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Bill "The Science Guy" Nye Says Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children 1774

Posted by timothy
from the what-orthodoxy-means-now dept.
timeOday writes "BigThink has released a video missive by Bill Nye ('The Science Guy') in which he challenges the low level of acceptance of evolution, particularly in the United States. He does not mince words: 'I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can — we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.'"
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Bill "The Science Guy" Nye Says Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

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  • Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:56PM (#41151041)
    Bill Nye is awesome.
  • by sanosuke001 (640243) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:59PM (#41151107)
    Bill Nye: You are allowed to be an ignorant drain on our society but for the sake of your children's future, don't force them to ignore the things you're afraid of accepting and understanding.
  • He's right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by danbuter (2019760) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:59PM (#41151111)
    Of course, most American parents don't understand evolution at all, so it will be impossible to fix this mess. If our population was better educated, we'd be ok, but both parties have done their best to destroy it while telling everyone they are fixing the problems.
  • Unfortunately... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cplusplus (782679) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @12:59PM (#41151117) Journal
    ...you can't reason with the irrational, so I doubt his point will sink in. If anything, it will likely cause them to react in anger ... "It's an attack on OUR BELIEFS!", and they'll dig their heels in a little deeper.
  • by alexborges (313924) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:00PM (#41151139)

    Genetic Engineering.
    Agronomy
    Any zootecniques
    and a long long etc.

    And, ceteris paribus, we are used by evolution much more than we use her. Its just the natural order of things.

  • by sanosuke001 (640243) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:00PM (#41151149)
    What?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:00PM (#41151151)
    All of them.

    In order to be a competent engineer, you must be capable of facing reality, even when it doesn't fit with your presuppositions. If you'd rather stick your fingers in your ear and yell "LA LA LA GODDIDIT!" then you've got no business dealing with anything that other people's lives will depend on.
  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:01PM (#41151181) Journal

    Or more correctly phrased: which field of engineering uses directly observable phenomenon in an objective matter to design things that will actually work?

  • Fine America. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MnemonicMan (2596371) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:01PM (#41151185)
    Fine. You go America. We'll just see what the power map of the world is fifty years from now once your post-awesome country is filled with idiots and therefore of no relevance in that world.

    But. I would rather you did turn yourselves around as, even with your bad stuff, I think you're generally OK.
  • by slapout (93640) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:02PM (#41151201)

    "we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems"

    Even people who don't believe in evolution can still become engineers who "build stuff, solve problems"

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:02PM (#41151203)

    Never heard of biochemical engineering? Why is this even moded up to a score of 2 already?

    Sorry, but you only need to understand the theories of how things work "now". You only need to understand the mechanics of it all.

  • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JMJimmy (2036122) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:04PM (#41151235)

    While he's awesome, I wonder how this made it to the front page of Failblog before it made it to Slashdot.

  • Re:1+1=3 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sir_Sri (199544) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:05PM (#41151281)

    Catholicism officially recognizes evolution to be correct. They're still having trouble with realizing there isn't a god, but you can see why that one is a bit harder for them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:07PM (#41151317)

    From the poor victimized Christians as they suffer the intolerant bigotry of those liberals who just won't let them do the Lord's work.

    Really, how dare those liberals say they're all in favor of acceptance when they reject a religious theocracy.

    I don't know if it's part of their expectations, but it seems Christians always want to make themselves out to be martyrs. They always want the rest of us to believe they're being fed to the lions. They don't grasp the concept of church and state, they think the Muslims are taking over, and they protest that their free speech is being threatened when the rest of us refuse to go along with their will. Apparently we can't say no to them without being bullies.

  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:07PM (#41151319) Journal

    Prove to me that your memory is reliable, i.e. show me how I can rely on my memory other than through faith.

    Do not use your memory to form your argument, or ask me to rely on my memory.

    Go!

    I don't have faith in my memory. I trust my memory. Unlike faith, trust us earned and subject to review. If I were to grow old and senile and found myself forgetting things, I'd be less inclined to trust my memory and more inclined to start writing more things down to get through my day.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:08PM (#41151337)

    Try David Hume's The Problem with Induction. The conclusion is that there is no reason whatsoever to trust inductive reasoning since it requires inductive reasoning to justify itself and thus begs the question. You can go on an say that since science is based on induction that there is no reason whatsoever to trust science.

    What it really comes down to is whether you axiomatically accept induction as a valid method of proof or you run into a wall based on your own existence.

    An alternate method of your argument is to prove that the universe didn't start just one second ago with a creator making the universe and setting all of the velocities, potentials, etc (or the Universe was created 6000 years ago and God just liked to hide dinosaur bones and ancient rocks for some reason). Or even better consider that the universe is just one frame and time does not exist.

    My suggestion, don't waste your time on this. It is a good philosophical question, but if you plan to live in the real world then you are going to have to accept induction and science even though the logic to do so is tough.

  • by WillAdams (45638) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:09PM (#41151351) Homepage

    Part of an old post:

    People who believe in the literal Word of God as the Bible remind me of the grand-daughter of a family friend --- he was a woodworker, old school, wanted me to be his apprentice so he could put me to work re-sawing wood rather than purchase a band saw. He made a cradle as a gift for the grand-daughter in question, for her to keep her dolls in --- she was very impressed when her mother told her, ``Your grandfather made this by hand.'' and immediately evinced a desire to see him and to see his shop and to watch him make something. The visit was arranged and upon arrival, the young lady was taken out to the shop and the large door rolled open, revealing rack upon rack of chisels, saws, hand planes, a simply unbelievable quantity of clamps and other hand tools --- the girl let out a shriek such as only a 5 year old girl can and yelled, ``Mommy! You lied! Grandpa doesn't make things by hand! He uses tools!''.

    God is quite capable of using DNA and RNA and quantum mechanics and other theories which we have yet to learn about to make people and the world.

    Moreover, those who believe that humanity is incapable of learning how God works are being blasphemous and not remembering the lesson of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:6) which indicates that humanity's learning capacity is without limit.

    Believing in God doesn't mandate a belief in Creationism (though believing in Creationism requires the belief in God). Anyone whose faith is so fragile that it could be damaged by a rigorous class in evolutionary biology should go back to CCD or Sunday School or whatever their faith's equivalent is.

    William

  • by alienzed (732782) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:09PM (#41151361) Homepage
    There's nothing wrong with believing in a higher power, but scientifically, there's no use either.
  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:10PM (#41151385)

    Disagree Mr. AC. I do not see how my belief in a creator undermines the engineering of this missile launcher I'm working on. Even my old college professor believes in god, but that doesn't stop him from publishing peer-reviewed articles about superstrings and quarks and the inflationary period (the very basis of creation). Perhaps you could enlighten us how our beliefs make us suck at our jobs. (insert crickets chirping in the silence)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:10PM (#41151393)

    Engineers need to understand the scientific method. If an engineer denies natural selection, he or she does not understand science and will not make a good engineer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:11PM (#41151401)

    No, it's called philosophical bullshit.

    If memory was so unreliable, all that technology around you, the development of which definitely relies on the human ability to remember, correctly interrelate, and innovate... simply wouldn't be there. Ergo, memory is incontrovertibly demonstrated to be very effective and reliable.

    Here's a pro tip for you: As soon as you have to reach into the murky waters of philosophical nonsense for excuses to shore up your superstitions, you've not only jumped the shark, the shark has bitten off your genitals.

  • by macbeth66 (204889) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:11PM (#41151409)

    Scientists and rational beings can. Religious zealots and irrational beings can't.

    Did you hear about the 17 people beheaded by the Taliban for the crime of 'mingling'? And you expect the zealots to even have a rational conversation about evolution?

    Not going to happen.

  • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:15PM (#41151499)

    I do not see how my belief in a creator undermines the engineering of this missile launcher I'm working on.

    While your belief system may not affect the quality of your work (although I'm not suggesting that it does not), did you ever consider if your "creator" wanted you to work on a missile launcher? Which faith do you subscribe to? Is it one with an admonition like "don't kill people"?

  • by madhatter256 (443326) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:15PM (#41151501)

    Also, Structural engineering has evolved over time (underwent evolution)... it's not like the international build codes magically came to be a superior ultimate being.

    Human residences evolved from sticks and feces-laden mud all the way to hi-grade structural steel, carbon fiber reinforced concrete, carbon fiber beams, etc. to construct buildings as tall as the imagination can take us.

    Creationism's whole basis is that a supreme being (GOD) simply put things where they are now. It reinforces the notion that people are incapable of coming up with brilliant scientific discoveries and achieve scientific enlightment because things came to be from a supreme being, not from your brain.

  • by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:16PM (#41151511)

    Yes! Stand up for ignorance!

    I will teach my kids whatever I want to teach them.

    Yes, teach them silly things that contradict reality and to be willfully ignorant.

    I am sick of tyrants bossing me around as if I was one of my ancestors.

    He's no tyrant. However, there are more than a few wannabe tyrants among the US Christian community who feel they are charged by God to be a tyrant over others. And there are many, particularly those that push Intelligent Design, that don't want people to be capable of arguing in their own defense or contradicting the weak arguments of those they support.

    Belief in a creator does not negate thescientific endeavor.

    No, but if you're willing to reject evolution in favor of irrational beliefs then your ability as a scientist cannot help but be compromised.

  • by Howard Beale (92386) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:17PM (#41151531)
    So, which field of Engineering uses the 'theory' of Creationism?
  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:17PM (#41151533) Journal
    Reductio ad absurdum. You can only regress faith so far before you have to accept faith as faith. There are no solid foundations, except for the ones you find and accept for yourself.
  • Re:Not so sunny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:17PM (#41151539) Journal

    You hang around idiots.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:17PM (#41151541)

    Even people who don't believe in evolution can still become engineers who "build stuff, solve problems"

    "Sir, your foreman reports a large crack in the bridge."
    "My belief system denies the existence of frangible bridges. It is safe."

    Engineers who are willing to let political, religious, or ideological beliefs prevent them from drawing logical conclusions from observed data don't build things and solve problems: they destroy things and kill people.

    If you want a real-world example?

    "Sir, your engineers report that it is unsafe to launch the shuttle when it's this cold. The O-rings will crack."
    "Underling, my political sponsor requires that a Teacher needs to be in Space because his boss's State of the Union speech won't sound as good if we delay the launch. It's worked before. Launch the shuttle."

    In the case of Challenger, it was engineers trying to report their observations, and being overriden by management that was more interested in the politics/optics of a situation, but the same principle applies.

    If an engineer is willing to reject the conclusions derived from following the scientific method in biology class, how can I, driving over his bridge, trust that he didn't also reject its results in metallurgy class?

  • by grylnsmn (460178) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:17PM (#41151547)

    I'll probably get modded down for this, but personally, I don't see a conflict between Creationism and Evolution. Are there forms of Creationism that can conflict? Sure, but that doesn't mean that the two are completely irreconcilable.

    For example, if you look at the creation account in Genesis, and take into account that the word that translates as "Day" can also mean "period of time", "Age", or "epoch", and not necessarily a defined period of time, then you can easily interpret it as mirroring what science tells us about how the Earth was formed and life evolved.

    Consider, that we started off with a massive release of energy, then the solar system coalesced from a cloud of dust and gas. As the Earth formed, vapors condensed into liquids, the land cooled and solidified, and the sky cleared (making the sun, moon, and stars visible). Plants developed, and then animals of increasing complexity developed, culminating in Man.

    Tradition has it that the book of Genesis was written by Moses, who learned of the Creation directly from God. If you consider the level of understanding that would have been available in his time (Rabbinical tradition holds as being around 1300 BCE), the descriptions in Genesis are a rather good description of what modern-day science thinks on the subject today.

    The important thing is to keep each subject in context. Moses wasn't concerned about describing the details of how life was created. For his account all that was necessary is to describe that it was created.

    It's not necessary to pick one or the other. You can provide a balanced view of both sides to you children. I know my very-religious physicist parents did.

  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:17PM (#41151553)

    I see the EXACT same response from Democrats/liberals when I argue a 3-month-or-older human fetus should have the same right to life as a newborn/infant since they share similar traits. The left responds: "He's attacking our beliefs! Quick mod him down to - 1" The left-and-right are more alike in their kneejerk reactions than different.

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:18PM (#41151561)

    Belief in God and belief in evolution need not be separate things. You can completely believe in God while still believing in evolution. What the AC was pointing out is that most Creationists that completely deny evolution refuse to believe the evidence right in front of them. He said nothing about whether or not God exists, but nice try.

  • by Vokkyt (739289) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:19PM (#41151605)

    Based on the transcript, I don't think that's what Bill Nye is saying here. From the video transcript:

    Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It's like, it's very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You're just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.

    He's not really talking about spiritualism, religion, or any other belief systems; he's talking about a small subset of people bent on eschewing very carefully collected, studied, and reviewed data because they perceive it as an attack on their personal belief system. The Science guy is concerned that bad and irrational decisions are being made under the guise of "its my religion". His purpose is not to decry religion, but to defend science, evolution specifically as it is the target of attacks. I think the thought process is less "don't let religion get into science" and more "think rationally about scientific matters." His plea for "...scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future." and "...people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems" is less about evolution versus religion and more about ensuring that future generations are trained to think logically; to think things through instead of standing on ceremony, that is, actually try to find the best solution, not just one that someone wants.

    Does this mean he's against creationism in the classroom? Probably, because it's inconsistent with pretty much every other scientific model out there. But I don't think he's intending to harp on the idea of there being a creator; just people who want to push their agenda at the expense of education

  • by alexborges (313924) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:19PM (#41151607)

    " if philosophy is bullshit then we might as well crawl back to ~C4 BC and start again."

    Im all for this, with minor changes.

    " if religious bullshit is to be respected, then we might as well crawl back to ~C4 BC and start again."

    There.

  • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:20PM (#41151619) Homepage Journal

    While he's awesome, I wonder how this made it to the front page of Failblog before it made it to Slashdot.

    Because he's strongly suggesting there's a fail somewhere?

    When I was a wee little tot they gave the the sugar-coated, sterilized version of biblical events and happenings.

    When I grew older the tone of things became more apparent, the Bible is full of very bad things happening and wicked people doing wicked things .. which could certainly color a young child's perspective. Effectively church leaders have known for a while there's some stuff you want to keep away from kids until they're old enough to weigh the full force of the message, not get fixated on details. ("Mommy, what did they do in Sodom that was sinful?")

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:22PM (#41151683)

    Mr. AC never said anything about a generalized belief in a creator, he was addressing Creationism, which is where fundamentalist religious belief causes people to refuse to belief in actual physical evidence that can be observed and verified, because they prefer to believe origin fairy tales that have no basis in reality and no evidence to support them, and tons of evidence that disproves them. Simply believing in a "creator" doesn't prevent you from accepting evolutionary theory; lots of religious people, including Christians (in fact, most of them if you consider them all instead of focusing only on Americans) have no problem with the theory of evolution, and regard the biblical creation tale to be mere metaphor, not literal truth.

    In short, don't get your panties in a bunch.

  • by aclarke (307017) <`spam' `at' `clarke.ca'> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:24PM (#41151715) Homepage
    If you think a creationist is going to be scared of genetic algorithms, then you're fighting the boogeyman. You've made some serious leaps of logic that defy reality. A person can easily have a hard time believing that "humans evolved from ooze", yet still be able to easily comprehend and work with genetic algorthms. Thinking otherwise is so far removed from any reality that I've ever experienced, that it's just preposterous.
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:24PM (#41151731) Journal

    Nye does a reasonably good job of teaching basic science; including the scientific method. Evolution is a product of said method. So Nye is not telling anyone to believe anything blindly, but he has long been an advocate of proper science education.

    What exactly is your problem?

  • by Nertskull (2535776) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:25PM (#41151763)
    No, that's not right. There STILL isn't anything wrong with believing in a higher power, even when you try to "impose" upon others. The problem there is you trying to impose. That's a huge problem. You shouldn't be forcing others to believe in your view. This is exactly what Bill Nye is talking about. That's poor logic reasoning. The problem is with the morons trying to force/impose others to believe what they believe. That's a seperate problem from the fact that they do believe in a higher power. You're the typical person that takes two different concepts, and lumps them into one, and then cries afoul of both, when realistically there is one problem. That's the type of talk that makes the religious people hate the non-religious people. Because instead of attacking their stupidity in forcing others to believe the same, we just attack their belief. Of course they get defensive over that. And frankly, even if we DID change their belief, they would still be assholes. Because then they'd just be people of a different believe system trying to force that down everyone's neck. The problem is NOT the "belief system" the problem is the "forcing" of the belief system.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:26PM (#41151791)
    GP's AC here.

    Perhaps you could enlighten us how our beliefs make us suck at our jobs.

    I'd love to, but you've already stated that you will ignore any and all evidence that goes against your presuppositions, while sticking your fingers in your ears (in this case to listen to crickets chirping apparently) to avoid anything that counters your beliefs. Incidentally, that, exactly, is why you're incompetent, and should never be allowed to work on something people's lives depend on. Frankly, if all you're working on is missile launchers, I don't care if your idiocy screws things up so that they short out and do nothing when someone tries to use them, but if you ever start trying to build skyscrapers or bridges, someone's probably going to die because you refused to accept some point of reality that had been abundantly proven, yet went against your 2000+ year old stone age dogma. If you won't look rationally at one piece of evidence, then the probability is very strong that as time goes on, to support your superstitions you'll start ignoring others, until it becomes a deeply ingrained habit, and people end up dead because of it.

  • by supercrisp (936036) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:27PM (#41151827)
    Congratulations! You just got to the 18th-century! Now, if we could just drag a few more people out of the 16th-century, we'd be doing just fine.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <.moc.liamg. .ta. .nhojovadle.> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:28PM (#41151837) Journal

    I will teach my kids whatever I want to teach them.

    I don't think he ever said you can't. What we're talking about is what should be curriculum for students in the public schools. Fortunately you and I pay the taxes that fund these institutions, unfortunately that means we have to come to an agreement on what should be taught in said institutions. Furthermore, if you found Bill Nye to be a good educator with his programs and efforts then perhaps you should take his suggestions as more than telling you what to do. "Tyrant"? Please leave the hyperbole rhetoric to the politicians.

    Furthermore: Belief in a creator does not negate thescientific endeavor.

    No but we're getting to (well, some of us have crossed it long ago) the point where some of the things that science is teaching us blatantly contradicts several ancient doctrines. And while you can claim that believing the Earth is only 6,000 does not negate the scientific endeavor, it sure hinders an awful lot of fields. You can teach your children whatever you want in your home but in order for them to function in society or for higher learning institutions to accept them as scholars, we need to lay down some ground rules. I'll tell you what, I'll keep writing book reviews [slashdot.org] and you can tell us how much better off your child is for you teaching them creationism over evolution. Can the rest of us please move forward?

    Many scientists over the years have believed in God or a god, even as they were unravelling the mystery of evolution and cosmology.

    Sure they have! And some scientists have been racists, liars, bigots, adulterers, murderers, swindlers, politicians and even lawyers! But that doesn't make those actions or ways of life right. Read about the twilight years of Georg Cantor and we'll talk about how smart it is to consider everything a genius claims or believes in to be absolutely true. Unlike a cosmologist espousing about god or Georg Cantor claiming Bacon was Shakespeare [wikipedia.org], Bill Nye is talking about the scientific community's views on creationism versus evolution. And I can assure you that nobody is publishing in peer reviewed journals about creationism or intelligent design while peer reviewed journals dedicated to evolutionary biology are currently being peer reviewed the world over.

  • Re:He's right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:30PM (#41151897)

    Democrats have been complicit in lowering standards and dumbing down education over the past 4 decades or so. Their motives are somewhat different, but the result is mostly the same. Our public educational systems are a mess and our students woefully undereducated.

  • by harperska (1376103) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:31PM (#41151899)

    What they know is a lot of talking points and straw men that look like genuine knowledge to someone who isn't familiar with the subject matter. But this does not mean that they actually know the science behind the theories they claim to refute.

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:33PM (#41151953)

    No, but the rejection of critical thinking and rationality necessary to defend the belief in the biblical creation story in the face of contrary evidence is something that stunts the mental development of children in all other areas of science and understanding. The belief in biblical creation is itself not the problem, but rather one of the most common causes of the problem. It would also be bad if they were taught to reject physics in defense of a geocentric flat earth story.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:34PM (#41151971) Journal

    i would put that the first couple picoseconds of Time are beyond what Science can state as Truth

    1. Science does not deal in Truth. It deals in the best explanation that fits the evidence.
    2. That we may not be able to probe further back that the Planck time right now does not mean we will never be able to. Burying your god in the gaps of our knowledge invites your god to get smaller as the gaps are filled.

    and also show me an entire line of Fossils that show how a Proto-Quadraped became say a Horse (with complete skeletons at each stage).

    Which is as absurd a demand as saying "Show me every generation of the spoken language between Proto-Germanic and Elizabethan English with complete syntax and vocabularies."

    One does not have to have a complete data set to be able to make inferences based upon the data we do have, and thus we can say with a high degree of confidence that "Elizabethan English is descended from Proto-Germanic" and "all extant life evolved from a common ancestor", when in both cases we can only make indirect inferences about what Proto-Germanic and the earliest common ancestor of life were like.

  • by paleo2002 (1079697) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:34PM (#41151981)
    I wouldn't say "most Americans". There's just a very vocal minority out there that presents itself as representing the majority.
  • by pclminion (145572) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:37PM (#41152029)

    I do not see how my belief in a creator undermines the engineering of this missile launcher I'm working on.

    It isn't your belief in a creator which matters, but your non-belief in the process of evolution (which, by the way, is not incompatible with the concept of a supreme being). The latter is indicative of a systemic inability to evaluate evidence in a rational manner. Those who cannot think rationally about the world cannot be effective scientists or engineers.

    Even if you constrain your irrational thinking to only this single topic, it is a symptom of mental illness, no different than disputing the color of the sky.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:37PM (#41152039)
    You seem to be confused that there's a difference.
  • by Yosho (135835) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:40PM (#41152101) Homepage

    The problem is that that approach only works if you take a very metaphorical interpretation of the bible.

    With regards to evolution, if you accept it as true, then Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden could not have happened. There were no "first humans," as there was no solid dividing line between our apelike ancestors and modern humans. If there was no Garden of Eden, then there was no original sin, which means that Jesus dying for our sins was pointless, unless God intentionally created as as inherently sinful creatures and then decided that we should be tortured eternally. That's just one example -- there are plenty of places in the bible where described events are, to the best of our knowledge, physically impossible.

    On the other hand, if you believe that anything in the bible that is impossible when taken literally should be interpreted metaphorically instead, where do you stop? Who decides which parts are literal and which are metaphorical? Whose job is it to decide what the correct metaphor is? How can anybody be expected to figure out what the correct interpretation is when there are so many different ones and all of their proponents are so vocal about how everybody else is wrong?

    It may not be necessary to pick one or or the other, but it's a lot easier to resolve the internal conflicts if you just drop superstitions and rely on testable, repeatable observations.

  • Re:Fine America. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:42PM (#41152165)

    Huh? Obviously you don't live here in the USA. We're already filled with idiots; it's too late to change that. It's only inertia that's keeping us relevant at this point.

    As for turning ourselves around, I don't think that's possible, and as I said in another post above, I can't think of a single case offhand where a society turned itself around, ever; societies seem to only decay and collapse, and then new societies are rebuilt in their place, usually after some horrible war.

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:43PM (#41152193)

    And faith that remains in contradiction to evidence is mental illness.

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:47PM (#41152265)

    Because being ignorant harms no one but yourself, forcing your children to be ignorant is not only harmful to future generations but harmful to your children. It is child abuse.

  • Re:Yes! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:49PM (#41152327) Journal

    ("Mommy, what did they do in Sodom that was sinful?")

    They were unkind to their visitors. Xenophobic, you might say.

    No, seriously. All the evangelicals who are worried that GAWD will start turning everyone into pillars of salt if the US constitution isn't amended to ban teh ghey should actually be worried about how anti-immigrant and xenophobic America is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:50PM (#41152343)
    The ability to adopt the bible to current scientific understanding is not the problem. Modifying scientific fact to adopt to the bible is the problem. It is a problem, even if it wasn't with your family. My religious family thinks Dinosaur bones were buried by god to test faith, and diosaurs never actually lived. My family thinks that Noah really was 900 years old. Even the older people in my family think that dark skin is the "mark of cain" of a cursed people (not proud to admit that this is something my family believes). These are the sort of beliefs that Nye is talking about that can be harmful.
  • by Entropius (188861) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @01:53PM (#41152433)

    No, actually, creationists do *not* believe in a rational ordered universe.

    I am a physicist. I don't know what all the laws of physics are, but I believe that there *are* some inviolate laws of physics which apply uniformly throughout all that is. So far as we can tell, this is true: spectral lines in distant stars are the same as they are here, to very high precision, indicating that atomic and nuclear physics are the same. Electrodynamics and such work the same way inside stars as it does in all conditions we've found on Earth.

    I suppose you could be a creationist and believe in a deistic universe, where a god chose the laws of physics and then wound up his universe and let it go. But modern creationists do not believe this: they are overwhelmingly Christian, and believe in such things as a god that actively intervenes on this little planet by making virgins pregnant, people turn into pillars of salt -- in general, they believe in miracles, even small ones like altering the genetic makeup of a species. This is the very opposite of a rational ordered universe: all these things, all these miracles, are inherently disordered, since they entail violations of the laws of physics by an entity outside of them. "F=ma, except when god says otherwise" is not a sound basis for a rational theory of the universe.

  • by mark-t (151149) <`markt' `at' `lynx.bc.ca'> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:00PM (#41152597) Journal

    Most of the sorts of people who would teach something like creationism to their kids don't force it on them any more than Mr. Nye's plea for parents to not do that is actually forcing parents not to.

    But really, the biggest problem with this kind of request is that the people who would be inclined to pay attention to it don't actually need to, since they don't do the things that are being discouraged, and the people who might have reason to need to listen to this recommendation wouldn't pay any attention to it at all.

    It's simply a waste of time... because people who teach their kids those sorts of things are doing it because it ties into their religious beliefs, and trying to tell them not to invariably comes across as intolerance to that belief. And just as intolerant as their beliefs are towards others.

  • by jensend (71114) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:01PM (#41152613)

    No, the headline isn't a good summary. However, if it had read "Young-Earth Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children" it would have been just fine.

    The belief that the world is billions of years old and that biological diversity has grown gradually through a process of mutation and natural selection is in no way incompatible with the belief that God created the world or that He has guided the process. From Asa Gray- said by Darwin to be Darwin's best advocate- to the present day, hundreds of millions of people, including a good number of evolutionary biologists, have held both of these beliefs.

    Evolution is, however, inconsistent with an overly literal and naive reading of the first chapter of Genesis. Those misguided individuals who promote the idea that Genesis was a scientific account and try to force schools to ignore the mountains of evidence for evolution and/or to "teach the controversy" are a threat to basic science education. As a science educator Nye has an interest in helping combat that threat. But he is not trying to pick a fight with all theists here.

  • by EuNao (1653733) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:03PM (#41152641) Homepage
    I wish I had mod points for this one, someone vote the parent up.

    Science and religion are not incompatible in the least. Science is not an attack against God, it is goal is to understand how the world and those beings that populate it were created and the rules that govern their existence. It does not have anything to do with the question if there was or was not a creator. It has no opinion on that as a matter of fact. Science and Religion address completely different classes of problems. I am a firm advocate of teaching evolution and countless other theories supported by evidence. I believe to teach anything else in our science classes is deep folly. It goes contrary to the scientific method, and will not make good scientists. Don't bring your why to my science class, its going to confuse the students horribly.

    Religion is about the mystery and that which can not be known. I am a practicing Catholic, and I have a deep faith that there is a creative force behind the universe. That does not mean that I am naive and believe that stories told to and by an ancient people can be the whole truth. Try to explain things like the principle of least time, quantum mechanics, or the geometry of spacetime to someone five or tens thousand years ago. You can't, so you tell things in allegory and stories. If you believe that the bible is the exact word of God (which I do not), do you think he would try to tell it how it is? Or would he make broad brush strokes and make sure the principles are communicated without worrying about too much about the mechanism? Religion has little to do with how things were done, religion tries to answer something that can't be supported by evidence, but must be taken on faith.

    Take science for what it is, the beautiful pursuit of how the world works and the rules that govern its creation and continued existence. Religion is about something else, it is about believing and having faith in something greater then oneself. For those that do believe, science shows us the brush strokes of our creator. It doesn't tell us that he does not exist. So quit worrying about the scientists and engineers of the world teaching your children that organisms have DNA that changes over time, and those mutations and adaptions bring about new organisms. It doesn't hurt their belief in a higher power, in fact it should only reinforce it.
  • by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:15PM (#41152885)

    Some responses to your points:

    he does not in any way put forward an argument for evolution or against creationism in this video.

    There is plenty of evidence already available for evolution, and addressing creationism is a fool's errand.

    He simply waves his hand and says - without offering a logical, this 'leads-to-that' argument - that by not believing in evolution your world view is inconsistent.

    That's because your world view diverges utterly with reality. It actively rejects the mountains of archaeological evidence, the diversity of species we have, and the fact that bacteria grow resistant to our antibiotics damn near as we watch.

    yet my world view is 100% functional and, I believe, logical.

    Only insofar as you don't actually wander down into scientific fields that completely break without the concept of evolution. Sadly, your worldview is not logical.

    1) The idea that the denial of evolution is unique to the US - which I very much doubt, as both Christians and some other religions (Islam, in particular) tend to hold views that contradict with macro evolution.

    He's focusing on the US because that's where he lives. He also realizes that there's a destructive campaign to get Creationism, wrapped up under the false banner of "Intelligent Design," put into science classes. And I suspect he feels that he has a duty to speak out against such nonsense and to admonish people not to deliberately withhold knowledge from their children because it possibly contradicts their beliefs. And even if those other countries and religions reject evolution, it only means that they too are wrong.

    2) That not believing in evolution - which we cannot measure and observe in a lab - is comparable to not believing in plate tectonics (which we can observe and measure).

    He's right. You can measure evolution in a lab. Like plate tectonics, sometimes that lab is out in the world.

    3) That we need good scientists and engineers, and therefore should not teach our children creationism.

    Correct. Literal creationism is used as an anti-scientific weapon by christian fundamentalists in the US.

    These things all disparage creationist viewpoints, without any actual argument from logic about why evolution is right.

    There is zero evidence for creationism. There are mountains of evidence for evolution. The only side here that actually needs to defend themselves are the creationists.

    I have not yet heard back from him again.

    Because as I foolishly attempt to here, arguing with a creationist as to why their deeply held beliefs contradict reality is often a frustrating, fruitless exercise.

  • by sir-gold (949031) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:16PM (#41152899)

    It's not so much the debate about creationism vs evolution itself that is the problem, it's more about the marginalization of science that is a prerequisite of creationism (god created the earth, but science disagrees, therefore science MUST be wrong)

    The ability to blindly believe that something is true, despite more recent evidence, is not an ability that should be encouraged.

  • Re:He's right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PeanutButterBreath (1224570) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:25PM (#41153095)

    Democrats have been complicit in lowering standards and dumbing down education over the past 4 decades or so. Their motives are somewhat different, but the result is mostly the same. Our public educational systems are a mess and our students woefully undereducated.

    You may as well say that schools for the blind are complicit in the dumbing down of silent film appreciation.

    The root of our educational system's failure is conservatives and their their special blend of literal Christianism and social darwinism. They have worked as hard as they can to make sure the that public education system has been swamped with needy children and given less and less money to deal with them. Their goal is to prove that a) poor people are irredeemable and b) public education doesn't work.

    There is a big damn difference between actively trying to break something, and doing a less than optimal job of making something broken work again.

  • Re:Yes! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:26PM (#41153107)

    Then I moved to Texas, where the first day of school I met a kid who believed in God, thought evolution was a hoax, and that the Earth was 6000 years old.

    A few years ago a friend of mine met and married a nice looking gal who seemed nice enough... I was happy for him till I got stuck in a car with her one day spewing young earth man + dino nonsense the whole way after which I felt sorry for him.

    You can't reason with idiots... it is pointless to even try.

  • by KingSkippus (799657) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:27PM (#41153127) Homepage Journal

    Funny you should mention Sodom and the tone of the Bible, as having grown up firmly indoctrinated in the Christian church, the story of Lot and his wife were instrumental in me realizing that 1) a lot of it (no pun intended) is hooey, and 2) even if it's not, I don't want to follow this god.

    For those who don't know, Lot and his wife were told to flee Sodom and Gamorrah before it was destroyed by God for being so wicked. They were told to not even look back at it by angels sent to help. On their way out, though, Lot's wife turned back and looked, and was instantly turned into a pillar of salt.

    Obviously, the moral is not to screw around with God. If he tells you not to turn around and look at something, you'd better damn well not turn around and look or else the consequences could be severe. Practically speaking, though, I was never able to get past how insanely petty this was. This woman presumably had family and friends left in the city. There's presumably a lot of hoopla and chaos happening. Why did she turn around? Was it because she couldn't bear the thought of her family and friends suffering? Was it because she wanted to make sure that the rest of her family was going to make it out alive? Was it just a loud noise that caught her attention? Who knows? Maybe she thought the angels didn't literally mean don't look back, kind of like how even today we say, "I left my home and never looked back." In most cases you don't literally mean that you didn't turn around and catch one last glimpse of it, you just metaphorically mean that you moved on with your life.

    At any rate, we have a woman who was probably just an average schmo, likely not particularly evil, else the angels wouldn't have bothered rescuing her. Her crime was taking one last glimpse of the family, friends, home, and life that she would never return to again. She was obviously a loyal follower of God, as she simply picked up and left based on the word of two strangers saying they were angels and her husband who, incidentally, offered two virgin daughters to the wicked men of Sodom intent on raping Lot's guests. So if you're keeping score, Lot offers up his two virgin daughters to be gang raped and gets to live a happy, productive life. Lot's wife commits the cardinal sin of turning around to see everything she knows destroyed by fire, and does she get any measure of sympathy or mercy? Oh hell no, she's killed (or worse, she wasn't and is eternally suffering, being forced to look back at the destroyed city) for something that anybody in their right mind should understand and would probably do.

    Anyway, I empathize with Lot's wife, and like I said, this story made me realize that I don't want to follow a god that is so petty and vindictive that he would do such a heinous thing. If that means I'm going to hell, then so be it. Spending eternity slavishly following such a spiteful creature seems like just another definition of hell.

    Yet here I am, thousands of years later, and people following this crap are teaching their kids to doubt science, that if the Bible is interpreted as A and science says B, you'd better go with A. After all, if God would punish an innocent woman by turning her into a pillar of salt, you don't want to fathom what he'd do to you if you believe in evolution. Bill Nye is right, teaching creationism to kids as anything other than a fanciful myth is crazy and a disservice to them, their community, and mankind as a whole.

  • by zerosomething (1353609) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:28PM (#41153165) Homepage
    Dog breeds are not evolution, perhaps in some liberal definition they are but any canine can breed with any other. Even wolves and breed with domestic dogs. Now if after 1000's of years we had come up with a line of animal derived from dogs but couldn't be breed with a dog then we might have something. Even if we could get to a dog that can breed with a wolf then we would have something. And size doesn't matter, if the sperm can fertilize the egg and get offspring that can also reproduce we have it. Horses + Donkeys = Mules is on the right track but still not quite there cause Mule + Mule = 0
  • Re:Yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by daem0n1x (748565) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:28PM (#41153169)

    I took my kids to a church the other day. The church happened to be open for visitors in the middle of the afternoon. It was only out of curiosity, I'm a devout Atheist.

    I think the kids should at least see what religion looks like as part of their formation. And it allows to understand a lot of my country's culture and traditions. Also, Catholic churches are profusely decorated, and I though they would like all the colours and the golden stuff.

    As usual, the church was full of statues and paintings. There was Jesus dying at the cross, Jesus being whipped by the Romans, Mary crying at the feet of her dead son, sores and blood everywhere. There were some paintings showing the martyrdom of some saints I don't know the names of, with arrows stuck on their bodies, sores, blood, and so on.

    They completely hated it.

  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:33PM (#41153281)

    1) The idea that the denial of evolution is unique to the US - which I very much doubt, as both Christians and some other religions (Islam, in particular) tend to hold views that contradict with macro evolution.

    Individuals not believing in evolution certainly isn't unique to the US, but the sheer number of such individuals is unusually high, especially for a wealthy, educated nation. The US is second only to Turkey in lack of acceptance of evolution. More importantly, the US is the only first world nation where we still have regular arguments about teaching creationism in school.

    2) That not believing in evolution - which we cannot measure and observe in a lab - is comparable to not believing in plate tectonics (which we can observe and measure).

    There are lots of other things that we can't easily observe in the lab do you doubt them too? For example, do you doubt how fossils form? You can't observe it happening, the process takes too long. You can, however, observe bits and pieces of it and from that extrapolate out the whole process. Similarly you can in fact see evolution working in the lab, the E. coli long-term evolution experiment is the prime example (where batches of e.coli unexpectedly developed the ability to metabolize citrate). But, and I mean as little disrespect as possible, you'll just claim that's 'micro' evolution, somehow not accepting of the fact that 1,000,000 micro-meters adds up to a full meter.

    That we need good scientists and engineers, and therefore should not teach our children creationism. This in effect implies that someone cannot hold a creationist viewpoint and also contribute in those fields, which is preposterous (I personally know several scientists and engineers who hold beliefs similar to my own, and who are still very effective in their work - and I have read the works of many others who are much higher up in their respective fields).

    I agree, the idea that individuals who hold creationist beliefs cannot advance science is incorrect. However, when you set up a system to constantly and relentlessly snipe at the largest, most well developed, most well researched, and most empirically verified theory in modern biology, you create an environment where kids are left very confused. They can choose to ignore the whole subject, despite the fact that it forms the underlying basis for all modern biological science. Or they can choose to look at the subject and reject the mountain of evidence that supports it. Well, the 3rd option is to walk away to one extent or another, from the faith their parents have taught them, which is why religious people feel under attack.

    For what it's worth, I don't think you deserve the troll mod that you've been smacked with. I'm of the opinion that only abusive or flamebait comments should be modded down, and I don't think yours is either of those.

  • What? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jason18 (1973154) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:42PM (#41153477)
    So if you believe in creationism you can't be a good engineer? In the real world, no one really cares what you believe with how the world was made, but rather if you can improve what's here now.
  • by pitchpipe (708843) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @02:46PM (#41153567)

    Creationists are not exactly stupid

    You are correct: they are willfully ignorant.

  • by jensend (71114) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @03:06PM (#41154045)

    Wrong. Somehow expecting "divine fingerprints" to show up as "let's just suspend all the laws of nature here" type stuff, and then saying "we can definitively rule out any divine intervention because we don't have any evidence of instantaneous ex nihilo creations of vastly different species" is absurd.

    The particular course evolution has taken depends on countless numbers of "random" mutations, as well as upon a tremendous number of environmental factors in the survival and reproduction of organisms carrying those mutations. Saying those mutations were random is basically admitting that there is no way we could have predicted those particular mutations given our knowledge of the previously obtaining conditions [wikipedia.org].

    For any given one of the billions upon billions of mutations which helped determine the course of evolution on earth, if you say "that mutation wasn't divinely caused- it had to be random!" you're making an entirely unscientific claim, a claim at least as unfounded as any theist's, and one which is based wholly upon a mistaken interpretation of randomness.

  • Re:Questions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jhoegl (638955) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @03:23PM (#41154447)
    Right... indiscriminate disease is punishment from a deity.
    Sounds like an asshole to me.
  • by goombah99 (560566) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @03:30PM (#41154581)

    After the king james version some one translated "Bring them out so we may know them" to "have sex with them". Yikes. The ancient hebrew/aramic word for know is Yeda and it means to know well. Of the 47 places yeda is used in no place does it strictly mean sex. In fact it is written that David knew god. Was david but fucking god, or did he just, well, know him.

    In fact the cannanites were in a time of sporaic war with their rivals, which is why they had a gate keeper named Lot. Now Lot was a sneaky guy who didn't even live with his own people. When he let in two demanding late night strangers and hid them in his home, the people had every reason to be alarmed. Perhaps they meant harm to the village. Asking to meet them and learn their bussiness under such cshady circumstances seeme reasonable. And indeed they did come planning to destroy the place and ulimately did.

    The word "them" in bring them out, is gender neutral. The towns people did not know if the strangers were all men, angels, or a family. The word for the towns people is mixed gender "all the people", and so the idea they would be raping anyone in front of their wives and kids seems absurd. Finally, when offered the claimed virgin (but married) daughters of lot, the less than horny towns people turned them down, not being interested in sex but safety.

    Finally one can note there were not witnesses other than lot and his wife (and retinue) that escaped so we only have lots story, and that story seems to be plagerized form the book of judges where the same thing happens including offering virgin daughters to protect angels. If this were on CSI-Gomorrah today we would find out that actually lot got paid off to open the town gates to an invading army that razed the place and Lots wife was going to spill the beans so he killed her and told everyone she turned into a pillar of stone. Then he just recycled the story from Book of Judges when asked what happened.

    Anyhow. No butsects in soddom. Eziekiel tells us exactly why got sent the destroying angels: the prideful 1%s didn't realize they didn't build their own wealth, society had, and they were not giving back.

  • Re:Yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by scubamage (727538) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @03:44PM (#41154909)
    Sadly there are a ton of things referred to as abomination: eating lobster, homosexuality, wearing two types of cloth, rotating crops, the list goes on and on. Those evil ruffians!
  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @04:25PM (#41155755)

    Most of the sorts of people who would teach something like creationism to their kids don't force it on them

    citation needed.

    seriously. you really think that creationists don't FORCE FEED this bullshit down their kids' throats?

    what planet are you observing from, may I ask??

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @04:30PM (#41155869)

    I should ignore the evidence of my own experiences

    do you realize, at all, that your senses and even mind can lie to you?

    the human mind is a LOUSY piece of test gear. for so many things, we are unreliable in measurement, comparison and knowing what's real and what's an illusion.

    the force of illusion and the *desire* to have a sky daddy is very strong. I simply ask you to admit that what you THINK you have experienced, in fact, you have not. tricks of the mind. just that and nothing more.

    when you see or hear sky daddies but others do not, why would you NOT think that you have been fooled by a brain-illusion or wishful thinking?

    this is the damage that is religion. people are SO DAMNED SURE that this mind-fuck they experienced was god or some spirit.

    so very sad. knowing that your mind is easily fooled is the first step. thinking that your 'experience' is real keeps you at the bronze age level.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @04:41PM (#41156099)

    spoon-fed trip is good! yum, yum.

    let me ask you: do you really believe this? or have you put your mind on hold and just 'accepted jesus' because if you didn't, you'd be kicked out of your sub-society or group, or even worse, physically threatened?

    likely you were force-fed this bullshit. its so sad when I see people just blindly quoting crap like this. such a waste of a mind.

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @04:50PM (#41156277)

    "moses wrote"...

    huh?

    why would you believe that? why even believe in this fairy story?

    ok, lets look at the high points. gods 'chosen people' suffer under slavery. for an *extended period of time*, no less.

    god seems to put up with this. is he thinking things over? takes a bit of time to 'see' how bad it is to be a slave?

    (otoh, the bible has NO PROBLEM with slavery. as long as you're on the 'right side' of things).

    and so, god finally decides that its not cool. does he just fix the problem? no, he goes into a vaudeville style act where he pulls out a clown car and a bunch of things happen, in series, and god is still surprised he has not 'fixed' the problem.

    this is so laughable I don't even know where to start!

    the only reason anyone would believe this is if they were 'taught' this crap very young and it latched onto their brain and won't let go. keep repeating this over and over and young minds will accept it and stop fighting its illogic. kids can see the illogic in it but when a 'helpful adult' tells them 'don't worry, god can do this and that!' they just trust that the adult has their best interest at heart. of course, nothing could be further from the truth. this BS is taught to continue the society of control and domination.

    Just because you can disprove one interpretation doesn't mean that all interpretations are false.

    there are so many holes in the bible, its worse than a sieve. why anyone would trust something so internally inconsistent is beyond me.

    do yourself a favor and visit this site:

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/absurd.html [infidels.org]

    give it a half hour, read it and then come back and argue that your 'good book' is worth trusting.

  • by KingSkippus (799657) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @06:33PM (#41157969) Homepage Journal

    The problem is that even evolution isn't proven. It's all speculation with a splash of BS. I believe evolution occurs but do I believe Humans came from a single celled organism. No. That is just stupid. If this was the case we would have more inbetween species that bridge the gaps.

    So honest question, how many links will it take for you to accept that the theory of evolution is correct, that mankind did, in fact, evolve from single-celled organisms, and even simpler life forms before that? You don't have to give an exact number, though you're welcome to if you want. Just a ballpark figure would work fine so I can get an idea of what your standard of proof is. Because to tell the truth, most Creationists I've met have answered, "There is no number of links or any amount of proof that will convince me that evolution is real and a viable explanation for how we got here," and if that's the case, then there's absolutely no point in trying to convince you otherwise.

    Which, incidentally, is why Bill Nye says that it's such a disservice to teach it to kids. Because science isn't about throwing up your hands and chalking explanations up to God or any other supernatural process, it's about seeking answers to questions you don't know the answer to. It's not about throwing away valuable knowledge when inconsistencies are discovered, it's about studying more and refining hypotheses, tweaking theories, to more accurately represent the laws of nature. It's not about forming an end conclusion that must be correct and then looking for evidence to support it, it's about taking what you know and forming rational conclusions about it, even if that is inconvenient to other things you "know" to be true. Creationism is antithetical to all of these goals, and thus has no place in any scientific discussion, including biology class.

  • by Pfhorrest (545131) on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @07:16PM (#41158633) Homepage Journal

    The evidence that mutations are "random" (at least in the sense of "not deliberate") is that there are so many dead ends in the evolutionary tree. Most species which have ever lived are now extinct with no descendants. So either God is grossly incompetent and makes a lot of mistakes (which, being mistakes and thus not deliberate, are just as "random" as science holds mutations to be), or he's not involved at all. Cause if he was involved and was as omniscient as he's supposed to be, primordial microbes would have evolved directly into the optimal spread of species with no "shit no that's not right, scratch that and try again" along the way. (And that's not even getting into whether the present spread of species extant in the world today is anything close to "optimal" by any definition. And never mind whether the "design" of any single species is "optimal" in any sense either).

    The tree of life we see around us and in the fossil record looks like a huge (and ongoing) process of trial and error, with nature throwing random shit at the wall and seeing what sticks (most of it doesn't for long), NOT an intelligent, deliberate process of some omniscient designer rolling out new features in his target product line by stages.

  • Re:Yes! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday August 28, 2012 @10:41PM (#41160999) Journal

    That is why I always compare hardcore religion with brainwashing, because with both you could stick their nose into the evidence like sticking a puppy's nose in its mess and they still will just close their minds to even the POSSIBILITY that they could be even the slightest bit wrong.

    Look if someone wants to look at those old stories as just that, little morality tales from a long gone era, no different than Hercules or any other of the ancient stories? I have NO problem with that, nor do i have a problem with people so afraid of their own mortality that they have to believe in something after death just to keep from being depressed.

    What I DO have a problem with is those that try to force those ancient stories upon everyone else, to ban or hide anything that contradicts those ancient stories, and to punish anyone that refuses to live their life the way some goat herder said they should 1800+ years ago. People that try to force creationism or young earth into classrooms because goat herders in ancient times couldn't even process the idea of millions of years are to me no different than Scientology and their crazy Xenu story, both are a little too cultish for me to stomach. And I have to agree with the science guy on this one because I've seen with my own eyes once indoctrinated to believe that kind of stuff they'll just try to make the facts fit their beliefs which is the complete opposite of good science.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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