"Into the mud, scum queen!"
It is incredible that a post like the one above would get modded to a '5'.
It's this type of attitude that FUELS the kind of legislation that you see before you. It's like you're trying to douse the fire with petrol. Announcing to the world that Christians have "idiotic beliefs" only reveals yourself as a bigot, and if you proudly parade science as the reason for your bigoted attitude, Christians will gladly target science in all its forms. And that's exactly what you see happening.
There are plenty of Christians, even evangelical Christians, who have no problem with any field of science -- including evolutionary biology. For example, the American Scientific Affiliation (http://www.asa3.org) is a 70-year-old organization of Christians in science. They adhere to the Apostles' and Nicene creeds, and they accept everything that science reveals about the world. They have a peer-reviewed publication, Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith, which is quite good. They have sister organizations in the UK and Canada (http://cis.org.uk and http://www.csca.ca./
The BioLogos Foundation (http://www.biologos.org) is an evangelical organization which is attempting to reach out to fundamentalist Christians to persuade them not to treat the Bible as a science textbook. The Faraday Institute (http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/faraday/Institute.php) is another organization of scientists who adhere to a faith, not necessarily Christian.
And of course, there's the Clergy Letter Project (http:/www.theclergyletterproject.org).
There are personal blogs such as http://www.truecreation.info/ http://www.letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/ and http://www.theistic-evolution.org/ which are reaching out in the same way -- specifically targeting the anti-science beliefs of Christians, and NOT their faith as a whole.
If you're really trying to solve the problem at hand (anti-science legislation) wouldn't it be far more wise to encourage Christians to review the work from the organizations listed above, rather than ramming your own atheist belief down their throats?
Apparently he believes in Intelligent Gestation.
True Creation dot info
This phenomenon may have started in the US, but they know very well they'll eventually reach some point of saturation in such a politically divided country. That's why creation science proponents are on an all-out assault on science throughout the world, especially in developing nations.
Oh, you thought it had something to do with missionary work and spreading the Gospel message? NO. These organizations (Institute for Creation Research, Creation Ministries International, The Discovery Institute, and a few other smaller ones) are big business. Look at their Web sites. From the very first page, they're either asking for donations or they're selling you their wares. Homeschooling textbooks, tracts, videos. Yes, the missionary work is integral to their purpose -- they need a wide audience of buyers. They're happy to do that too.
You aren't going to be able to counter this movement with any kind of science education. They have their own "science" now, any science from any other source will be viewed with tremendous suspicion if it conflicts with their view of creation. You need to work this at its source -- by educating people on the history of creationist thought, and the reasons *why* they believe what they do -- educate them on the *reason* why they have a certain *interpretation* of the Bible. If you're an atheist, you'll think it's easy enough, just discredit the Bible. But attacking a person's faith at its core is NOT going to help, it only adds fuel to the fire. So please DON'T take that approach. Seriously, it will make things much, much worse.
The only way forward is to educate Christians on creationism as a movement itself, in a way that is NOT abusive to their faith. Get people to learn specifically about the history of the three organizations mentioned above! There is a tremendous amount of dirty laundry there (see http://truecreation.info/ or the book Searching for Truth with a Broken Flashlight) Better yet, find respected Christians who they trust, who understand science -- and geology, cosmology, and evolutionary biology in particular. It can be done:
The Language of Science and Faith, Karl Giberson and Francis Collins
Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, and Evolution, Deborah Haarsma and Loren Haarsma
Searching for Truth with a Broken Flashlight, Michael Hawley
Beyond the Firmament, Gordon J. Glover
Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul, Kenneth Miller
The Passionate Intellect, Alister McGrath
I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution, Denis O. Lamoureux
The Lost World of Genesis One, John Walton
Besides BioLogos (http://biologos.org), there are other Christian organizations which advocate conducting real science according to the scientific method, evolution and all:
http://asa3.org/ (The American Scientific Affiliation)
http://www.cis.org.uk/ (a UK organization similar to the ASA)
http://www2.wheaton.edu/ACG/ (The Affiliation of Christian Geologists)
http://truecreation.info/ has numerous references, a science advocacy site for evangelical Christians.
By the way, BioLogos's new documentary is due out this week:
is a top-ranking Christian university which promotes a correct scientific understanding of evolution. They recently opened an Evolution Education Research Center in conjunction with Harvard and McGill.
Pepperdine University and Wheaton College are two other prominent Christian colleges which teach evolution.
Sounds good, right?
That said, I still believe that the problem won't go away any time soon. Why? Power and money. The organizations behind the modern-day creationism movement (Institute for Creation Research, Answers in Genesis, Creation Science Evangelism, and The Discovery Institute) are multimillion-dollar Christian textbook publishing houses -- or they supply the "science" for other homeschool textbook publishing houses.
Even when it lands them in jail for tax evasion, they have a cult-like following:
As much as it seems like they're a united front, they love to criticize and sue each other:
It's not about the individual believer anymore. It's not about worldviews. It's not even about the churches! It's about the money-driven organizations that are feeding them. They've sucked people in using slick propaganda, books and Web sites, and encourage people to not just teach this stuff, but to teach other people to teach this stuff.
In short, it's not any different from any modern political movement.
How is this different from a quasar?
Creationism (as in Biblical creationism) is spreading in China through missionary work:
But it's worse than that. US creationist organizations are actively translating their materials and working to disseminate them on a global scale:
Ridley Scott gave us a foreshadowing of *something* like this, exactly 30 years ago. If you were around back then, did you think what Deckard was doing was (a) impossible, (b) something nobody would ever want, or (c) a taste of the future?
I wonder if Lytro drew any inspiration from the movie?
Scientists practice the scientific method. Creationists do not. They practice their faith. But what about your "creation science", you ask.
The entire concept of "creation science" began in 1915 with George McReady Price's textbook, "The Fundamentals of Geology".
Price was a Seventh Day Adventist, and his teachings derived directly from the visions of the teenage prophet Ellen White several decades prior. Ellen White claimed to see visions of Noah's flood and the supposed fossilization of creatures underneath it. What Price added to the mix was the use of scientific terminology to make "flood geology" sound plausible to the (frankly) uneducated layman. He taught that the Earth was approximately 6000 years old, and that all fossils were the result of Noah's flood, and he produced plenty of pseudoscience to support this teaching.
This view was then adopted as the official position of mainstream Protestant Christianity within a few years, by the publication of "The Fundamentals", a series of tracts created by Bible scholars during the early 1920s to try to rein in Christianity which was diverging on many points of faith. (Wonder where "fundamentalism" and "fundamentalist" come from? Most Christians don't even know that it comes from this series of publications.)
To make matters worse, "The Genesis Flood" published in 1960 by Henry Morris picked up where Price left off. The link between Morris and Price is creationism's "dirty little secret", as author Michael Hawley exposes so well in his book, "Searching for Truth with a Broken Flashlight". Henry Morris' organization, the Institute for Creation Research, STILL EXISTS TODAY as a multimillion dollar publishing house pandering to Christians eager for more "creation science". Their research, such as the million-dollar RATE project, forms the basis for much of the "research" used in Christian school and homeschooling materials today.
MOST EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS TODAY WOULD BE HORRIFIED TO KNOW that their "creation science", most of which comes from the ICR, can be traced directly to the teachings of a teenage Seventh Day Adventist prophet in the mid-1800s.
I have a lot to say about "intelligent design" but I'll stop here and get back to the point of this thread: So where's the tie-in with climate change denial? Most of the evidence for long-term climate change comes from ice cores and similar dating methods which yield time ranges going back hundreds of thousands to millions of years. Doesn't fit well with a 6000-year old universe, does it? So of course they reject the evidence. Accepting the evidence would be a tacit admission that creation science is wrong.
I am a Christian. I'll be even more specific: I am an evangelical Christian. But I am sick of the lying and the hypocrisy of these "creation science" and "intelligent design" organizations. A Christian can practice science through the scientific method and still have faith in the God of the Bible. FAITH. We don't need to "prove" God. If you still don't get it, visit resources such as http://truecreation.info/ and http://biologos.org/
Some Christians have no problem with evolution. Even evangelical Christians. They simply understand that, throughout history, absolutely NOBODY has gotten Biblical interpretation correct when it comes to understanding the natural world through the lens of the Bible. Why should they believe that a group of creationists has gotten it right now?
Unfortunately, we evangelicals who "get" this are a very, very small minority within evangelical Christian circles.
Do you know that before the 1900s, almost no Christians believed in young-earth creationism and flood geology -- except for 7th Day Aventists? William Jennings Brian, of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial, certainly didn't hold this point of view. The modern "creation science" movement, along with flood geology, stems directly from the 7th Day Adventist church in the mid-1850s. Fundamentalist Christians picked up these 7th Day Adventist ideas not on their own merits, but because they were fighting a general erosion in Christians' belief in the Bible during the early 1900s. Don't believe me? Read "Searching for Truth with a Broken Flashlight" by Michael Hawley. Or any number of other books that are referenced on the site below.
The only reason that you think that "the Bible says this" and "the Bible says that" with regard to SCIENCE is that you have been socialized to think that way, with ideas that have been generated for you. I'm sorry to be so blunt about this, but it's in your best interest to do some serious research to understand why you believe what you believe regarding the currently in-vogue evangelical interpretation of Genesis chapters 1 and 2.
And again, I'm sorry to be so blunt, but you have no idea what science is. Science does not require faith. Science is an analytical method. You can use the scientific method to examine evidence and draw conclusions. As an individual, you can personally either accept or not accept those conclusions. But when TENS OF THOUSANDS of scientists over the past 150 years, in fields ranging from chemistry, nuclear physics (for radiometric dating), and numerous sub-fields of biology who PRACTICE THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD all reach the same conclusion regarding evolution -- REGARDLESS of their own varying faiths and political temperaments, you better understand that they have arrived at a truth.
What you need to get into your head is: the truth they have arrived at, in no way conflicts with the Bible. Again, I'll ask you to read the site referenced above.
There are resources which show that the Christian faith does not need to attack evolution (at least, for some definition of each).
I've searched, but found nothing similar for Islam. The articles I have found, are strikingly similar to apologetic articles written by intelligent design proponents (http://www.irfi.org/articles/articles_151_200/muslim_responses_to_evolution.htm).
Whenever I hear "Orion" and "manned spaceflight", this is what first comes to mind:
Not necessarily an extinct species. A very similar living specimen was found -- and killed after attacking Special Forces troops in Argentina.
You are right in that Christianity encompasses a wide range of opinions. You are also correct that many promiment scientists were Christian.
However, at present, over 40% of the US population believes in a "young earth". That is not a very small minority.
Source: Reference #7 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Young_Earth_creationism
This has been an ever-increasing problem since the US decline in science education since the end of the Cold War. We aren't going to combat this with debates and statements from authority figures, especially when the debate is between an atheist and an evolutionary creationist. It's too bad we didn't see the debate, because it's almost certain that the debate wasn't over science, but rather theology. I'll bet they agree on the science part. This type of debate is a distraction from the real problem.
The only way we're going to improve this situation is to educate, educate, educate. Provide resources about geology and biology that are squarely directed at those who are Christian. Provide information that deconstructs their impression of science but does not attack their religion. There are Web sites specifically directed at this: