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Doubting Darwin: panic in the suites of evolution

Posted on 04/25/2012 6:54:15 PM PDT by Caleb1411

The sky is falling! Many interest groups and journalists raced to tell that to the public when a modest but important bill became law in Tennessee early in April. The law instructs teachers and administrators to "create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues."

What's not to like? The law, similar to one in Louisiana, also protects teachers who help students (I'm quoting from the official legislative summary) "understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught. ..." Oh, here's the problem: Evolution is one of the theories that can now be analyzed and critiqued.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, and many others have gone ape over the inclusion of evolution. They revere critical thinking and the freedom to explore, but not when it might produce irreverence toward their idol.

Those groups and many journalists brought up Tennessee's 1925 law that made illegal the teaching of evolution in public schools and led to the Scopes "monkey trial." They did not note that most public schools in the four score and seven years since then have gone to the other extreme by forbidding the teaching of anything but evolution. In states from Virginia to Washington true believers in evolution have harassed and driven away teachers who dared to teach both sides of the Darwin debate.

If macro-evolution were proven, the true believers would have a case, but more than 800 Ph.D.-bearing scientists have signed a statement expressing skepticism about contemporary evolutionary theory's claims that random mutation and natural selection account for the complexity of life. These scientists say, "Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."

The 1925 law tried to close off debate, but the think tank that has proposed laws like Tennessee's new one, the Discovery Institute, is working to increase the coverage of evolution in textbooks. It wants evolution, including its unresolved issues, to be fully presented to students: "Evolution should be taught as a scientific theory that is open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can't be questioned."

That gets to the heart of the hysteria. The New York Times editorialized in 1925 for "faith, even of a grain of mustard seed, in the evolution of life." The Times said evolution gives us hope for progress: "If man has evolved, it is inconceivable that the process should stop and leave him in his present imperfect state. Specific creation has no such promise for man."

Specific creation, of course, has the ultimate promise: God cares. Sadly, many look desperately for hope elsewhere, anywhere. Last month the New York Times editorial page editor, consistent with his predecessors, criticized critics of evolution who have "learned to manufacture doubt." The Times, of course, daily manufactures doubt regarding God, but thunders, "Thou shalt not doubt" evolution. If other states follow Tennessee's example, we'll have a robust debate instead of more attempts to suppress it.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: Tennessee
KEYWORDS: creation; evolution; scientism
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To: Bellflower
Consensus often has little to do with facts ... and virtually everything to do with questionable beliefs.

Science, meanwhile, has eveything to do with facts; making it an unfortunate enemy to believers.

See post 40 to see what my reference to the Apostle's Creed was about.

Pax Domini.

61 posted on 04/26/2012 8:14:25 PM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: OldNavyVet

Au contraire my friend, science is my close friend and is also the friend of all true believers. Sorry that you do not understand this, nor see it, but it is true. Jesus loves you and I will pray for you.

62 posted on 04/27/2012 12:42:09 AM PDT by Bellflower (The LORD is Holy, separated from all sin, perfect, righteous, high and lifted up.)
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To: BrandtMichaels
I do not presume to suggest that Darwin's theories are completely correct. There is a lot still to be learned from the fossil record.

But the age of the earth and the universe suggest that if there is a creator, he took his time about the process with many false starts and mistakes along the way. Which is certainly not impossible.

63 posted on 04/27/2012 4:47:58 AM PDT by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: Notary Sojac

All my life I’ve had success in programming and other sorts of problem solving by always harkening back to the kiss philosophy ~ keep it simple silly.

Tis the same with science. If your foundational assumptions are wrong then many other conclusions will follow in the same vein. Mankind records history in every century yet the written record does not support anything beyond 6 thousand years and the Bible affirms 6 thousand years as well.

Where in the scientific method is one allowed to cherry-pick ones data and throwout a vast number of facts if they conflict with the consensus paradigm(s)?

Where in God’s inspired word [dating only from 2k-4.5k years] does one even presume to think ‘from this point on God has stopped lying to me?’

Who could trust God or His Word if He lies whenever He chooses ~ would that not put God in the same character as the father of all lies, the devil?

No iniquity is found within Him ~ not the Father, not the Son, not His Holy Spirit, and neither in His Word.

64 posted on 04/27/2012 5:39:10 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: the OlLine Rebel; Notary Sojac

Good points OLR, esp. ‘They can’t even test their theories. That’s all it is - theory. They often base things on what they know of existent animals. All they can REALLY say is, “this creature existed”.’

They also anthropomorphize God and think He is capable of sin and errors as Notary Sojac indicates in post #63.

65 posted on 04/27/2012 5:44:55 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: OldNavyVet; Bellflower; All

I’d like to refer everyone to the links I supplied in post #54. Neither one will ‘preach’ to you from the Bible - rather like Joe Friday in Dragnet - JUST THE FACTS.

These facts are the ones most often ignored or downplayed by the scientific/academic consensus. But they are facts that are not to be ignored by anyone who claims to love science.

66 posted on 04/27/2012 5:53:17 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: BrandtMichaels

Your post points out something that I had to explain to my kids last week.
I had a lib-in-law, while watching a travel video, tell my kids that “Allah and God are the same”.

Muslims would stone her for blasphemy if they had her in their power.

Your post states that God never lies, and that is true, that would be contrary to His nature.
Allah, however, cannot be “constrained” to alway telling the truth, or even being consistent, because that is “chaining Allah”, a blasphemous statement worthy of death.

67 posted on 04/27/2012 5:56:29 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: scripter
If we really evolved from common ancestors, to me the evidence says punctuated equilbria or special creation are the only possible theories.

I'd throw in epigenetics -- used to be called Lamarckism -- into the mix.

68 posted on 04/27/2012 6:06:16 AM PDT by Sirius Lee (Sofa King Mitt Odd Did Obamneycare)
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To: MrB

Good points.

Another simplification on the basic religion tenets ~ I work or have worked with my different backgrounds. My work lends itself to somewhat of a missionary’s field. Of course these are their ideals so ymmv...

Hindu - Love and respect for all fellow men/women.

Buddhist - Love and respect for all forms of life.

Muslim - Begrudgingly respects only fellow Islamic/Muslim men. Women and children not so much. Convert, kill or enslave all infidels. In practice imho this is a religion based upon hate not love for even when a country is 100% Muslim they still create factions and fight with / among each other.

Jewish - Utmost love and reverence for God. Love and respect for all mankind, & stewardship or care of all life on Earth.

Christian - Utmost love and reverence for God. Love and respect for all mankind [with a double portion for all enemies], & stewardship or care of all life on Earth.

69 posted on 04/27/2012 7:41:25 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: BrandtMichaels
If you are starting with the Bible, and your "foundational assumption" is that anything which contradicts the literal chronology of the Bible (adding up the generations a la Bishop Ussher) is a non-fact, then your stand is certainly a consistent one.

Bear in mind then that it's not necessary to prove that the universe is ten billion, or one billion, or even a million years old in order to demolish your stand. Proof that it's more than, say, twenty thousand years old would suffice.

70 posted on 04/27/2012 7:48:08 AM PDT by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: Yashcheritsiy
To the primitive mind magic always seems more plausible than a complex physical explanation they do not understand.

The author of this article doesn't understand science. Nothing in science is ever proven. There are not two sides of a debate about evolution in science - there is a useful theory utilized by scientists and there is useless creationism that is not utilized by anyone for any productive purpose.

Science should be taught in science class.

71 posted on 04/27/2012 7:55:49 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to DC to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: schaef21
I found Werner's interview at YouTube but it's two hours long so I will have to look at it over the next couple of days and get back to you.

If he claims to have found clear evidence that modern mammals and dinosaurs co-existed, as you say, I will post to you here with my impressions.

72 posted on 04/27/2012 7:55:49 AM PDT by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: BrandtMichaels
They also anthropomorphize God

You are 180 degrees from correctness here.

I'd be happy to entertain the possibility of creation/design. Some of the arguments are intriguing and provide a valid challenge to my world view.

But when creationists describe the motivations and the ethics of the creator, they are the ones who anthropomorphize, not me.

If you want to talk to me about the mathematics of chance and the improbability of universal physical and mathematical constants occurring at random, I'm open to listen.....when you switch to telling me about how T. rex was a vegetarian up until the moment that Eve bit into that apple, I'm signing out.

In the fossil record, morality leaves no trace. Not an atom.

73 posted on 04/27/2012 8:04:12 AM PDT by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: Notary Sojac

OK fine but hard science does not attempt to ‘reproduce’ history. There are many stories being conjured up and/or added to / subtracted from, but true science can ONLY repeat observations thru repeated experimentation(s).

Real, true hard science simply can not re-create history nor alter time in any way. No matter if there are 100 or 1000 natural clocks none of them are ever in complete agreement with each other, but the majority agree [1st link post #54] that the age for the Earth and Universe are in agreement with the written recorded history of mankind.

Their is only one true reality.

74 posted on 04/27/2012 8:05:03 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: allmendream

If myths must be taught in school, all myths should be taught

75 posted on 04/27/2012 8:11:38 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: BrandtMichaels
Their (sic) is only one true reality.

I agree with that. I would add that science is a process by which we start out knowing little about that reality, and by degree, over time, we approach an approximation of full knowledge.

76 posted on 04/27/2012 8:12:45 AM PDT by Notary Sojac (Ut veniant omnes)
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To: Notary Sojac; allmendream

The things I know about God I know from His Word which is directly inspired from His Holy Spirit.

I’m sure you know enough about mathematics probability and statistics to know DNA can not write nor re-write itself. It requires a higher intelligence even to place the code for natural adaptation(s) within each life form. Do you also know enough about the scientific method to understand without 50 or so great christian scientists [plus one Jewish guy with a catholic background] over the past 500 years we would simply not have our current scientific advances?

[ allmendream - this alone proves creation is not useless!!!]

It seems obvious you believe more in modern day science than God, but many non-believers have been converted by trying to prove the Bible wrong. The wisdom and knowledge in the Bible still far surpass any/all accumulated wisdom of men. Wisdom is choosing the right action when all you have is a heads or tails proposition. When, alone, you face a fork on an unknown road in an unknown land knowing it could cost you your very life this very day. When going backwards is not an option.

Sure God doesn’t share all his motivations nor all the steps involved in his physical creation [knowledge], but it is very peculiar how often the learned experts scoffed at his claims before being proved wrong again. Everytime science learns something new are they not uncovering the logic of God? Are not all of the accumulated knowledge just the logos of the creator?

Regarding time - since he invented it too he can tell you everything - the alpha, the omega, and everything in between. See Psalm 22 for prophesies written about Christ [what he may have repeated entirely while hanging on the cross - he certainly was recorded repeating some of these unique scriptures] before Christ came as a man and also before crucifixion was invented.

There is no other text more worthy to take the time to try and understand.

77 posted on 04/27/2012 8:36:59 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: bert; allmendream

Better yet teach no myths.

Better still teach critical thinking.

Best is to teach facts clearly, identify all assumptions, and use critical thinking to begin dissecting truth from error.

78 posted on 04/27/2012 8:41:23 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: bert

Science isn’t a myth.

Evolution is an observed fact - not a myth.

Evolution is the inevitable consequence of having a molecular form of inheritance subject to molecular change.

What is going to stop DNA from changing?

79 posted on 04/27/2012 8:44:35 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to DC to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: BrandtMichaels
DNA can certainly RE-write itself.

Every time DNA is copied it introduces new variations.

That is rewriting itself.

Thinking that the universe is created by God according to natural laws is productive and useful. That is not creationism, but belief in a universe explainable by natural laws. Creationism is the idea that God used supernatural means during a “special” creation.

If something is explainable by natural means that leads to further application and discovery because natural means are understandable and predictable.

Is something is explainable only by supernatural means that leads nowhere to no further application or discovery because supernatural causation is not understandable or predictable.

It seems obvious that you cannot argue against a scientific theory without making it about religious belief.

“The Bible teaches us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.” Cardinal Baronius

80 posted on 04/27/2012 8:53:02 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to DC to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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