Thursday, May 26, 2005

We Need A Law Making Them Teach Evolution in Church!

My first draft title was "Why it's Stupid to Teach Creationism in Public Schools", but I figured that wouldn't catch as much attention as the one I went with.

So here are the reasons why it is stupid to try to get creationism, or as it is politically known today, un-Intelligent Design taught in public schools:

1. It's wrong, you’re wrong, your argument disproves itself:
If we are too perfect to have just happened by chance, therefore a superior being with a plan must have designed us that way, then who designed this higher, even more perfect designer? If we couldn't have just happened, then neither could the "intelligent being" who made us. The same logic has to apply.

2. There is no proof:
There is about as much fact and science to back this up as there is on the theory of how the ancient Sumerians were descendents of aliens bred with apes. Both have some written account, although the Sumerians text is at least first hand, unlike the Bible. Please show me one credible, accepted scientific article that proves, or offers any evidence for creationism. And I am not talking about just attacking one small part of natural selection; I want proof from your side, not someone discrediting something from my side.

3. I am always right, therefore, I must be right about this too

4. You can always send them to a Christian School or teach them yourself:
They would also teach your kid that the Earth has only been here for 10k years, so you can ignore the fossil records that conclude anatomically modern man didn't exist on this earth since the beginning of time and didn't show up in the fossil records until about 100,000 years ago. They would also skip over the part as to why there are several different races on this planet that are best suited for their geographic environments. Oh, I forgot, one of Noah's son's was black, one was white, one was Asian and the other was Middle Eastern. Oh, and since Native Americans didn't originally come from Asia, one of his son's wives must have been Cherokee.

5. You could move to Saudi Arabia or Iran where the teachers would be stoned if they taught evolution:
Of course, your kids would be subject to all their curriculum such as blowing themselves up, "America the Infidels", "Women are Men's servants", and "If you die for Allah, you get 70 virgins in Heaven." Do you see where I am going with this?

6. You wouldn't want us to force you to teach Evolution in Church would you? There is a time and place for everything; Science belongs in a class room, Mysticism and fantasy belongs in Babylon 5 episodes and Sunday school. Since you can't measure faith, dig up fossils of faith, or put it in a test tube, you can't put it in a science classroom.

A question for all the Intelligent Design people out there: If your "hypothesis" about a higher being than us being responsible for man is true, then exactly how do you propose we teach this in school?

Intelligent Design, a trick phrase creation scientists (a contradiction in terms) used to promote creationism, implies that a higher being, not necessarily God, created the world and man, or maybe just man, which is it? Does that mean, since you want all viewpoints given equal consideration, teachers must teach kids that it is possible that aliens colonized the Earth, spliced DNA and are responsible for creating humans, or that the Greek God's made us, or do we teach them that God created Adam and Eve? Intelligent Design, by definition, implies either. Again, there are ancient written accounts of all of these events, why give more validity to one and not the other? Is it just because one is more popular? Or is it just what you were taught by your parents?

If this solution is not acceptable to you then why don't you just call a spade a spade and stop camouflaging the term "Intelligent Design" and go back to creationism, Christianity, Adam and Steve or what ever you called it before all of this cloaked terminology you are trying to force down impressionable children's throats.

Do you really think we should replace a theory that is 90% complete with a hunch that is 0% complete? The Bible, written by man after the fact, doesn't count as proof.

Didn't we already settle this 80 years ago back in Tennessee?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Ooops, looks like Falcarius just got caught in the act of evolving from a dinosaur to a bird.

Falcarius Evolving

103 comments:

Ser. said...

They do teach evolution in church. They also teach why it's wrong.

streak said...

Yes, we know. Yes, they're stupid. No, Creationism doesn't make any sense. Yes, evolution is the most likely theory to date.

But what are we gonna do about it?

Two Minutes J said...

Yes, WE are always right John. By the way, there is a fuck-ton of information supporting the theory that we were created by aliens. Read Zecharia Sitchin or Erich Von Daniken. And I must say, its more convincing than any Creationism theory I've heard. In fact, it makes more sense to me than evolution. But unfortunately, for me to boldly come out and say I believe this shit inevitably opens me up to intense scrutiny. "He's just fucking crazy". I believe thats the most widely used phrase to describe my ramblings. However, I do believe in a Higher Being of sorts. I'm sorry but in my life I've had way too many near-death experiences (read my blog) to think there was nothing watching over me. And I used to be a militant athiest. Hmm, what are the odds? Maybe you need to almost die, then you will see the light and see the truth. And may the truth set you free........

BRUISER said...

May the truth lead you to better fantasy material than say... Babylon 5 episodes ... worst episode ever ...

Creationism sounds made up ... like someone created it or something...

Warp Five To Embryo Stem Cell Research please...

Joe Wiess said...

Okay, John.
I thought we had this discussion three weeks ago, on this very blog, and while I have no problem with re-discussing it, I do wish you'd stop belittling those who have faith in a higher being.

As I have already conceded, I do believe in evolution, within an existing species, but not evolution from one species to another. (I.E. from primates to Homosapiens)

As for "Science is always right, religion is always wrong." Let's consider that Hitler used science to prove that Jews were hideous little trolls that didn't deserve to live.

If we are going to use your Evolution Theory today, I would be willing to say "Homosexuality is an evolutionary dead-end. Because if the genetic material doesn't make it into the gene pool, it will disappear over time."

I have studied science and am an amatuer scientist myself. I know for a fact that the earth is over 100,000 years of age, (You just have to study the fossil and geologic records), and I've already stated that I believe that the "Great Flood" was a local flood in the Arabain/Middle Eastern Area.

When the Theory of Evolution becomes a law of science, then this debate can die, or will it?

Creation Science simply states that some higher being (call him God, if it makes you feel better,) set the universe in motion. If you don't want to say that the earth wasn't created, then don't. But, I have this example for you.

The Earth sits in the perfect place to give rise to higher forms of life. One orbit out and we'd be dust, one in and we'd be ash. Add to that, everything on this planet has a niche or a purpose, from the water vapor in the sky, to the plankton in the ocean, and even the trees that convert Carbon Dioxide into Oxygen, so that we can breath, and it just adds up to too much coincidence for me.

To further throw you into confusion, I believe that earth has been visited by extraterrestrial life, which helped build the great pyramids, the sphinx, and the great figures on Easter Island, and the big carvings in Central America.

I would like to argue one point. Not everybody believes that the Bible is the literal word of God. A better explanation is that it's divinely inspired by the creator and written by man to explain his place in the world.

The fact that I choose to believe in something more powerful than mankind is what gives me hope that someday we'll grow out of our infancy and will take our place out there and leave this ball of rock behind.

Toad734 said...

RE: Joe

Yes we had an evolution discussion as an afterthought in the comment section of one of my other posts and not everybody reads the comments so I felt the need to make an actual post out of it.

This post however is not attacking people who believe in a higher power, it is attacking people who want this line of thinking to be taught in public schools, which are paid for by my tax money.
In discussing why ID shouldn’t be taught in schools, I have to laundry list the problems with this line of thinking, and point out they hypocrisy in these peoples thought process.
In other words, do they really want creationism taught in schools, or do they just want the theory stated that maybe something else i.e. God or aliens, had a hand in creating modern man. I want to hear from one proponent of ID that they would agree that in teaching God may have had a hand in it, that you must also consider aliens had a hand in it. I don’t think I am going to get that response.

As I said, they need to quit masking creationism with the term ID because you and I know that everyone who uses the term and pushes ID assumes this designer is God, and not just something else.

By the way you are a bit of a rarity in the Christian (Protestant) world in actually accepting that the world is older than 10k years old, that the Bible doesn't explain everything, and that species do mutate, and if those traits help their chances of survival over the ones without it, then at some point, only the ones with that trait will live on.

In other words you don’t see too many fat Irishmen in the fossil records of ancient central Africa.

erinberry said...

"I believe that earth has been visited by extraterrestrial life, which helped build the great pyramids, the sphinx, and the great figures on Easter Island, and the big carvings in Central America."

Wow, joe, I must say I've never heard that theory. It certainly doesn't mesh with the Biblical view.

It sounds like you just pick and choose non-scientific beliefs and mix them together. You have every right to believe that, but don't pretend that it's science.

Boiled Owl said...

Has Joe read Steven Hawking? Give it s shot Joe. You'll find out what God's job is (or isn't).

jcadla said...

I, as a Christian, won't even consider debating God, Christianity or religion with you but, I'm sure you, as an educated fellow, know that the original United States was founded by Christians on Christian ethics. There really can be no argument about that. At that time, religion was considered necessary to maintain our way of life. There are no true arguments to the contrary.

Frankly, I am at a loss to see how loving your neighbor, doing good to all people and being fair and honest with everybody and helping anyone who needs help can seem threatening to anyone. That is Christianity.

Toad734 said...

RE Jcalda

Apparently you haven’t read the rest of my blog. No this country wasn't founded on Christianity or the Christian ethic.
The first 3 European settlements were founded on Imperialism, Profit and commerce, not Christianity or for religious purposes.

Remember Plymouth was the 4th European settlement in the new world not the 1st. This countries government was founded on keeping religion out of Politics and the President focused on America and the Pope out.

And if the "Christian principles" you speak of such as helping your neighbor and being nice were the principles you are referring to then I wouldn't have such a problem with what you are saying.

First of all by stating that you are saying that honesty and fairness didn't exist until about A.D. 30 when Christianity was founded. Are you saying Jews, Celts, Native Americans, Babylonians, Sumerians, and Greeks were not kind and honest because those are principles found only in Christianity?
Christianity adopted those principles, they didn't invent them; nor did they invent "thou shall not kill" or "dont steal."

However, the Christianity that you speak of is different than the Christianity practiced by most Christians today. They don't believe in Helping the poor, healing the sick, clothing the naked or sheltering the homeless. They believe in forcing their ideaology into the American mainstream and punishing the poor and rewarding the rich. The Christianity that you speak of is what was actually taught by Jesus Christ, but not by George Bush.

The Theorist said...

and on a lighter note:

http://swiftreport.blogs.com/news/2005/05/foes_of_evoluti.html#more

MonicaR said...

You don't scare me Toady! You with that crazy lizard eye and draped head - HA! C'mon! I'll hit ya right over the head with my mop!

Boiled Owl said...

Infinities such as Toad mentions – infinite Intelligent Designer regressions to rationalize Creationism – cause logic to break down (see Zeno's paradoxes).

Here's why:

1. Count by 5's out to infinity and call it "Set A"
2. Now count by 1's out to infinity and call it "Set B"

Result:

Infinite "set B" is 5 times larger than infinite "set A"!

How can something be larger than infinity?!

Maybe they should teach Intelligent Design in math class!

Toad734 said...

RE: Owl
Good point but I think you mean set A is 5x bigger...

Whats with Monica and her mop, nothing better to say than that? Can't come up with any better arguments?

Gabriel Bertilson said...

Are you saying Jews, Celts, Native Americans, Babylonians, Sumerians, and Greeks were not kind and honest because those are principles found only in Christianity?

Toad, the Bible says that even unbelievers know the difference between right and wrong. You do, because you think that it is morally wrong to lie about whether God exists.

In a way, you're just as intolerant of others as Christians are. You don't like us because we don't believe that religion should be separated from science, for example. But you don't have any reason to trust science unless God (or somebody else) made nature so that it could be rationally studied. You are just borrowing from theism by believing that science will work.

Boiled Owl said...

No Toad, I mean (1,2,3,4,5) set B
is 5 times bigger than (5) set A,
as far as the number if integers the
respective infinite sets would contain.

But what the hell, we're talking
absurdity here, right? So, whatever...

Here's a more clear cut example:
The set of EVEN integers to infinity is
the same size as the set of ODD integers
to infinity, but the set of ALL integers is twice
as large either the even or the odd infinity. Etc.

Are ya with me, Toadomopolis?

Oh, ask Monica if she has a picture of her mop. I for one would like to see it. It sounds like an ominous instrument of destruction. Wonder if she chases Owls with it?

Boiled Owl said...

Gabriel,
Religion (metaphysics) attempts to explain what Science and Reason cannot. There is no rigorous proof in religion, and there is no belief system in science. The two fields are mutually exclusive, and need to be understood that way.

Your confusion on this is the very point Toad is trying to make. To be a critical thinker, one of the main prerequisites is knowing the difference between fact and opinion.

It's not always easy, especially when you grow up in a culture where your parents pack your head full of fairy tales (fibs) from the day you were born. Do you still believe in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy? Of course not, because your parents counted on you to grow up and figure it out some day.

Same diff with religion. It is a system of metaphors and myths pointing to something big that nobody understands, and that can't be expressed in words.

Science and religion are both looking for many of the same answers, but good scientists are the first to admit that their answers are provisional, not absolute.

You're better off not believing in either system than to blindly accept as absolute truth the system that offers no proof or method of proofing whatsoever.

Then, when all else fails...pray. Because at that point, once you've exhausted every other resource, what can it hurt?

Toad734 said...

RE: Owl

Oh I see you are counting not adding. Makes sense now.

RE: Gabriel

Right and wrong exists with or without God. In the Soviet Union there was no religion yet they still had laws against murder and stealing. Those laws or morals did not come from Christianity; they weren't invented by Christianity they were adopted by Christianity.

I am not intolerant of Christians; I am intolerant of intolerant Christians and people who would try to influence this intolerance on other people, mainly school children.

Again, you can teach your kids whatever you want, your church can teach them whatever they want and if you pay for private school you can have your kids taught about God in school. But don't force that nonsense that has not one shred of evidence, proof or scientific backing on my kids or nephews or whatever.

What's next, first you take evolution, and then gravity (see conspiracy dudes link) and then you are going to say math, astronomy, geology and everything else is a myth because you can't be convinced of it yourself.
Are you going to also make schools teach English the way it is translated in the Bible, making thee, thoust, shalt proper English because God said so?

The point wasn’t the argument between evolution and ceationism, it was about how it would be wrong to shun science for something that was written in a book 2000 years ago, and then teach it in public schools.

Do you really think we should teach kids that gravity is just a theory?

Gabriel Bertilson said...

Toad, what are your moral values?

Toad734 said...

One would be to live and let live.
Integrity
Dependability
Loyalty
Honesty
Dedication
Equality
Fairness
Empathy


Not:
Faith
Intolerance
Hate
Bigotry
Apathy
Religion (see all the above)
Greed


What are yours?
Love Jesus, Hate faqs, love guns, etc.? Do you feel like everyone should have the same morals as you?

Gabriel Bertilson said...

Well, mine are: protect innocent life, marriage, and property. This means that the government should punish murder, adultery, and stealing. If the government doesn't respect these things, it can justly be replaced by a better government.

Toad734 said...

So you think Jimmy Swaggert, Paul Crouch, Jack Ryan, Strom Thurmond, Jim West (Spokane), Jim Baker, should all be in Jail for adultury?

So you do think the government should be involved in Americans bedrooms. What part of the constitution do you find adultury in?

And is your marriage being threatened, has anyone told you that you cannot be married or that your marriage no longer means anything? The only one who is attacking marriage is you. There is not one gay person in this country who wants to prevent you from getting married or who wants to undermind your marriage, in fact it is quite the opposite. So again who is attacking marriage? You or them?

Toad734 said...

Oh Gabriel, I forgot, does innocent life include American soldiers and Iraqi civilians or just embryos that have no brain activity and no heart beats, because if that is the type of life you protect then I suggest you go stand in front of one of those bulldozers that are making paper out of our national forests and the people making rabbits, fox's and minks into fur coats, those are all more alive than any embryo I have ever met.

Gabriel Bertilson said...

Toad,

American soldiers are (for the most part) willingly defending the Iraqis' freedom against the terrorists. If you want to bring them home, why don't you ask them first?

Boiled Owl said...

Toad, another problem with the Intelligent Design folks and their philosophy is that you have to take their fundamental premise on faith!

Boiled Owl said...

Now Toad, really, how many embroyos have you ever met? BTW, every cell in your body is alive, and capable of becoming a new human. Hence, you're committing an abortion every time you clip your fingernails! I'm calling the ACLU on you Toad. You're must be a murderous monster!

Gabriel Bertilson said...

I don't see how considering the possibility that God could have created the earth is faith in the sense that you mean it.

Gabriel Bertilson said...

But fingernails don't have living cells in them.

Thrasher said...

"This post however is not attacking people who believe in a higher power, it is attacking people who want this line of thinking to be taught in public schools, which are paid for by my tax money."

The tax dollars of the majority of Americans say that ID should be taught alongside Evolution. If they pay for it, then they should be able to control the philosophical aspects of their children's public education. Options should be available for dissenters, who also pay taxes.

There's a reason it's called a *democratic* republic. The majority still rules.

Toad734 said...

But I really don't think the majority of Americans want that, and again what is ID? Is it every threory or just creationism?
As you said this is a Republic which means the majority does not always get it's way, otherwise Gore would be President, not Bush.

Toad734 said...

Oh and my sperm is alive, do you guys want to keep that alive for me too? I can send some your way if you want to save it.

Boiled Owl said...

Possibility is not proof. Even probability is not proof. They are at best, a priori, axiomatic premises. You want to assume it is true without proving it, then base the rest of your argument on it.

If it's not "faith" what is it? (i.e.what are the facts that support your basic premise?)

Also: There is human DNA in fingernail cells and in the skin cells adjacent to them that get clipped when you do your nails. You can make "humans" out of them if you want to. That's what they're doing in Asia right now, making stem cells (zygotes and blastulae) from skin cells. Oh, better stop cutting your hair too... and washing your face. Might kill a few million babies.

Boiled Owl said...

The majority does not rule and we do not have a democracy, Neo. Never have, perhaps never will.
It might be interesting to try one someday, but we don't have one now, and I think – if you stayed awake in Civics class – you know I'm right.
The Senate, the Electoral College, the Courts,
...noe of these are Democratic in either structure or function. The House kind of is, but even that is a Republic, not a Democracy.

Boiled Owl said...

Also, Neo, why should non-scientists be alllowed to decide what science is? If your opinion – and that of 50 of your friends – is that you don't have lung cancer, but your doctor and your imaging lab say you do, who are you going to listen to – the majority – or the people who know what they're talking about? Sure, everyone has a right to their own opinion, but not to their own facts.

Dem0critus said...

What I like least about the situation is that most folks aren't for teaching creationism in our public schools. Rather, they are for teaching christian creationism in schools. Now, teaching religion in a science class (which is where most folk want it taught. You know, along-side evolution) would not make sense, but I wouldn't be opposed to them actually having classes that teach creationism. The only stipulations that I'd have is that they'd have to give all of the major religions with equal credence, and that they would have to teach it in classes that are not required.

Meh, anyway, those are my thoughts.

Gabriel Bertilson said...

Boiled Owl,

But it seems to me that one of toad734's arguments was that science cannot prove what he calls a fairytale to be true.

But if that wasn't his argument, I guess I'll give you one piece of evidence (or shall I say, proof) for God's existence. The universe had a beginning; whatever has a beginning has a cause; so the universe must have a cause.

Even if human fingernail cells have DNA, that doesn't mean that they're human. A few fingernail cells don't constitute a whole human body.

And I don't understand how you seem to be maintaining the position that the President should be decided by popular vote and what is taught in schools shouldn't. Could you please explain how this makes sense?

Boiled Owl said...

Not what is taught "in schools", Gabriel, what is taught "as science." Democratus has it right. Teach the "humanities," ..expose young minds to ancient and contemporary culture by all means. Just keep them in the right classrooms. You wouldn't think it was reasonable to require English teachers to teach math or music would you? Ok kids, if you don't want to learn to write in English, learn to compose music or do calculus instead.
One language is just as good as another.

Boiled Owl said...

It may not have had a beginning Gabriel. They're still working on that. It's the last thing left to find out.
They're pretty close. Within split seconds, but not back to the "beginning." Do you know about Black Holes and Singularities? That's where the cosmological action is right now, and no one is positive about the answers yet. No one know's the first cause, or if there indeed was one. But stay tuned.

Neither does a zygote constitute a whole human body, Gabriel, it's just one cell with the proper DNA to generate one. All of the cells in your body have that.

Gabriel Bertilson said...

But we hold that our belief that God created the world is true, scientifically provable fact. We don't believe that beliefs should be separated into religious faith and scientific fact; we believe that both of them are equally true.

A zygote has the ability to form into a human being; a fingernail cell does not.

Thrasher said...

"The majority does not rule and we do not have a democracy, Neo. Never have, perhaps never will.
It might be interesting to try one someday, but we don't have one now, and I think – if you stayed awake in Civics class – you know I'm right.
The Senate, the Electoral College, the Courts,
...noe of these are Democratic in either structure or function. The House kind of is, but even that is a Republic, not a Democracy."

If I had said we live in a democracy, Bo, then you would've sounded more intelligent. It's a democratic republic. Shall we break it down?

Yes, we have a republic. That's where the multiple branches of government come in. The democratic part comes because we vote and elect representatives to govern us. Do you really think that we'd even bother to vote if the society we live in weren't democratic (ruled by the majority)?

"Also, Neo, why should non-scientists be alllowed to decide what science is? If your opinion – and that of 50 of your friends – is that you don't have lung cancer, but your doctor and your imaging lab say you do, who are you going to listen to – the majority – or the people who know what they're talking about? Sure, everyone has a right to their own opinion, but not to their own facts."

Nice try. Evolution is not science. It makes sweeping generalizations and assumptions based on anecdotal evidence (Lucy, anyone?). It is hypothesized about, but somehow it tends to get stuck at that point in the scientific method. It has yet to be observed or experimented with. It has yet to present any support for itself other than unreliable circumstantial evidence, which could point to other theories of beginnings, including ID.

You couldn't win a court case with circumstantial evidence. You can't prove a theory with it either. Therefore, the theory of Evolution falls under the realm of philosophy, along with Creationism and whatever else you may dream up. There is nothing wrong with seeking scientific methods of proving your philosophy, but don't pretend that it's science.

If you're going to do so, then you need to allow the opinions of other philosophies. Note that no one here is suggesting that ID and only ID should be taught in public schools. We just don't want an unprovable philosophy to be taught without teaching its alternatives. Go ahead, teach Evolution, but until you can prove it or disprove ID, don't block the philosophy of the majority.

Boiled Owl said...

Neo, indeed most people do not bother to vote for just that reason. (Nice try)

Evolution is science and thus subject to revision given better evidence, whereas creationism & ID are myths and metaphors disguised as fact, and are rigidly adhered to (nice try again.)

Other philosophies are welcome in my opinion, as long as they are identified as such.

Science does not pretend. If anything it does the opposite. The scientists I know and work with don't "believe" anything, because they recognize that such behavior is pointless and antithetical to their mission of seeking the truth. They will revise their theories at the drop of a hat if something more convincing comes along. Your ID and Creationist theories have no intelectual rigot, and so, do not impress, let aloner convince people who really know how to think critically. but again, nice try.)

Boiled Owl said...

Damn, I was sure Toad said that if I would come on his blog, he would fix all my typos. Oh well, maybe I'll just have to proof these things myself.

Thrasher said...

I said:

"Nice try. Evolution is not science. It makes sweeping generalizations and assumptions based on anecdotal evidence (Lucy, anyone?). It is hypothesized about, but somehow it tends to get stuck at that point in the scientific method. It has yet to be observed or experimented with. It has yet to present any support for itself other than unreliable circumstantial evidence, which could point to other theories of beginnings, including ID.

You couldn't win a court case with circumstantial evidence. You can't prove a theory with it either. Therefore, the theory of Evolution falls under the realm of philosophy, along with Creationism and whatever else you may dream up. There is nothing wrong with seeking scientific methods of proving your philosophy, but don't pretend that it's science."

You said:

"Evolution is science and thus subject to revision given better evidence, whereas creationism & ID are myths and metaphors disguised as fact, and are rigidly adhered to (nice try again.)"

I'm sure you meant to make a point... somewhere...

All you really did was make claims about ID research that you can't prove. If that wasn't enough, you made sure to refute my assertations about the nature of the theory of Evolution with a glorified "nuh-uh."

Again, for clarification, I am not opposed to teaching Evolution in classrooms, so long as it is taught alongside other philosophies, as is the wish of the majority of tax-paying Americans. It is perfectly acceptable to teach Evolution, but you can't pretend that circumstantial evidence justifies the exclusion of all other philosophies when in a tax-payer funded classroom.

Boiled Owl said...

The taxpayers once insisted that the government support slavery and keep women from voting, and that Black men were only worth a fraction of a real vote, and even then only if they were owned by a master.

How much are you really willing to go along with the majority on this one, Neo?

Seems like you're smarter than that, dude.

Work some of this out on your own.

Theres a real job to do in America.

The one you're working on ain't goin anywhere.

We've already been there...done that.

Brought home the T-shirt.

Learn some real science, then let's chat.

Boiled Owl said...

p.s. Neo. A good place to start:
www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/nhmag.html

Thrasher said...

"The taxpayers once insisted that the government support slavery and keep women from voting, and that Black men were only worth a fraction of a real vote, and even then only if they were owned by a master.

How much are you really willing to go along with the majority on this one, Neo?"

I would have been in the minority that opposed slavery. Oh well. I would have done what I could to support my cause. I would have voted. I wouldn't have owned slaves. That is not going along with the majority, but it is respecting the rights of the majority. Notice that the problem of slavery was corrected with an amendment to the Constitution. That was done by the majority.

"Learn some real science, then let's chat."

Here, I'll quote myself. Again.

"...Evolution is not science. It makes sweeping generalizations and assumptions based on anecdotal evidence (Lucy, anyone?). It is hypothesized about, but somehow it tends to get stuck at that point in the scientific method. It has yet to be observed or experimented with. It has yet to present any support for itself other than unreliable circumstantial evidence, which could point to other theories of beginnings, including ID."

"You couldn't win a court case with circumstantial evidence. You can't prove a theory with it either. Therefore, the theory of Evolution falls under the realm of philosophy, along with Creationism and whatever else you may dream up. There is nothing wrong with seeking scientific methods of proving your philosophy, but don't pretend that it's science."

"Again, for clarification, I am not opposed to teaching Evolution in classrooms, so long as it is taught alongside other philosophies, as is the wish of the majority of tax-paying Americans. It is perfectly acceptable to teach Evolution, but you can't pretend that circumstantial evidence justifies the exclusion of all other philosophies when in a tax-payer funded classroom."

BRUISER said...

Hey NeoCon Nazi FuckTard-

Sorry but the majority of real Americans are not sharing the thoughts of your mentor & friend BILL FRIST...

Keep your ID theories along with those Mary Saltstains, Holy Grilled cheese, & lovely End Time Hoopla away from having my tax dollars pay for your inadequate policies of you reichwing nutbags....

When your grilling this weekend think about the people your Religion is telling you to kill...HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY ..lets keep Amerricans Free of Republicans That Smear Our Troops...

Thank You In advance For Your Hatemail

Thrasher said...

I don't "do" hatemail. No matter how deserving of it one might be.

Something tells me you missed the polling info...

According to a November national Gallup poll, "only about a third of Americans believe that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been well supported by the evidence, while just as many say that it is just one of many theories and has not been supported by the evidence." The rest said they didn't know.

A CBS News poll taken the same month found that two-thirds of Americans want creationism taught with evolution. It also indicated that 55 percent of Americans believe God created humans in their present form and only 13 percent think that humans evolved without divine guidance.

Thanks for your intelligent input.

Boiled Owl said...

Toad, if I'm not mistaken you have the most comments here of any post you've ever put up. Maybe you're on to something, man! Congrats.
BTW, I wounder how much Neo's getting paid to post his stuff. Whatever it is, it's too much. He seems like pro to me. Just a hunch. (ps)
a few more posts like this and you can start sellin' ads!

Boiled Owl said...

Neo, I for one would like to review those polls. Can you point us to a place on the web where we can review that data? Thanks.

Thrasher said...

I found those polls mentioned in the following Yahoo News article:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/chitribts/darwinstheoryevolvesintoculturewar

The CBS Poll can be found here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/22/opinion/polls/main657083.shtml

Here's the Gallup poll, but to view the rest of the article you need to log in.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/content/login.aspx?ci=14107

Jesus was a Constitutionalist said...

From everything that I have read, religious and scientific, I have yet to find any proof that we were created or evolved at all.

It is stupid to teach how any of this came to be because nobody, including the scientist, has any physical proof of what happened "in the beginning".

To Hell with everyone who thinks we should teach any creative or evolutionary theory in public schools, that is strictly based on personal convictions as neither the religious or scientific theories have physical proof yet.

And by the way,
Jesus was a constitutionalist

Alien said...

Hey, I'm not an intelligent guy, nor do I believe I can solve "Evolution or Creation?" problem, but I've a simple post on this issue if that's of any interest to you.


http://shinylog.blogspot.com/2005_03_01_shinylog_archive.html

Toad734 said...

So I take a day off to paint my bedroom and I now have to respond to 50 comments...

Democritus:

I actually think that would be a great idea; allow a science class teach SCIENCE and then have a religion class that teaches kids about all the worlds major religions and their primary fundamentals such as how we got here and that should solve it.
Most Jesuit schools already have religion classes, but I think in todays world kids need to learn about other religions, not just Christianity.

Toad734 said...

RE: Neo

Why do you keep saying Evolution isn't a science? Is that what they taught you in home school, because in a real school you would learn about the scientific method and know that the scientific method applies to evolution, not creationism. Here is why:
Scientific Method:
1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis that is consistent with what you have observed.
3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

If you can apply the scientific method to it, it is science.

Darwin observed that the finches in each of the Galapagos Islands were different. He formed a hypothesis of why that may be; he measured and observed these differences.
We can look at fossil records and measure the distances between skull sizes, brain cavities, eye socket sizes, know what they ate, know where and how they lived, and see the difference between them and modern humans.

Another point to refute your "evolution is not a science theory" from Scientific America.


1. Evolution is only a theory. It is not a fact or a scientific law.

No, many people learned in elementary school that a theory falls in the middle of a hierarchy of certainty--above a mere hypothesis but below a law. Scientists do not use the terms that way, however. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a scientific theory is "a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses."
No amount of validation changes a theory into a law, which is a descriptive generalization about nature. So when scientists talk about the theory of evolution--or the atomic theory or the theory of relativity, for that matter--they are not expressing reservations about its truth.

In addition to the theory of evolution, meaning the idea of descent with modification, one may also speak of evolution. The NAS defines a fact as "an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and for all practical purposes is accepted as 'true.'" The fossil record and abundant other evidence testify that organisms have evolved through time. Although no one observed those
Transformations, the indirect evidence is clear, unambiguous and compelling.

All sciences frequently rely on indirect evidence. Physicists cannot see subatomic particles directly, for instance, so they verify their existence by watching for telltale tracks that the particles leave in cloud chambers. The absence of direct observation does not make physicists' conclusions less certain.



You cannot apply the scientific method to creationism because you cant even get to the fist step, creationism starts with the third step and ends there.

United We Lay said...

In schools, yes. In churches, no. In churches, you should be able to teach whatever you want.

Boiled Owl said...

Great post to Neo, Toad. U da man.

Sandi said...

Damn toad, why don't you start a new blog and title it "Evolution versus Cerationism"
This subject really gets them going.
My two cents say leave religion in the church and not in the Public School. After all wasn't it one little boy that did not believe in GOD that truelly seperated the two?
Not that that means anything. Have you been to a high school sporting event lately? They still pray before the games!! Last time I checked that was not supposed to happen, and no one believes me when I say it offends me.

The REAL DEEP THROAT said...

Has Anyone read the Downing Street Memo ??? I hear there are a few pages in it that may be of interest to some Republican Fristians... Apparently they explain that Jesus was really a married man... you know besides Bush and Blair getting together to Fabricate a war for Weapons Of Mass Destruction...I mean Halliburton....I mean Oil... I mean because Saddam quit listening to Washington... I mean because of Freedom... yeah that's it Freedom.

Anti-Drudge Report said...

Just a quick note ...FOXNEWS viewership drops from 1.4 million viewers...to 422,000 in a four month period... Story Developing

Boiled Owl said...

Ok Toad, give it up...what color did you paint your bedroom? Inquiring minds want to know.

ASSES OF EVIL said...

its pink ... 'cause his wife has his cojones in her purse...

Toad734 said...

RE Boiled Owl

Sort of a blue green teal

Thrasher said...

Toad, Toad, Toad...

I know about the scientific method, and that's the reason that Evolution isn't science. No one has observed Evolution taking place (besides microevolution, which no one denies), so Darwin conveniently skipped the first step, and went straight to the "hypothesize" step. He then made his predictions, but never successfully tested his hypothesis. Again, this does not conform to the scientific method, and falls firmly in the realm of "Philosophy," along with ID.

Try cutting the scientific method in half and applying it to any realm of real science: You'd be laughed out of the building if you actually took yourself seriously.

--------

"The fossil record and abundant other evidence testify that organisms have evolved through time. Although no one observed those
Transformations, the indirect evidence is clear, unambiguous and compelling."

Sure, the fossil record... Nevermind the fact that the strata are all wrong, with the wrong fossils in the wrong strata, and some fossils lying partially in multiple strata... Nevermind the fact that the "missing links" have never been proven to be such. Nevermind that the "indirect evidence" only proves Evolution's case if you're operating under unproven Evolutionist assumptions in the first place.

"You cannot apply the scientific method to creationism because you cant even get to the fist step, creationism starts with the third step and ends there."

Let's try this: I observe the Galapagos finches (step one). I hypothesize that God created them different, and that they DO have the genetic ability for limited variation within a species (step two). I make predictions that we can cause the finches (or some other organism) to change characteristics through selective breeding (step three). I then selectively breed these organisms to study the changes in characteristics they undergo (step four).

Now, this does not scientifically prove the existence of God, but the Galapagos finches do not prove Evolution either; just microevolution.

So again I say, until you can prove your philosophy more valid than the majority's philosophy, they both deserve to be taught. That's all I'm asking.

Boiled Owl said...

Go Neo, God just uses a little evolution, but not a lot? Is that what you want science teachers to teach? He just does it on the small stuff, but not the big stuff? He's all about letting us have selective breeding? This is getting spooky, Neo. Why would God do that?

United We Lay said...

Toad,
Maybe you should expand on your values. These are just words. It seems, also, that you left out intoloerance for views different from yours. What do these words mean to you?

Integrity
Dependability
Loyalty
Honesty
Dedication
Equality
Fairness
Empathy

More importantly, what aspects of these words do you disagree with?
Faith in itself is not a bad thing. We have faith that we will wake up tomorrow.
Intolerance, hate, and bigotry are all pretty much the same thing. It seems your site is intolerant to those who don't believe what you do.
Action can be as bad as apathy, depending on what you're doing.
There are merits to religion just like there are problems with it.

Just because someone is religious doesn't mean they love only Jesus, hate fags, love guns, etc.? Isn't that thought a little bigoted and intolerant? Even possibly a little hateful?

Toad734 said...

Darwin didn't skip the first step, Creationists skip the first two steps, they start with a conclusion. Your theory is no more valid than the people who think aliens spawned us. As you said, at least we have fossils and at least we can prove that natural selection / microevolution is a natural phenomenon; you have nothing other than "the might and will of the supernatural God" which really doesn’t offer much proof. And you say ID should be taught along with evolution, does that term ID include the theory of aliens and Greek Gods, or just your theory of God and the 6 day earth building bender?

If you are admitting that natural selection or descent with modification is possible, then why are you arguing? Why are one evolution possible and the other not? No one thinks that an ape was hanging around in trees eating a banana and then gave birth to a human; that is ludicrous. Overtime brain functions develop, thus technology of that being develops along with it, and a couple of million years later people look less and less ape like, less hairy, start cooking their food, start using weapons and tools, no longer need to be able to tear animal skin with their teeth, or eat raw meat and end up being what we know as humans today.

You are merely trying to attack evolution which you already admitted to be valid, you still haven't provided evidence of ID (AKA Adam and Eve).


Here is some more information from Scientific America:

The historical nature of macro evolutionary study involves inference from fossils and DNA rather than direct observation. Yet in the historical sciences (which include astronomy, geology and archaeology, as well as evolutionary biology), hypotheses can still be tested by checking whether they accord with physical evidence and whether they lead to verifiable predictions about future discoveries. For instance, evolution implies that between the earliest-known ancestors of humans (roughly five million years old) and the appearance of anatomically modern humans (about 100,000 years ago), one should find a succession of hominid creatures with features progressively less apelike and more modern, which is indeed what the fossil record shows. But one should not--and does not--find modern human fossils embedded in strata from the Jurassic period (144 million years ago). Evolutionary biology routinely makes predictions far more refined and precise than this, and researchers test them constantly.

Evolution could be disproved in other ways, too. If we could document the spontaneous generation of just one complex life-form from inanimate matter, then at least a few creatures seen in the fossil record might have originated this way. If super intelligent aliens appeared and claimed credit for creating life on earth (or even particular species), the purely evolutionary explanation would be cast in doubt. But no one has yet produced such evidence

Boiled Owl said...

Actually, Toad, I think Francis Crick (of DNA fame with James Watson) speculated that life might have drifted into our our atmosphere from somewhere else. But that doesn't really change anything does it. It would just mean evolution started somewhere else.

Toad734 said...

RE: Owl

No not really, it proves that Adam and Eve is bullshit and it proves that the right recipe never formed here on earth, but you still have the question of, did Adam and Eve happen on another planet, or did evolution happen on another planet.

Actually if would bode well for the evolution camp because many species would have still evolved from one, or a few microorganisms that arrived on a meteor. Unless you go with the alien mixed with ape theory.

Toad734 said...

I DID IT!

I found a case of macroevolution, speciation if you will, actually taking place. Yes this is human evolving into a mermaid:

From CNN:
LIMA, Peru (AP) -- Doctors fully separated the fused legs of a Peruvian baby girl with "mermaid syndrome" during a nationally televised operation Wednesday, and they called the delicate procedure a "true success."

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/americas/06/01/mermaid.baby.ap/index.html

Boiled Owl said...

Toad, maybe you need a nap in your nice, relaxing, bluish green teal sleeping quarters. Neo is warping your brain

gethky said...

Hope you don't mind that I copied your post in my "Sampler" blog where I have collected great works from serious, high-minded bloggers such as yourself.

Boiled Owl said...

Toad hits the bigtime?
This is a remarkable thread!

San Dimas High School Football Rules!!! said...

What the world needs now is a new post ...lets see maybe about Deep Throat the American Hero W. Mark Felt... or ...discussing the fact that Karl Rove's first foray into politics was for Nixon...or the fact that the future Impeachment proceedings are going to be led by John Conyers a rep from MI who was ...ironically on Nixons Hit list ...this is all really great stuff just bitch slap neo already and end this debate by just letting those naysayers of evolution know that god never existed...

Anonymous said...

All of you that are teaching the lies and blasphemy of evolution will be struck down by God and burn in hell for all eternity! Save yourselves now and turn to Jesus Christ Our Savior before it is too late!!!!!!!!!

Boiled Owl said...

The thing about belief systems are that they are fundamentally irrelevant. The way it is, is the way it is, regardless of what anyone believes. Neo would have it differently. He thinks the world works by agreement of the majority. And to a degree, over the short run, he's right. There was a time when most people thought the earth was flat. Then they thought it was round, and that the sun revolved around it along with everything else. This was so real for those people that they actually believed the universe worked that way. Now that we know better, it's easy to say that those people were fools. But in their day, they weren't fools at all. They were in charge of the government and the church. And they were driven by dogmatic belief systems. Here's the kicker, their beliefs then were just as irrelevant then as ours our now. Believe as you please. But don't kid yourself. Your beliefs don't mean anything. Once you can live with that, hold that in your mind and be ok with it, you're ready to start understanding what reality is truly all about. Until then, you're just sleeping (in your nice, new, freshly painter, bluish, grenish, teal colored psyche.)

trick said...

Eloquently put, Owl. I was just talking with Toad about the notion that ideas, or memes, evolve in the long history of human societies of minds in just the same way that genes have evolved during the long history of Earth. The religious beliefs that people hold as their truth are ideas that have been evolving since human ancestors first developed the abilities of representation and communication. These relatively recent ideas of creationism - and even more so, monotheism and intelligent design - are but blips in the long timeline of the development of life and thought in our niche of the universe. Yet, somehow, an even more recent (and so far, short-lived) idea has taken hold of the entire planet and driven change at a pace never seen before in the history of the planet. That idea is the belief that people who are willing to believe in themselves and trust in reason can eventually understand everthing there is to be understood.

Boiled Owl said...

Trick. That's what 's worth talkin' about, huh?
I'm with you. It's all evolving, all the time. Believe as long as you can, but be prepared to change your mind. And rejoice in getting to do just that! Celebrate the mystery of trying to figure it out.

Thrasher said...

Genetic variation within a species is not disputed by anyone that I know of. However, microevolution and macroevolution are as different as the words "variation" and "creation" or "transformation." Microevolution has been observed, and requires only a shift in the dominant genes affecting an organism's trait. Macroevolution, on the other hand, can never be achieved this way. You will end up with many variations on a species (think Chihuahua vs. Boxer), but operating with the built-in genetic variations within the species, the species in question will never transform into another species (think Chihuahua vs. Rat).

To bring about a gene within a species that provides the possibility for a whole new characteristic and/or drastic new variations on an existing characteristic, a genetic change so great would be required that it would either kill the organism, or render it handicapped and impotent. Every genetic mutation on record has that effect.

What this all boils down to, essentially, is that you wish to limit science by denying a possibility you can't disprove. You claim that you can't observe, measure, or experiment with any supernatural being, so therefore it does not exist. You can't disprove it, so you simply rely on your own prejudices, arguing that God can't exist, just because such an idea is, in your own mind, unthinkable.

Because of your own baseless prejudice, you are willing to limit science by refusing to consider that the infinite complexities of this universe might not have formed as a result of disorder and chaos. You refuse to even consider that there may have been some sort of Creator, because you just can't fathom that there could be anything science can't fully explain. Rather than consider these possibilities, you are willing to take the easiest way out, and tell us that everything you see around you somehow "just happened."

When you are willing to exclude these possibilities based on your own prejudices, you defeat the purpose of science. You arrogantly assume that there is nothing science can't fully explain. If science can't explain something, then by golly, it must not exist, and if it doesn't exist, then nothing can shake our faith in our own vast intelligence. By pretending that what we can't explain doesn't exist, you have falsely set mankind up as a race of all-knowing beings, who can take comfort in the fact that nothing exists that they can't explain.

Such a worldview is as convenient as it is arrogant, and serves as a method of escape for those who wish to deny the possibility of a Supreme Being. It is similar to the toddler who covers his eyes to comfort himself, when he sees something that scares him (for fear is most often based out of a lack of understanding), and though it is possible to deny what one cannot explain, it is impossible to destroy it.

This is why I grow weary of this argument. The arrogance of the Evolutionist worldview renders it incapable of anything but denial of all possibilities which it cannot comprehend, and though it attempts to disguise itself as "science," it can never be such until it considers all possibilities as to the cause all phenomena.

If your faith in your bubble of home-made omniscience is what it takes to keep you going, then I can understand that. It is simply another sign of the fallen nature of man, and I suppose arrogance is no worse a sin than the rest. We're all guilty of it at times.

And yet this arrogance is what renders a reasoned debate on the origin of life fruitless. Denying the existence of what you can't explain may be comforting, but it does nothing for an intelligent debate, which relies on the consideration of all possibilities, regardless of the depth of mankind's understanding of it.

And so, I have no more time to waste on this debate. My words have fallen upon deaf (or more accurately, unwilling) ears, for there is none so deaf as one who will not hear, if only for the sake of his own intellectual comfort.

Signing out,
Neo

trick said...

Thanks for signing out, Neo. Those of us that are unwilling to listen are happy to see you go.

Toad734 said...

Come on Neo, I could take your entire last post, replace the word evolution with creationism, and the exact same would apply to you.
In fact, I am going to go to your blog and i'll bet the exact same is happening on your post on this very subject.

Evolution is not the easy way out, "God did it all", is the easy way out, evolution has taken 100 years in order for it to get to where we are today.

I don't think science can fully explain everything, I never said that; it can't fully explain evolution but it can rationalize and analyze it, unlike anyone can do with creationism.

My beliefs aren't set in stone; that's the difference between you and me. I too at one time believed in the 6 day creation bender and thought the idea of evolution was absurd, until I studied it. That means I have an open mind about it and can admit that I was wrong.

If God came down today and turned the sky brown and the sea pink, and said you idiots, I have a record of my creation burned on DVD, and then I would again be a believer in creationism, not ID, but creationism. Likewise, if Aliens came down out of the sky to check on our progress and show us how they created us by blending their DNA with apes DNA then I would concede that we may need to rethink Macroevolution, but until then, all the signs point to microevolution that eventually over time leads to macroevolution. It is the best, most rational, logical explanation we have.

This was never the point of this post to begin with; I just wanted to point out how ridiculous it was to spend my tax money on telling kids that something may have had a hand in creating the universe. How do you test them on that? I don't think they would have to study too hard for that to get all their facts in line. I do think that evolution should be taught in science and biology and kids should be required to take a religion class that brushes over the major foundations of each of the world’s major religions.

Boiled Owl said...

Right Toad, Neo is doing what psychoanalysts call "projecting." He recognises the problem alright. He just refuses to "own" it. The only closed mind I've noticed on this thread is his. Even the great scientists like Einstein and Hawking would rather not give up on their being a God. But the more we learn, the less of a job there appears to be for God to do. The romantic in all of us (or perhaps the child) wants there to be a Super being. But proof same is very hard to come by. I say, rather than to just accept it on faith, we should keep looking. After all, that's whats worked for us so far. Not knowing the answers... and asking the questions.

United We Lay said...

From my blog:

Here is some information on the background of the evolution debate. I believe in evolution, though I don't rule out the possibility that some higher power may have put the whole thing in motion. How is one to know for sure? The more important question is, do we have enough scientific evidence, and I believe we do, to illustrate the changes in all living things over the last billion years or so?

I am currently reading Unshakable Foundations, Contemporary Answers to the Crucial Questions About the Christian Faith by Norman Geisler and Peter Bocchino. From what I understand after reading the chapter on Macroevolution, there are several sides to this debate.

Macroevolution
1. Naturalistic - No intelligence (or god) is needed to bring about life forms and the process for new life forms.
2. Theistic - Requires intelligence (or god) to bring about life forms and the process for new life forms. (this and the Young Model are basically the same).
3. Gradualism - Small, slow transitions (changes in cell structure, intelligence, etc.) over millions of years.
4. Punctuated Equilibria - Larger, faster transitions over shorter time (Using the Jewish calander).

Intelligent Design (Creationism)
1. Young Model - Six successive creation days of 24 hours
2. Progressive Model - Creation in stages over extended time intervals (this and Gradualism are basically the same theory).

Boiled Owl said...

Polanco:
And then there is the idea that the whole universe is one conscious evolving entity. (Derived from the Hindu/Vedanta notion that God is playing hide and seek with her/himself and that every bit of energy and mass – including you and me – is a piece of the divine puzzle. I like that one, because it means God has the ultimate sense of humor! It also lines up pretty well with the theories of particle physics floating around these days (all puns intended).
But I don't hold it as a belief...just a fascinating idea.

trick said...

Polanco - I really don't understand your description of these categories. Theistic and naturalistic explanations of evolution are opposite sides of the coin - you need a creator or you don't. Gradualism and punctuated equilibrium are two sub-categories, so to speak, of natural evolution (without a creator). Gradualism you basically got right, expect the time frame is really billions of years. Punctuated equilibrium describes evolution as happening in many relatively quick (geologically speaking, i.e. millions of years) bursts separated by long periods of relative stability, or equilibrium. Theistic evolution (a creator started the evolutionary process) and the "Young Model" (the Genesis story) are not basically the same. They are decidedly different in that one allows for evolution on some scale and the ther does not allow for it at all. I have no idea where Geisler (or you) got the idea that punctuated equilibrium has anything to do with the Jewish calendar. I'm curious to know exactly how he ties that in, but it sounds like nonsense to me. The "progressive model" is a way to try to reconcile belief in creationism with the obvious geological record, but without conceding evolution. In other words, God created everything but did it over a long period of time instead of the literal 6 days of Genesis. The only thing it shares with gradualism (and punctuated equilibrium, for that matter) is the time scale.

I wouldn't trust Geisler's explanation if I were you without checking out a couple of other sources, too. Believe what you want, but his book is clearly not a source for unbiased information and he is definitely no expert on the subject. I checked Geisler out a bit, and my guess is that his is some of the most biased writing on the subject that you could find. It's great to read things that help to support your beliefs, but I'm willing to bet there's a lot better book out there on theistic evolution.

trick said...

Owl - I like that one, too. It's probably my favorite of all mystical explanations. I also like the one about how the entire universe is supported on the back of a giant turtle.

trick said...

Neo, I was kidding about you signing out. I really hope you come back because I'd like to reply to your last comment, piece by piece:

"Genetic variation within a species is not disputed by anyone that I know of. However, microevolution and macroevolution are as different ..."

If you will concede the existence of microevolution, then you must also concede macroevolution. You must be failing to grasp the timescale involved, but the small changes between generations easily become drastic when viewed over periods of hundreds of millions or billions of years. All of life's common ancestry is evidenced in the undeniable similarities in our genetic codes. It's just so hard to comprehend because takes billions of years of groups constantly being separated into different environments to differentiate so greatly. Mathematically speaking, the probability is really very high. In fact, there must have been millions of kinds of life that have evolved and become extinct that we will just never know about.

"a genetic change so great would be required that it would either kill the organism, or render it handicapped and impotent. Every genetic mutation on record has that effect."

This does happens often, but not always. You are right in that many mutations or even unlucky combinations of genes from parents will turn out to be fatal for the offspring. But over many generations, smaller changes that are not so devastating can lead to a very different looking sort of creature that sill happens to retain almost all of the same genes as it's distant ancestor. And occasionally, but very rarely, drastic changes can lead to a new variation on a species that is much more well suited to it's environment. Because of it's advantage, this change will quickly spread in through reproduction and you will have a new species. We and our primate cousins split millions of years ago from a common ancestor whose genes we inherited. We share over 98% of the same genes with chimpanzees but that small difference is enough for the obvious physical differences we see today.

"You can't disprove it, so you simply rely on your own prejudices, arguing that God can't exist..."

Neo, I really don't think anyone is really arguing that God doesn't exist (although that's what some people believe). It is not the discussion we're having here. There is plenty of room for God in evolution and science, in general. It just can't be the God that created everything in 6 days. There is indisputable evidence against that. But, there could very well be a god that had a hand in getting things started. Why not believe that God, in his great omnipotence, started everything off with the Big Bang (or before that) in just such a way to make things just as they are now. At least it does not disagree with the facts.

"Because of your own baseless prejudice, you are willing to limit science by refusing to consider that the infinite complexities of this universe might not have formed as a result of disorder and chaos. ...Rather than consider these possibilities, you are willing to take the easiest way out, and tell us that everything you see around you somehow "just happened."

First, you are actually the one refusing to consider the possibilities. We are the ones trying to understand the world around us through open-minded observation and molding our understanding and beliefs to what we find. You are taking your religious beliefs and understanding as fact and forcing your observations of the world to conform to those beliefs. Second, our reasoned and rational way of dealing with life is not the easy way out. It is by far the most difficult path. It requires constant vigilance in always being sure that we are seeing things for what they are and realizing that when we really just don't know, we must admit it to ourselves. This includes admitting the possibility of a higher power of some sort. But because it can't be proved, this is left to the individual to believe what he or she wishes. There are, however, things that are known beyond a doubt. This includes the fact that the Judeo Christian God did not create the Earth, as we see it is now, 10,000 years ago in 6 days, or anything remotely resembling that scenario. Again though, to be respectful, I would like to re-emphasize that there is still a lot of room in the realm of the unknown for God.

"When you are willing to exclude these possibilities based on your own prejudices, you defeat the purpose of science. You arrogantly assume that there is nothing science can't fully explain. If science can't explain something, then by golly, it must not exist, and if it doesn't exist, then nothing can shake our faith in our own vast intelligence. By pretending that what we can't explain doesn't exist, you have falsely set mankind up as a race of all-knowing beings, who can take comfort in the fact that nothing exists that they can't explain."

This really is a very unfair characterization. There are people that believe, as I do, that if something is capable of being understood, then through reason and the scientific method (and given enough time) we are capable of understanding it. That is very different from saying that if we can't explain it right now, then it doesn't exist. Also, nobody is pretending that we are all-knowing beings, or even that we could be. It may very well be that there are things, like the existence of God, that can only be known through personal faith. Anyone who denies that possibility is indeed being close-minded.

Now, I'll take Toad's advice and switch a couple of words around to illustrate how the rest of your comments are really a false defense. Really Neo, like Owl said - you are projecting. Look it up in a psych book. This last bit you wrote doesn't work at all as an argument against the scientific worldview. You are just turning your insecurity about the weakness of your own arguments into an attack on the other side. Just read it and think about it and please, do get back to us here at Toad's blog. (My changes below are in parentheses.)

"Such a (Creationist) worldview is as convenient as it is arrogant, and serves as a method of escape for those who wish to deny the possibility of (understanding though reason). It is similar to the toddler who covers his eyes to comfort himself, when he sees something that scares him (for fear is most often based out of a lack of understanding), and though it is possible to deny what one cannot (understand), it is impossible to destroy it."

"This is why I grow weary of this argument. The arrogance of the (Creationist) worldview renders it incapable of anything but denial of all possibilities which it cannot comprehend, and though it attempts to disguise itself as (explanation), it can never be such until it considers all possibilities as to the cause all phenomena."

"If your faith in your bubble of (refusal to consider the possibilities) is what it takes to keep you going, then I can understand that. It is simply another sign of the (fragile) nature of man, and I suppose (refusing to change your mind in the face of evidence) is no worse a (coping method) than the rest. We're all guilty of it at times."

"And yet (refusing to change your mind in the face of evidence) is what renders (any) reasoned debate (...) fruitless. Denying the existence of what you can't (understand) may be comforting, but it does nothing for an intelligent debate, which relies on the consideration of all possibilities, regardless of the depth of mankind's understanding of it"

"And so, I (would like to continue) this debate. My words have (hopefully) fallen upon (not-quite deaf) ears, for there is none so (in need of listening) as one who will not hear, if only for the sake of his own (personal, mental) comfort."

With all respect and hope for open-minded discussion,

trick

Mall*Wart...we pass the slavings onto you said...

GOD HATES BLOGS.- this message paid for by Citizens for Frist '08

Boiled Owl said...

Steven J. Gould says that whales use to be bears. How's that for cool? They came out of the ocean, evolved into bears, took a look around and said, "you know what, I like seafood better." Very cool creatures, bears and whales. I wonder if whales are blogging when they sing.

#9reboot said...

Blogs hate God--- paid for by friends of the commodore 64...

Anonymous said...

Dyslexic bloggers hate DOG.

United We Lay said...

I don't trust his explination. I left out part of my sentence. It should have read "From what I understand after reading the chapter on Macroevolution, Giesler believes there are several sides to this debate." Sorry about the confusion. I don't agree with him in any way but I'm reading his book because you have to understand a claim in order to refute it.

trick said...

Ah, I see. That makes more sense based on the other comments you've left.

trick said...

The interesting thing about whales with regard to evolution is that they have vestigial legs hidden inside their bodies under the flesh, left over from their ancestors that were air-breathing animals that walked with legs on the land (also a common ancestor of bears). If you believe in creationism, then why would an omniscient & omnipotent creator have done such a thing? Just to throw us off, maybe. I suppose we shouldn't be so presumptuous to question the motivations of our creator.

Boiled Owl said...

Trick. Yup. Maybe God just has a great sense of humor! That's the only way I can hold it! You know what? Laughing is the best release there is.
I have a very serious philosopher friend. Known him for 30 years. The only thing we completely agree on is that if we we ever figure things out, we'll probably just have to laugh our asses off! That's one of the reasons I like Toad's blog. He's seriously funny.

Toad734 said...

Trick maybe you should change your name to heretric!

And thanks for saving me from having to explain all this shit.

United We Lay said...

You guys are great! If you find the time, please bring some of your insight to my blog. If not, not hard feelings! I've been learning a lot from these discussions, and I find you all interesting and intelligent people.

United We Lay said...

Joe -
Believe anything you want, but don't knock other's beliefs, either.

trick said...

woo hoo!!! i'm 99!!!

Boiled Owl said...

Ahhh. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout. 100 big ones. Do I get a Chicago style pizza or somethiing? Tiramasu? Or wha...?

Hey, I'm stahhhvin' ovah heeee (oh, that's Jersey tawk, sorry.)

al_fresco said...

Once upon a time, when the world
was just a pancake. Fears
would arise that if you
went too far you'd fall
But with the onset of time
it all became more of a ball
We're as sure of that
as we all once were
when the world was flat

So, I wonder this as life
billows smoke inside my head
This little game where nothing is sure
Why would you play by the rules?

- David J. Matthews

Boiled Owl said...

Thanks Al-emnopea, for taking us off the 100 mark!

It was getting kind of like a slot machine in Vegas. Somebody has to take the damn thing off "pay" some day.

It's bad luck if you don't.

I was getting nervous.

Good poem too, BTW.

#9REBOOOT said...

C:>> WHERE IS MY FLOPPY DRIVE >???.

D:>> FLOPPY DRIVES ARE DEAD.

C:>> SO COMPUTERS AND TECHNOLOGY HAVE EVOLVED?

D:>> YES...EXCEPT IN ALABAMA, SOUTH CAROLINA,..OKAY SO MOST REDSTATES IN THE SOUTHERN UNITED STATES WHO DO NOT SHARE THE EVOLUTION PROCESS EVEN FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.

C:>> HOW SAD...