Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Science Government Politics

Equal Time For Creationism 3451

Posted by Zonk
from the can't-say-something-nice dept.
Brian Berns writes "Many news sources reported on President Bush's recent semi-endorsement of 'intelligent design', the politically correct version of creationism that is currently in vogue among groups of conservative Christians in the U.S.. While Mr. Bush was reportedly reluctant to make news on this topic, he apparently felt it was an issue he could not duck. Most of those same news sources, however, missed the recent condemnation of Darwinian evolution by the Catholic cardinal archbishop of Vienna. This NY Times op-ed appears to mark a deliberate attempt to reverse the late Pope John Paul II's acceptance of evolution as 'more than just a hypothesis'."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Equal Time For Creationism

Comments Filter:
  • Equal Time (Score:3, Informative)

    by helix400 (558178) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:02AM (#13239608) Journal
    The article said nothing about Bush supporting "Equal Time". Also, why lump Bush with other religious leaders who condemn evolution? This whole summary smacks of Slashdot sensationalism.
  • by tenzig_112 (213387) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:03AM (#13239619) Homepage
    from: Bush Urges Schools to Dump Old Evolution Curriculum for 'New Biology' [ridiculopathy.com]


    CRAWFORD, TEXAS- For decades the United States has been lagging behind other countries when it comes to education, particularly in the sciences. Mainly this has been blamed on a lack of funding and national attention, but some pedagogical experts like President George W. Bush feel that other factors might be at work. For example, the President says that biology textbooks are horribly out of date, based on the 19th century writings of a man who wasn't even an American citizen.

    If the US is to remain competitive in the world market, its young people are going to need an updated understanding of the world around them. To this end, the President today proposed a federal funding mechanism to encourage local schools to replace the antiquated notions of evolution and cosmology with the a origination theory making waves in Internet-based think tanks all over Middle America: Intelligent Design.
  • by timster (32400) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:08AM (#13239683)
    Intelligent Design is an invention of creationists, and its intended purpose is to seem non-religious. Evaluated as science, it is based on two fallacies.

    The first fallacy is its claim that evolution is a "random" process. Evolution is not random at all, as its progress is determined by natural selection (or the selection of God, if you prefer).

    From that it moves to its second fallacy, the claim that living systems are too complex to arise from a random process. However, no mathematical evaluation of the level of complexity or the amount of intelligence required is ever made. As a matter of fact, the math was done decades ago, and it turns out that evolution works.

    Intelligent Design does not belong in the classroom except as an example of poor scientific reasoning.
  • by falzer (224563) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:10AM (#13239704)
    The American Geophysical Union also weighs in [agu.org] on this recent news.

    Quote:

    "Scientific theories, like evolution, relativity and plate tectonics, are based on hypotheses that have survived extensive testing and repeated verification," Spilhaus says. "The President has unfortunately confused the difference between science and belief. It is essential that students understand that a scientific theory is not a belief, hunch, or untested hypothesis."
  • by Valacosa (863657) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:16AM (#13239798)
    "And don't tell me about some scientists that are religious, real ones aren't. A scientist uses logic and methods throughout their entire lives."


    Oh, where to begin...

    A real scientist also knows that for every question science answers, another question is raised. Why is gravity inversely proportional to the square of the distance between two objects, for instance? We know it to be (roughly) true, but why?

    Science is just a method for building a model to describe the universe, nothing more and nothing less. Science is not a belief system; the two can coexist.

    Maybe you're confusing "faith" with "dogma". In any case, I would suggest you read up more on both religion and science.

    Note: I am not religious. Do not bother attacking me on those grounds.
  • Re:Film at 1100 A.D. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Proaxiom (544639) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:25AM (#13239944)
    Actually the Catholic Church has generally stayed away from confrontations with scientific theory ever since getting egg on its face around the Galileo fiasco and heliocentrism.

    A nineteenth century pope (Leo the somethingth, I think) went so far as to lay out sensible boundaries for religion and science, essentially asserting that science has no business telling people what to believe about God, and the Church has no business entering into debates over empirical study.

    Accordingly, the Church has never actually opposed most of Darwinism, and has tacitly accepted it, with the critical caveats that Catholics cannot believe in the process being 'random', as whatever happened has to be part of God's plan. (Also, Catholics have to believe that humans exclusively have souls.)

    This position won't change any time soon, notwithstanding the odd vocal Archbishop.

  • by IAmTheDave (746256) <basenamedave-sd@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:32AM (#13240046) Homepage Journal
    Creationists and IDists - careful what you say [slashdot.org]. You could be blocked from posting for over a month.
  • Ahem - The Facts (Score:3, Informative)

    by ndansmith (582590) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:37AM (#13240118)
    Rather than fan the flames of the Evolution v. Intelligent Design debate, I would like to point out some facts (which Zonk and Brian Berns seem to have little concern for):

    - This is the first time that Bush has endorsed Intelligent Design as President, though he held the same position as governor of Texas.

    - President Bush does not think that curriculum decision concerning Intelligent Design should be made at the federal level; they should be left up to local school districts.

    - A quote from President Bush: "Both sides ought to be properly taught . . . so people can understand what the debate is about."

    - Another quote: "Part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought. . . . You're asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas, and the answer is yes."

    So here are some conclusions: First, the president is not making any sort of federal policy shift to cause Intelligent Design to be taught in schools. Second, despite that, the President knows that a high-level endorsement of Intelligent Design will be the difference-maker for some local school districts. Finally, Bush does not say that only Intelligent Design should be taught; he advocates for contrasting ideas to be presented to school children on the subject of the origin of species.

  • by Darren Hiebert (626456) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:43AM (#13240218) Homepage
    First of all, let me say that I am a physicist. This Slashdot article is an unfair description of what the OpEd piece is about. The piece does not condemn Darwinism. It does question Neo-Darwinism, which strays beyond the theories of Darwinism. The realm of science is to describe the behavior or processes (i.e. develop theories or models) of the mechanisms underlying physical reality and test them againt their predictions. When scientific theories (confirmed or not) go beyond describing behavior, into speculating on the purpose (or lack thereof) behind the processes, those theories are no longer science, but philosophy. It is inappropriate for science to assume that a correct description of a mechanism implies purpose or reason for that mechanism. Neo-Darwinism is Darwinism plus untestable (i.e. non-scientific) philosophical theories about purpose.
  • by Slothy (17409) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:46AM (#13240265) Homepage

    Actually we have an incorrect idea of what a "Law" is. It is not a theory that has stood up to rigorous testing.

    Theory vs. Law [pa.sk.ca]

    Essentially, a law describes what happens. Theories attempt to explain why.

  • by Tax Boy (75507) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:47AM (#13240295)
    "People might cite George Bush as proof that you can be totally impervious to the effects of Harvard and Yale education."

    -- washington post 8/3/05
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:47AM (#13240303)
    Bullshit.

    Um, Intelligent Design and Creationism are two completely different ideas.

    Creationism believes that the Christian God created the universe and life, as described in the Bible. Sometimes literally.

    Intelligent Design believes there was SOME intelligence that we don't understand that had influence on creating the universe and life and our physical world, but doesn't speak to religion at all.

    Not in a science class, it doesn't.

    Perhaps that's why right after what you quoted...

    Intelligent Design certainly has a place in the classroom.

    ...my very next sentence was:

    But not the biology or science classrooms.

    (WTF?)

  • I can only assume you are a retard.

    Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry...All these sciences were once branches of philosophy.

    A good number of theologians have tried over the years to prove the existence of God using philosophical methods. They all failed. The very idea of a falsifiable claim is direct from philosophy.

    Just because your idea of philosophy is something to talk about while you're smoking pot, doesn't mean that's all there is to it.
  • Re:Film at 1100 A.D. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:56AM (#13240453) Journal
    Pope Pius XII's 1950 encyclical Humani Generis [vatican.va] asserts that Evolution, as long as it is not used to uphold atheism, is not in conflict with the teachings of the church.
    For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11] Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.
  • by timster (32400) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @11:59AM (#13240516)
    No; first I say that evolution is not random, and then I say that there is no science, math, or logic to support the hypothesis that the complexity of life requires a design.

    I have no need to say that a random system could create a living system, but creationists need to prove that it can't, just for starters.
  • by Rei (128717) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:14PM (#13240735) Homepage
    Who needs millions of years [pigeons.com] to see how strong selective pressures (in this case, humans wanting wierd looking pigeons) can radically alter the shape of an animal?

    There are thousands of examples of observed speciation. At the single-cell level, we've seen whole new *families* come into existance. We've even already gotten a bacteria that can feed on nylon oligomers (something which clearly didn't exist in the natural world). To do so, it requires *two* enzymes to be evolved at the same time, neither of which is even close to a simple frame shift mutation.

    Then there's the evidence left behind, in the ground and inside of us. Just like police investigating crimes don't have to see the crime in progress if there is copious forensic evidence linking them to it, so holds true with the world. For what reason do whales have sockets for legs? Why do, on occasion, mutations reactivate dormant genes in their body causing whales with small legs to be born? Why does the same occur with human tails (true tails, with cartlidge, muscle, etc) and genitalia features on occasion? Why do we never find, say, modern fish in the same layer as trilobites - *anywhere in the world*, despite both being quite common in the rocks? Why does everything always stratify into perfect sorted morphologically-progressive layers, with the sorting unrelated to mass, shape, or any other potential sorting factor**? Why do radioisotope dates correspond with this***? Why do completely different radioisotope dating methods point to around the same date****? In short, why does every point to this as being the case?

    ** - There are cases in which layers are broken up and jumbled together before being re-merged, with the original fossils still intact. Thankfully, these tend to be quite obvious formations. Scientists often use these things (as well as attempting to date sedimentary rock or partially heated rock) to try and challenge their own dating methods - something that creationists sometimes grab on the results of and toss away the obvious, necessary context to claim that radioisotope dating doesn't work.

    *** - Dont comment on this section until you've read up on how and why concordia-discordia dating methods work, and are familiar with when various dating methods should be used and shouldn't (i.e., no carbon-dates from near volcanic vents or of oceanic animals). Lastly, don't comment until you're familiar with how intrusions of heat affect the process. In summary, don't comment until you actually know what you're talking about.

    **** - No, speeding up radioactive decay won't help you. The heat alone would turn the Earth to slag, and you'd have to alter the speed of each reaction individually. There are other problems to deal with as well, such as the missing isotopes [accuracyingenesis.com].
  • by Nugget (7382) <nugget@distributed.net> on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:17PM (#13240797) Homepage
    I suppose you're basing this on the oft-repeated "God does not play dice" quote. Here are a few other Einstein quotes on religion, though, which are more pointed:

    "The idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I am unable to take seriously." [Letter of 1946, Hoffman and Dukas]

    "What I cannot understand is how there could possibly be a God who would reward or punish his subjects or who could induce us to develop our will in our daily life. I cannot then believe in this concept of an anthropomorphic God who has the powers of interfering with these natural laws." [The Private Albert Einstein]

    "The man who is thoroughly convinced of the universal operation of the law of causation cannot for a moment entertain the idea of a being who interferes in the course of events - provided, of course, that he takes the hypothesis of causality really seriously." [New York Times Magazine November 9, 1930]

    "The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer becomes his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural events." [Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A Symposium]

    "Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seems to me to be empty and devoid of meaning." [Letter of 5 February 1921]

    "An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls." [The World as I See It]

    and finally

    "Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the actions of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a supernatural Being." [Einstein - The Human Side]

  • by BillyBlaze (746775) <tomfelker@gmail.com> on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:19PM (#13240822)
    Intelligent design is not a hypothesis, because it's not falsifiable. There is nothing that an intelligent designer, (oh let's just admit it - God), couldn't do, thus no way to disprove His influence. Discoveries could be made, however, that would necessitate the theory, that the evolutionary process has influenced all life on Earth, to be changed or even abandoned.
  • by jandrese (485) * <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:20PM (#13240838) Homepage Journal
    Intelligent Design is both an argument from evidence and falsifiable in principle. Thus it is a scientific theory. But I think it is premature to teach it below the graduate level until a basic facility in philosophy of science has been taught. Controversies such as this generally result from ignorance, and do not lead to enlightenment. Public education, rather than deciding such a controversy, will preclude it.
    Wrong on both counts. What evidence do you have that "a wizard did it"? That stuff about "life is too complex to happen naturally" doesn't work either, because you've never built up a mathematical model of complexity over time to prove that evolution alone cannot result in that sort of complexity.

    Falsifiable? How? What experiment could you devise that would test this? I can guarentee that anything you try to do I can just say "well, the Wizard made it look like that".

    The biggest problem with ID is that it doesn't follow the scientific method. The result for these unfortuante schoolkids is that they take the first 3 weeks of class to learn about the scientific method and how wonderful it is and how it's the foundation of all science, then you throw it away and say "well, except for the origin of species stuff, in that case A Wizard Did It(tm)". Do you not see how this is dangerous and foolhardy?
  • wow, way to spin (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:21PM (#13240847)
    Not the first time to endorse creationism. Disingenous rat.

    The Washington Post, August 27, 1999:
            Bush spokeswoman Mindy Tucker said, "He believes both creationism and evolution ought to be taught.... He believes it is a question for states and local school boards to decide but believes both ought to be taught."

            The Kansas City Star, September 9, 1999:
            "I think it's an interesting part of knowledge (to have) a theory of evolution and a theory of creationism. People should be exposed to different points of view. Should the people choose in my state (to adopt a rule similar to Kansas') I have no problem" with public schools teaching both creationism and evolution.

            Reuters, November 4, 1999:
            Bush supports the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in public schools. Bush stated, "I have absolutely no problem with children learning different forms of how the world was formed." Bush believes decisions regarding curriculum should be made by local school districts.
  • by MillionthMonkey (240664) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:22PM (#13240865)
    Neither evolution and I.D. belong in the Science classroom. They're both historical hypothesis.

    By that reasoning, neither do any of the historical sciences. And we should get rid of history classes too.

    They are both historical hypotheses, but one has supporting evidence. The other has none, and is unfalsifiable to boot.
  • Re:The Arguement (Score:3, Informative)

    by spun (1352) * <loverevolutionary@yah o o .com> on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:30PM (#13240994) Journal
    No. It can be infinite and expanding. Infinity plus anything still equals infinity. Infinity minus anything still equals infinity. It can have boundaries and be infinite. For instance, a line can be infintely long but it still has boundaries. Infinity is a weird thing.
  • by chammel (19734) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:30PM (#13240995)
    To help frame some more discussion here is an excerpt from the following article about Intelligent Design giving some definitions.

    http://www.intelligentdesignnetwork.org/NCBQ3_3Har risCalvert.pdf [intelligen...etwork.org]

    Intelligent Design
    ID is a scientific theory that intelligent causes may have played a crucial role in the origin of the universe and of life and its diversity. It holds that design is empirically detectable in nature, and particularly in living systems. ID is an intellectual movement that includes a scientific research program for investigating intelligent causes and that challenges naturalistic explanations of origins that currently drive science education and research.

    The theory of intelligent design has been described by ID theorist Professor William Dembski of Baylor University as follows:

    Intelligent design begins with the observation that intelligent causes can do things that undirected natural causes cannot. Undirected natural causes can place scrabble pieces on a board, but cannot arrange the pieces as meaningful words and sentences. To obtain a meaningful arrangement requires an intelligent cause. This intuition, that there is a fundamental distinction between undirected natural causes on the one hand and intelligent causes on the other, has underlain the design arguments of past centuries.

    To the unbiased eye, the design hypothesis veritably leaps from the study of nature. It is an instinctive mental reaction to the observed data. Even the most ardent evolutionary biologist acknowledges that living systems look designed for a purpose.22 Currently ID scientists are developing ways to empirically and objectively test and confirm the hypothesis that life and certain aspects of its diversity may be the product of an intelligent cause. They do this not only by showing positive evidence of design that "rules in" the hypothesis (e.g., the existence of cellular message-bearing systems), but also by seeking evidence that "rules out" the competing naturalistic hypotheses of chemical evolution, Darwinian evolution, and a variety of new "self organization" theories.

    Creation Science
    Creation science seeks to validate a literal interpretation of creation as contained in the book of Genesis in the Bible. Creation science was defined in a statute that was litigated in a 1982 Arkansas case. In that case, the district court found that, as defined, the teaching of "creation science" was unconstitutional because it was, in effect, a restatement of the Genesis account of origins, and that teaching this material would have the effect of promoting that particular religious view. A similar "creation science" statute was held to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the case of Edwards v. Aguillard where the holding was based on the same reason--that the statute had the effect of promoting a particular religious view.

    Relationship between Intelligent Design and Creation Science
    Intelligent Design is not creation science. ID is simply an hypothesis about the direct cause of certain past events based on an observation and analysis of data. ID does not arise from any religious text, nor does it seek to validate any scriptural account of origins. An ID proponent recognizes that ID theory may be disproved by new evidence.
  • Re:Film at 1100 A.D. (Score:3, Informative)

    by japhmi (225606) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:34PM (#13241049)
    Actually the Catholic Church has generally stayed away from confrontations with scientific theory ever since getting egg on its face around the Galileo fiasco and heliocentrism.

    Which was then and is now grossly misunderstood. The Church, at no point, ever condemned heliocentrism.

    Accordingly, the Church has never actually opposed most of Darwinism, and has tacitly accepted it, with the critical caveats that Catholics cannot believe in the process being 'random', as whatever happened has to be part of God's plan.

    Well, what the Archbishop was trying to say is that many people took JPII's statement on evolution as saying more than it did. That somehow he was allowing 'random' evolution, not evolution as planned before time began by God to provide what we have now.

    BTW, schools need to neither teach Theistic nor Atheistic evolution - but simply that there is a process. I had teachers throw their atheistic beliefs at us as 'truth' we had to accept in Jr. High and HS, and that was accepted like someone teaching a religious faith would never have been.

    The Catholic Church actually doesn't have much official teaching on the origin of the Universe, and allows both Theistic Evolution and Pure 6-day Creationism (and just about everything in between. If you believe the Universe was created and guided by God, then you're in line what the church requires).

    (Also, Catholics have to believe that humans exclusively have souls.)

    Nit-Pick: According to Catholic teaching, of the creatures on Earth, only humans have spiritual souls, while other creatures have non-spiritual souls. Catholic teaching does not preclude the possibility of non-terrestrial creatures having spiritual souls.
  • Re:Counterargument (Score:3, Informative)

    by f97tosc (578893) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:54PM (#13241353)
    a) The universe is infinite spacially... This is just wrong and not worth discussing. You may get varying opinions about the rate of expansion/contraction of the universe from astronomers, but the scientific community has a pretty good idea of the size of the universe.

    Most theorists believe that the universe is spacially infinite (although the issue hasn't been completely settled). Terms such as "the size of the universe" refers to the universe which is within a distance [Time since big bang]*[Speed of light] of us. This is the universe which we can ever hope to have some form of contact or learn anything about (or make falsifiable predictions about)- and so it is the universe which is of interest to scientists. But for metaphysical arguments such as the one presented (infinite number of worlds, finite probability of life -> certain life) the spacial infinity should be of interest.

    c) The universe exists... Here is where I personally find some of the best evidence for the existence of God, the philosophical first cause argument, as well as the beauty and symmettry of the universe.

    I was never very impressed by these arguments... OK so if you start to assume causality (which is a big assumption if you are discussing the origin of big bang), then something must have caused us... but why a "god" in the sense of a human-like creature with special interest in life on earth? Why not a quantum mechanical process or something? And regarding the symmetry of the universe, it could be because said process favors symmetry, or because an infinte number of worlds were created (and only the well-behaved gave life, so that is what we see), or that some wise god sat and pondered for a while and came up with this particularly symmetrical solution. The last alternative seems most contrived, and also is the only one that fails to reduce the answer to something simpler: for now we must explain the presence of this extremely sophisiticated god and how he came about, and why he was motivated to create a symmetrical world... was he made by an even more powerful god, and so on (this is the logical conclusion, if you buy the ID argument)?

    Tor
  • Re:The Arguement (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:54PM (#13241363)
    That would be true, if you assume the two premises. However, not many scientists will. By all astronomical accounts, a "Big Bang" occured a long (but finite) time ago. At this event, a very (but finitely) dense volume (again, finite) began expanding rapidly.

    Granted, astronomy can't and doesn't tell us about before this event, but it is doubtful that life as we know it (which is what "the odds" measure) could have come to be in that state of extreme density. So we are left with finite matter and finite time, and your logic fails.
  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @12:58PM (#13241429)
    The idea of Democratic Republics came from Rome and Greece before they were Christianized. These ideas were revived during the 17th/18th century Enlightment, first incorporated in the US government, then France and so on.
  • Pope John Paul II [vatican.va], and before him Pope Paul VI [vatican.va] both made some interesting statements regarding the compatibility between the scientific theory of evolution and Catholic teaching as regards the origin of Man.

    Pope Benedict XVI [vatican.va] (current pope) has also made some indirect statements on the matter since his election too.

    But to really undertand the beginnings of the modern Catholic "handling" of the issue, from the "top down" as it were, it is important for Catholics and non-Catholics/Christians alike to read Pope Pius XII's [vatican.va] encyclical, Humani Generis [vatican.va], promulgated on August 12, 1950.

    It is really worth one's time to read the whole thing, but allow me to post the relevant quote that is still considered binding Catholic teaching on the matter:

    36. For these reasons

    the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11] Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.

    37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is no no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.[12]

    38. Just as in the biological and anthropological sciences, so also in the historical sciences there are those who boldly transgress the limits and safeguards established by the Church. In a particular way must be deplored a certain too free interpretation of the historical books of the Old Testament. Those who favor this system, in order to defend their cause, wrongly refer to the Letter which was sent not long ago to the Archbishop of Paris by the Pontifical Commission on Biblical Studies.[13] This letter, in fact, clearly points out that the first eleven chapters of Genesis, although properly speaking not conforming to the historical method used by the best Greek and Latin writers or by competent authors of our time, do nevertheless pertain to hi

  • by malkavian (9512) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @01:16PM (#13241672) Homepage
    Damn. You mean the research I based my second degree on didn't exist?
    And the books I read were figments of my imagination?
    Wow.
    Can I have a proof for that now please? Or are you following the ID methodology of "It's true because I say it's true!"
  • by Cognito (101290) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @01:17PM (#13241694)
    As evolution is not random, but directed by selection, why can't Intelligent Design be achived through evolution?
  • by MemeRot (80975) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @01:22PM (#13241752) Homepage Journal
    "why the Universe must be the way it is for life to exist"

    I'm so tired of this anthropomorphism. We can only exist in the Universe as it is today. If there were a lot of different natural laws, or a slightly different unfolding in the first few seconds of the universe or something, other creatures would live there and say "wow, it looks like this universe was tailor made for us".

    We are tailor made for our environment, not the other way around. And it's a pretty broad environment, including organisms living near hot springs deep underwater feeding on minerals, blind fish living in caves miles from sunlight, etc. Most of the individual things you'd think to point at as essential for life: sunlight, atmosphere, etc. we can find plenty of examples on earth of organisms that do not need those to live.
  • by EllisDees (268037) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @01:34PM (#13241923)
    > There is a huge difference here. With Muslims, the religous leaders are not standing up and preaching terrorism is bad.

    Hmm. I must have imagined this news report for the other day [isn.ethz.ch] where "The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) released a fatwa, or Islamic religious ruling, against terrorism and extremism last week"
  • Issues with Trek. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Grendel Drago (41496) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @01:53PM (#13242185) Homepage
    Eh, I have some issues with Star Trek's new-ageism [demon.co.uk] and incoherent dualism [demon.co.uk]. Bless you and your rant, Justin B Rye...

    Still, that Patrick Stewart sure can deliver a line, can't he.

    --grendel drago
  • Crap.

    Design is worthless, because it becomes recursive. You have to have an undesigned designer at some point, or you're left in the same boat. If something like a sea slug can't just evolve into being through chemical syntesis and natural selection, then something like GOD sure as hell can't just be.

    The ontological argument is the same. The existence of god is not a prerequisite for the existence of the universe. It can be claimed that it is, but really the argument that it just is has equal weight.

    And by the epistemological proof, I assume you're referring to Kant, but Kant himself, in the Critque stated that he believed that it was not possible to construct conclusive logical proofs for the existence of God, which to my mind puts the subjective proofs he then puts forward on the same ground as the subjective proofs of Kierkegaard and Descartes, which is to say, cute, but not compelling.

    Mind you, I myself am an agnostic. I think the arguments against the existence of god are equally trite and meaningless, though I don't ascribe to any organized idea of what it would be to be god, so...

    The only provable god is Spinoza's holistic god, but since that 'god' is just the sum of existence, it would be hard to argue against its existence.
  • by arevos (659374) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @02:07PM (#13242377) Homepage
    I don't think so. At the level of specific constructs alleged to be examples of irreducible complexity, all a scientist has to do is demonstrate said construct arising outside of intentional design. Hence, ID is falsifiable in principle on a scientific level because its proponents suggest specific constructs found in nature that they hold to be examples of ID. In principle, this is no different than the falsifiability of evolution.

    You're incorrect. The problem with ID is that the Intelligent Designer in question can potentially be omnipotent and omniscient. Indeed, most proponents of ID are Christians that believe that an all-powerful, all-seeing God created the Universe.

    Now, a scientific theory must be falsifiable by observational evidence. With ID, because the Designer can be omnipotent and omniscient, any evidence can be faked, and therefore is no evidence at all. Indeed, with ID, the Universe could have been created a mere two seconds ago, and all of our memories mere fabrications.

    Intelligent Design is, by definition, not scientific, because it places no limits on the capabilities of the Designer, and therefore cannot be proven false. Don't believe me? Then give me an example of evidence that would disprove ID.

    Evolution, on the other hand, is falsifiable because, unlike ID, it is restricted by physical laws.

  • by huge colin (528073) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @02:11PM (#13242431) Journal
    Well, this is a pointless thread.

    All religion is bad.
  • by SeattleGameboy (641456) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @03:50PM (#13243543) Journal
    Your Google skills trouble me...

    Here is the first item that came up with my simple search (and there are hundreds of articles).

    http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Dec03/chimp.l ife.hrs.html [cornell.edu]

    And here is a useful quote...

    "Celera generated some 18 million DNA sequence "reads," or about two-thirds as many as were required for the first sequencing of the human genome. "

    Few more than a "few base pairs", I'd say...

  • by Kupek (75469) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @03:51PM (#13243557)
    What you are talking about is data that supports the theory. But data can never prove the theory correct; that is inherently impossible. Theories never become facts, they can only be disproved by facts or supported by facts. So that you and I are the result of an evolutionary process is a theory, albiet a theory well supported by the facts.
  • by GooberToo (74388) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @04:35PM (#13244137)
    Most mainstream religions do specifically speak out against such actions. "Thou shall not murder...", etc., is fairly well known. Those that teach otherwise are not part of the mainstream and have purposely had distance placed between them and their ideaologies. This is why, when a crackpot popped up in Wacko, Texas, everyone knew he was a crackpot...yet he proclaimed to be Christian.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @04:35PM (#13244158) Homepage
    So, instead of wasting a lot of time trying to preach religion in the guise of science (intellegent design) we should just put disclaimers in front of all science textbooks.

    To the Junk filter: ;-pp

    Hey you! Yeah, you the fundie about to have a coniption fit. Science is a journey, not a destination. Nothing in this book is written in stone. I may well all be re-written tomorrow. It probably won't, but it CAN be.

    So don't get your panties in a bunch just because a bunch of University professors have come up with ideas that happen to contradict some immutable truth you've been taught.

    It's science. It could all change tomorrow.

    If you want to find comfort in certainty and
    appeals to authority, go to the religous
    establishment of your choice. You will not
    find it here.
  • by efatapo (567889) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @05:16PM (#13244624) Homepage
    Well, I go to church so hopefully I can answer some of your questions, at least from an apostolic Christian church [apostolicchristian.org] viewpoint since there, unfortunately, isn't a universal Christian church.

    Like after someone shoots an abortion doctor in the name of "unborn children", or a gang beats a gay guy to death: do Christian preachers immediately denounce the perpetrators as perverted sinners, "taking the lord's name in vain" or somesuch?

    Matthew 5:43-44 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; So Christians are taught (from the Bible and from any pulpit that preaches from the Bible) that you are to love they enemy. All the people who laugh at creationism, pray for them and love them. All those who have and perform abortions, love and pray for them. All those who live homosexual lifestyles, pray for them and love them. This is terribly important, we should pray and love for them because God is the righteous Judge.

    Do Christian priests teach their congregations that the killing in war is evil, that killers go to hell?

    Yes, as a matter of fact. And the military has the option for convicted Christians to serve as conscientious (sp?) objectors. Most serve in medical or other support areas and do not carry a weapon. This is one area that many Christians don't agree on, but there is a lot of scripture pointing to non-violence (love thy enemy, not shoot them. As well as the turn the other cheek when struck).

    Finally, I've never heard a preacher teach specifically on torture, but that logically follows from the previous two areas and if it came up it would definitely be addressed as against God's will. Hopefully that helps clear things up? The big problem with modern Christianity (there are many) is that many many people call themselves Christians but don't 'walk the walk'.
  • by agm (467017) * on Thursday August 04, 2005 @06:02PM (#13245080)
    So in theory, as long as you don't start out with the assumption that divine revelation is bunk,

    Translated means "as long as you assume devine revelation is true". That's the issue I have with most religionists - there is always an underlying assumption that something is true simply because it says it is.
  • by Mant (578427) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @06:03PM (#13245099) Homepage

    You do know lots of science looks at stuff in the past right? From the near past with things like forensic science to the begining of the universe with astrophysics.

    Its quite possible to have a scientific hypothesis that says "if event X occured we should see evidence of it in the form of Y".

    You also seem to be discounting current and recent experiments in evolution that observe it happening right now.

    As for "Theology however has authoritative divine revelation" theology is the study of the nature religion, relgious truth and God. It certainly does not have authoritative divine revelation. Some people may beleive their religion has such a thing, but that is different.

  • by narcc (412956) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @07:05PM (#13245584) Journal
    That's the basis of science ... putting forward a theory and then measuring that theory against the facts.

    No, you've got it all wrong! Observation come before theory -- not the other way around!

    The scientific method
    (as stolen from: [rochester.edu])

    1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.

    2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.

    3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.

    4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.
  • by AmberBlackCat (829689) on Thursday August 04, 2005 @07:13PM (#13245631)
    I think it should be known that most real Christians don't like to impose themselves on people. They are compelled to spread the gospel because, to them, it is a matter of saving people from a terrible fate. It should also be known that real Christians aren't willing to do the things it would take to gain the favor of Bush or any other politician, so this group of conservatives shouldn't be considered a representation of the rest of us just because they're saying "God bless America" and using our name as an excuse for everything.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 05, 2005 @12:52AM (#13247222)
    Ok... yes I am a christian.

    you're also an idiot.

  • by Grym (725290) on Friday August 05, 2005 @04:53AM (#13247975)

    There's a problem with intent that you're just not dealing with. Terrorists intend to kill women and children (innocents). Whereas, Israeli and American armed forces solely target military or other combatants. Any others who die in the resulting battle (which can just as easily be blamed on the other combatant), are accidents. The U.S. and Israeli forces do not want to kill civilians. In fact, it's in their best interest that they do not, because as soon as they do, Al Jazeera and the rest of the Arab media is there to stir up hatred.

    Now, here's the interesting part. Knowing that it's not in the best interest for the U.S. or Israeli forces to kill civilians, many terrorists actually put their own innocents in danger through various means such as: putting weapons caches in schools/hospitals, using their own innocents as human shields, and so on.

    In light of this, do you really think it's fair to draw analogies between uniformed soldiers not intending to harm innocents and murderous saboteurs who hide behind their women and children? To me, the difference is night and day.

    -Grym

  • Re:Not so much (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dread_ed (260158) on Friday August 05, 2005 @10:25AM (#13249481) Homepage
    "Admittedly, the old testament specifically forbids killing

    This statement shows one thing. Namely that you do not have the basic knowledge to speak about the Bible on this subject.

    I am sorry if that sounds harsh, but it is quite simply true. The commandment that you are referring to says that MURDER, not killing is wrong. Grab a Hebrew Bible and a Hebrew dictionary sometime. Find the passage, match the letters, and read what it says specifically.

    Killing in warfare is not wrong according to the Bible. Killing as punnishment for certain crimes (murder, rape, some others) is acceptable.

    There is actually a firmly defined ethos for the taking of life in the Bible. Unfortunately hearing or reading one (mistranslated or misunderstood) line of one passage in one chapter is not gonna cut it. If you really want to understand it you might want to read a bit deeper.

    As for Jesus, the fulfilling of the law brought many changes. However, even He told his Disciples to carry swords for protection from bandits and such.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

Working...