Links for Evolution Weekend 2011

I’ll start with a reminder about Evolution Weekend (this weekend!) and Darwin Day. And then here are some links appropriate to the occasion.

Bill Nye (yes, the science guy) talks about the importance of evolution in science education.

Jennifer Oldham looks at the evolution of teaching evolution.

Michael Zimmerman talks about what has changed since the first evolution weekend.

Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman asks if rational religious people are all that rare.

"If you say so; you're certainly entitled to your worldview, as I am. :-)"

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  • My daughter loves Bill Nye. We just arrived home from the library with another of his videos!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, if everyone would just accept evolution and realize that they were just cogs in a souless machine, what a wonderful world it would be!Still Skeptical

  • Anonymous

    Evolution doesn't teach that, it's just a process describing the change of lifeforms over time. Reductionism is what says man is just a souless machine and many people reject that world view. Including Christians like James and I. Besides accepting evolution is not only honest, but as I said in many other blogpost it can really help your theology in several ways. Though I'd refrain from using Dodd's method of expressing how evolution helps personal belief. He tends to utter phrases like "trusting in reality" and "returning to god" in ways that at first sound deep but are in fact just silly.But the best way to use evolution is that you have to recongize God is a creator and not a designer. You also have to see that we had just as much freedom in creating who we are as our loving creator did.Brian

  • So because we are made from atoms, molecules, substances we must be soulless? Because these behave according to constraints of physics? Because we develop in the womb according to a pattern provided by DNA inherited from parents? If we are not literally and directly "knit together in the womb" by God supernaturally with no scientifically-explicable processes involved then we are "just machines" or "just cogs" even if we can compose music, appreciate art, and blog? My, what an impoverished view of both science and meaning you have! thankfully not everyone shares your false antitheses…

  • That last comment was for "Still (not) Skeptical(enough)", not you Brian. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Come on James we don't need to resort to name calling, you don't want to behave like Neil, do you?As for the Rabbi's article I'm impressed by him, though the comment the author of Caveman logic irked me, just a bit.Though I will praise him, because unlike Dawkins, who interviewed a scientifically literate Christian, came out thinking "why can't more believers' be like this man" instead of "Why is this man a believer?".Brian

  • I had to check out the comment by Caveman's author mentioned by Brian. I assume it is "we have a responsibility to move past those primitive impulses and cognitive mistakes that make religion feel so “natural” and appealing to the average person". Why so selective in moving past those primitive impulses? Why not give up eating and reproducing? Cogs in a souless machine don't need such things. I also find it interesting that physicists are searching for the ultimate grand unified theory of everything, as Kaku puts it, one formula that you can write down in a one inch line on paper. Maybe there are parallels between that and people seeking God. Seems very strange that there is so much order in the world of physics and biology, when the common sense view should be total random chaos in our universe, let alone our world. And I wouldn't take anything that Dawkins says about cosmology seriously. As a biologist, he probably didn't get past first year differential equations.

  • Anonymous

    No I was complaining that Dawkins' problem seems to be with religion itself. At first I assumed he was just angry that people of faith seem so anti-science so I always thought he'd change after having an honest conversation with a theist. Well he did and that discussion was with Father Coyne, the two seemed to really enjoy talking and Coyne said all the right things. Well it turns out after their dicussion ended, Dawkins left thinking, "How can he be a believer?" instead of "Woah if only more Christians were like him!"After that I gave up on him [Dawkins].Brian