't) then it isn't science.

You've made an absolute statement that there is no evidence for evolution. This is incorrect. The theory is tested every time a fossil is dug out of the ground. As of yet, no fossils have disproved the theory.

15 posted on 10/11/2005 8:50:17 AM PDT by Liberal Classic (No better friend, no worse enemy. Semper Fi.)
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To: jsmith48
I feel the same way about Macro Evolution. Test it for me, and prove to me it works. If you can't test it (you can't) then it isn't science.

A scientific theory can never be proven. A theory is an explanation for observed facts. If you believ that a theory must be proven to be science, then either you do not believe in any science or you do not understand the definition of a sceintific theory. There are millions of pages of research published in the scientific literature of tests and predictions of evolution. THey are freely available in the libraries of any major university. Or, you can download them from the publishers for $10-20 per article.

16 posted on 10/11/2005 8:52:51 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: Alamo-Girl; betty boop; malakhi; js1138

ping


17 posted on 10/11/2005 8:53:17 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It!)
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To: xzins

Thanks for the ping!


18 posted on 10/11/2005 8:54:57 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: PatrickHenry

FYI ping


19 posted on 10/11/2005 8:56:55 AM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what and Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
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To: doc30; Junior
Thanks, but I won't ping the list for this one.

Junior, for your catalog.

20 posted on 10/11/2005 9:06:00 AM PDT by PatrickHenry ( I won't respond to a troll, crackpot, retard, or incurable ignoramus.)
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To: Elsiejay

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/25/AR2005092501177.html

http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,68706,00.html

http://www.gate.net/~rwms/hum_ape_chrom.html


A few articles on just *one* of a vast multitude of evidences bolstering evolution. Creationism/ID has no such evidence, and no alternative explanations for this evidence.


21 posted on 10/11/2005 9:06:20 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: Liberal Classic
You've made an absolute statement that there is no evidence for evolution

No, not at all. There is evidence for it- like you said, fossils that are dug out of the earth.

But test Macro Evolution for me, and prove that it works like you say it does. I can test gravity, or momentum- why not Evolution?

I have evidence that my garden gnome used to steal my socks- my socks disappear all the time, and I found a bunch around the gnome a year ago. In fact, I continue to find socks buried around the gnome to this day. My hypothesis therefore is that my garden gnome used to steal my socks. Can I test my hypothesis? I don't think so.

22 posted on 10/11/2005 9:13:30 AM PDT by jsmith48 (www.isupatriot.com)
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To: doc30

I shouldn't have used the word "prove". How about "demonstrate"? "Demonstrate to me that Macro Evolution is a valid theory by testing it."

There, that's better.


23 posted on 10/11/2005 9:18:18 AM PDT by jsmith48 (www.isupatriot.com)
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To: Valin
I'm inclined to think that we should pull out military out of all of Europe except for the UK and maybe Poland and leave NATO. Let the Europeans pay for their own global security and see how they do.
24 posted on 10/11/2005 9:34:36 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: jsmith48

> My hypothesis therefore is that my garden gnome used to steal my socks. Can I test my hypothesis? I don't think so.

Yes, you can. The fact that your hypothesis is intentionally silly does not mean that your hypothesis cannot be tested. That you think that way demonstrates that you've a substantial lack of understanding of scientific methodology. Patterson would flunk you in a heartbeat.


25 posted on 10/11/2005 10:01:49 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: orionblamblam

Spradling was denied a recommendation based entirely on the fact that he did not accepted Darwinism as a fact.


A note: a teacher is within his rights to recommend, or not, whever he likes. Someone whom he feels has failed to learn the subject or the methodology... well, too bad.


There is a huge difference between learning a subject and accepting it as truth. I can show proficiency in the subject matter without agreeing with it. This is a perfect example of our institutions of learning teaching 'what to think' instead of 'how to think'. Welcome to '1984'.


26 posted on 10/11/2005 10:05:26 AM PDT by WmCraven_Wk
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To: WmCraven_Wk

> Spradling was denied a recommendation based entirely on the fact that he did not accepted Darwinism as a fact.

The course was pre-med. Which is based on biology. A teacher is within his rights to expect a student of biology to understand and accept the basic precepts of biology. If the students doesn't... why is he studying biology? Maybe he'd be happier peddling magic elixers made from alcohol and Radium.


27 posted on 10/11/2005 11:00:09 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: jsmith48
jsmith48 said: "But test Macro Evolution for me, and prove that it works like you say it does. I can test gravity, or momentum- why not Evolution? "

How interesting that you would use "gravity" as an example.

Scientists had to wait until 1919 to test one of the aspects of Einstein's General Relativity. The observed position of a star near the eclipsed sun indicated that the light passing near the sun was deflected by gravity. Have you tested this aspect yourself?

It's also interesting that you continue to ask why there is no evidence for "macro evolution". It was not that long ago when doubters would ask for evidence of "evolution". What changed? It would appear that "micro evolution" is no longer in question. Since that development took approximately 150 years, why is it reasonable to expect "macro evolution" to be proven any sooner than another 150 years?

I find it particularly interesting that the complete mapping of many organisms' genomes will permit analysis of aspects of genetic evolution which were not previously possible. There may well be evidence of "macro evolution" discovered in the tangled mass of DNA now under examination. There may be enough information to "roll back the clock" by cloning organisms whose genomes are recoverable from present genomes.

28 posted on 10/11/2005 11:46:11 AM PDT by William Tell
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To: orionblamblam

Mighty fine strawman you've got there.


29 posted on 10/11/2005 8:48:35 PM PDT by Valin (The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
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To: Valin

You mistake a perfect apt analogy for a strawman. Professional educations have certain requirements, including belief systems. A doctor who does not believe in biology might have a place in the world, but no school worth a nickel would want to have him hang up his shingle with their diploma.


30 posted on 10/11/2005 9:58:04 PM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: orionblamblam

"ut many *more* radical ideas, like Velikovsky, the Dean Drive, Larmarck, Marx, the IDers, etc. are just dead wrong. Just because you're novel doesn't mean you're right."

A few notes on your list:

1) Vellikovsky's main point was not that his explanation was correct, but that the evidence of worldwide testimony of cataclysm demanded _some_ form of explanation. The academic community relentlessly harped on the specific details while missing the big picture of massive historical documentation of cataclysm.

2) Lamarck is actually regaining prominence in biology. Lamarckism was actually never disproved, only a caricature of it was, and a few specific examples were shown to be false. But for more biochemical change, it has actually shown to be somewhat accurate.

3) The ID'ers are right, just give them time :)


31 posted on 10/12/2005 11:02:32 AM PDT by johnnyb_61820
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To: johnnyb_61820

> the evidence of worldwide testimony of cataclysm demanded _some_ form of explanation.

Yeah, "stuff happens." Wait logn enough and your city will be trashed by *something*. Not exactly a world-shattering realization.

> Lamarck is actually regaining prominence in biology.

Source, please.

> The ID'ers are right, just give them time :)

They've had 4 billion years...


32 posted on 10/12/2005 11:29:10 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: johnnyb_61820

> the evidence of worldwide testimony of cataclysm demanded _some_ form of explanation.

Yeah, "stuff happens." Wait logn enough and your city will be trashed by *something*. Not exactly a world-shattering realization.

> Lamarck is actually regaining prominence in biology.

Source, please.

> The ID'ers are right, just give them time :)

They've had 4 billion years...


33 posted on 10/12/2005 11:29:31 AM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: orionblamblam
If you trained to be an engineer, and at the conclusion of your studies you maintained that F=M+A and that the ultimate structual material would be an alloy of butter, paint and wishing real hard, what kind of engineer would you be?

That would be a SOFTWARE engineer, obviously! ;-P

34 posted on 10/12/2005 11:47:34 AM PDT by MortMan (Eschew Obfuscation)
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To: orionblamblam
Tell me: if you enrolled in a Catholic seminary (or, to avoid needless sectarianism, just assume the religious trainign academy of your choice) and at the conclusion of your training professed a belief that Ba'al was your lord and master, and that the universe was sneezed out the nose of the Great Green Arkleseizure... what kind of priest would you be?

So you are equating the belief in and teching of evolution for a scientist with the requirement that a priest/clergy believe and adhere to the faith that they are to teach to the members of that church? This analogy doesn't work.

35 posted on 10/12/2005 11:50:10 AM PDT by MortMan (Eschew Obfuscation)
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To: doc30
The question of believing in evolution as FACT can actually be answered quite simply. If it were indeed proven fact, it would not be called a "theory".

It would have advanced to the status of a "Law", as have the laws of motion, thermodynamics, and others.

The THEORY of Evolution is not proven fact, by its very name, which does have scientific significance.

To elevate theories to the status of laws implies a willingness to atribute far more weight to the lowly hypothesis than is warranted.

That, in my opinion makes for a far looser cannon on the deck of scientific inquiry than one who refuses to call a theory fact.

Make of that what you will, but as a scientist, the refusal to state that any theory is fact is entirely scientifically correct.

36 posted on 10/12/2005 12:05:00 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: MortMan

> That would be a SOFTWARE engineer

Point conceded.


37 posted on 10/12/2005 12:20:35 PM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: Valin
"a letter informing faculty that it was “inappropriate” for anyone to teach “views that differ from evolution” in any “life, earth, and physical science courses or curricula."" The statement prohibits any views that differ from evolution, “no matter how scientific,” and no matter how related to the courses under study."

Joe Manzari is a dishonest research assistant. I knew that quote wasn't real. White's condition was that things be scientific! Here's his letter.

October 4, 2005

Letter to the University of Idaho Faculty, Staff and Students:

Because of recent national media attention to the issue, I write to articulate the University of Idaho’s position with respect to evolution: This is the only curriculum that is appropriate to be taught in our bio-physical sciences. As an academic scientific community and a research extensive land-grant institution, we affirm scientific principles that are testable and anchored in evidence.

At the University of Idaho, teaching of views that differ from evolution may occur in faculty-approved curricula in religion, sociology, philosophy, political science or similar courses. However, teaching of such views is inappropriate in our life, earth, and physical science courses or curricula.

The University respects the rights of individuals to their personal religious and philosophical beliefs, including those persons who may hold and advocate a faith-based view that differs from evolution.

The University of Idaho’s position is consistent with views articulated by the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and more than 60 other scientific and educational societies.

Timothy P. White, Ph.D.
President, University of Idaho

38 posted on 10/12/2005 12:26:49 PM PDT by spunkets
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To: orionblamblam
Point conceded.

To a software engineer, no less! ;-P

39 posted on 10/12/2005 12:27:05 PM PDT by MortMan (Eschew Obfuscation)
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To: spunkets

Dishonesty from those pushing ID??? I'm stunned! Shocked! Amazed!


40 posted on 10/12/2005 12:49:59 PM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: Smokin' Joe

> The question of believing in evolution as FACT can actually be answered quite simply. If it were indeed proven fact, it would not be called a "theory". ... The THEORY of Evolution is not proven fact, by its very name, which does have scientific significance.

Wow. Just... wow.

Tell me: are the results of the Thoery of Relativity a fact, or not? If an atom of uranium fissions, is there energy release? Does subjective time change for a body moving near the speed of light?

Does an apple fall according to the precepts fo Newtons theory of gravity?

Do you even knwo what "theory" *means?*


41 posted on 10/12/2005 12:53:12 PM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: MortMan

A scientist who does not believe in the scientific method is no more a scientist than a priest who does not believe in God is a priest. They are both pretenders.


42 posted on 10/12/2005 12:54:48 PM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: orionblamblam

The analogy is problematic because it equates FAITH (the belief in something without evidence) with SCIENTIFIC JUDGEMENT (the belief in something due to evidence, as informed by the scientific method).

One must be allowed to question any scientific theory, within the bounds of the scientific method. One must also be allowed to broach the questions that may or may not bridge the observable - such as "What made the big bang happen".

I am not arguing one side or the other between ID and evolution, but am instead saying this analogy of apples to oranges doesn't work.


43 posted on 10/12/2005 1:07:06 PM PDT by MortMan (Eschew Obfuscation)
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To: MortMan

> One must be allowed to question any scientific theory, within the bounds of the scientific method.

Yes. But *denial* of the scientific method, which is what Creationism/ID entail, makes one not a scientist.


44 posted on 10/12/2005 2:15:24 PM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: orionblamblam
As for Newtons Laws of Motion, and the Law of Gravity, What's in a name?

I think I see where you are having trouble, here.

Newtons Laws have been verified countless times in science classes and through experimentation.

Until we can measure the results of experiments which happen faster than sensors can record them, we will have nowhere near the base of reproducible results which will elevate the Theory of Relativity to the status of "Law".

No one can conclusively answer the question, often postulated as a joke, of whether the headlights come on if you are traveling at .9999c and hit the switch--or whether they light your path.

Physics, too has its 'untouchables', the working base assumptions which remain unverified and which may one day be refuted.

Merely asking a question about the velocity of gravity got me a firm committment from my professor that I would be summarily flunked should I ever broach the topic again.

Macroevolution...Hmmm. Let's get a few planets slicked up with primordial (but lifeless) ooze, and wait a while and see if we get humans...

(Frankly, I'd give it a pass if you could just get from amino acids to rudimentary vertebrates, amphioxis, sp. aside. Who needs hypothetical ancestral neotenic tunicate larvae stock, anyway?)

If you don't get that, study up.

Tough to run an experiment like that, and I'd really hate for that to be a taxpayer funded grant.

The reality is that Darwin's theory came along at a convenient time in European colonial expansion, (ca 1850) in which the colonization of vast areas of the planet by Europeans could be handily justified if they were just exercising their God given right to dominate the lower species, including the "inferior" races of man.

After all, it was the Europeans who were at the pinnacle of evolution. How handy.

So it is no wonder that a theory which has (still) more missing links than most even imagine, more hypothetical ancestors and ancestral stocks than Carter has pills, not only gained nearly immediate acceptance in the European scientific circles (where necessary made more palatable by the addition of the ministrations of a loving God), but has since become the darling of the Godless.

After all, just about any undermenschen can be deprived of resources or eliminated, either from the breeding population, the voting population, or the living, by virtue of their evolutionary inferiority.

Why have a God when you can be one?

But anyway, back to your questions.

Tell me: are the results of the Thoery [sic] of Relativity a fact, or not? If an atom of uranium fissions, is there energy release? Does subjective time change for a body moving near the speed of light?

The Theory of Relativity covers more than a fissioning atom, which certainly releases energy, as does a match when struck, even if a few quanta downscale. The jury is still out.

I have in the past been accused of driving too fast, and in at least one instance I am sure the passenger would have testified to a time dilation effect, but in reality no one has gone anywhere near the speed of light, so I'll leave this in the "unverified" pile, along with other notable theories.

Does an apple fall according to the precepts fo [sic] Newtons theory of gravity?

Within the measurable parameters, an apple does indeed fall conformably with Newton's Law of Gravity. This has been verified ad nauseum with a variety of objects, and qualified with such factors as wind resistance, terminal velocity, etc., but has been empirically substantiated often enough to become, in the scientific mind, Law.

Do you even knwo [sic] what "theory" *means?*

Yes! Which is the reason I posted in the first place.

45 posted on 10/12/2005 5:52:16 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: jsmith48
Good science is testable. Macroevolution is not.

What is your definition of testable. I think what you are saying is that macroeveolution is not instantaneously testable, like the laws of physics, or even testable within you lifetime. This is not the same thing as "testable."

46 posted on 10/12/2005 5:58:22 PM PDT by rkhampton
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To: rkhampton
What are the practical limits of being testable? By placing a hypothesis on a virtually infinite time scale, you can make- and get away with- all kinds of wild guesses.

Just because you can theoretically test something doesn't mean that you can actually do it.

Change the Scientific Method, and I'll change my opinion.

47 posted on 10/12/2005 6:29:56 PM PDT by jsmith48 (www.isupatriot.com)
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To: Smokin' Joe

Given your shocking lack of understanding of the state of science regarding relativity, perhaps you shoudl start with the basics.

>>Do you even knwo [sic] what "theory" *means?*

> Yes!

Clearly, the accurate answer is "no." Here, read up:

http://wilstar.com/theories.htm


48 posted on 10/12/2005 8:28:24 PM PDT by orionblamblam ("You're the poster boy for what ID would turn out if it were taught in our schools." VadeRetro)
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To: orionblamblam
"A theory is more like a scientific law than a hypothesis..."

Not a law. It may be accepted as a working premise for the purpose of making other hypotheses, but it has not been proven.

I understand fully, I AM a scientist.

The writer there states that theories are more complex than Laws. Not necessarily, but the simpler the premise, the easier it is to isolate it experimentally and prove it. Thus, laws tend to be simple and monotopical.

However, the theory of evolution has a simple premise. That through a variety of mechanisms, mutation, natural selection, etc., new Kindoms, Phyla, Classes, Orders, Genae, and species have developed, all from a common ancestral stock.

Were there one modern, naturally occuring, example of new species development, just one, then I might concede possibility.

Not, mind you the subspecies hairsplitting being done among those creatures capable of producing viable offspring, but a new species, with unique characteristics, capable of producing viable offspring only with its own kind, which posess those same characteristics.

Even at this fundamental level, there is no contender.

While extinction is well documented, and has occurred far, far, more often than not, that is not evolution, just dying out.

Evolution remains a theory, unproven.

49 posted on 10/12/2005 8:46:18 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: orionblamblam

"Yeah, "stuff happens." Wait logn enough and your city will be trashed by *something*. Not exactly a world-shattering realization."

It's more than that. For example, on one side of the earth there are numerous stories about a very long day, while on the other side of the world there are stories about a very long night.

The stories of the flood match up very well.

Other stories of catastrophe match almost perfectly culture-to-culture, as if they had all experienced the same thing.

"Source, please."

Anything by Shapiro or the self-organizational theorists. Perhaps also the book "Evolution in four dimensions".


50 posted on 10/12/2005 10:15:17 PM PDT by johnnyb_61820
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