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aporetic_r
2005-Sep-09, 01:52 PM
Just in case you missed it, here is a report published by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center:

http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=254

It indicates, among other things, that 42% of Americans think that "humans and other things have existed in their present form only." Also note that 42% of people indicated that religion is the most important influence on their views about the development of life, followed a distant second by education at a mere 28%.

Aporetic

archman
2005-Sep-09, 03:52 PM
frightening.

boppa
2005-Sep-09, 05:33 PM
42% of americans have never got any higher than the apes...
still living in trees and slamming everyone within sight withas a big a stick as they can find...

sounds about right actually


a rwally rawwly scurry thuttt

its as bustust as it likely to get where any form of fundilism exists
of any form...

i am proud to say for once..

prove me wrong..

SolusLupus
2005-Sep-09, 10:19 PM
Okay, guys, no offence, but I do know some Creationists personally, and I wouldn't insult their intelligence. A lot of creationists or people that are strong in their religious beliefs can actually be pretty darn smart.

Of course, I disagree with them all - I'm a strong advocater of Evolutionism, and I don't believe that religion should be forced upon science books and science teachers, since it's not a topic that should go under science, but instead religion... I'm also not religious at all, and have no religious convictions. I'm not an atheist, I just tend to think that it would be impossible to really say what's what for sure, especially with the limited resources we have.

Nonetheless, I've been called an idiot for "not seeing that a higher power is above everything", and it hurt. I wouldn't want to call someone that has religious convictions an idiot just for having those convictions.

Anyways, that's just my personal opinion. As is everything I'd ever post here, I'd suppose :P

GOURDHEAD
2005-Sep-10, 12:41 AM
Nonetheless, I've been called an idiot for "not seeing that a higher power is above everything", and it hurt. Your description of your belief system appears to tag you as an agnostic, not an atheist. Whether one is an atheist, agnostic, or a deist of some sort, she should hold her beliefs sufficiently confidently to not be at all hurt by others calling her an idiot. It is the caller not the callee that should feel hurt, embarrassed actually, as soon as she realizes what that action implies about her. Many atheists seem militantly opposed to believers; these I would tag as anti-theists as opposed to atheists and in need of a support system to sort out their emotions.

Gillianren
2005-Sep-10, 01:18 AM
Your description of your belief system appears to tag you as an agnostic, not an atheist. Whether one is an atheist, agnostic, or a deist of some sort, she should hold her beliefs sufficiently confidently to not be at all hurt by others calling her an idiot. It is the caller not the callee that should feel hurt, embarrassed actually, as soon as she realizes what that action implies about her. Many atheists seem militantly opposed to believers; these I would tag as anti-theists as opposed to atheists and in need of a support system to sort out their emotions.

if someone you love calls you an idiot, it hurts whether or not you "hold your beliefs sufficiently," or at least, that's been my experience. and, in fact, I've had both atheists and theists insult my personal beliefs, and, yes, how much it hurt depended on how much respect I'd previously had for the person. in fact, I still haven't told my mother about my change in religion (now going on ten years old), because I'm wary of how she'll react.

aporetic_r
2005-Sep-10, 04:25 AM
It wasn't my intention to insult anybody about anything. I am all about the Evolution, but my post was intended only to inform people about the new study.

Aporetic

SolusLupus
2005-Sep-10, 05:53 PM
I was more responding to Boppa, really, Aporetic. I have no problem with the post you made, it was interesting data to have.

Yes, I'm an agnostic, though I always feel wary of tacking a title onto my beliefs. Especially since I've seen a huge debate erupt about the definition of agnostic and atheist. Including how Agnostic doesn't really mean what most think, it's what atheist means, and vice versa, and blah blah blah I really don't care anymore blah blah blah.

*Cough* Yeah, I'm just rambling now. Don't mind the crazy wulf. >.>

novaderrik
2005-Sep-11, 06:09 AM
it seems to me that the evolutionists are kind of winning. the creationists are already starting to backpedal and say that God used evolution to make us- the whole "intelligent design" deal. but they won't just come out and say they were wrong or whatever. they just take the other idea and twist it to fit what they already belive, and say that if you don't believe what they believe verbatim, you are a sinning idiot. besides, you can't really PROVE that evolution exists, just like you can't PROVE that God didn't use evolution to create us. twisted logic at it's finest.
maybe the book of Genesis is just the only way the ancients knew how to explain evolution. it does, after all, kind of fit the way scientists tend to think the universe was created.

El_Spectre
2005-Sep-11, 06:34 AM
There's no reason smart people can't believe dumb ideas.

And it gets more complicated... understanding evolution takes a significant amount of learning, and it makes no claims about humans being special. Faith is simple, comforting and appeals to the ego (created in His image, separate from the beasts, etc.).

It seems like we're pre-wired to automatically accept that which makes us happy, unless we make a conscious effort not to. Faith (with big poppa god and special humans) fits this rather well. So it is actually against human nature to think critically.

What can I say... logical analysis wasn't as important on the african plains :)

ToSeek
2005-Sep-11, 03:13 PM
Evolution is winning everywhere except in the eyes of the public, and pretty much just the American public at that. Most biologists consider creationists to be inconsequential nutters and ignore them, though that appears to be changing as the ID movement has been making inroads into teaching standards and such - the scientists are starting to realize that they actually need to do something about it.

Arneb
2005-Sep-11, 03:40 PM
...the scientists are starting to realize that they actually need to do something about it.
I have to second that. From Europe, the whole creationism debate is viewed with disbelief and lots of head-shaking, Schönborn or no Schönborn.

I think the ID/creationism debate is kept alive on two principles: a) that in a media-controlled society any idiocy becomes relevant if only it is repeated loudly enough and often enough; and b) that strong pressure groups in the US interested in a rabidly conservative and at the same time docilely uneducated public make sure these idiocies are repeated loudly and often. After all, there is so much power and money to be made from stupid people.

So there is no reason whatsoever that this or similar issues might not become virulent in Europe, although Europe's current secularism is a bit of an antidote for the moment. Maybe Europe's anti-technolgy movements (coming under the veil of environmental protection) are a rough equivalent to your ID infestation: Pseuodo- or anti-scientific in their principles, preferring dogma over fact, equating scientific thinking with moral shortcomings. Ask Glom about the antinuclear movement over here and he won't stop ranting for some considerable time.

Yes, ToSeek, scientists have to do something about it. The websites attached to this board ;) are a good model.

blueshift
2005-Sep-11, 09:55 PM
Democritus is one of the founders of atheism and for whom "democracy" is named after..Atheism was simply defined as a belief in the atomic theory.

To repeat...If the forces of religion wish for equal time at the pulpit of Democritus in the schools, then it stands to reason that voices of Democritus should have equal time at the pulpit of the congregations on Sundays to present supportive views of evolution, random selection and an atheistic view of morality that castes the values of Christianity into doubt..

Does anyone really think that those who wrote the scriptures of the major religions really had a desire to suffocate the future generations by dumping their "legacies" upon them? Handwriting was new to the first writers of biblical verse and the concept that some future generation might be able to receive a message that spanned across time must have been mindblowing to them...

Handwriting to them could be easily equated to what the internet is to us...a new toy and tool to play with..The messages they left in those pages would seem to be a way of introducing themselves to the future, saying in effect, "Hello, this is what we were thinking long before you." They left a simple greeting card, nothing more.

We have sent messages aboard the Voyager on a CD disk that some distant future species may receive some day..Do we really wish to dump our values upon them? Or, are we just sending them a greeting card as well? What if the being has 6000 appendages; 652,000 eyes; and what if it takes 1700 of them arranged into a crystalline structure that uses 3 more spatial dimensions than what we see in order to reproduce one of themselves? How would they relate to our "values"? For such beings one eyelash could render a town meeting. The eye shadow humans have might be seen as a declaration of war.. Our reproduction system would be a puzzle..(Where's the rest of them?)

The pits and lands of the CD might have no more meaning to them than something for their pet to bury after it is curled up to fit snuggly into another hidden dimension..

Their response could even be one of offense.."Those arrogant fools! It is bad enough that they try to choke the rest of the universe with their human chauvanism..Can't they take a hint? We left them alone to grow and develope by scrambling all our outbound radio signals...Why can't they do the same?

Gillianren
2005-Sep-11, 10:22 PM
you do know that "democracy" literally means "rule of the people," right? no one named "Democritus" gave his name to it. they just took it from Greek words, like so much of English. further, there's no "founder" of atheism, as that would imply a codified belief system, which atheism obviously doesn't have. (it literally means "a belief in no gods," or some variation thereof.) I'm not disputing your point, mind, just your history.

Arneb
2005-Sep-11, 10:26 PM
Democritus is one of the founders of atheism and for whom "democracy" is named after.
No. Democracy comes from demos = people and kratein = to rule (rule of the people). Demokritos comes from demos and krinein = to judge (he who judges the people).


We have sent messages aboard the Voyager on a CD disk
No. it was on an analogue disk played by scratching a needle over it (aah, the old days). The point is important, because you do not know how to decode the disk - you just have to play it and listen. The manual for using the attached player is provided.

Kesh
2005-Sep-11, 11:50 PM
I think blueshift was being tongue-in-cheek.

... I think.

boppa
2005-Sep-12, 02:30 PM
scary thing is here in australia the fundy christians are also on the upswing
from memory it was the western australian education minister and one of the federal ministers that were recently pushing for id to be taught as science..

aporetic_r
2005-Sep-12, 05:45 PM
I conducted an anonymous poll in one of my classes today, and 72% of my students indicated a belief that "humans were created directly by God, and have never undergone any evolutionary process." Obviously it is a small N study, and there are some other methodological problems, but of my approx. 200 students, 72% are creationists. Incidentally, one of the options was a brief description of intelligent design - very few went with this option.

It is an American government class, so I'm not going to get into the fact that they are horrifically wrong. But there are the numbers.

Aporetic

blueshift
2005-Sep-12, 11:41 PM
I like all of the replies here and I say yes to Kesh for pulling on my intentions correctly..

The concept that a purpose was intended for our being can be traced back to simple observations in ancient times. Genetic science was not around to explain why a seed grew into a flower or why a child grew into an adult and not a bush..Therefore, they had to give cause and effect a two-way arrow, letting effect predetermine cause at times..For them there had to be a destiny or some purpose that dictated that seeds grow into flowers.

Secondly, by observing the final months of a pregnancy to a birth some quite strange behavior had to be explained into some cause and effect scenario..The poking away that a fetus performs from the 8th month (or thereabouts) on woould have raised some serious debates by campfires in the night..Simple comparisons would have raised eyebrows..

"Why do children outside of the womb, obviously older than those still inside wombs, behave so far out of control, breaking things, screaming, running around, crying and being anything but careful? They fear the dark..New borns come out making racket..Meanwhile we can all see that this poking in her belly is so controlled and methodical...Further, why don't any of us remember what is was like in there? Perhaps, something else is in there doing the poking, teaching the infant how to move, sacrificing itself to give life to the new born while it shrivels and dies."

What did the umbulical cord and afterbirth signify to the ancients? Why do you think there is a worship of snakes? It could be that observational science was responsible, in part, for bringing religion and sacrifices into the world..

JessM
2005-Sep-13, 01:07 AM
As a Christian, I don't see why scientific people are so intensely opposed to the concept of Intelligent Design. It all comes to the same end whether God guided it or not, doesn't it?

While I don't agree with Intelligent Design being singled out to be taught alongside "traditional science", I don't see what the problem with it is. Isn't it essentially a way for religious people to agree with the theory of evolution without compromising their religious beliefs? Surely there's nothing wrong with that, in itself.

Personally, I believe in Creation and evolution and both at the same time; either way it has no real impact on the world today. I believe science, and I believe in God. There's no conflict in it.

antoniseb
2005-Sep-13, 01:47 AM
As a Christian, I don't see why scientific people are so intensely opposed to the concept of Intelligent Design. It all comes to the same end whether God guided it or not, doesn't it?

Hi JessM, I don't think that Intelligent Design, as expressed on the ID websites and other sources agrees with modern science. If the position of all churches was that "there is a God, and he made things happen as we see them, and that science can resolve these things more clearly without contradiction because the the church and all scientists should be in awe of what God has done", there would be no problem.

However there are people that believe that man was created in God's own image in October 4004 BC. This position embraces ID, and rejects many branches of science. There is no middle ground on that one.

On this forum, we make a strong effort to be nice to everyone. This is a dangerous topic for us because there are many people with very strongly held beliefs on one side of this or the other. You seem to be in a middle position.

ToSeek
2005-Sep-13, 02:41 AM
As a Christian, I don't see why scientific people are so intensely opposed to the concept of Intelligent Design. It all comes to the same end whether God guided it or not, doesn't it?


Well, I think there are several reasons why mainstream biologists are so up in arms about ID.

1. Most of those behind ID are creationists, i.e., they are not truly interested in the evidence, they're just looking for a way for religious beliefs to be taught in schools.

2. So far, ID is just a "God of the gaps": if you can't explain it, then God must have done it. You can't do science this way. If the answer to every unsolved scientific mystery is God, then what's the point of doing science?

3. ID so far has been about 80% politics and 20% real science. Organizations like the Discovery Institute focus most of their energy on ways of getting ID-related issues with evolution taught in the classroom, shortcutting the scientific process, which involves getting actual evidence for your case before even considering having your hypotheses taught to unsuspecting schoolchildren.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-13, 03:01 AM
On this forum, we make a strong effort to be nice to everyone. This is a dangerous topic for us because there are many people with very strongly held beliefs on one side of this or the other. You seem to be in a middle position.
Yeah, And Welcome ....

Both, to The Board, and To The Position ...

"Clowns to the Left of me, Jokers to The Right," Indeed ....

Quite Frankly, I Think BOTH Extremes, Should Listen, to Those, Who Share, your Point of View!

GOURDHEAD
2005-Sep-13, 11:21 AM
2. So far, ID is just a "God of the gaps": if you can't explain it, then God must have done it. You can't do science this way. If the answer to every unsolved scientific mystery is God, then what's the point of doing science? The point of doing science is to move more and more unanswered questions out of the "God box" into the "scientificly explainable" box.

Kesh
2005-Sep-13, 01:31 PM
Isn't it essentially a way for religious people to agree with the theory of evolution without compromising their religious beliefs? Surely there's nothing wrong with that, in itself.

Actually, no. And that's the problem.

The biggest groups pushing ID (such as the Discovery Institute) are Young-Earth Creationists, which not only pushes evolution out the window, but geology and a number of other sciences. ID in the USA is inherently anti-science.

And the trouble is that most folks don't hear that on the evening news. ID is dangerous because of that. It draws in well-meaning folks like yourself, who have integrated their faith and science into a reasonable world-view. It's only once you look into who's funding and driving this movement that one finds they're quite happy to sweep your views under the rug in favor of their own.

Make no mistake: ID is about wiping away all our scientific findings and methods in favor of one specific religious viewpoint.

I've been following the Pharyngula blog (http://pharyngula.org/index/weblog/) for a while, which neatly gathers up most of the ID information and talking points, showing how they're strictly anti-science.

SolusLupus
2005-Sep-13, 01:52 PM
Okay, I have to do some more research into this ID thing. Y'know, I think a psychologist could make a statement of wry humor just based on them calling themselves "ID"... anyways.

I'll do some more research after I finish with Scientology. Man, that's cracked. Anyhow, thanks for the information on Intelligent Design. It seemed SORT OF reasonable at first, but I still wasn't interested in seeing something like that accepted into any sort of science class. Teach science in science class, teach religion in the church or in a class based on teaching religion (but I think that the two should be taught differently).

Anyways, yeah.

aporetic_r
2005-Sep-13, 02:09 PM
Here is another interesting result from the study I posted above. The higher one's level of eduation, the more likely one is to disgaree with Creationism and agree with Evolution. BUT, of those who agree with evolution, those with a higher level of education are more slightly more likely to agree with ID (and far more likely to agree with natural selection). Note that some of these numbers are within the margin of error of the poll.

Here are the results to which I refer:

"Humans and other things have existed in their present form only:" Agree - High School or less, 50%; Some College 42%; College Graduate 27%

"Humans and other living things have evolved over time, guided by a supreme being:" Agree - High School or less, 15%; Some College 21%; College Graduate 20%

"Humans and other living things have evolved over time through natural selection:" Agree - High School or less, 18%; Some College 26%; College Graduate 40%

blueshift
2005-Sep-13, 04:04 PM
Yet, the result of letting creationism into the school curricula simply to demand "equal time" opens the door for all other belief systems as well..My point of allowing science equal time in church services on a Sunday is to point out how both schools and the churches would have to shut down since EVERY point of view must be considered..There wouldn't be enough time to conduct funerals, weddings, confession, etc. since too many speakers would gobble their share at the pulpit. The same condition would bring havoc to the school system, making it impossible to write one equation on the blackboard due to lack of time..

We separated church and state in order to preserve both..

Disinfo Agent
2005-Sep-13, 08:40 PM
Here is another interesting result from the study I posted above. The higher one's level of eduation, the more likely one is to disgaree with Creationism and agree with Evolution. BUT, of those who agree with evolution, those with a higher level of education are more slightly more likely to agree with ID (and far more likely to agree with natural selection). Note that some of these numbers are within the margin of error of the poll.

Here are the results to which I refer:

"Humans and other things have existed in their present form only:" Agree - High School or less, 50%; Some College 42%; College Graduate 27%

"Humans and other living things have evolved over time, guided by a supreme being:" Agree - High School or less, 15%; Some College 21%; College Graduate 20%

"Humans and other living things have evolved over time through natural selection:" Agree - High School or less, 18%; Some College 26%; College Graduate 40%I honestly don't see how you drew that conclusion from the data. Replying "yes" to the second question is not the same as believing in ID. What ID says is that science alone cannot explain biology (irreducible complexity, and all that), therefore there must have been an intelligent intervention. I may believe that there was intelligent intervention in the creation of life, but that's not the same as saying that the physical data prove there was.

P.S. On the other hand, I took a look at the survey's results, and the following replies are cause for concern, even if the trend seems to be encouraging.


Q63 [...] who should have the PRIMARY responsibility for deciding how evolution is taught in public schools?

[...]

28 Scientists and science teachers
41 Parents
21 School boards
10 Don't know/refusedOf course, the word 'responsibility' is a bit ambiguous...


Q64 Would you generally favor or oppose teaching creationism ALONG WITH evolution in public schools?

[...]

64 Favor 57
26 Oppose 33
10 Don't know/Refused 10

Q65 Would you generally favor or oppose teaching creationism INSTEAD OF evolution in public schools?

38 Favor 33
49 Oppose 54
13 Don't know/Refused 13

Irishman
2005-Sep-13, 09:27 PM
While I don't agree with Intelligent Design being singled out to be taught alongside "traditional science", I don't see what the problem with it is. Isn't it essentially a way for religious people to agree with the theory of evolution without compromising their religious beliefs?

That is one of the biggest misconceptions people seem to have about ID. It is not equivalent to theistic evolution - that god is the cause and evolution is the method. ID is a political and ideological movement to force religious belief into science and into the classroom in the name of science. ID asserts that the methods of evolution are not sufficient to account for the diversity and complexity of life on their own, and that some "divine influence" is required. This divine influence is masked under the name "design", but it really is just supernatural intervention. The stated goal of the Discovery Institute (main proponents of ID) is to put religion back into science.

The proposed justifications and methods of identifying "design" are faulty and do not stand up to scientific scrutiny. Irreducible Complexity has not been demonstrated - Behe's proposed IC elements have been shown by others to not be irreducible, and the principle is flawed because it assumes things about evolution that are not true. Similar flaws apply to the other ID concepts. The science there is goal driven and not credible - it does not stand on the merits. ID is not science, and it is not a benign religious backing to evolution, it is a political agenda to replace evolution with "god did it".

Disinfo Agent
2005-Sep-13, 09:31 PM
It's always a good time to link to Talk Design (http://www.talkdesign.org/). From their FAQ (http://www.talkdesign.org/introfaq.html):


Q. What is Intelligent Design?

A. The beliefs of ID advocates vary greatly. But the core beliefs which they all appear to share are the following:
(a) The action of an intelligent (presumably conscious) being was involved in the evolution of living organisms.
(b) There already exists empirical evidence of this action, sufficient to justify a scientific inference that such action occurred.
The term "Intelligent Design" usually refers to these beliefs together with the arguments which are made in support of them.

It is important to note that people who hold belief (a) but not belief (b) do not generally consider themselves to be advocates of ID, and this web site has no quarrel with such people. It is the claim that there is empirical evidence of design in biology which has provoked a controversy, and which we consider to be false. We argue that this claim is based on pseudoscience, and enjoys the support it does only because it appeals to the religious and/or ideological beliefs of its adherents.

absael
2005-Sep-16, 12:39 AM
"Humans and other things have existed in their present form only:" Agree - High School or less, 50%; Some College 42%; College Graduate 27%

"Humans and other living things have evolved over time, guided by a supreme being:" Agree - High School or less, 15%; Some College 21%; College Graduate 20%

"Humans and other living things have evolved over time through natural selection:" Agree - High School or less, 18%; Some College 26%; College Graduate 40%

This is very scary... only 40% of college graduates believe that living things evolved through natural selection? Natural selection is, to me, such a no-brainer that I am astonished that anybody could make it through college and still not believe it. These are the people that will inherit our country. How could the majority of the educated populace have ignored 170 years of scientific progress? At this rate we'll be back in the Dark Ages before the end of the century.

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2005-Sep-16, 12:50 AM
"Humans and other things have existed in their present form only:" Agree - High School or less, 50%; Some College 42%; College Graduate 27%

"Humans and other living things have evolved over time, guided by a supreme being:" Agree - High School or less, 15%; Some College 21%; College Graduate 20%

"Humans and other living things have evolved over time through natural selection:" Agree - High School or less, 18%; Some College 26%; College Graduate 40%
This is very scary... only 40% of college graduates believe that living things evolved through natural selection? Natural selection is, to me, such a no-brainer that I am astonished that anybody could make it through college and still not believe it. These are the people that will inherit our country. How could the majority of the educated populace have ignored 170 years of scientific progress? At this rate we'll be back in the Dark Ages before the end of the century.
Decade ...

:shifty:

El_Spectre
2005-Sep-16, 01:07 AM
How could the majority of the educated populace have ignored 170 years of scientific progress?

By NOT ignoring 2000 years of doctrine...

hewhocaves
2005-Sep-16, 03:31 AM
by the way, re: the initial poll.

In the creation / evolution area when they ask where you get your beliefs from, and twice as many people say religion as opposed to school, please note that the religion option comes first and is read that way to the person poled.

I'd be curious to see transcripts of actual people being poled. I'm also a little concerned about the predominance of religion throughout the poll and wonder if that biases the person by the time they get to the evolution question.

Still, anything over 5% is seriously unacceptable and there's no way that what I've suggested is going to cover 35%.

John

Disinfo Agent
2005-Nov-09, 05:20 PM
by the way, re: the initial poll.

In the creation / evolution area when they ask where you get your beliefs from, and twice as many people say religion as opposed to school, please note that the religion option comes first and is read that way to the person poled.In my opinion, the question is a bit ill-posed. When people hear the word 'belief', they think of religious faith. Of course, if one is religious -- and most people are --, then the source of one's beliefs is a religion. But science is not about religious faith, is it?

Taks
2005-Nov-09, 05:34 PM
If the forces of religion wish for equal time at the pulpit of Democritus in the schools, then it stands to reason that voices of Democritus should have equal time at the pulpit of the congregations on Sundays to present supportive views of evolution, random selection and an atheistic view of morality that castes the values of Christianity into doubt.unfortunately, this argument does not hold water. public schools are, by definition, public. churches, while allowing the general public access, are private entities.

the argument that the concept of ID should be mentioned in a public school probably has merit. from an historical perspective, it is just as valid as teaching the existence of the greek and roman pantheons (or any other for that matter). that it should be taught as an alternative to evolution, however, does not.

taks

Ken G
2005-Nov-12, 10:44 PM
the argument that the concept of ID should be mentioned in a public school probably has merit. from an historical perspective, it is just as valid as teaching the existence of the greek and roman pantheons (or any other for that matter). that it should be taught as an alternative to evolution, however, does not.

That would be true if ID existed for any other reason than as an alternative to evolution! As it does not, there's really no place at all you can find to put it in school where it is appropriate, except under sociology, subtitled under the lengths humans will go to to cling to outdated modes of thought.

SolusLupus
2005-Nov-12, 10:46 PM
As it does not, there's really no place at all you can find to put it in school where it is appropriate, except under sociology, subtitled under the lengths humans will go to to cling to outdated modes of thought.

At least then ID would go to good use :D

Ken G
2005-Nov-12, 10:49 PM
In the creation / evolution area when they ask where you get your beliefs from, and twice as many people say religion as opposed to school, please note that the religion option comes first and is read that way to the person poled.

I agree with Disinfo Agent. A scientist can answer he/she gets her beliefs about creation from religion, and then turn around and study evolutionary processes. That's because we don't get "beliefs" from science, we get hypotheses, theories, and observational facts. What you believe is up to you, and nobody else should really care. Science is a method, and a set of results that come from that method. It is not a belief system, nor does it need to be. All you have to do is predicate your statements with "scientific evidence indicates..." not "I believe".

Ken G
2005-Nov-12, 10:50 PM
At least then ID would go to good use :D
Well put! :D

TheBlackCat
2005-Nov-13, 06:21 PM
This is very scary... only 40% of college graduates believe that living things evolved through natural selection? Natural selection is, to me, such a no-brainer that I am astonished that anybody could make it through college and still not believe it. These are the people that will inherit our country. How could the majority of the educated populace have ignored 170 years of scientific progress? At this rate we'll be back in the Dark Ages before the end of the century.
You have to remember we are dealing with business school graduates, philosopy majors, english majors, and other such students. These are students who are often required to take just a few semesters of science courses designed for people who don't need to know science and will never use it again in their lives. There are plenty who don't like science and are only taking it to get a passing grade so they meet their major's requirements. They have little or no interest in actually learning the material. I am not saying all people in such majors are like that, but there are quite a few of them. I have engineering friends who were required to only take chemistry for non-chemistry students, they learned pretty much nothing and all consider it a waste of time. My sister took a physics for non-physics students. Not only did she not learn much of anything, a lot of the stuff she did learn (or thought she learned) was wrong. These are often just blow-off courses.

parallaxicality
2005-Nov-13, 07:20 PM
A while back, someone I know reacted with incredulity upon learning that only 25 percent of Americans enter university with enough knowledge to persue a degree in biology. To me, that is an astonishingly high number, when paired with the fact that 42 percent of Americans don't even accept biology's foundation theory, and speaks more of declining standards than it does of declining achievement. Given that the vast majority of college level biology is genetics-based (at least from the textbooks I've seen) it is absolutely impossible for a creationist to pursue anything like a degree in biology or biological research, which places the US at a supreme disadvantage when it comes to this supposed "bioeconomy" that everyone says is about to rule us all.

Someone on this thread mentioned the secular society of Europe. Would that it were true. In the UK, where I am, it is actually possible for the government to fund creationist schools, such as the Emmanuel Academies, since there is no formal separation of church and state.

On the plus side, in my experience, people's views on evolution and creationism are confused and fuzzy at best, largely due to a lack of understanding of the issues. Therefore it is unwise to take the results too literally.

Ken G
2005-Nov-13, 08:54 PM
If any of you are cartoonists, I have one to suggest. A man and his wife are in a car that comes to the head of a bridge. The bridge has a sign next to it that says "Built relying on supernatural forces". The wife says to her husband: "doesn't sound like an intelligent design to me". If you want to use it, go ahead, gratis.

Taks
2005-Nov-13, 09:14 PM
That would be true if ID existed for any other reason than as an alternative to evolution! As it does not, there's really no place at all you can find to put it in school where it is appropriate, except under sociology, subtitled under the lengths humans will go to to cling to outdated modes of thought.social studies, actually, in grade school. and like it or not, ID does not exist solely as an alternative to evolution. ID is dressed up creationism, which came along waaaay before evolution.

no different than teaching greek and roman mythology or mayan religions. but, these are taught in history or social studies class, not science class (maybe anthropology, which is science, but that's a college level course).

taks

Ken G
2005-Nov-13, 09:57 PM
and like it or not, ID does not exist solely as an alternative to evolution. ID is dressed up creationism, which came along waaaay before evolution.

ID is offered as a scientific alternative to evolution, and, like it or not, it exists as a social force entirely for that purpose. Otherwise, why would creationism have to be "dressed up" in the first place?

Gillianren
2005-Nov-13, 11:57 PM
Well, look. I almost certainly didn't enter college with enough knowledge to pursue a degree in biology--because I didn't want one. How many biologists enter college with enough knowledge to pursue a degree in English? (Based on the writing in biology textbooks I've had over the years, not enough.)

And, yes, I was an English major in college. And, yes, I do know that evolution is scientifically validated. (And, yes, I'm trying to figure out a better way of avoiding the word "believe.") However, I've dealt with science majors (fisheries, I think) who didn't know a lot of basics of history. (I've mentioned one of 'em on another thread; she thinks only 100,000 Jews died in the Holocaust, and I'm not sure she believed me when I told her that Gentiles died, too.)

There's just too much information that we're expected to absorb, no matter what interests we have. I, perhaps unreasonably, expect people to at least try to spell things correctly and use the right "its." Nereid expects people to do OOM calculations. All of us have little things in our specialty that we expect people to know, and I'm not sure it's completely reasonable. Certainly current educational methods don't make it possible unless all these little things are on the Test. (Up here, it's the dread WASL. I don't know what it stands for--I doubt it's a festive holiday beverage--but I do know that some of the "correct" answers to the online practice test were wrong.)

I am, I feel confident in saying, never going to need to know the information on how to calculate optics that I allegedly learned in high school. However, there are a lot of not-my-subject things I learned that I'm glad I know, such as good ol' Gregor Mendel's bean experiments. The problem is deciding what falls into which category.

Joff
2005-Nov-14, 01:49 AM
like it or not, ID does not exist solely as an alternative to evolution. ID is dressed up creationism, which came along waaaay before evolution.I must back up Ken here. ID was invented in the late eighties specifically as an alternative to evolution, a stealth device to insinuate creationism into classrooms following the constitutional ruling against out-and-out creationism. So while Creationism predates evolution, in the same way that geocentrism predates heliocentrism, ID does not have any existence except as a mechanism to introduce fundamentalist beliefs into science classes.

Turning the tide requires some advanced empathetics (if there is such a word). The fundamentalists are trying to do the kids a good turn by leaving them some mental manouevring space to accept Bible literalism, without which they're going straight to hell, as the fundamentalists know to the core of their being. So to some extent this has to be fought on a religious level. I wish I had an answer... but I think the only likely method is to keep insisting on real science only and wait for the hard core to so isolate themselves that they fizzle out by driving away their own youngsters.

Ken G
2005-Nov-14, 07:21 AM
I think the answer is to recognize that any "truth" cannot be separated from the method and process that was used to arrive at that truth. Thus in science class, we teach science truths, and truths-in-progress, but these never transcend the method that was used to attain them. The same is true for religioius beliefs, which the people who hold them consider to be truths. Those also never transcend the milieu in which they are generated. So given this, there is no reason to expect "scientific truth" and "religious truth" to agree. It is up to the individual to find the common ground, or just let them coexist. The point is, it is scientific truth that belongs in science classes, and for the record I'd rather drive over a bridge built using that approach to reliability. Ultimately, science has value, which is primarily only useful when there is consensus (i.e., agreement on what a safe bridge is). Religion also has value (certainly to the faithful individual), which need not involve any type of consensus because it is a personal value. We've had 400 years since Galileo, it's time the two learned to coexist.