Creationism for My Child’s Teacher

(***Update 7/10/06: The pamphlet mentioned in this post was edited to mention that the National Geographic article does say that there is sufficient evidence for evolution. Soon after that, other points about the inaccuracies of the document were discussed on this website and the pamphlet was taken down from the Parkview site altogether. Thus, the links in this post no longer work.)

As I said last week, Pastor Tim was a great guy to talk to, but I did have a major problem with his stance on Creationism. Tim said he wanted it taught alongside Evolution and wrote a pamphlet on the subject that is offered on the church’s website. However, there are a lot of problems with this pamphlet that I think deserve to be pointed out. Ultimately, I’d like to see my points corrected or the document removed from the site.

This is not me saying why Creationism is general is incorrect (There are much better resources for that than me), but I want to just point out why the document on the church’s website is misguided.

The pamphlet in question is here. It’s called “Creationism for My Child’s Teacher.” I encourage you to read it for yourself before and while you read this post.

My problems with it follow:

  1. The word used in the document is Creationism, not even Intelligent Design (ID). Not that I would be complacent with ID either, but Creationism is specifically saying that we should teach a particular religious belief in public school. The Supreme Court said this was illegal in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987). The gist of the pamphlet seems to be that we should teach ID, though, so I’ll assume that the rest of the way.
  2. The first page of the document shows this picture from the cover of the November, 2004 issue of National Geographic:The introductory letter (page 3) states that after the 1925 Scopes Trial, “the courts decided that evolution could be taught with creationism. Somehow the pendulum swing went way over to the other side. As the cover from the November 2004 National Geographic suggests, many people – scientists included – would like to see it swing back.” Really? The cover suggests that? Actually, the first page of the actual article says this to answer the question:

    I unfortunately see this all too often. The raising of the hypothetical question is enough to make Creationists think scientists don’t trust Evolution. This is the reason most prominent Evolutionary Biologists do not engage Creationists in debate. For the latter, it’s not about who wins or loses; they will simply tell their followers that So-and-so debated me and that shows that there is a controversy. There is NO controversy in the scientific world about Evolution in principle (and that is why it, and it alone, should be taught in high school).

  3. On page 8, Pastor Tim writes: “Even secular scientific organizations are becoming less dogmatic about the issue. A NASA publication reads: ‘It is important to be aware that there is no one theory for the origin and subsequent evolution of the Solar System that is generally accepted. All theories represent models that fit some of the facts observed today, but not all.’” First of all, I didn’t realize science organizations were labeled as either “secular” or, I presume, “religious.” Secondly, this document was written in 1975. The more compelling evidence FOR the Big Bang theory has been discovered in the past two decades. There is no NASA publication anywhere (that I’ve found) that says anything remotely close to this statement.
  4. Also on page 8, a statistic is used to show that many people want Creationism to be taught in public schools, including lawyers and university presidents. The citation is a book written in 1989… I don’t think a nearly-20-year-old statistic has much credibility, but I don’t doubt the general sentiment– a lot of people want their religious beliefs taught in school. In science class. The problem is that a subject’s curriculum ought to be decided by experts in the field, those who study and use the information on a daily basis. The major science organizations in the country– the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Science Teachers Association, etc.– have all said that ID is not credible science. These groups are not hell-bent against religion. They simply keep science to the observable and falsifiable. Religion is based on faith; it is also by definition not open to change.
  5. Another statement made (on page 11) is that: “The reason that so much of the scientific community holds so firmly to the theory of evolution is because of the alternative. If evolution is wrong, there are a lot of people who will have a lot of explaining to do.” That’s why scientists are against ID? Not true. In fact, the beauty of science is that it’ll correct itself when wrong. It’s open to change. For example, even scientists long believed that ulcers were causes by stress. Only in recent decades was the discovery made that, in fact, ulcers were caused by a bacteria, H. Pylori. It showed that science had been wrong for quite some time, but it’s not an ambarrassment. The scientists were working with what they had, and that’s ok. If evolution is wrong, so be it. If a credible alternative comes about, I have no doubt scientists would jump at the new discovery. I brought up the point during our dialogue last week that I thought science journals would race to publish such an article.
  6. When talking about scientists who disagree with Evolution (page 11), Pastor Tim said, “That one-sided depiction of evolution [in a PBS special] spurred a backlash from 100 reputable biologists, chemists, zoologists, physicists, anthropologists, molecular and cell biologists, geologists, and astrophysicists, who wanted the world to know they were skeptical.” This is again used to have us believe that Science is up for a popular vote, which it is not. But I’ll humor that idea. The Discovery Institute, the group that sponsored that list, also has a longer running list of scientists who support ID on its website. The list has been compiling for years. Meanwhile, in one 4-day period, in reaction to the aforementioned list, other scientists signed a petition in support of Evolution. 7733 of them, to be exact, more than half with Ph.D s. There’s also Project Steve, which has a list of over 700 scientists named Steve (or any variant) who support Evolution..My point is that numbers shouldn’t be used at all to show why ID should be included in a science class. But if we’re relying on numbers, let it be known that the number of scientists who support ID is virtually non-existent compared to those who support Evolution.
  7. On page 12, Pastor Tim talks about “evolutionary scientists who are willing to be honest” and quotes Carl Sagan as saying the odds of man evolving are 1 in 102,000,000,000. Tim implies this is impossible. The problem is that Sagan used the line in his book to say that the genome did NOT just appear. Evolution had to happen to explain the odds. The problem here is the misquoting of scientists, taking their words out of context to support a different point.
  8. The part about mutations is completely inaccurate. On page 15, it states: “Now, understand that mutations don’t happen very often – almost never… When mutations do happen, they are almost always lethal.” Again, this is wrong. Mutations happen often, and most of them are neutral. They depend on the environment as well. For example, have two copies of the sickle cell mutation is bad, yes, but having one copy is beneficial—it protects against malaria.
  9. Page 28 lists the problems that the “survival mentality” has caused, including Nazism and Racism. Because as we all know, those things did not exist before Darwin. In fact, modern Evolution theory says that altruism does occur and is essential for survival.
  10. Page 29 says that Darwin himself called his theory “grievously hypothetical.” This is true. He did. Of course, this was because he didn’t know about genes or DNA. Once those were put in the mix, it confirmed the predictions Darwin had made.

I didn’t talk about several of the points Pastor Tim brought up only because there’s not enough time to go through everything. But if anyone wants me to go through more, let me know…

If I’m wrong on this stuff, I know I’ll be corrected.

if we allow science to include the supernatural, it defeats the purpose of the field itself. The whole goal is to take what we see and find an explanation. If someone doesn’t think Evolution works, the person’s job is to provide a better theory. Resorting to the supernatural is not an option in Science, and should not be taught to our children as a credible alternative to experimentation and correction.

[tags]Creationism, Parkview, atheism, Christian, Harlow, National Geographic, Darwin, Evolution[/tags]

  • Karen

    Your thoughts are great, Hemant, and I hope Tim has a chance to read and think about what you wrote and perhaps make some changes to his Website.

    Just to add: The scientists who did the work on H.pylori and ulcers won the 2005 Nobel Prize — http://nobelprize.org/medicine/laureates/2005/press.html

    So, these guys admittedly had an uphill battle persuading their peers that a long-established, never-questioned medical “truth” was in error, but they worked on doggedly, and eventually the science won out – and they were rewarded with international recognition and reward. I read a similar story a few months back about a doctor and researcher who has proven that lactic acid buildup in muscles during exertion is NOT a bad thing (as has been commonly believed) but a good thing. So, scientific discovery is constantly in flux – it’s not static or rigid.

    The next time an ID’er tells me that Behe et al are being shunned because the medical establishment is engaged in a conspiracy to keep “proof of the supernatural” out of science, I’m going to point to H.pylori and that Nobel Prize.

  • tim

    I guess I should join into this discussion. Let me first say how great it was to have Hemant in our services. He was very gracious and I think our congregation really enjoyed it.

    Let me answer a couple of these questions.

    the most important point that you are missing here, Hemant, is that I am not suggesting that anyone teach ID or Creationism in the classroom. This paper is written to my child’s teacher – not to the scientific community. I wrote this so my children’s Junior and Senior High teachers would understand Creationism – not teach it. Because of the indoctrination of evolution in our colleges, I’m doubtful than any of them ever heard a decent argument for anything but naturalism.

    I am not on a crusade for ID, I merely wanted them to understand that there is an alternative and that’s the paradigm my children will be coming from. and by the way, it was very well received every time. I have probably given it to 20 teachers by now.

    I agree that I need to change some wording in this document to be fair to the National Geographic, I will do that. However, your statement that there is “NO controversy in the scientific world about Evolution” can’t be true or NG wouldn’t have printed it in the first place.

    I know that the 100 reputable skeptics isn’t a large number, but the Discovery Institute wasn’t trying to start a petition, they were making a point.
    They weren’t “relying on numbers.” They were making a point.
    Numbers is a bad idea. Most of the intelligent people thought the world was flat at one time.
    “Most” is not good enough. If it’s not “every,” we should still be open. Would it have been right to throw out Darwins theory just because chance is so highly improbably? I don’t think so. So why do we have to throw out the supernatural just because it makes people uncomfortable?

    If one of the leading atheists of this century has been open to it and found “design,” we should pay attention. You say genes and DNA would have made Darwin a stronger naturalist. Anthony Flew says “it has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism.” (Fox News)
    Flew (Atheism’s former champion) says biologists’ investigation of DNA “has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved.”
    He said, “My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato’s Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads.”

    Why can’t it be that way?

    Tim

  • Siamang

    Pastor Tim, if I may ask a few questions…

    First, have you read the national geographic article titled: “Was Darwin Wrong (NO. The Evidence for Evolution is Overwhelming.)”?

    Because, I don’t think you have. It doesn’t talk about any controversy in the scientific community. It talks briefly about opinion polls among the general populace in an introductory paragraph. The rest of the article is devoted to a scientific explaination of evolution and discussions with various scientists and their work that continues to confirm it.

    So when you say the statement ‘”there is “NO controversy in the scientific world about Evolution” can’t be true or NG wouldn’t have printed it in the first place’ I think again you’re misrepresenting the article. The article, not to put too fine a point on it, was written because of, and specifically for people like you, OUTSIDE the scientific community. The article is to get someone like you to pay attention for a moment and maybe learn something new.

    Another question, you say that your letter was for your child’s teacher. But if that is the case, why does it have your publicity blurb on it? You say that over 20 teachers have been sent this letter. Are all these teachers your child’s? If it is a letter from you to a child’s teacher, why is it posted as a PDF on your church’s website?

    You write “Because of the indoctrination of evolution in our colleges, I’m doubtful than any of them ever heard a decent argument for anything but naturalism.” I daresay after reading your tract, they probably still haven’t heard one.

    Which leads me to my third question: where did you get your science education? I ask this because whoever failed to teach you that the Second Law of Thermodynamics applies only to closed systems should be fired, and you should attempt to retrieve whatever money you paid for such a poor scientific education.

    I find much of your written letter as intellectually dishonest as your use of the front cover of National Geographic. You quote prominent scientists completely out of context to make it seem as if they are saying the exact opposite of what they really did say.

    For instance just as you falsely used National Geographic to bolster your case, you falsely quote Dr. Colin Patterson.

    Here’s the story on the Patterson quote you use:

    “I was too naive and foolish to guess what might happen:
    the talk was taped by a creationist who passed the tape
    to Luther Sunderland… Since, in my view, the tape was
    obtained unethically, I asked Sunderland to stop circulating
    the transcipt, but of course to no effect. There is not much
    point in my going through the article point by point. I was
    putting a case for discussion, as I thought off the record,
    and was speaking only about systematics, a specialized field.
    I do not support the creationist movement in any way, and in
    particular I am opposed to their efforts to modify school
    curricula. In short the article does not fairly represent my
    views. But even if it did, so what? The issue should be
    resolved by rational discussion, and not by quoting
    ‘authorities,’ which seems to be the creationists’ principal
    mode of argument.” (Letter from Colin Patterson to Steven W.
    Binkley, June 17, 1982).

    Eugenie Scott wrote about this incident:
    “The ‘Patterson story’ illustrates two common creationist enthusiasms: taking statements out of context, and refusing to recognize corrections when made.”

    You further fundamentally misrepresent the work of Stephen Jay Gould on punctuated equillibrium. You quote the huckster and fraud suspect Hank Hanegraaff’s quote of Newsweek’s quote of “leading evolutionists” saying the fossil evidence overwhelmingly points away from classical darwinism. That’s blatantly out of context, and again, completely the opposite of what you take it to mean.

    Here’s your quote from your letter:

    ‘Newsweek summarized the sentiments of leading evolutionists gathered together at a conference in Chicago: “Evidence from fossils now points overwhelmingly away from the classical Darwinism which most Americans learned in High School. Rather than becoming creationists, however evolutionists have simple become more creative.” ‘

    Here’s the quote in context:

    “Evidence from fossils now points overwhelmingly away from the classical Darwinism which most Americans learned in high school: that new species evolve out of existing ones by the gradual accumulation of small changes, each of which helps the organism survive and compete in the environment.
    Increasingly, scientists now believe that species change little for
    millions of years and then evolve quickly, in a kind of quantum leap-not
    necessarily in a direction that represents an obvious improvement in
    fitness.”

    This Newsweek article appeared in 1980 and talks about “Presidential Candidate Ronald Reagan.”

    You give the impression that Newsweek and the scientists were saying that the fossil record was overwhelmingly pointing away from Darwinism. In fact it points overwhelmingly toward Darwinism, but the writer was making a distinction between what was being discussed and Darwinism as it had been taught in high-schools in the 60′s and 70′s. This is a snapshot in time of a discussion of evolutionary rate of change happening in the scientific community thirty years ago, and you quote it completely dishonestly.

    Further, you manufacture a quote (or use a quote manufactured by someone equally unscrupulous) : “Rather than becoming creationists, however evolutionists have simple become more creative.” This quote does not appear in the Newsweek article, but you use it as if it does. Is this simple negligence on your part? Didn’t it seem slightly odd to you that all of these top scientists were disavowing all the evidence for evolution in Newsweek? Didn’t you check it before you sent it out to 20 teachers, made the PDF file with your bio and headshot and posted it on the internet as a resource for your church members?

    Dude, I could keep going and going. It’s late, and I’m only half-way through this garbage. This thing is RIFE with bad, bad science, but also shamefully full of this intellectual dishonesty of the type called “quote-mining”.

    Quote-mining is the name for the creationist practice of selectively quoting an authority figure in science to mean the opposite of what their main point is. Like if you said, “In the old testament, God is a terrible, wrathful being…. or IS HE?” That’s your grabber sentence to get people’s attention at the top of a sermon. Then in the rest of your sermon you look deeper into the OT and you teach the message of a God of love. Well, If I was completely dishonest, I’d quote you like this:
    “God is a terrible, wrathful being.”

    Anyway, it’s called Quote-mining. It’s also called bearing false witness. Or lying. Take your pick.

    If you’re blindly and without checking your sources, quoting other people who did the first dishonest quote mine of the material, then you’re merely lazy. You can prove that you aren’t willfully dishonest by correcting all of these problems. If you do, I’ll continue to point the rest of them out to you so that you can do the right thing and fix them.

    There’s also a proverbial assload of pseudo-scientific crapola that I can only assume you cut and pasted from elsewhere. Can I at least offer you that you’re using arguments that many creationists have long since distanced themselves from? I mean, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, Tim? It’s called Google. Use it.

    Sarcasm aside, I mean, you really, REALLY need to get some level of basic science education in your head before you talk about this stuff. You do owe it to the people who look up to you. You are phenomenally undereducated in this department, and to be frank and honest, it SHOWS. Not just in your conclusions, but in your writing. In your messy supporting structure. In your fundamentally misunderstood and flailing grasp of the most basic of scientific concepts.

    I’m trying to be a friendly atheist here, Tim. But in all honesty, I don’t think it’s warranted. I think you’re much more intelligent than what you’ve written. I suspect you knew exactly what you were doing when you dangled the National Geographic cover out there. I wonder if you live in a bubble, surrounded by believers who never question, and that’s why you never questioned your sources, you never questioned your own level of science eduction, and you never questioned your own actions when writing this “Letter” to your Childrens’ teachers.

    I’m sorry, but this letter is a big old mess. Hemant thinks you’re an okay guy, and so I’ll give you this shot at it.

    But man, you REALLY need to start taking some night classes in science at the unversity level. You’ve got strong faith. You’ll survive any “indoctrination”.

    I’m an atheist, but you know what? Evolution is the one thing. The ONE, single thing that makes me say…. “you know… just maybe…just MAYBE, there may be something to this God business after all.”

    There’s a larger world out there for you Tim. And a great wonder of God is staring you in the face. It’s called Science. Learn the real stuff, not just the made up stuff that’s poorly sourced and quote-mined and only sold at the Christian bookshops.

    The real God, if He’s really out there, wrote the whole universe. Don’t fear it. Don’t hide in a bubble of self-confirmation and christian-approved authors. Your faith is strong. God will still be there after you really learn about the real theory of evolution (and not the fake cartoon version that creationists teach each other just to knock it down easily.)

  • http://www.awakeningchurch.org Joseph

    Hemant,
    I am enjoying reading of your dialogues and journey.

  • cautious

    I’m not going to go into the lying, since Siamang handled that great. I’m a student of evolution, and I’m glad I went to a high school (Providence Catholic) about 10 miles southwest of Orland Park that was not against teaching evolution. One of my biology teachers did, actually, show a creationist movie once in class. Nine years later I’m still not sure why, it had precious little to do with biology..

    Let me make an appeal to authority similar to what the pastor’s pamphlet does:

    If the Roman Catholic Church, the largest religious organization on the planet, that’s been around (in various manners) for almost 2000 years, is willing to accept:
    a) dinosaurs and people didn’t co-exist
    b) the universe and earth are both billions of years old
    c) humans have been around for a hundred thousand years
    d) the first dozen or so chapters of Genesis are myth and not historically true

    …then why can’t Parkfield Christian Church?

    Roman Catholic Church: one billion or so members
    Parkfield Christian Chuch: probably not that many

    Coincidence?

    …well no, there’s no correlation at all between what a church accepts of science and how large its membership is. Which I think points towards a much larger truth at play here: People who are religious are going to believe whatever they want about science, regardless of how true or untrue those beliefs may be.

    So the job of us who accept science is to try to promote better teaching and understanding of issues that not everyone might understand or been taught very well in school.

    (sadly it’s not a high-paying job…)

  • tim

    hey guys,
    sorry, i’m not a good blogger.

    i’ll weigh in with Siamang here – he has the most problems with my paper.

    let me say again – i did not ever intend for this paper to be a web discussion. it was a project i did for my own church. Yes, the 20 teachers were all my kids teachers – 3 kids + multiple teachers along the way.
    it’s on the web only because i made it available to the people at church (it’s cheaper than printing a bunch of copies).
    i’m not trying to promote it as a document for the purpose of furthering ID.

    Yes, Siamang – i did read the article in NG. it’s what really made me want to put the cover on there. the article was pathetic. i don’t have a copy of it any more, but it was in my memory just a 4 page article with mostly pictures. It seemed to me that if NG wanted to put up a defense of evolution, they did a poor job. but i do agree that defense was their intent.

    lets see – nice shot at the “doubt if they still have heard a decent argument for anything but naturalism.”
    got my science education on the internet – $25 for a degree in anything i wanted.

    Quote mining. Lying. Lazy.

    The quotes in question are really minor for me. i did quote them from sources i thought i could trust. i don’t have the energy to decide whether you are right or they are – so i’ll take them off. not important. if they were misquoted, my bad.

    I did Google the Second law of the thermowhatchacalit (too big a word for me)

    Here is Wilkipedia’s explanation:
    “In a general sense, the Second Law says that the differences between systems in contact with each other tend to even out. Pressure differences, density differences, and particularly temperature differences, all tend to equalize if given the opportunity. This means that an isolated system will eventually come to have a uniform temperature. A thermodynamic engine is an engine that provides useful work from the difference in temperature of two bodies. Since any thermodynamic engine requires such a temperature difference, it follows that no useful work can be derived from an isolated system in equilibrium, there must always be energy fed from the outside”.

    i’m sure i oversimplified the case in my dumb document, but i just see no place in our world where systems left to themselves ever get better without help from the outside.

    however – to be fair – Wilkepedia goes on to say; “It is occasionally claimed that the Second Law is incompatible with autonomous self-organisation, or even the coming into existence of complex systems. The entry self-organisation explains how this claim is a misconception. (I read that but couldn’t understand it; man this science junk is hard).

    so i’ll take that out too.

    and yes, Cautious- i know that the CAtholic church believes a lot of things about a lot of things. and i agree with them on some and disagree on some others.
    but again – i’m not saying i know which version of Genesis is the right one, or if one or the other is allegory.
    i don’t know if humans are really old, or young. i don’t know whether the earth is young or old. i was just fascinated by the possibilities for a young earth.

    it really doesn’t matter to me either way. we have pastor’s on staff who believe both ways on the issue. I have great friends who believe God started the Big BAng and that was it. they can still be Christians.

    (by the way we have just under a billion members -but it’s in our 5 year plan) WORLD DOMINATION FOR PARKVIEW\FIELD\WHATEVER.

    which leads me to my final comment because i need to get the pizza ordered.

    i’m tired of arguing this subject. one more time, i wrote this paper to open the minds of my kids teachers to the possibilities of creationism. i may have misquoted, i may have oversimplified – i didn’t take the time i would have if i’d planned on it being the only discussion on an athiest websight.

    i feel like this thing is taking us away from the larger discussion.

    Siamang says, “The real God, if He’s really out there, wrote the whole universe. Don’t fear it.” seriously, i couldn’t fear it any less! i want us all to study the crud out of the universe. because every time we do – more people have the opportunity to see the God who made it.

    but this will mean – ladies and gentlemen – that you have to open yourselves to the possibility of the supernatural.

    I’m very cool with Anthony Flew’s “God of the GAps” as a start. but that still means “supernatural.”

    The paper will be off your web – shortly. i apologize for taking up the space – i thought that’s why Al Gore made it so BIG.

    Let’s go back to talking about God.

    Tim

  • Karyn Purvis

    Hey Hemant ~

    After talking with Tim about his paper “Creationism for My Child’s Teacher,” we agreed that a number of valid objections were raised on this blog, particularly related to some of the sources that were used. As soon as Tim and I had that discussion, he asked me to take the paper off the website, which I did. (As a side note, Tim doesn’t need me to be his cheerleader, but I can’t help but point out that he would never intentionally mislead anyone, and that as soon as he was convinced that his paper was doing just that, it came down. While his sense of humor clearly didn’t come through very well as a “blogger,” I can only say that I know him to be a very honorable man.)

    Anyway, I was rather surprised to see that you are linking to some HTML version of the paper (I’m not exactly sure where that even came from!) It seems strange to me that you and many of the bloggers on this site were so intent in having us remove the paper (which you sincerely convinced us was the right thing to do), only to have you keep the paper online yourself.

    I’m sure the reason you’ve taken that step is so that people who stop by and hadn’t read the paper from our site would know what the discussion was about. But I personally think that they can get enough from the context of the blogs to understand what’s going on. Obviously, you can choose to keep the document online if you wish…it just seems curious to me.

    Thanks for listening, Hemant. I’d just like to say once again that it was a pleasure having you join us at Parkview, and we wish you the best!

  • http://www.friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    Karyn– Thank you for your comment. Having met Tim, I agree that he is a great guy and I doubted that he would intentionally mislead anyone. But the purpose of the post was to identify the problems with the paper (because there were many). It’s wonderful to see that the comments did not fall on deaf ears. Thank you for removing the paper from the site. I did put up the link so people would understand what we were referring to, but I think you make a good point that the original no longer needs to be up. I’ll remove the link.

    I hope the dialogue that happened here was seen for what it was: not an attack on the church or Tim or even on ID, per se. Really, it was to point out the problems with the arguments presented in the paper we saw being given to teachers locally (the same arguments are often repeated in the ID community, so it’s necessary to point out the flaws where we see them).

    Please send my regards to Tim, and I hope we talk again soon!

    – Hemant

  • Karyn Purvis

    Thanks for the quick response, Hemant. I’ll let Tim know you said “Hi!”

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  • jane smith

    3.First of all, you say that you didnt realise that all organisations had to be labelled as secular or religious. I dont that that was Pastor Tims point. He was merely observing that NASA is a scientific organisation. And most scientific organisations would label themselves as secular, rather than religious, because otherwise they would have no credibility within the scientific community. And secondly, the more compelling ideas for the Big Bang Theory, in which you presumably believe, has not proved I.D. wrong.

    4. Although a statistic used to show that many people want Creationism to be taught in public schools, may not in itself have much credibility. But just because it is an old document it doesnt mean that opinions have changed. Many people, religious, atheist and agnostic alike, would agree that if atheism can be taught all the way through a childs education, then so should religious ideas, (because religions gets so much negative coverage from the media), and teaching both sides of the science vs religion debate is how an open mind is developed. Not by instilling certain attitudes an beliefs into children from a young age.
    You also say that there is NO controversy in the scientific world about evolution in principle, and that is why it and it alone should be taught in schools. Similarly there is no controversy within the religious world about the idea of a creator, or Creatonism, in principle.

    5. If I.D. is not credible science, neither is the Big Bang Theory, because they both make a leap of faith between fact and the creation of the universe. Your argument would have ben considerably more persuasive if you had not tried to use one theory to prove another theory wrong.
    And, secondly, how is modern religion not open to change. Although Gandhi said that ‘he’d be a Christian, if it weren’t for the Christians’, that doesn’t mean that all religious people are close-minded, and certainly not that religion is by definition, unchanging and therefore rendered as unadaptable.

    6.I think that the claim you made in your sixth pont about how if evolution was proved wrong and an alternative came about scientists would jump at the new discovery, is incorrect. Perhaps, some scientists would, but certainly not the majority of the scientific world, because that would ridicule the majority, who have been imposing their incorrect views upon our childrens education. And you could kindly explain why the concept of a creating entity is so ridiculous to you, because there appears to me to be a similar number of holes in the Big Bang Theory as there are in the concept of a God.

    7.I agree with your point that numbers shouldn’t be used to prove whether something is an intellectually, scientifically and morally sound concept, because most statistical polls can be easily manipulated, and besides the majority is not always right. HITLER. Need I say more.

    8.I have to agree with you on your eighth point. Tim was incorrect when he said that mutations are rare and usually lethal, but maybe he was talking about mutations on a macroscopic level. Or perhaps his knowledge of biology is unsound, either way its really not a point worth raising.

    Im sure that if you disagree with my points, and they are not intellectually valid, then I will be notified. But i have to say that you would not last in a debate, with a truely open minded person. Or any member of my philosophy class, because you argue like a close minded, middle class, conservative participant named Beardon.

  • Jason

    Jane Smith:
    3. Because once you bring religion into science, you lose all credibility, the same way somebody loses credibility when they can beat their imaginary friend 1v1 in basketball. Also, I constantly hear a “ID has nothing to do with religion”, yet the same proponents are quick to consider it unfair that science wants nothing to do with religion. Which side are you going to sit on?

    4. Besides your rather ridiculous assertion that “atheism” is being taught in schools, your final point is the most unique and interestingly fallacious.

    Similarly there is no controversy within the religious world about the idea of a creator, or Creatonism, in principle.

    Which story of creation, how many creator(s), which creator(s), when, in what order, how? I suggest you learn about world religions instead of holding this absurd, arrogant position, that you have presented above.

    5. Learn to quote. Don’t paraphrase what Ghandi said and then put it in quotes as though he were speaking. And I won’t bother wasting my time teaching you about the Big Bang, presenting all of the evidence and explaining the entire notion of Inflation to you; that is what Wiki, Google, and Talk Origins are for. But you have erected an oversimplified strawman (redundant perhaps?) to try and compare what an actual science with actual evidence and predictive powers that is actually falsifiable, to a completely mythological story about the magic loving man in the sky creating the universe in 6 days.

    6. Again, you are showing a complete lack of understanding of the topic at hand. Are you actually comparing the reasonabless of a very understandable property of quantum mechanics (that particles and antiparticles pop into and leave existence in vacuums), to the reasonableness of an omnipotent, omnicient, self-creating, intelligent being creating the universe? Occam’s razor: it slices, dices, and removes supernatural entities.

    7. Isn’t there some sort of law about bringing Hitler into conversations as a giant red herring, where the larger the discussion gets, the higher chance we have of somebody bringing up Hitler?

    8. I’m fairly certain that practically every formal debate that has been constructed to an impartial audience, the side supporting Creationism/ID has been completely and utterly destroyed. Remember the radio debate that PZ Myers did? Completely destroyed his opponent. If a Creationist/ID proponent actually could keep up with his opponent, it would be headline news (at least in our circles), but no, you have creationist blogs responding to the Myers debate by saying “Let’s just forget it ever happened” and a total weakness to criticism.

    Obviously, you are defining an open mind as “a mind that agrees with me”. You have presented nothing but evidence that you have a complete misunderstanding of the scientific facets of the topic, rather than anything compelling that would make me, or any other proponent of science, consider your point to be anything but the rantings of somebody who takes media like “Expelled” and “The Case for a Creator” to be accurate, realistic, and reasonable.

    You lose. Good day ma’am.


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