PDA

View Full Version : Opponents of Evolution Adopting a New Strategy


Achilles
06-05-2008, 04:55 AM
Link (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/04/us/04evolution.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin)
Intro:
DALLAS — Opponents of teaching evolution, in a natural selection of sorts, have gradually shed those strategies that have not survived the courts. Over the last decade, creationism has given rise to “creation science,” which became “intelligent design,” which in 2005 was banned from the public school curriculum in Pennsylvania by a federal judge.

Now a battle looms in Texas over science textbooks that teach evolution, and the wrestle for control seizes on three words. None of them are “creationism” or “intelligent design” or even “creator.”

The words are “strengths and weaknesses.” Wow, I'm actually torn about how to feel on this one. I think if it were anyone other than the Discovery Institute pushing this, I would probably be inclined to agree. However, because it's the Discovery Institute any pretense of being an unbiased effort to improve the quality of science education in America flies right out the window.

I hope the creationists realize that all their doing is giving work to the same ACLU that their conservative hearts seem hate so much. :fist:

Here's my favorite part:
Dr. McLeroy [the chairman of the education board] believes that Earth’s appearance is a recent geologic event — thousands of years old, not 4.5 billion. “I believe a lot of incredible things,” he said, “The most incredible thing I believe is the Christmas story. That little baby born in the manger was the god that created the universe.”

But Dr. McLeroy says his rejection of evolution — “I just don’t think it’s true or it’s ever happened” — is not based on religious grounds. Courts have clearly ruled that teachings of faith are not allowed in a science classroom, but when he considers the case for evolution, Dr. McLeroy said, “it’s just not there.”

“My personal religious beliefs are going to make no difference in how well our students are going to learn science,” he said. How reassuring.

EDIT: Sadly, this was the same type of thing I heard during the Kansas hearings:
Views like these not only make biology teachers nervous, they also alarm those who have a stake in the state’s reputation for scientific exploration. “Serious students will not come to study in our universities if Texas is labeled scientifically backward,” said Dr. Dan Foster, former chairman of the department of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

jonathan7
06-05-2008, 05:59 AM
Link (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/04/us/04evolution.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&oref=slogin)
<snip>

Sigh...

Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write. - Voltaire, letter to M. le Riche, February 6, 1770

The sign someone is not in possession of the truth is when they try to ban those who think differently from them. Regardless of if Evolution is true or not, it is such an important theory that it must be taught in schools. And if his decision is free of science, and is not decided on a religion I'm Napoleon.

“The fundamental difference between the liberal and illiberal outlook is that the former regards all questions as open to discussion and all opinions as open to a greater or less measure of doubt, while the latter holds in advance that certain opinions are absolutely unquestionable, and that no argument against them must be allowed to be heard. What is curious about this position is the belief that if impartial investigation were permitted it would lead men to the wrong conclusion, and that ignorance, therefore, the only safeguard against error. This point of view is one which cannot be accepted by any man who wishes reason rather than prejudice to govern human action.”

I do however A, not share your total dislike of the discovery institute :p

Achilles
06-05-2008, 10:32 AM
Please explain which part of creationism is scientific and therefore deserving of a place in the science curriculum.

jonathan7
06-05-2008, 10:38 AM
Please explain which part of creationism is scientific and therefore deserving of a place in the science curriculum.

Please explain how that is relevant to my above post :p

Furthermore please could you define creationism for me? As currently it could mean a range of things, so I couldn't answer until you have defined it, as you mean above. :)

Achilles
06-05-2008, 11:07 AM
Please explain how that is relevant to my above post :p Your use of quotes seems to suggest that you think science in unfairly censoring creationism. This argument only hold weight if creationism should be allowed to be taught in science class but isn't. Therefore, I'd like to know which part of creationism you feel is scientific.

If that is not what you meant to convey via those quotes, could you please clarify what it is that you did intend say?

Furthermore please could you define creationism for me? As currently it could mean a range of things, so I couldn't answer until you have defined it, as you mean above. :)Sure:

Main Entry: cre·a·tion·ism
Pronunciation: \-shə-ˌni-zəm\
Function: noun
Date: 1880

: a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis — compare evolution 4b

jonathan7
06-05-2008, 12:01 PM
Your use of quotes seems to suggest that you think science in unfairly censoring creationism. This argument only hold weight if creationism should be allowed to be taught in science class but isn't. Therefore, I'd like to know which part of creationism you feel is scientific.

If that is not what you meant to convey via those quotes, could you please clarify what it is that you did intend say?

I was actually addressing those who were trying to stop evolution being taught in school, I apologise if that wasn't clear in my first post.

Let me re-state; Evolution should not be banned in schools, simply as the vast majority of scientists believe the theory to be correct. The sign someone is not in possession of the truth is when they try to ban those who think differently from them. Regardless of if Evolution is true or not, it is such an important theory that it must be taught in schools. And if his decision is totally scientific, and is not decided on a religion I'm Napoleon.

I would however say Creationism is a theory, if it is correct or not is a clear matter of conjecture, and what science is or is not there, I would think it at least needs mentioning in science class.

I swing both ways on this; I happen to concur that Evolution is most likely correct however, I do think creationism should be allowed in the science class room, because if it is a wrongly wide held belief, it cannot be dealt with unless people are allowed to discuss it. I would also refer back to the Russell quote on that. My 2 cents :)

Darth InSidious
06-05-2008, 12:03 PM
In the interests of fairness, there is clearly some considerable research going into the disproving of the theory of evolution. I wouldn't like to speculate on the quality or indeed the worth of this research, however.

I will say that there is evidence of humanoid life in Egypt as early as 100,000 BC. I'd like to ask the "creationists" (what an ugly misnomer!) at which point does the evidence cease being a big joke on the part of God, and start being a real civilisation?

Achilles
06-05-2008, 12:20 PM
I was actually addressing those who were trying to stop evolution being taught in school, I apologise if that wasn't clear in my first post. Ah. Okay then :)

Let me re-state; Evolution should not be banned in schools, simply as the vast majority of scientists believe the theory to be correct. I agree with the conclusion but not necessarily the arguments leading up to it. Truth isn't a democracy, so I don't know how much I agree with the idea that it should be taught simply because most scientists agree (that they do certainly doesn't hurt though :D). Science class should be for learning science and if multiple scientific hypothesis are all competing, I don't think it's a bad thing if they are all discussed (which is why I am not opposed to "strengths and weaknesses" in priniciple).

The sign someone is not in possession of the truth is when they try to ban those who think differently from them. I'm not sure how much of our drama spills over to you guys, but the reason why I interpretted your earlier post the way I did is that this is the exact argument that creationsist are screaming at the top of their lungs to get "intelligent design" into the science curriculum. :)

Regardless of if Evolution is true or not, it is such an important theory that it must be taught in schools. I would say that if it wasn't based on evidence (e.g. "false") then it wouldn't be science and wouldn't deserve a place in the classroom.

I would however say Creationism is a theory, In the layman's sense of the word, yes. In the scientific sense of the word, not even close. :)

...if it is correct or not is a clear matter of conjecture, and what science is or is not there, I would think it at least needs mentioning in science class. Science class is for science. Creationism is not science.

I swing both ways on this; I happen to concur that Evolution is most likely correct however, I do think creationism should be allowed in the science class room, because if it is a wrongly wide held belief, it cannot be dealt with unless people are allowed to discuss it. I would also refer back to the Russell quote on that. My 2 cents :)Nothing wrong with discussing it, however it should be discussed beforehand, not in the classroom. That discussion has already taken place and creationism has been banned from the science classroom (as it is not science). Organizations like the discovery institute think that they can change the name and then try again and no one will notice. Unfortunately, I suspect they'll need several "Dovers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District)" before they get it.

Prime
06-05-2008, 12:31 PM
In the interests of fairness, there is clearly some considerable research going into the disproving of the theory of evolution. Yes, scientists try and do this every day, via the Scientific Method.

mimartin
06-05-2008, 12:38 PM
Science class is for science. Creationism is not science. QFT

I have no problem with Creationism being taught in school, but not in a science class, perhaps a Philosophy class or political science class would be more appropriate.

Darth InSidious
06-05-2008, 12:43 PM
Yes, scientists try and do this every day, via the Scientific Method.

Well, yes - what I meant, though was that there is considerable research specifically aimed at disproving the theory, rather than testing it.

Arcesious
06-05-2008, 01:21 PM
Creationism is nto true science. I was taught creationism at my old Lutheran Elementary school, and let me tell you, lookign back at is now being Agnostic, I have found numerous logical fallacies in the textbooks in which it was taught. It was very biased, using numerous logical fallacies. It's less of a theory than evolution is. Want more on this dispute? I'll link this, which shoudl address numerous conflicts between the two: http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dBoard.cgi

We don't need another debate over Evolution and Creationism though. Simply put, Evolution has way more back up than creationism. To beleive that God created the universe- it takes faith, no matter what. having a 'strengths and weaknesses' debate in court over the two will likely coem down to an in depth debate over the validity of both sides, citing many sources for each, turning into a mess.

Achilles
06-05-2008, 02:04 PM
I have no problem with Creationism being taught in school, but not in a science class, perhaps a Philosophy class or political science class would be more appropriate. I agree. However I believe it would have be one of many perspectives presented in order to avoid violating the Establishment Clause (not sure).

We don't need another debate over Evolution and Creationism though.Okay. However I do think that people need to be aware that this is happening, if for no other reason than this: What happens in Texas does not stay in Texas: the state is one of the country’s biggest buyers of textbooks, and publishers are loath to produce different versions of the same material. The ideas that work their way into education here will surface in classrooms throughout the country. This isn't just a "Texas problem".

jonathan7
06-05-2008, 02:22 PM
Ah. Okay then :)

:p

I agree with the conclusion but not necessarily the arguments leading up to it. Truth isn't a democracy, so I don't know how much I agree with the idea that it should be taught simply because most scientists agree (that they do certainly doesn't hurt though :D). Science class should be for learning science and if multiple scientific hypothesis are all competing, I don't think it's a bad thing if they are all discussed (which is why I am not opposed to "strengths and weaknesses" in priniciple).

Truth isn't a democracy, but I think any widely held belief, especially if it is quite likely not true needs to be studied so it can be shown to be false. My 2 cents on that...

I'm not sure how much of our drama spills over to you guys, but the reason why I interpretted your earlier post the way I did is that this is the exact argument that creationsist are screaming at the top of their lungs to get "intelligent design" into the science curriculum. :)

Not too much here, Britain is a lot more secular than you are (well, all minority religions the PC brigade roll over for, but Christianity is fair game).

That said as with you guys the brand of Christianity in the ascendancy is Conservative Evangelicals, who have an ability to be very loud (and often obnoxious) I 'clash' with them regularly, although ironically my church of the last 3 years was Conservative Evangelical.

My tangent aside, while we have the occasional drama, because there are far fewer Christians here the debate is a lot less frequent.

Off Topic; But may be of interest; http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article4023999.ece

I would say that if it wasn't based on evidence (e.g. "false") then it wouldn't be science and wouldn't deserve a place in the classroom.

I would possibly argue however that if something is a pseudo-science and is masquerading as science, then should it not be confronted in the science classroom?

In the layman's sense of the word, yes. In the scientific sense of the word, not even close. :)

Science class is for science. Creationism is not science.

See above :)

Nothing wrong with discussing it, however it should be discussed beforehand, not in the classroom. That discussion has already taken place and creationism has been banned from the science classroom (as it is not science). Organizations like the discovery institute think that they can change the name and then try again and no one will notice. Unfortunately, I suspect they'll need several "Dovers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitzmiller_v._Dover_Area_School_District)" before they get it.

I'm uncomfortable with banning, simply because I wouldn't want to place a restriction on questions pupils can ask.

Thanks for reading :)

Achilles
06-05-2008, 02:37 PM
Truth isn't a democracy, but I think any widely held belief, especially if it is quite likely not true needs to be studied so it can be shown to be false. My 2 cents on that... Of course it should be studied. However the government shouldn't pay to have something presented in the classroom unless it is actually a benefit to the student. If that means debate about creationism in a philosophy class then I'm all for it. However if it means teaching something other than science in a science class, then I am not.

I would possibly argue however that if something is a pseudo-science and is masquerading as science, then should it not be confronted in the science classroom? If science were to "confront" creationism in the classroom, then I don't see how science teachers would be any better than these creationists. The purpose of science is to increase knowledge and understanding, not push an agenda.

I'm uncomfortable with banning, simply because I wouldn't want to place a restriction on questions pupils can ask. *shrugs*
I imagine that students can ask whatever question they want, however that doesn't mean the instructor can (or even should) answer it.

Prime
06-05-2008, 02:50 PM
Well, yes - what I meant, though was that there is considerable research specifically aimed at disproving the theory, rather than testing it.I know that is what you meant. :) I was just using your point to help make my point, and the comment wasn't directed at you per se.

Darth InSidious
06-05-2008, 02:51 PM
Sorry.

Thanks for the clarification. :)

The Source
06-05-2008, 03:10 PM
When it comes to this sort of stuff, I think people are afraid of scientific answers in general. I am talking about the fundamental religious believers. Fundamentalists put God in a restricted box, which prohibits other interpretations of biblical texts. God cannot add, alter, or bring more insight to his work. I call this the great flaw in religious sects, which will limit God's capabilities and intentions. As a result of not being open to the science behind God's work, they will cease to learn and grow from the logic behind evolution and other sciences. While the rest of us see God's wisdom and complexity through science and religion, fundamentalists will never - ever understand the true nature and lessons behind God's word. Science should be taught as a seperate subject, for it can be tested by scientific methods. Religion should be taught as a seperate subject, for it can only be studied through religious methods. When it comes to where they interconnect, that responsibility should be that of the individual.

Existentialism is the key to both religion and science. Only through the individual themselves shall they both fuse, and the endless possibilities to God's work will be revealed.

Arcesious
06-05-2008, 06:29 PM
I take back what I previously said in my first post in this thread, after being convinced by Darth Insidious otherwise.

The purpose of science is to increase knowledge and understanding, not push an agenda.

I may quote that a few times in debates sometime... ;)

Jae Onasi
06-05-2008, 10:37 PM
Furthermore please could you define creationism for me? As currently it could mean a range of things, so I couldn't answer until you have defined it, as you mean above. :)
Which version, too? Theistic evolution? Progressive (old-earth) creationism? Young earth creationism? Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc.? There's a broad spectrum of theories that get lumped under the term 'creationism', perhaps not always appropriately.

Achilles
06-06-2008, 02:18 AM
Which version, too? Theistic evolution? Theistic evolutionist don't deny evolution. They simply believe that is the tool of their deity (god created everything including evolution). Therefore it doesn't make sense that they would push this.

Progressive (old-earth) creationism?OECs tend to accept evolution as well, so same argument as above.

Young earth creationism? You mean like the guy that was quoted in the article/first post? Like the folks at Discovery Institute? Yeah, I'm guessing the odds are least pretty good that this is the mind set that we're dealing with.

Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc.? Yes, all three of these belief systems include creation myths therefore any strict adherents would be considered creationists.

There's a broad spectrum of theories that get lumped under the term 'creationism', perhaps not always appropriately.Really? Why? Every group you listed fits under the creationist umbrella. Is someone's belief that god create people somehow negated or "excused" if they also believe that evolution is his tool?

If a religious person believes that god created the universe and all of it's inhabitants and wants that taught in the science classroom, why does what color hair they have or what kind of car they drive matter in the slightest? You seem to think that denomination or schism affiliation is somehow significant but I can't understand why.

Web Rider
06-06-2008, 02:44 AM
Yes, all three of these belief systems include creation myths therefore any strict adherents would be considered creationists

I think there's a bit of a misnomer here by calling them creationists. All the religious groups in previous quotes of yours are "creationists", they do believe that their god created everything. Even Native Americans have creation stories, but they do not fall into the same category of "creationism" as the people who want to force their ideas into schools.

Hindu on Evolution:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_creationism
Islamic Creationism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_creationism

Achilles
06-06-2008, 03:12 AM
I think there's a bit of a misnomer here by calling them creationists. All the religious groups in previous quotes of yours are "creationists", they do believe that their god created everything. Even Native Americans have creation stories, but they do not fall into the same category of "creationism" as the people who want to force their ideas into schools. "Creationism" is what they call their belief. "Creationists" is what they call themselves. I am not sure what it is that you think I should be calling them.

In other words, don't you think you should be taking this up with them? :xp: Maybe these other groups could make an effort to "take back" creationism and these guys can find something else to call themselves.

Web Rider
06-06-2008, 03:16 AM
"Creationism" is what they call their belief. "Creationists" is what they call themselves. I am not sure what it is that you think I should be calling them.

In other words, don't you think you should be taking this up with them? :xp:

I was simply commenting on how it's a misnomer as it lumps fanatics who want the world to share their views in the same category with people who simply believe what their religious books told them. I think we should make an effort not to say that people who believe their god created them as they are, are the same as the young-earth Genesists that believe God made the earth in 6 real-time days and the earth is only 10000 or less years old and evolution isn't happening/never did, that the great flood made the layers we find in dirt ect...

Personally, emphasis on that this is my opinion, it just clouds the issue and makes it more confusing as to what we're actually trying to address. The pushy people in fundamentalist Christianity, or anyone who doesn't believe in evolution(which is their right to do so).

Achilles
06-06-2008, 03:26 AM
I was simply commenting on how it's a misnomer as it lumps fanatics who want the world to share their views in the same category with people who simply believe what their religious books told them. *shrugs* I really don't know what to tell you. As I pointed out I'm simply using the term as they have assigned it to themselves. I absolutely agree with the semantics of your argument, but I think the whole things is a big loony mess, and therefore can't bring myself to get too worked up about it. :)

I think we should make an effort not to say that people who believe their god created them as they are, are the same as the young-earth Genesists that believe God made the earth in 6 real-time days and the earth is only 10000 or less years old and evolution isn't happening/never did, that the great flood made the layers we find in dirt ect... Again, you should take this up with them. They've claimed the term as their own. I think most people tend to know (at least in the U.S., I would think) what "Creationist" means. Therefore, I don't think it's unreasonable to use this label when discussing the group it is intended to represent.

Personally, emphasis on that this is my opinion, it just clouds the issue and makes it more confusing as to what we're actually trying to address. The pushy people in fundamentalist Christianity, or anyone who doesn't believe in evolution(which is their right to do so).That may be. However, as I've said before, I think most people know who we're talking about. If they don't they can check the dictionary definition that I've provided or the wiki. If they don't agree with that group laying claim to the word, then they need to take that up with them, not me :D

Da_man
06-06-2008, 03:32 AM
*In response to first post*
AMAZING! The creationist strategy is EVOLVING!

In all seriousness, I think that they should teach evolution, and if they want to learn creationism, they can go to they're church, rather forcing it on atheists.

Achilles
06-06-2008, 03:35 AM
AMAZING! The creationist strategy is EVOLVING! Haha! :)

I was sorely tempted to say something similar in the first post, but I didn't want to distract from the seriousness that I was trying to convey.

Samuel Dravis
06-06-2008, 03:38 AM
Truth isn't a democracy, but I think any widely held belief, especially if it is quite likely not true needs to be studied so it can be shown to be false. My 2 cents on that...I just have a small point here, but Creationism (as it is commonly held) cannot be shown to be false. It can only be shown to have no credible evidential basis. By corollary, it cannot be shown to be true either, since its truth would necessarily not be dependent on evidence. As a result, any classroom discussion of it would not resolve anything.

I can't see a benefit in putting it in a science classroom when the time can be better used on other topics. Yes, it could be mentioned in passing, as an example of how not to do things, or if a student brings it up (which they surely will). But those talks should not be a focus of the course. Instead, students should be taught: "Don't call this science, because it isn't." And that, of course, shows what we mean by science. (http://lucasforums.com/showpost.php?p=2473276&postcount=102) Such teaching would not be the suppression of an idea, but a clarification of ideas. You might say: sheep on the right, goats to the left. And such a judgment would not be unfair, any more than saying that a square is not a circle. And if the class is about circles...

I would possibly argue however that if something is a pseudo-science and is masquerading as science, then should it not be confronted in the science classroom?It should be confronted in the same way as astrology, perhaps: "It isn't science and we won't waste our time on it here." And that's all that needs to be said before moving onto what they're actually supposed to be learning. Students should be allowed to ask questions, yes. But they should not be allowed to equate two radically different categories of thought. As Achilles said, only some questions are relevant to the course. Anything beyond a clarification and subsequent dismissal of, e.g. creationism from discussion, is not only a waste of time-- it cheats the students out of their education.

Darth InSidious
06-06-2008, 10:01 AM
Yes, all three of these belief systems include creation myths therefore any strict adherents would be considered creationists.

Christians have regarded the Genesis stories of creation as allegorical since the time of Augustine of Hippo (354-430).


In "The Literal Interpretation of Genesis" Augustine took the view that everything in the universe was created simultaneously by God, and not in seven calendar days like a plain account of Genesis would require. He argued that the six-day structure of creation presented in the book of Genesis represents a logical framework, rather than the passage of time in a physical way - it would bear a spiritual, rather than physical, meaning, which is no less literal. Augustine also doesn’t envision original sin as originating structural changes in the universe, and even suggests that the bodies of Adam and Eve were already created mortal before the Fall. Apart from his specific views, Augustine recognizes that the interpretation of the creation story is difficult, and remarks that we should be willing to change our mind about it as new information comes up.

So, actually, "strict" adherents to Christianity do not necessarily believe in creation, and only wishy-washies opt for theistic evolution. :)

I suspect we might find similar things amongst Muslim and Hindu scholars, but I wouldn't like to comment. :)

Achilles
06-06-2008, 12:24 PM
^^^^

There are a lot of arguments (some of which sound like your post and some of which that might sound like one of mine) for why christian fundamentalists (i.e. "literalists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_literalism)" which is what I meant by "strict adherents") are wrong with regards to various interpretations of the bible. Yet somehow I suspect that they won't listen to either of us :xp:

@ topic: Here (http://youtube.com/watch?v=xO7IT81h200) is a video which I think frames the issue perfectly.

Arcesious
06-06-2008, 01:32 PM
After a little further study, this is what I came up with, as to reasons why it is not taught:

Creation science is not falsifiable : Theism is not falsifiable, since the existence of God is typically asserted without sufficient conditions to allow a falsifying observation. If God is a transcendental being, beyond the realm of the observable, no claim about his existence can be supported or undermined by observation. Thus, creationism, the argument from design and other arguments for the existence of God are a priori arguments. (See also the section on falsifiability below.)
Creation science violates the principle of parsimony : Creationism fails to pass Occam's razor. Many explanations offered by creation science are more complex than alternative explanations. Parsimony favours explanations that make the fewest assumptions and postulate the fewest hypothetical entities.
Creation science is not empirically testable : Creationism posits the supernatural which by definition is beyond empirical natural testing, and thus conflicts with the practical use of methodological naturalism inherent in science.
Creation science is not based upon controlled, repeatable experiments : That creationism is not based upon controlled, repeatable experiments stems not from the theory itself, but from the phenomena that it tries to explain.
Creation science is not correctable, dynamic, tentative or progressive : Creationism professes to adhere to an "absolute Truth", "the word of God", instead of a provisional assessment of data which can change when new information is discovered. The idea of the progressive growth of scientific ideas is required to explain previous data and any previously unexplainable data as well as any future data. It is often given as a justification for the naturalistic basis of science. In any practical sense of the concept, creation science is not progressive: it does not explain or expand upon what went before it and is not consistent with established ancillary theories.

----------------------

The teaching of creation science in public schools in the United States effectively ended in 1987 when the United States Supreme Court determined the creation science taught in Louisiana public schools was not a legitimate scientific theory, and ruled its teaching unconstitutional in Edwards v. Aguillard because its true purpose was to advance a particular religious belief.

-----------------------

The court ruled that "creation science" failed to meet these essential characteristics and identified specific reasons. After examining the key concepts from creation science, the court found:

Sudden creation "from nothing" calls upon a supernatural intervention, not natural law, and is neither testable nor falsifiable
Objections in creation science that mutation and natural selection are insufficient to explain common origins was an incomplete negative generalization
'Kinds' are not scientific classifications, and creation science's claims of an outer limit to the evolutionary change possible of species are not explained scientifically or by natural law
Separate ancestry of man and apes is an assertion rather than scientific explanation, and did not derive from any scientific fact or theory
Catastrophism, including its identification of the worldwide flood, failed as a science
"Relatively recent inception" was the product of religious readings and had no scientific meaning, and was neither the product of, nor explainable by, natural law; nor is it tentative.

Now I know it's a lot to read, and it doesn't mean I'm totally against it, but I think this may provide some interesting debatable insight into this. By quting all of this, I'm trying to help make it understood why the court ruled as it did about creationism in public schools.

Darth InSidious
06-06-2008, 01:34 PM
Yet somehow I suspect that they won't listen to either of us :xp:

Ain't that the truth...

Achilles
06-06-2008, 01:55 PM
By quting all of this, I'm trying to help make it understood why the court ruled as it did about creationism in public schools.Yes and no. The court ruled against creationism in public schools because allowing it violates the Establishment Clause (Edwards v. Aguillard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwards_v._Aguillard)). That's the legal argument. The logical argument is encapsulated by what you quoted above.

El Sitherino
06-06-2008, 07:49 PM
I have two words for anyone that thinks Creationism should be taught in school. "Sunday School", it doesn't take an attorney to present this case as the bull**** time-waster that it is.

School is for factual based education, everything that is taught is able to be rationalized and based upon some unit of measure. Religion is free of this restriction since it simply requires that you determine all answers ultimately end with God as the source. The problem with this is God cannot be measured nor rationalized.

Why don't they just go ahead and start teaching kids Unicorn riding, in case those ever turn out to actually exist and the scientists were wrong about that too.

Achilles
06-08-2008, 05:44 AM
Why don't they just go ahead and start teaching kids Unicorn riding, in case those ever turn out to actually exist and the scientists were wrong about that too.Then all the believers would have to switch to the King James version:

39:9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
39:10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
39:11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?

Achilles
06-13-2008, 10:43 PM
I had a chance to listen to a pretty cool interview with Ken Miller today on Science Friday. Despite my...philosophical differences with Ken Miller (I think he's a hypocrite :)), I always enjoy listening to what he has to say about science (and biology in particular).

Here (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91483941) is a link for anyone that would like to hear the conversation. Here's a brief description of the segment:
God vs. Science: Keeping Creationism out of School

Talk of the Nation, June 13, 2008 · This summer, the Texas Board of Education gears up to possibly consider whether biology classes should include the "strengths and weaknesses" evolutionary theory — known as creationism to some. Biology professor and textbook author Kenneth Miller discusses the debate.

Achilles
06-27-2008, 03:13 PM
Link to full story (http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/base/news-11/1214544197127670.xml&coll=1)
BATON ROUGE -- Gov. Bobby Jindal attracted national attention and strongly worded advice about how he should deal with the Louisiana Science Education Act.

Jindal ignored those calling for a veto and this week signed the law that will allow local school boards to approve supplemental materials for public school science classes as they discuss evolution, cloning and global warming.

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will have the power to prohibit materials, though the bill does not spell out how state officials should go about policing local instructional practices.

A subject of considerable debate, but receiving few "nay" votes, in the legislative session that ended Monday, the bill is lauded by its supporters as a great step forward for academic freedom.

Critics call it a back-door attempt to replay old battles about including biblical creationism or intelligent design in science curricula, a point defenders reject based on a clause that the law "shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine . . . or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion."

In signing the bill, Jindal issued a brief statement that read in part: "I will continue to consistently support the ability of school boards and BESE to make the best decisions to ensure a quality education for our children." Liar, liar, pants on fire.

mur'phon
06-27-2008, 03:34 PM
I feel sorry for the kids:(

True_Avery
06-27-2008, 08:15 PM
"This bill is not a license to propagandize against something they don't like in science," West said. "Someone who uses materials to inject religion into the classroom is not only violating the Constitution, they are violating the bill."
Couldn't of said it better myself.

Achilles
07-03-2008, 04:42 AM
CNN clip on this news story (http://youtube.com/watch?v=nivXv_qjl6s)

Love that half of the segment is news and that the other half is an attempt to pander to the middle :dozey:

Nedak
07-03-2008, 02:53 PM
There was a Christian kid (who carried a gun in his backpack.. but that's off-topic) in my Biology class who turns to me in the middle of class while we were talking about the evolution of bacteria and goes, "I believe in adaptation, not evolution."

HAH

Anyways, that is ridiculous. The teachers already have to be careful what they say in the classrooms so they don't get fired.

Inyri
07-03-2008, 02:55 PM
Well adaptation and evolution are not the same, but your classmate obviously doesn't know the difference. ;)

Nedak
07-03-2008, 02:59 PM
They are pretty similar.

Adaptation: any alteration in the structure or function of an organism or any of its parts that results from natural selection and by which the organism becomes better fitted to survive and multiply in its environment.

Evolution: change in the gene pool of a population from generation to generation by such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.

I guess you could say that Adaptation is the result of Evolution.

Inyri
07-03-2008, 03:01 PM
Adaptation doesn't necessarily require any DNA alterations; evolution is a form of adaptation. It's like the old saying: every square is a rectangle, but not every rectangle is a square.

Nedak
07-03-2008, 03:06 PM
Yes, they are based off the same principles. Which is strange why the kid would agree with one and not the other.

Inyri
07-03-2008, 03:09 PM
Not really strange at all, actually.

Case 1: Creature A adapts to climate changes by sleeping in a cave. Acceptable.
Case 2: Creature A adapts to climate changes by changing its DNA to grow a third arm to hold an umbrella. Unacceptable.

There's a bit of a large difference between case 1 and case 2. One is behavioral and one is physical.

I'm sure you'll find plenty of creationists who'll admit creatures can be clever enough to adapt behaviorally to all sorts of things, however they typically won't concede that they can adapt more than behaviorally, from what I've seen.

Nedak
07-03-2008, 03:24 PM
Case 1 is not adaptation. Natural Selection drives Adaptation, and Natural Selection is where, "only the organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive and transmit their genetic characteristics in increasing numbers to succeeding generations while those less adapted tend to be eliminated." It is not a behavioral.

Also Case 2 is unacceptable because the creature doesn't change it's DNA by wanting to change it or the body telling it to.

Lets say that a bunch of White Moths are living in London. However, the Moths have been struggling for generations because London has been getting dirtier, and they can't blend in with the soot to avoid being eaten by birds. One spring a pair of Moths reproduce to have a offspring who is not white but black. Due to this genetic mutation it lives on, undetected by birds. It has offspring and a few of them are black and a few of them are white. Thanks to Natural Selection the white moths die off and the black ones live, passing along their traits until the entire species are black moths.

Inyri
07-03-2008, 03:36 PM
Depends on how you define adaptation. :)

Natural Selection drives AdaptationNatural selection drives evolution. Change drives adaptation.

Also Case 2 is unacceptable because the creature doesn't change it's DNA by wanting to change it or the body telling it to.No creature can change its DNA by willing it so. Biology doesn't work that way.


Lets say that a bunch of White Moths are living in London. However, the Moths have been struggling for generations because London has been getting dirtier, and they can't blend in with the soot to avoid being eaten by birds. One spring a pair of Moths reproduce to have a offspring who is not white but black. Due to this genetic mutation it lives on, undetected by birds. It has offspring and a few of them are black and a few of them are white. Thanks to Natural Selection the white moths die off and the black ones live, passing along their traits until the entire species are black moths.The moths didn't adapt to their environment, the environment simply selected those more suitable to survive. The dark moths already existed in the population, however now instead of being the less suitable type they were more suitable. No physical change happened within the moth population in response to the soot build up; a pair of white moths didn't magically breed black offspring after the industrial revolution began, but rather it was a naturally occurring genetic variation.

Nedak
07-03-2008, 03:51 PM
Depends on how you define adaptation. :)

The definition through biology of course.

Natural selection drives evolution. Change drives adaptation.

It drives both, according to Dictionary.com and my old Biology Teacher.

"that results from natural selection."

No creature can change its DNA by willing it so. Biology doesn't work that way.

Exactly what I just said.

The moths didn't adapt to their environment, the environment simply selected those more suitable to survive. The dark moths already existed in the population, however now instead of being the less suitable type they were more suitable. No physical change happened within the moth population in response to the soot build up; a pair of white moths didn't magically breed black offspring after the industrial revolution began, but rather it was a naturally occurring genetic variation.

A physical change did happen. There was a genetic mutation which resulted in a mass physical change through the entire population. It didn't happen quickly, but it happened. Yes, it was a naturally occurring genetic variation, but the moths did ultimately adapt to that new environment.

Also, your argument could be used for both evolution and adaptation, since both use mutations and natural selection.

Inyri
07-03-2008, 03:53 PM
You didn't read what I said. A physically change didn't happen in response to the environmental change. It's not like the moths said "hey look, the trees are covered in soot. Let's make black babies!"

The moth issue was pure natural selection with two already existing variations in the population. The moths evolved, but they evolved before the environmental change, not after it. They were simply selected for after it.

Your definition makes no distinction between adaptation and evolution. I reject it. :xp:

Nedak
07-03-2008, 04:34 PM
It's not like the moths said "hey look, the trees are covered in soot. Let's make black babies!"
Of course they didn't, that's stuff left for Harry Potter.

The moth issue was pure natural selection with two already existing variations in the population. The moths evolved, but they evolved before the environmental change, not after it. They were simply selected for after it.

The black moths weren't in London in my scenario, only the white ones were. If the black ones were around they would have died off because whites were better suited for the environment before the climate change.

What happened was all of a sudden the white moths are slowly dying due to the climate change and then,TA-DA! There is a genetic mutation which made one of the white moths black! "Holy Smokes!" Says all the white moths. "That black moth is my kinda man!". So the black moth ten reproduces with the white moths. He then passes along his black trait to his offspring and then... POOF! There are a few new black moths. The black moths reproduce and reproduce, while the white moths are being picked off by Crows faster then George Bush's eye-lids during a speech to the American Public. Pretty soon the black moth is like... "WTH, where did my parents and all the other white moths go?".

Then he forgets all about it and parties with his black moth brotheren.

The End


Your definition makes no distinction between adaptation and evolution. I reject it. :xp:

You're being stubborn xD

Inyri
07-03-2008, 04:37 PM
The black moths weren't in London in my scenario, only the white ones were. If the black ones were around they would have died off because whites were better suited for the environment before the climate change.Well that's not exactly how natural selection works. Natural selection doesn't automatically result in species extinction if they're less suited -- there would simply be far less in the population. They wouldn't all die.

And by the way, I was talking about real moths. ;)

You're being stubborn xDI'm not being stubborn, I'm being logical. :p

Of course biology is known for having 18 words for the exact same thing...

Nedak
07-03-2008, 04:52 PM
Well that's not exactly how natural selection works. Natural selection doesn't automatically result in species extinction if they're less suited -- there would simply be far less in the population. They wouldn't all die.

Of course it would take a while, I'm not saying it automatically happened.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/youth/learn/adaptation/how/index.asp

That may help explain my point. Though it is a little children's website. hahah

And by the way, I was talking about real moths.

I was referencing to a real situation as well.

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


I'm not being stubborn, I'm being logical. :p

Whatever you say. :)

Relenzo2
07-03-2008, 05:06 PM
there is clearly some considerable research going into the disproving of the theory of evolution.


Well, you could say same for any theory. Any.
I, sadly, didn't see even a word suggesting that they don't really conflict at all. (although, to be fair, that might be considered a seperate theory, it's gotten so emotional.) And we live in a world of idiots, one of which I do not deny to be.

Both of them need to be taught, obviously. As was said before, if there's such debate, the anwer is not clear, and students need to be told "Some people think this, other people think this, etc., but you need to decide for yourself." It almost makes me want to become a teacher just to put my two cents of sense into the education system.



What happened was all of a sudden the white moths are slowly dying due to the climate change and then,TA-DA! There is a genetic mutation which made one of the white moths black!


Seems like quite a coincidence, if you ask me.

Nedak
07-03-2008, 05:23 PM
Seems like quite a coincidence, if you ask me.

Indeed. Coincidences do happen. Obviously not frequently enough, since everyday 150 species go extinct.

mur'phon
07-03-2008, 06:09 PM
Coinsidence? Not really, lets asume there is a 0.01% chance of a moth being born with a mutation turning it black. That makes it 1 in 10 000, moths are not exactly a threatened specie, so lets asume there are 100 000 (there is probably a lot more) moths. That makes 10 moths ready to prove their worth once the soot strikes.

Both of them need to be taught, obviously.

Not in science class, because one is science, the other isn't. It's really quite simple, one uses the scientific method, the other dosen't. I don't have anything against it being taught as a part of religion (a la: "many religious people believe...), but keep things that aren't science out of science class, m'kay?

Nedak
07-03-2008, 06:16 PM
Coinsidence? Not really, lets asume there is a 0.01% chance of a moth being born with a mutation turning it black. That makes it 1 in 10 000, moths are not exactly a threatened specie, so lets asume there are 100 000 (there is probably a lot more) moths. That makes 10 moths ready to prove their worth once the soot strikes.

I think he was meaning it was a coincidence that one would be produced at the time the soot struck. Also in my scenario there were no black moths before the soot. But it was just a simple scenario.
I get your point though.

mur'phon
07-03-2008, 06:22 PM
The point I was trying to make was that there will be individuals with the mutation before it becomes usefull, theese tend to die young and fast until/unless the situation change. He seemed to think that those mutations didn't occur until it was needed.

Inyri
07-03-2008, 06:23 PM
You already claimed your scenario was real. It's either real or made up -- can't be both. If you're talking about a real scenario during the industrial revolution then there was already a small population of dark moths before the soot.

Nedak
07-03-2008, 06:31 PM
You already claimed your scenario was real. It's either real or made up -- can't be both. If you're talking about a real scenario during the industrial revolution then there was already a small population of dark moths before the soot.

My scenario is based on that event, not the event itself.

However, if you would like me to find you a better event/scenario I will...

Achilles
07-04-2008, 04:04 AM
Perhaps this video (http://youtube.com/watch?v=R_RXX7pntr8) would help?

Nedak
07-04-2008, 03:21 PM
Perhaps this video (http://youtube.com/watch?v=R_RXX7pntr8) would help?

Greatest Video Ever.

Achilles
07-04-2008, 06:02 PM
Perhaps you'd enjoy the series (http://youtube.com/profile_videos?user=potholer54) then. :)

Nedak
07-04-2008, 06:04 PM
Perhaps you'd enjoy the series (http://youtube.com/profile_videos?user=potholer54) then. :)

Already a step ahead of ya. Watched most of them already :D

Silly Kirk Cameron

Relenzo2
07-09-2008, 10:59 AM
The point I was trying to make was that there will be individuals with the mutation before it becomes usefull, theese tend to die young and fast until/unless the situation change. He seemed to think that those mutations didn't occur until it was needed.


It seemed to be what you were implying. You said the White Moths were dying, and THEN there was a mutation. Obviously, having black moths beforehand and then the color ratios skewing, is a classic nearly textbook (as is was theoretical) example of evolution. Or adaption.