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How to Make Sure Children Are Scientifically Illiterate (Barf Alert)
The New York Times ^ | August 15, 2006 | LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS

Posted on 08/16/2006 6:42:08 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger

Voters in Kansas ensured this month that noncreationist moderates will once again have a majority (6 to 4) on the state school board, keeping new standards inspired by intelligent design from taking effect.

This is a victory for public education and sends a message nationwide about the public’s ability to see through efforts by groups like the Discovery Institute to misrepresent science in the schools. But for those of us who are interested in improving science education, any celebration should be muted.

This is not the first turnaround in recent Kansas history. In 2000, after a creationist board had removed evolution from the state science curriculum, a public outcry led to wholesale removal of creationist board members up for re-election and a reinstatement of evolution in the curriculum.

In a later election, creationists once again won enough seats to get a 6-to-4 majority. With their changing political tactics, creationists are an excellent example of evolution at work. Creation science evolved into intelligent design, which morphed into “teaching the controversy,” and after its recent court loss in Dover, Pa., and political defeats in Ohio and Kansas, it will no doubt change again. The most recent campaign slogan I have heard is “creative evolution.”

But perhaps more worrisome than a political movement against science is plain old ignorance. The people determining the curriculum of our children in many states remain scientifically illiterate. And Kansas is a good case in point.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous; Philosophy
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To: Radix
The Bible does not say that the earth is 6,000 years old. It does not even imply it. Well, those who infer (and then insist) that it does, might want to consider actually READING the text.

I believe the 6K number comes from 2 parts of the Bible (and I am no scholar, so anyone who does think the world is 6K years old can jump in and correct me):

Numbers has all them begats -- and if you apply a "generational" figure of 50-something it ends up at 6K. And at one point in the New Testament they do a similar lineage from Jesus back to Adam and it also hits 6K-ish.

Of course, there is a LOT of room for interpretation, so that is part of the reason we get these "discussions."

51 posted on 08/16/2006 7:37:56 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (I LIKE you! When I am Ruler of Earth, yours will be a quick and painless death)
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To: Sentis
Not all Creationists remind me of Mullahs but all Mullahs remind me of Creationists.

So creationists are calling for the blood of innocents to be spilled into the streets? People who believe the world was created also believe that buildings should be blown up, and women and children mutilated?

Remember that clever sloganeering does not constitute a convincing argument.

Also, does this mean that creationists should be bombed, invaded, shot, and sniped at by high-powered rifles? That's what we do to terrorists...should we also do it to creationists, since they are also so terrible?

52 posted on 08/16/2006 7:38:23 PM PDT by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: freedumb2003
The reason we have done it to ourselves, however, has more to do with the dismal state of our educational system than it does over the teaching of one topic in one branch of science in one year of high school; presuming of course that the kid was paying attention in class to begin with.
53 posted on 08/16/2006 7:38:34 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: GoodWithBarbarians JustForKaos
. that even when extremely probable, may or may not be true. (IMHO)

"Truth" is a concept for philosophy. Science has to deal with data available and methods to tie them together.

For all we know, we are constructs of the "Q" Continuum. It might be "true" but a) how is that scientifically usable and b) how would we know?

54 posted on 08/16/2006 7:40:07 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (I LIKE you! When I am Ruler of Earth, yours will be a quick and painless death)
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To: freedumb2003; Radix
The Bible does not say that the earth is 6,000 years old. It does not even imply it. Well, those who infer (and then insist) that it does, might want to consider actually READING the text.

Indeed it does not. The generational argument overlooks some major issues. If I'm believing the Bible, I'm assuming there are probably billions of years between verse 1 and 3 of Genesis.

55 posted on 08/16/2006 7:40:35 PM PDT by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: Sentis
"Yes, and not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims."

Actually, there have been a few well known terrorists of Irish extraction.

One of my own grandfathers was compelled to flee that nation (Ireland) because of certain activities of his involving a known terrorist organization.

That would be the IRA. That was almost 90 years ago, but still, I consider the IRA to be a group that most thinking persons would describe as "terrorists." Well, they at least were.

There are not to my knowledge, a lot of Muslims who were members of the IRA!

Too bad it is so late here, and it will likely be days before I can comment again here. You said a few other things on this thread that I'd like to take issue with.

Oh well.

56 posted on 08/16/2006 7:41:01 PM PDT by Radix (“Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.”)
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To: metmom
The reason we have done it to ourselves, however, has more to do with the dismal state of our educational system than it does over the teaching of one topic in one branch of science in one year of high school

Metmom, I love your passion!

57 posted on 08/16/2006 7:41:23 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (I LIKE you! When I am Ruler of Earth, yours will be a quick and painless death)
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To: Coyoteman
"Dogma: a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without evidence."

Dogmas are certainly not limited to religious views.

What is the difference between a dogma and an assumption or axiom? It is that a dogma is an idea which is held by someone unwilling to test it. Assumptions and axioms are ideas which one holds with the understanding they cannot be tested.

Evolution is the best theory to explain species if we assume naturalism.

Creation is the best theory to explain life if we assume the absolute truth of the Bible.

When neither side can even admit that their view is based on non-testable assumptions, we get these tired, old, drawn-out debates that never change anyone's mind and just waste a lot of time.
58 posted on 08/16/2006 7:41:30 PM PDT by unlearner (You will never come to know that which you do not know until you first know that you do not know it.)
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To: phoenix0468

Wasn't that the Zoroastrians who did that, from Persia- modern day Iran?


59 posted on 08/16/2006 7:41:33 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: GoodWithBarbarians JustForKaos
"Theory: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge..."

... that even when extremely probable, may or may not be true. (IMHO)

That is correct. It is simply the best explanation we have at the moment.

But when a theory has been around, and has been supported by the evidence, for as long as has the theory of evolution, its probably safer not to bet the rent money against it.

60 posted on 08/16/2006 7:42:31 PM PDT by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: DaveLoneRanger
How to Make Sure Children Are Scientifically Illiterate

The way to do that is to waste a whole generation filling them with crap about global freezes, warmings, famines, and the 'danger' of every type of engineering. When our kids see their favorite stars embracing Scientology instead of nuclear power, why should we be surprised at the re-emergence of creationism?

61 posted on 08/16/2006 7:43:02 PM PDT by BlazingArizona
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To: pcottraux

Nope creationist haven't gotten to the bombing innocents lately (although in the past they have). It's best we stop them before they get to that point again. So when i see the similarities start to crop up I point them out because its just a matter of degree between forcing your religion into public school and forcing your religion on to the infidels for their own good and through force if must be because they can excuse it all away as God's will.


62 posted on 08/16/2006 7:43:20 PM PDT by Sentis
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To: freedumb2003
I think that we get the 6000 year figure because by the time of Abraham, and certainly by the time of Nebuchadnezzar, and other historical figures, compared with all the begats and stuff of Genesis, Chronicles, etc it is pretty evident about what years are being recorded.

Gosh I'm tired...a run on sentence is typically my cue for an exit.
63 posted on 08/16/2006 7:44:50 PM PDT by Radix (“Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.”)
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To: GourmetDan

"Of course, only their interpretation can be applied to the evidence, not yours."

Your interpretation would be taken more seriously if you actually bothered to analyze the evidence instead of simply claiming that it doesn't exist.


64 posted on 08/16/2006 7:45:01 PM PDT by Sofa King (A wise man uses compromise as an alternative to defeat. A fool uses it as an alternative to victory.)
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To: Radix

Were talking about the current situation because i can certainly think of a few Christian religious terrorists in the past.


65 posted on 08/16/2006 7:45:03 PM PDT by Sentis
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To: phoenix0468
India, as you ought to know, shares in the history running back to ancient Sumer and Babylon, and we also share in that history.

But the primary development of what we know today as "algebra" occurred along the Indus.

They also invented "0", but so did the Chinese earlier only they didn't tell anybody about it.

The Egyptians are generally credited with creating trigonometry, and without a fully expressed algebraic method, it was tough to handle, but they did.

Many things we now know that the Greeks knew were "lost" in the West. However, libraries in the Eastern Roman Empire had them and the Arabs managed to rediscover them and transmit the ideas West to Spain where Western Europeans were able to make access.

66 posted on 08/16/2006 7:46:34 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Sentis
But given the same amount of power in this nation history tells me that ignorant evangelicals can be just as deadly to free thinking people.

How's that? Knives at one's throat? Bomb vests? Exploding backpacks in crowded stores, resturants, weddings? Could you please back up your statement with some evidence? On what do you base your conclusions?

67 posted on 08/16/2006 7:47:00 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Coyoteman

yay
thanks
teach evolution in science classes
teach creationism/ID in philosophy/religion classes

end of discussion


68 posted on 08/16/2006 7:47:02 PM PDT by jbp1 (be nice now)
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To: DaveLoneRanger

A lot of huff but no puff. The author provides no evidence that personal beliefs are finding their way into curricula.


69 posted on 08/16/2006 7:47:54 PM PDT by fso301
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To: freedumb2003

Now you got it. The Evos had best get the NYT out of the mix or they're going to lose it all.


70 posted on 08/16/2006 7:47:56 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Sentis

BTW, the Mullahs all believe in Evolution, and they also believe Apes are descended from Men.


71 posted on 08/16/2006 7:48:43 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah

Your wrong, the Mullahs believe exactly what you believe it's in their holy book the same as it's in yours. Don't try to lie to me about what the Muslims believe you are both still living in the same medieval mindset.


72 posted on 08/16/2006 7:51:25 PM PDT by Sentis
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To: Radix
Abraham was carrying around a couple of stories that'd already appeared in pictoglyphs in Finland more than 4,000 years before his time.

That knocks the 6,000 year thing in the head.

73 posted on 08/16/2006 7:51:39 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: pcottraux
My 51 explains what I *think* is the basis for the 6K figure.

I am of the "God stands outside of time and built the Universe" crowd. I think people who think God made a simple Earth with gazelles and gerbils and elephants and rats and beetles all at one moment are positing a God that is small enough for them to deal with.

A God that can make a Universe so astounding to have everything from quantum and sub-quantum mechanics to the visceral reaction humans get when we smell a freshly washed baby's skin (which we know is biomechanical but that doesn't mean a thing) is a God that is truly awesome.

This is why scientists become deists and Christians -- an amazement at what they see and learn.

Most Fundamentalists see God as Gandalf writ large IMHO. Someone they can deal with.

74 posted on 08/16/2006 7:51:58 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (I LIKE you! When I am Ruler of Earth, yours will be a quick and painless death)
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To: Sentis
It's in the Koran. Muslims believe that God turned some sinful Jews into Apes.
75 posted on 08/16/2006 7:52:59 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Blood of Tyrants
I don't. There is a lot of difference between a belief in God and the belief in the literal interpretation of the bible. If there is a belief in God, then you MUST admit that the 6 day creation COULD be possible.

I suppose that's true, but if there is a God then the world could also be flat and supported by a collumn of turtles standing on each others backs. Like the six day account of creation however, the evidence doesn't seem to back it up.

76 posted on 08/16/2006 7:53:06 PM PDT by elmer fudd
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To: pcottraux
You might be interested in this thread. I don't know if you saw it.

The Age of the Universe
AISH ^ | 1-30-2005 | Dr. Gerald Schroeder

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1576941/posts

77 posted on 08/16/2006 7:53:56 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

Lets see the burning of witches, the bombing of abortion clinics, the shooting of doctors, the forced conversion of Native people, the African missions that still deny food to starving people unless they take part in religious ceremonies. Does that sound sorta like terrorism? It does to me.


78 posted on 08/16/2006 7:54:09 PM PDT by Sentis
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To: unlearner
What is the difference between a dogma and an assumption or axiom? It is that a dogma is an idea which is held by someone unwilling to test it. Assumptions and axioms are ideas which one holds with the understanding they cannot be tested.

Evolution is the best theory to explain species if we assume naturalism.

Creation is the best theory to explain life if we assume the absolute truth of the Bible.

Science, and evolution, test their assumptions all the time. For example, all of the assumptions of the theory of evolution of Darwin's time were tested with the discovery of the science of genetics. Rather than contradicting the theory of evolution, the science of genetics confirmed it to an extremely high degree.

If one assumes the absolute truth of the Bible, I do not believe one would be willing to test those assumptions. The entire field of apologetics was developed to defend religious belief, lest that belief be tested. Look at the resistence to evaluate the global flood story in terms of modern radiometric dating, geology, archaeology, sedimentology, and history.

I believe that science starts with a method and constantly works toward better answers, wherever those answers may lie.

Religion starts with the final answers and resists any testing lest faith be shattered.

79 posted on 08/16/2006 7:54:48 PM PDT by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: muawiyah

There is a difference between God turned jews in apes and God made man out of a mud pie. You share the belief with Muslims that god made man out of that mud pie and eve out of that rib. Any monkey buisness the Muslims got up too came later.


80 posted on 08/16/2006 7:56:26 PM PDT by Sentis
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To: Sentis

But now you're being too vague. You're lumping all people who believe a way other than you as "creationists," which is a word that can't well-enough describe the differing religious factions. People don't define themselves as "creationist," they define themselves as Baptists, or Catholics, or Muslims, or what-have-you, and they are all very diverse (trust me on this one). If they're trying to make creationism a viewpoint taught in public schools, it isn't because they are trying to force God's will on anyone (this would be impossible, because they all differ on what God's will IS), it's because they consider creationism a legitimate scientific viewpoint (whether they are right or not).

You describe an unlikely scenario of religious people in America become like the backwards barbarians of Islamofascism, but that in my opinion is inconceivable. It isn't pure Islam that has made the Middle East what it is today; it is Islam combined with post-WW2 fascism, combined with many other factors, that has created a cesspool of misery.


81 posted on 08/16/2006 7:56:46 PM PDT by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: Radix

I agree.

The first 6 days of God creating things were not actual days, time-wise. Some say each day represents a thousand years. I don't think anyone knows. A day of Creation in the Bible, could have been a million years. A 100 million.

About 15 years ago, I went through the Bible's 'begats' and other places to calculate for myself when Adam was born. I had to guess on some of the ages of death, but not most. I estimated 5,000 to 7,500 years being very conservative on my estimates. My average was 6,250, just using the Bible. An amazing book! Which, can be very confusing, producing many alternate interpretations.


82 posted on 08/16/2006 7:58:10 PM PDT by GoodWithBarbarians JustForKaos (LIBS = Lewd Insane Babbling Scum)
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To: muawiyah
And Mendel "cheated" ~ he had jumping genes all over the place but dismissed them.

What'choo talking 'bout Willis?

Seriously. What the heck are you talking about?

83 posted on 08/16/2006 7:58:32 PM PDT by wyattearp (Study! Study! Study! Or BONK, BONK, on the head!)
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To: muawiyah
"BTW, the Mullahs all believe in Evolution, and they also believe Apes are descended from Men."

Evidence for that rather dubious statement? Some of IDs most vocal supporters have been Muslim.
84 posted on 08/16/2006 7:59:17 PM PDT by ndt
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To: Radix; freedumb2003
I understand that it was originally James Ussher and James Lightfoot who came up with the 4004 BC creation date. If you google Ussher you'll get this entry first:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ussher

Yeah, I know it's wiki but about halfway done through the article it discusses the Chronology pretty similarly to what I had heard from other sources. It seems to be a fair treatment of how the date was arrived at and there are other links.

85 posted on 08/16/2006 8:00:22 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Sentis
Why do I share any of those beliefs? What am I, a potted plant or something?

In fact, if you'd caught any of my posts on the matter I have a far different view of the origins of life on Earth than you can probably imagine.

86 posted on 08/16/2006 8:00:30 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Sentis
Lets see the burning of witches, the bombing of abortion clinics, the shooting of doctors, the forced conversion of Native people, the African missions that still deny food to starving people unless they take part in religious ceremonies.

It doesn't happen like you're saying it does. The witch-burning and abortion clinics are isolated incidents that rarely happen. The Native American issue had more to do with land than religion. As far as the missionary thing, my Mom does missionary work in Africa and I can honestly say that that is either a bold-faces lie or something that rarely happens.

And even still, all of those things are child's play compared to the Communists' rule of the Soviet Union, which made religion and all non-state activities executable offenses.

87 posted on 08/16/2006 8:00:57 PM PDT by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Hmmmmmm. Kansas ranks #8 in SAT scores of graduating High School seniors, New York ranks #40.

If you want your children to be illiterate, maybe you could just send them to school in New York?

CLICK HERE

88 posted on 08/16/2006 8:02:22 PM PDT by Sooth2222
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To: pcottraux

I believe I have been calling them evangelicals who I believe are very similar to Islamofacists. I have even differentiated the fact that not all Creationist remind me of Mullahs . How is that vague? The fact that some of the creationists on this board and in this country are mouth breathing thugs who would like nothing better than to kill those Godless Atheists must be lost on you. I have met some of them and they aren't much more civilized than the average islamo just less organized thankfully. (I am not even Godless I just believe creationism in schools is wrong as it basically undermines rational scientific thought)


89 posted on 08/16/2006 8:02:36 PM PDT by Sentis
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To: wyattearp
Several years back a major article was produced concerning academic fraud. Among other items discussed was Mendel's exclusion of any data that led to a different conclusion than the one he wanted.

His original data clearly showed the effect of "jumping genes". His final data made it look like it was all a case of dominant and recessive traits.

You might be able to find an article on the net by using "mendel" "cheating" "academic fraud" "beans" "genes"

90 posted on 08/16/2006 8:03:37 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: freedumb2003
...is a God that is truly awesome.

Most Fundamentalists see God...someone they can deal with.

Which makes him even MORE awesome.

91 posted on 08/16/2006 8:03:40 PM PDT by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: Sentis

"You know the creationst look more and more like the Mullahs everday. I sometimes can't tell the difference."

Thats really quite offensive.


92 posted on 08/16/2006 8:04:16 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: ndt

Your best authorities in Islam have accepted evolution for quite some time.


93 posted on 08/16/2006 8:04:25 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: pcottraux

I agree they are childs play but you aren't condemning these actions. You admit they happen but I don't see you saying that those things are wrong and shouldn't be done in the name of your religion. Should I hold you to a lower standard than the average Muslim that doesn't speak out against his religion's terrorism when he tells me those are isolated incidents.

They may be isolated but they come from the same place and the same thought patterns that create islamic fascism.


94 posted on 08/16/2006 8:05:52 PM PDT by Sentis
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To: Sentis

No reason we should respect the opinions of someone who doesn't have the slightest idea what "evangelical" refers to.


95 posted on 08/16/2006 8:06:38 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Sentis
The fact that some of the creationists on this board and in this country are mouth breathing thugs who would like nothing better than to kill those Godless Atheists must be lost on you.

It isn't lost on me, it's just that EVERY viewpoint has nutcases like that. It's called "the fringe." Atheism is certainly no exception. And if those horrible people you speak of act out those "kill" beliefs, then they are terrorists, but the vast majority of them do not, or even deny that that's what they're saying. There are for more Muslims who act out on their insane beliefs than other religious folk, and that's why Islamofascism is a major problem.

96 posted on 08/16/2006 8:08:06 PM PDT by pcottraux (It's pronounced "P. Coe-troe.")
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To: muawiyah
"Your best authorities in Islam have accepted evolution for quite some time."

Another statement with nothing to back it up. I am requesting you provide some evidence for your claim. No doubt there are Muslims who do accept evolution as there are Christians. You however stated that "the Mullahs all believe in Evolution" an I would like you to show me how you came to that conclusion.
97 posted on 08/16/2006 8:08:21 PM PDT by ndt
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To: driftdiver

It is equally offensive when I as a rational conservative get lumped in with liberals because I dont prescribe to the Church that you do. This is a board for conservatives and sometimes creationists need to be reminded that being a conservative is not a religious thing. Well most of the time they need a slap up side the head to get the point across.


98 posted on 08/16/2006 8:08:48 PM PDT by Sentis
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To: Sentis
This is a board for conservatives and sometimes creationists need to be reminded that being a conservative is not a religious thing.

I think many of the groups on here are guilty of that same attitude with their pet issue.

99 posted on 08/16/2006 8:09:50 PM PDT by Pyro7480 ("Love is the fusion of two souls in one in order to bring about mutual perfection." -S. Terese Andes)
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To: muawiyah
"Not sure it's good to have the NYT hyping evolution."

Well, the "NYT's average man on the street" being presented as the dominant view point is a whole lot like evo's claim that "all scientists" believe in evolution.

100 posted on 08/16/2006 8:10:38 PM PDT by DannyTN
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