Pastor Tim responded to my post below (Once again showing how great he is with the positive dialogue):
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?
It’s good to know you’re not advocating teaching this in a classroom. I am all for open Scientific discussion when warranted, but as I said, it’s not warranted here. Scientists have heard all the arguments brought forth in the church document, and have either responded to them or shown why the information was incorrect. So I do get defensive when someone says this is a credible scientific alternative.
I agree the teachers should know that many of their students do believe in Creationism. Which is why I say the teachers need to do a better job of explaining Evolution. The students need to be able to sort out good science from bad science.
Popular vote is never a good answer in science and we both agree to this. However, you mentioned that we should still be open if it’s not “everyone.” If that were true, then should we should teach the idea of Holocaust Denial, Astrology, and scores of other fields that some people (even experts) believe? We don’t have to throw out the supernatural, but we cannot include it in a science class because it would defeat the purpose of the entire field. The field rests on the idea that we can explain the world around us using observation and testable predictions. It’s worked pretty well so far. Bringing in the supernatural would open the scientific world up to too many areas of pseudoscience that are inaccurate and irrelevant.
As for Antony Flew, he actually retracted the statement you quoted (retraction referred to here— See Updates at bottom of page). Flew does know that much credible research has been done in the field of Origins of Life. However, he is right that we haven’t completely figured out how life originated to 100% certainty. Because of this, Flew subscribes to the God-of-the-Gaps theory that says if we don’t know how it happened, it must be God. As we’ve seen time and time again, this method of thinking has failed every time a new discovery is made. Here, the evidence is still pointing to Evolution.
Tim, I love that we can talk like this. Thank you for responding.
I’m off to an international Atheist conference in Iceland, so I will be back next week. Hope everyone gets a chance to read, respond, and join the conversation.
[tags]Parkview, Orland Park, Harlow, Creationism, Intelligent Design, National Geographic, Antony Flew, Iceland[/tags]