Christianity has done more for science than atheism ever could

Our governor here in Kentucky has decided to implement the new Common Core “Next Generation” science standards. Progressives are celebrating this move for a few reasons : 1) It will put us in line with many other states, which is great because we all know a diverse and enriching education must be in utter uniformity with the national collective and in compliance with the federal agenda. 2) The criteria calls for a renewed emphasis on man-caused climate change and, of course, evolution. Evolution — atheistic, nihilistic, materialistic, mindless evolution — must be taught as fact, without other ideas presented to compete with the theory.

Proponents say that atheistic evolution is the only thing that belongs in the classroom because religion and science just don’t mix. I agree, partially at least. Some religions don’t gel with science — religions like Scientology or, say, Atheism. The followers of the COA (Church of Atheism) are not only hostile to science, they are aggressively allergic to history and philosophy as well. They are the ones who constantly need to alter and warp these subjects, so as to fit them all in their tiny little box of nihilism and emptiness. A Christian doesn’t need to be so selective and manipulative because he is part of something full, rational, multi-faceted and universal. He is part of something that, as Chesterton said, has “a multiplicity and subtlety and imagination about the varieties of life which is far beyond the bald or breezy platitudes of most ancient or modern philosophy. In a word, there is more in it; it finds more in existence to think about; it gets more out of life.”

This is where some of my Christian brothers and sisters fail mightily. So often they cede “science” to the atheist and shrink away from his challenges, backing off in defeat while muttering something about “faith” and “belief.” “Well, you might have your fancy science books, but I’ve got faith.” Yes, faith and belief are important, but you, my Christian compatriot, are standing on the Mountain of Truth. You have the high ground. YOU have the facts and the science on your side. Your faith does NOT conflict with science. Christianity built this civilization; your Christian ancestors are the pioneers behind the greatest advancements in many fields of study. Christianity illuminates the sciences and invigorates the passion for discovery. As a Christian, you aren’t just a member of a religion — you’re a member of a rich intellectual tradition unmatched by any group, anywhere in the world. So don’t just sit there and let the atheists blabber about how your faith hates science. Speak up, damn it. Fight back. Get angry.

I have heard this “you can’t mix religion and science” argument so many times, and so many times the atheist gets away with making such a silly and irrational claim. A guy actually told me today that “Christians have always hated science.” What a bizarre and stupid thing to say; easily refuted, if only we take the time and endure the frustration. Modern science, despite the incoherent ramblings of historically illiterate fools, wouldn’t exist without religion.

Christianity hasn’t stifled science. Christianity has been its driving force and, for hundreds of years, virtually its only significant contributor. Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Pascal, Descartes, Newton, Kelvin, Mendel, Boyle — all devout Christians. You want to remove your science from my religion? Fine. But we’re keeping these dudes. You can have Richard Dawkins and his tales of “mild pedophilia.” Enjoy.

Father Steno was a priest. Geologists call him “father,” but for none religious reasons: he’s considered the father of modern geology.

The Basilica of San Petronio is a beautiful church. It was also, for many years, one of the most sophisticated solar observatories in the world.

The Jesuits helped contribute to the development of clocks, barometers, microscopes and telescopes. They theorized about things like human flight, the moon and the tides, and blood circulation. They observed certain astronomical phenomena before anyone else. They did these things as an aspect of their religious pursuits, not in competition with it.

In fact, for five or six centuries no institution funded and supported the sciences more than the Church. They don’t teach that in school, which yet again demonstrates the danger of mixing atheism and education. Atheism has to hide from so much, deny so much, and twist and manipulate so much, because its existence is always jeopardized by the scorching light of truth. To paraphrase CS Lewis, an atheist has to be careful about what he reads and which facts he encounters. There are traps everywhere.

When western scientific knowledge came to places like China and India in the 1600′s, it came by way of Christians and their science-hating Christianity. You’d be hard pressed to find a single bit of modern scientific knowledge that wasn’t discovered, or heavily influenced by, the work of devout Christians.

Do the progressive science lovers, who use the Big Bang to “disprove” God, even know the name of the guy who originally formulated the hypothesis? Well, they think the universe and the human mind came about my happenstance, so I guess it follows that the Big Bang Theory just appeared magically in text books one day. But, unfortunately for them, just like the Big Bang itself, the theory has an originator. His name was Monseigneur Georges Lemaitre. “Monseigneur,” for the uninitiated, means “priest” in France-talk.

Those who broadly mock religion, and who pretend that Christianity inhibits education and discovery, aren’t just arrogantly dismissing Joe Schmoes like me. Yesterday I received a typical email from a tolerant progressive atheist. It read, in part, “f**ck you and your Jesus bull sh*t. You people are all idiots constantly afraid of real education.” Oh, don’t worry, he then segues from calling billions of people “idiots” who believe in “Jesus bull sh*t” to railing against Christians for being “bigoted” and “hateful,” just as you’d expect. Masters of unintentional irony, these left wing atheists.

But are we Christians all “idiots”? Well, I don’t mind if you say that about me, but was Da Vinci an idiot? Aquinas? Shakespeare? Mozart? Washington? Locke? Martin Luther King Jr? Edison? Tesla? Alexandar Graham Bell? Adam Smith? Marconi? Chesterton? Lewis? MacDonald? Dickens? Faulkner? Tolkein? Marco Polo? Neil Armstrong? Magellan? Columbus? Henry Ford? All of these guys are idiots, along with the scientific pioneers I mentioned earlier? They all hated education? I mean, sure, they weren’t as smart as modern liberals — they certainly can’t compete with the atheist intellectuals of our day, like Seth McFarlane and Angelina Jolie — but they were sort of clever in their own way, don’t you think?

Science, just like any other subject, is multidimensional. There is the fact, and then there is the meaning behind the fact, and then there is the motivation to pursue the fact and its meaning, and then there is the issue of how to apply and interpret all of these things. In other words, science does advance or regress drastically depending on the prevailing philosophy of any civilization. Christian civilizations advanced science immeasurably because they were Christian civilizations. If you take God out of the study of the origin of life, not only are you left with a confused and arbitrary thing, riddled with holes and inconsistencies, but you’ve also stripped the subject, and the study of the subject, of its meaning and purpose.

Our understanding of the universe deepened so profoundly during the Christian era because of the Christian tradition that brought a sense of order and rationality to the universe. Now political and ideological forces wish to decapitate existence from the Mind that created it, thus shredding its order and meaning, and leaving us with a “science” that has regressed back into something incoherent and archaic. Atheism does not advance science — it doesn’t advance anything — it does only what it is designed to do: confuse and destroy.

You can’t take Christianity out of the classroom no matter how hard you try. If you take it out, most everything — especially science — goes with it. Christianity is woven into the fabric of most every academic subject (except gender studies). You can, however, remove Atheism, and I think it’s time we do that. Such a silly superstition — uncaused causes removed from the Ultimate Cause, human consciousness that develops accidentally out of lifeless material, order coming from chaos, rationality coming from irrationality, everything coming from nothing — has never done anyone any good, and it doesn’t belong inside a school.

Really, we must get atheism away from education before we all end up like the modern atheist’s greatest prophet, Nietchsze, who died insane and naked, eating his own feces in a mental institution. This is not the sort of fate we should wish upon our children.

Think of the children, for goodness sake.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1,449 Responses to Christianity has done more for science than atheism ever could

  1. “Some religions don’t gel with science — religions like Scientology or, say, Atheism”

    One of the most idiotic sentences ever written.

    Atheism is not a religion. It’s a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

    “Christianity hasn’t stifled science. Christianity has been its driving force and, for hundreds of years, virtually its only significant contributor. Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo…”

    Copernicus’ work was not published until after his death because the Catholic church disagreed with it. Galileo was tried by the Inquisition for teaching that the sun, not the Earth, was the centre of the Solar System. Chrisitianity tried to stifle their science.

    I think you are deliberately trying to provoke atheists, as the points you make are so stupid, and usually 100% wrong.

    • andy says:

      “It’s a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.”
      Perhaps, but spending time on the internet telling people collecting stamps is stupid, or writing books about how collecting stamps is a waste of time, or going to annual conventions to meet with other anti-stamp collecting enthusiasts becomes a hobby real quick. There are two types of atheists, small “a” atheists who don’t believe in a God or gods and move on; and big “A” atheists who spend an inordinate amount of time on the subject. The latter is what the author is likely referring to as a religion.

      “Copernicus’ work was not published until after his death because the Catholic church disagreed with it.”
      No, it was published while he was still alive. It was highly technical and did not sell particularly well.

      “Galileo was tried by the Inquisition for teaching that the sun, not the Earth, was the centre of the Solar System.”
      To be fair, Galileo tried to say the sun was the center of the universe (which it almost surely is not) and supported his claims with evidence known at the time to be incorrect and/or unprovable (eg circular orbits cause the tides, unobserved stellar parallax, etc).

      • Rob says:

        “There are two types of atheists, small “a” atheists who don’t believe in a God or gods and move on; and big “A” atheists who spend an inordinate amount of time on the subject.”

        I wonder, where are all the small “t” theists are who believe in God and move on ? All we get is big “T” theists who spend an inordinate amount of time forcing their beliefs on everybody else.

        “Perhaps, but spending time on the internet telling people collecting stamps is stupid, or writing books about how collecting stamps is a waste of time, or going to annual conventions to meet with other anti-stamp collecting enthusiasts becomes a hobby real quick. ”

        The difference is that it’s hard to “move on”, when the majority of the world collects stamps and people are posting blog posts like this one attacking non-stamp collectors and you can’t be seen as a good person by society unless you collect stamps and you are at risk of being outcast by your family and society just because you don’t collect stamps.

        • andy says:

          “I wonder, where are all the small “t” theists are who believe in God and move on ?”
          There are plenty of them, probably a good majority of those who profess a belief in God. Just match up the percent who say they believe to the percent who are active in their respective church for a rough estimate.

          “The difference is that it’s hard to “move on”, when the majority of the world collects stamps…”
          Is it really? Unless you walk around with atheist themed t-shirts or bumper stickers on your car, I’m not sure how society is finding out about your personal belief system.

      • Rob Crawford says:

        Gee, “Rob”, maybe if you just learned tolerance. I’ve run into some big-mouthed Christians who damn “unbelievers” — but I’ve run into far more big-mouthed atheists who damn “believers”.

        And atheism *IS* a religion when you feel the necessity to come here and sling insults based on your “faith”. Learn tolerance. Learn to not give a rat’s ass. Then you’ll truly be an atheist.

    • James Johnson says:

      Everyone doesn’t necessarily have a “religion”, but everyone has a WORLDVIEW (an overall perspective from which one views and interprets the world/reality). What is ASSUMED in these discussions is that those with a theistic worldview will always alter facts to fit with their worldview, but the atheist will always separate their worldview from their discoveries and somehow remain completely objective, and intellectually honest.

      One needs to look no further than the words from a Harvard geneticist, Richard Lewontin, to see the bias of their research, discoveries, and “facts”:

      “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
      It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

      This illustrates the implicit philosophical bias atheists have against any evidence that could support a theistic worldview–this is intellectual dishonesty at its worst.

      So instead of saying keep your “religion” out of politics, law, the classroom, (insert anything that you believe should be as objective as possible) consider saying, “keep your WORLDVIEW out of politics, law, the classroom, etc.

      But realize that while you try to articulate the argument “nobody should make any decisions/conclusions (law, science, education) if those decisions/conclusions have any hint of presuppositions” you will in fact be presupposing logic and reason (that is the logical and reasonable thing to do) and objective morality (we have a moral obligation to do what is right).

      Did you ever notice the atheist uses logic and reason to form their arguments without being able to account for logic and reason within their worldview? Similarly, the atheist fights against theists–come one it’s really Christians, I never hear the atheist take on the Muslims; more specifically, how their worldview shouldn’t influence their decisions on education, law, and society. But the atheist has forgotten that the education he has gotten and fighting for, the laws of justice, and the freedom he has to speak out against those Christians was all built by a worldview that he wants erased.

    • Aaron says:

      Just because “The Church” disagreed with something, doesn’t mean that they themselves weren’t Christians. And true, there are some church members that often get stuck in leadership and don’t accept anything new, but that is not Christianity. That’s people abusing the title.

    • Atheism IS a religion, and it has all of the hallmarks: It is based on faith, it can not be proven, it proselytizes, it attacks all competing religious beliefs, and uses whatever force it can to drive out and destroy other belief systems.
      It that isn’t a religion, what is? People who don’t believe in something do not spend their time attacking those who do.

      • Mike says:

        Atheism is simply NOT. It is not a religion or an affiliation with anything other than you don’t believe in this stupid thing called “God”

        • scy says:

          Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.

      • Michael says:

        If those are the hallmarks of religion, they must apply to Christianity as well. Therefore, Christianity:
        - is based on faith
        - it cannot be proven
        - it proselytizes
        - it attacks all competing religious beliefs
        - it uses whatever force it can to drive out and destroy other belief systems.
        That doesn’t sound very nice. I would be ashamed to say I was part of any religion where those are the hallmarks.

        As far as the claim that atheism does all those things:
        - it is not based on faith, it is based on not having faith
        - it is not unprovable, it suggests that what cannot be proven should not be automatically attributed to the supernatural, and that which is provable should be accepted.
        - it does not proselytize; it asks for tolerance and respect for beliefs, but when attacked, an atheist may defend themselves
        - it does not attack competing beliefs, it counters belief with the idea that evidence is an ideal way to form theories and, by extension, to remain objective in their worldview, without prejudice or intolerance
        - it does not use any force to drive out other belief systems. It only attempts to temper subjective morality or ideology with skepticism and demands for proof. It states that if a belief is provably incorrect, that belief should be abandoned.

  2. Dave Erin says:

    I have to disagree on this post though mate. Atheism isn’t a religion. It merely a name for anybody who decides they don’t want to follow a religion until they see proof and results of its authenticity. It is the most scientific approach you can have on the subject of where we came from etc. I generally like to see proof in relation to anything in life though. If somebody tells me something which is hard to believe, the first thing I say is “Awesome, but can you show me?”. I’m not trying to be awkward, but people DO tell stories and I wouldn’t want to base any important decisions on something that may end up not being true. I apply the same approach to everything in life, without exception.

    Also, there is no doubt that people who were christian helped in the progression of science. A lot of people have, it was nothing to do with their belief in a god. But the argument about “you can’t mix religion and science” I think is aimed at those who belief the earth is only 10,000 years old, even after seeing the evidence. If somebody will not take evidence as a reason to change their mind then they really cannot understand science. This is what it means.

    There are plenty of people who except science and belief in their god at the same time. Some religious people except the earth is 13 billion years old, they except the big bang, but believe that god created it all in the beginning. Then that is fair enough. Everybody can have their own theory of what happened before as it is unknowable. If somebody believes that we came from an alternate universe, how are we to say otherwise? That is until somebody finally finds out the answer and shows the proof. Then it doesn’t matter what people believe as we now have the truth.

    • Rob Crawford says:

      “Atheism isn’t a religion. It merely a name for anybody who decides they don’t want to follow a religion until they see proof and results of its authenticity.”

      That definition is of agnostics, not atheists.

      “A lot of people have, it was nothing to do with their belief in a god. ”

      Wrong. Simply, utterly WRONG. Look at their own words; you’ll see that they were trying to explain the Creation left to us. They were seeking God in His creation.

      What you’re trying to do is draw a line and say “science and faith are incompatible, anytime I see them present in the same person, one cannot be motivated by the other”. That’s simply not true, and the depth of ignorance required to hold it compares unfavorably to young-earth creationism.

      And the word you were seeking is “accept”, not “except”.

  3. bigfaceworm says:

    Andy wrote: “I plan on using both crops and medicine. Please explain to me in detail how evolution by natural selection contributed to either of them.”

    Wow, first, evolution is fundamental to modern biology. Just look at the definition for biology:

    “the study of living organisms, divided into many specialized fields that
    cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behavior, origin, and
    distribution”

    morphology – defined by the animals by their DNA, DNA and evolution are completely intertwined

    physiology – the function of organisms and their parts, again defined (in part) by their DNA

    behavior – just read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethology#Theory_of_evolution_by_natural_selection_and_the_beginnings_of_ethology

    origin – origin of species, can’t get much more fundamental to evolution

    distribution – Darwin’s finches were the catalyst for coming up with the theory of natural selection, based on the distribution of certain breeds of finches

    And wrote: “I’m not trying to be demeaning, I have just never heard anyone say what we have invented due to Darwinian evolution that affects my daily life.”

    Well, the existence of DNA was predicted by the theory of natural selection, and DNA is central to all disease research done today: common cold, flu, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. etc.

    Why do we use lab rats (or primates) for testing medicines? Why not test it out on flies (way more numerous)? Why not snakes or lizards? What about sardines? Oh, it’s because humans are more closely related to mammals than insects or reptiles or fish. evolution

    Do you eat? Given that (in the US) 85% of corn, 95% of soy are GMO strains, you’re eating food directly impacted by modern biology.

    Do you wear cotton? 88% of cotton in the US is GMO.

    All the GMO crops enabled farmers to spray round-up to kill weeds, and gee, wouldn’t you know it, they’re now battling “super weeds” because the weeds have evolved (via natural selection) to also be resistant.

    Andy wrote: “I’m truly curious. Did we not eat crops before Darwin? Was there no medicine? Vaccines?”

    Of course modern crops existed before Darwin, and vaccines did exist before, but the study and production of those have changed immensely as our knowledge of biology has expanded. And, again, evolution is fundamental to our understanding of biology.

    I don’t think that any serious science teachers are promoting teaching of “chemistry and evolution” – they’d say “chemistry and biology” – and, as a part of teaching biology, if you teach it at any real depth, you will teach about evolution. Nobody is planning on teaching 3rd graders about DNA.

    As far as when to teach it, well, in depth at the high school level. But children are incredibly curious about the world around them, and I think you can teach basics of biology much earlier – in grade school for sure. And when they ask “where did the lizard come from?” you can easily show the “tree of life” without going into great detail, and it’s fascinating and captivating. bam! evolution. Or you look at birds, “why are the beaks different?” – bam, evolution.

    In a different comment Andy wrote: “If it was taught that God changed things rather than natural selection, what medical or crop-related innovation would not have occurred?”

    I doubt innovation would not have occurred. People are very curious and want to figure out how things work, and how to make things work better. ergo: science But, what impact would teaching “God did it” have? I can’t see how it would have any effect other than stifling curiosity and exploration. It is generally taught to Christians that they “cannot know the mind of God” – so, if God did it, we have no chance of knowing how/why. case closed, do not explore, do not try to answer. Mere mortals are not to question God.

    What does “God changed things” even mean? If God changed things willy-nilly, then why do the fossil records fall so neatly into place? why does DNA exist? etc. etc. Ok, doesn’t seem like “God” does things willy-nilly… so then, how does adding “God” to these analyses help? What predictive value does it have?

    The answer to the last two questions is: “none”.

    The follow up to someone who thinks adding “God” has meaning or predictive value is … Which “God” is shaping the world?
    … How convenient it is the Christian god.

    • andy says:

      Wow, I didn’t know I called into question the definition of biology.

      “the existence of DNA was predicted by the theory of natural selection”
      Well, I think you could more accurately point to Mendel, who is called the father of genetics, for inspiration. He was pre-Darwinian theory. The actual discovery came from a guy looking through a microscope at some used bandages which was followed by people trying to see the structure with the help of x-rays. Whether or not Darwin ever lived or his theory was promulgated by another naturalist, we would still know about DNA.

      “it’s because humans are more closely related to mammals than insects or reptiles or fish”
      This can also be observed without the need to refer to Darwinian evolution. Insects have six legs, reptiles lay eggs and are cold blooded, and I hope you can tell why fish are different without me going to any detail. Linnaeus began scientifically classifying living creatures well before Darwin was a gleam in his father’s eye. An understanding of Darwinian evolution is again irrelevant to this decision.

      “GMO strains, you’re eating food directly impacted by modern biology.”
      GMO strains can be made or cultivated with simply a knowledge of genetics and without reference to Darwinian evolution. Again, I’m not seeing what Darwinian evolution is adding to the mix. Mendel was making hybrid peas without any knowledge of Darwinian evolution.

      “I doubt innovation would not have occurred [if the taught mechanism of evolution was different].”
      That is my point. It is not that God did it. It is simply that if someone wanted to believe that, what negative effect would there be on society? Apparently none. If the answer is none, why do we keep insisting on pushing the issue on high schoolers? I would bet society has suffered more by fundamentalist Christians being turned off science by the pushing of Darwinian evolution than has been gained by teaching the system…which again, I have not heard any concrete benefits of doing.

      “I can’t see how it would have any effect other than stifling curiosity and exploration.”
      I’m not saying the teaching of Darwinian evolution should be banned, only that there is no need to create such a big controversy by teaching a subject almost no one uses, has (at least from the explanations I’ve been given here) very little impact on research and discovery of items that affect our daily lives, and could easily be reserved to students expressing an interest in the natural sciences at a higher level.

      “What does “God changed things” even mean?”
      It means you could substitute any mechanism in for “theory of evolution via natural selection” and its impact on innovation and research would be essentially unchanged.

      “how does adding “God” to these analyses help?”
      It doesn’t. I was using it to make a point.

      “What predictive value does it have?”
      Apparently the same as using Darwinian evolution as an explanation.

      • bigfaceworm says:

        Yes, evolution relates to biology over time. You can take a the lifetime of any particular organism and study it outdide of the concept of evolution. Much as you can study a storm without any understanding of climate (weather over time).

        Yes, Mendel figured out basic genetics without natural selection. Do people today study genetics without knowledge of evolution? No.

        Do modern geneticists rely on evolution day to day? If they’re observing the word, probably yes, if they’re creating the organisms, then it’s evolution by Fred (the geneticist), rather than natural selection.

        What do you get when you combine genetics and reproduction (and an environment with dangers)? evolution via natural selection

        You could have evolution w/out genetics if that were the way the world worked. Cut off a rat’s tail, its children don’t have tails, less likely to get caught in a trap (that catches tails), the species evolves to have short or non-existant tails. But, it turns out, we don’t pass on traits like that.

        So, if you study biology across generations, asking “how did X come to be?” you get answers informed and explained by evolution.

        So why teach evolution? You teach it as a part of biology. Why? Because it does and has influenced modern biology.

        I gave a perfect example of the predictive powers of “evolution via natural selection” – the existance of super weeds. This was predicted, and it has come to pass. Example of natrual selection in the past few years.

        The changing flu virus, example of natural selection each and every year.
        Anti-biotic resistant bacteria, example of natural selection on an ongoing basis.
        Bird’s beak shapes.
        Colors of moths.
        Changing skin of chameleon.
        Domestication of animals (not so “natural” selection)
        Domestication of crops (not so “natural” selection)

        We test on rats/primates because THEY ARE MORE SIMILAR TO HUMANS than fish/reptiles/insects. Now why is that? Evolution. It’s not just because they “look” more like us, it’s because they are biologically more similar. If we weren’t related via evolution, then it might make more sense for us to do medical tests of drugs on flies – certainly cheaper to house than primates or even rats.

        Yes, Linnaeus was classifying animals before Darwin, BFD. People were studying stars before Galileo came along, does that mean that astronomy has been unaffected by his discoveries? We could study the composition of planets/stars w/out relying on the fact that the earth isn’t the center of the universe. But it’s kind of a huge fact, staring at you – the sun is the center of the solar system (on an arm of the Milky Way, in a cluster….) After Darwin came along, zoology was fundamentally changed – and you know it.

        Evolution is only controversial because some people’s beliefs are so fragile that they feel threatened by the lack of “God” being mentioned. As it’s been mentioned by “both sides” – there are many of faith who don’t have a problem holding their faith and the idea of evolution in their brains simultaneously.

        We can teach math/astronomy/geology/physics without uttering the idea of “God.” Why does biology have to have “God” inserted into it?

        • andy says:

          “if they’re creating the organisms, then it’s evolution by Fred (the geneticist), rather than natural selection.”
          I’m not sure this falls under any orthodox definition of evolution. Evolution is looking at inherited traits of a population over time. It concerns what is inherited from one generation to the next. If something is artificially inserted into the genetic material, it is not inherited, and thus, not evolution.

          “What do you get when you combine genetics and reproduction (and an environment with dangers)? evolution via natural selection”
          The logical conclusions you drew from the axioms you stated simply do not follow.

          “I gave a perfect example of the predictive powers of “evolution via natural selection” – the existance of super weeds. This was predicted, and it has come to pass.”
          So then we predicted the super weeds and stopped them before they did any damage? If not, what help was the knowledge of Darwinian evolution? If went into a police department and told the chief I had a great predictive ability about crime and he asked me what my prediction was and my response was simply “there is going to be crime tomorrow”, what has my “prediction” accomplished? If Darwinian evolution only predicts things will change without the ability to use concrete predictions to head off diseases before they mutate, how is it helping?

          “It’s not just because they “look” more like us, it’s because they are biologically more similar.”
          I never suggested the inferior quality of insects, reptiles and fish as test animals for human medication was because they “look more like us.” You can tell they are more biologically similar without resort to Darwinian evolution.

          “People were studying stars before Galileo came along, does that mean that astronomy has been unaffected by his discoveries?”
          At least Galileo helped provide information that produced concrete improvements in our daily lives. You can’t really compare the predictive ability of math, physics and astronomy with those made by biology. The former seem to be to be much greater than the latter.

          “After Darwin came along, zoology was fundamentally changed – and you know it.”
          Again, my question is how does knowledge of Darwinian evolution assist in the advancement of science and technology. Just nakedly asserting that it does, does little to convince me of its utility.

          “We can teach math/astronomy/geology/physics without uttering the idea of “God.” Why does biology have to have “God” inserted into it?”
          We can teach high school level biology without uttering the idea of “Darwinian evolution.” Why does high school level biology need to have “Darwin” inserted into it?
          -As a side note, I’ve never suggested God needs to be inserted into biology. Only that teaching a controversial subject like Darwinian biology to 15 year olds is not important, specifically given the poor performance of our public schools to teach basic levels of reading comprehension or mathematical proficiency in large swathes of the country.

        • bigfaceworm says:

          Back to basics. Why is teaching evolution important? If you’re going to teach biology, evolution will be taught because it pervades all of biology.

          If you don’t understand biology well enough to understand that, fine. I’m not going to try to convince you of the importance of evolution and its impact on biology. You can EASILY find sources on this on the web. Heck, wikipedia talks about evolution on every page relating to biology. There’s a video series on biology that’s instructive (this particular video seems apropos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3GagfbA2vo)

          If you don’t value biology, fine. The fact is that biology is at the root of our understanding of modern agricultural practices, of modern medicine, and of our environment.

          Is evolution used on a day to day basis? If that is your rationale for including subject matter in schools… Toss out history, certainly don’t use knowledge of the constitution on a day to day basis. Physics, geology, chemistry, astronomy – those also should be dropped – stuff just works (cars drive, water turns on, stove cooks food, sun rises, play station works, tides go in and out) and you don’t need to understand any of it. Economics – nobody really uses that, you work (hopefully) and get paid, and then you pay your bills. Sure, reading is useful. Math? Other than basic arithmetic, people don’t use math on a day to day basis – c’mon, the most complicated math people do is figuring out the tip – cashiers don’t know math, they plug numbers in and read the number that gets totaled for them (and then the machine tells them how much change to give).

          Don’t even try to measure the value of art, music, drama. They’re obviously not going to make the cut.

          It’s easy to survive w/out using most of what we learned in school. That’s a pretty crummy way to determine what should/not be taught in school. We should go back to trade schools, or drop school altogether and just work with our fathers or apprentice to someone else.

          As far as the rest, you’re not even trying.

          “You can tell they are more biologically similar without resort to Darwinian evolution.”
          - how’s that? You can see that they *are* more biologically similar, but you can’t explain *why*.

          “If went into a police department and told the chief I had a great predictive ability about crime and he asked me what my prediction was and my response was simply “there is going to be crime tomorrow”, what has my “prediction” accomplished? ”
          - Complete nonsense.
          The heavy use of round up on monoculture crops led to weeds resistant to round up. It wasn’t some vague, “there will be problems” assertion. The fact we didn’t try to prevent it is both 1) false, and 2) naive. People did try to prevent it, but politics and money in agribusiness was the stronger voice. We know there is hunger in the United States (1 in 6 go hungry), by your logic we should get rid of agriculture or foodstamps or maybe just ban people who report these facts. Knowledge and the will to act on that knowledge are completely different.

          You can definitely have the opinion, “You can’t really compare the predictive ability of math, physics and astronomy with those made by biology. The former seem to be to be much greater than the latter.”

          I think that food, our environment, medicine, birth, death are pretty important – and biology gives us understanding of all those subjects.

          And no, you didn’t assert God should be inserted into biology. But you said that we should avoid a controversial topic. So I ask you, why is it controversial? Why is biology controversial? Why should biology and evolution, out of all sciences, be singled out and treated differently? The answer is, it shouldn’t.

          Besides, evolution is AMAZING! Why shouldn’t we be trying to teach our kids about the awesome parts of science? It’s simple, easy to explain, incredibly powerful, applies to all of biology. Way more interesting than drawing a chart of the carbon cycle…

        • andy says:

          “If you’re going to teach biology, evolution will be taught because it pervades all of biology.”
          Yes, and since all biological material is pervaded by chemicals, all 15 year olds must learn organic chemistry, and since all organic chemicals have a sub-atomic particles and interact with each other, all 15 year olds must learn quantum mechanics. As I’ve said before, if a student has an aptitude towards biology and wants a more advanced class, fine. Otherwise, let’s focus on reading, writing and arithmetic. A year long intro to biology could easily be taught without ever mentioning Darwinian evolution.

          “There’s a video series on biology that’s instructive”
          Ok, what on this video do you think I disagree with? Also, I did watch the entire video and still can’t answer the question “Without a Darwinian understanding of evolution, today we would not have _____”

          “If you don’t value biology, fine.”
          Yet another strawman.

          “Toss out history, certainly don’t use knowledge of the constitution on a day to day basis. Physics, geology, chemistry, astronomy – those also should be dropped – stuff just works (cars drive, water turns on, stove cooks food, sun rises, play station works, tides go in and out) and you don’t need to understand any of it. Economics – nobody really uses that, you work (hopefully) and get paid, and then you pay your bills. Sure, reading is useful. Math? Other than basic arithmetic, people don’t use math on a day to day basis – c’mon, the most complicated math people do is figuring out the tip – cashiers don’t know math, they plug numbers in and read the number that gets totaled for them (and then the machine tells them how much change to give).”
          You’ve finally come to a correct concept, though your conclusions are completely backwards. We use the constitution every day. Knowledge of the constitution keeps police from arresting you on a whim or for your political beliefs on your way to school. Physics makes the school bus run. Modern geological practices find oil to make the bus run. Math is used on nearly a constant basis. I use all of these subjects on nearly a daily basis. I can’t remember ever thinking, “man, what did my biology teacher say about natural selection? That would really come in handy right now.” However, I am constantly using mathematical equations, economic principles, etc.

          “Don’t even try to measure the value of art, music, drama. They’re obviously not going to make the cut.”
          I have no problem with any of these subjects so long as those pushing them don’t insist high school students must study Piss Christ because it “pervades all art” or learn how to rap the lyrics of 2 Live Crew or perform some avant-garde nude play.

          “You can see that they *are* more biologically similar, but you can’t explain *why*.”
          Why does logic work? Why do abstract mathematical principles work? Why is the speed of light what it is? For research to be performed in a medical or agricultural setting, the “why” is of no value of which I am aware.

          “The fact we didn’t try to prevent it is both 1) false, and 2) naive.”
          When did I say we didn’t try to prevent them? All I said was did a knowledge of Darwinian evolution prevent them?

          “People did try to prevent it, but politics and money in agribusiness was the stronger voice.”
          Really? I live in a more agrarian than average state. I’m pretty sure “agribusiness” didn’t say, “we really want herbicide resistant weeds to ruin our crops.”

          “We know there is hunger in the United States (1 in 6 go hungry), by your logic we should get rid of agriculture or foodstamps or maybe just ban people who report these facts.”
          Why is that my logic? For a prediction to not be vague, the prediction must have been something along the line of “Since we are using RoundUp, Germ A will undergo a mutation to Gene B. To head off this problem, we need to modify RoundUp by Method X.” If a Darwinian understanding of evolution can do this, I’m all for it, but has it ever done so? That is an actual question to which I have no answer. I’m genuinely interested in what way a knowledge of Darwinian evolution has benefited us.

          “So I ask you, why is it controversial? Why is biology controversial? Why should biology and evolution, out of all sciences, be singled out and treated differently?”
          I would imagine it (Darwinian evolution, not a simple intro to biology) is controversial because its advocacy is often linked with materialism as a philosophy. People publicly advocating mandatory Darwinian evolution in public schools are often outspoken atheists. If a large percentage of atheists made an argument that the teaching of Keynesian economic theory supported their atheistic beliefs, you would likely get push back on that front as well.

          “It’s simple, easy to explain, incredibly powerful, applies to all of biology.”
          It is simple? Last I heard it encompassed everything from natural selection to biased mutation to genetic drift to gene flow. The percent due to each mechanism depends on whom you ask, of course. None of that sounds simple or easy to explain.

        • bigfaceworm says:

          “Why does logic work? Why do abstract mathematical principles work? Why is the speed of light what it is? For research to be performed in a medical or agricultural setting, the “why” is of no value of which I am aware.”
          Wrong interpretation of “why” dude. “Why” as in, “why do all mammals have similar bone structures?” “why did these moths change from light colored to dark?” Just like you’d ask, “why do the planets have the orbits they do?” “Why do earthquakes happen where they do?” If you prefer, I can use “How did it come to be…” – feel better now? I’ll use that terminology so as not to confuse you or others. How did it come to be that all the mammals share bone structure? How did it come to be that reptiles and mammals have lungs but insects don’t? How did it come to be that the record of species through fossils seem to show similar structures but change over time? …

          I gave several examples of evolution providing predictions. If the predictions weren’t specific enough for you – I don’t care. If you know what evolution is, you know that it doesn’t provide the recipe for specific genetic changes. Just like plate tectonics doesn’t predict the day California will drop off into the Pacific Ocean.

          You don’t seem very interested in exploring the predictions and I’m not going to try to clear that hurdle. The superweeds were predicted in the early 1990s, the antibiotic resistant bacteria have been a known problem for decades (FDA refuses to do anything more than “suggest” changes), DDT resistant mosquitoes exploded where DDT was over-used, etc. etc. These changes to the species/organisms are REALITY. The fact you don’t have experience/knowledge of these things isn’t my concern.

          To be clear, nobody is proposing teaching an entire course studying evolution. What science teachers wanted to teach is simply biology. A part of that is evolution. In some states, conservative religious folks were threatened by this and raised concerns. The religious folks were the ones claiming that atheists were pushing some agenda – it’s simply not true. Science teachers are just trying to teach biology, and evolution is a FACT of biology. They are not teaching some materialistic philosophy, they are teaching science – tried and tested. Sure, some of the people supporting the teachers are atheists – some are also religious.

          Religious and atheist people in other states don’t seem to have any problem with evolution taught during biology. And why is that? Because it’s just a part of biology, it’s not some brain-washing conspiracy to indoctrinate kids into thinking life has no meaning. As you, and other commenters have pointed out, teaching the metaphysical “why” isn’t interesting – and science doesn’t try to address those questions. The people pushing the idea that evolution is that are the religious folks who feel threatened by the concept of evolution.

          If YEC folks decided that geology was an affront to their religion, should we not teach about the age of the earth? About dinosaurs existing millions of years ago?
          If people get upset about “the big bang” theory, should we no longer teach astronomy?

          More and more, the answer seems to be “let’s not embarrass the religious folks”. New Mexico passed a law saying it was illegal to teach Mexican-American studies. Why? Because, evidently, white folks felt awkward – even though the program demonstrated dramatic improvement in graduation rates and test scores.
          What’s next, let’s not teach the fact that the US had millions of slaves? That’s awkward too. Oh right, we already have the ban on “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “I know why the caged bird sings”

          “It is simple?”
          Yes, you can introduce the theory of evolution very simply. Just like you can introduce the theory of gravity simply. You don’t have to jump into genetic drift when discussing evolution, just like you don’t have to dive into the 3-body (N-body) planetary problem when you study gravity, just like you don’t have to jump into differential equations when studying math for the first time. Are you trying extra hard to be obtuse?

        • andy says:

          “Wrong interpretation of “why” dude… I’ll use that terminology so as not to confuse you or others.”
          Ooof. It’s hard to debate someone who keeps using incorrect terminology or who makes arguments that depend on “what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” (to quote a former president).

          “How did it come to be that all the mammals share bone structure? How did it come to be that reptiles and mammals have lungs but insects don’t? How did it come to be that the record of species through fossils seem to show similar structures but change over time?”
          All of which sound like great questions to ask in an AP or college level course.

          “If the predictions weren’t specific enough for you – I don’t care. If you know what evolution is, you know that it doesn’t provide the recipe for specific genetic changes. Just like plate tectonics doesn’t predict the day California will drop off into the Pacific Ocean.”
          No, it is not that the examples were not specific, they were just bad. Determining where tectonic plates are located will at least tell you where an earthquake will occur and seismology will assist you in knowing the likelihood of when it will occur. As a result, certain types of activities and building types should be avoided along the San Andreas Fault, but would be fine in another area. That is much more predictive than Darwinian evolution seems to be.

          “You don’t seem very interested in exploring the predictions and I’m not going to try to clear that hurdle.”
          I’m very interested about how great a predictive model Darwinian evolution is. I’ve gotten no plausible examples…your conspiracy theories about companies attempting to ruin their own crops, not withstanding.

          “These changes to the species/organisms are REALITY. The fact you don’t have experience/knowledge of these things isn’t my concern.”
          This might help. http://mason.gmu.edu/~cmcgloth/portfolio/fallacies/strawman.html It may be easier to debate points not in contention with yourself.

          “Religious and atheist people in other states don’t seem to have any problem with evolution taught during biology.”
          ? How did we get on a survey on the teaching of biology across the 50 states?

          “Because it’s just a part of biology, it’s not some brain-washing conspiracy to indoctrinate kids into thinking life has no meaning.”
          Again, you asked why it is controversial. I am not arguing that teaching evolution does any sort of indoctrination. I’m simply answering the question you posed.

          “As you, and other commenters have pointed out, teaching the metaphysical “why” isn’t interesting..”
          On the contrary, I find the metaphysical questions much more interesting, but again, that question was not asked.

          “Yes, you can introduce the theory of evolution very simply…Are you trying extra hard to be obtuse?”
          No. However, you’ve now claimed genetic engineering is evolution, that I want to put God in biology class, that I don’t value biology, and that I want to get rid of agriculture (whatever that is supposed to mean). I don’t think I am the obtuse one. My question is simply “has an understanding of Darwinian evolution produced any concrete predictions of use?” and my contention is that “if it has not, why take the trouble of making it mandatory for all high school students if the community finds it controversial?”

        • bigfaceworm says:

          > Ooof. It’s hard to debate someone who keeps using incorrect terminology or who makes arguments that depend on “what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” (to quote a former president).

          Wow, really? So when someone asks you “Why is the sky blue?” You delve into the philosophical?

          why
          (h)wī
          adverb
          1. for what reason or purpose.

          So, “Why do mammals share bone structure?” can be translated to “For what reason do mammals share bone structure?” and what does reason mean? ’cause’, i.e. “What caused mammals to share bone structure?” Answer: They evolved from a common ancestor.
          But you have to go and choose the definition that makes no sense, trying to intone that I am asking for a purpose. Nice parlor trick.
          > All of which sound like great questions to ask in an AP or college level course.
          You can introduce this in a basic biology course in middle school. Heck, there are books aimed at the grade school level that discuss how the tree of life is like your family tree. Done. The basic concept of evolution is not challenging for most to understand.
          > No, it is not that the examples were not specific, they were just bad. … That is much more predictive than Darwinian evolution seems to be.
          What is bad or not predictive enough about, “if you use Roundup to kill weeds in your fields year after year, you will force weeds to evolve resistance to Roundup.” That’s exactly what was predicted, that’s what happened.
          It wasn’t predicting that Redwoods in northern California would grow taller, or that beetles in Africa would turn red. Weeds in places that didn’t use Roundup didn’t change to become Roundup resistant (weeds in my yard die when I use it), but weeds in areas that rely on heavy use of Roundup are now resistant to it – not just one weed, but often 3 or more species. And, as farming practices stay the same, we will get more species that are Roundup resistant.

          > I’m very interested about how great a predictive model Darwinian evolution is. I’ve gotten no plausible examples…your conspiracy theories about companies attempting to ruin their own crops, not withstanding.
          You’re the one that was arguing that evolution wasn’t predictive. And then when given the case of super-weeds, you decided that it made no sense because nobody did anything about it. They were predicted and they’re here, come up with your own theory if you think my explanation is a “conspiracy theory.” That’s all beside the point.
          > It may be easier to debate points not in contention with yourself.
          So which is it, does evolution predict things or not? If the reality that evolution predicted those things is “not in contention” then what are you arguing? If those things (super weeds, antibiotic resistant bacteria, changing flu, etc.) are not reality, then … it’s difficult to reason with someone who ignores the basic facts.
          > ? How did we get on a survey on the teaching of biology across the 50 states?
          You were the one who originally stated, “that there is no need to create such a big controversy by teaching a subject almost no one uses, has (at least from the explanations I’ve been given here) very little impact on research and discovery of items that affect our daily lives, and could easily be reserved to students expressing an interest in the natural sciences at a higher level.”

          If I understand correctly, you’re asking, why teach evolution, when:

          1) it is controversial
          2) nobody uses it
          3) little impact … on daily life
          and
          4) can be taught later

          So, removing any one of the 4 conditions would imply it’s fine to teach it (wherever it is being challenged, presumably in high school…).
          #4, sure, it can be taught later. I don’t see why delaying something simple is a good idea… but it *can* be taught later, point made.

          #3, superweeds are present in nearly half of our states, with 12 states having 3 or more different species resistant to Roundup, super-bacteria, new flu – all seem to be impacting daily life. maybe not “enough” to suit you, but I believe you’ve said those facts are “not in contention”
          #2, I believe science teachers use it every year to teach biology at all levels, so hardly nobody. They use it to describe how the variety of life on earth came to be. You want to exclude evolution because it isn’t used for daily experiments/research – but that’s not why teachers use it to teach biology. So you wouldn’t use it if you were a biology teacher, but the rest of biology teachers want it.
          #1, there’s no good reason for it to be controversial. let’s not coddle the insecure.
          Maybe you were arguing that any one of those 4 reasons is enough to not teach it, let me know.
          Look, I agree that if I were to examine my day, changes in technology have the most obvious impact, and biology definitely plays a lesser role. And, in terms of prediction, yes, evolution has much less direct impact on my daily life because (in general) evolution only predicts outcomes over generations of lifetimes of the species. Evolution is more like plate tectonics that way – it usually requires longer timeframes than a human life. There’s just no way around that. Is that what you want to hear? That point was never “in contention.”
          So, I doubt evolution will ever apply to most people’s daily life as much as any major theory in physics or chemistry. If that’s what you’re looking for, we’re in agreement.
          You asked if it had predictive powers. Several examples have been given. Those predictions have effect on many of our famers on a [monthly] basis (however often they think about weeds), on hospitals daily, in schools (and many other places) yearly (flu shots), etc.
          Teachers use evolution to explain the past. It can be used to predict the future (and it has), but that is definitely more challenging, and frankly, not interesting in the lab.

        • andy says:

          “But you have to go and choose the definition that makes no sense, trying to intone that I am asking for a purpose. Nice parlor trick.”
          No. We apparently have the same definition of “why”, thank goodness. I asserted you can tell how closely animals are related without resort to Darwinian evolution. You agreed, but said you couldn’t understand “why” they were related. Maybe yes, maybe no, but the “why they are related” part doesn’t really add value on research if you already know that they are related. To paraphrase you, “so then, how does adding it to these analyses help? What predictive value does it have?”

          “Heck, there are books aimed at the grade school level that discuss how the tree of life is like your family tree. Done.”
          Here is my quote prior to your entry into the conversation:
          andy says:
          November 3, 2013 at 1:51 pm
          “I think the important part is whether it needs to be explained at all to 15 years olds, the majority of whom will have no use for it after their final. Why not teach it in an advanced placement class for those kids who may pursue biology at the next level. To everyone else, tell them there is sufficient evidence that life changes, different people have different theories why this is and just move on.” I think that would be more than sufficient. It would also likely quell objections from adherents to intelligent design and most creationists.

          “What is bad or not predictive enough about, ‘if you use Roundup to kill weeds in your fields year after year, you will force weeds to evolve resistance to Roundup.’”
          Because it predicts nothing as a concrete answer to the situation. “Don’t use pesticide” is not feasible. If a Darwinian understanding of evolution predicted a change that could be combated, it would be exponentially more useful.

          “It wasn’t predicting that Redwoods in northern California would grow taller, or that beetles in Africa would turn red.”
          But those are exactly the type of predictions made in other hard sciences. Add Chemical X to Chemical Y and you get Reaction Z. X amount of Force applied over Y Distance equals Z. Darwinian evolution is simply add X to Y and something might happen. It is not nearly as useful, if at all.

          “And, as farming practices stay the same, we will get more species that are Roundup resistant.”
          Again, this could easily be determined without resorting to Darwinian evolution. I guarantee any farmer worth his salt would realize the pesticide was no longer working and try a different pesticide, whether or not he was ignorant of Darwinian evolution. So if he thought God changed the crop or natural selection did it, the end result would be the same, “hey, this ain’t working, I’m going to try a different pesticide.”

          “#3, superweeds are present in nearly half of our states, with 12 states having 3 or more different species resistant to Roundup, super-bacteria, new flu – all seem to be impacting daily life. maybe not “enough” to suit you, but I believe you’ve said those facts are “not in contention””
          I don’t contend genetics change, but I’m not sure the mechanism of change needs to be explained to Suzie the Future Homemaker or Fred the Future Fireman or John the Future Gas Station Attendant…and as stated above, even if you have a correct understanding of super viruses or super weeds occur, I’m not sure how that knowledge of Darwinian evolution has led to any concrete steps to stop them. The fact that they are all here with us, suggests it hasn’t helped much.

          “#1, there’s no good reason for it to be controversial. let’s not coddle the insecure.”
          To turn this around, let me ask you, do different human ethnic groups that evolved separately over tens of thousands of years have exactly the same average level of intelligence? If not, how should this be taught to high school students?

          “Teachers use evolution to explain the past. It can be used to predict the future (and it has), but that is definitely more challenging, and frankly, not interesting in the lab.”
          What baffles me about your stance, is why you are so insistent on teaching natural selection as the mechanism driving evolution, but when I asked whether other natural mechanisms for evolution be taught, you called me obtuse. Why?

        • bigfaceworm says:

          > “And, as farming practices stay the same, we will get more species that are Roundup resistant.”
          > Again, this could easily be determined without resorting to Darwinian evolution.

          So, tell me. How did the weeds become resistant to Roundup? What mechanism other than evolution caused those weeds to become resistant?

          Yes, the farmer doesn’t have to know about evolution to try something else. Just like nobody has to know about gravity to not fly off into space. your point is….?

          You asked for an example of predictive powers of evolution, I provided one. Very concrete.

          > The fact that they are all here with us, suggests it hasn’t helped much.

          We’ve learned that burning of fossil fuels has led to global warming, but it’s still happening and we’re doing nothing about it. I guess climate science is all bunk too.

          We produce more than enough food to feed all the people in the world, yet there are more people who are starving than ever. Guess we haven’t learned anything about agriculture.

          People know the stove/oven/pots in the kitchen are hot and still burn themselves. Guess that knowledge didn’t help them much…

          Your argument makes no sense.

          Knowledge and the will to act upon it are two completely different things. I guess that makes me a conspiracy theorist.

          I *agree* that evolution is not as specific as other scientific theories. By definition, it operates on a different time scale (it operates over generations). I don’t believe that specificity or punctuality is the reason biology teachers want to teach it. It seems to be a reason *you* don’t think it is necessarily important to teach.

          > To turn this around, let me ask you, do different human ethnic groups that evolved separately over tens of thousands of years have exactly the same average level of intelligence? If not, how should this be taught to high school students?

          First, there’s no well-defined, objective, measure of either intelligence or race (ethnic group), so the problem is ill-defined. Second, nobody has found any significant correlation between “intelligence” (usually IQ) and ancestry. So, it’s really more of a history/political issue – not relevant to a biology class. Should scientific consensus come up that there is a relationship between ethnic groups and intelligence, then, sure, it could be discussed (provided the students know enough to understand the (presumably) specific definition of both intelligence and ethnic groups).

          You asked “Is it simple?” That is why I asked if you were trying to be obtuse. Yes, there are variants to evolution and pure Darwinian natural selection isn’t the end-all be all. But, it’s easy enough to explain and covers the basics, just like you can introduce concepts like classical mechanics in physics, planar geometry in math class, or talking about what time it is w/out involving general relativity. But it is simple to introduce the concept of evolution – my 7yo daughter picked up on it yesterday when talking about dog breeds.

          I’m ok with teaching the finer points of evolution where appropriate. I don’t see the need to delay the introduction of it until the student can understand biased mutation, genetic drift, gene flow and other things.

          So, getting back to your central point of “whether it needs to be explained at all to 15 year olds…”

          The reason biology teachers want to teach it is not because of its predictive powers, but instead because it is central to understanding biology in its entirety.

          From the NABT Position Statement on Teaching Evolution

          > Just as nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution, nothing in biology education makes sense without reference to and thorough coverage of the principle and mechanisms provided by the science of evolution. Therefore, teaching biology in an effective, detailed, and scientifically and pedagogically honest manner requires that evolution be a major theme throughout the life science curriculum both in classroom discussions and in laboratory investigations.

          That’s why they want to teach it. You can read more of their position statement here: http://www.nabt.org/websites/institution/?p=92

        • andy says:

          “How did the weeds become resistant to Roundup? What mechanism other than evolution caused those weeds to become resistant?”
          I have been repeatedly using the term “Darwinian evolution” or “natural selection.” If you want to change the terms to simply “evolution” that is fine, however, it no longer is the point I was making. I have mentioned biased mutation, genetic drift and gene flow as alternatives to Darwinian evolution. Additionally, I don’t know enough about this specific situation to know if the weeds “became” resistant to Roundup. For example, I doubt the makers of Roundup ever claimed their chemical would kill 100% of targeted weeds, but something along the line of 99+%, so that 1% did not necessarily “become” resistant, it always was resistant. If you had the intent to kill every person in a metro area with a liquid chemical and I said “this chemical will kill everyone but redheads”, as soon as you spayed the metro area, the only people left would be redheads. Did the redheads evolve? No. Did the population of humans as a whole evolve via natural selection? Maybe, but only in the broadest sense of the term. “Natural selection” as a mechanism for evolution is usually intended to mean that over many generations random mutations would take place and some of those mutations would give their owners a survival edge. In the case of the poisoning, the redheads have an edge, but I don’t know that their survival of a mass murder is generally considered “natural selection” in a classical sense. However, this is somewhat beside the point I’ve made. I personally think that natural selection is generally a logical answer to the question. Again, I’m not making the argument it does or doesn’t occur. I just fail to see what concrete predictions or solutions it has ever provided us. I also think we would be in exactly the same position with respect to super weeds (eg they are still here and causing us trouble) with or without an understanding of Darwinian evolution.

          “Knowledge and the will to act upon it are two completely different things. I guess that makes me a conspiracy theorist.”
          Yes. What has a Darwinian understanding of evolution given us that has solved a problem? What have biologists done, using Darwinian evolution, to combat super weeds that could not be done with simply looking at the organism’s current genetic structure? What could they have theoretically done, until Agribusiness allegedly stepped in? Wouldn’t weeds eventually become desensitized to any herbicide, not just Roundup? Your climate change example was pretty close, however the agriculture example was off. They have told us concrete methods on how to improve crop yields. There is enough food produced to feed everyone on earth. The fact people starve is due to other causes.

          “I *agree* that evolution is not as specific as other scientific theories.”
          Did I say Darwinian evolutionary theory was not specific? My contention is that it cannot produce more than a “things may change” prediction, which does not seem anymore valuable than me predicting “there may be crime tomorrow.”

          “First, there’s no well-defined, objective, measure of either intelligence or race (ethnic group), so the problem is ill-defined. Second, nobody has found any significant correlation between “intelligence” (usually IQ) and ancestry.”
          At the risk of really going off on a tangent, there are objective measures to determine a person’s place of origin using DNA. Whether you agree with current racial/ethic categories or whether IQ tests are truly “objective” is something different, but for the sake of the example, say that has been cleared up over the next decade. You second point is wrong. James Watson has said just the opposite and publications and books have been made on the subject, whether you agree with their results or not.

          “Should scientific consensus come up that there is a relationship between ethnic groups and intelligence, then, sure, it could be discussed (provided the students know enough to understand the (presumably) specific definition of both intelligence and ethnic groups).”
          Well, I congratulate you on being consistent. If a relationship was conclusively established, I do not think that would be necessary, or even a good idea, to teach to the general population of high school students either, for many of the same reasons I’ve given on Darwinian evolution.

          “But it is simple to introduce the concept of evolution – my 7yo daughter picked up on it yesterday when talking about dog breeds.”
          Again, I am specifically talking about natural selection or Darwinian evolution. Your example is of selective breeding, which no one finds controversial.

          “That’s why they want to teach it. You can read more of their position statement here: http://www.nabt.org/websites/institution/?p=92
          I read it. The fact they only quoted a well known eugenicist is…well… a little creepy. It still did not say what concrete predictions of changes Darwinian evolution has ever promulgated or why it is necessary to teach it to the general population of high school students.

        • bigfaceworm says:

          > If you want to change the terms to simply “evolution” that is fine, however, it no longer is the point I was making. I have mentioned biased mutation, genetic drift and gene flow as alternatives to Darwinian evolution.

          Fine, please explain how the super weeds came about due to non-Darwinian evolution.

          I use “evolution” and “natural selection” interchangeably because natural selection is considered the driving force of evolution. biased mutation has very little support/following in the scientific community, I don’t see how gene flow causes the explosion of superweeds (it’s more likely to help explain how the superweeds have become so widespread once they became established). I’d love to see the math that would explain the superweeds as a result of genetic drift – and why that is more convincing than what seems to be an obvious selective pressure of death by Roundup.

          > Additionally, I don’t know enough about this specific situation to know if the weeds “became” resistant to Roundup. For example, I doubt the makers of Roundup ever claimed their chemical would kill 100% of targeted weeds, but something along the line of 99+%, so that 1% did not necessarily “become” resistant, it always was resistant.

          The “became” applies to the population (the “weeds” I referred to) – that’s what evolution works on – populations of organisms. Nobody is suggesting that evolution means that a particular organism mutates and suddenly has super powers. What you’re describing, a small subset of original weeds having some resistance, is exactly the kind of genetic variation on which natural selection operates. If there were no resistance, all the weeds would have died, and there would be no superweeds.

          > I just fail to see what concrete predictions or solutions it has ever provided us.

          So… people predicted in the 90s that superweeds would come about, and they did.

          Do you dispute this?

          You always follow up with the [we didn't do anything] or [we'd still be here w/out evolution] – but I’ve repeatedly pointed out that is a completely unrelated to the FACT that these weeds were predicted.

          As far as solutions, there are many ways to grow food that don’t rely on solely planting monoculture crops and using the same herbicide for years on end. Go do the research yourself.

          > I also think we would be in exactly the same position with respect to super weeds (eg they are still here and causing us trouble) with or without an understanding of Darwinian evolution.

          That doesn’t refute the prediction.

          Do you understand the difference between knowing something and doing something with that knowledge?

          I throw a brick up in the air, I know about gravity and I don’t move. Theory of gravity says that brick is going to come down and smack me in the head. It does.

          Gravity led to the prediction, it came true.

          With or without understanding gravity, I’m going to get hit in the head.

          That doesn’t invalidate the theory of gravity.

          Regarding solutions, there are many ways to avoid being hurt by the brick – don’t throw it, throw it at an angle, throw something softer, wear a helmet, have a friend knock the brick out of the air. The actions change the conditions, and so the outcome is different. And the actions may not have anything to do with the theory of gravity.

          Same thing with super weeds, change the conditions – the outcome will be different (unless you change a condition that has no effect, but that’s a different topic). As you point out, these super weeds could arise from using a different herbicide. There are more things you can do than just change the herbicide, and not all of them need be prophesied by evolution.

          I’ve already agreed that predictions made by evolution don’t have the immediate impact that, say, theories in physics or chemistry do. If that’s your point, understood, agreed.

          You argue “what concrete predictions or solutions [has it] ever provided us”

          I’ve given several (flu, antibiotic resistant bacteria, superweeds, DDT resistant mosquitoes).

          You want solutions? Change the conditions.

          > There is enough food produced to feed everyone on earth. The fact people starve is due to other causes.

          And an understanding of “Darwinian” evolution predicted super weeds. The fact that agricultural practices didn’t change is due to other causes.

          > My contention is that it cannot produce more than a “things may change” prediction, which does not seem anymore valuable than me predicting “there may be crime tomorrow.”

          Again, in the 1990′s predicted weed populations to become highly resistant to Roundup if agricultural practices Monsanto was proposing (mono-culture fields, using Roundup to kill everything (except for Roundup-ready corn/soy/etc.)).

          That’s what we have – and it’s in the states where those practices are used heavily (and spreading to places where adoption was slower). How is that analogous to “things may change”? It’s pretty specific. Sure, it didn’t provide a date, it did take generations – which is in line with the whole idea of evolution.

          And evolution isn’t making a prediction that “things may change” – it is saying that selective pressures in the environment (Roundup in this case) will lead subsequent generations of the organism (certain weeds) to have a higher concentration of traits (Roundup resistance) in the population – in the locales where Roundup was used. It’s specifying that the population of plants (weeds) will change to be composed of more plants that are resistant to Roundup.

          No, it doesn’t tell you which weeds specifically (some populations haven’t developed resistance), it doesn’t say how the plants will change – it could be due to differences in cell structure, it could be the roots start excreting the chemicals in Roundup, it could be that the plant’s leaves are waxier and shed the spray more effectively, anything.

          “Evolution is the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.” (cribbed from Wikipedia)

          That’s about as specific as it gets. Yes, there are multiple factors involved, but the main actor is “natural selection.”

          > objective measures to determine a person’s place of origin using DNA

          Yes, but that most often doesn’t match what people interpret as “ethnic origin.” i.e. you can have two people who are identified (via DNA) as having the same place of origin, but they can look very different (skin tone, general facial features, build, etc.), and vice-versa. So, the reason this subject is controversial is that, as I’m sure you know, “science” has often been used to oppress minorities.

          > James Watson

          Whee, you found one guy who believes it – that’s a far cry from getting any kind of acceptance. Yes, he’s got a Nobel, not saying he’s not smart or reputable. Einstein didn’t really believe what quantum mechanics was proposing. So what? Smart people can be wrong (and often are).

          99% of the people pushing the question of intelligence and ethnic origin were pushing ideological agendas and were not scientifically rigorous in their “studies.”

          The fact is, the scientific community has found no causal relationship between genetic factors and intelligence scores. Yes, there is a gap between “race” and intelligence scores, some of that can be contributed to environmental factors, and the rest – there’s no known explanation. Perhaps there might be one in the future.

          In contrast, evolution by modern synthesis (mostly natural selection) is accepted by biologists.

          > I am specifically talking about natural selection or Darwinian evolution. Your example is of selective breeding, which no one finds controversial.

          The only difference between selective breeding and natural selection is the agent of selection. In one it is (intentional acts by) people, in the other is the rest of the world. I’ll be sure to point out that difference to my 7yo because it’s such a crucial distinction.

          You seem to stake some importance on the difference between “natural selection” and (the rest of) evolution.

          So, are you ok with evolution in general being taught? Can you give examples of non-Darwinian evolution that might be useful to teach? Or predictions those have made?

          Do you think that evolution via “modern synthesis” isn’t controversial?
          Do you think that is what should be taught instead of “natural selection”?
          Do you think that genetic drift is the driving force behind evolution? Something else?

          What is controversial is “evolution”. If you removed Darwin’s name from it, the people protesting against it wouldn’t suddenly approve. The distinction between terms like “natural selection” and “modern synthesis” is not known to most people. And, “natural selection” is still considered the driving force for the majority of evolution under the “modern synthesis” theory of evolution.

          Or, perhaps you’re thinking that evolution by saltation is what we’re all missing…

          The National Research Council believes that evolution is one of the four core ideas for life sciences http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13165&page=vii#ct11 (page 139), and as such is instrumental in understanding the life sciences (as opposed to physical sciences and earth/space sciences). You can read their 400 page paper on their framework for K-12 science education, but needless to say, evolution is one of the core ideas of biology.

          You may not find the NRC’s paper convincing, but I’m sure they’ve spent a lot more time and thought and have more relevant experience than the entire lot of us commenting on this web page. Science teachers think evolution is core to understanding biology (life science).

        • andy says:

          “I use “evolution” and “natural selection” interchangeably because natural selection is considered the driving force of evolution.”
          It is not “the” driving mechanism. It is currently considered “a” driving mechanism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution#Mechanisms “Mechanisms that can lead to changes in allele frequencies include natural selection, genetic drift, genetic hitchhiking, mutation and gene flow.” Your word choices are sloppy, if not outright wrong and/or intentionally deceptive. (See also David Attenborough “People write to me that evolution is only a theory. Well, it is not a theory. Evolution is as solid a historical fact as you could conceive. Evidence from every quarter. What is a theory is whether natural selection is the mechanism and the only mechanism. That is a theory.”)

          “Nobody is suggesting that evolution means that a particular organism mutates and suddenly has super powers.”
          I never suggested they did. That is why I said the term “natural selection”, as it is normally used, usually refers to mutations that occur over numerous generations.

          “So… people predicted in the 90s that superweeds would come about, and they did.”
          …and I correctly predicted crime would occur in the 90s and it did. I even specifically predicted murders would occur…you’re welcome.

          “As far as solutions, there are many ways to grow food that don’t rely on solely planting monoculture crops and using the same herbicide for years on end. Go do the research yourself.”
          Again, would not weeds eventually become resistant to any type of herbicide?

          “I throw a brick up in the air, I know about gravity and I don’t move. Theory of gravity says that brick is going to come down and smack me in the head. It does.”
          If you did some research on physics and the theory of gravity, you would understand that they would predict exactly when the brick would fall and at what speed. Therefore, you could throw the brick up in the air and make a precise decision as to when you need to move, provided your goal was to avoid the brick. If gravity was like Darwinian evolution, it could make a helpful prediction like “if you through the brick in the air, it will probably fall back to earth sometime in the 90s.”

          “No, it doesn’t tell you which weeds specifically (some populations haven’t developed resistance), it doesn’t say how the plants will change – it could be due to differences in cell structure, it could be the roots start excreting the chemicals in Roundup, it could be that the plant’s leaves are waxier and shed the spray more effectively, anything.”
          But these would be precisely the types of predictions that would make Darwinian evolution an infinitely more useful theory because you could develop new herbicides in advance and never have to contend with a super weed, super influenza or super mosquito outbreak. If a Darwinian understanding of evolution could predict this, I would be all for mandating its teaching to children as young as 5, controversy be damned!

          “Whee, you found one guy who believes it – that’s a far cry from getting any kind of acceptance.”
          Again, this is a tangent, but you are way off on this. http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1997mainstream.pdf This was signed by the majority of professors in the field that was asked to review it. “Intelligence, so defined, can be measured, and intelligence tests measure it well. They are among the most accurate (in technical terms, reliable and valid) of all psychological tests and assessments.” “The bell curve for whites is centered roughly around IQ 100; the bell curve for American blacks roughly around 85; and those for different subgroups of Hispanics roughly midway between those for whites and blacks. The evidence is less definitive for exactly where above IQ 100 the bell curves for Jews and Asians are centered” Most recently racial/ethnic differences in IQ was suggested as logical by Sam Harris. It is bad argument to suggest that “nobody” supports the idea…except the most famous person in the field…and the majority of college professors in the field that are questioned on the subject.

          “The fact is, the scientific community has found no causal relationship between genetic factors and intelligence scores.”
          Hilarious! You switched from using “correlation” to “causation” when you discovered you didn’t know what you were talking about.

          “I’ll be sure to point out that difference to my 7yo because it’s such a crucial distinction.”
          No, it’s not crucial. You are again proving my point. It is not crucial to discuss the mechanism of change with the general high school population.

          “So, are you ok with evolution in general being taught? Can you give examples of non-Darwinian evolution that might be useful to teach? Or predictions those have made?”
          I could keep repeating what I’ve said about teaching change in living organisms to the general population of high school students until I’m blue in the face, but you would misinterpret it in a unique way each and every time. Again, against my better judgment, here it is again, for the third time: “I think the important part is whether it needs to be explained at all to 15 years olds, the majority of whom will have no use for it after their final. Why not teach it in an advanced placement class for those kids who may pursue biology at the next level. To everyone else, tell them there is sufficient evidence that life changes, different people have different theories why this is and just move on.”

        • bigfaceworm says:

          > It is not “the” driving mechanism. It is currently considered “a” driving mechanism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution#Mechanisms

          Yes, it is the main driving mechanism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_evolutionary_synthesis

          > …and I correctly predicted crime would occur in the 90s and it did. I even specifically predicted murders would occur…you’re welcome.

          That’s not even close to the same, but you don’t have to value evolution’s predictions.

          > Again, would not weeds eventually become resistant to any type of herbicide?

          So? The reason they become resistant is because of natural selection. And, there are many many ways to farm that are different than simply spraying Roundup. And some of those methods do, in fact, avoid creating superweeds.

          > But these would be precisely the types of predictions that would make Darwinian evolution an infinitely more useful

          So you’re complaining that evolution isn’t the theory you want it to be.

          Get over it.

          > “I think the important part is whether it needs to be explained at all to 15 years olds”

          Yes, the National Research Council believes evolution is a core idea used to explain and teach life science.

          You don’t find it useful, but people who actually know something about teaching biology do think it is useful.

        • andy says:

          “Yes, it is the main driving mechanism”
          Another post hoc change to your argument.

          “So you’re complaining that evolution isn’t the theory you want it to be. Get over it.”
          Um, yeah. That is what I was arguing all along.

      • btgolz says:

        As someone whose career is Biology, I can say that evolution has at no point been of use at any level beyond the microevolution scale(which perhaps literally no one argues against), except as a waste of research funding better spent elsewhere. And what you described as “evolution by Fred” is not evolution, nor is it referred to as such by any scientist. It’s called recombination, as in rDNA(recombinant DNA).

      • Rob Crawford says:

        “A year long intro to biology could easily be taught without ever mentioning Darwinian evolution.”

        Why? As well have a geology course that never mentions continental drift.

    • btgolz says:

      To add to what andy said:
      “But, what impact would teaching “God did it” have? I can’t see how it would have any effect other than stifling curiosity and exploration.”
      Well, for one thing, the fact that “God did it” would mean that it is something amazing and learning as much as possible about, and that it serves an important purpose.
      “It is generally taught to Christians that they “cannot know the mind of God” – so, if God did it, we have no chance of knowing how/why. case closed, do not explore, do not try to answer.”
      Nice set of decontextualized cliches. The “cannot know the mind of God” addresses the fact that not everything can be fully known and understood, which is true. Empirical science has boundaries, and the human mind has limits. What do you think theology is? You know, the area of thought and study that so many Christians put much work into, some to the extent of it being a career. While this is perhaps not a full definition, it is the study of God, how He does things, why He does things. They explore these things, and they would not explore if they did not expect to find answers or at least clues.
      “Mere mortals are not to question God.”
      Questioning having decided to disagree with what He does or the standards He has set, yes. WBC aside, however, I have never heard any self-identifying Christian teaching against questioning God in the sense of seeking to understand Him.
      “If God changed things willy-nilly, then…”
      He doesn’t, and no one except you(or other non-Christians) has alleged that.
      “why do the fossil records fall so neatly into place?”
      In what sense? The same sense that While I suspect I know what you’re getting at, it just isn’t true.
      “why does DNA exist?”
      Kind of a silly question. Kind of like: Why does food exist? Why does water exist? Why does the earth exist?
      In the absolute sense, the answer would be that He created it. In the sense of purpose, the answer would be because they serve functions in life and they serve as tools by which to do great things.
      “how does adding ‘God’ to these analyses help?”
      How does adding “evolution” to these analyses help? What functional or metaphysical value of any kind does it have? The answer to these last two questions is: at best, “none”, and if not none, then it may bring about fruitless exertion of time, effort, and other resources; nihilism; application of the teachings of the likes of Nietzsche, or a viewpoint in the same vein of thought (as was done in the Holocaust); or worst case- sending a large number of people on a path that leads to Hell.

    • Deanmc says:

      Not to come across as a wise-ass, but your statement about primate testing being related basically. That statement is somewhat true, for the Rh positive blood carriers, which is why it is called RH, from the rhesus monkey. But, I’m sure you knew that. On the other hand…..and there is always another hand, Rh negatives have none of those. In fact, no scientists can tell us where the negatives came from, we are a mystery to them. We are a different human species.

    • Aaron says:

      Since DNA and evolution are “completely intertwined”, where did the DNA come from? DNA is produced by a living cell using 20+ different proteins. These proteins are only made at the discretion of DNA. So, how did DNA evolve?

  4. James Johnson says:

    Everyone doesn’t necessarily have a “religion”, but everyone has a WORLDVIEW (an overall perspective from which one views and interprets the world/reality). What is ASSUMED in these discussions is that those with a theistic worldview will always alter facts to fit with their worldview, but the atheist will always separate their worldview from their discoveries and somehow remain completely objective, and intellectually honest.

    One needs to look no further than the words from a Harvard geneticist, Richard Lewontin, to see the bias of their research, discoveries, and “facts”:

    “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori (prior commitment) adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

    This illustrates the implicit philosophical bias atheists have against any evidence that could support a theistic worldview–this is intellectual dishonesty at its worst.

    So instead of saying keep your “religion” out of politics, law, the classroom, (insert anything that you believe should be as objective as possible) consider saying, “keep your WORLDVIEW out of politics, law, the classroom, etc.

    But realize that while you try to articulate the argument “nobody should make any decisions/conclusions (law, science, education) if those decisions/conclusions have any hint of presuppositions” you will in fact be presupposing logic and reason (that is the logical and reasonable thing to do) and objective morality (we have a moral obligation to do what is right).

    Did you ever notice the atheist uses logic and reason to form their arguments without being able to account for logic and reason within their worldview? Similarly, the atheist fights against theists–come one it’s really Christians, I never hear the atheist take on the Muslims; more specifically, how their worldview shouldn’t influence their decisions on education, law, and society. But the atheist has forgotten that the education he has gotten and fighting for, the laws of justice, and the freedom he has to speak out against those Christians was all built by a worldview that he wants erased.

  5. Nerobyrne says:

    Man, you really need to let go of all this hate. Also, you need to grow up. As well, it would be helpful to look at reality before you butcher it.

    The Church of Atheism has on it’s front page that they love science. It’s all over their websites.

    Many, if not most, Christian Organizations and Churches have this huge hatred of science. They despise it, even though it brought them so many benefits. Christians brought science into the world, but not by reading the bible or praying. They did it by atheistic methods like looking at the world, doing experiments and recording their results. You Christians loved it until the moment when it disagreed with your ready-made ideas. As soon as observing reality and recording your results told you that the earth is older than 6000 years, that animals change slowly, that set kinds are an illusion, you just suddenly stopped trusting this process.

    Well, just because you hate the future and the truth doesn’t mean that it is going to stop being true, or the future.

    • pg35 says:

      Hate to put you down, but these “discoveries” that contradicted with The Church’s teachings only came about as a result of nihilist, minimalist, and other poisoned philosophies that took the existence of God out of the picture of not only science, but also daily life. Once these philosophies began to infect Western culture, it suddenly seemed to be possible to have science without God.

      But the key word here is “seemed.” It is no coincidence that the God-less philosophies preceded the God-less sciences. These ideas served as a platform for justifying throwing God out of science. Without Nietzsche and others it would have been inconceivable to have evolution.

  6. Pingback: Christianity has done more for science than atheism ever could | acazares9308

  7. Katie Scarlett Stoops says:

    I am a christian and a science major at Yale University. I was a bit behind the other four hundred students in my introductory biology class during my freshman year because I grew up in the bible belt of the great state of South Carolina and when my high school biology teacher began a lesson on evolution, the class erupted in recitation of the book of Genesis. If natural selection means that unfit traits are weeded out of a generation, my school was selecting for knowledge of evolution. (Yeah.. I know what natural selection is now… thank God. Irony? Definitely not.)

    I remember being enraged the day that evolution was “successfully” skipped. Turning to a wining classmate behind me I said, “Are you really so unsure of your faith that you are afraid to question it just a little bit?”

    For me, the fact that science and Christianity can “safely” and harmoniously coexist has never been a question. It is most definitely “a thing.” At Yale we are asked to constantly question the origin of knowledge and, though some of my liberal atheist professors do not apply this concept to their “exempt” fields of knowledge, I take it upon myself to go above and beyond. In a class on evolution, for example, I noticed three interesting facts. The first was that there is a very low probability that particles would randomly collide in just the right way at just the right time so as to create the origins of a universe. This led me to believe that maybe there was a force driving this collision and maybe his name was God. Also, particles move randomly in space due what? Dark energy? And what were the particles anyway? Dark matter? We still don’t know what that is. I have an explanation that’s at least as valid as WIMPS.

    The second interesting detail I noticed was that, if you arrange the major evolutionary events in a linear manner, they can be compressed subdivided to fit the timeline of one month. My evolution professor pointed this out. What he didn’t point out was that the frame of one month could easily be shifted to six days. 30/5= 6… and on the seventh day, God rested.

    The final and most amazing spiritual fact I came across in the study of evolution is that all organisms began as single cells and eventually branched off into complex multicellular organisms. While this in itself is amazing, the even more amazing event was the evolutionary point at which a single cellular organism became multicellular organism. According to a professor who is a world renowned evolutionary biologist, no one knows what drove this random event. No one knows how a civilization rose up out of a bunch of bacteria in the mud and life as we know it came to be. This event is sometimes referred to as “divine” in evolutionary biology.

    The funny thing is, when I was in high school and wasn’t allowed to question how science fit in with my faith, I wasn’t nearly as amazed by the world and it’s maker as I am now that I’ve been educated by a handful of Atheists.

    • Rob Crawford says:

      “the class erupted in recitation of the book of Genesis”

      Right. Pull the other one; it has bells on it.

  8. kay says:

    people such as those of you who preach this garbage, make me sick to the core… you take your damn faith so wholeheartedly and believe your own lies and misinformed history… it is truly disgusting to me to see how differently the brain works in people who are simply too self absorbed to admit that their faith has long since been proven to be a lie…..
    but, there is no hope arguing with such as yourselves… because you simply come up with more lies and more lies from your big book of well written lies….. although you always fail to follow the rules of that to its core… but those are your own morals, not my own.

  9. Okham says:

    Article was worthless but comment rebuttals amused me greatly; carefully constructed babble, mixed with a generous dose of Okham’s razor, topped with a drizzle of denial.
    If it had been a troll the result would be epic win.
    It wasn’t.
    Epic. Fail.

  10. Tyler Kelley says:

    This is the dumbest article I have ever read. It made me want to scrape out my eyeballs!

    • Rob Crawford says:

      Another intolerant bigot self-identifies!

      • rob crawford says:

        LOL he’s a bigot because he disagrees with you hahaha

        To us, you’re a bigot…

        • SlutMagnet says:

          Your contribution was unnecessary. He stated his opinion, Rob reviewed it. And then you, out of nowhere, thought of participating in the above discussion. What is my role in this play? Your pathetic comment hankered me into replying to you. Good day.

  11. Pingback: In the spirit of two days of Twitter arguing with militant evangelical atheists who hate Christmas: | Monster Hunter Nation

  12. Face Base says:

    This is the smuggiest bullshit I’ve ever read in my life.

  13. Susan says:

    Very good Matt. And boy, are the haters ever out today! My husband did his graduate work in synthetic organic chemistry. Trying to synthesize something God already created. He says that the deeper he delved into it, the more he saw God and the bigger he saw God.

  14. Matt, How can you engage in meaningful dialogue with an atheist when you willfully misinterpret his position? I’m not religious. When I’m told that I’m as religious as a Christian, I don’t know how to continue to discuss the matter. It’s like you’re sticking your fingers in your ears and sayig “LA LA LA LA, I CAN’T HEAR YOU.” when I say I reject faith. My Christian relatives do this, and it’s frustrating and annoying. Please respect my non-participation in faith if you intend to have a rational discussion with me.

  15. AmandaM says:

    Matt you’ve really taken the cake this time. I see lots of people have tackled the science component of your post, all I want to say about that is that I have no problem with Christianity being taught in school – so long as it is in RELIGION class. Evolution is taught in SCIENCE class. This whole notion of “teach the controversy” is ridiculous. There is no controversy in science. Evolution is a fact. There is no other scientific explanation for the change of species over time.

    I have to point out your inaccurate description of Nietzsche as well. You’ve written that last few sentences with the obvious intent of trying to link his beliefs to his mental state at the end of his life. You first of all, have no idea what he was living like at the end of his life, and to state that he was naked on the floor eating his own feces is not only wrong, but incredibly disrespectful of him as a person.
    He was a philosopher, and had a long career – you cannot simply state he was “AN ATHEIST” and call it a day. His academic work was long standing, influential, and far more varied than that. And had nothing to do with the mental difficulties he had at the end of his life. He suffered from dementia, which we know today can be caused by many things, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia, semantic dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies. This has nothing to do with his religious or political views, and shame on you for trying to make that link.

  16. T says:

    So, 2 decades into this and no one yet has been able to explain this to my satisfaction. What is it about evolution that is antithetical to christianity? Unless you’re a young earth creationist (and even then, your issue should be with the dates, not the method), what make christianity and evolution incompatible? Why have people chosen this sword to die on?

    • Bob says:

      Because the Bible postulates “For my (i.e. God’s) thoughts are not your (i.e. human) thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”, there is little that could “falsify” Christianity (i.e. because we can’t know what plan God might have in some course of action–e.g. healing someone one day and not the next).
      But there are a few things that ought to:
      1) Paul said, “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” (I Cor 15:14), which means that if someone were to unequivocally find Jesus’ bones (which happens to be the thesis for the book “Skeleton in God’s closet”), Christianity would/should cease to have a function.
      2) If there was no actual Adam and Eve, and consequently no “Fall”, then the evil/sin in the world is “normal” and Christ’s sacrifice has no meaning. And without that, again, Christianity would cease to have a use.
      [I suppose that one could argue that if the authors just got it wrong about who it was that Fell, there might still be a use for Christianity. But certainly if there was no actual Fall, then Christ's sacrifice has no meaning. Also, if Jesus actually thought there was a historical Adam and Eve (e.g. Matthew 19:3–6), but was wrong... well, that would cast some doubt on his being the Son of God and therefore a sufficient sacrifice to satisfy God's judgement due to our sin.]
      So it might be that God used the “Grand theory of Evolution” (all existing life from common descent) to start things off, but a) that would introduce ‘death’ prior to the Fall (which doesn’t fit), and b) Evolution always brings men from women, whereas the scripture says that Eve came from Adam… so I don’t see how you get around having a historical Adam & Eve or the reliability of the scripture (and therefore the usefulness of Christianity) would be called into question.

      See also “should-genesis-be-taken-literally” on creation dot com for other arguments.

      Surely there could still be a “God” — even if GToE is true — who may or may not need to be appeased for entry into “heaven”, but it wouldn’t be related to Christianity’s main claim IMHO

      • Luscinia says:

        Of course, your logic begins to fall apart when you rely on stuff written in a millennia-old book written in Sinhalese.

      • Rob Crawford says:

        “Of course, your logic begins to fall apart when you rely on stuff written in a millennia-old book written in Sinhalese.”

        How so? You haven’t confronted the logic of the position at all.

      • Steve Cooper says:

        As with Aquinas, your “logic” only works if you start with a belief in God. Otherwise it has no foundation.

        • Bob says:

          are you under the impression that anyone is without some metaphysical starting point?

        • pg35 says:

          No, Aquinas built on Aristotle, who started with his 5 proofs for the Existence of God. To this day, there have been no successful refutations of Aristotle’s 5 proofs

    • Rob Crawford says:

      “What is it about evolution that is antithetical to christianity?”

      Nothing.

  17. Jake says:

    Wow, just wow. The article was interesting. I enjoyed it. The comments, now those are AMAZING!

    #1) Whether you are Anti-Evolution or Anti-Intelligent Design if you cannot defend your position without resulting to personal attacks then your part in the conversation is over. Step aside and be quiet, you raving is adding nothing constructive to the situation. Your emotions have bested you and removed your access to logic. Go away, cool off. Come back when you’re sober.

    Look at this thread, look at the people who have spewed the hate, vitriol, and spite. What postition do these people defend? That should tell you something about who is threatened by whom.

    #2) The chap (or chap-ette) who mentioned Microevolution … I love you. If more people were better educated on this subject I believe the true sticking point would not be evolution at all. It would be the term transpeciation, which is the phenomenon of one species becoming another.

    #3) To the person(s) asserting that the reason rats are genetically similar to humans is proof of evolution. Please do not take this the wrong way, it is not a personal attack. However, you are demonstrably wrong. I will attempt to be brief but since this thread is dominated by biology terminology and by users who SEEM to have at least a cursory grasp of science please let me explain WHY.

    And please do not start debating the definition of “why”, there are philosophical hangouts for that kind of gruff.

    The short answer is simple. Do not confuse correlation with causation. Simply because two thing are alike does not mean they are related.

    The longer answer:
    Biology is a complex thing and to truly understand it is far, far beyond the current limits of human understanding. However, we do know a few things and we are continuing to learn new and exciting tit-bits all the time.

    For example, we know some of the cellular mechanisms that take place in the cells of mammals. And we know that almost all of those processes are identical. We know that cellular division happens similarly, and that organs and organelles work very similarly, and in many many cases are identical in function.

    All of these things are controlled by chemical processes that are setup, catalyzed, and metered by our old friend DNA. Evolutionist see this similarity and cite it as proof for common ancestry, however this runs afoul of another science. One that is many, many orders of magnitude better understood, more rigorously tested and has demonstrated the ability to generate testable predictions with error margins well within experimental limits for more than 100 years.

    That science is Thermodynamics. I will let the reader do their own reading on the subject but it is fascinating and well worth the study. However, the pertinent portion for our conversation is the idea that energetic systems are always seeking to obtain the lowest possible energy state. Many times this is used in conjunction with the term entropy, but we will not trouble ourselves with entropy at the moment.

    Setting aside the meta-physical and the supernatural for the moment, life can be described as a set of chemical reactions. The study of the precise nature of these chemicals and reactions and their subsequent compounds is called biochemistry. Biochemistry is simultaneously responsible for some of the most beneficial advancements mankind has ever discovered, and the creation of some of the most deadly and destructive substances known to man. How’s that for a Pandora’s Box?!

    But, I digress. The point is, the reactions that make up what the pure humanist / Atheist would call life abide by the laws of chemistry and also the laws of thermodynamics. The fact that common DNA is present is NOT conclusive proof of anything except that the specific order and combination of DNA in question is very close to the point of lowest energy. Meaning, the attributes that are present as a result of the expression of these common DNA segments provide the most energy efficient environment for the reactions necessary for the continuation of life in the organism.

    Therefore it is reasonable that life forms whose biological processes are similar would by definition share the DNA necessary to make such processes possible in compliance with the laws of thermodynamics. This does not require evolution or common ancestry. It is simply a macro level expression of micro level phenomenon.

    We share DNA because we operate similarly, and life (like all matter) is lazy.

    Correlation does not equal causality.

    • Steve Cooper says:

      Your emotions have bested you and removed your access to logic.

      Neuroscience has shown us that emotion is key to being able to use logic, to make decisions at all in fact. There are people who suffered brain damage that caused them to lose the ability to experience emotions, but instead of becoming hyper-rational like Mr. Spock they were found to make very bad decisions when they could manage to make a decision at all.

      Correlation does not equal causality.

      You should probably reconsider ever saying this again. Like the original, it’s a sign that you can’t think for yourself. Even an irrefutable argument would be invalidated by using an expression like that.

  18. Luscinia says:

    Luminous lamented,
    for creation spiraled unto doom.
    Stout fashioned earth,
    that future might take root.
    Sage turned mind’s eye inward,
    seeking truth profound.
    Fool desired naught,
    and soon was made one with it.
    Maker forged fal’Cie,
    from fragments Maker’s own.
    Maker forged Man,
    from traces once Divine.
    In time the gods departed,
    leaving all by their hands wrought.
    Fal’Cie were as Man forsaken,
    orphans of Maker absconded.
    –Author unknown

    And lo, the viper Lindzei bore fangs into the pristine soil of our Gran Pulse; despoiled the land and from it crafted a cocoon both ghastly and unclean. Lies spilled forth from the serpent’s tongue: ‘Within this shell lies paradise.’ Men heard these lies and were seduced and led away. O cursed are the fools who trust a snake and turn their backs upon the bounty of Pulse’s hallowed land! For those who dwell in that cocoon are not Men, but slaves of the demon Lindzei.
    Ye who honor Pulse: rise unto the heavens, and cast down the viper’s nest!
    – Author unknown

    Two l’Cie are they, the Chosen, and from the North they hail. Endowed are they with fal’Cie Focus, to bear the burden of the Beast. My brothers and sisters of Gran Pulse: Honor the Chosen in your prayers! Let the blade forged of their will be tempered by your faith, that it might sunder that devilish cocoon’s facade!
    – A Call to Arms

    Ragnarok took wing; made to smite Cocoon, and thereby deliver us our everlasting peace. But Her Providence would not let it be.
    The Goddess pitied the fools who so blindly bowed to Lindzei’s will, and so She robbed Ragnarok of power, putting the l’Cie to an early crystal sleep, Focus yet incomplete.
    – Sermons of the seeress Paddra Nsu-Yeul

    How long now, since the demons of Cocoon violated this land? Where once the peoples of Gran Pulse stood as one, united against a common foe, today we stand divided, at war amongst ourselves.
    We walk on the edge of a knife, teetering, ever but one step from our demise. How tired a species, that we must rob our own of the necessities for life lest we succumb to the fate to which we so willingly subject others!
    Even Haeri, at the height of its glory, laid to ruin by a menace greater still! Surely the vipers within that floating nest look down upon us with self-righteous scorn, to see this decline of our once-great civilization.
    – Criticisms of a Pulsian People

    The fal’Cie of Hallowed Pulse offer us no salvation. Populations dwindle, and still they but make more of us l’Cie, dealing out one incomprehensible Focus after the next as they drive us toward our end.
    Men take up arms against their brothers now. We, who should be joining hands to survive in the face of nature’s trials, turn on one another to secure what few of her blessings remain.
    I suspect that even the city of Paddra, this last bastion of civilization, will not long stand against the evils we now perpetrate. Human life on Gran Pulse has passed the point of no return.
    – Criticisms of a Pulsian People

    It was the Great and Hallowed Pulse who, seeking to expand divine domain, parted the chaos and fashioned realm within; made fal’Cie, and charged them with this world’s completion.
    The fal’Cie, anxious to please the hand that shaped them, labored devotedly at the task they had been given. They made l’Cie of men so that they, too, might be able to aid the greater cause. Men, in turn, offered praise and prayer to Hallowed Pulse, naming their great land in honor of its architect.
    Yet still the architect departed.
    – On the Nature of Fal’Cie

    As our fal’Cie are the children of Hallowed Pulse, so are the fal’Cie who lurk within Cocoon the brood of Lindzei.
    But all gods are not alike.
    Lindzei is cunning and false; sovereign to snakes and fiends; an anathema to be abhorred.
    Cocoon fal’Cie are of Fell Lindzei’s line, yet that did not spare them. They were betrayed all the same; left orphans when their Succubus fled this earthly realm.
    – A Call to Arms

    Her Providence sought nothing.
    Her Providence made nothing.
    She but looked on, silent in Her sorrow.
    The Goddess pitied mortals, destined as they were to die, and so She deigned to intervene in the hour of their greatest peril. She averted cataclysm that was to be, and put to rest the ones who would have robbed so many of what time fate had ordained.
    Her compassion did not end at this.
    The Goddess pitied also those subjected to that fate of Focus, crueler still than death. To them She sent Her messengers, to deliver hope when all was lost.
    – Sermons of the seeress Paddra Nsu-Yeul

    They say the fal’Cie made the Arks in preparation for battle against the menace that lurks beyond. Where is this “beyond” of which they speak? Do they mean Cocoon, and the demons that dwells within? If so, they are mistaken. The legends of the Arks date far before that sphere was even crafted; whispers even hint at Arks displaced around the time of Cocoon’s creation, spirited away to be hidden in its shell.
    What, then, is the “menace”? What distant threat confronts us, and to what purpose? The gods vanished from this place. Are they now residents of the “beyond”?
    – On the Nature of Fal’Cie

    We’ve long held the goal of the fal’Cie’s endless excavations to be the expansion of the world’s inhabitable space-the creation of new lands with which to honor the gods. But I contend this to be false. Their methods lack the order one would expect if that were their purpose, and what’s more, the gods they would honor have long since departed this world.
    I propose a different explanation: the fal’Cie are hunting. Whether they seek a way to recall the gods or to journey to their side I cannot say, but I do believe the fal’Cie seek their lost deities. They search the earth, the skies, the waters, and even the deep places, seeking a gateway to the Divine.
    – On the Nature of fal’Cie

    When our earthly vessels meet their end, the souls they housed must leave this world. Would the path of their migration not be the same one as our departed gods? Must they not pass through the same doorway the Divine employed to reach that place that lies beyond?
    If this is the case, it stands to reason that, should a great many lives at once be cut short, a flood of souls would surge through the aforementioned portal. The Door would be thrown wide, and perhaps we might even glimpse the gleaming light of Divinity beyond.
    – On the Nature of fal’Cie

    Children of Hallowed Pulse scour earth, searching substance for the Door. Those of Fell Lindzei harvest souls, combing ether for the same. So have I seen.
    The Door, once shut, was locked away, with despair its secret key; sacrifice, the one hope of seeing it unsealed.
    When the twilight of the gods at last descends upon this world, what emerges from the unseeable expanse beyond that Door will be but music, and that devoid of words: the lamentations of the Goddess Etro, as She sobs Her song of grief.
    – Author unknown

  19. SlutMagnet says:

    10/10 would read again. One of the more inspirational content I read on the internet. lol@butthurtatheists.

  20. Some religions don’t gel with science — religions like Scientology or, say, Atheism.

    Thank you! For the longest time I thought I was alone in recognizing militant-evangelistic atheism (MEA) as a religion, and a particularly aggressive and bigoted religion, at that.

    The MEA is spoiling things for his far more tolerant (and tolerable) co-believer, the Amiable Atheist (AA). The AA is willing to allow that his is a belief rather than a provable fact. He has no problem with non-militant theists and is likely to have some as friends. But the advancing conflation of AAs with MEAs is doing the former a great disservice, amplified several orders of magnitude by the MEAs’ insistence that the AAs support their Atheism Uber Alles crusade.

    The usual approach the MEA takes to his “rational” assault on Christianity is via Galileo — a story that’s been told wrong for so many centuries that getting it corrected is well nigh impossible. But the Church has always accepted objective facts and well-confirmed theories…always with the proviso that there are no final answers, that a statement about nature can be disproved but never proved.

    Some MEAs prefer to attack the “implausibility” of the Resurrection, or of Christ’s miracles. Some attack Christianity as inimical to another aggressive religion: Randian Objectivism. And some, of course, merely sneer at us theists as “weakling,” or “cowards,” or for no explicit reason.

    However, MEAs can be whipped back into their kennels, if you have the fortitude. Not long ago, I was introduced to a rather obnoxious fellow by a mutual friend, who had described each of us to the other as highly intelligent. This fellow, a hard-left-liberal, was passionate in denouncing everything he could think of about then-President George W. Bush. I tried to answer him, but he would have none of it, and it didn’t take long to figure out why: he hated Bush for his open Christianity. He said the thing he found truly feeble-minded about Dubya was his need for “the comfort of an imposed structure,” i.e., Christianity. I cut him off at the knees by telling him that I’m a practicing Catholic, and asked him “Don’t you think you should have asked about that before you slandered my faith?” and refused further conversation with him. You’ve never seen such a look of woe in your life…and of course, he complained afterward to our mutual friend about my “disrespect” for him.

    Verbum sat sapienti.

    • Steve Cooper says:

      Thank you! For the longest time I thought I was alone in recognizing militant-evangelistic atheism (MEA) as a religion, and a particularly aggressive and bigoted religion, at that.

      If only you were alone in that belief. You should buy a dictionary, or look up online the definition of the word “atheist.” It can’t be a religion. It doesn’t require anyone to believe anything. Atheism is not a group to belong to, either, although there are atheism-related organizations.

      But the Church has always accepted objective facts and well-confirmed theories…always with the proviso that there are no final answers, that a statement about nature can be disproved but never proved.

      No, they haven’t. The Church has always resisted science as a threat to itself. It didn’t like the heliocentric theory of Copernicus. It didn’t like Galileo. It has resisted every time because it (probably rightly) believed that science would inevitably be the downfall of religion or at least the downfall of the religious organizations (their power and money).

      And some, of course, merely sneer at us theists as “weakling,” or “cowards,” or for no explicit reason.

      No, there’s a reason, although any atheist who would do may not be a true atheist – as in, atheist for the right reasons, or for reasons they understand. There have of course been and are today intelligent people who believe in a god but this has nothing to do with it. Both sides often put Einstein forth as an example – saying he did or didn’t believe. As though this matters – they just want the weak-minded to think that if a genius like Einstein believed (or didn’t) who am I to say otherwise?

      However, MEAs can be whipped back into their kennels, if you have the fortitude.

      That’s certainly possible, unfortunately. I say unfortunately because a return to widespread, hardcore religious belief is what doomed the Muslim world. They were at one time far ahead of Europe, but fell way behind when they returned to religious orthodoxy. Even if you despise and fear science, it’s science that’s responsible for a world far safer and more comfortable than that enjoyed by anyone in past centuries when religious belief seemed to be greater.

      he hated Bush for his open Christianity. He said the thing he found truly feeble-minded about Dubya was his need for “the comfort of an imposed structure,” i.e., Christianity.

      This is an example of the wrong kind of atheist. If you’re going to hate Dubya do it for his actions as President, not just for the fact he’s a Christian.

      and asked him “Don’t you think you should have asked about that before you slandered my faith?”

      Why is that necessary? It’s acceptable to discuss, and even almost violently disagree with, someone’s politics or views on anything else – but religion can’t be discussed? Admittedly it’s always a good idea to be civil about it, but it’s a subject that can be discussed. I suspect most religious people dislike the idea of even discussing their religious beliefs with an unbeliever simply because they know there’s no rational justification for it. When amongst their own, they don’t have to do this. But all you have to do is admit that it’s not rational, that it can’t be justified, that it relies totally on faith, and there’s nothing that can be said against it. It’s only when you try to pretend there’s evidence that you can be attacked.

      he complained afterward to our mutual friend about my “disrespect” for him.

      So he should, if his disrespect of you was just disagreeing with you and expecting you to justify your position. That’s not really asking too much.

      • Yo, Bubba: There are three categories of proposition:
        Those that can be proved or disproved: Mathematics.
        Those that can be disproved but not proved: Science.
        Those that can neither be proved nor disproved: Faith or Religion.

        You can believe what you want, but until it can be either proved or disproved, it’s just a statement of faith: a religious premise. And when you go about sneering at theists for our unprovable, undisprovable beliefs, we’ll feel free to sneer right back at you for your inability to discriminate between beliefs and facts. Deal with it.

        As for the rest of your comment, it’s too incoherent, and too filled with strawmen, to be worth my time.

  21. M says:

    Remove curiosity from the students, their desire to help others/change the world and the science dies. Scientist is a scientist before he is christian/muslim/atheist. I have heard for only one scientist praying to the devine power(good or bad) to intervene not in his work.

  22. dawnjerrene says:

    As much as I enjoyed the blog post (immensely), the comments have proven to be quite thoroughly entertaining. I do wish, however, that I had seen some discussion on the difference between ‘adaptation’ and ‘evolution’. The two concepts are far from similarity. It would have been interesting to read the perspectives of the participants here.

  23. bob says:

    This blog makes some very valid points about the contributions of Christianity, or more often individuals who happened to be Christian, to science. It also picks deliberately terrible examples of the non-religious, choosing celebrities over prominent scientists such as Stephen Hawking who has often argued that the universe does not need a creator to exist (that doesn’t mean it can’t have one, it just means it is not the only way it could have happened).

    But the more important problem with this article is the suggestion that creationism’s offer of a complete theory is inherently better than an incomplete theory using only observable evidence and admitting some gaps in knowledge. When Hubble discovered that other galaxies existed after measuring the distance to a Cepheid variable star and showing it was too far away to be in our galaxy, he provided convincing evidence against the prevailing theory that our’s was the only galaxy. This raised more questions than it answered. Has the universe been expanding since it was once a single point? Will the universe continue expanding forever, or will its expansion slow until it becomes contraction? The answers to these questions are not immediately obvious, and the latter is still debated today. Hubble’s observations led to a less complete theory than the single galaxy theory, yet it was built on a much stronger set of evidence and proved a far superior theory. In essence, it is a theory’s agreement with observations and predictive accuracy that determine its worth, not its convenience or completeness.

  24. Nick Manring says:

    I do not believe that a god created us, this world, and the things in it. I don’t know what came before the big bang, and I cannot tell you what I will experience when my body ceases to function. I work because I have to make money, I make money to provide for myself and my family, and I have fun to stay happy. I love the people in my life who make my life worth living.

    What am I?

    No really? What am I?

    Don’t go on until you really think about the answer your are yelling at the screen.

    Am I religious? or athiest? Am I wrong or am I right? Scientist or Scientologist?

    It was recently theorized by some in the scientific community that the workings of the most fundamental pieces of matter in the universe can be simulated by a computer with today’s technology. Therefore, they believe that its possible that our known universe and world, could all be a long elaborate string of calculations and data. No one can say for sure what is true and what is not under this theory. Did a god program this world? Are we part of some teenager’s science experiment? We will NEVER know for sure. This entire argument has no answer. Life has no answer. Neither side is right, nor wrong. What IS wrong, is that in this world that we live in, we must hold those truths that are evident. I’m pretty sure that sounds familiar doesn’t it? Evident, as in stemming from the same roots as evidence. What is evidence? Evidence is what we find to be proof. What is proof? If we cannot truly know if it is true, then how can something be proven. What we find evident is up to the populous. This is why we have war. Large populations of individuals have different views of what is evidently true.

    Science only has one purpose: to try to find the best possible answer to the questions we have. This is why science’s best explanation at one time for the solar system was geocentricity. Does anyone in the scientific community, or the religious community (for the most part) think that the sun revolves around us? No. Not really. Maybe a few people think that. That’s ok, they have every right to. Do you know for sure where the sun is exactly at any given time? Astronomers sure do, but why? Because they have observed this, and everyone has seen the same thing at one point in time, and after an entire population being convinced the same thing, it becomes truth. That doesn’t mean it’s 100% true, but come on, we’re all pretty sure right?

    What the real question is: Why do we pit ourselves against each other, in knowing that what WE know versus what others KNOW is true, when no one really has any real definitive (100%) proof?

    I myself, as an individual speaking on my own behalf, agree with nearly all scientific conclusions because the proof given to me, in my opinion, is the best possible answer.

    So do you believe god created the big bang? Do you believe there even was a big bang?

    I will argue on the side of evolution, for one purpose. It’s pretty obvious. It doesn’t take much convincing if you have half a brain. There are thousands of species of animals who look completely different when adults, yet as an embryo and/or fetus are nearly identical. No one put those bones in the ground, and no one designed these animals to look any way other than how they changed over time and generations. That’s just me.

    For the love of God, Science, aliens and atheists… can we just stop having wars over it. Can we simply respect the right to an opinion? Sadly, no.

    Here is some proof of “evolution” of how we think.

    Because as each generation either enlightens or preaches (however you want to think of it) to their children, each successive generation will become more and more bias toward those ideas and world views versus contradicting ones.

    Here is where the problem lies: Teach your children that God is love and that abstinence is the only true way to steer clear of unwanted childbirth. Send them to religious private school. What will only happen however, is in a couple generations, your children’s descendants and others’ will probably kill each other based on their views. Most likely, where their god was born, or reborn, or descended from the sky or .. well whichever one you believe in (*cough* Israeli vs. Palestinian views *cough*) It’s kind of ridiculous. They are literally killing, bombing, raiding…. all over a piece of earth. They simply believe it’s theirs. Isn’t that childish? It’s sad.

    My argument in this entire manifesto, is not to respect each other’s religion or anti-religion, but do what our ancestors of the enlightenment did and let the scientific model reign free. Scratch that, let’s just call it the “Prove-it! Model” so we get that whole “science” word out of it.

    Think about it this way, religion in it’s most basic form, is the birth of science. Science strives to explain the world around us and determine the cause, effect, and process by which the unexplained happen. Once they are explained and proven, they will be considered truths. When humans first became relatively civilized, this is what they did. They explained the sun’s movement across the sky as a undying being who brought light and life into the world, and the rivers and lakes as entities that gave life and agriculture and the stars are and moon have their own purposes too because, hey, there wasn’t much to go off of back then, and without an explanation, there was probably just chaos. These explanations are what civilized us. It’s what happened since then that’s the problem. Pride. Being unable to question ones own beliefs and theories is Pride, and it’s a sin. (Not the pride at that parade that happens after fourth of july weekend, that’s different and I honestly don’t know why it’s called that. It should be called an “I am what I am parade.”)

    The reason anyone who believes in religion over any scientific model that has been tested and proven as true to a degree where it is difficult to deny, has Pride, and too much of it.

    The giant sword of irony is:

    Religion fundamentally teaches to one to love, respect, and/or have faith in God, without question. To have a relationship with him or Jesus in which you must have utter and total belief of their existence to be a decent human being, and most theologies will teach you that without this unconditional faith, you are damned, you will be punished, and you have no worth and that the world around you will believe the same and shun you.

    Science is founded in the belief (omg belief!) that no matter how true anything seems to be, there is always a shred of disbelief available. There is nothing wrong with trying to disprove or wonder of an alternate ending, beginning, or system of cause and effect. You can think you know exactly how something works and be disproven the next day, and as an open minded individual say ok, i guess that’s how it works. In the scientific world there is no single answer, and actually, technically, there are no real true answers, just really really good educated theories based on repetitive testing, math, and the argument that theory with more evident truth than another, will most likely be accepted as “true” by the community or rational thinkers.

    Atheists are not necessarily scientists and scientists are not necessarily atheists, but one thing is true FOR SURE: Scientist, like atheists, are willing to keep their mind open to alternatives if given proper proof and convincing. Religion does not. Religion is being close-minded. Religion is believing something is true because you have faith that it is. You have been guided to your conclusion by your peers and ancestry and that is your proof. You may not have ever known it was ok to think differently. If you believe that there is a God but that you are ok with others not believing the same thing or that it’s simply a spiritual feeling you have and you know that no one can define your god or control it and it cannot control you, then you could possibly end up being a scientist!
    What people fail to realize is when someone says that God is all-knowing, and that he is the truth and there is no way around that and that they are SURE and they KNOW and it’s a FACT….. that’s when you know that someone is blowing vatican smoke up your ass.

    Regardless of religion or science or the lack of either, you can’t tell me that when you are told by someone that they KNOW FOR SURE that they are right and you are wrong and no matter what you say won’t change their mind…. their just crazy!

    It’s not about respect, or truth, or what’s right or what’s wrong. It really isn’t. It’s about letting go of that pride. People are too weak to be unprotected by their god. This is why they look to god when there is no where else to go. When they are about to die, or when in prison. It’s a mechanism that our ancestors taught us. When all else fails, god is the answer. God is the sense of last resort and the unwillingness to be vulnerable. It’s much easier to be religious, than to be open-minded. In the most basic terms, regarding religion vs science, religion is the easy way out of a difficult conversation. That is exactly why it will always win, because the general population, cannot handle living in a world where nothing is really ever known for sure. Uncertainty is the devil to the most faithful. Unconditional faith is the most frightening thing to an atheist. The declaration of truth is the enemy of the scientist. These three people are different people, with different views.

    I believe that it’s healthy to be a combination of two or more of these types of people. Being only one of them will get you no where in any argument.

    ***Before you comment on this please thoroughly research the definition and derivation of these terms:

    Pride, Faith, Unconditional, Theory, Scientific Method, God, Energy (spoiler: God and Energy have the same definition), Crusade, War, Belief, Truth, Science, Enlightenment, Myth, Israeli/Palestinian Conflict, Holy War, Fable, String Theory***

    If you truly understand these terms, their purpose and origin, and why I’ve put them here, I am sure you will have no heated response, and only grammatical errors to correct me with.

  25. I just wanted to share that you have a great mind and you point out the obvious. Too bad some people are so locked into atheism that they can not move forward. There lack of faith and open mind abilities causes them to stick to not knowing nothing , not moving forward, searching christian channels to mock believers, arrogantly changing the definitions of words, meaning and facts. Atheist all the time tell me to f-ing die then tell me I am not loving…Its like what?? how can you tell me to die then you claim I am hateful. It just prove were these people are mentally. No one is correct except a atheist , to the atheist mind. Even if God came down they would deny he ever existed.

Comments are closed.