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Vatican Rejects Intelligent Design? 2345

typobox43 writes "A Vatican representative has expressed a defense of the theory of evolution, stating that it is "perfectly compatible" with the Genesis story of creation. "The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim," he said at a Vatican press conference. He said the real message in Genesis was that "the universe didn't make itself and had a creator"." Of course, it'd probably be best if fundmentalists actually talked to, say, the rabbis who wrote the whole thing down. The Orthodox rabbis I've spoken find it amazingly amusing that people take the creation story as literal truth, rather then a story about YHWH's power.
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Vatican Rejects Intelligent Design?

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  • A few points (Score:3, Informative)

    by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman&gmail,com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:03PM (#13970317) Homepage Journal
    1. Hemos, I find your sarcasm disappointing. There are quite a few factions when it comes to different religions, and you've just compared two related, yet completely different religions to one another. i.e. It's about the same as if you mentioned that Chrisitians are bemused by Mormons. The two religions don't think of one another as "correct" even though one builds on the other. The only difference is that the Jewish and Christian faiths tend to be much more amicable toward one another.

    2. The Vatican embraced the evolutionary theory several years ago under Pope John Paul III. Opponents like to point out that the Vatican also accepted a geocentric view of the Universe. As a result, only devote Catholics take the Vatican seriously on matters of science.

    Amusingly, quite a bit of science in history was done by priests and other church members. However, the Vatican regularly declared heresy against anyone who challenged the accepted "facts" of the Universe. Galileo is often cited as an example, but that was partly his own fault. He used satire to insult the pope (a good friend of his) and the pope was forced to respond. Galileo should have counted himself lucky to only get house arrest.

    3. If you're going to mention Yahweh (aka YHWH, aka Jehovah, aka God of Israel) in proper Jewish context, you need to mark out some of the letters as a sign of respect. e.g. "Y-WH" or "G-d"

    4. Save your flames. This is intended as an informational post only, and I probably won't respond to any replies. Don't like it? Too bad. Find some objectivity.
  • Evolution isn't a theory about the start of life. Evolution is an attempt to explain variability (and patterns of variability) among and within different species, and how that variability is systematically affected by certain factors.

    Now that we've gotten that out of the way, commence flame war.
  • by juanfe ( 466699 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:08PM (#13970367) Homepage

    An open letter [] to the Kansas School board arguing that the creation story provided by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster [] also needs to be recognized...

  • Re:A few points (Score:5, Informative)

    by FortKnox ( 169099 ) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:08PM (#13970368) Homepage Journal
    Quick points:
    1.) You mean JP II (there is no JPIII, yet).
    2.) This claim comes from up top, so its basically the view of the vatican unless Pope Benedict contradicts it
    2.5) JPII pardoned Galileo

    (Yes, I'm registered member of the Catholic faith)
  • Re:A few points (Score:3, Informative)

    by Nick of NSTime ( 597712 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:08PM (#13970373)
    The "mark out" (i.e., G-d) is not a sign of respect so much as it is an observance of a mitzvah. Specifically, the mitzvah that tells us to not take G-d's name in vain.
  • by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:09PM (#13970389)
    It sounds like they're leaning towards the Clockmaker hypothesis []. Of course, as a scientific theory, it's basically unproveable, which makes it a lousy theory in my opinion.
  • by uujjj ( 752925 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:09PM (#13970394)
    The guy who financed the ID side of the recent trial in Pennsylvania was a Catholic (the Domino's Pizza guy), as was one of their main witnesses (Michael Behe). This was a clear attempt to slap them down. Basically, the Church is telling these people to stop claiming that their religion opposes evolution.
  • Re:Sorry, (Score:5, Informative)

    by Burb ( 620144 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:13PM (#13970443)
    It may be a troll, but I will bite. Rarely has a short comment had so many errors in it. And I don't mean spelling errors. "Fundamentalism" in the way it's understood by many modern Western Christians is a relatively new phenomenon, and certainly it has very specific overtones that relate to 19th/20th century American Christianity. As for "stopped listening to Jews" perhaps the poster should acquaint himself with the book of Acts in which some of the discussions and controversies between Jews and Christians are described. Some of this was by way of preaching and dialog and, yes, some was by less pleasant methods. Judaism as we know it today is different from the Jewish faith practiced in the early 1st century if only because of the destruction of the temple in AD70. AD33 is an approximation since no one is entirely sure of the crucifiction/resurrection dates. And Hemos, leave out the editorialising. It's not necessary.
  • by DoubleWhopper ( 871075 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:14PM (#13970455)
    Why do you people continually confuse two separate movements?

    The fundamentalist belief (to which I hold) is not compatible with ID. These are two entirely separate paradigms.

    For reference, ID embraces pretty much the same things as the so-called independent thinking scientists, except for having a cause. Fundamentalists (again, that's me) hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis.

    If you want to lambaste one of the causes, please choose the appropriate one. Or at least make a distinction. Thanks.
  • Re:A few points (Score:3, Informative)

    by brilinux ( 255400 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:15PM (#13970461) Journal
    Amen. And I should point out that it was a Jesuit who came up with the Big Bang...

    (I am too)
  • Re:A few points (Score:5, Informative)

    by the_ed_dawg ( 596318 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:16PM (#13970471) Journal
    However, the Vatican regularly declared heresy against anyone who challenged the accepted "facts" of the Universe.
    I have a friend at a Catholic seminary right now. He's told me that they actually teach some watered-down versions of some really difficult sciences, so priests can avoid a lot of the mistakes that the church has made in the past. He actually had an introductory course in quantum mechanics!

    On the whole, a good parent post. No flames required. :)

  • by simon_hibbs2 ( 792812 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:16PM (#13970484)
    And of course the Rabinical movement didn't emerge untill after the destruction of the temple in 79 AD. Before that Judaism had a priesthood (plus the Pharisees, precursors of the Rabbis). But I'll stop now before your eyes glaze over.
  • by Pao|o ( 92817 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:18PM (#13970502)
    Nothing new here. Sixty years ago Pope Pius XII [] said almost the same thing in the encyclical Humani generis: "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, insofar as it inquiries into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter."

    Pope John Paul II reinforces this sentiment 9 years ago in an address [] to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

    This is just me but a lot of this "intelligent design" bull was cooked up by a bunch of fundamentalist using their religion to cover for their ignorance.

    News items like these makes me proud to be part of the Roman Catholic Church.
  • I believe what he is alluding to, though he worded it poorly, is that Orthodox Rabbis hand copy Genesis and the other parts of the Pentuarch on scrolls as a means of preserving them. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that they do this and that it would explain what he was getting at.
  • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:18PM (#13970507)
    Of course, it'd probably be best if fundmentalists actually talked to, say, the rabbis who wrote the whole thing down.

    How exactly is that going to happen?

    My thought as well. That comment had to be just about the most stupid thing I've seen written about religion in a long time.

    To commune with the dead is occultist divination, and considered satanic by Catholics and Fundamentalists alike, so even if they could do it, it would be forbidden.
  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:21PM (#13970540) Journal
    Intelligent Design is an alternative to the origins of life, not the continuing processes since that have shaped our world.

    How is ID an alternative to the abiogenesis question? Other than "somehow something produced life" what does it bring to the table? Can it tell us about potential chemical pathways? Can it be falsified?

    Abiogenesis researchers do not pretend that they can answer the question of how life on this planet developed from prebiotic organic chemicals, because even when they find a potential pathway, that might not be THE pathway. For all we know, there may be dozens of different means by which organic molecules began to function as self-replicating systems. But the key here is that each and every abiogenesis theory is falsifiable.

    ID, as formulated by the likes of Behe and Dembski, can tell us nothing. It is an empty argument from incredulity.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:24PM (#13970577)
    Everything true in the Bible is correct. Everything that contradicts fact is a parable.
  • by digidave ( 259925 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:25PM (#13970592)
    You are in agreement with the Vatican and many, perhaps most, scientists, however you have absolutely no clue as to what Intelligent Design is.

    ID doesn't describe the origins of life, or anything else for that matter. It simply states that certain biological features are irreducibly complex. (In each of those cases, evolution has proven that they are wrong.)

    I think it's perfectly reasonable to believe that evolution is the process by which God decided to create current life. ID states that this is impossible, that life doesn't change dramatically and that some "intelligent being" must have created complex life to begin with. It leave no room at all for evolution.
  • by VolciMaster ( 821873 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:27PM (#13970609) Homepage
    I would have a hard time believing you to be an "intelligent Christian". And it's not directly becuase you don't believe in a literal understanding of the creation account in Genesis.

    Analytcally, the assumption in reading any text (be it from the Bible or not) is to assume that the authors meant precisely what they said. If there is no way that the text can be understood literally, then you move on to attempting to understand it in a figurative sense. This is basic hermeneutics. In many places in the Bible, the creation account is summarized and/or referenced as having been accurate - and literal (the 4th commandment springs to mind when God directly gives the reason for keeping the sabbath holy to Him: "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.")

    When God comes out and says the account is correct, it's very dangerous ground to say that it is "NOT SUPPOSED TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY".

  • Re:Finally!!! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ironsides ( 739422 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:29PM (#13970646) Homepage Journal
    I'm very glad they finally did this. It's about time IMO. The Catholic Church shouldn't continue to fight losing battles. Now please let women get ordained and priests get married.

    Evolution, women becoming ordained and preists getting married are three entirely different subjects.

    Evolution is scientific.

    Women being ordained is theological. (By the way, can you find any instance of a judaic priest? rabbi!=priest)

    Preists getting married is a thousand year old rule (not doctrine or theological in anyway) that was instituted by Pope Gregory VII so that priests would have more time to carry out theological work instead of having to take care of a family.
  • by Will2k_is_here ( 675262 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:32PM (#13970688)
    If I recall corectly, the Pentateuch was writen by Moses as dictated to him by God. This includes Genesis.

    That depends on who you ask. Researchers believe the pentateuch was more likely written by at least 4 scholars/rabbis during the exile in Babylon.
    See: []
    or this [] book.
  • by Thuktun ( 221615 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:32PM (#13970691) Homepage Journal
    evolution comes alogn and says that matter is eternal: we've been in an unending cycle of compression and expansion of matter for eternity

    Er, no. The theory of evolution (natural selection) doesn't address the origins of the Universe, of matter and energy, etc., nor should it. It only describes a general mechanism by which more complex, better-suited organisms can form from lesser ones.
  • by petaflop ( 682818 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:35PM (#13970728)
    Obviously, the authorship of the Pentateuch (and consequently the date) is a subject of debate.

    Orthodox Jews and fundamentalist Christians generally support the Mosaic authorship, with datings in the 13th-15th century BCE.

    Most other scholars (90% according to wikipedia), including secular, Jewish and Christian scholars, would date the final redaction to 6-7th century BCE (see for example the documentary hypothesis [], which although it is not the latest theory forms a background and frequently a basis for newer theories). The final form was based on earlier documents and oral traditions, with the earliest written parts going back to about the 9th or 10th century BCE. More info here: Dating the bible [].

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:35PM (#13970729) Journal
    You are aware, I trust, that evolutionary theory has changed significantly in the last century and a half. Darwin's work was a good base, but it wasn't until the Modern Synthesis that we had a theory that contained the actual means of imperfect replication. It may surprise you, but Darwin isn't the Jesus Christ of the scientific community, and his theory has been tested and refined for a goodly long time, unlike old Paley's watchmaker argument, which simply gets more vague and less capable of even explaining any kind of theistic claim. ID is empty rhetoric, evolutionary theory is the the grand unifying theory of biology.
  • Re:Sorry, (Score:3, Informative)

    by bentcd ( 690786 ) <> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:36PM (#13970751) Homepage
    "Annus" means "year" and "dominus" means "master" or "lord". "Anno domini" means "in the year of our lord".
  • by bheilig ( 516136 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:40PM (#13970799)
    The Orthodox rabbis I've spoken find it amazingly amusing that people take the creation story as literal truth, rather then a story about YHWH's power.

    Just want to give a counter point. Of the orthodox rabbis I've spoken with, all of them believe the earth was created in six literal 24 hour periods. This is in Brooklyn.

  • by Ironsides ( 739422 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:41PM (#13970814) Homepage Journal
    I had thought it was around 4000BC. However, after a quick googling I came across one that said ~2000BC. I took it to mean that what I remembered as 4000BC was supposed to be 4000 years ago.

    Here's some on the 2000 BC range.
    The year given for the Flood is the 600th year of Noah's life (Gen. 7:11), which, according to adding up the ages of the patriarchs should be about 1,656 years after the Beginning of Mortality, or about 2345 BC 003/deluge.html [] 0History%20and%20Great%20Links/Old%20Testament%20T imeline.htm []

    Here's one that places it at ~3500BC []

    I'm not a scholar on the subject, just trying to point out that is has been a really long time since the words were written. Alhtough, I'd also like to find out how they plan on asking since no one speaks sandscrit/cuneiform anymore (or whatever language was used back then). We may be able to read it, but I don't think anyone actually speaks it.
  • by varith ( 530137 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:44PM (#13970862)
    Testability is not a necessary condition for it to be a theory. AFAIK intelligent design isn't testable, but it does explain a phenomenon. Testability *is* a necessary condition for something to be a *scientific* theory. Dunno where you get the idea that it isn't. Otherwise its just a story. I could make up a story right now that explains just as much as ID. And that is the problem with the whole thing. There is no way to determine the truth of it.
  • Re:A few points (Score:5, Informative)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:45PM (#13970871) Journal
    TFA & submitter seem to miss a very important point -- most of the Christian fundamentalists who are proponents of ID are not Catholic.

    Furthermore, they don't take guidance or leadership from the Catholic church.

    This is one of the reasons that the Xtian Fundies are so hard to convince of anything -- they aren't likely to take guidance from a hierarchical power. Instead, the individual (or the congregation) is supposed to interpret God's word themselves -- as related in the Bible, which is the source of their entire faith. Invalidating any part of the Bible therefore invalidates the Bible as the true word of God, and therefore invalidates their faith.

    It's easy (relatively) for Catholics to accept that the Bible isn't literal; they have a hierarchy of leadership, and a set of dogma, that means that their religion is more than just the words in the Bible. The authority structure allows the Catholic faith to, as a whole, reinterpret the Bible as necessary.

    So please, don't conflate Catholicism with Christian Fundamentalism.

  • by ivan256 ( 17499 ) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:45PM (#13970881)
    Multiple Designers: Why are there so many different designs for the eye and what does that say about the designer(s)? Why does the human eye lack important innovations such as the reflective layer in the cat's eye that improves night vision or the more logical retina-over-blood network of the octopus eye or the four-color vision of the jumping spider eye (or the 6-color vision of the mantis shrimp) or the polarization sensitivity used by bees and ants for navigation? One strong hypothesis is that multiple designers participated -- different designers, working independently, created these different designs. Perhaps the joke that a camel is a horse designed by a committee is really true.

    Bible literalists should have no trouble believing this. The Bible, and the commandments do not say that there are no other gods. It says that God is the creator of man, and the you shouldn't worship any other gods. It is only through interpretation that this is taken to mean that God is the only god; but literalists don't interpret. Genesis doesn't say anywhere that no other creators ever came along and added to God's creation. There was no octopus, spider, bee, or ant on Noah's ark... Again, this is only implied. But the bible is meant to be taken purely at face value, right?

    Of course it's silly to talk like that, because literalists are only literalists about the parts they like.
  • by bentcd ( 690786 ) <> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:47PM (#13970907) Homepage
    The "rational Christian" has always been around, and in the 13th century, Thomas Aquinas finally finished the work that others had begun before him and delivered a good philosophy of how and why Christianity and science were to go hand in hand. This has been the Catholic church's official policy ever since, even if church politics have gotten in the way from time to time (such as during the counter reformation when things could get really nasty).
  • by petaflop ( 682818 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:51PM (#13970973)
    The "straight dope" article is pretty good, but I'm afraid your summary doesn't do it justice. The "4 Rabbis" are more likely to be schools or traditions, separated by up to 5 centuries, and the common position is that at least J, E and D are pre-exilic. The redaction probably took place during the exile.

    (A few scholars however, e.g. Van Seters, argue that the J source, instead of being the earliest in 9th-10th century BCE, is actually post-exilic).

  • Nope, try again. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Otto ( 17870 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:55PM (#13971012) Homepage Journal
    Intelligent Design is the idea that God manipulated and brought upon evolution.

    See, this is one of the major problems with Intelligent Design. Nobody seems to know just what the fuck it actually is.

    For the record, the idea of intelligent design is that the design of biology is too complex to have evolved into that state. That some higher power designed it instead of evolution.

    But ID doesn't say that this higher power guided evolution! No, Intelligent Design rejects evolution entirely, albeit not in so many words. Because if you have evolution but then take away natural selection (in favor of "intelligent") and random mutation (in favor of "design"), then you no longer really have evolution, do you?
  • by greg_barton ( 5551 ) <> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:59PM (#13971090) Homepage Journal
    Any fundamentalist worth his salt could accept and refute these points merely by referring to the Old Testament:

    (Disclaimer: I'm agonstic, so don't flame the shit out of me for being a fundie.)

    Multiple Designers

    In the Old Testament there were multiple gods. Ours came out on top. So, evolution produced multiple designs? So what? Our god won, so our god's design (i.e. Us) should get all of the spoils. Nicely justifies multiple designers and anti-environmentalism.

    Flawed Designer

    See above.

    Lazy Designer

    God rested on the seventh day, didn't he? And, besides, who are we to judge God's designs as flawed? Our purpose is to procliam God's glory and not to question the quality of his designs. Oh, and see above...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:01PM (#13971101)
    A firm idea of heaven didn't show up until Jesus did.
  • Not news (Score:3, Informative)

    by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <> on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:03PM (#13971142) Homepage
    Pope Pius XII declared in the 1950 encyclical Humani Generis [] that evolution was not incompatible with the Catholic faith:
    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.
    I.e., Catholics may investigate whether the human body evolved from apes, but the origin of the immortal human soul cannot be questioned without repudiating the Catholic faith.

    At the same time, Catholics are free, if they so choose, to believe the Bible literally -- i.e., Creationism.

    As for Intelligent Design, that already got a thorough debunking from the November, 2002 session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences [] (TOC []) in the paper Science and Culture [] (pages 79-81). The paper labels Intelligent Design as bad science. From my own personal view of theology, I doubt that anything like Intelligent Design could ever be shown, because in that case such evidence would compel people to believe in God, which would take away their free will.

    In short, Creationism alone, evolution alone, and Intelligent Design at all are all incompatible with the Catholic faith. Thus there is little prospect for Catholic parents to find a public school that teaches the origin of life in a manner compatible with the Catholic faith. That is why I am a signatory to the Proclamation for the Separation of School and State [].

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:05PM (#13971164)
    Sorry, but one liberal cardinal providing his *opinion* at a press conference does NOT the Catholic faith make. I suppose only to non believers do they interpret one Cardinal's opinion as law for the remaining 1 billion Catholics worldwide. It's analogous to one US Representative speaking on behalf of the entire United States and all Western democracies. That's just being plain uninformed, about many a things.

    There are several liberal influences within the Catholic Church. The late Pope John Paul II: 1) did not believe in evolution as some recently tried to interpret from a French symposium, and 2) even appointed a lot of traditional (conservative) Cardinals before his death to assure the future leadership was not infected by a few dissidents (bishops, cardinals, priests, or otherwise) like this one Cardinal. Men are men in all their failings, despite the title they carry.

    As a proud Catholic who rebukes the theory of evolution, I find this article misleading and hardly representative of the Catholic Church. Some /.'rs may relish in such a claim by one lone wolf screaming in the dark, but true enlightenment starts where generalizations end. All /.'rs should keep that in mind before they entertain any ideas that the Catholic Church now somehow disagrees with fundamentalist Christians or even those who purport Intelligent Design in the classroom.

    I could explain to /.'rs the structure of the Catholic Church, who heads it, where it takes it's direction from, and how that uniquely separates itself from the other Christian denominations over the past 2000 years that have come and gone as they evolved their doctrine to reflect current social sentiment, but somehow, all the comments I've read so far seem more interested in just throwing stones. I hope that's not the case and real englightenment (through understanding) is what /.'rs truly seek...


    one humble Catholic observing the world's youth from his keyboard, and posting as AC in the hopes that /.'rs seeking the truth will take the time to dig through all the rubble for it...
  • by snowwrestler ( 896305 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:06PM (#13971174)
    The fundamentalist belief (to which I hold) is not compatible with ID. These are two entirely separate paradigms.

    Boy the ID folks would really, really, really like the nation to believe that, but sorry, we can see a pig, smell a pig, and know a pig even if the farmer calls it a chicken.

    For reference, ID embraces pretty much the same things as the so-called independent thinking scientists, except for having a cause.

    No, what ID says is that species we see today were designed into their current shape by an intelligent force. This is functionally the same message as Genesis, and about as far from modern theories of genetics and natural selection as you can get. The only thing ID has in common with real biological science is one slice of the data set--current life. ID proponents don't even recognize the validity of the fossil record.

    Fundamentalists (again, that's me) hold to a literal interpretation of Genesis.

    That is truly amazing, I had no idea so many Americans had developed the skill to read and understand ancient Hebrew. Or didn't you know that when you read an English Bible you're holding to a literal interpretation of some other human's translation and interpretation of the Bible? Didn't you know that the Bible was culled, edited, and assembled from source texts by humans?

    If you want to lambaste one of the causes, please choose the appropriate one. Or at least make a distinction. Thanks.

    Nope, not going to take that bait. It doesn't take a whole lot of critical thinking to see that that is exactly what the fondest dreams of the ID and fundamentalist communities are.

    ID is being pushed now simply because the fundamentalist belief in the literal Bible has so thoroughly been rejected by American society. It's never taken hold and it never will--science is too important to America's success and power.

    Even those who claim to hew the closest to the belief undercut themselves on a daily many fundamentalists in this country have ever taken an antibiotic? Received a flu shot? Received treatment for cancer? Answered a doctor's questions about their family medical history?

    True fundamentalism demands avoidance of modern medicine and treatments; for did not the Lord create us in his image, and will he not provide for us when we are in need?

    ID is nothing more that the fundamentalist belief in a literal act of designed creation by God, prettied up in the wrapper of scientific lingo.
  • by c_forq ( 924234 ) <> on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:07PM (#13971188)
    Because rabbi means teacher. Jesus was a teacher. He wasn't a rabbi in the modern sense of the word (maybe as someone able to interpret Jewish law which it is still sometimes used to denote, but definitely not in the sense of the ordained position it is now).
  • by crumley ( 12964 ) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:11PM (#13971233) Homepage Journal
    Yes, fundamentalist protestants will ignore the pope.

    Right-wing Catholics may listen, though, and there many of them who side with the ID folks. A famous example of a pro-ID [] Catholic is Rick (I wish my name [] didn't have another meaning []) Santorum, Republican Senator from Pennsylvania who has added pro-ID wording to legislation [].

    Of course, there is no proof that this will do any good. In particular, the extreme right-wing Catholics of the Mel Gibson variety, like many fundamentalist protestants, have already given up on the pope.

  • by Grab ( 126025 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:13PM (#13971255) Homepage
    Only by proving that it would not be possible for multiple changes to happen to DNA over multiple generations. Evolution requires that over many generations, the many DNA changes mount up to result in new species.

    ID proposes that species are fixed - in other words, a certain amount of DNA changes are possible (so Darwin's finches, moths/flies and other quickly-evolving species are covered), but DNA changes to the extent of new species being created are not possible. So micro-evolution but not macro-evolution.

    So far this looks, well, unlikely. Everything we know about DNA says this is possible. Unless the ID crowd come up with a specific chemical for each species that says "stay a bird" or "stay an insect", ID is basically screwed.

    ID also proposes that certain features of nature are "irreducably complex", in other words that if you took out one part then it would stop working. The eye was the famous case, although they've relinquished that because it was phemonenally easy to prove that there was a spectrum of qualities of light detection from earthworms to eagles, and each step was an improvement. The latest case is the "flagellum" which propels bacteria - remove one protein and it stops acting as a propulsion mechanism. But it's very close in structure to a secretory attack mechanism, so what you most likely have is something which mutated and then turned out to be useful for something else (like bolting a snowplough on a truck changes what you can use it for). Until they can find something which is utterly unprecedented, again ID is basically screwed. And even then, ID would only be one hypothesis for bridging the gap, the other hypothesis being "it just mutated that way" (ie. randon chance) - this would reduce evolution and ID to the same level, but wouldn't give ID an edge in any way.

    When you really get down to it, the only sure proof of ID is to catch God making the changes. I wish them luck...

  • by Silburn_Luke ( 672738 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:16PM (#13971285)
    Okay, I'm getting a bit sick of this. "So-called theory" is charged language (flamebait); it's a theory. When we're not in the realm of pure math (and we're not), a theory is a conjecture used to explain a phenomenon.
    Nope. You are in fact describing a conjecture. Once the conjecture has been extended to include some falsifiable predictions it becomes a hypothesis and if those predictions match the observed evidence (and the new observations give rise to new conjectures and hypotheses that turn out to be productive) it becomes a theory. ID has made no predictions and thus has no supporting evidence and the 'observed phenomena' (all those irreducible complexity examples - a couple of decades ago it was eyeballs, now its bacterial flagellum) are problems being attacked by real, actual, scientists.

    ID isn't a theory. Its not even a hypothesis. You might call that 'charged language', I'd call it 'stating an objective fact'.

    This is not the case; the idea has been around for as long as I can remember (admittedly, that's only about two decades, but still...), and has long been held as a possibility by Christian scientists
    If you're talking about irreducible complexity, then this has been around for a very long time - Paley was going on about the presence of a watch on a heath implying the existence of a watchmaker back in 1800 - so the basic concept predates Darwin (Charles at least) by several decades. The problem the basic conjecture has is that to date every example of something irreducibly complex that has been advanced as evidence for a designer has turned out, upon examination, to not be irreducibly complex after all.

  • by boxlight ( 928484 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:25PM (#13971391)
    > If I recall corectly, the Pentateuch was writen by Moses as dictated to him by God.

    Which, if true, must have been very depressing to Moses, since his death is recorded in the second of the the five books.

    I guess it's easy to throw around untrue statements and get modded up.

    The death of Moses is in Deuteronomy 32:48-52; 34:1-12 []. This is the end of the FIFTH book of the Bible.


  • by lieut_data ( 783498 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:28PM (#13971432)
    In a day and age with Google, you'd think one would research just ever so slightly before making false claims.

    Answers in Genesis []

    "It is thus abundantly clear that the Bible does not defy geometry with regard to the value of p, and in particular it does not say that p = 3.0. Skeptics who allege an inaccuracy are wrong, because they fail to take into account all the data. The Bible is reliable, and seeming discrepancies vanish on closer examination."
  • by halivar ( 535827 ) <bfelger@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:29PM (#13971435)
    The differences between versions are largely a matter of preference. The New International Version places emphasis on phrasal translation, while the New American Standard emphasizes a tighter word-for-word translation (good for referencing against hebrew or greek, but otherwise hard to read). More contemporary translations also try to update some of the more archaic idioms that confuse modern readers.

    There are very few translations that most Christians consider "wrong". The King James Version, for instance, was written without access to many of the oldest original language texts we have today, and the style of English it is written in has... well... passed on. The English language as presented is no longer spoken today. Other versions, such as the New World Translation written by the Jehovah's Witnesses, makes deliberate changes to support doctrines not espoused by the original language. Most such bibles, however, are dismissed because there is little to known expert involvement. Most widely accepted bibles today are translated by a large board of academics in philology (and other stuff like that with big words that escape me right now).

    In general, the wide variety of bible translations presents no trouble at all to the modern church. The pastor preaches in one version, I read in another. It's no biggie.
  • Re:Finally!!! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Creedo ( 548980 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:29PM (#13971438) Journal
    Finally? Pope Pius XII issued the encyclical "Humani Generis" in 1950, which said that discussion of evolution SHOULD happen. And Pope John Paul II made his statement in 1996. And the Catechism(the official teaching manual of the Church), says:

    "The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies that have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers" (CCC 283)

    There has never been a pronouncement from the Vatican in opposition to evolution, only to the atheistic interpretation thereof.

    As to priests and marriage, married priests are allowed in the Catholic Church. Suprised? Look up the Eastern Rite Churches, or the priests who converted from Lutheranism or Episcopalianism. It is a discipline in the Latin Rite(what most people think of when they think Catholic), but disciplines are not doctrine, and can be changed or modified at any time. And it's not like anyone is forced to be a priest in the first place.

    As for ordaining women, that is, as JPII pointed out, a lack of authority. Jesus didn't ordain any women, so the Church doesn't either. If you find this unfair, feel free to become Episcopalian.
  • by Skjellifetti ( 561341 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:36PM (#13971535) Journal
    Unfortunately, sufficient fossil records do not exist to support major speciation.

    Yes, they do [].
  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:39PM (#13971563) Journal
    The eye is in fact a rather good example of evolution. Light sensitive organisms have been around for a long time, and there are many examples even now of simple organisms with the ability to orient themselves based on light. We also see other organisms that have some ability not only to detect light but to detect differentations in light. Such an organism, even if cannot resolve an image, can still detect movement, and as either predator or prey has a distinctive survival advantage.

    As to bird wings, there's still a good deal of debate, but many think that wings may have, in fact, first evolved as a form of thermoregulation. Co-opting of features to new functions is certainly a part of evolution as well. Go back to the eye example. Primitive organisms really don't have nervous systems, but once even a primitive one develops, a primitive eye can co-opt it to allow more complex behaviors based upon what is "seen".

    Evolution may be blind in the respect that it cannot answer future needs, but there is always variation in any population, and that is the fuel of evolution. Thus a wing might have evolved for one purpose, but as we can see from even semi-flying creatures like the flying squirrel, half a wing, like a half an eye, can indeed be much more useful than no wing or no eye at all.

  • by Lobachevsky ( 465666 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:42PM (#13971602)
    Either your post is +1 Funny or +1 Troll if you had proper education; or, if you don't have proper education, there should be a -1 Uneducated moderation. See here [] for a complete synposis of the Teleological argument and its scientific refutes so we don't have to replay hundreds of years of history on a Slashdot thread. If you're too lazy to read, here's the summary:

    Teleological argument (quotted from wiki):
    1. X is too complex to have occurred randomly or naturally.
    2. Therefore, X must have been created by an intelligent being.
    3. Y is that intelligent being.
    4. Therefore, Y exists.

    The Eye Argument (quotted from wiki)
    Many creationists cite the eye as a prime example of this principle; "What use is a partly-developed eye?" they ask. Evolutionists provide an explanation for this and may state that creationists are arguing from ignorance, for scientists have devised working hypotheses on how certain body parts and organs could have evolved.

    The explanation by evolution gives major evolutionary steps of:
    1. No light sensitivity at all.
    2. Cells that can sense the presence of light and send a signal to the brain.
    3. Development of multiple, co-ordinated cells.
    4. Development of a lens to focus the light.
    5. Development of the brain enabling processing of this information, into instructions to muscles which operate the organ to detect light in other places.

    Creationists would counter that each step in this process is in reality, a huge leap. However, evolutionists would argue that each step is not completed in one change; rather, these are only the major milestones of development, which itself is going on all the time.

  • by CheshireCatCO ( 185193 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:51PM (#13971694) Homepage
    I've read the relevent passages, here. They say what I indicated. Your link provides only hand-waving arguments to the contrary. I think we all agree that pi rounds to three, but that still means that the Bible is not the literal truth. I mean, come on: the word "approximately" should have been inserted if they wanted to be perfectly accurate and still write thirty and ten.
  • by Dhaos ( 697924 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:53PM (#13971711)
    I believe the Parent was referring not just to textual versions- although it could be argued that in creating 'new and more accurate' translations a certain amount of interpretation has taken place.

    Instead, take a moment to look up the 'lost books' of the bible, such as the book of Thomas. These are books that the -church- chose to leave out of the bible- but why? If all of the bible is divinely inspired, why did the church exclude passages?

    And if the bible has been culled, and edited, how do you know that what you have is really the truth? That the exclusion of certain books from the bible isn't a perversion of its message?

    That's the difficulty with trying to literally read the're reading a story that has been carefully groomed down for you by a church. Doesn't that make you nervous? It seems to me that the only way you can really read the bible is to find the spirit of God that connects the books, because it would be the only portion immune to perversion by selective editing and other earthly pressures.

  • by conJunk ( 779958 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:54PM (#13971734)
    since when did relativity throw out newtonian laws of motion? i took elementary school science classes in the 1980s, a good 70 years (give or take) since the publications of theories of relativity...

    we still demonstrated f=ma by rolling a ball down a ramp and measuring its force... we still demonstrated inertia and measured friction... to say that einstein "threw out" newton is rediculous

  • by |/|/||| ( 179020 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:58PM (#13971777)
    OK, I'll attack the message. Ready? ID doesn't make its arguments very clear (it mostly just attacks evolutionary theory as being incomplete, to which we scientists say, "duh.") but the core foundation of ID seems to be "irreducible complexity."

    Irreducible complexity claims that certain physical structures are too complex to have arisen by natural processes. Since science is the study of natural processes, the only way to proceed via scientific methods is to assume that natural processes were the cause, and to refine our theories so that the formation of such entities is explained by natural processes.

    ID, on the other hand, jumps to the conclusion of a supernatural creator. That's not science. It's out of bounds. Anything concerning the supernatural is by definition not science. You can believe it if you want to, but please don't call it science and please keep it out of science class.

  • by arodland ( 127775 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @03:05PM (#13971875)
    1. The Big Bang cannot be true as it contradicts the First Law of Thermodynamics.
    2. Evolution cannot be true as it contradicts the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    1. Irrelevant, because assuming the Big Bang happened, Laws of Thermodynamics would only apply "after" it. Inflation stretches (heh) things a bit, but doesn't break them because it's based on the assumption of "latent energy" already present in the universe being converted into other forms.

    2. Incorrect -- yes, evolution implies a localized increase in order, but that isn't prohibited by the Second Law, so long as things get more disordered in general. To illustrate the same point, grass growing doesn't violate the Second Law, because that increase is fueled by incoming energy from the Sun, and the Sun is still causing a net increase in entropy (and would be even if it were surrounded by a Dyson sphere covered in grass, due to the impossible of reaching 100% efficiency in energy conversion.)
  • Re:Exactly! (Score:4, Informative)

    by Paladin128 ( 203968 ) <aaron@[ ] ['tra' in gap]> on Monday November 07, 2005 @03:10PM (#13971933) Homepage
    As a general rule, the Catholic churches still spend way too much money on ornaments and decorations and material objects in the church. This money could be much better used for helping the poor and taking the faith to the unbelievers.

    Umm... Jesus disagrees with you a tad... John 12:4-8 [] states:

    Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, "Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days' wages 3 and given to the poor?" He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me."

    We believe that Christ's true physical presence exists in the Eucharist. Why should we treat him any differently than Mary of Bethany? Giving money, service, and faith to the poor is very good, but so is treating Christ with the majesty He deserves. A priest friend of mine often says that the holy sacrifice of the mass has an audience of one: God. Though we can never be truly perfect, or worship God to the degree he deserves, we should make a best effort.

    Though you're welcome to a different interpretation in application of your own faith, I hold that the Catholic church behaves rather biblically in this respect.
  • by Rolgar ( 556636 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @03:12PM (#13971951)
    The Church is actually correct in its stance on contraceptives and abortion.

    The side effects of contraception in general:
    50% divorce rate
    A high rate of marital infidelity
    Significant decay of families

    All of this was predicted by the pope in 1930, long before such ills came to pass.

    Side effects of the pill
    Blood clots and heart attacks
    Increased chance of breast cancer
    30+% of women have their libedo nearly eliminated (1/3rd of those don't get it back after they go off the pill)

    The church encourages NFP which has no side effects. The divorce rate of people who use NFP is about 3%. Uneducated women in India have used NFP with an effectiveness of 99.8%. That's 1 in 500 that has difficulty, about 5 times better than the pill. NFP is nearly free (I can get the charts for one year of use for $1, which gives a lifetime cost for most women of about $20, the cost of the pill for one month). NFP is highly scientific, since a woman has to observe her symptoms (temperature and mucus), record a chart, and let her partner calculate based on a few rules whether she'd get pregnant by engaging in sex on that day. From the first non-fertile day in the cycle through the end of the cycle (10-14 days) and into the early part of the next cycle, you can forget getting pregnant, and engage in sex with more freedom and less chance of getting pregnant than with any other method of birth control. Not surprisingly NFP users tend to report higher levels of sexual satisfaction and marrital happiness than those who use contraceptives.

    Hopefully, the Church will do more to teach this to the people in the congregation, because 95% of priest never talk about this. Starting in a month or two, I'm going to start doing my part to make it happen.

    I am a former seminarian who decided to get married instead, and I agree with the Church's sexual teaching 100%. If you think that the church is wrong on this issue, maybe you should wonder why I, a sex loving man would agree, and use NFP when I have the choice of both options.
  • by PHPfanboy ( 841183 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @03:24PM (#13972095)
    So close....

    The 4 writers are not just because of the 4 names of God, but also the massive discrepancies in style and content of various parts of the bible. How else do you square the Babylonian creation myths of Genesis with the temple accounts of Leviticus and then the need to recount everything all over again in Deuteronomy. Highly recommend Richard Elliot Friedman's "Who Wrote the Bible" to anyone really interested in this. 585133/103-1081140-1817412?v=glance []
    Spoiler: not written by Rabbi's but by High Priest in Josiah's reign to cement the legitimacy of the new monarchy with the old priestly sects and monarchy bloodline (Rabbi's being a relatively late addition to Judaism, the priestly Cohen sect was more important for spiritual leadership back then)

    The Dead Sea scrolls don't play such an important part here, although they are very interesting especially to understand the socio-political developments of Roman period Judea. And in fact there's another myth that there were not different versions of the Pentateuch. Apparently the Karaite bible has at least 13 differences and you can assume they are just as accurate with protecting their textual tradition (and if you're into lamb barbecue's Mt. Gerizim outside Nablus is the place to be around Passover time).

    Anyway, your evidence is very patchy. If you're looking for Orthodox Rabbi's to claim creation is allegorical you can start hunting around Maimonides (Rambam), IIRC you'll find plenty there.

    And yes, it's trite, but I believe (with a complete belief ;-)) that my karma does run over your dogma...
  • by ievans ( 133543 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @03:27PM (#13972127)
    The universe is getting more disordered and more simplified, as dictated by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. However, the theory of Evolution has the basic principle that everything is getting more organized and more complex.

    Nope. Try reading (and understanding) your scientific principles again.

    a) Evolution doesn't say that everything is getting more organized over time.
    b) The second law of thermodynamics describes closed systems. The universe as a whole is a closed system, but an enormous one. The earth isn't a closed system. For one, it receives energy from the sun. The second law of thermodynamics doesn't require an "orderly" entropy; it only says that, eventually, all states in a closed system move to disorder. The operative word is "eventually."
    c) According to your (mis)understanding of the second law of thermodynamics, it would be impossible for anything to grow more complex. For you to be consistent, you'd have to also believe that plants wouldn't grow, fertilization of sperm & egg could not occur, and ionic bonding is impossible.

    1. The Big Bang cannot be true as it contradicts the First Law of Thermodynamics.

    Again, you don't understand what you are talking about. Not the Big Bang, not E=MC2. Matter and energy cannot be unqualifiably substituted. No Big Bang theory ever suggested that any energy is created during the event.

    If you are truly trying to understand how these theories work together, and are not just parroting the anti-Evolution crowd's talking points, I suggest you take some time to understand the science underpinning the theories you use in your argument.
  • by LordKazan ( 558383 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @03:34PM (#13972205) Homepage Journal
    "Evolution .... It isn't a proven fact nor is it even supported a tremendous weight of evidence." It's supported by an incredible ammount of evidence - infact modern biological science doesn't make sense without evolution. We have seen evolution occur, we have caused evolution to occur - a fundmental mechanism required for evolution to occur was discovered and described BY A MONK years ago! []. He described genetic inheritance!

    I want one of your "scientific examples of data that contradict the theory of evolution". You're probably thinking of the "history of speciation" which is still under revision and not actually thinking of evolution []. "In biology, evolution is the process by which populations of organisms acquire and pass on novel traits from generation to generation, affecting the overall makeup of the population and even leading to the emergence of new species."

  • by blamanj ( 253811 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @03:51PM (#13972386)
    While ID "as described in the literature" is not the same thing as creationism, the fact remains that ID was "designed" because creationism was failing [].

    Some of the articles published by the ID crowd have been shown to be earlier creationist texts with the references to God/creation/etc. removed and standard ID buzz-words inserted in their place.

    Their strategy, outlined in the Discovery Institute's Wedge Document [] is stated quite baldly: "To replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and hurnan beings are created by God".

    Sorry, but you've been fooled.

  • by anonymo ( 878718 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @03:53PM (#13972404) Journal
    Copernicus realized that by moving the Sun to the centre of spheres instead of the Earth he needed less amount epicycles.
    Copernicus did not invented the spheres neither the epicycles. They were described by a scholar greek, Ptolemaios referring to secret Egyptian scripts (of course he could just made up them) as a flat Earth surrounded by the spheres and epicycles. Another greek thinker found out that the Earth is a globe and the Sun at incredibly far away about at the same time but it was so surrealistic that it was dropped.

    Kepler enchanced the heliocentric view by describing the rules for the ellyptical planetary orbits.

    The Bible has been treated (almost) as any other script for about 200 years. Even the Vatican's text analysis concluded that every gospel has parts with unique structures that definitely point to separate authors.

    It's a pity that you've got 5 points as interesting :-(
    Instead of 5 points for a troll that you are.
  • Re:Exactly! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2005 @03:55PM (#13972424)
    I can't recall my login so I'm forced to post anonymously....
    That said, in regards to #2.

    "I believe one of the worst idea's to come out of the Catholic Church is that the Pope determines what is heretical and not God and His scriptures. History has shown that men can be corrupted so I have difficulty putting so much trust in a man. Do I believe that you can be a Christian and believe in evolution? Yes, but that doesn't make the belief correct. I think that your walk could be crippled by such belief however; belief in creation isn't a prerequisite for being a Christian."

    That's actually not what the Church teaches. It's a bit more complex than that. The Pope is infalliable ONLY in matters of faith and morals, and ONLY when he speaks "Ex Cathedra", meaning, from an official position as the representative of the Church as a whole.

    There's several great articles at [] that explains some of the most commonly misunderstood ideas about the pope. It seems you might have an incorrect view of what his role is and what he can and cannot do. The articles are well written and pretty informative. :)

    Hope this helps!

    -Devin S. []
  • by Estanislao Martínez ( 203477 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @04:06PM (#13972536) Homepage
    #1. Show how ID is not scientific because it cannot be falsified.

    Ah, the good old Popperian argument, as transmitted to common scientific wisdom. There's a simple problem with it: it doesn't work. In more than one way.

    First, Quine showed that you can't falsify any one individual hypothesis, nor distinguish in general between "empirical" and "non-empirical" statements (or "observational" from "theoretical," or whatever). Why? Well, the falsification procedure requires you to state a hypothesis H, and then infer that if H is true, then you must observe P. If in actual fact you observe not P, then h must be false.

    The problem here, however, is that to get from the hypothesis H to the expected observation P, you're going to need extra assumptions. The fact that you observe not P doesn't logically require that H be false; it requires that at least one thing in the union of H and the extra hypotheses be false. In other words, no amount of evidence can make you abandon H, as long as you're willing to sacrifice some other assumption.

    Second problem: scientists make extensive use of statistics to analyze experimental data. Strictly speaking, experimental data pretty much always falsifies the hypothesis; when you plot the data points and the curve predicted by the hypothesis, they never match. We use statistical techniques to measure how close of a match there is, and thus say that the data support or fail to support the hypothesis, depending on whether the statistical degree of confidence is higher than a conventional threshold. The experiment never falsifies or confirms the data, it just changes the confidence we assign to the hypothesis (and, again, as per the first point, given other assumptions that we just happen to be less willing to abandon).

    Third, more general, and more important (and controversial): traditional writings on the philosophy of science just have very little to do with the actual practice of science. They're philosophical fantasies aimed at giving scientifically-oriented people a warm and fuzzy feeling about how their work allows them to uncover pure, objective, empirical truth, untarnished by human interests and frailities. This picture has very little to do with the real world, where scientists participate as members of our society, competing in a market for research funding and publication, facing pressures to deliver results by timelines, and so on.

  • by rnelsonee ( 98732 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @04:12PM (#13972599)
    Just to nitpick, seeing as you got to post my usual favorite point before me (hypothesis vs theory).

    Hypothesis, theories, and laws are not words that lie on some scale of certainty - a theory not only matches tested data (your point), but perhaps more importantly, is used to describe a set of facts. So they're on different planes - one is conjecture, and one is a description of a system built upon these former conjectures. This is why we can have both a law of gravity (mutual attractions between objects...) and a theory of gravity (the Earth revolves around the sun because...) in use at the same time.

    Either way, the important thing here is that "Evolution is just a theory" is a worthless statement, because in this case, IDers are mistakingly using one of "theory"'s other (and quite unfortunate) definitions that treats a theory as a hypothesis (rather than using the scientific theory definition, which is discussed above).

  • Re:Exactly! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Martin Blank ( 154261 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @04:12PM (#13972604) Homepage Journal
    It's not a joke. Chick Comics has been around at least since I was a kid (round about when the TRS-80 was relatively new). I used to pick them up from the school playground. I thought they were crackpots then, and I think they're crackpots now.
  • by TheFlyingGoat ( 161967 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @04:14PM (#13972618) Homepage Journal
    The Bible, and the commandments do not say that there are no other gods

    "I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God" (Isaiah 44:6)

    "Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any" (Isaiah 44:8)

    "There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:21-22)

    "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me" (Isaiah 46:9)

    "There is none other God but one" (I Corinthians 8:4)

    "One God and Father of all" (Ephesians 4:6)

    "For there is one God" (I Timothy 2:5)

    "Since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith." (Romans 3:30)

    And other people just like to make things up.
  • Re:Theory needs work (Score:5, Informative)

    by benjj ( 302095 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @04:16PM (#13972637) Homepage
    [Evolution] provides a plausible explanation for the origin of species, but has no predictive power at all.

    How come even a cursory glance at the recent articles in the open access PLoS journals reveal lots of people making predictions from evolutionary information?

    Protein Molecular Function Prediction by Bayesian Phylogenomics []

    Whole-Genome Analysis of Human Influenza A Virus Reveals Multiple Persistent Lineages and Reassortment among Recent H3N2 Viruses []

    Comparative Genomics and Disorder Prediction Identify Biologically Relevant SH3 Protein Interactions []

    Fools! Don't they know that evolution has no predictive power at all?
  • Re:Theory needs work (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wavicle ( 181176 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @04:40PM (#13972889)
    It provides a plausible explanation for the origin of species, but has no predictive power at all.

    Oh that's just nonsense.

    Before the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria their existence was predicted by evolution. Researchers knew if a single bacteria, through random mutation, developed a resistance to an antibiotic, it would have an obvious survival advantage and spread more rapidly. In several countries, if you contract a disease from a local prostitute, it's almost gauranteed to be a super-resistant strain because some genius government there thought they would be clever and give these women antibiotics as a prophylactic measure. Worked for a little while, then that damned evolution thing kicked in.

    That's why HIV carriers are on a drug cocktail. It's far less likely the virus is going to develop an immunity to all the different drugs at once. If you were to give the drugs one at a time, however, evolution predicts the rise of an HIV virus that could resist them all.
  • Re:Exactly! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Paladin128 ( 203968 ) <aaron@[ ] ['tra' in gap]> on Monday November 07, 2005 @04:55PM (#13973045) Homepage
    Because she did it to Jesus himself in person during the short time He was with us on this earth. I definitely do not see this verse as being a blank check for the church to spend money for all eternity on arguably useless decoration instead of the poor and needy.

    Well, we believe that the Eucharist IS Christ's physical presence here on earth. No different. His *appearance* is that of bread and wine, but we believe the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Christ.

    What in the New Testament gives you any indication that God is particularly interested in material goods or that anything that we are capable of producing with our hands could actually increase God's glory!?

    Um... we aren't increasing God's glory, we're giving witness to it. Our beautiful churches, art, and artefacts -- anything that contains beauty -- can be an icon to the greater glory of God. Sorry... I guess I wasn't particularly clear before.

    A "trend" 1800 years ago doesn't make it Biblical or correct. As already mentioned, the Catholic Church has done a LOT of things that were not Biblical or correct.

    I don't remember in which epistle, but Paul does make reference to respecting sacred Tradition as well as sacred scripture. (I can't quote chapter or verse as most protestants, but I do know the New Testament fairly well. Old Testament is a bit harder to remember everything...)

    "To give" to the material church or "to give" our material possessions to the poor and give our spirital wealth to God? I'd say the latter. As Jesus said, if we would be perfect, go, sell our things, and give to the poor, and follow Him. He didn't say "Give me your possessions and follow me."

    Yet God gave some pretty specific instructions to build a lavish temple to Him to the Hebrews. Christ never deprecated this! Why can we not do both -- give to the poor and build beautiful altars for His most holy sacrifice? What about what is said in Revelations about the adornments of the altar? The Tridentine mass (the traditional latin mass that was mostly unchanged from the 5th century until 1970) has its theology largely based its account of the lamb's sacrifice.

    Also, what about what he told the apostles just before he ascended into heaven (I think the account was in Acts)? He said that though he told them originally to go from place to place without money, arms, etc. that the time was changing, and they'd have to do otherwise. He clearly made different pastoral decisions pre and post resurrection.

    Finally, what about the writings of the patriarchs who immediately succeeded the apostles? The epistles of Clement, Linus, Ignatius of Antioch, and other early church fathers detail the roles of bishops and deacons, the celebration of the mass, etc. We have the Didache, which historians believed functioned as a proto-catechism and book of rites and prayers used by the early church -- dated somewhere around 80-100AD. In fact, the Didache contains the first known transcription of the modern form of the Lord's Prayer (which is a combination of the Matthean and Lucan account). This supports our Traditions as well.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2005 @04:55PM (#13973052)
    "For the umpteenth time, Intelligent Design and creationism are not the same thing."

    Check out these exhibits from the Kitzmiller case [] comparing the usage of certain key phrases over time in the book now known as "Of Pandas and People."

    You can see two things in these analyses:
    (1) The verbiage of "creation science" has been directly searched-and-replaced with that of "intelligent design."
    (2) The vocabulary change happened immediately after a court ruling [] which declared teaching "creation science" in schools unconstitutional.


    See [] for more coverage of the Kitzmiller case.
  • Re:What about life? (Score:2, Informative)

    by sickofthisshit ( 881043 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @04:57PM (#13973070) Journal
    I think, when somebody will be able to create life from dead materials, we will be able to discuss a Theories Of Creation Without The Creator

    Um. This was the basis for the beginnings of "organic chemistry": Woehler's synthesis of urea showed that the chemical substances in living things are no different than the chemicals in dead things.

    People are very close to synthesizing viruses from scratch, for instance. It is a matter of complexity, not a matter of chemistry. Chemical synthesis is *hard* to do in the lab. That doesn't mean there is anything magical about the chemicals that make up the human body, for instance.

    Humans can't build the Himalayas with a bulldozer. That doesn't mean God made them, does it?
  • Re:Theory needs work (Score:4, Informative)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @05:15PM (#13973232) Journal

    That's why HIV carriers are on a drug cocktail. It's far less likely the virus is going to develop an immunity to all the different drugs at once. If you were to give the drugs one at a time, however, evolution predicts the rise of an HIV virus that could resist them all.

    Your theory is perfectly valid with bacteria (natural selection prefers resistant bacteria) but I don't think it applies to HIV.

    IANAMD but as I recall the HIV cocktail reinforces your immune system so that your body be more successful at fighting off HIV. The drugs don't do anything (directly) to the HIV virus. We have yet to come up with a drug that will directly attack any virus -- let alone HIV.

  • Re:Theory needs work (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr. Shiny And New ( 525071 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @05:39PM (#13973507) Homepage Journal
    Actually, we have several drugs that can attack viruses; Tamiflu, the anti-flu medication, is one current example. We just don't have any that are as broadly effective as antibiotics are against bacteria.
  • by Endlestorm ( 929285 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @05:50PM (#13973620)
    That is an incredible statement, clearly from a non-scientist (as per your use of quotes in "randomly collide" and "create" which are serious concepts). It sounds to me like you've never taken a real science class at all. I, on the other hand, actually AM an organic chemist (3rd year grad student, UC Berkeley) and I cannot recall meeting a single chemist, or for that matter biologist, biochemist, or any other serious scientist who does not believe in human evolution.

    Molecular evolution is something we think about a lot. The idea is even used to discover drugs. If you are able to wrap your mind around the idea that you can "naturally select" certain molecules, it takes minimal imagination to further the selection process to larger and larger biomolecules. Biomolecules = life. Selection = evolution.

    Three cheers for the Vatican.
  • Re:Theory needs work (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jerm ( 58306 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:16PM (#13973927)
    I'm sorry, but you are wrong on the "direct interaction" front. Almost all HIV drugs interact directly with some protein belonging to the virus. I believe the cocktails attack multiple pathways at once; the protease, the integrase, etc.

    The drugs that got the most press initially (and started the reversal of fortune) were protease inhibitors. They directly interact with HIV protease that cleaves the polyprotein of the virus into it's many components. If the HIV virus can't do this, it can't assemble. The protease inhibitors bind in the cleavage pocket of the protease, and shut down its function.

    There is no reason why HIV couldn't randomly mutate to become resistant to this drug. However, these cocktails ensure that if one pathway of the virus assembly/infection "breaks through," it gets shut down at a different stage.
  • Re:Irony Defined (Score:3, Informative)

    by Russellkhan ( 570824 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:29PM (#13974078)
    I don't care what you or any other christian believes. I did my time living as a christian and found it to be not right for me. It's what you want to believe? Fine. Good for you.

    What does bother me is christians trying to disguise their religion as science and force it into public schools.

    Science is not tested in public schools, it's taught there.
  • by www-xenu-dot-net ( 922425 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:34PM (#13974143)
    "Moses says that Bats are a type of bird"

    How about blaming that one on the translator?

    Do you believe the scientific classification of animals was done before Moses time? I thought that people like Linné came up with the classification systems like 2000 years after he died.

  • by snowwrestler ( 896305 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:53PM (#13974351)
    ID only says that some systems, such as blood cloting, cannot evolve in small steps with modern understanding and must have been evolved in a unexplainable "leap" to it's current state.

    No, that is what ID *proponents* say. It is the marketing they use to sell their "theory."

    But irreducibly complex structures are not a theory, they are evidence, i.e. "facts" (or at least they would be if they in fact existed).

    Theories describe processes, not facts. The "theory" of ID is that the process by which life develops is controlled by some "intelligence" rather than natural phenomena. "Irreducible structures" are one set of supposed "facts" that supposedly support the "theory" of ID.

    In much the same way, damage from falling 10 meters is not what the theory of gravity "says." But when accurately and precisely measured, and compared against theoretical prediction, it can be evidence in support or contradiction of a specific theory of gravitation.

    And thus we reach the fail point of ID. There is no way to objectively, accurately, and precisely measure "irreducible"--it is an interpretation not an observation. Put grammatically, it is an adjective not a noun.

    If a metal ball deforms 3.56 cm upon impact from 10 m height--that is an observation. Calling a structure "irreducible" is not, in that further evidence could invalidate such a conclusion. There is no further evidence that can invalidate a measurement of 3.56 cm--it is what it is, and thus it is scientifically valid evidence.

    True ID involves modern genetics, natural selection, and yes, fossils. It even allows evolution of modern humans over the ages. There are only a few systems affected by this irreducible complexity. Other than that, it has no issues or differences with evolution and modern science.

    This shows such a fundamental misunderstanding of science I'm sure I can't correct it here. Let's just suffice to say that if you postulate any kind of intelligent designer you are NOT "involving" either modern genetics or natural selection--you are misinterpretting and bastardizing them for your own ends. Natural selection is the theory that the traits we observe in species today were both or either selected for or not selected against, by natural phenomena. Natural phenomena are those that can be incrementally and repeatably observed--i.e. birth, death, mutation, disease, etc. Further, they are reducable to base physical processes--cells don't just die, there are certain chemical reactions that fall out of balance and cease. Chemical reactions are controlled by quantum mechanics. A mysterious and unquantifiable intelligence is not observable, not repeatable, not incremental, and not reducable to any base physical processes. Effectively is sits outside observable nature--thus it is "supernatural" not natural.

    Further, because science is a study of processes, not facts, you cannot "involve" theories. You can't pick and choose which "systems" are affected by your ID "theory." Either the process is wholly natural or it is not--all facts must conform to one or the other theories--theories cannot coexist. Science is not politics--contradictory ideologies cannot be logically tolerated. Either Newton or Einstein is right about gravity; it can't be both and it can't be piecemeal. One theory must explain the range of related phenomena--not some here and some there. It literally makes no scientific sense to say that that only "some" systems are "affected" by ID, or that ID "involves" genetics and natural selection.

    Evolution and intelligent design are NOT mutually exclusive.

    You can yell all you want, but you obviously don't understand what you're shouting about.
  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:59PM (#13974415)
    > The first is an attack on evolution itself. It is simply not true that evolution has been proved beyond doubt

    FYI, evolution is as well supported as any other discovery of science.

    > Haekel's embryos, Darwin's tree of life, the Miller-Urey experiemnt are all 'evidences' of evolution that in themselves do not stand up to scientific rigor.

    Maybe instead of harping on that you should take the time to learn about some of the stuff that does stand up to scrutiny.

    (BTW, I don't know what you mean by "Darwin's tree of life", and the M-U experiment was never offered as evidence for evolution in the first place. It was offered as evidence that organic materials relevant to life can be made by simple unintelligent processes. FWIW, the demonstration would be pointless today, as we have a long list of organic materials, including amino acids, that are known to form in deep space.)

    > The second argument of ID proponents is that we need a system that will offer a view of the rise of life separate from Darwin's model of selective evolution.

    That's a stupid argument. It's like saying we need a system that will offer a view of biology that doesn't involve atomic theory or chemistry. Why must we have a second view?

    BTW, even of the two arguments you offer were correct, they wouldn't offer any support for ID. If you want to establish ID as a science somebody is going to have to quit relying on bad arguments against evolution and demands for equal time.

    > certainly think that it is time a critical challenge was waged against Darwin's evolution, so that people can make a decision on their own.

    Like people make their own decisions about whether 2+2=4, the earth orbits the sun, blood circulates, magma comes from below the earth's crust, chemicals are made of atoms and molecules, and all that other stuff we teach in school?

    I was spoon> -fed Darwin's model of life through high school (from the liberal Bay Area), but came to see its flaws after going into biochemstry at UC Berkeley.

    Really? Then how come you're offering stupid arguments about Haekel's drawings and the importance of an alternative view, rather than pointing out those flaws?

    > Why is Darwin's theory so invincible, that you automatically dismiss any attempts to discredit it?

    Why don't we ever see an attempt to discredit it that's worth hearing?

    > Have you researched both sides of the Darwin argument?

    What is the second side you refer to? Ignorance?
  • by Jedi_Knyghte ( 763576 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:04PM (#13974467)
    Newsflash #1: One cardinal speaking--even one in charge of a pontifical congregation--does not equate to an official statement from the Holy See. Newsflash #2: Intelligent Design and the "fundamentalist" Creation theory are not the same. If you want to view them as equally unscientific, that's your choice--but they are not saying the same thing. Newsflash #3: What the cardinal said was a statement against a literalist interpretation of Genesis. Only on Slashdot, major US media outlets, and (apparently) Italian and Australian papers with too much time on their hands, does saying "Genesis is not incompatible with evolution" equate to "Vatican Rejects Intelligent Design". I'm probably going to get karma-ed into oblivion for this. So be it.
  • by TeaQuaffer ( 809857 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:56PM (#13974911)
    How do you deal with things like Leviticus 11:19 where Moses says that Bats are a type of bird?

    Actually, it says that bat is a "oph", or flying creature.

    Why on earth did you think to apply the Linnean classification to the Scriptures? This is the equivalent of a creationist saying "yeah, well, evolution is a theory, not a fact" and sitting back proudly. If you want to discuss the inerrancy of Scripture, please email me. I'm sure the discussion can move past Birds & Bats. ;-)

  • by schuttsm ( 929356 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @11:34PM (#13976268)
    This is my humble understanding of ID (I'm a "fundy" but please hear me out): The leaders of the movement have nothing to do with "fundamentalism". Darwin's Black Box by Michael Behe is probably the Flagship laymen's book on the whole matter. The whole idea boils down to what Behe calls "irreducible complexity": every part must be present and functioning for the unit to work at all (he cites the bacterial flagellum and the human immune system as two examples). No selective advantage can be provided to an organism unless a number of key parts are available and each part by itself would be a selective disadvantage if not accompanied by every other part. He compares it to a mousetrap-leave out an single piece and the rest of it doesn't function. Its all or nothing. With that said, a lot of fundamentalists have latched onto the ID movement because it does not rule out the possibility of a creator from the start, like materialistic evolution does, (an unscientific assumption I might add). I've read Hume, but its been a while. Can anyone summarize his points? Thanks in advance.
  • Re:Designed by WHO? (Score:2, Informative)

    by schuttsm ( 929356 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @12:51AM (#13976568)
    Enjoyed your post (honestly). As a fundamentalist, it is interesting to see Atheists attempt to "proselytize" others. However, there are several straw man's in your argument I feel obligated to correct:
    Being a true human being, being Man, means, effectively, the same thing as being an adult - accepting final responsibility for your actions.
    This is a foundational principle of Christianity, that all people are in the end responsible for their own actions (which is why I oppose many conclusions of psychology). This is why the concept of an afterlife is so pivotal in the Christian worldview.
    Conversely, saying "I believe in God, so he'll forgive me", is the whining of a small child who's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
    I agree with you completely. James 2 has some pretty strong attacks on those who use this arguments. And there are some just downright wrong statements
    Whether God exists or not, belief in him stunts the development of Man
    . I don't know about you, but I want to believe the truth. If that is atheism, so be it. If Christianity, okay. If something else, just as well. However, what I have found points strongly to Christ.
    Ultimately, consider this - suppose God really does exist. What does he want from his creatures?
    I think he would let us know what he wants. And I believe he has. Speculation gets us nowhere. You are right that belief in God does indicate weakness. But, I see this is an incredibly positive thing: Similar to a cancer patient acknowledging his bleak future and then accepting treatment (forgiveness provided through Christ). However, it is not all that great. Acknowledging that most of the world is incredibly evil is hard to do. And following the command of God even when it hurts is seldom comforting. Furthermore, realizing that most of the world is on the path to Hell is the kicker for me. However, as I mentioned before, I am bound to believe what is true and not what I like.
  • Evidence (Score:3, Informative)

    by Dire Bonobo ( 812883 ) on Tuesday November 08, 2005 @04:04AM (#13977189)
    > supporters of Evolution are unwilling to admit to any kind
    > of dichotomy between macro and micro evolution.

    Define "macro" and "micro".

    Speciation? Evidence [] is out there.

    Gross physiological changes, like many-legs (centipede) to 6-legs (ant)? Found the gene []

    There's a pretty good transitional fossil record for several species showing many steps of macroevolution, such as horses (gradual change from multi-toed and small to single-external-toed and large) and humans, so there is reasonably strong fossil evidence for macroevolution, as well as the above predictive and experimental evidence.

    Hence, since there does exist this reasonably strong evidence that macroevolution can and does occur, it becomes reasonable to ask what evidence suggests that it does not occur. Do you know of any?

    > That bad ideas are good ideas if none better can be found

    Why is macroevolution a priori a bad idea? If it fits the observed data (it does) and has demonstrated predictive power (it does) and is supported by experimental evidence (it is), then why is it bad? (It may indeed be, but that's a claim you'll need to substantiate.)

    > How would data pointing to an intelligent designer differ
    > from data pointing to randomness?

    Quality of the resulting designs.

    Standard examples are the human eye (the retina would not need a blind spot if it were installed the other way around; it's inefficient compared to the reflective-coated eyes of cats and other animals, etc.), the appendix, the prostate gland (prone to infection and dangerously constricts the urinary tract when that happens), and so on.

    Some would interpret bad designs like these as evidence of "whatever works first" randomness, rather than careful and intelligent crafting of a pinnacle of creation.

    Read the first link I gave - there is strong experimental evidence for speciation in the "reproductive isolation" sense. Macroevolution has pretty strong evidence in favour of it; I don't see why that's a challenge to your faith, though. Does it really matter whether the earth is 6000 or 5 billion years old? Does it really matter if animals were created in a day or an eon? Does it really matter if man was created in an instant or over millenia? Are those the really important questions that faith addresses?

    Not if you're Christian, they're not. Christ didn't talk a whole lot about where the earth and animals came from, but he did speak at length about how we should interact with each other, and with God. Those who hold doggedly to a literal interpretation of the Bible while glossing over the actual content of Jesus's message would likely get much the same treatment as the Pharisees---which is to say, quite the surprise in the afterlife. Something to consider.

The best defense against logic is ignorance.