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   Creationism vs Evolution Debates
     Bush: "Teach Both Sides"...

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GooglyMinotaur

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It sounds so reasonable, doesn't it? Such a modest proposal. Why not teach "both sides" and let the children decide for themselves? As President Bush said, "You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, the answer is yes." At first hearing, everything about the phrase "both sides" warms the hearts of educators like ourselves.

The argument the ID advocates put, such as it is, is always of the same character. Never do they offer positive evidence in favour of intelligent design. All we ever get is a list of alleged deficiencies in evolution. We are told of "gaps" in the fossil record. Or organs are stated, by fiat and without supporting evidence, to be "irreducibly complex": too complex to have evolved by natural selection.

In all cases there is a hidden (actually they scarcely even bother to hide it) "default" assumption that if Theory A has some difficulty in explaining Phenomenon X, we must automatically prefer Theory B without even asking whether Theory B (creationism in this case) is any better at explaining it. Note how unbalanced this is, and how it gives the lie to the apparent reasonableness of "let's teach both sides". One side is required to produce evidence, every step of the way. The other side is never required to produce one iota of evidence, but is deemed to have won automatically, the moment the first side encounters a difficulty - the sort of difficulty that all sciences encounter every day, and go to work to solve, with relish.

And will someone please tell me, without any hesitation, what exactly do you intend to TEACH these kids if ID were to ever make it into the science classroom? What would the curriculum consist of?
 


Posts: 3 | Posted: 4:25 PM on September 12, 2005 | IP
EMyers

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Creationism should not be taught in the classroom.  Why?  For the same reason sex education and social manners should not be taught in the classroom.  Why in the world some idiot wants teachers (who they do not even know) to teach their children things they should be learning at home is beyond me.  Reading, writing, and arithmetic form a pretty good basis.  Non-disputed science is good too.  Physical education and nutrition are fine.  Now I'm sure I'm missing a topic or two that should be included, and this is not supposed to be all-inclusive, however I do agree that the inclusion of any religious touching theme should be handled by the parents.   Does this mean I think evolution should be taught in class (I really don't think I need to spell that out for you :P).  

There are two touchy points on this subject (other than the fact that parents should be taking care of this at home and quit asking teachers to rear their children).

1)  Guaranteed freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion.  No one religious group should be put down or given preference because of the religion they choose.  If, however, they want to discuss religion, then they open themselves to hearing the other side, even if they don't agree with it.  Freedom FROM religion is not a valid argument.

2) Separation of Church and State (not found in any legal document).   This is often quoted as the reason to remove all references from God in anything to do with the country.  Problem is, there is no Separation of Church and State.  The gist of the document involved is that the US government will not ESTABLISH a specific religion (like the Church of England that they were fleeing).  If we open up creationism in class, then we are opening up ourselves to the teaching of religious views that we (individually) don't believe in.  As MOST creationists found their belief on a specific religion, and not just a generic creationism (please notice emphasis) then I find it will be hard to keep religious bias out of the instructor's curriculuum if he is required to teach it.

Like I said, freedom of religion.  If students get into a discussion about religion while on campus, I don't have a problem with that.  If an authority figure is put in charge of religious teaching in the class then we tread very closely on ESTABLISHMENT of one religion over another.

I know what I believe in.  I know why I don't believe in other religions (as opposed to the mindless masses who go to church only to vomit out whatever the "preacher" said).  One day my children will decide for themselves what they believe in, but is a science teacher the best place for them to get this knowledge?  

I don't think so.


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"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 5:28 PM on September 12, 2005 | IP
EntwickelnCollin

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Creationism should not be taught in the classroom.  Why?  For the same reason sex education and social manners should not be taught in the classroom.  Why in the world some idiot wants teachers (who they do not even know) to teach their children things they should be learning at home is beyond me.  Reading, writing, and arithmetic form a pretty good basis.  Non-disputed science is good too.


Conveniently, Evolution is not disputed within the scientific community. The political agendas of both dominant parties in the United States, however, erect quite an illusion to the contrary.

2) Separation of Church and State (not found in any legal document).   This is often quoted as the reason to remove all references from God in anything to do with the country.  Problem is, there is no Separation of Church and State.  The gist of the document involved is that the US government will not ESTABLISH a specific religion (like the Church of England that they were fleeing).  If we open up creationism in class, then we are opening up ourselves to the teaching of religious views that we (individually) don't believe in. As MOST creationists found their belief on a specific religion, and not just a generic creationism (please notice emphasis) then I find it will be hard to keep religious bias out of the instructor's curriculuum if he is required to teach it.


Asserting the world was created in six days is to assert monotheism. Asserting the human population branched off of a single couple’s incestuous relationship is to assert monotheism. Asserting there was a Great Flood in which the animals survived via a gigantic 300-cubit-long ship in which you can’t fit very much on it is to assert monotheism. So, in that case, what would you actually teach our students?

I’m having a great deal of trouble finding the particular post, but not too long ago, there was a Native American on this board. He/She described in detail exactly how those three things are drastically different from his/her +10,000-year-old religion, and why it would be offensive to almost every single person who believes in a Native American religion to be taught the version of Creationism as seen in the Qu’ran and Old Testament.

Wrapping this point up: Either you acknowledge you would have to teach all forms of creationism, or nothing more than “It’s possible that way back ‘when,’ ‘somewhere’ ‘something’ did ‘something’ to ‘somehow’ create our world.” Turning the cheek and pretending those three traits listed above don’t make teaching Creationism in public schools a violation of the First Amendment is nothing short of lying.

On a side note, EMyers, I’d just like you to elucidate this: do you want Creationism taught in a philosophical/cultural/religious class, or in science class? If your point thusfar has been that we ought to teach various religions in a non science-related classroom, I would to a large extent agree with you.


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http://ummcash.org/officers.html
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/wow_1.php
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/a_triumphant_beginning.php
We're official!
 


Posts: 729 | Posted: 4:36 PM on September 13, 2005 | IP
EMyers

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I thought I was thorough and obvious.  I do not want creation taught in school at all.


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"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 10:14 PM on September 13, 2005 | IP
EntwickelnCollin

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I apologize about that. Well, if someone else holds a differing opinion from EMyers, my argument shall stand.


-------
http://ummcash.org/officers.html
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/wow_1.php
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/08/a_triumphant_beginning.php
We're official!
 


Posts: 729 | Posted: 10:31 PM on September 13, 2005 | IP
EMyers

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Conveniently, Evolution is not disputed within the scientific community.

Dissent against Darwinism - guess it's not totally undisputed...

Actually, the biggest problem mosts creationists have with the teaching of evolution in the classroom, is the same one mosts evolutionist's have.  At least at the elementary and high school level.  Look at a text book that is CURRENTLY in the average grade school today.  Alot of the "facts" that are listed aren't even accepted by modern evolutionists, much less creationists.  Next to English, most Science textbooks are the most out-of-date material in America's grade schools (if you live outside of the U.S., I obviously have no idea how up-to-date your textbooks are, and this is not targeted at you).


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"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 3:21 PM on October 4, 2005 | IP
RoyLennigan

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Quote from EMyers at 10:21 AM on October 4, 2005 :
Conveniently, Evolution is not disputed within the scientific community.

Dissent against Darwinism - guess it's not totally undisputed...

Actually, the biggest problem mosts creationists have with the teaching of evolution in the classroom, is the same one mosts evolutionist's have.  At least at the elementary and high school level.  Look at a text book that is CURRENTLY in the average grade school today.  Alot of the "facts" that are listed aren't even accepted by modern evolutionists, much less creationists.  Next to English, most Science textbooks are the most out-of-date material in America's grade schools (if you live outside of the U.S., I obviously have no idea how up-to-date your textbooks are, and this is not targeted at you).



thats one reason for a renovation of the school system.  the intricacies of the evolution theory should be taught to those who want to learn it.  grade school science classes should teach fundamentals that have become science laws, things that have been observed to actually occur.  fundamental evolution would still be taught, but the theory of evolution would be left for later optional classes.

(Edited by RoyLennigan 10/4/2005 at 6:59 PM).
 


Posts: 152 | Posted: 6:58 PM on October 4, 2005 | IP
highping

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I suggest reading up on the background of this list.  While certainly not everybody on the list is misrepresented, at least some are.

Therefore, although the signatories represent a diverse range of opinions about the role of natural selection in evolution, the list is nothing more than careful word play - what is known as "spin." Should one draw the conclusion from the advertisement that there is a growing movement of scientists who doubt evolution? Hardly; many of the names on the list are not new to anti-evolutionary activity. Ironically, if one were to conduct a survey of scientists who accepted evolution, the size of that list would swamp by tens of thousands this list assembled by the Discovery Institute!

Read more here.

A local pastor got his Ph.D. in microbiology from the local university.  He heads a student-based ministry.  On more than one occasion he has presented his anti-evolutionary case publicly, and each time he is thoroughly rebutted.  My point is: despite having a Ph.D., and despite his claims to the contrary, he is not well-educated about evolutionary theory.  (If he is, then he's grossly misrepresenting it.)  He would not be a reasonable candidate for this list.  But DI apparently lists anyone with a Ph.D., regardless of their job or specific education about evolution.  ("Research meteorologist"?!  C'mon!)

I also presume you're familiar with Project Steve?

As pointed out by Project Steve, this is all pretty pointless.  Arguments from authority might carry some weight, but arguments of sheer popularity don't.


One of the points this local pastor repeatedly makes is that there are errors about evolution in textbooks.. but he hasn't been able to produce a single one when asked.  What are some of the unaccepted "facts" about evolution that are being used in textbooks today?  Can you cite specific books instead of just saying "such-and-such claim is wrong but used"?

Without trying to defend any disinformative textbooks -- and this fits in with what Roy was saying -- let me say that there is a practice throughout "lower" education that simplifies complex concepts.  For example, we don't need to explain technical aspects of replication errors of DNA polymerase to fifth graders in order for them to understand the basics of evolution.  I wouldn't be surprised if some textbooks presented an oversimplified view of some things.


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Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds that crawl.
 


Posts: 3 | Posted: 7:21 PM on October 4, 2005 | IP
EMyers

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Dear highping,
  Not ignoring you.  Having a hard time getting any of the local schools let me borrow their textbooks (and I don't want to misquote a source).  Will give examples as soon as I can copy them verbatim from local textbook.  Don't know what the hesitancy is, got two kids who will eventually be using those textbooks anyhow :P.


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"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 5:05 PM on October 22, 2005 | IP
Huxley

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"the intricacies of the evolution theory should be taught to those who want to learn it.  grade school science classes should teach fundamentals that have become science laws, things that have been observed to actually occur."

Should we offer children the choice of whether they want to understand how Gravity works or would they like to believe they stand upon the Earth because they live there?  The crux of the matter is that for some reason,  for other agendas, some people think that evolutionary theory is lessened for being a "theory".

They are wrong.  It is one of the most profound achievements of human intellect that we have.  Unlike many other theories that have changed our understanding of the world and our Universe, it is accessible and easy to understand.  It is simpler to be able to argue the process of evolution than to understand for instance the counter intuitive world of quantum physics.  Yet because it intimidates many belief systems it is offered as a theory you can subscribe to if you wish.  That is intellectually sluggish.

If evolutionary texts are outdated this is surely testament to the pace of our endeavours to learn more.  Theory and thought does not remain static and is constantly re-examined, refined and honed. It is not a question of making a theory invalid; although that happens sometimes.  It is not an excuse to negate the responsibility to teach our young the things we hold to be true at any given time.


 


Posts: 9 | Posted: 12:00 AM on November 2, 2005 | IP
orion

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I can't think of any other fundamental scientific theory that causes so much debate and controversary as evolution does.

Why?  Just for the reason that Huxley states:  Evolution directly challenges many peoples' cherished religious beliefs.  Pure and simple.  Therefore people get very emotional on this topic.

Huxley is correct - evolution is the unifying theory in biology.  To ignore teaching it would be the same as ignoring the atomic theory in chemistry, or gravitation and the laws of motion in physics.  

As for George W. Bush's statement that ID should be taught alongside evolution - he is wrong.  He only shows that he has a very poor understanding of how science operates.  

Intelligent Design is not a science simply because it is not testable.  Science has no means to measure nor detect the supernatural.  ID offers no useful predictions and cannot be tested, therefore it cannot even be considered a scientific theory.
 


Posts: 1460 | Posted: 9:37 PM on December 28, 2005 | IP
EMyers

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While everyone here knows that I do not want ID taught in school, I'm sure there are alot of Americans (poll by Opinion Dynamic finds that 92% of Americans believe in God) that would disagree that ID offers no useful predictions .  And there is a way to test it, just no way to come back and report your findings.  

P.S. Before someone rips my "poll", remember it said 92% of AMERICANS, not 92% of scientists.  


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"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 11:00 PM on December 28, 2005 | IP
pocket

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My local newspaper's poll was 80/20 in favor of intelligent design being tought in class.

And please... let's not condemn books for being old. Some of my favorite science type books are terribly obsolete, but they still consist of relevant observations.

 


Posts: 15 | Posted: 09:39 AM on December 30, 2005 | IP
Apoapsis

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Quote from pocket at 09:39 AM on December 30, 2005 :
My local newspaper's poll was 80/20 in favor of intelligent design being tought in class.


But which class?  The court testimony, evidence, and ruling clearly show that ID is not science, therefore cannot be required to be taught in a science class.

It's place is in a comparative religion class, there would be no legal objection to that whatsoever, and it could be presented to the students in any public school.

The problem comes when it is misrepresented as science by people who really want creationism *wink wink* presented, want it enough to perjure themselves.

Prosecutor seeks perjury evidence


-------
Pogge:” This is the volume of a sphere with a 62 kilometer (about 39 miles) radius, which is considerably smaller than the 2,000 mile radius of the Earth.”
Wikipedia:” For Earth, the mean radius is 6,371.009 km(≈3,958.761 mi; ≈3,440.069 nmi).”
Wisp to Lester (on Pogge): Do you admit he was wrong about the basics?
Lester: No

 


Posts: 1747 | Posted: 10:50 AM on December 30, 2005 | IP
Demon38

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My local newspaper's poll was 80/20 in favor of intelligent design being tought in
class.


Science isn't determined by popular vote.
 


Posts: 1664 | Posted: 1:31 PM on December 30, 2005 | IP
pocket

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Please don't attack me with counter arguments. I am not popular vote. I live in a rural area in which you love Jesus and guns. You drink Jack Daniels and brag about the animal that you nearly slaughtered. The people around here don't have the capacity to understand that their beloved Bush is capable of putting the masses to ease with carefully chosen words.
Of course most people want to expose our children to new ideas. If you don't, you are a communist and a terrorist. Not to mention an evil-doer.
(Sorry to inject political agenda)

But alot of people don't understand why "intelligent design" isn't pure science. They will argue until they are blue that evolution is a theory, too. They don't realize what a theory is. Science is so strictly objective and most people don't get it. Even my own family attacks me relentlessly with vicious drunken assults as to the validity of evolution. Always trying to use anything to point out a weakness. I am tired of debating when it seems to go nowhere.
 


Posts: 15 | Posted: 12:57 PM on December 31, 2005 | IP
    
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