Might Georgia Follow Suit on Creationism?

From Florida Today:

Public school teachers could challenge evolution with “scientific information” under a bill that passed Wednesday in the Florida Senate, but opponents said it would allow the teaching of religious theories.

What are the chances we’ll see something similar with the 2009 session of the General Assembly?

92 comments

  1. boyreporter says:

    Oh, my God, Rogue. What’s next? You want to dig up the old “flouride in the water” scare, too? How about we go back to dunking witches?

  2. Rogue109 says:

    Huh? WTF are you talking about? It’s a reference to a story that came out TODAY where I did not advocate either side but suggested in an oblique manner that it would not be surprising if someone proposed it next year.

    Get a grip whitemalevoter…I mean, boyreporter.

  3. StevePerkins says:

    Ironically, this law actually makes a lot of sense as written… in the abstract. If there were opposing scientific viewpoints on biological development, then it WOULD be wrong (“dogma”, even) to bar one. Unfortunately though, this law is crap in practice… because currently the only opposing view is, “We don’t know everything, so God’s in the gaps”.

  4. boyreporter says:

    What does whitemalevoter mean? Sorry, Rogue, but from your other antedeluvian positions, I just figgered…

    And Steve…careful, we may agree again. I take issue with your final sentence, though. Anti-evolutionists (Creationists, whatever) seldom say “We don’t know everything…” Would be better if they did, instead of assuming that they DO know everything that God intended.

  5. Doug Deal says:

    Jason,

    Is this movie really about creationism (it didn’t interest me, so I know nothing about it? My opinion of Ben Stein will never be the same if it is. For someone as rational about economics as he generally is, it would be rather disappointing to find that is is part of that disturbed cult of people who deny evolution.

  6. Jason Pye says:

    They demonize evolutionists in the movie, but never offer any science to back up creationism. The movie is about what they perceive to be persecution of creationists in science and education.

  7. Chris says:

    Thats because creationism != science and they should be persecuted.

    At the 2007 7th District Convention, John Linder was speaking about Global Warming. He started describing the cyclical warming and cooling trends the earth has undergone for millions of years. Someone in the audience got up and walked out – because Congressman Linder had the nerve to state as fact the Earth was more than 6000 years old.

    How on Earth will conservatices be able to stop poor economic decisions arising from the Global Warming/Climate change debate if we can’t even establish the age of the planet? Are temperatures changing? If so what are the impacts of such changes? Is mankind responsible for such changes and to what extent? These are vital questions that must be addressed before public policy proscriptions are proposed and enacted.

    Anyone who believes the earth is only 6000 years old is not fit for public office.

  8. drjay says:

    i do not think you and i saw the same movie jason pye–b/c it is not about “creationism” at all but “intelligent design” which are not the same thing and it is buzzword, intellectually lazy oversimplification to say they are–they do not “demonize” evolutionists they point out weaknesses and flaws in their argument, they show them unwilling and unable to accept the possibility of another theory–which is ironic b/c they and their ilk had to beat down the door of intolerance and ignorance to become mainstream (do not forget–the evolutionists technically lost the scopes monkey trial) stein appears quite open and honest during the film–he even exhibits his own skepticism about the ID folks when it seems most of them are at places like biola univ. and wonders aloud himself if they are just a front for creationists–stein is not what you’d call a fundemental christian…strictly speaking ID is silent on the issue of who or what the designer is merely

  9. drjay says:

    oops hit the button too early—

    ID does not identify a designer–merely purports that one must exist –it is a difficult theory b/c you are trying to prove a negative–that is “this (the evolution of species on earth) is too complicated to have occurred by chance–and then using statistical models to back it up–of course at the end of the movie–even the very militant athiestic evolutionist concedes that life is quite complicated and that it was possible that some advanced extraterrestrial species may have stumbled across our planet and “seeded” life on it–and that they in fact may have “designed” life suitable for the condidions on earth–but hat’s somehow different i suppose…

  10. Jace Walden says:

    Believing that God does not exist requires a much bigger leap of faith than believing that a God (even if you don’t know which God) does exist.

  11. MSBassSinger says:

    I saw the movie and it was hilarious. Watching a pompous Richard Dawkins postulate – in all seriousness – that our world could have been seeded by aliens from outer space was priceless.

    I would be for a law that restricts state government from dictating what is official science and what is not. A science teacher should be free to bring in scientific fact whether it is for or against whatever the theory de juer is.

    There are massive problems with Darwinian theory when applied to macroevolution. A well educated student should learn what Darwinian theory says and what the problems with it are.

    For example…
    The circular reasoning applied to radiometric dating makes the outcomes of such tests unreliable.
    The missing intermediate species in the fossil record that should outnumber known species.
    The lack of the geologic column being found intact anywhere in the world (though it is found inverted in some places).
    The application of mathematical probabilities to random mutation of species shows it would take many tens of billions of years more for life to have evolved.
    The interdependency of some parts of the body in some species where intermediate evolutions of a part would not have allowed the animal or plant to survive in a predatory environment.

    I could go on, but there are just too many problems with Darwinian theory, regardless of whether one believes the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob created the world or some advanced alien civilization seeded the earth with self-replicating biological entities.

    How about we just get state government as much out of the way of science as possible? To paraphrase Ronaldus Magnus, “Atlanta isn’t the solution. Atlanta is the problem.” Certainly so in education, as in a lot of other aspects of Georgia.

    Unfortunately, with this RINO legislature we have, they could foul up boiling water, much less something as simple as just telling government to stay out of teaching sciene, and leave it to the discretion of teachers and school boards.

  12. Jace Walden says:

    Boyreporter,

    I think it does.

    To unequivocably state that, “There is no God”. Requires a huge leap of faith because, in essence, you’re trying to prove a negative. As another blogger on here once told me, “You can’t prove that I didn’t have sex with your mother last night.” As much as you’d like to be able to prove that God doesn’t exist, you can’t. All of the scientific evidence in the world can’t prove that God doesn’t exist.

    On the other hand, it really doesn’t take that much of a leap to say, “There’s probably a God up there” or “There is a God up there.” Although it can’t be proven that there is a God, it’s easier to pass everything off as God’s will or as part of God’s creation than it is to unequivocably say that there is no God.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think creationism or intelligent design have any place in public school.

  13. Jace Walden says:

    Then again, I also don’t believe in “Public Schools” period. And I’d like to echo what MBassSinger said regarding getting government the f*ck out of education.

  14. Doug Deal says:

    I am with boy reporter on this.

    However, professing that there is no god is as big of a religious state as professing that there isn’t. By definition, you can only know as much about an omnipotent being as he would want you to know, so to claim that you know he does not exist is nothing but an excercise in faith.

  15. boyreporter says:

    Your premise is wrong. Atheists, by and large, say they do not believe that there is a god. It is a lack of faith in a god — atheism — and a profound belief that there is not god, because there is no evidence to support a god. Atheists would be the first to accept proof of a god. So you can’t hang a religious-dogmatism around the neck of atheists who are simply saying “show me,” and until you can I will not accept the idea that god exists. It’s a far cry from saying dogmatically, There Is No God, because you can’t prove a negative, as you say.

  16. Jace Walden says:

    Boyreporter,

    You just said it yourself:

    Atheists, by and large, say they do not believe that there is a god. t is a lack of faith in a god — atheism — and a profound belief that there is not god, because there is no evidence to support a god.

    I’m not trying to make atheism a religion. I’m just saying, it is a leap of faith to unequivocably state that there is no God, just like it is a leap of faith to have a “profound belief that there is a God because it says so in the Bible.”

    Faith and Religion are two different things. But atheism does require faith.

  17. jsm says:

    I find it comical that so-called “scientists” must alienate anyone who disagrees with their THEORY. Science does not exist without observation, and if scientists cannot report their observations that disagree with the currently accepted theory, then the community demonstrates what fools they are.

    Let’s teach science. Teach what we have observed, and leave the rest up to each particular student. The only reason this does not happen is that researchers find it necessary to vehemently oppose any observation that suggests the possible existence of a God. Why? Because the concept of God must be only a fairy tale. Why? Because we can’t see Him. Well… we haven’t seen any true evidence of neanderthal man, either. We haven’t seen any evidence that can explain why the sun wouldn’t have already swallowed a 4.5 billion-year-old earth, either. We can’t explain why there are human footprints found in layers of dirt that have supposedly pre-human era fossils in them, either.

    Believe what you want, but true science accepts every observation, no matter what conclusion it supports.

  18. Doug Deal says:

    MSBass,

    The probability that life might evolve into one particular form is incredibly remote. But, it would have to evolve into something. The fact that there are 10^100 possibilities in no way disproves that evolution is impossible, it just proves that identical life on another planet is improbable, but another form likely.

    Just look at the domesticated cow, the red delicious apple, the seedless grape, the dog. All of these are products of the influence of man on breeding and “unnatural” selection. If man disappeared, the cow, as we know it today, would disappear. It was an animal that was bred into existence by man by selecting for traits that he found desirable. Now, the cow is completely reliant upon man.

    This was all in the relatively short span of human civilization (say 5,000 years). The world has been acting on it’s own for 4,000,000,000 years (or 800,000 times longer).

    There is no disunity between the belief in natural selection, and God. Evolution could be the very hand of God in action. It is only the arrogant “true believers” who insist that they know the mind and capabilities of God that dismiss this as a possibility.

  19. Skeptic Tank says:

    By all means, let’s teach creationism/intelligent design (which are both the same thing) in biology classes in Georgia schools. Let’s also allow science classes to teach the “alternative theory” that the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth. For good measure, we’ll teach the Biblical value of pi in math classes. Why not? We already rank in the bottom 10 percent of states in student performance. We certainly couldn’t drop much further.

  20. Doug Deal says:

    Jace,

    I agree with him that it is not a BIGGER leap of faith. To believe in the unprovable is equally faith driven.

    That’s why I used the term “however” when i said I agreed with him. It is a way of limited the scope of the agreement. Otherwise I might have used a word such as “furthermore” or “additionally”.

  21. Doug Deal says:

    Skep,

    You have a good point. Teach creationism, if you must, but keep it out of Biology. Biology, as a science, runs by the scientific method. The scientific method does not generally use the Bible as a reference.

    Religion and science are two different realms. Scientists need to stop “disproving” the Bible (or any other religious text) and the faithful need to stop trying to disprove religions. It makes both sides look a lot like a-holes.

  22. drjay says:

    while many creationists may see ID and creationism as the same thing–they really are not–ID is silent on who or what the designer is–and natural selection is not the same thing as evolution–it is one thing to say a white moth that is occasionally black, living on white trees will become a black moth that is occasionally white when soot covers those trees as a result of predatory pressure–it is quite another to say one species turned into another or several others as a result of random mutations over the eras…

  23. MSBassSinger says:

    Doug Deal,

    I appreciate your points, but with 10^100 as an example, you are extremely far off on your exponent. Since the discovery of DNA, we know the possibilities are many magnitudes larger than that. Hence, there simply has not been enough time if you take evolutionists’ numbers for the age of the earth since it was able to sustain life.

    Your further err in your examples, since they deal with intraspecies evolution, which no one disputes. Whether you look at the domesticated cow or its ancestors, it is still bovine DNA. The genus Bos, species Bos Taurus, with 3 subspecies, Bos primigenius taurus, Bos primigenius indicus and Bos primigenius primigenius are cattle. Always have been. And for you city folk, cows are female cattle, heifers are young female cattle, bulls are male cattle, and steers are the Democrat version of bulls. 🙂

    Ditto for apples and dogs in terms of microevolution versus macroevolution.

    Another error is confusing natural selection and evolution. No one disputes natural selection. In the wild, unfit animals and plants die off before reproducing, thus strengthening the species by weeding out defective DNA. That is natural selection. Evolution includes natural selection as one of several means by which species transform over time into other species. Humans are still part of that natural selection process because we preserve and respect human life and are uniquely able to overcome weaknesses without sacrificing life (except for Hitler’s Germany and other barbarians in history).

    Finally, you also err when you write “Evolution could be the very hand of God in action”. That is intellectually dishonest, and tying religion into science where it is inappropriate to the subject at hand. What we know of God is either 1) what we make up when we create a god in our image, or 2) the whole of what is taught in Scripture. The former I leave to those who prefer their own god, since that is purely subjective. The latter means that if Scripture is substantively wrong in one part, then it is subject to error in all. If it is subject to error, then we have no knowledge of God apart from our own fantasies and whims. For those who choose creationism, the ultimate authority is Scripture which leaves no room for an old earth. It is an entirely different discussion to start relating known scieintific fact to the theory of creation than this discussion on whether or not the State should decide if all scientific fact should be allowed in the classroom, or whether to restrict the teachings to only Darwinian theories as currently understood and defined. Here is where ID differs from creationism. ID does not identify which god is the designer, whereas creationism specifies it is the one and only God; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the Great I AM; the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who is One God.

    If you’ve never sat at a debate between two scientists, one Darwinian, and one non-Darwinian (a debate relating to science, not religion), it is a sight to behold. The usual pattern is the Darwinian starts out with the usual evolutionary “facts”, then the non-Darwinian applies other scientific findings to disprove some of those facts. The Darwinian then starts to reach deeper into his or her bag of theories, with the corresponding non-Darwinian refutation using more science. In the end, the Darwinian usually resorts to name calling, or trying to invoke religion where none has been introduced.

    You also mentioned the “scientific method” in a later post. Let’s look at what that really means:
    1. From experience, observe the problem and try to make sense of it. If no previous explanations exactly apply, then move to step 2.
    2. Form a conjecture or hypothesis.
    3. Exercise, or test, the hypothesis to see if it repeats what you observed in step 1. Repeatability is key.
    4. Analyze the results of step 3. They can be used to disprove step 2, or help in refining step 2 and starting over. Step 3 can never be considered a proof of step 2. That is called “affirming the consequent”.

    Now, what part of evolutionary theory has been subjected to step 1? No one has observed the process, only the currently existing results of the process. Thus, the actual process could be one of several that ended in the same results as they are observable today. Step 2, then, is but one of several hypotheses. Likewise, step 3 has never been done. We have witnesses nothing that has evolved. Even the famous Miller-Urey experiment resulted in failure. Without step 3, step 4 cannot be accomplished. Thus, the scientific method has never been applied to evolution, and given the time span involved, most likely never could.

    Why not get behind the intelligent, conservative approach: let the free marketplace of ideas sort it out. That is the kind of civilization the Founders created, and I would hope we can all agree that was by intelligent design. 🙂

  24. rugby fan says:

    Actually boyreporter, a freshman class in logic should teach you that Jace is right.

    It need not be god or nor god but any time you can say there might be something there is less evidnce needed to prove your point.

  25. MSBassSinger says:

    boyreporter,

    In order to know there is no God, one would have to have access to all knowledge in all places at all times. Since neither you, nor anyone else, has that level of knowledge or anything close to it, then there exists the possibility that in some unknown location there could be a god of some sort.

    Once you allow for the fact that something could exist in a place and/or time of which you have no knowledge, you can still choose to not believe, but that is agnosticism. It is intellectually dishonest to say “there is no God”, which is what atheism says. In order to have the knowledge to truthfully say “there is no God”, one would have to be omniescient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, and therefore God. That is the paradox of atheism.

    So I take it you believe there is no God. If so, who or what is a higher authority than yourself? From where do your morals and core beliefs come? Whatever that authority or source is, that is, by definition, your god. If you have no authority above yourself, no source of your morals and core beliefs than what you have made for yourself, then you are your own god. In any case, the de facto state of your belief is that you do have a god. The only question is whether you chose correctly.

    You should read C. S. Lewis. He addresses this far better than I.

  26. drjay says:

    of course if one follows the “creation” story and can seen past the need to be painfully literal about it–it kinda follows what we tend to believe happened–shapeless earth, water, then land, plants 1st, then animals etc…also the way i remember it day and nite as we know it on earth did not exist until the 3rd day so we have no basis for defining God’s day as a 24 hour period–there is a joke about someone asking God what a millin dollars is to Him and he says a penny and he then asks what a million years is to Him and he says a second–the punchline is that he asks God to then give him a million dollars and God tells him He will in a second…maybe folks should think of the biblical description of creation the same way…

  27. boyreporter says:

    No, no, no. Jace and Rugby, I simply said that atheists (with a few dogmatic exceptions) say that they do not believe — believe — that there is a god, but they don’t say there clearly isn’t, because you can’t prove a negative. Saying you need proof before you accept something as true is not the same as saying that you KNOW it to be false.

  28. boyreporter says:

    MSBS: You’re over-thinking it (and certainly over-writing it). I don’t have to have all the follow-up answers and solutions in order to say the existence of god has not been proven and that belief in such suits my definition of superstition. I don’t believe in god. I also don’t believe in Santa Clause. Everything that flows from those positions are interesting to talk about, but have nothing to do with the validity of the first.

  29. Demonbeck says:

    Why can’t we just teach both Darwinism and Creationism as theories and leave it at that?

    Frankly, I have always found a happy medium usually gets this pointless argument finished quickly. I always tell people that I believe God created life knowing that through evolution it would turn out as where we are today. That way you satisfy your creationists and your Darwinists all in one swoop.

  30. MSBassSinger says:

    boyreporter,

    I do apologize for my many words. Perhaps if I had more time, I could be more succinct.

    I think we agree that the existence of God has not been empirically proven, and never will. It is a matter of faith based on the evidence we as individuals see. It is also a matter how unwilling we are to surrender the authority over our lives to someone other than ourselves.

    In short, by believing in the God of Scripture, then one’s life is changed because one chooses to obey His authority in opposition to our own desires and wants. That is quite uncomfortable to most people, and they find it easier to dismiss the coming wrath of God, and His offer to be delivered from it into His family of love, rather than deal with it and submit to Him.

    You can freely choose to dismiss Scriptural teachings as superstitions and the crutch of weak minds. But you, like any of us, cannot say we have not heard the offer to accept His way. The consequences of that decision are of our own choosing.

    Nothing I write implies that I think me or any Christian is better, smarter, or more evolved than you. Sometimes folks hear that when I am passionate about a subject, and I certainly don’t want to imply that.

  31. Doug Deal says:

    MS,

    Quoting the scientific name of cows does nothing to further your argument. There is very little that one can actually say is “cow DNA”. Nearly all of the DNA found in cows is found in humans, is found in other mammals, and to a lesser extent birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

    The differences are when and if certain codings are switched on, and to what degree and at which times.

    Research has been done on birds that have turned wings into “arms” and feathers into scales.

    Species definitions are a human construct that really means nothing in nature. Several plant species cross pollinate (such as melons and cucumbers), yet they are still defined as different species. Heck even lions and tigers (oh my) can interbreed, as well as donkeys and horses.

    New bacteria are also arriving all of the time, jumbling their genes and creating new species. Of course anti-evolutionists still don’t believe that bacteria exist (bitterly clinging to the abiogenesis theory, so I guess this evidence might be lost on some.

  32. griftdrift says:

    Wow so much misunderstanding of science and so little time. I’m not going to waste the bytes to take apart MS point by point but I would like to clear up one point. Evolution says nothing about how life began only what happened after life exists. That’s a pretty common misconception.

    But perhaps the most important question here is demonbeck’s.

    “Why can’t we just teach both Darwinism and Creationism as theories and leave it at that? ”

    We teach evoltion (not the scurrilous perjorative Darwinism) because it is based on evidence and is the cornerstone of biology.

    We do not teach creationism because it has zero evidence and although may be the basis of some people’s faith is the basis of absolutely nothing in science.

  33. griftdrift says:

    One other thing. drjay regarding ID and creationism not being the same thing because ID advocates do propose a creator. They are very sly in this fact but the two are in fact the same.

    Google The Discovery Institutes Wedge Strategy or Kitzmiller vs. Dover.

    The facade has been completely ripped off that ID instead of being developed as a true scientific theory was created wholly as a tactic to bypass 1987’s Edwards vs Aguillard which ruled “creation science” as unconstitutional.

  34. Doug Deal says:

    grift,

    I started to go through a point by point refutation of the nonsense spouted by MS, but it was turning into a dissertation that I am sure he wouldn’t read anyway.

    There are a number of ideas in science that are not well founded and are mere conjecture. Health science and psychology are filled with such things. Evolution is not.

  35. jsm says:

    “We teach evoltion (not the scurrilous perjorative Darwinism) because it is based on evidence and is the cornerstone of biology.”

    Evidence? Not solid evidence–actually pretty shaky, with mere hopes of finding further evidence. I stick to my comments above.

  36. boyreporter says:

    griftdrift: You are absolutely right on all points. High marks!

    Maybe someday people will stop equating the theory of evolution (based on observable data and a product of intense investigation) and other theories which have little or no basis. The problem, of course, is the use of the word “theory” which has a specific scientific meaning and does not imply “hunch.”

  37. drjay says:

    john west actually wrote a whole thing on the disc. inst. website that goes to great length to explain how they are not the same–but one group w/ an alleged agenda and one court decision (the court once ruled separate but equal was kosher too…) does not make all ID proponents creationists in sheep’s clothing…

  38. jsm says:

    grift,

    Other than the three I mentioned above, how about this:

    How is it that an eye was gradually formed over millions of years of mutation? How did the need arise through natural selection? How did the sight nerves, etc. develop from blind species? What triggered its development?

  39. griftdrift says:

    drjay, then why do they specifically support the supplementary “text” “Of Panda’s and People” which Kitzmiller showed unequivocally was prior to 1987 a creation science publication amd subsequently the editors simply replaced every instance of “creation science” with the term “intelligent design”?

  40. drjay says:

    there is no adequate explanation for origin of life in evolution–nowhere is the big jump from nothing to something addressed…in fact the moe we learn about molecular biology and nnotechnology the more problematic this becomes–even the most simple bacteria is really quite a complex creature–and theoris like “mitochondria were a simple cell onto themselves that entered a symbiotic relationship w/ another cell until they became a new thing altogether” are unworkable–natural selection tends to remove as opposed to add to and mutations tend to be single acts not easily transmitted on a large species wide scale–you only wanted 1 thing so start w/ the 1st sentence if you feel the need to debate the point…

  41. drjay says:

    i do not align myself w/ the panda/people book crowd-and a group using ID as a back door for creation should not get footing in a school system-i will even concede that some creationists may try to by slick about there ID affiliation to do that–but there are also creationists–the real 6000 year old earth types–that are quite critical of ID b/c it is silent on the designer–the 2 should be separated

  42. griftdrift says:

    Well jsm that’s more than one but we’ll go with the larger point.

    First a question for you. Why do blind cave fish have eyes?

    Now on to your questions.

    The larger answer is we do not know. That does not mean we can ever know and that is what science is about – the search for things we do not know. We do not simply stop and say “we can’t explain it so there must have been some unseen force at work”.

    However based on what we do know about certain species, including my blind cavefish, we certainly have evidence about how it probably happened.

    In fact Darwin posited a process himself. It goes something like this.

    Photosensitive cell – aggregates of pigment cells without a nerve – an optic nerve surround by pigment cells and covered by translucent skin – pigment cells forming a slight depression – skin over the depression forming a lens – muscles adapt to shape the lens.

    Now unfortunately eyes do not fossilize well so we have little historical evidence of this process. But what we do have are current animals with photosensitive cells, pigment cells which have shown to be able to adapt in the ways I’ve described and most importantly shared genetic information between all of these components.

    All of which suggests that not only is the evolution of the eye plausible but likely.

  43. griftdrift says:

    drjay let’s do stick to your first question for the moment.

    You are absolutely right. Evolution says absolutely nothing about the origin of life. Because evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life.

    Evolution explains what happens to life after it already exists. Simple as that.

  44. drjay says:

    actually as i peruse the definition of mosby’s medical dictionary, 3rd edition revised–hat i keep in my office i see evolution defined as “the theory of the origin and propagation of all plant and animal species” i would assume all includes the 1st species and its origin which means by defintion evolution must address this species and its origin as it is in fact one of all…

  45. jsm says:

    “…that is what science is about – the search for things we do not know.”

    My problem here is that parts of evolution theory are based on what scientists expect/hope to find. Forming theories based on what one hopes to find has no place in the scientific method.

    “Photosensitive cell – aggregates of pigment cells without a nerve – an optic nerve surround by pigment cells and covered by translucent skin – pigment cells forming a slight depression – skin over the depression forming a lens – muscles adapt to shape the lens.”

    Sounds like a good line of make-believe. I could sit and surmise about steps in the process of how any number of things came to be, but doing this in NO WAY makes it “likely.” So a nerve just happens to form that can transmit optical information to the brain? That is far-fetched.

  46. Goldwater Conservative says:

    Not again. Just because the GOP screwed up the economy again…they have to go back to guns and religion to get votes.

    Teach evolution, it is necessary. Bring up creationism. Creationism is very simple.

    Here is the script:

    Charles Darwin conducted….(go on for three weeks about Darwin’s books, studies and conclusions)

    Then…

    And the other side is creationism. According to this “theory” “God” made everything exist.

  47. griftdrift says:

    DrJay I wouldn’t disagree with that definition. However you have to take the clause “origin of species” as a whole.

    Evolution is about the creation of diversity of life in the biosphere. Not the creation of life itself.

  48. Goldwater Conservative says:

    You know…Darwin is not the only person that wrote about evolution.

    Hell…who says creationism and evolution need to be mutually exclusive?

    I do not believe in God, but (for those of you that do) what if god planted the ingredients for life on this planet and allowed room for earth and its inhabitants to evolve?

    The old testament should not matter to christians anyways. Jesus said not to worry about what was said before and to live your life according to the new covenant.

  49. drjay says:

    if the word ALL was not included in the definition that would be one thing but you are simply dropping an inconveinent problem w/ the theory–that’s not the same thing as addressing it…

  50. griftdrift says:

    jsm you didn’t ask me about the formation of nerves so I didn’t cover that area.

    And I won’t now for one simple reason. Evolution is not based on one keystone which holds up the arch. We could go on and on here all day with you saying “well what about this” but the fact remains that evolution is not based on one data point. It’s based on multiple data points that involve the fossil record, genetics and many other disciplines.

    And science is about what we hope to find. It’s called prediction which is an absolute fundamental tenet of the scientific method. For example at the time of Darwin’s Origin of Species he “hoped / predicted” we would find transitional species which showed evidence of evolution. In the following 150 years we found hundreds. And these were further confirmed by a field of science never dreamed of – genetics.

    But one thing I will do is address your previous three points. Ahem. Well now.

    I had to do some research on the sun thing. Hadn’t seen that one in a long time.

    “we haven’t seen any true evidence of neanderthal man, either.”

    I believe here you are actually referring to transitionals to Homo Sapiens. We have plenty of evidence of the existence of neandertal. We’re just not sure where it fits in man’s past.

    “We haven’t seen any evidence that can explain why the sun wouldn’t have already swallowed a 4.5 billion-year-old earth, either.”

    Wait I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that. Usually it’s the opposite. That the sun is shrinking. You do realize the sun runs on fuel and that fuel is not endless? Also there are gravitation forces which balanced by energy expended prevents the sun not only from swallowing us whole but from completely flying apart? Also I would point out that things are not constant but usually dynamic. You can’t say something was expanding a billion years ago and for that reason it should now be X big. Things like fuel consumption and outside factors do contribute.

    “We can’t explain why there are human footprints found in layers of dirt that have supposedly pre-human era fossils in them, either.”

    I’m guessing here you are talking about the Paluxy River footprints in Glen Rose Texas?

    Well that ones that aren’t actually misidentified dinosaur prints or wishful thinking of people who see what they want to see are actual frauds perpetuated by creationists who possibly destroyed fossil evidence by tampering with the site.

  51. griftdrift says:

    But DrJay you are dropping a key word too.

    “PROPOGATION of all animal and plant species”

    Once again evolution deals with how live diversified and propogated. Not how it began.

  52. Doug Deal says:

    Just to give you an example of how even a small advantage will eventually lead to one set of genes taking over a population.

    Pretend you started with $1 each in two bank accounts. One earns 5% interest the other earns 6% a year. After one year, there would not be much of a difference, $1.02 in one and $1.01 in the other. But, after a 200 years, the higher paying account would have $115,126 while the lower paying account would have $17,292. It went from being a 50-50 split to a 87-13 split. Imagine what would happen in 1,000 years, or 10,000. Or imagine if the advantage was a 10% advantage instead of just 1.

    This is why evolution works. Not because some plan is needed by the organism to develop an eye, an arm or whatever else. It is because some small change SLIGHTLY tips the odds of survival into it’s favor and it’s genes eventually take over. Accumulate enough gene varience, and you have another species.

    Most mutations will result in a competitive disadvantage, and will be removed from the gene pool, but the rare mutation will prove to be a benefit, and once it occurs, it will dominate.

    These changes are very gradual, but I just don’t think that you guys have a clear understand of just how much time we are dealing with here.

  53. griftdrift says:

    Actually DrJay yes they are. There are many theories which deal with how life began but none of them make any predictions on what happened to that life after it got here. Just like evolution makes no predictions about life at the point it began.

  54. drjay says:

    that works very well for natural selection w/in a species and can actually occur rather quickly actually if its the right mutation–but there would be fossil evidence of a great number of transitional species instead of the fully formed ones that we see –if what you describe led to the various species arising

  55. Doug Deal says:

    GC,

    Thanks. this is why I hate the way people arrange themselves into just liberal or conservative. Right now we are having two concurrent debates on this topic and on environmental issues. I am on opposite “sides” on each debate. Does this make me a conservative or a liberal?

    The sooner we stop looking at politics (or science in these cases) as bimodal the better we will be.

  56. drjay says:

    also grift if your assertion that evolution and the origin are not the same thing then really there should be much less animosity than there is between ID and evolution than there is–ID is as much a theory about life coming into being as it is about what it did once it was here…

  57. griftdrift says:

    DrJay we do have “fossil evidence of a great number of transitional species ”

    Icthyostega Archaeopteryx, the entire Therapsid line of which my favorite is Diademodon is my favorite, Pakicetus and many many more.

  58. griftdrift says:

    DrJay, ID is a theory with no evidence. It relies on the logical fallacy of negative proof. And if you read the ID texts it almost exclusively talks about the “design” of the current diversified species. They consciously avoid how it all started because that would lead to Goddidit and that leads to religious influence which they know gets them into trouble.

  59. drjay says:

    i do have to go–we’ll have to agree to disagree for now–and those few examples you site still have very distinct differences w/ its predecessors–archaeopteyx is a bird and a bird is a bird is a bird…

  60. griftdrift says:

    Well than DrJay I guess since Archie has features that are distinctly reptilian and distinctly avian I need to know what you would consider a transitional before I can attempt to answer any challenge on the subject.

    But do have a good weekend.

  61. MSBassSinger says:

    I see scientism is alive and well here. The scientific evidence that disputes evolution is easy enough to find. I challenge anyone on here to provide proof positive of 1 example of a species becoming a different species. Doug Deal’s imaginary feathers to scales research is entertaining to see such a stretch. Also, the fact that a large percentage of mammalian DNA is the same is irrelevant since there are so many combinations even in just 5-10% of DNA.

    All I can say is that so many of the posts on here illustrate a real need for science education, and the need for learning the difference between science and scientism.

    As to Goldwater Conservative’s statement “The old testament should not matter to christians anyways. Jesus said not to worry about what was said before and to live your life according to the new covenant”, I understand that you don’t believe in God and it shows. Jesus never said that, and I challenge you to specify the book, chapter and verse you think it happened. What Jesus did say, specifically in relation to what we refer to as the Old Testament is that He didn’t come to do away with the Law, but to fulfill it. The Old Testament (Law, Prophets, and Writings) is quoted often in the New Testament, including by Jesus Himself, as being relevant to Jesus and understanding who He is. That is why the OT has been a part of Christendom ever since the Church began. The Church didn’t adopt the oral tradition of the Jews, which Christ spoke against, but the written Word of the OT always has been integral to Christendom, and its meanings fulfilled in the NT.

    Back to the original topic, what do you all have against pure science – void of religious overtones – being taught in science class, even if it doesn’t conform to evolutionary theory?

  62. MSBassSinger says:

    drjay is right about the archaeopteryx. It was fully a bird. Some creationists once tried to say it was a hoax, but more recent analysis shows it was not a feathered dinosaur, and had no reptilian traits. Its brain was 3x larger than a similar sized reptile, and it had a pneumatized vertebrae and pelvis.

  63. griftdrift says:

    Well I’ve been exposed as a beliver in scientism.

    God knows I would never try to talk about such transitionals as a feathered dinosaur. That would be too obvious.

    No doubt my false idols is something like Cynognathus.

  64. griftdrift says:

    “I challenge anyone on here to provide proof positive of 1 example of a species becoming a different species”

    First of all. If you want proof please go to a math class or a liquor store. Science is abour evidence not proof.

    But since you desire an example of speciation.

    I give you the Cichlids of Africa.

    Please.

    Please say “they are still fish”.

  65. Goldwater Conservative says:

    This bickering needs to stop.

    No one group is going to convince the other to believe the theory or theocratic point of the other.

    What all of this really comes down to is what should/should not be taught in schools.

    Evolution should be taught in schools. Not just because it is a big science thing…but it does provide philosophical insight into the evolving nature of society, economics, politics, anthropology and nearly every other academic study. Religion included.

    The biological points that are brought up in the teaching of evolution provide the best visual representations however. When we are dealing with children and adolescents…abstract ideas are not very easy to convey. Showing how birds, reptiles, or even human characteristics adapt to environments over time to best suit their survival, however, provides visual and non-abstract representations of this “progressive” idea that things naturally seek to improve.

    Creationism, in my opinion, really does not have a place in the classroom. Gussy it up however you like (i.e. calling it intelligent design), it is a theocratic idea…not scientific. Regardless of the little bits of information that do not fit perfectly into the theory of evolution…many scientific theories that are taken very seriously have a few things that may not be considered. We are humans. We, unlike “God,” can not think of absolutely everything, everywhere…all the time. Sure creationism does encompass all of that…because “God said…” There will always be a question as too “God” really said anything or if we (humans) created God out of necessity.

    It comes done to a matter of faith. The science community is not threatened by creationists…why should this not be the other way around. Afterall, the creationists have “God” on their side.

  66. Bill Simon says:

    MSBass,

    Soooo…”aliens from outer space” is a further stretch than “God created the Earth in 6 Days.”

    Is God on this Earth right now, Bass? OR, is He “off” of the Earth?…and, in a place called “outer space?”

  67. jsm says:

    “And science is about what we hope to find. It’s called prediction which is an absolute fundamental tenet of the scientific method.”

    A prediction is used in the scientific method to form a hypothesis, not a theory. I think it’s pretty clear that evolutionists are banking on the hopes of future revelations to backup their un-theory. The problem is that they teach as if they “know” these discoveries will be made and that they immediately discredit any scientific observation that opposes the findings they’re looking for.

    “We have plenty of evidence of the existence of neandertal. We’re just not sure where it fits in man’s past.”

    Findings have shown that so-called neanderthals had the same skeletal structure as modern humans with a slightly larger frame and cranial cavity than the average. I find greater probability that these folks, who lived like humans, were a particular ethnic group which may or may not have faced extinction.

    “Wait I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that. Usually it’s the opposite. That the sun is shrinking. You do realize the sun runs on fuel and that fuel is not endless?”

    Actually, scientific hypothesis states that the sun is on its way to bloating into a red giant with 1000 times its current volume, eventually engulfing Mercury, Venus, and Earth. So, supposedly, some 4 billion or so years ago, days were only 14 hours, earth temps were cooler by 7% or so, and the sun’s size has been fluctuating for all these eons. Somehow, this supposedly has not affected life and the evolution of species. I don’t buy it.

    “I’m guessing here you are talking about the Paluxy River footprints in Glen Rose Texas?”

    Here’s a compiled list I found of several discoveries of fossilized human footprints in sand or rock that is supposedly dated as old as 100-300 million years:
    http://www.subversiveelement.com/FossilizedHumanFootprints.html

    Nonetheless, evolutionists speculate that the first possible existence of human-like bipeds was around some 4 million years ago.

    All of these speculations scientists necessarily create to fill in a tall tale they call evolution just don’t stand up. To me, evidence clearly shows that what a person believes about the origins of the universe, life, and myriads of species must be a product of faith–whether faith in evolutionary hypotheses or faith in a God who could create an entire universe full of energy and life. Scientifically, all we have to study is essentially evidence of evidence, which proves nothing about the object of study.

    None of the changes ascribed countless millions of years for development are observable, yet the science community teaches these stories exclusively, allowing no room for any other possibility. This is wrong, and it is a detriment to science.

  68. griftdrift says:

    Wow. That’s not only long but wrong. Are you a fan of Kent Hovind?

    First science is not a ladder. It does not proceed prediction-hypothesis-theory.

    Theory is an explanation of evidence. Not a stepping stone in some hierarchy.

    You actually have it in reverse. Predictions are based upon the theory. For example, with his theory Mr. Darwin predicted we would find evidence of decent from common ancestors. The fossil record and genetics have shown this prediction true.

    Neandertals were a different ethic group? You’re in dangerous territory there, bub. You are correct that they are similar to Homo Sapiens Sapiens. But similar is not the same as well the same. That’s why they are classified as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis. A subspecies not too far from our own branch. There is some discussion to classify them as Homo neanderthalensis.

    As for the sun thing I thought your original argument was if the earth were 4 billion years old we would have already been consumed by the sun. No?

    Of course the sun will turn into a red giant eventually and gobble us up. Based on some pretty accurate science, it’ll be somewhere north of 4 billion years from now. What does this have to do with biology?

    And of course the sun affects evolution. Who said it didn’t? Given it is our primary source of energy it pretty much affects everything.

    That’s a pretty interesting list. Many I hadn’t seen before since most of them were “discovered” over 100 years ago. Instead of debunking every one I’ll pick a favorite. The trilobite squashed by a sandal or as it is sometimes known Meister Man.

    For those of you who want to see a photo of this footprint can go here: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/paluxy/meister.html

    I also encourage you to read the article by an actual scientists who explains exactly why this is likely not a human footprint.

    Finally, jsm, your entry with its horrible ignorance of science is a fine example of exactly why the fight for education in science is so important.

  69. griftdrift says:

    I had a long response but apparently the fidgetty Peach Pundit server et it.

    So I’ll just summarize by saying everything you wrote with except of the eventual death of the sun is wrong.

    I would also encourage anyone who follows that link to the “footprints” read some of the other contents of that site. It’s most enlightening.

  70. Bill Simon says:

    Philosophy? In school? Heaven forbid, Goldwater!

    Don’t you know that any time you start encouraging kids to think on their own, AWAY from the strict teachings of the Bible, that you will bring Hell and Damnation upon us all?

    JUST like allowing us to buy alcohol on Sundays, “philosophy” is one of those concepts that is, truly, from outer space…and, aliens.

  71. Goldwater Conservative says:

    And Americans keep calling this country #1 at everything. What is being put in the water over here.

    As classical education, in America, would probably end the idea that this country was founded on christian principles. A David Koresh or Joseph Smith will spring up every here and there, but for the most part this would be a more tolerant country.

  72. jsm says:

    “You actually have it in reverse. Predictions are based upon the theory.”
    Sorry. You are incorrect. Within the scientific method, the hypothesis comes before experimentation which can form a theory IF well-supported by tested evidence.
    http://servercc.oakton.edu/~billtong/eas100/scientificmethod.htm
    Didn’t you mention something about “horrible ignorance of science?” Evolutionary hypotheses have a clear lack of reliable evidence to truly form a theory.

    As I read about our supposed hominid ancestors, I find that they have so much in common with humans–burying their dead, musical instruments, etc. I believe it’s because they WERE humans. If the human species developed from these supposed sub-species, why don’t we find more evidence of them in various locations rather than such specific locales? Further, so-called evidence of too many of the earlier sub-species is based on teeth, single bones, and bone fragments, which could easily have been the remains of diseased and deformed humans. And why have absolutely none of these subspecies survived to live among us today? The human species seems so uniform in numerous characteristics across the globe.

    Regarding the sun, man has not studied stars nearly long enough to really know how a star changes over 4 billion years. Since the earth’s age is supposedly dated at 4.5 billion or so years, the sun’s age surely must be similar so that the story doesn’t fall apart–you know, defining a process by its supposed effects rather than its mechanism or cause, which are unknown.

    Again, the story of evolution is clearly full of holes, but the science community sticks with it because they have no better explanation. That’s why, as I stated in my first comment in this thread, we should teach what we have actually observed and not pump unchallenged Darwinism into our kids’ heads. Whether someone believes in God or not, he can make up his own mind about our origins and the countless forms of life that inhabit this earth.

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