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Creationist Textbook Stickers Declared Unconstitutional 3360

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the separating-church-and-science dept.
An anonymous reader writes "MSNBC reports that a judge in Atlanta, GA has ruled that a sticker placed on all textbooks in Cobb County stating that 'Evolution is a theory, not a fact,' is unconstitutional, and ordered that all stickers be removed."
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Creationist Textbook Stickers Declared Unconstitutional

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:33PM (#11356242)
    No. If you ever took any science class beyond High School, you'd know a theory never becomes a law. For 1 simple reason. A theory covers a complex system (Evolution, which is comprised of many ideas, Relativity, which is almost assuredly true, but covers a great deal of information), and a law covers a single thing (3 Laws of Gravity, Thermodynamics).

    So, no. If anyone ever even calls evolution a law, they get a big idiot sticker in my book.
  • Re:Which religion? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DylanQuixote (538987) <dylan@hardiERDOSson.net minus math_god> on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:40PM (#11356376) Homepage
    I know it is popular to call atheism a religion, but that doesn't make it true. That is like calling the lack of atmosphere an atmosphere.

    If I have a religion, as in what I believe in, I'd call it the scientific method. And my god would be Truth.
  • by aendeuryu (844048) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:41PM (#11356380)
    By that logic, you are declaring Evolution a religion...

    I'm doing no such thing. You're confusing analogy with equivalence.

    My point is that Christianity (specifically, Creationistic Christianity) is going outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour by trying to intrude on other disciplines. If the converse were done to them and their bibles, hopefully they could see the error in their ways.

    Unlikely, though. Christianity's biggest problem, as Joseph Campbell pointed out, was that for Christians it's more important to believe the existence of Jesus, Adam and Eve, Satan, etc. than it is to understand the meaningful significance behind them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:41PM (#11356384)
    Just look at what these brilliant scientists of tomorrow have discovered [jesussave.us]

    1st Place: "My Uncle Is A Man Named Steve (Not A Monkey)"

    One of my personal favorites

    2nd Place: "Women Were Designed For Homemaking"

    Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker.

    (P.S. that site is for real)
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:42PM (#11356399)
    It is not clear to me what the sticker has to do with separation of church and state. The sticker made no reference to any religious beliefs, and only cautioned the reader to take the material with a grain of salt. This is *always* good advice: people should never blindly accept any theory as fact.

    Furthermore, evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life, only the ways in which it has changed since it began. I have never heard a remotely plausible theory regarding the origin of life. People have not yet been able to create anything nearly as complex as a machine which can produce more of itself outside of laboratory conditions, and the idea that such machines just "happened" accidentally is far-fetched at best.

    Don't get me wrong here - the notion that some all-seeing, all-knowing invisible superhero created life so that it could be fawned over is even more absurd. But just because we can't figure out how it started doesn't mean we should accept "it just happened by accident". Did VCRs also spontaneously arise out of the primordial soup? A VCR is a far far simpler device than a self-reproducing automaton...

  • by deft (253558) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:46PM (#11356478) Homepage
    I found this in an earlier article on slashdot (the one where they asked a grip of scientists what they believe without being able to prove).

    This was spot on for me, and since we're in the smart room right now with this article, I thought I'd share. It's a wonderful explanation of why critical thinkers can still have faith.
    ----------------

    TOR NØRRETRANDERS
    Science Writer; Consultant; Lecturer, Copenhagen; Author, The User Illusion

    I believe in belief--or rather: I have faith in having faith. Yet, I am an atheist (or a "bright" as some would have it). How can that be?

    It is important to have faith, but not necessarily in God. Faith is important far outside the realm of religion: having faith in other people, in oneself, in the world, in the existence of truth, justice and beauty. There is a continuum of faith, from the basic everyday trust in others to the grand devotion to divine entities.

    Recent discoveries in behavioural sciences, such as experimental economics and game theory, shows that it is a common human attitude towards the world to have faith. It is vital in human interactions; and it is no coincidence that the importance of anchoring behaviour in riskful trust is stressed in worlds as far apart as Søren Kierkegaard's existentialist christianity and modern theories of bargaining behaviour in economic interactions. Both stress the importance of the inner, subjective conviction as the basis for actions, the feeling of an inner glow.

    One could say that modern behavioral science is re-discovering the importance of faith that has been known to religions for a long time. And I would argue that this re-discovery shows us that the activity of having faith can be decoupled from the belief in divine entities.

    So here is what I have faith in: We have a hand backing us, not as a divine foresight or control, but in the very simple and concrete sense that we are all survivors. We are all the result of a very long line of survivors who survived long enough to have offspring. Amoeba, rodents and mammals. We can therefore have confidence that we are experts in survival. We have a wisdom inside, inherited from millions of generations of animals and humans, a knowledge of how to go about life. That does not in any way imply foresight or planning ahead on our behalf. It only implies that we have a reason to trust out ability to deal with whatever challenges we meet. We have inherited such an ability.

    Therefore, we can trust each other, ourselves and life itself. We have no guarantee or promises for eternal life, not at all. The enigma of death is still there, ineradicable.

    But we a reason to have confidence in ourselves. The basic fact that we are still here--despite snakes, stupidity and nuclear weapons--gives us reason to have confidence in ourselves and each other, to trust others and to trust life. To have faith.

    Because we are here, we have reason for having faith in having faith.
  • by starworks5 (139327) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:47PM (#11356485) Homepage
    The Intelligent Design movement has opened my eyes. I realize that although I believe that evolution explains why the living world is the way it is, I can't actually prove it. At least not to the satisfaction of the ID folk, who seem to require that every example of extraordinary complexity and clever plumbing in nature be fully traced back (not just traceable back) along an evolutionary tree to prove that it wasn't directed by an invisible hand. If the scientific community won't do that, then the arguments goes that they must accept a large red "theory" stamp placed on the evolution textbooks and that alternative theories, such as "guided" evolution and creationism, be taught alongside.

    So, by this standard, virtually everything I believe in must now fall under the shadow of unproveability. Most importantly, this includes the belief that democracy, capitalism and other market-driven systems (including evolution!) are better than their alternatives. Indeed, I suppose I should now refer to them as the "theory of democracy" and the "theory of capitalism", to join the theory of evolution, and accept the teaching of living Marxism and fascism as alternatives in high schools.

    Written by :
    CHRIS W. ANDERSON
    Editor-In-Chief, Wired
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Narchie Troll (581273) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:47PM (#11356494)
    Yes. In fact, there are many alive today. You're one of them.

    All models of macroevolution feature gradual change at some point. There's no such thing as an "evolutionary state", and I'd like to ask you where you learned that there was so I can bludgeon your biology teacher.

    Evolution itself has been observed countless times in living organisms. Macroevolution has been observed a number of times in a geologically insignificant period.
  • by chemstar (457943) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:49PM (#11356514) Homepage
    Let me break it down for you.

    Science is developing a theory from known facts. It's called the Scientific Method. You know, Francis Bacon. Maybe you don't.

    Magic, I mean Creationism, is trying to find facts to fit a predetermined theory, in this case an ancient story that everything is done with magic. *Poof*

    The difference is innate, and despite what many fundamentalist think, science will never be religion. The two are incompatible. Just ask Copernicus.
  • Re:Yay! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:50PM (#11356537)
    Whoa, whoa, whoa. They are ruling that stickers saying "Evolution is a theory, not a fact" are unconsitutional. God, the bible, and creationism has NOTHING to do with this.

    I do agree: Feelings like -1 free speech to me, beliefs aside.
  • by wotevah (620758) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:58PM (#11356665) Journal

    Cut and paste to avoid slashdot effect.

    Page titled "Evolution is a Fact and a Theory":
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.htm l

    When non-biologists talk about biological evolution they often confuse two different aspects of the definition. On the one hand there is the question of whether or not modern organisms have evolved from older ancestral organisms or whether modern species are continuing to change over time. On the other hand there are questions about the mechanism of the observed changes... how did evolution occur? Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution.
    [...]

    Hence, saying that for sure evolution "is not a fact" at best cannot be proven, at at worst is downright false.

    Want more ? http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html

    Quote:
    Creationist claims are numerous and varied, so it is often difficult to track down information on any given claim. Plus, creationists constantly come up with new claims which need addressing. This site attempts, as much as possible, to make it easy to find rebuttals and references from the scientific community to any and all of the various creationist claims. It is updated frequently; see the What's New page for the latest changes.
  • by cartel (845256) on Thursday January 13, 2005 @11:58PM (#11356668)
    evolution "is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. The material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered."
    This does not have anything to do with creation. It simply says that evolution is only a theory and should be not be accepted as 100% fact.
  • Re:Yay! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheWickedKingJeremy (578077) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:13AM (#11356867) Homepage
    I can't say it better than this post [slashdot.org] did, so I will simply link to it.

    If we want to have warning stickers attached to everything that is a theory (including gravity) then we can at least have a conversation about this - but this was clearly a case of trying to confuse and influence those reading the textbooks. In order to see it a different way, simply reverse the situation. What if, in San Francisco, they started putting stickers on textbooks that said the following:

    This book makes references to God. There has been no testable proof that God or any other form of supreme being exists throughout human history.

    Is it true? Yes. Would putting such a sticker on school's textbooks have a motive other than the simple conveying of a fact? Yes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:18AM (#11356937)
    I love the hypocrisy of the Christian Right.

    Evolution my be a theory, but scientific evidence exists that certainly supports it. To that, they say "The material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered"-- but we're supposed to accept the claptrap in the Bible literally and without question, and without any concrete evidence whatsoever?

    If you ask me, it's the Bible that needs a sticker on the front: "Danger! May cause extreme self-righteousness in the weak-minded and suggestible."
  • by srNeu (559432) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:20AM (#11356958)
    That doesn't mean the theory is false

    Correct, but finding evidence of a trilobites in a human sandal fossil and human footprints embedded in 250-million-year-old coal veins [apologeticspress.org] bring up interesting points on why the evolution theory does not change to meet the found facts, but rather the facts are discarded becuase they don't fit the theory. If a physicist threw out facts, he would be ripped apart, but evolutionists are given a free ride to say and do whatever matches their flawed theory.

    Plus the discovery of cave paintings of dinosaurs and pottery with extremely realistic depictions of man and dinosaurs together [apologeticspress.org] shoot more holes in the whole evolutiontists timetables.
  • by randallpowell (842587) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:30AM (#11357095)
    When do we take *in god we trust* off the dollar bill. Isn't that govt sponsored? Lower case 'g' would be better.

    What about "One nation under god" in the Pledge? Again, lower case 'g' would be fine.

    What do people swear in on when going under "oath" in the court room again? How about the holy text of their choice?

    And you're telling me a sticker that states a FACT is unconstitutional.. heh.. No. The sticker implies that creationism is a theory when it is a believe. Teaching it as an alterative to science will corrupt our education system even more.

    USA, land of the greedy and oblivious. You're a Republician, right?

  • Re:Thank God! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TWX (665546) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:36AM (#11357161)
    Furthermore, evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life, only the ways in which it has changed since it began. I have never heard a remotely plausible theory regarding the origin of life. People have not yet been able to create anything nearly as complex as a machine which can produce more of itself outside of laboratory conditions, and the idea that such machines just "happened" accidentally is far-fetched at best.


    Scientists have, however, managed to zap at contained vats of chemicals that could be similar to the soup that was Earth's conditions before life and managed to get some very basic 'things' that could be the precursors to life as we know it. Unfortunately, they don't have millennia to continue to monitor and experiment on these vats of organic chemicals to see what actually happens to them.

    I think that it's very plausible that amino acids and proteins, combined with a whole slew of other compounds came together and started to have different chemical reactions that built upon themselves leading to "life". Also, small, simple systems are easily mutated chemically at such a stage, so new variants would crop up in the process of dividing or chemically reacting, continuing the diversification. Over time pieces combine or split and grow in complexity, eventually joining into simple multicellular organisms, then further.
  • I'm an American... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by br00tus (528477) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:49AM (#11357359)
    ...but this kind of crap embarrasses me. There are a lot of small things that are wrong with the US, but this goes a little over the line and pops up as an indication of how far things have gone. I know a lot of people who moved to Atlanta and work at tech companies down there, and are raising their children there. I couldn't imagine having a child and sending him or her to a school controlled by the same kind of fanatics that run madrasas in third world countries. I read in Mississippi, 10% of students receive corporal punishment at least once a year. This is about as far removed from the kind of Deweyist, scientific education I'd want my children to have if I ever have children. I have a little bit of an in at getting an IT job in the EU (I can get dual citizenship and work in the EU if I want). If I could get all my ducks in a row I'd leave the US in a heartbeat. The US has been on a downward spiral since the late 1960's/early 1970's, especially in relative economic terms. Looking 20-30 years out, I don't think it's going to be the kind of place a white collar family would want to be (or a blue collar one for that matter, but they're stuck here). The best global students are switching from US to European universities, third world countries are switching from the dollar to the euro, and I have a feeling Europe is where a lot of the coming biotech boom will be as well. Hopefully I can accomplish the big move in the next few years.
  • Re: What? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by belmolis (702863) <billposer@alum.miPARISt.edu minus city> on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:51AM (#11357375) Homepage

    I believe that the official Roman Catholic view is that evolution took place as scientists believe. They add the claim that at the point at which humans became human, God infused them with souls. This isn't really inconsistent with biological theory since biology doesn't have anything to say about souls. Effectively, the official view is biology + infusion of the soul.

    I agree that those Christians who believe in evolution would not agree that life evolved purely as a result of cosmic chance, but evolution in and of itself doesn't require that. A purely materialist scientist sees no need to appeal to anything other than chance, but one can hold a perfectly orthodox view of evolution and at the same time believe that a Supreme Being set the whole thing in motion.

  • Re:Thank God! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Atraxen (790188) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:56AM (#11357441)
    Strecker Synthesis type reactions, if I recall correctly, are what you're referring to here. Yeah, you can make amino acids with the right mix and a bolt of lightning. But proteins denature pretty easily with changes in pH or temperature - the major advantage complex organisms have over single-cellular life is the ability to create/maintain homeostasis. If we're talking about primordial soup, there's a good chance that anything that gets made then breaks. And even if you get amino acids, what then? That's not life. Amino acids can form proteins - to use the body-as-computer analogy, even if we assume DNA was formed and maintained at stable/favorable conditions, you've got the equivalent of a hard drive with an OS installed - but you have no motherboard to read it with yet... I'm not saying evolution didn't happen - the probabilty of all the conditions lining up like dominoes is unlikely, but no worse than most hypotheses out there - these kids MUST learn that science is acheived by consensus, theories are simply our 'best model' (you didn't learn statistical mechanics in grade school, but you probably learned the Bohr model - a model advances but is still useful within its boundary conditions), and that all theories/hypotheses MUST be critically examined. Right, back to my beer now.
  • Re:Yay! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by c1ay (703047) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:56AM (#11357444) Homepage
    I wonder why they need a sticker in the first place to decree that the theory of evolution is just that, a theory. It's not like it's taught as the law of evolution or something similar. Imagine if they applied this concept to math books. They'd have to bind the books with lots of extra blank pages just to hold all the stickers to reiterate that each theory is just a theory and not a fact.
  • A little tidbit (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dantheman82 (765429) on Friday January 14, 2005 @12:58AM (#11357473) Homepage
    There was a poll on the MSNBC website:
    Do you agree that officially mandated textbook stickers labeling evolution as "a theory, not a fact" are unconstitutional?
    *45% - Yes, it violates separation of church and state.
    *11% - The stickers are a terrible idea, but they're not unconstitutional.
    *42% - The board was right to put the stickers in, and the judge was wrong to take them out.
    3% - None of the above.
    For what it's worth, it seems like the reading audience is fairly divided. Or someone had fun with a script and their cookies... ;)

    Some people believe Newton's physics theories still explain the physics in the universe (rather than Einstein's). Some people believe everything they read in science textbooks rather than questioning things...
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:00AM (#11357505)
    "Did VCRs also spontaneously arise out of the primordial soup? A VCR is a far far simpler device than a self-reproducing automaton..."
    Wow, go back to bio class.

    talkorigins.com:
    "Nor is abiogenesis (the origin of the first life) due purely to chance. Atoms and molecules arrange themselves not purely randomly, but according to their chemical properties. In the case of carbon atoms especially, this means complex molecules are sure to form spontaneously, and these complex molecules can influence each other to create even more complex molecules. Once a molecule forms that is approximately self-replicating, natural selection will guide the formation of ever more efficient replicators. The first self-replicating object didn't need to be as complex as a modern cell or even a strand of DNA. Some self-replicating molecules are not really all that complex (as organic molecules go)."

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptio ns .html
  • I wonder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrLint (519792) on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:09AM (#11357612) Journal
    if the bibles in Cobb county have stickers advising people to consider other belief systems?
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by srleffler (721400) on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:15AM (#11357682)
    I wondered about that too, but after reading some of the other comments on here, it seems that the issue is more a matter of motivation: the wording on the stickers is indeed very carefully chosen to be neutral, but it was a purely religious motivation that caused the school board to put the stickers on the books, so their presence on the books is a violation of separation of church and state regardless of what the stickers actually say.
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by elmegil (12001) on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:22AM (#11357771) Homepage Journal
    It's still NOT religion. And last time I checked one of the very foundations of science is the "scientific method", the whole point of which is to QUESTION "fashionable theories".

    Just because some scientists waste their time in journals being dogmatic assholes to protect their funding doesn't mean science is wrong or bad, any more than it's fair for me to blame all Christianity for Jerry Fallwell and his ilk.

  • Re:Yay! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pooua (265915) on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:33AM (#11357881) Homepage
    introducing a topic with a statement pretty much saying "everything I'm going to present might be wrong"-- which I claim this is equivalent to -- is not a way to get students to think they are learning something important.

    Nevertheless, that should be the general statement made before teaching any branch of science. What you are suggesting is psychological manipulation to ignore that fact. This is like putting a sticker on a math book saying "1+1=2 is only true according to some beliefs. Proceed with caution."

    No, in that you are wrong. Bertrand Russell spent several years and actually proved, in the real and rigorous sense of the word, that 1+1 = 2. Indeed, it may be that only logical statements (such as those expressed in mathematics) can be proved; almost nothing in the physical world can be.

  • Re:Dear Creationists (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Rares Marian (83629) < ... dfgsdfgsdgsdhsh>> on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:35AM (#11357896) Homepage
    It called an analogy. study of another, if you will. Why is it people are so unable to suppose something rather than taking it literally? If I say start a problem with there's a train in chicago, are you going to actually believe there's a train in Chicago?
  • Re:Yay! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Pooua (265915) on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:36AM (#11357907) Homepage
    what are you trying to say, that ID, is an actual "theory" ?!?

    It would be well to point out another development on this front:

    "NEW YORK Dec 9, 2004 -- A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God more or less based on scientific evidence, and says so on a video released Thursday.

    "At age 81, after decades of insisting belief is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence or first cause must have created the universe. A super-intelligence is the only good explanation for the origin of life and the complexity of nature, Flew said in a telephone interview from England."

    ABC News: Famous Atheist Now Believes in God [go.com]

  • Re:Thank God! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@nOSpAM.gmail.com> on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:38AM (#11357931) Homepage
    This is an excellent point.

    No it's not.

    Why are evolutionsts so defensive about their theory?

    Because they believe strongly in it, and find it puzzling why people would dispute it. If there was a large movement in the US to label the earth as flat in school textbooks the astronomers would just as vehemently react.

    But the basic idea that if someone defends something energetically then they're hiding something is just bizarre. It makes no sense. And it's a pretty open field, you can just pick up a geology textbook and see why they say what they do. As a field it's not especially incomprehensible to the layman.

    Have you ever honestly looked at the evidence for a global flood of immense proportions?

    Yes.

    It's scary.

    Not really.
  • by IdahoEv (195056) on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:44AM (#11357983) Homepage
    I'll be the one screaming "medic!" at the top of my lungs. Modern medicine may just be a theory but I reckon it's statistically a better bet than relying on His strength.

    And you'd be absolutely right. In the current conflict in Iraq, the death rate from battle wounds is only 1.6%, whereas in vietnam it was 3.68%, more than twice as high. [army.mil] The army, at least, attributes this huge increase in survivability to modern medical technology and improved practice.

    looked at as a ratio of wounded (but survived) to killed, the current ratio is 7.6:1. Going backwards in time, counting only U.S. soldiers:
    Vietnam: 2.6:1
    WWII: 1.7:1
    WWI: 1.8:1
    US Civil War: 0.74:1

    In other words, a trend consistently shows more people surviving war wounds as time goes on.

    Meanwhile, the evidence is not that there has been a massive (factor of twenty) increase in religiosity in the United States since the Civil war. Certainly, available data show that people self-identifying as Christian have decreased significantly between 1990 and 2004.

    So the evidence would seem to indicate, unless God has consistently increased his tendency to save the lives of wounded soldiers despite no significant increase in their faith, that improvements in medical technology are in fact a good bet for saving your life when you're lying bleeding on the battlefield.

    Good call, mike260.

  • Re:Thank God! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by macdaddy (38372) * on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:45AM (#11357996) Homepage Journal
    Take that probability and then combine it with the fact that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In all that time don't you think it would be possible for the right series of events to happen that would create life? In that time frame the Earth managed to create a working nuclear fission reactor at Oklo. Isn't it just as probable that life could also be created in that same time frame? The weaker life creations die out and the stronger survive, over and over and over and over again until 4.5billion years later we write about it on Slashdot. It's not that unlikely at all IMHO.
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rburgess3 (682428) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <3ssegrubr>> on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:46AM (#11357997)
    Except that 'God did it,' isn't really an answer. If we accepted that, we'd still be carrying around sharpened sticks. The religious mind-set has a terrible track record with this line of thought. Every time someone crops up with 'God did it,' they turn out to be wrong. 100% of the time.

    'God did it,' by being the answer to, literally, everything is meaningless. What is there to learn when you already know the answers to all the "why's" out there? Unfortunately, one of religion's major faults is basic anti-intellectualism.
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mikeg22 (601691) on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:48AM (#11358025)
    Macroevolution has been observed, if by macroevolution, you mean the evolution of completely new species. These cases of speciation [talkorigins.org] have been observed in the laboratory. Oh, and if you want to observe monkeys(sic) turning into humans, take a look at the fossil record.
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lemaymd (801076) on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:53AM (#11358065) Homepage
    Be more specific about where to look. (I don't believe you can) The intermediate creatures or ancient men cited by evolutionists have all turned out to be regular humans suffering from debilitating, deforming diseases. By the way, we are actually devolving through the process of mutation, not evolving. Ancient man is superior.
  • Re:Dear Creationists (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GryMor (88799) on Friday January 14, 2005 @02:02AM (#11358160)
    Err, thats not particularly usefull. Better to say:

    Dear Creationists,

    We'll put these stickers on our science textbooks when you put "God's existance is an untestable hypothesis that can never rise to the level of validity of a theory. Belief that 'God' created the universe is as demonstratable and testable as 'invisible pink elephants' created the universe."

  • Re:Creationist? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by krenner (679206) on Friday January 14, 2005 @02:47AM (#11358532)
    How religious is your evolution? While I have Creationist leanings, I realize that religious theories probably do not belong in public schools. But Evolution is just as religious as creationism but in an athiestic sense. Consider my foolish thoughts below:
    • The chance of a beneficial genetic mutation is close to zero. It's much less likely than a tossed deck of cards landing neatly stacked in an order that conveys meaning. (if you didn't like that one, then go with the classic "monkeys with typewriters" comparison)
    • Evolutionists keep expanding the time frame of events to explain away the infinitesimal chance of beneficial mutations occuring.
    • They dig up fossils of several creatures and decide that there was some sort of evolutionary relationship between them. Why can't there just have existed distinct creatures that may or may not have similar traits, but no ancestorial relationships?
    • Evolutionists have an agenda. They want to explain the world in a way that is acceptable to their athiest views. I know that creationists also have an agenda, but my point is that evolutionists are not unbiased observers.
    I guess my point is that evolution is as religious as creationism is. What little observable science there is can't prove or disprove either theory. Maybe a thousand years from now, scientists will observe how much we have "evolved" between now and then, and have some scientific data to back up those observations. But a thousand years is a drop in the ocean to evolution, so it probably wont prove much of anything.
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dondelelcaro (81997) <don@donarmstrong.com> on Friday January 14, 2005 @03:12AM (#11358706) Homepage Journal
    That's not life. Amino acids can form proteins - to use the body-as-computer analogy, even if we assume DNA was formed and maintained at stable/favorable conditions, you've got the equivalent of a hard drive with an OS installed -
    It's more likely that the earliest forms of life were nothing more than RNA strands with the ability to self replicate. It's already well known that RNA plays a significant role in the most critical cellular functions (replication and protein synthesis) whereas the protein role in these functions is secondary. This hypothesis is commonly refered to as the RNA World hypothesis.

    The other half of this, separation of life from non-life, was most likley brought about by another set of events, codified into the so called Lipid World hypothesis.

    Finally, as far as homeostatis, every cell on the planet expends a considerable amount of energy carefully regulating its internal environment. There's nothing magical about a multi-cellular organism that obsolves it from this critical role. As you sit reading this, fully 2/3 of the energy being expended by your brain is going directly to maintaining a specific Na+/K+ concentration gradient. The same is true for the bacteria on your skin, but to a slightly lesser extent.
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by thecsharppro (849595) on Friday January 14, 2005 @03:42AM (#11358908)
    Where is the physical evidence for the theory of common ancestry? Where are the missing links? In this particular case, evolution, in my opinion, flies in the face of science by ignoring some of the obvious missing pieces of evidence.

    Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I came to my faith, not early on in my childhood, but much later in adulthood. Being agnostic most of my life and growing up with science in school, I was (and still am) very interested in things like astronomy and cosmology. Frankly, I see the beauty of God's work in the heavens every time I set up my telescope.

    However, perhaps unlike many baptised-at-birth Christians who knew about the teachings of Jesus their whole life, I came to faith through my own search for answers to bigger questions. To me, it simply seems to impossible to think that the universe and all that's in it, including us, is the result of some random roll of the cosmic dice.

    On the other hand, I see a certain parity between science and religion. I don't think they necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. Just like science can't explain the pre-big bang universe, it also can't explain the "Why am I here question?". If you can accept that science, when pursued in a truly unbiased way, helps to explain the physical universe and the phenomenon that we see in it, then it seems natural to me to think that religion is the way to explain the "Why am I here question?".

  • Re:Thank God! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tdelaney (458893) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:02AM (#11359027)
    And yet we appear to be observing it here in Australia, where over the last 30-odd years *three* species of snake appear to have bred out mouths large enough to eat cane toads that are old enough to produce enough poison to kill them.

    These snakes can still eat younger cane toads, but not the ones that can kill them.

    But no one's ever observed macro evolution.
  • by ultranova (717540) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:28AM (#11359166)

    Gravity is a fact and a theory.

    No. "Things fall down" is a fact - an observed phenomenon. "Things fall down because there's a force called gravity that causes an attractive force between any two masses" is a theory.

    As for the sticker, "evolution" means "species change over time". This has been observed, so it is a fact. "Theory of Evolution", on the other hand, says that "All species on Earth were born from a common ancestor through evolution", which may be true, partially true ("some, but not all, species developed from a common ancestor through evolution") or completely false. Therefore, it is not a fact.

    It should also be noted that one of the reasons that the Theory of Evolution gained so much support was simply a counterreaction to the centuries of oppression by religion and the then-fashionable atheism; scientists, being humans, aren't any more immune to letting fashion influence their thinking than anyone else. It was fashionable to deny the existence of God, and the authority of church, so any theory that would allow people to do so seemed inherently better than it's merits might have allowed.

  • Re:Thank God! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wass (72082) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:38AM (#11359234)
    Contrary to popular belief, the Christian view has always been, "Look at the evidence."

    Okay, I've been to a few church services (Catholic, Gospel, several other Protestant sects), but I've not encountered this view. Can you show in the Bible, the associated liturgy, or transcripts of well-known prechers/ministers where one is urged to challenge conventional views (as in the Eastern religions I mentioned previously)? Or specifically where the lack of evidence (sorry, a missing body does not by itself indicate resurrection) of the Resurrection, Heaven, Hell, Satan, etc imply that these components of Christianity aren't that important to it's overall practice? Or better yet, where accepting Jesus isn't as important as helping someone more needy?

    I'm not trying to denigrate you nor criticize Christianity, it's just that all of my experiences at Christian ceremonies and services focused primarily on faith and had very little to do with experience. So I am curious to know about this. I'll admit I've perhaps only been to 15 church services total, so that's a relatively small sample size. In my experiences so far, most of these services involved three basic tenets, all with a common reward or punishment - Accept Jesus, avoid sin, and practice righteousness of character. Adherence to these goals (with absolutely no evidence that is shown) will reward the good Christian soul with Heaven, failure to do these will send him/her to hell. The reward of heaven by accepting Jesus is the concept most often mentioned, seeming to permeate everything (in my experiences anyway). And quite often (most notably on the TV bible personalities) versus are quoted directly from the bible and presented as fact, or as the absolute authority on which to base your actions.

    I don't see how blindly accepting Jesus and Heaven or Hell has anything to do with experience and proof, but only as blind faith. I've never seen a preacher/minister or religious Christian question whether Heaven/Hell exists or whether Jesus was really the Son of God. Neither on top of that have I seen the encouragement of challenging conventionally-established views. Once again, I'm not criticizing any of these sects of Christianity, but in my experiences so far they have not demonstrated to me any sense of experience, but instead base almost everything on faith.

    I'm sure there are churches or other branches where being a "Good Christian" and helping others is more important than accepting Jesus and going to heaven, and where they discuss complicated situations and how to best deal with them (with no persuasion of heaven/hell by choosing the right path), etc. But I've not encountered any of these yet.

  • Re:Which religion? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sbaker (47485) * on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:38AM (#11359237) Homepage
    You are certainly correct about the dictionary definition of the word 'Atheist' - but that avoids the point that an overwhelming majority of people who describe themselves as atheists are also disbelievers of all kinds of 'supernatural' matters, and disbelief in religion of necessity makes you an atheist.

    So what word would you recommend for someone who rejects both God and Religion if not 'Atheist'?

    I'm certainly one of those people.

    For believers in religions and/or gods, I find that they typically want to label me as 'Agnostic' - which suggests some measure of doubt on my part. They are a little horrified when I tell them "No - I'm quite certain that there isn't a God."

    For me, God is precisely as believable as the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause. I really, truly cannot put any more conviction into it than that. This makes it very hard to take anything that religious people say seriously. If you met an adult who fervently believed in the Tooth Fairy and modelled their life on that basis, you'd think they were a certifyable lunatic!

    What I fail to understand about believers is this. If I truly believed in the existance of a being with utterly unlimited powers who could see and hear absolutely everything and who could understand everything - yet who would be prepared to accept the terrible things that happen on Earth without offering help - and (worse) condem people he regards as 'sinners' to an infinite prison sentence beyond death in the most inhumane conditions with pain and torture...would I be able to live my daily life?

    To follow such a dangerous, sadistic maniac with the fervor that people do would seem impossible to me even if I believed in him. Yet to oppose such a being and risk literally infinite punishment is an unacceptable risk too. I truly don't know what I would do. Certainly, the idea of just persuing my daily life in humdrum normality making the occasional trip to church would be impossible.

    Even if I could somehow rationalise the bad things that this guy permits to happen, I couldn't *possibly* risk upsetting the guy. How is it that religious people ever come even close to breaking God's rules? Yet they clearly do it all the time! I'd be terrified that I'd picked the wrong God! What the Christian God wants may be 180 degrees off what some Wikkan believer thinks is the case - the consequences of being wrong would be rather serious.

    How can religious people stand to live that way? I can only imagine that they are just totally lacking in critical thinking skills...but then that's a given for someone who might just as likely believe in Santa Clause.

    Welcome to my world!
  • by Shrei (772115) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:58AM (#11359339)
    Well Thats not the worst part of that site [jesussave.us], i don't like to be OT, but this deserve a mention, look at this part of the site:

    However, these propagandists aren't just targeting the young. Take for example Apple Computers, makers of the popular Macintosh line of computers. The real operating system hiding under the newest version of the Macintosh operating system (MacOS X) is called... Darwin! That's right, new Macs are based on Darwinism! While they currently don't advertise this fact to consumers, it is well known among the computer elite, who are mostly Atheists and Pagans. Furthermore, the Darwin OS is released under an "Open Source" license, which is just another name for Communism. They try to hide all of this under a facade of shiny, "lickable" buttons, but the truth has finally come out: Apple Computers promote Godless Darwinism and Communism.

    But is this really such a shock? Lets look for a moment at Apple Computers. Founded by long haired hippies, this company has consistently supported 60's counter-cultural "values"2. But there are even darker undertones to this company than most are aware of. Consider the name of the company and its logo: an apple with a bite taken out of it. This is clearly a reference to the Fall, when Adam and Eve were tempted with an apple3 by the serpent. It is now Apple Computers offering us temptation, thereby aligning themselves with the forces of darkness4. This company is well known for its cult-like following. It isn't much of a stretch to say that it is a cult. Consider co-founder and leader Steve Jobs' constant exhortation through advertising (i.e. mind control) that its followers should "think different". We have to ask ourselves: "think different than whom or what?" The disturbing answer is that they want us to think different than our Christian upbringing, to reject all the values that we have been taught and to heed not the message of the Lord Jesus Christ!


    I really don't like the way they refer to open source, i dont care about it to be communist or not, but the way they say it is intended to scare people away, and they dont see the benefits for us the community.
    and if you continue reading, you will find this:
    It appears we have entered a terrible new phase in the Evolutionism propaganda campaign that Apple Computers has been waging. Apple has just announced the "eMac", a Macintosh computer designed specifically to smuggle Darwinism into our schools! According to their propagandistic sloganeering, the "e" in "eMac" ostensibly stands for "education", although it should be obvious to readers by now that it's really a cryptic tipping of the hat to their true agenda: "Evolutionism". However, this isn't the only thing hiding behind this choice of moniker; according to my research, the name eMac is also a referrence to "Emacs", a program that is a standard-bearer for the Communistic Open Source movement mentioned above and whose mascot is some sort of effeminate-looking, horned devil-man. Is there no end to this tangled web of evil?

    i don't know about you, but i found this extremely disturbing. I know that part of that site is old, like 2002, even so, they are not convincing young people, they are convincing someone's parents.
  • Re:Creationist? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KontinMonet (737319) on Friday January 14, 2005 @04:59AM (#11359344) Homepage Journal
    The chance of a beneficial genetic mutation is close to zero
    Wrong: Evidence [gate.net]

    Evolutionists keep expanding the time frame of events
    Evidence?

    They dig up fossils of several creatures and decide that there was some sort of evolutionary relationship between them. Why can't there just have existed distinct creatures that may or may not have similar traits, but no ancestorial relationships?
    They assume neither and both. The evidence (age, traits etc.etc.) determines one or the other based on previous evidence/conclusions.

    Evolutionists have an agenda
    Based on testable theories. Creationists have no testable theories.
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Forbman (794277) on Friday January 14, 2005 @05:57AM (#11359577)
    When churches also start presenting evolution as part of God's order, then perhaps schools can bring in Judeo-Christian creationism. But if they do that, then by fairness, they should also bring in as many other religios ideas of the creation mythology: Greek is obvious, but there are a bunch of similar-but-different Native American versions that have NOTHING to do with the Judeo-Christian view. Oh, I forgot. They're just a bunch of brown-skinned pagans.

  • by iwbcman (603788) on Friday January 14, 2005 @06:55AM (#11359810) Homepage

    that this pathetic attempt by religous fundamentaists to impose a creationist curriculum makes the critique of evolution and the critique of modern science even more difficult.

    Science is not about truth. The measurement appropriate to science is the measurement of correctness. It is not about truth because it is personally irrelevant-ie. it has nothing to do directly with you or your actions and values-unless you are a scientist engaged in scientific activities. But the dogma of school science is about truth and pupils are by and large incapable of NOT drawing personal conclusions, conclusions about there own being, life and meaning based on what they are taught about science.

    And it is indeed questionable if such is having a detrimental effect on our society. That so many adults are turning to fundamentalist christian beliefs is a an ultra hardcore indictment of our public school instruction about science. The void of personal meaning present in that which is being taught is real and tangible. It's not as if these adults were not subject to evolution in their schools curriculum....

    Being against the fundamentalist doctrine of creationism does not mean that by default one endorses the theory of evolution. But this kind of situation, where the state acts to prevent an endorsement of religion in the public school curriculum, forces the issue-rendering things black and white.

    The whole argument of science vs religion overlooks that there is practically little difference, in terms of conviction, between religion and science. Science is the religion of many modern day earth dwellers. It is accepted with the same kind of passitivity as is the case in most modern christians. Only a tiny percentage of people are actually scientists yet their theories, facts, and findings, translated into language which the non-initiated can understand, form the basis for much of our public schools curriculum.

    Much of the religious nature of modern science is due not to science itself but due to the science (pedagogic) which has evolved to enlighten our childrens minds by teaching them about science.

    Now one can argue about whether the material being taught is really science. And in the process overlook the fact that the indoctrination of scientific values and assumptions in our pupils impressionable minds is anything but scientific. To the extent to which 'science' and 'evolution' have become doctrines administered to our youth in the public school system the issues of what rightly constitutes science is no longer a decision of 'scientists'.

    Evolution, an incredibly broad and overgeneral term for multiple conflicting and competing theories has become the basis of biology and the whole slew of neo-scientific adventures which have sprung up in the past 40 years (socio-biology, pyscho-biology and what not). In these scientific field there exists a degree of consensus about what evolution implies. This consensus around 'evolution'-or rather the raster of interelated theories which form 'evolution' has become so central, so pivotal that such neo-scientific adventures would vanish in a puff of logic if the non-verifiable ultimate hypothesis implied in 'evolution' where sufficiently debunked.

    'Evolution' is in the first place a working tool which aids in organizing, categorizing the abundance of material gathered and explicitly casting these findings in terms of teleological causes.

    As a tool 'evolution' is usefull for these scientific pursuits. As is the case with all tools- this tool will be surplanted in time by newer and more appropriate tools-as the sitution requires. 'Evolution'(eg. Maturana and Varela and the concept of autopoesis, natural drift) of today has remarkably little to do with Charles Darwins "Origins of Species".

    The problem with 'evolution' in specific and 'science' in general is not that they are based on theories. Aside from the fact that everything which is not a theory is either (fantasy, mythology, mystery, fiction) or the unmittigated

  • shessh (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Deternal (239896) on Friday January 14, 2005 @07:04AM (#11359839) Homepage
    I have karma to burn so lets just use some here:

    When you have a theory, and it, in your opinion, makes the most sense compared to whats out there, and you are working in this field, you observations will invariable support the theory you believed in unless you come up with a better one.

    The evolution theory is debated - one reason is that it's basic assumption is the following:
    During one lucky momemt mass, substance and energy functioning in time-space, during one incredible lucky moment combined to form a self-propagating unit and that this element by chance grew and grew and then someday up the line man stood there.

    Set up in that context how good odds would this get in a bet?

    Of course religous people believing a soul have a hard time with this theory since it excludes and denies the presence of a soul and as such has formed the basis for people who believe that there is no soul, that we are basically just lucky to have mutated this way from mud.

    I don't believe it, not even fairy tales are this illogical.

    However since the theory is prevalant and since it's the only explicitly scientific theory I agree it should be taught in schools - but stating on the books that it is A) A theory and B) should be read with a critical mind is just common sense, you should note this about almost any theory and proposed idea.
  • If it is the case why are they not asking for the same stickers to be stuck on EVERY textbook? A fair amount of what is accepted as 'scientific fact' for day to day purposes are is still a theory. And not just the natural sciences with its theories of evolution, relativity, black hole formation but also things like economics and geography textbooks need stickers on them

    There is no such thing as absolute truth in science. Everything is a theory which is supported or refuted by observable evidence and repeatable experiments.

    Here are some example of theories:

    The Earth goes around the Sun

    Matter is made from atoms (ever saw an atom?)

    Electricity is movement of electrons (ever seen an electron?)

    Evolution, as a theory, is as established as any of the above.

  • by pjt33 (739471) on Friday January 14, 2005 @09:18AM (#11360432)
    It's a parody site - or was, before it exceeded its bandwidth quota.
  • Over the pond (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@world3AAA.net minus threevowels> on Friday January 14, 2005 @09:26AM (#11360499) Homepage
    In Britain, evolution is taught as fact in school. We even looked at some evidence ourselves to see how it worked*.

    Even most Christian preists accept evolution here, and just work it into their beleifs. Their attitude tends to be less "we have the answers" and more "there are *philosophical* questions that fall outside the realm of science, and we can help you work them out."

    It seems obvious that the bible isn't supposed to be literal. It contradicts itself, and clearly many of the stories are contrived to put over moral arguments. Why is it then, that certain aspects, like the creation myth, are taken as being literal accounts? At least the stuff about Jesus' life is talking about actual events that people saw. The creation myth is clearly designed to add credibility to the bible, by giving answers to fundamental questions which are difficult to answer. Very few people here take it literally.

    *IIRC, the example was moths in London, during the industrial revolution. At first, they were mostly brown, because that gave them the best camoflage against wood and stone surfaces. When people started burning lots of coal, everything got covered in soot and the air was thick with smog (pea soupa). Black moths blended in better, so after a few decades most moths were black because they had a better chance of living long enough to reproduce. When things cleaned up a bit, the moths eventually went back to being mostly brown.
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday January 14, 2005 @09:32AM (#11360552)
    Seriously though, why is it such a horible thing to have an alternate view presented. Do you realy think these children can only handle one view

    given how brainwashed a mind is, as a result of religious teaching, YES, its very possible that we will raise kids that can't hold multiple ideas in their mind that weren't spoon fed to them by some high-horse moralist wannabe.

    we've worked hard (as a society) to keep a separation betweeen wives-tales and superstitions of the middle ages and actual hard science.

    are we soon going to allow 'doubt' that evil is caused by a black cat crossing your path? do we allow kids to throw salt over their shoulder, for good luck?

    there must be a clear line drawn between the dark ages of thought and modern thought.
  • Re:Thank God! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by halivar (535827) <bfelger.gmail@com> on Friday January 14, 2005 @10:00AM (#11360801) Homepage
    While on the subject, the committee that formed the whole of the religious canon of Christianity did so from a narrow selection of letters written by fanatical cult members over three hundred years earlier.

    You've been listening to Jehovah's Witnesses. You should stop doing that. Trinitarian theology is very strongly rooted in the New Testament.

    Much of the body of the Bible was written in letters by a schizophrenic who was born a hundred years after Christ's death.

    I assume you're talking about Paul. The hypothesis that the Pauline epistles were written years after Jesus' death has been largely discredited by the finding of numerous copies dated around 65 AD, very close to the time the scriptures place themselves. We also have a few copies of the gospels from the same time period. As it is, we have more historical evidence for the correct dating of the New Testament than we do for the epic of Gilgamesh. Or so I've heard; don't take my word for it.
  • by PantsWearer (739529) on Friday January 14, 2005 @10:44AM (#11361233)
    The deluge is common across a lot of mythologies, but it makes more sense to assume its role in the Bible is adapted from the Mesopotamian flood stories.

    Have you ever read the Epic of Gilgamesh? The Flood story in there is nearly identical to the one in the Bible. The names are different, there's a few different secondary items, but it's basically the same layout: God(s) decide to flood the earth, God tells guy to build a boat and put all the living things of the world on it, world gets flooded, guy ends up on top of a mountain.

    There's a nice summary here. [wsu.edu] (Look at Tablet 11.) Interestingly, Utnapishtim (the story's Noah) is immortal when Gilgamesh meets him (well after the flood), very similar to Noah's unusually long lifespan.

    We aren't talking about "Hey, there are two flood survival stories in ancient writings!" we're talking about "Hey, the Hebrews seem to have inherited a flood story and then adapted it to their own use."

  • by male (71469) on Friday January 14, 2005 @01:28PM (#11363666) Homepage
    If you read the decision, the court spends most of the time explaining why the sticker *is* constitutional. However, the sticker still failed the test. Here's one reason why:

    --
    In this case, the Court beleives that an informed, reasonable observer would interpret the Sticker to convey a message of endorsement of religion. That is, the Sticker sends a message to those who oppose evolution for religious reasons that they are favored members of the political community, while the Sticker sends a message to those who beleive in evolution that they are political outsiders. This is particularly so in a case such as this one involving impressionable public school students who are likely to view the message on the Sticker as a union of church and state
    --
  • by vertinox (846076) on Friday January 14, 2005 @02:33PM (#11364825)
    If you think about the improbables than you have to think about your own existance for example. The shear fact that your descendants did not die from disease or get killed in some manner over the centuries leading up to your birth is quite amazing.

    Then you have to think about why you are who you are rather than why weren't you born as someone else (IE born in 1500AD vs 2500AD) then you are just stumped on how you even begin to exist.

    Well the matter is that the universe has infinite time and infinite variants so you had to exist sometime and this was just that time. I have no idea what makes someone exist or even have a soul to begin with, but all sorts of combinations have existed. Perhaps our planet is a fluke and the on average most planets are dead.

    Secondly, I would have to ask you: What if you were born into Islam? Would now that be the truth for you? What about other Christians now? Is their book still "the truth".

    I'm not stating an answer for anything or saying that you are wrong. I could be very well mistaken. Just something for you to think about.
  • Re:"Creationist"? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thefirelane (586885) on Saturday January 15, 2005 @04:44PM (#11374998)
    Creation doesn't make scientific predictions

    Which is why it doesn't belong in "Science" class

    but it does make claims about what the world is like, and I believe that its claims fit reality

    So would saying "The world is really an illusion created by robots who have enslaved us (a la the Matrix)". Remember, I can invent any story to explain how things are... but it it isn't testable or falsafiable then it is not science!

    You think that evolution is the true explanation of why we are here, but why do you care if I believe something which you think is false?

    You are making 2 common mistakes:

    1) assuming people who believe in evolution do not believe in God
    2) Believing the absence of God implies the absence of morals. It is entirely possible to believe in objective morality.. where morality (just like mathematics) can be discovered through the application of reason

    The reason for your pursuit of these things is that you are made in the image of God,

    Or, because curiosity gave our ancestors an evolutionary advantage by allowing us to gather knowledge and manipulate our environment.

    One last thing..

    Basing a scientific theory on predictions seems like sketchy reasoning.

    This is most certainly not 'sketchy reasoning' and only serves to bolster my argument by showing your ignorance about the scientific process. Very often in science a theory is tested by saying something like this: "If the theory of relativity is true, we should expect to see light bend around gravitational objects". Then we make observations. If our observations match our expectations then it bolsters the theory

    Keep in mind, in my previous examples, as well as in all of science the theory is just a model. It might very well be that the reason we see light bend around gravity is due to God, magic, or pixie dust and it just so happens that the theory of relativity lines up with this magic. The model we use to describe what we repeatedly see is called a scientific theory

    Now, as a follow-up question (that I sincerely hope you answer). If we are not a 'bag of chemicals' and have a soul... what happens to our soul when we get drunk? If our thoughts and actions are effected by alcohol, then how is our soul affected? If it is not affected, then our soul is not responsible for our thoughts and actions (as these are affected by alcohol) or our soul is responsible for our thoughts and actions.. and therefore our soul can be drunk.

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