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BS: Evolution as Heresy?

Hopfolk 29 Sep 05 - 07:21 AM
Keith A of Hertford 29 Sep 05 - 07:38 AM
Stu 29 Sep 05 - 07:39 AM
Bill D 29 Sep 05 - 07:49 AM
Bill D 29 Sep 05 - 08:08 AM
Amos 29 Sep 05 - 08:10 AM
John Hardly 29 Sep 05 - 08:43 AM
GUEST,TIA 29 Sep 05 - 08:54 AM
GUEST 29 Sep 05 - 09:53 AM
Richard Bridge 29 Sep 05 - 10:43 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 Sep 05 - 11:19 AM
GUEST 29 Sep 05 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,TIA 29 Sep 05 - 11:53 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 29 Sep 05 - 11:53 AM
Amos 29 Sep 05 - 11:58 AM
GUEST 29 Sep 05 - 12:20 PM
John Hardly 29 Sep 05 - 12:20 PM
Les in Chorlton 29 Sep 05 - 12:57 PM
Jack the Sailor 29 Sep 05 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,petr 29 Sep 05 - 01:18 PM
Don Firth 29 Sep 05 - 01:21 PM
beardedbruce 29 Sep 05 - 01:27 PM
Amos 29 Sep 05 - 02:05 PM
Grab 29 Sep 05 - 02:28 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 05 - 02:39 PM
Elmer Fudd 29 Sep 05 - 02:41 PM
GUEST 29 Sep 05 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,PeteBoom (at work) 29 Sep 05 - 03:18 PM
Les in Chorlton 29 Sep 05 - 03:24 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 05 - 03:38 PM
Don Firth 29 Sep 05 - 03:39 PM
GUEST,Wondering 29 Sep 05 - 03:44 PM
beardedbruce 29 Sep 05 - 03:45 PM
TheBigPinkLad 29 Sep 05 - 03:51 PM
GUEST,Mrr 29 Sep 05 - 04:47 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 05 - 04:51 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Sep 05 - 05:05 PM
Jeri 29 Sep 05 - 05:39 PM
Peace 29 Sep 05 - 05:43 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 05 - 07:59 PM
frogprince 29 Sep 05 - 08:27 PM
Susan of DT 29 Sep 05 - 09:29 PM
Peace 29 Sep 05 - 10:02 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 05 - 10:03 PM
Peace 29 Sep 05 - 10:05 PM
Lighter 29 Sep 05 - 10:30 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Sep 05 - 10:43 PM
Amos 29 Sep 05 - 11:09 PM
Edain 30 Sep 05 - 09:50 AM
dick greenhaus 30 Sep 05 - 10:08 AM

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Subject: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Hopfolk
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 07:21 AM

With regards to the debate about re-introducing creationist theory to schools in America (and soon Britain, no doubt!), My 2-cents would opt for not teaching anything about the origins of everything and allowing the parents to brainwash their own kids - either way.

Anyone else?


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 07:38 AM

You can not avoid the question of where we come from.
It would not be education.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Stu
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 07:39 AM

The problem is in teaching creationism (or I.D.) as scientific theory is all wrong. Theories are testable hypothesis and are open to question and scrutiny, and I.D. patently isn't testable.

Teaching it in RE is fine though, as long as it is balanced by other non-christian creationist theories too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 07:49 AM

what we are up against in the US ...and eventually, everywhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 08:08 AM

to answer the question in the way it was asked.....Evolution is much nore than just an alternate theory. It is repeatedly confirmed and demonstrated. If some people want to claim that, no matter what the process, I still believe God started and planned it all, fine! Understanding and accepting the is not necessarily inconsistent with religion, but the evidence of the PROCESS should be taught!!!!! And part OF that teaching should be that "no one can show or prove or demonstrate how the process got started, and if you have a strong faith in a Supreme Creator who planned the process we are learning about, it is hard to argue.

from yesterday's Washington Post:

New Analyses Bolster Central Tenets of Evolution Theory
Pa. Trial Will Ask Whether 'Alternatives' Can Pass as Science

By Rick Weiss and David Brown
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, September 26, 2005; Page A08

When scientists announced last month they had determined the exact order of all 3 billion bits of genetic code that go into making a chimpanzee, it was no surprise that the sequence was more than 96 percent identical to the human genome. Charles Darwin had deduced more than a century ago that chimps were among humans' closest cousins.

But decoding chimpanzees' DNA allowed scientists to do more than just refine their estimates of how similar humans and chimps are. It let them put the very theory of evolution to some tough new tests.

more of the article including this:

"...Evolution's repeated power to predict the unexpected goes a long way toward explaining why so many scientists and others are practically apoplectic over the recent decision by a Pennsylvania school board to treat evolution as an unproven hypothesis, on par with "alternative" explanations such as Intelligent Design (ID), the proposition that life as we know it could not have arisen without the helping hand of some mysterious intelligent force.

Today, in a courtroom in Harrisburg, Pa., a federal judge will begin to hear a case that asks whether ID or other alternative explanations deserve to be taught in a biology class. But the plaintiffs, who are parents opposed to teaching ID as science, will do more than merely argue that those alternatives are weaker than the theory of evolution.

They will make the case -- plain to most scientists but poorly understood by many others -- that these alternatives are not scientific theories at all.

"What makes evolution a scientific explanation is that it makes testable predictions," Lander said. "You only believe theories when they make non-obvious predictions that are confirmed by scientific evidence."


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Amos
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 08:10 AM

This is a great step in the march of human ignorance.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: John Hardly
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 08:43 AM

I think that if "Science" (that being -- University-trained secondary education teachers) weren't so insistant upon the notion that "Science" disproved the existance of a creation, there would be little push from the religious for some kind of "equal time".

Unfortunately, there is such an insistance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 08:54 AM

I read science journals (both popular and obscure)daily, and see no movement of scientists pushing the notion that science can disprove God or creation. Okay, Richard Dawkins often says that there is no scientific evidence of a creator, but he would also be the first to say that science *cannot disprove* the existence of one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 09:53 AM

Evolution is also a questionable theory and not proven as some people think. While it may have merit as a theory it is still just that,
some recent discoveries put in question the evolution of man from ape.

"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods." Einstein


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 10:43 AM

Weighing the known facts...

C'mon, be serious. Physical creation by a God - and only one of the thousands who are credited with it in different places? For that there is NO evidence. Evolution may not be irrebutably proved, but there is evidence for it.   Should every other theory for which there is NO evidence be taught as science too? It's a no-brainer.

I am, frankly, reminded of the Catholic theologians in the late C16th who argued that since as a matter of doctrine the Earth was the centre of the universe, if theories of magnetism were not consistent with that doctrine(but in stead with the theory that the earth revolved around the sun) then the theories of magnetism were wrong. We now know that magnetism is not the cause, but that is not the point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 11:19 AM

Guest 09:53 am.

Which recent discoveries support your case? You cannot expect to be taken seriously if you do not support your assertion with evidence as to the source.

From extensive research, I have not found any instance of scientists denying the ID scenario outright. They have merely stated that there is no scientific necessity for the existence of a supreme being.

ID can neither be scientifically proved, nor disproved, relying as it does on faith. There are millions of people around the world who believe implicitly in astrology. Is it your contention that astrology should be taught in school as a science subject?

If so, where do YOU draw the line?

Little green men from Mars, perhaps?

BTW, before you jump all over me in righteous wrath, I DO believe in God. I am not, however, so besotted with that fact as to insist that there is any scientific evidence for my faith. There is not!

Teach religion by all means, but AS religion, not as science.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 11:39 AM

Don. I guess you neither read nor watch television much? Discoveries in DNA, Skeletal remains,in more than one country, and from more than one source, I am not inclined to do research for you. However I agree with your teach religion as religion", but also do not teach scientific theory as proven fact.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 11:53 AM

Guest - your careless use of the words "theory" and "fact" in your posts show that you do not understand science and the language of science well enough to understand the results of DNA or skeletal studies. Just remember: gravity is just a theory too. Oops, I dropped my pencil.




(and what happened to it?)


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 11:53 AM

I'm glad we agree on the right place for religious tuition, but I had a scientific education, starting my working life as an analytical chemist, and I can assure you that, unless things have changed vastly in the field of science, science teachers never claim that anything is the definitive fact.

All the tutors I ever had contact with have presented the latest thinking on the subject, together with the evidence on which that thinking is based.

None has, in my hearing at least, clamed to have the last word on the subject, and none has claimed as proven fact anything that I could not verify with my own senses (e.g. There is a sun, about which this Earth revolves).

Don T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Amos
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 11:58 AM

Guest:

Evolution is also a questionable theory and not proven as some people think.

No, it is not a dubious theory, as you imply. It is the most coherent framework available for the known data. And it predicts new findings which when found, conform to its predictions.

No-one who understands treats any thery as proven fact. it is not in the nature of theories to be facts or to be proven; they are supported to the degree they explain existing data and predict new data. When they fail to do so, they get overhauled.

Part of this problem is that the ID folks insist on using the word theory in its lay sense (an unfounded speculative explanation) as though they were using it in a scientific sense.

Evolution is a theory, in the scientific sense, that has survived because it fits the observed data and other scientific requirements.

As for your assertions about scientific data which doesn't fit the theory, I'd like to know specifically what you are talking about.

Mind you, I believe in intelligent design by wayfaring extraterrestrials, myself...that's my theory and it fits ALL the facts.

LOL!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 12:20 PM

Amos, You may be closer to the truth than others here LOL.

Don et al. Read this clip from one of my sources, a small part of what I have read and studied. I have no desire to belittle anyone, or compete head to head with members of this forum. I have participated in several studies in anthropometry, but hold no specific qualifications in this area of science.

http://emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/ns.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: John Hardly
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 12:20 PM

"I read science journals (both popular and obscure)daily, and see no movement of scientists pushing the notion that science can disprove God or creation. Okay, Richard Dawkins often says that there is no scientific evidence of a creator, but he would also be the first to say that science *cannot disprove* the existence of one"

Yup. And that's why there is a demand that schoolteachers stop teaching "science" as though it does disprove a creation (or creator).


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 12:57 PM

http://emporium.turnpike.net/C/cs/ns.htm

This site and associated articles that Guest (who are you Guest?) refers to is not really a science site at all as far as I can tell.

I think the case for excluding ID from science lessons is well made above.

It is essential that ID is opposed. People who support it want to tell lies to children and that is not good.

Opposition is not simple. Arguing the detail of Darwinian evolution is not going to work, creationists, like most of us, don't understand it.

Perhaps the big picture is easier to paint. All of science is coherent, their are no contradictios between the various branches. In fact very much the opposite, knowledge and understanding in chemistry and physics help to further understanding in life sciences and vice verca.

The only disputes are at the frontiers of science where knowledge is few, new or odd. Their is simply far to much evidence, coherent with the rest of science, for Darwinian evolution to not be the best bet, and that's basically what science explanations are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 01:08 PM

Yup. And that's why there is a demand that schoolteachers stop teaching "science" as though it does disprove a creation (or creator).

And while we're at it can we get you to stop dancing naked around trees and howling at the moon?


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 01:18 PM

when future historians in say a hundred years look at the emergence of china and india, they will also note that the decline of the US goes hand in hand with coming to power of the religious right (as shown by the anti-science- Bush govt view on global warming, stem cells, pollution, the lack of funding for the Hubble telescope etc.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 01:21 PM

When one considers that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, contains billions upon billions of galaxies, each of which contains hundreds of millions if not billions of stars, and not only is it more immense than most people imagine, it is more immense than the human mind is able to imagine, it is perhaps understandable that some people are made uncomfortable by this, and feel they need something a bit more "cozy." It is truly awe-inspiring and difficult to grasp. And furthermore, we all live in this place! It's open! It's huge! And to some, it's scary!

I do not know how the universe came about. Nor does anyone else.

Not only is it difficult to grasp the enormity of the universe, it is even more difficult to grasp the nature of a deity who could create such a thing.

I do not know if such an entity exists. Neither does anyone else.

But assuming that such an entity does exist—an entity that could have created all of this—there is no inconsistency with scientific theories such as the Big Bang or evolution. These scientific theories merely describe how this entity did it. Anybody have a problem with that?

The Book of Genesis is mythology. It is only one of a large number of books from various beliefs and religions in the world that attempt to offer an explanation of how and why the world came to be. [Now understand this:   to say that something is mythological does not necessarily mean that it is not true. Mythology is a way of attempting to explain something for which we do not have an explanation. Our ancestors did not know how (because they did not have the methods and the tools) to develop scientific theories, so they made up stories—myths—as to how they thought things might have happened. That the world was created and that humans now exist on that world is not in doubt. That, not the minute details, is what is important here. After all, no one was there taking notes, not even the person who wrote the Book of Genesis.] The Creation story and the making of Adam and Eve is myth and metaphor, not historical fact. The idea that the earth (and presumably the rest of the universe as well) was created a mere six thousand years ago is ludicrous. I don't see how thinking people can ignore the overwhelming quantity and quality of scientific evidence and actually believe something like that.

But obviously many people do. All I can say is that, compared to what modern science tells us about the Cosmos, how it was created, and the way life came about—to believe in a god who made the earth a mere six thousand years ago, then modeled Adam from clay and Eve from one of Adam's ribs, and finally scattered all sorts of fossil bones around for humans to find merely for the purpose of trying to confuse them, is just a pathetic little wizard with a mean streak. Your God is too small!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 01:27 PM

Hear, hear, Don!


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Amos
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 02:05 PM

The first couple of lines of WIlder Smiths arguments are flawed. The origins of the coded programs in the biological cell are attributed to chance attributed to chance and the autoorganization of inorganic material. As shown later in this text, this supposition is categorically untenable according to the tenets of modern information theory.



The first remark is disingenuous. The origins of the coded information in the genetic structure are not attributed to "chance" on the whole. They are attributed to cumulative reinforcement of a very large number of small changes some of which, retained under survival pressure, start another iteration merely through the dint of surviving, others of which for one reason or another fall by the wayside.


The theory of evolution does not call on the autoorganization of non-organic material, except in a very large-scale sense. Crystals, clay-beds, and many other structures in the material universe, fall into various kinds of anti-entropic order as a result of the natural interaction of their molecules and their environmental circumstances. The effort to make normal processes sound mystical by using terminolgy like "autoorganizing" is also disingenuous. I don't think Dr Wilder knows his subject very well.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Grab
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 02:28 PM

As for "theory", I quote from Wikipedia:-

"In various sciences, a theory is a logically self-consistent model or framework describing the behavior of a certain natural or social phenomenon, thus either originating from observable facts or supported by them. "

I'm not an expert, I just keep up with NewScientist and other publications. But that website contains incorrect statements. If *I* with my limited knowledge can discredit it, it's in a pretty poor state!

"A severe problem for evolutionists is the absence of transitional forms in the fossil record. ... The opposite is true - no continuum! When fossils are examined they form records of existing and extinct organisms with clearly defined gaps, or missing transitional forms, consistent with a creationist's view of origins."

Incorrect. Archaeology clearly cannot show every specimen of every variant of every species - you're reliant on it dying in the right place at the right time! What you get instead is a series of snapshots - so rather than a full video of a ball being thrown and caught, you get a snapshot of the ball with the thrower, snapshots of the ball in flight, and a snapshot of the ball with the catcher. And every new discovery fills in another snapshot along the way. In fact there are many clear examples of transitional forms: the transition from land animals to whales has at least two transitional forms as proto-whales lost vestigial legs; and a recent specimen of a feathered and winged but flightless dinosaur provides a transitional form on the way to birds.

"Natural selection (the evolution mechanism, along with mutations) is incapable of advancing an organism to a "higher-order"."

Nice try, but define "higher-order". Is more intelligence a "higher order" if it means you're more vulnerable to predators (as humans clearly are)? You could argue that elephants, lions and blue whales are the highest order of being on the planet, since no creature exists which is capable of preying on them using its own physical attributes. This assumes that natural selection has a target it's aiming at, which is untrue.

"The simplest organism capable of independent life, the prokargote bacterial cell, is a masterpiece of miniaturized complexity which makes a spaceship seem rather low-tech."

Except that research into the likely consistency of seawater at the time makes it clear that much of this complexity was unnecessary. A cell requires protection (a cell wall), a means of reproducing, a means of acquiring food and a means of expelling waste. The most recent hypothesis (not a theory, because it has not been confirmed with evidence, and likely will never be) is that the chemical make-up of the seas was such that all the chemicals existed to enable reproduction via simple RNA, the proto-organism would be essentially swimming in food so it wouldn't need any way of feeding, or of expelling waste since any waste products would be washed away, and no protection would be needed since the whole place was a suitable environment without threats.

Remember that even the most primitive bacterium today has had all those billions of years of evolution. To generalise, where creationists most commonly go wrong is assuming "higher" and "lower" orders of creatures, and assuming that evolution-supporters think "lower" orders are "less evolved". This guy falls into the same trap: "In fact, since the environment is constant, it must be asked, `Why did some species evolve and not others?' and `Why did lesser forms survive and more developed ones die off?'" That's an argument from someone who doesn't understand evolution. *ALL* creatures evolved. Some acquired mutations into forms that led them to dominate certain niches, or to dominate generally (eg. humans). Some acquired mutations that did nothing, or didn't change them significantly (eg. sharks, crocodiles). And some acquired mutations which hindered their ability to reach to changing circumstance (eg. dinosaurs) or which put them in direct competition with other creatures in which they lost the competition (eg. sabre-tooth tigers).

That's just a few things.

As a religious belief, you're welcome to ID. As indeed you're welcome to the old Hindu belief that we all live on the back of a turtle, or to the Flying Spaghetti Monster school of thought (look it up on Google). None of them match the evidence, therefore they must all be considered disproved hypotheses. And therefore they shouldn't be taught in science classes, except as an example of how *NOT* to do science.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 02:39 PM

I just started teaching a weekly class for people who want to become Roman Catholics (which is the main reason why I can't make it to the Getaway this year). It's an interesting challenge, because I want to be very careful not to create a bunch of fundamentalists who think they know all the answers. I'm trying to encourage people to explore the questions of the mysteries of life and death and love and God - and to be satisfied NOT to have complete answers. This is making some of my students and team members a bit uncomfortable. Who knows - maybe by the end of the course, I'll be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail...

This week, we covered creation and evolution. I started the class by reading the first of the two creation stories in Genesis, Genesis 1:1-2:3 (the second story is Genesis 2:4-3:24). The second story is good, but the first one is an absolute gem - it's the seven-day creation story, and each day ends with "And God saw that it was good." It's a colorful, poetic, profound story that's a real pleasure to read aloud.

After the reading, I tried to get the class to draw the meaning out of the story. As I see it, the message of the story is that God has been intimately involved with the world, with creation, since the very beginning - and that God sees creation as good and wonderful, as something to be loved. I think that's something that can be understood only through the eyes of faith, so it certainly shouldn't be taught in public schools. The basic Catholic teaching is that God created, and that God loved that creation. Catholics are free to believe in a literal interpretation of the seven-day creation story, but they are also free to believe in evolution. I tell my classes that I think that God created through the wonderful, miraculous, NATURAL process we call evolution.

I think my class is ready to accept that, but they got a little uneasy when I told them not to be too doctrinaire about the concept of "soul." One older member of my team said that the idea of evolution is OK, but that we must remember that God intervened in the process and gave humans a soul. She got a bit distressed when I asked her not to get too definitive about this "soul" business, because the idea of soul comes from Aristotelian philosophy, a school of thinking we don't completely understand nowadays.

So, we left it at that. We'll see if they've got the tar boiling for next week's class.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Elmer Fudd
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 02:41 PM

I rather like the woman who explained to Stephen Hawkings that the world did indeed rest on the back of a turtle. When he inquired on what the turtle stood, she indignantly replied,

"It's turtles, young man, all the way down!"

Elmer


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 03:18 PM

God said " Let there be light" and      E   equalled   mc2


DC


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: GUEST,PeteBoom (at work)
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 03:18 PM

Joe - That's similar to what the parish priest said when I was a wee fellow... longer ago than I want to consider. To put it another way, a book I read has a discussion on the origin of life. One fella was talking about different theories on how life began Another fella interrupts him saying it was all nonsense and that everyone knew GOd started life. The first one looks at him and said something like "No doubt about it. The problem is that none of the accounts say precisely HOW God did it." Seems to me, that pretty well sums it up. Ticked off one of the parental units of two of my granddaughters (a "good" Christian - by inference I'm a bad one) using the same basic logic in that exchange. The accounts are a little vague. No sense of humor in that one.

When folks get all wrapped up in what the Bible "says" I blink and say I did not realize they could read ancient Hebrew (as opposed to modern). THAT gets some folks downright testy! ;-)

Pete


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 03:24 PM

I love that 'Turtles al the way down' story.

It seems that people who are religious can believe anything they want, and often do. L Ron Hubbard invented a whole religion - Scientology. That's ok if they keep it to themselves.

The problem about the denial of evolution is about like talking to people who accept the existance of English, French, Spanish and so on but deny the existance of Greek. It's not a rational argument and we should not get involved in it or allow these people near children's education.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 03:38 PM

Oh, one other thing - my troubled elder team member said that once there's absolute proof of evolution, then the Catholic church will come out with a declaration about it. I said no, that the Catholic Church has decided to get of of the business of antropology and paleontology. I'm not sure she's ready to accept that, either.

And I really like the turtle theory. It's one of the most colorful creation theories I've heard. There's extraordinary folklore to be found in all of this - and there is profound truth to be found in it if you look deep enough. Sometimes I wonder why folkies aren't more interested in it. I think they're afraid of being politically incorrect.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 03:39 PM

I can't remember exactly how he put it, but Joseph Campbell once said something like, "Uncertainty—mystery—leaves open the possibility of having a religious experience. Certainty eliminates that possibility."

There are questions to which we will never know the answers, no matter how vociferously we try to claim that we do know. I can live with that. In fact, it assures me that there will continue to be the enjoyment of learning new things. I think I know a helluva lot, but if I knew absolutely everything—if there were nothing new to learn—then I'm not sure there would be much point in continuing to live.

I just can't understand the mind-set of people who have to have everything spelled out in tedious detail, and can't seem to feel secure unless they have their copy of the Boy Scout Manual (or its spiritual equivalent) constantly at hand, and believe everything it tells them without question, and reject any new information that doesn't necessarily square with what they think they already know. There is no possibility here for growth. And without growth, there is no life.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: GUEST,Wondering
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 03:44 PM

If God created everything, who created God?


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: beardedbruce
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 03:45 PM

Man created God in his own image...


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 03:51 PM

Joe, oh dear.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: GUEST,Mrr
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 04:47 PM

Of course it's heresy. It's also right, as was, was it Galileo or Copernicus? Or both? What's wrong with heresy in the real world?


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 04:51 PM

Did I say something wrong, BigPinkLad. Have I been excommunicated?

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 05:05 PM

The first world was one of darkness, with abstract, potential forms, animated by the holy wind (all creatures have breath, the holy wind) and spirits. These air-spirit people were forced into exile by disharmonious acts, and they climbed upwards through a hole (or magic reed) into the next world. Four worlds, each lighter, more variance. Insect-people in first world. animals in the next (theories-myths vary but all are evolution-based). First man was made in the east from the meeting of white and black clouds. First woman was made in the west from the joining of the yellow and blue clouds (Alternate myth-theory, First Man and First Woman created from corn). They have children. The genders become estranged, monsters are created. Protopeople climb to the next level, the last world. The Diné people are created by Changing Woman (personification of earth, she lives in the west, her husband the sun). Hozho, unity and balance. A unifing force in both animate and inanimate objects. Emphasis on relationship to natural world.




They were beings from the First or Black World. Spider woman, who taught the Diné how to weave. From three previous underworlds, the people moved through a magic reed into this, the fourth or Glittering World. The first people were different from those of today. They were animals, insects or masked spirits (or abstract potential forms).
The first world was one of darkness. The proto-people


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 05:39 PM

I had a nice, long reply about the independently observable vs. the 'truth' that requires someone to tell you what it is and the power went out for a couple of hours. Now, I just feel like saying something succinct.

Forget teaching only evolution or only creationism. Teach kids how to think critically and independently, teach them the difference between fact and faith, present them with different scientific theories and religious dogmas and let them decide what to believe.

Personally, I don't think religious beliefs should be taught in public schools, and if it weren't for religion, creationism would not exist. Let churches and religious private schools teach it - your kid's atheist or Muslim or Jewish science teacher might not present it the way you'd like anyway. I think turtles ougtht to be included, and then there's Gaia whise story makes some sense, and isn't there one with an otter? Personally, I'm rather enjoying Dave Carter's song "Gentle Arms of Eden" these days:
on a sleepy endless ocean when the world lay in a dream
there was rhythm in the splash and roll, but not a voice to sing
so the moon shone on the breakers and the morning warmed the waves
till a single cell did jump and hum for joy as though to say

this is my home, this is my only home
this is the only sacred ground that i have ever known
and should i stray in th dark night alone
rock me goddess in the gentle arms of eden

I also think there's no higher form of teaching than to help a child learn how to think critically. Scientific theories may contain errors, lack a bit of information or be flat-out, 100% wrong, and the ones who let others tell them what to believe are never the ones who irritate humankind into moving further down the road. Moldy old farts and crazy people: somewhere in the middle is growth, and it wouldn't happen without either extreme.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Peace
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 05:43 PM

God made it. Darwin explained it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 07:59 PM

Critical thinking? Jeri, you're talking like a Jesuit.

I'm trying to teach critical thinking to my Catholicism class, but it's difficult. I think Americans tend to think that critial thinking is heretical or subversive - same with abstract thinking, for that matter. Americans are far more comfortable with propaganda.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: frogprince
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 08:27 PM

The issue of "intelligent design" should probably be mentioned
in biology class, and dealt with in a paragraph or less; explain to the students that it is a matter of religious faith, that can be neither proven or proven by the scientific method, and as such is simply outside the proper scope of a science class.

   Unfortunately, that will never appease the hopelessly brainwashed among their parents and community leaders. I hope (and quite literally hope to God) that education in America does not ultimately fall into these peoples hands, but I'm not making any bets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 09:29 PM

(dick greenhaus here)
The late William Jennings Bryan summed it up neatly during the ludicrous Scopes Trial:

"I am more intereted in the Rock of Ages than in the age of rocks!"

So much for dating schemes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Peace
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 10:02 PM

However, Clarence Darrow beat him, no?


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 10:03 PM

I guess you're right there, Dick - Paleontology puts me to sleep. It's hard for me to get excited about defending any position on the subject of the origins of humankind. There are too many opinions that are just too tedious.
But I do have to say that there are some darn good folktales about the origin of the species.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Peace
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 10:05 PM

On the occasions when I am asked my opinion by students, I tell them. Otherwise, I don't bring the subject up at all. Science teaches evolution, natural selection, etc. Religion teaches about spiritual beliefs. There is room in the world for both. And schools that allow only one opinion are not schools--they are brain-washing institutions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Lighter
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 10:30 PM

Joe, most people *everywhere* prefer propaganda. It's easy to remember and allows more time to snooze.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 10:43 PM

Puts you to sleep? Joe, I'm disappointed! For thirty years I was with a paleontology research group associated with what is now Exxon. Evolutionary patterns were a big part of the work. My source of bread and butter (and song books).


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Amos
Date: 29 Sep 05 - 11:09 PM

Joe, please, please be careful. You're teaching into the teeth of some hot buttons, to mix a metaphor. Can you say "Hemmmmmmmmlooooooooock"????



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: Edain
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 09:50 AM

One thing that muct be kept in mind in this debate is that if ID is to be taught alongside evolution in the science classroom, will other creation theories? Surely if ID is taught in the class room then theories such as FSM should be taught there as well.


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Subject: RE: BS: Evolution as Heresy?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Sep 05 - 10:08 AM

As a matter of fact, Bryan won the case--Scopes was found guilty and fined (as I recall) one dollar. The negative publicity, though, gave the Fundamentalists a hit from which many thought they'd never recover. Sadly, the have seemed to.


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