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harlequin
2005-Apr-06, 04:32 AM
Cowardice, Creationism and Science Education: An Open Letter to the Universities (http://sciam-editor.typepad.com/weblog1/2005/04/cowardice_creat.html) is written by the editor of Scientific American taking to task cowardise in the university administrations on the subject of antievolutionism.

Inferno
2005-Apr-06, 06:40 AM
Fascinating read. Where is the world headed?

frogesque
2005-Apr-06, 07:57 AM
Fascinating read. Where is the world headed?

To Europe! These YEC/Creationist fanatics would be treated to derision and scorn over here.

snake river rufus
2005-Apr-06, 10:51 AM
I don't know where the world is heading but the growing number of co-workers, who are otherwise intelligent, that accecpt creationism- worries me a bit.

WaxRubiks
2005-Apr-06, 11:12 AM
creationism-the invasion of the brain snatchers, just replace your brain with a shrub and then you can go to heaven, simple!

snake river rufus
2005-Apr-06, 11:16 AM
Of the four people sitting in my work group, two believe in creation. The brain snatchers are here #-o

N C More
2005-Apr-06, 11:44 AM
Ok, let's see if I'm understanding this correctly. The Creationists want "equal time" for putting forth their idea of Intelligent Design in educational institutions...right?

Ok, then let's be fair minded about this. The scientific supporters of evolution then deserve "equal time" for putting forth their idea of Evolution in religious institutions (rebuttal time following the sermon would be perfect)...what?... don't like that idea?

I say to the Creationists, You can't have your cake and eat it too! [-X

captain swoop
2005-Apr-06, 12:01 PM
To Europe! These YEC/Creationist fanatics would be treated to derision and scorn over here.

Well, read this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4398345.stm) it may wake you up.

Not esp the emails at the bottom eg



Believing in evolution takes just as much faith as believing in a six-day creation - it is all about interpretation of the evidence. Evolution is actually impossible, but the scientific community and the media (especially the BBC) seem so intent on indoctrinating the country that evolution is fact.
Stuart, UK


and



Neither evolution or creationism can be scientifically proven, in the sense that you can recreate the conditions that led to them. What we believe about our origins is therefore a matter of faith, not fact. I used to believe in evolution, and now I don't. It isn't just that I object to the teaching of evolution as fact or that there are proponents of evolution who use the theory to promote their atheistic views. It is because of the abuse of science and a belief in random chance that suspends belief more than the belief in a creator.
John, Peterborough, UK

Argos
2005-Apr-06, 12:04 PM
Itīs fascinating how this issue affects only the US among the western countries. Thereīs no problem about evolution down here. Evolution is teached universally and nobody complains. Nobody has the courage to come before the public to make the case for intelligent design. It is simply banned from the curriculum. No respectable university take it seriously. In all my years of schooling, Iīve never heard of "Intelligent Design" (except for my brief passage through the catholic catechism, when it was referred to by the not so politically correct name of "creation").

R.A.F.
2005-Apr-06, 12:12 PM
The Creationists want "equal time" for putting forth their idea of Intelligent Design in educational institutions...The scientific supporters of evolution then deserve "equal time" for putting forth their idea of Evolution in religious institutions...

Only problem I see with that idea (and I happen to agree with you) is that religious institutions are not educational institutions. :)

N C More
2005-Apr-06, 12:29 PM
Only problem I see with that idea (and I happen to agree with you) is that religious institutions are not educational institutions. :)

Exactly! And educational institutions are not religious institutions either! Why should an educational institution be required to teach a religious concept...at all? If they do, which religious concepts should they be required to teach? How about reincarnation? How about the concept of karma? The list could go on and on.

farmerjumperdon
2005-Apr-06, 12:43 PM
Like I've said before, if you want to know why most things are the way they are - follow the money trail.

These people are held hostage by their need to protect funding, not to mention their own salary. (Except for maybe the one who chanted the fundamentalist mantra about evolution only being a theory).

BTW, I have a reasonably intelligent friend who hit me with the flip side, telling me that science is just another form of faith.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Apr-06, 12:49 PM
Nobody has the courage to come before the public to make the case for intelligent design.
It's the two-edged sword of strong free speech. The wackiest theories can be propounded, it takes almost no courage at all. :)

Argos
2005-Apr-06, 12:55 PM
Nobody has the courage to come before the public to make the case for intelligent design.
It's the two-edged sword of strong free speech. The wackiest theories can be propounded, it takes almost no courage at all. :)

Yes, but freedom of speech is not the issue here. Thereīs lots of it around (sometimes I think thereīs more than most people deserve, or need). I think scholars here fear for their reputation. :)

Zachary
2005-Apr-06, 01:01 PM
Believing in evolution takes just as much faith as believing in a six-day creation - it is all about interpretation of the evidence. Evolution is actually impossible, but the scientific community and the media (especially the BBC) seem so intent on indoctrinating the country that evolution is fact.
Stuart, UK


That's odd, I've always considered the BBC to give the creationist opinion way too much air time in some vain quest to be 'balanced'.

Poor BBC, they try to satisfy everybody only to end up with everybody hating them :)

Still, with only ~20% of the UKs population being regular church goers, intelligent design isn't really an issue over here :D.

captain swoop
2005-Apr-06, 01:29 PM
Intelligent design is getting into UK schools.
One of the Govts initiatives are 'City Academies' funded by 'Private Finance Initiatives' They work within the state school system but they are built and funded by private money. In the North East of England there are two Academies built and financed by Reg Vardy a local millionair businessman who runs a bunch of car dealerships,.he is a Christian Fundamentalist. Minimum curriculums are laid down by the Dept of Education but the academies can add their own on top. His two are teaching ID on an equal footing with Evolution.

Sigma_Orionis
2005-Apr-06, 01:34 PM
Itīs fascinating how this issue affects only the US among the western countries. Thereīs no problem about evolution down here. Evolution is teached universally and nobody complains. Nobody has the courage to come before the public to make the case for intelligent design. It is simply banned from the curriculum. No respectable university take it seriously. In all my years of schooling, Iīve never heard of "Intelligent Design" (except for my brief passage through the catholic catechism, when it was referred to by the not so politically correct name of "creation").

Quite correct Argos, the same situation happens here in Venezuela, all of the devout catholics I know feel quite comfortable about evolution. After all as far as they are concerned, the driving force behind evolution is God and evolution is the process.

George
2005-Apr-06, 02:02 PM
... all of the devout catholics I know feel quite comfortable about evolution. After all as far as they are concerned, the driving force behind evolution is God and evolution is the process.
I think this may be true for protestants, too. The term creationist is a poor one to use as most creationists, likely, accept evolution as mainstream science sees it. My personal opinion is Genesis is not in conflict with evolution.

YEC and Intellegent Design are the right terms to use to address those that oppose evolution. Are there other names?

ID's attempt to advance into the universites may have begun with the recent debate at Texas A&M, which is one of the most conservative universites and one of the largest, too. ID did not do well from what I have read. There is a thread here on that event.

Metricyard
2005-Apr-06, 02:07 PM
The Creationists want "equal time" for putting forth their idea of Intelligent Design in educational institutions...The scientific supporters of evolution then deserve "equal time" for putting forth their idea of Evolution in religious institutions...

Only problem I see with that idea (and I happen to agree with you) is that religious institutions are not educational institutions. :)

I would like to know what they would teach in an Intelligent Design class?
What theories they would use, if any? What proofs would they have to show?

Seems to me it would be a very short class. Other than faith, what other information can be taught? And does this "equal time" stop in the biology class? Do we also give "equal tme" in physics class, or history?

I can see bad things are happening in our school system.

Maybe the folks over at GLP are on to something? :lol:

Sigma_Orionis
2005-Apr-06, 02:39 PM
YEC and Intellegent Design are the right terms to use to address those that oppose evolution. Are there other names?

[tongue biting] Not that I know of [/tongue biting] :D

Argos
2005-Apr-06, 02:51 PM
I donīt think humans were designed intelligently; there would be much room for improvement, but thatīs another story...

tofu
2005-Apr-06, 03:14 PM
:lol: :lol:

captain swoop posts a link to this article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4398345.stm
and three minutes later argos says:


Itīs fascinating how this issue affects only the US among the western countries.

Sorry Argos, but your country isn't immune to this.

And for any Europeans who might be getting the wrong idea from all this media coverage, I went to university in the South (which is the most conservative part of the US) and I never once heard "Intellegent Design" mentioned in a classroom. As usual, I think the media is making this seem worse than it really is. Evolution is being taught in classrooms as it should be.

George
2005-Apr-06, 03:23 PM
I would like to know what they would teach in an Intelligent Design class?
What theories they would use, if any? What proofs would they have to show?
I suppose "Answers In Genesis" AIG would be a big start. They would also have to explain mainstream science enough to show the conflict to allow any hope of standing up against common understanding. So, a serious ID class might be pretty rough afterall. I don't really know.

Argos
2005-Apr-06, 03:38 PM
Sorry Argos, but your country isn't immune to this.


Sorry tofu, it is, as far as school is concerned. Positivism has taken a heavy toll on Brazilians.

TriangleMan
2005-Apr-06, 03:48 PM
And for any Europeans who might be getting the wrong idea from all this media coverage, I went to university in the South (which is the most conservative part of the US) and I never once heard "Intellegent Design" mentioned in a classroom. As usual, I think the media is making this seem worse than it really is. Evolution is being taught in classrooms as it should be.
When I was at The Amazing Meeting 3 (a JREF convention) I was surprised at the concern the Americans I met had over the encroachment of creationism into education. I spoke to three different biology teachers (one college, two high school) who told me about battling creationist students every year, as well as parents who were finding out that creationists were trying to get evolution out of their local science curriculum. One couple from Texas home-schools their daughter now because they had no comfort in the local school's ability to give their daughter a resonable education in science.

At the end of the conference I came away with the sense that the problem is worse than I had initially thought. This may be why National Geographic highlighted evolution in an issue a few months ago.

TriangleMan
2005-Apr-06, 03:53 PM
I would like to know what they would teach in an Intelligent Design class?
What theories they would use, if any? What proofs would they have to show?

Seems to me it would be a very short class. Other than faith, what other information can be taught? And does this "equal time" stop in the biology class? Do we also give "equal tme" in physics class, or history?
I don't think ID is a scientific theory as it can't be disproven - it has no testable predictions. By that alone I fail to see how it can be an 'alternate theory' to evolution. Anyway I'm sure talkorigins goes over this issue in depth.

tofu
2005-Apr-06, 04:08 PM
Sorry Argos, but your country isn't immune to this.


Sorry tofu, it is, as far as school is concerned. Positivism has taken a heavy toll on Brazilians.

oh boy, here we go.

This is what you said argos:


Itīs fascinating how this issue affects only the US among the western countries.

That is *factually* incorrect. As evidence, I point you to the article that captain swoop posted.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4398345.stm

This isn't up for debate argos. It is *not* true that this issue affects only the US. I'm sorry, but you're wrong here.

For my part, I didn't realize that you were in Brazil, and I have no knowledge of what goes in Brazil so I shouldn't have said, 'your country is not immune.' I should constrain myself to the fact: it is *not* true that this issue affects only the US.

However, if you do want to talk about your country, it looks to me based on this:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=brazil+creationism&btnG=Google+Sear ch

there are plenty of creationists in Brazil.

The reason I'm responding to this is that I feel you have unfairly criticized my country, and I take exception to that. You haven't *seen* creationists in your country, but you've seen media reports of them in mine. You then come to the conclusion that this problem only affects my country. To me, your line of reasoning is similar to an American who sees a documentary about bad diving habits in Brazil, and then comes to the conclusion that only Brazilians drive badly. If he'd just step outside his own house, he'd see that lots of people drive that way.


Evolution is teached universally and nobody complains.
My experience in a US university was the same. Evolution was taught. Creationism was not mentioned. Nobody complained.


Nobody has the courage to come before the public to make the case for intelligent design.
There's no lack of courage in the US, unfortunately that also applies to incorrect ideas. We value free speech, even when the speech is wrong. But don't worry, evolution will win on its own merits, without having to force the creationists to be silent.


In all my years of schooling, Iīve never heard of "Intelligent Design" (except for my brief passage through the catholic catechism, when it was referred to by the not so politically correct name of "creation").
Same here. Five years of undergraduate education and two years of grad school.

TriangleMan - primary education is another thing alltogether. There is a huge problem with this in primary schools in the US. But the subject of the article in the first post of this very thread is about universities. So, I assume we're talking about universities here.

A Thousand Pardons
2005-Apr-06, 04:28 PM
BTW, I have a reasonably intelligent friend who hit me with the flip side, telling me that science is just another form of faith.
Have you seen our Is science a belief system? (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=5404) thread? :)

PS: Warning, 24 pages and almost 600 posts

10stone5
2005-Apr-06, 05:02 PM
I just love the premise that all that is needed is a petition from a majority of university presidents - and the whole Creationism / I.D. mess will all go away.

That's B.S.

Sounds to me like this guy wants others to do his work for him.

This line which I read in one of the rebuttals seems the most truthful to me >> "Anti-Evolution is not a scientific issue, it's a political and religious issue".

papageno
2005-Apr-06, 05:23 PM
I just love the premise that all that is needed is a petition from a majority of university presidents - and the whole Creationism / I.D. mess will all go away.

He says:

"For my part, I asked this because in all the coverage of the evolution/intelligent-design (ID) battles in school districts in Georgia, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Ohio and other states, we have heard from many groups: scientists, clergy, parents, high school teachers and so on. But the universities have been conspicuously absent, which is curious. After all, they are in an ideal position to clarify for the public what kind of science preparation is expected or desirable in students’ applications."(Bolding mine.)
He does not seem so naive to think that such a petition is THE solution.



Sounds to me like this guy wants others to do his work for him.
What makes you think that standing up for proper educational standards is not a university president's job?



This line which I read in one of the rebuttals seems the most truthful to me >> "Anti-Evolution is not a scientific issue, it's a political and religious issue".
Indeed.

Grendl
2005-Apr-06, 05:41 PM
This isn't up for debate argos. It is *not* true that this issue affects only the US. I'm sorry, but you're wrong here.
That may be true to some degree, but the US knows how to politicize and "punditize" issues to death. We really are leaders in this regard, sorry to say.



Evolution is teached universally and nobody complains.
My experience in a US university was the same. Evolution was taught. Creationism was not mentioned. Nobody complained.
Tofu, do you mind revealing what school you went to? I have to agree with Triangleman's post; I try to be restrained in thinking this is a big "Oh my god!" problem, but it is definitely a problem that is under a lot of discussion and publicity. Texas, btw, does have a problem: if the rational people on the Board of Education have to fight so hard, then there's a problem.



Nobody has the courage to come before the public to make the case for intelligent design.
There's no lack of courage in the US, unfortunately that also applies to incorrect ideas. We value free speech, even when the speech is wrong. But don't worry, evolution will win on its own merits, without having to force the creationists to be silent.
You think? Real life experience shows that the public is already incredibly gullible to stories, myths and pseudo-science. It will take a vocal minority to keep science where it should be. That's not a Chicken Little view--it's already apparent to us.

tofu
2005-Apr-06, 07:06 PM
the US knows how to politicize and "punditize" issues to death. We really are leaders in this regard, sorry to say.
yeah I agree. Sad.


Tofu, do you mind revealing what school you went to?
Bob Jones University. No, I'm kidding. I'd rather try to remain a little bit anonymous.

fossilnut2
2005-Apr-06, 08:16 PM
What a strange thread at this time.

I have CNN on in the background and every five minutes hear a Gregorian Chant.

The acceptance of a God at any level is no more absurd than Creationism. It's like being 'a little bit pregnant'.

rleyland
2005-Apr-06, 08:41 PM
I say to the Creationists, You can't have your cake and eat it too! [-X

Umm, minor nitpick, it's actually:

"You can't EAT your cake, and HAVE it too!"

but otherwise I totally agree with the sentiment expressed!


Keep Creationism in the Church!

Argos
2005-Apr-06, 09:56 PM
The reason I'm responding to this is that I feel you have unfairly criticized my country, and I take exception to that. You haven't *seen* creationists in your country, but you've seen media reports of them in mine. You then come to the conclusion that this problem only affects my country. To me, your line of reasoning is similar to an American who sees a documentary about bad diving habits in Brazil, and then comes to the conclusion that only Brazilians drive badly. If he'd just step outside his own house, he'd see that lots of people drive that way.


It was not my intention to criticize the US, really. I only have good feelings concerning the US, which I obviously admire. I was referring to the effect it causes on me to see one of the most (if not the most) advanced nations on Earth having to deal with such issues. It is fascinating. A contradiction of a great nation.

Brazil has many problems, as you know. Itīs not an example for anyone. However, for the sake of truth I must say that the school system in Brazil is creation-free (no pun intended). As I said above, this national characteristic is rooted in the 19th century positivism, which guided the founders of the Brazilian republic. To punish the Catholic church, which supported our former monarchy, the republicans enforced the separation between the church and state (not the noblest of the purposes, I admit). Additionally, in recent decades the marxist thinking pervaded the university and political environment. The result is that the traditional separation between religious and state affairs only deepened. Today, even though the marxism of the past has turned into a mild social-democracy, the political tradition lingers. It would be unthinkable to introduce the teaching of Intelligent Design in schools of any kind, except for those that are supported by religious denominations themselves.

And yes, there are many many many creationists in Brazil, a very, very, very, religious nation. But the fact is that they lack the power to impose their views to the rest of the nation.

Edited for corrections.

Moose
2005-Apr-06, 10:07 PM
I say to the Creationists, You can't have your cake and eat it too! [-X

Umm, minor nitpick, it's actually:

"You can't EAT your cake, and HAVE it too!"

but otherwise I totally agree with the sentiment expressed!

THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!!

*sheepish grin* You made my day.

Thanks.

mopc
2005-Apr-06, 10:28 PM
Unfortunately, Argos, people in Brazil don't learn their ideology in schools... many learn it in their churches.

And you mentioned the Catholic Church situation. Well, it is not the Cathloic Church who's the greatest responsible for the current wave of Creationjunk, it's the other Churches. The Vatican actually accepts Evolution.

Argos
2005-Apr-06, 11:26 PM
Unfortunately, Argos, people in Brazil don't learn their ideology in schools... many learn it in their churches.

Sad and true, but not our monopoly. I would comment the other part of your post but I will avoid further references to religion. I just agree.

beskeptical
2005-Apr-07, 07:07 AM
Itīs fascinating how this issue affects only the US among the western countries. Thereīs no problem about evolution down here. Evolution is teached universally and nobody complains. Nobody has the courage to come before the public to make the case for intelligent design. It is simply banned from the curriculum. No respectable university take it seriously. In all my years of schooling, Iīve never heard of "Intelligent Design" (except for my brief passage through the catholic catechism, when it was referred to by the not so politically correct name of "creation").NOT YET, anyway. :o

BTW, I accept that you know Brazil more than any of us. I don't doubt the problem has not surfaced there.

beskeptical
2005-Apr-07, 07:14 AM
Quite correct Argos, the same situation happens here in Venezuela, all of the devout catholics I know feel quite comfortable about evolution. After all as far as they are concerned, the driving force behind evolution is God and evolution is the process.Many years ago I was struck by the Evangelical inroads in Mexico. I had a Taxi driver drive slower and slower as we approached our destination in order to continue preaching to me and there was a sign over many household doors proclaiming, "We are Catholics here and Evangelicals are not welcome to preach".

I imagine they just aren't in Venezuela and Brazil yet but they will be if things continue as they are.

beskeptical
2005-Apr-07, 07:20 AM
I would like to know what they would teach in an Intelligent Design class?
What theories they would use, if any? What proofs would they have to show?

Seems to me it would be a very short class. Other than faith, what other information can be taught? And does this "equal time" stop in the biology class? Do we also give "equal tme" in physics class, or history?
I don't think ID is a scientific theory as it can't be disproven - it has no testable predictions. By that alone I fail to see how it can be an 'alternate theory' to evolution. Anyway I'm sure talkorigins goes over this issue in depth.ID has been disproved before it started. ID is based on the disproved premise that there is something called irreducible complexity in living organisms. That concept has indeed been disproved by genetic science.

beskeptical
2005-Apr-07, 07:24 AM
I just love the premise that all that is needed is a petition from a majority of university presidents - and the whole Creationism / I.D. mess will all go away.

That's B.S.

Sounds to me like this guy wants others to do his work for him.

This line which I read in one of the rebuttals seems the most truthful to me >> "Anti-Evolution is not a scientific issue, it's a political and religious issue".I think you missed the point altogether here. It wasn't that the petition was any kind of solution, it was that the presidents wouldn't verbalize the obvious. In other words, how can we even get to the issue of a resolution if the administrators can't face up to the problem?

Disinfo Agent
2005-Apr-07, 12:43 PM
I imagine they just aren't in Venezuela and Brazil yet but they will be if things continue as they are.
I agree and this is an important point. Don't make the mistake of thinking that your country is immune. If the creationists triumph in the U.S., they will come after yours next.

In fact, the article posted in the previous page about cretionism in the U.K. indicates that they already are doing it, discreetly. You can bet that if they succeed in the U.S. they'll stop being so discrete elsewhere.

Sigma_Orionis
2005-Apr-07, 01:24 PM
Ok. Point taken. No, Venezuela and Brazil (or any other country for that matter ) are NOT immune to this. It's probably quite widespread within the large majority of people without access to education (who usually are below the poverty line) and both our countries have PLENTY of that. What I find interesting is the debate ocurring in the US, and the proportions that it has taken. And that at least in the Formal Education System that hasn't happened here YET.

In my country you can find all sorts of sects of foreign origin that are based on Christianism and they usually (the probable exceptions are the Mormons and the Opus Dei) target people below the poverty line, so if their views include Creationism or ID quite obviously they are incorporating this into their preaching.

And yes, I agree, if they triumph in the US, the rest of the world where Christianism is the prevalent religion comes next.

Argos
2005-Apr-07, 02:33 PM
I imagine they just aren't in Venezuela and Brazil yet but they will be if things continue as they are.
I agree and this is an important point. Don't make the mistake of thinking that your country is immune. If the creationists triumph in the U.S., they will come after yours next.

In fact, the article posted in the previous page about cretionism in the U.K. indicates that they already are doing it, discreetly. You can bet that if they succeed in the U.S. they'll stop being so discrete elsewhere.

Very well said. I agree with both of you (and S.O. too). Thatīs why I monitor with attention what happens in the US now.

Lurker
2005-Apr-07, 05:05 PM
This is the one issue I have always had with the democratic process. The truth is not democratic. The sum of 1+1 = 2 even when the masses are ready to rise up and overthrow the tyranny of the mathematical establishment.

Go figure!!

kittynboi
2005-Apr-08, 01:23 AM
When I was at The Amazing Meeting 3 (a JREF convention) I was surprised at the concern the Americans I met had over the encroachment of creationism into education. I spoke to three different biology teachers (one college, two high school) who told me about battling creationist students every year, as well as parents who were finding out that creationists were trying to get evolution out of their local science curriculum. One couple from Texas home-schools their daughter now because they had no comfort in the local school's ability to give their daughter a resonable education in science.

At the end of the conference I came away with the sense that the problem is worse than I had initially thought. This may be why National Geographic highlighted evolution in an issue a few months ago.


Most of the battles about Evolution occur on the local level in the lower grades. I think that after the 1987, I believe it was, ruling that teaching creationism in schools would violate church-state seperation, the fundies decided to abandon a top down approach and decided to work form the bottom up, with local school boards and such.

I read an article today about how the ban on gay marriage in Kansas has energized some of the religious right types there, and one of the next things they're setting their sights on is some sort of ban on evolution iin schools.

Spacewriter
2005-Apr-08, 01:31 AM
Well, why not? Most of those fundy types stopped evolving a long time ago. They don't recognize progress when they see it. ;)

If evolution is made illegal then only illegal types will evolve.

Or something like that.

Maksutov
2005-Apr-08, 02:27 AM
Here's the mailing cover for the April 2005 Smithsonian magazine.

http://img215.exs.cx/img215/561/smithsonianmailingcover2005040.th.jpg (http://img215.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img215&image=smithsonianmailingcover200 5040.jpg)

The lead into the article states:


Eighty years after a Dayton, Tennessee jury found John Scopes guilty of teaching evolution, the citizens of "Monkeytown" still say Darwin's for the birds.
Having spent a lot of time in Tennessee, some time in Dayton, and nearly two decades in the Southeast, I can vouch for the accuracy of the article. Down here creationism is the norm, with Darwin's work and the foundation of mainstream biology usually spelled "evilution". H. L. Mencken would find Dayton very familiar since almost nothing, including the minds, attitudes, beliefs, and lack of scientific knowledge of its residents, has changed since he covered the Scopes trial. :roll:

peter eldergill
2005-Apr-08, 03:00 AM
What, exactly, does "religious right" actually mean? Is there a reason why relious activists can't be "left"? I just don't get it. Please help

Keep in mind I don't understand the difference between Republican and Democrat in the USA either, and I'm in Canada....

I've never heard of any school board up here being harassed for teaching evolution, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen ( was that a double negative?)

Pete

beskeptical
2005-Apr-08, 07:40 AM
What, exactly, does "religious right" actually mean? Is there a reason why relious activists can't be "left"? I just don't get it. Please help

Keep in mind I don't understand the difference between Republican and Democrat in the USA either, and I'm in Canada....

I've never heard of any school board up here being harassed for teaching evolution, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen ( was that a double negative?)

PeteThere are plenty of religious lefties in the US and even some of the religious right have all sorts of view points. But a very vocal group of fundamentalist Christians have alligned themselves with the Republican party. I'd say more but this is the wrong board.

Makgraf
2005-Apr-08, 06:18 PM
The more I read this thread, the more I think that Intelligent Design should be taught in class. Have one class that basically says, "there's no proof for this, here's way etc etc". Then maybe you wouldn't have people believing all these crazy things. The problem isn't going to go away by sticking heads in the sand (which is why I think the letter is a good thing).



Only problem I see with that idea (and I happen to agree with you) is that religious institutions are not educational institutions. :)

Exactly! And educational institutions are not religious institutions either! Why should an educational institution be required to teach a religious concept...at all? If they do, which religious concepts should they be required to teach? How about reincarnation? How about the concept of karma? The list could go on and on.
It's not a matter of religious vs educational but private vs public. As far as I can see it all this stuff would apply to public institutions, but private schools wouldn't be affected. Likewise if the church was public (drat that pesky First Amendment!) then the state could mandate evolution be taught as well.


The acceptance of a God at any level is no more absurd than Creationism. It's like being 'a little bit pregnant'.
If this is the argument switches from "ID is wrong because it's not true" to "Belief in any kind of supreme being the same as ID" then we will lose. America is a very religious country and getting more so. The same is happening, on aggregate, throughout the whole world.


The sum of 1+1 = 2 even when the masses are ready to rise up and overthrow the tyranny of the mathematical establishment.
Obviously you've never read Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity (http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/transgress_v2/transgress_v2_singlefile.html):
Just as liberal feminists are frequently content with a minimal agenda of legal and social equality for women and "pro-choice'', so liberal (and even some socialist) mathematicians are often content to work within the hegemonic Zermelo-Fraenkel framework (which, reflecting its nineteenth-century liberal origins, already incorporates the axiom of equality) supplemented only by the axiom of choice. But this framework is grossly insufficient for a liberatory mathematics, as was proven long ago by Cohen (1966)*



What, exactly, does "religious right" actually mean? Is there a reason why relious activists can't be "left"? I just don't get it. Please help

Keep in mind I don't understand the difference between Republican and Democrat in the USA either, and I'm in Canada....
The religious left used to be quite active, the aforementioned Scopes monkey trial was prosecuted by a three-time Democractic Presidential candidate (who was upset, in part, that evolution was taught in a very social-darwinistic vein that promoted cut-throat capitalism). You see its last harumph in the '60's with the civil rights movement. The growing evangelical movement, the impact of legalized abortion on the catholic church and the growing irrevelence of mainline protestant denominations all helped supplant the religious left with the religious right. In general the "religious right" is not just an ideology but an organized movement, "the Christian Coalition" took over many state Repblican parties. That said there are plenty of religious lefties and even lefty evangelicals.

*Disclaimer, this article is a joke.

Superluminal
2005-Apr-08, 06:41 PM
What makes me mad is when Creationists try to say that science is faith based. That is the furtherest from the truth.
Take for example the Mars rock ALH 84001: Dr. Mccay says he has found evidence for life on Mars. Most scientists, and people on this board, would be exstatic if life where to be found on Mars. But what happened? His press conferance was barely over, before the very people who would love for him to be right started picking his research apart. Today the consensus seems to be that he was wrong. If science had been faith based, we would all yell "Praise be to Mccay, there's life on Mars." End of debate.

Or the accelorating universe, an idea that most astronomers are uncomfortable with. But it has survived all attempts, that I am aware of, to this point to disprove it. Again, if science where faith based, those astronomers would have been shouted down and ignored.

beskeptical
2005-Apr-08, 06:47 PM
What makes me mad is when Creationists try to say that science is faith based. .....More Wedge strategy.

Disinfo Agent
2005-Apr-08, 08:00 PM
The sum of 1+1 = 2 even when the masses are ready to rise up and overthrow the tyranny of the mathematical establishment.
Obviously you've never read Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity (http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/transgress_v2/transgress_v2_singlefile.html):
Just as liberal feminists are frequently content with a minimal agenda of legal and social equality for women and "pro-choice'', so liberal (and even some socialist) mathematicians are often content to work within the hegemonic Zermelo-Fraenkel framework (which, reflecting its nineteenth-century liberal origins, already incorporates the axiom of equality) supplemented only by the axiom of choice. But this framework is grossly insufficient for a liberatory mathematics, as was proven long ago by Cohen (1966)
Loved it! :wink: :D

Brady Yoon
2005-Apr-08, 11:29 PM
Religion is a part of human life and culture, just like the arts, science, music, etc. It will be with people as long as humans are alive because we naturally fear the unknown and death. No religion means no humanity. But religion fundamentalism is a horrible thing that promotes ignorance, intolerance, and even violence (look at terrorism).

As we progress into the 21st century, I think it will definitely be science that contributes more to society than religion. I can't take sides because although I doubt the existence of a God or any superhuman deity, I can never know for sure because anything is possible.

Whatever happens, evolution is a theory that has been supported by many experiments and shown directly. Nobody's criticizing continental drift or electricity.

Religious fundamentalists need to understand that you can't explain how the world was made through one source and one book, even if you are a firm believer of that faith.

I can write my own holy book that says that I created the universe, but people many years from now will never believe it. Why? Because that's the only source it comes from. There's no other evidence to support my claims, only that one book.

I believe in science because it just makes more sense to me, and its predictions testable. Even though science isn't perfect and cannot explain everything at this current time, I feel confident because I know they're at least trying to find the theories that explain everything, unlike religion, which never shows progress.

Moose
2005-Apr-09, 12:00 AM
No religion means no humanity.

I would challenge this.

I have no religion. I do not believe in a god and I never have. I do not believe in an afterlife. Although I do understand why some need that "security blanket", I am content to accept what comes, when it comes.

None of this diminishes my humanity. I am as compassionate, moral, warm, strong, and frail as the next guy.

N C More
2005-Apr-09, 12:23 AM
Here's (http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/evolution.htm) an interesting site that gives a great overview on the continuing debate. Snip:


The controversy continues in new forms today. In 1999, for example, the Kansas Board of Education voted to remove evolution from the list of subjects tested on state standardized tests, in effect encouraging local school boards to consider dropping or de-emphasizing evolution. In 2000, Kansas voters responded to the proposed change by throwing out enough anti-evolution Board members to restore the old science standards. In 2002, attention shifted to Ohio, which is presently considering changes in its science curriculum.

Maksutov
2005-Apr-09, 12:27 AM
[edit]Religion is a part of human life and culture, just like the arts, science, music, etc.
Sweeping generalization that's flawed. It's not a part of my life, nor is it a part of the lives of many millions of other people.


No religion means no humanity...
Wrong.

I have plenty of non-religious friends and relatives who prove this to be untrue. In fact, they exhibit the most humanity of any people I know.

Spacewriter
2005-Apr-09, 12:35 AM
I have no religion and I challenge anyone to say that I am less than human for it. I have a great spirituality that is my own personal business and not for advertising to the highest bidder in return for votes, bread, and circuses.

Brady Yoon
2005-Apr-09, 01:22 AM
[edit]Religion is a part of human life and culture, just like the arts, science, music, etc.
Sweeping generalization that's flawed. It's not a part of my life, nor is it a part of the lives of many millions of other people.


No religion means no humanity...
Wrong.

I have plenty of non-religious friends and relatives who prove this to be untrue. In fact, they exhibit the most humanity of any people I know.

Well, sometimes generalizations do make an important pointt. Some people don't care for religion, art, science, music, etc. but nevertheless, all four of these are a part of human culture.

When I said no religion means no humanity, I don't mean that not having religion means being less human (I'm an atheist/agnostic myself.) Humanity causes religious beliefs (why is there religion, its because we're sometimes insecure and fear the unknown), NOT the other way around, saying that religions beliefs bring about humanity.

WaxRubiks
2005-Apr-09, 04:11 AM
The creationists in America are doing to science what Bin Laden did to the twin towers, they are trying to hijacker education and they want to crash it into the tower that is science.
Some churches are so bankrupts do to their clamp down on free thinking that they have run out of the life that makes religion worth having. They have no where left to go except to become more dogmatic more restrictive. Fundamentalist are becoming so much like Bin Laden's lot but they can't see it.

Superluminal
2005-Apr-09, 04:32 AM
I was turned off by our preacher in the early 80's. Arkansas was having its version of the scopes trial. He was pounding the podium and said that anyone who believed in evolution had no business being in his church. Havn't been back since.

WaxRubiks
2005-Apr-09, 04:34 AM
Of course the real way to defeat the creationists that want to sneak their ideas into education with the ID argument is to refer them to the many parasitic organisms that plague mankind, tapeworm etc.. They serve no purpose and if using the ID argument, would have to be designed. By whom would be the next question, if they tried to bring in some malevolent forces then the whole ID argument starts to become overtly religious.

Brady Yoon
2005-Apr-09, 06:47 AM
The creationists in America are doing to science what Bin Laden did to the twin towers, they are trying to hijacker education and they want to crash it into the tower that is science.
Some churches are so bankrupts do to their clamp down on free thinking that they have run out of the life that makes religion worth having. They have no where left to go except to become more dogmatic more restrictive. Fundamentalist are becoming so much like Bin Laden's lot but they can't see it.

Pretty strong analogy, and I hope what you say isn't happening.

But I'm confident in America nonetheless. Call it just a feeling, but I can't help but thinking that the state of our nation's going to improve.

Brady Yoon
2005-Apr-09, 06:52 AM
No religion means no humanity.

I would challenge this.

I have no religion. I do not believe in a god and I never have. I do not believe in an afterlife. Although I do understand why some need that "security blanket", I am content to accept what comes, when it comes.

None of this diminishes my humanity. I am as compassionate, moral, warm, strong, and frail as the next guy.

Ahh.. I have offended too many people...

It seems like you're taking my comment as saying that you're inhumane if you're not religious. By no means am I saying that!

I'm saying that if we called to remove all religion from life and dismiss it as nonsense, that is removing a component of society that many people still hold dear, whether it's right or not. Right now, religion is very important in some people's lives just as science is important in ours.

Sigma_Orionis
2005-Apr-09, 04:00 PM
No religion means no humanity.

I would challenge this.

I have no religion. I do not believe in a god and I never have. I do not believe in an afterlife. Although I do understand why some need that "security blanket", I am content to accept what comes, when it comes.

None of this diminishes my humanity. I am as compassionate, moral, warm, strong, and frail as the next guy.

Ahh.. I have offended too many people...

It seems like you're taking my comment as saying that you're inhumane if you're not religious. By no means am I saying that!

I'm saying that if we called to remove all religion from life and dismiss it as nonsense, that is removing a component of society that many people still hold dear, whether it's right or not. Right now, religion is very important in some people's lives just as science is important in ours.

Being a devout atheist (and according to a friend of mine also an anarchist, an ascet and supposedly "autonomical"), :lol: I must agree with you, Religion IS a part of society (and hence of humanity) and it will stay like that for a long time.

beskeptical
2005-Apr-10, 07:39 AM
....

I'm saying that if we called to remove all religion from life and dismiss it as nonsense, that is removing a component of society that many people still hold dear, whether it's right or not. Right now, religion is very important in some people's lives just as science is important in ours."Right now"...that's better. I don't think religion is necessarily with humanity to stay. It may take a few thousand years but I have faith :wink: that eventually humanity will figure out the whole religion thing was based on ignorance of how the Universe works. Religion may evolve into something else or be replaced by an evidence based belief system.

Hmmmm...maybe this is getting into forbidden territory. Sorry.

Moose
2005-Apr-10, 11:41 AM
I'm saying that if we called to remove all religion from life and dismiss it as nonsense, that is removing a component of society that many people still hold dear, whether it's right or not. Right now, religion is very important in some people's lives just as science is important in ours.

Okay, I think that does clarifies your stance considerably. Society is indeed a much better word for what you're trying to express. Humanity comes loaded with a number of other definitions, as you saw. *chuckle*

Maksutov
2005-Apr-27, 04:41 AM
The comedy continues in Kansas. (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=624&ncid=753&e=2&u=/ap/20050426/ap_on_sc/kansas_evolution) :roll:

Normandy6644
2005-Apr-27, 05:12 AM
Does anyone else find it ironic that the statement "we want our children to hear both sides" is identical to "we want people to believe in creationism"?


At Topeka West High, Stephanie Bailey, a 14-year-old who previously attended a Lutheran school, is skeptical of evolution, particularly the notion that man and other animals have common ancestors. "Scientists don't have all the answers," she said.

:roll: Is this what our education system is producing?

Lianachan
2005-Apr-27, 07:54 AM
Itīs fascinating how this issue affects only the US among the western countries.

Possibly because the US is now more or less a Christian Theocracy.

the_shaggy_one
2005-Apr-27, 05:10 PM
Itīs fascinating how this issue affects only the US among the western countries.

Possibly because the US is now more or less a Christian Theocracy.

Carefull there...

farmerjumperdon
2005-Apr-27, 05:59 PM
I'm not sure of the exact source, but I did read something, and I believe it was in a link in a thread on this site, that claimed the US as the only industrialized nation where a simple majority of citezens still believe in creation. That may be where the comments about the US problem with fundamentalist wackos not being a problem elsewhere came from.

Why we still have such a majority of believers appears to me to be a matter of economics. Again, follow the money trail. I am pretty well traveled, and my impression is that religion is marketed in the US to a degree that no other place can match. Religion here is for sale like a can of peas or a pack of cigarettes. And a whole lot of religion is being sold. The religious institutions that fan the flames of the bonfire at the anti-intelligence rally are financially threatened with the loss of their fundamentalist flock.

It is religious, and political, and more than either of those, it is financial.

I also agree that religion as we know it today will eventually disappear from all Earth cultures. And I do mean eventually, hundreds and maybe thousands of years (if we survive). It will not be a flat line decrease. There will be humps and bumps in the chart just like most other long-term trends. Heck, I think we are in a mini Dark Ages right now.

Things will change - that is the one thing for which we can be certain. I just wish I could see more than the next 30 or 40 years of it. But then again, that's part of how the change happens. As someone famous said, "The world changes one funeral at a time."

mike alexander
2005-Apr-27, 07:08 PM
I offer the thought that religious belief is paradoxically strengthened by the advancement of science and natural inquiry.

As more and more aspects of the physical world are examined and found to have explainable natural causes, supernatural belief moves into the abstract and unexplainable. Where once a god could speak in thunder from a cloud-shrouded mountain, we can now look down from orbit and see that the mountain is actually pretty insignificant, whether Sinai or Olympus. Plagues are caused by miniscule infectious agents and not the wrath of a god. So the desire to believe in something of a supernatural nature must almost inevitably move away from the testable. And as a result of this, the mere idea of testing or inquiry become anathema. Since science tends to push outward into the envelope of the unknown, it can be seen as a threat, and then pushing back against it becomes an inherently good thing.

The Bad Astronomer
2005-Apr-27, 07:37 PM
I am stepping in here to say:

"Watch it."

Got it?

Spacewriter
2005-Apr-27, 07:38 PM
Does anyone else find it ironic that the statement "we want our children to hear both sides" is identical to "we want people to believe in creationism"?


At Topeka West High, Stephanie Bailey, a 14-year-old who previously attended a Lutheran school, is skeptical of evolution, particularly the notion that man and other animals have common ancestors. "Scientists don't have all the answers," she said.

:roll: Is this what our education system is producing?

Excuse me, but an ill-educated 14-year-old doesn't have the tools for critical thinking. The fact that she's being denied these by her school district is another form of child abuse.

Normandy6644
2005-Apr-27, 08:35 PM
Does anyone else find it ironic that the statement "we want our children to hear both sides" is identical to "we want people to believe in creationism"?


At Topeka West High, Stephanie Bailey, a 14-year-old who previously attended a Lutheran school, is skeptical of evolution, particularly the notion that man and other animals have common ancestors. "Scientists don't have all the answers," she said.

:roll: Is this what our education system is producing?

Excuse me, but an ill-educated 14-year-old doesn't have the tools for critical thinking. The fact that she's being denied these by her school district is another form of child abuse.

Fourteen is high school freshman, correct? At that point she should have at least learned some tools for critical thinking. I certainly agree with your second statement though, that the school district is denying her the opportinuty to develop and hone those skills.

Gillianren
2005-Apr-27, 11:11 PM
I think religion, where it relates to science in a critical mind, equates to a sense of wonder--at least for me.

but that isn't the point. the point is, as people keep saying, you can't not teach how the world works. you can't say, "gravity's only a theory"--even though, technically at least, it is.

we were discussing GR over on the MythBusters board, and some kid who swore he'd developed an FTL communication device was having GR explained to him as slowly as possible. he kept saying that it was like an investigation, and you didn't go into an investigation w/preconceptions. (though you do; humans can't avoid them.)

well, no, I agreed, but GR isn't an investigation--it's a tool that you use in investigations. so is evolution. it's not the crime, it's the forensics.

Lurker
2005-Apr-28, 02:15 AM
I do think that for many people there is a spiritual side to life that needs expression. I know that I am one of these, but I do not look to science to either accept or embrace this aspect of my life.

Science is a tool for separating that which is known from that which is not. It would rather discard something that is true than accept something that is false. It is a very harsh dicipline, in this regard, and that is how it should be; but it is only a TOOL. Until humanity understood the nature of nuclear fusion, science could not provide the answer for the question "How does the sun work?" and yet the sun unquestionably existed.

Life must be lived in the present and as such, it must be lived without all the answers. ALL the answers are not available and are unlikely to be found in our life time; and yet life must be lived. I have had a few experiences in my life for which I am not prepared to accept the scientific explanation. They are very personal experiences and they need to stay that way. Ultimately this is my choice and I may be right in this or I may be wrong. In the end I believe this is how it should be. The choice is mine to make and tools are meant to serve me not rule me.

SciFi Chick
2005-Apr-28, 01:46 PM
Does anyone else find it ironic that the statement "we want our children to hear both sides" is identical to "we want people to believe in creationism"?


At Topeka West High, Stephanie Bailey, a 14-year-old who previously attended a Lutheran school, is skeptical of evolution, particularly the notion that man and other animals have common ancestors. "Scientists don't have all the answers," she said.

:roll: Is this what our education system is producing?

Excuse me, but an ill-educated 14-year-old doesn't have the tools for critical thinking. The fact that she's being denied these by her school district is another form of child abuse.


Fourteen is high school freshman, correct? At that point she should have at least learned some tools for critical thinking. I certainly agree with your second statement though, that the school district is denying her the opportinuty to develop and hone those skills.

Normandy - I think you're missing the point. Critical thinking skills don't usually spring up out of nowhere, so if she is not being taught them by her parents or the school, to sneer at her rather than the school is unfair.

WaxRubiks
2005-Apr-28, 02:25 PM
making the argument about creationism a religion vs. science issue just strengthens creationists resolve and is divisive because many scientists ARE actually Christians to the amazement of atheists, who can be as set in their ways as some religious people.

Normandy6644
2005-Apr-28, 03:03 PM
Does anyone else find it ironic that the statement "we want our children to hear both sides" is identical to "we want people to believe in creationism"?


At Topeka West High, Stephanie Bailey, a 14-year-old who previously attended a Lutheran school, is skeptical of evolution, particularly the notion that man and other animals have common ancestors. "Scientists don't have all the answers," she said.

:roll: Is this what our education system is producing?

Excuse me, but an ill-educated 14-year-old doesn't have the tools for critical thinking. The fact that she's being denied these by her school district is another form of child abuse.


Fourteen is high school freshman, correct? At that point she should have at least learned some tools for critical thinking. I certainly agree with your second statement though, that the school district is denying her the opportinuty to develop and hone those skills.

Normandy - I think you're missing the point. Critical thinking skills don't usually spring up out of nowhere, so if she is not being taught them by her parents or the school, to sneer at her rather than the school is unfair.

No, I understand that too. Obviously one can't put the blame squarely on the school system for this kind of thing since critical thinking absolutely come from the parents at first. The problem is that if nothing is done about it, it's a neverending cycle. Somehow one generation needs to be reached and taught rationality and critical thinking skills, but as long as debates keep happening to give intelligent even the slightest bit of clout, it's going to be difficult.

beskeptical
2005-Apr-29, 07:14 AM
I offer the thought that religious belief is paradoxically strengthened by the advancement of science and natural inquiry.

....Or in other words, two steps forward one step back.

I wouldn't take the results of this or that survey as gospel. You need to look at the survey questions and how diverse the population was they questioned. I think the fact more people in the US believe in God than not is fairly well established but I have a hard time thinking the majority reject evolution and modern cosmology theory.

WaxRubiks
2005-Apr-29, 08:03 AM
PROJECT STEVE (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/steve/)

8-[