Good ol’ Career Day

| 117 Comments | 2 TrackBacks

Mike Dunford’s post the other day reminded me of an event a few years ago.

I am married to a 4th grade teacher in southern California. Each year I do two days of “career day” for a total of around 600 kids from Kindergarden through 5th grade. I bring stone tools, and deer bones to pass around, and it is great fun.

I don’t teach archaeology to the kids- I talk about what archaeologists do for a living. Career day is supposed to show kids about different careers- thats why it is called Career Day. I also show them gadgets like a GPS, maps, etc… I also carry around a 500 page thick CRM report that nobody ever bothered to read.

This school might be exceptional, I don’t know. Most of the presenters hang out together in the teacher lounge between sessions (actually that is where we have to stay). While we are there, we get to compare notes and just talk to folks in jobs we rarely get to meet. I have chatted with rock band guitar players, federal judges, M.D.s, chemists, cops, television camermen and “performance” artists all at the same table in the teachers lounge of an elementry school. I look forward to it every year. (One teacher’s family adds a lot to the mix- he brings in three of his brothers, a judge, and an MD, and a producer, plus he leans on them for referrals).

Once a few years ago, this fellow was invited to also present. His name tag said, “Mike *****, Preacher.” I first noticed him because he wouldn’t return a smile. Then I read his name tag, and I thought maybe this isn’t the argument I need today.

He didn’t come to tell kids about being a preacher, he came to preach. And because he had seen my name tag, “Dr. Gary Hurd, Archaeologist,” Preacher Mike (*Made Up Name* if you are out there) determined that he had to preach the evils of Satanist archaeology and ‘evilution’. Several teachers became very concerned, and some students among those that had liked the bones I had showed them and so on, became actually worried that they would go to Hell.

The Assistant Principal came and asked me if I was teaching about the “age of the Earth” or “the origin of life.” I pointed out that neither of these were questions relevant to archaeology which was totally focused on humans and their nearest relations. Plus, Career Day is about telling kids about what your job is (mine was learning about cultures from their material remains and teaching). The AP next asked if I had heard of “Teaching the controversy.” I was now a bit PO’ed, and I said, “Well, I don’t know about “teaching the freaking controversy,” but I do know how to teach the freaking State of California Department of Education curriculum guidelines, and if you want to talk about that I will.” Now, bear in mind that I had met this guy (the AP) several times at career days, at retirement parties, and such. He was a nice guy, but I was totally ready to jump on him. I had carefully avoiding anything not in the state curriculum for those grade levels. (As I was also Education Director of a natural history museum with several thousand school visits per year, I was very dang expert on exactly what the state curriculum guidelines ‘required,’ err ‘suggested’).

I found out weeks later (when the AP and I were out fishing- plus the even more signifigant executive- the head custodian) that “Preacher Mike” had insisted that if the “Evilutionist archaeologist” had been allowed to “preach Satanism” (ie evilution, and ancient (>6k years) Earth) this nitwit’s ‘obligation’ was to try and save the souls of these poor, poor children. End the end, he was tossed off campus because he refused to agree to just talk about his job, and to stop trying to counter the “Satanist message” that existed only in his twisted imagination.

But, let’s consider that twisted imagination. Mike the Preacher believes in a conspiracy against God, inspired by Satan, that has control of the American schools. This Satanist conspiracy has as its agents all scientists and teachers who are actively trying to corrupt innocent children through public education. The fact that Preacher Mike was tossed out of Career Day only reinforced his paranoid delusion.

2 TrackBacks

Preacher Mike's Conspiracy from Law Evolution Science and Junk Science on March 14, 2005 5:33 PM

At the Panda’s Thumb, Read More

Preacher Mike's Conspiracy from Law Evolution Science and Junk Science on March 15, 2005 11:18 AM

At the Panda’s Thumb, Read More

117 Comments

Let me add as a comment that using “dirty words” does not help your argument, and can easily be avoided. I don’t feel like editing comments, so I will merely delete any that use the typical obscenity, profanity, or blasphemy.

You might be more creative. For example, at career days I get to point out to hundreds of little children that I am an expert on the study of ancient frass. In fact, (I think) I am the only expert on the study of ancient frass. So if I called someone a “fossil frass head,” I could be the only expert in the world qualified to disagree with myself.

So you all play nice with the other kiddies- hear?

Irony

I have never been rabidly anti-evolution until I was exposed to evolutionists like the ones on this site.

I have run into rabid evolutionists before and chalked it up to a bad apple. However I have found the general public online has a much larger percent of rabid anti-creationism than I would have thought possible.

I was raised in a very christian family, my father is a scientist(microbiology) and I have never been taught that anything in the bible requires God to have not acted via evolution over 4 billion years. I believe that my father believes in evolution. I myself find myself talking as though evolution is correct but only in the scientific sense.

But when evolutionists start talking as though religion is the source of all evil, populated by ignorant boobs, and basically not acceptable in modern society. Which is pretty much what your example is about, creationists are bad because I had a bad parent teacher conference day.…

That makes me white hot, smoke out the ears mad.…..

When I see that evolutionists have basically put their eggs into the basket of trying to brainwash my 5 year old neices and SETI sponsered grade 3-9 teaching materials…Calling them names if they believe in God etc.…

Why?

Because evolution can’t stand on its own? If it really was this juggernaught of science as you have deluded yoursleves into thinking then you could explain it to adult children like you do with all higher science, like quantom mechanics, electromagnatism, relativity, etc etc etc.

Why is a large part of the anti-creation mindset attacking the individuals that believe in 7 day creation? Do you feel better when you bully them with superior arguments than you do when I bully you with superior arguments?

Its ironic really we have all become the mirror image of what we oppose.….

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 1, column 64, byte 64 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

DonkeyKong,

We show our love for God by increasing our knowledge of His creation through the study of science which includes biology and the theory of evolution. To deny the reality of what we discover about the world and the universe through science is to show disrespect for the very God Who brought these realities into existence.

Evil is the lack of the knowledge of God. We are all imperfect and fall far short of knowing God fully. Increasing our knowledge of God and His creation does Him great service. Promoting ignorance does just the opposite.

You can revel in the knowledge of God’s creation or wallow in the evil of ignorance as you wish. Just don’t complain about those of us who prefer the former to the latter.

DK, those accusations are completely without base. Scientists, including evolutionists, post interesting stuff from their work and life on this site, and then people like you with their axe ground on the wrong end attempt to derail any discussion about the posts with your bag of evil debate tricks.

The good folks here don’t like paranoids spouting their bile all over these threads, they don’t like being accused of being liars and conspirators, they don’t like wilful ignorance, they don’t like being accused of being the aggressors in this war of ideas – in short they don’t like you. Please go away.

[End the end, he was tossed off campus because he refused to agree to just talk about his job, and to stop trying to counter the “Satanist message” that existed only in his twisted imagination.] And once again the evil Christian is maligned without a voice. Too often on this web-site.

I’m starting to change my mind on the whole school voucher thing. Instead of offering them across the board, however, they should be available only to those who have religious objections to public education and only “redeemable” at religious schools. That’s where the voucher movement began and why not give them what they want?

Ah, but that wouldn’t stop the religious nuts now would it. Their agenda has never been about what’s being taught to their kids and vouchers have never been about getting a better education. Here’s a quote from fundamentalist Robert Thoburn that says it all:

“Christians should run for the school board. This may sound like strange advice. After all, I have said that Christians should have nothing to do with the public schools. What I meant was that Christians should not allow their children to have anything to do with public schools. This does not mean that we should have nothing to do with them. As I have already said, we should have lots to do with them during school bond elections. Our goal is not to make the schools better.… The goal is to hamper them, so they cannot grow – grow in evil (drugs, promiscuity, abortion advice, etc.), grow in expense, and (if possible) grow in enrollment. Never lose sight of this long-range goal. Our goal as God fearing, uncompromised… Christians is to shut down the public schools, not in some revolutionary way, but step by step, school by school, district by district.”

Hey Messenger, why the hell do you think “the Christian” is entitled to a voice on the Panda’s Thumb? The fact that you people are even tolerated here is a gift. The folks running this site are under no obligation to allow you a voice. Quite frankly, I’m a little surprised they tolerate as much as they do.

Can’t you get it through your thick scull that you’re a guest here! It’s like marching into to someone else’s home (uninvited) and bitching about their curtains. If you don’t like it just leave!

Gary,

It’s a sad story, really. Here you are doing a great job, giving kids good information and getting them excited about a great career spreading knowledge, and a guy who doesn’t know you, doesn’t know much about your job, but knows you’re a scientist assumes without justification that you’re teaching evil stuff.

And then, after that spectacular show of bias, DK makes the same assumptions!

DK: The issue is probably the most important one in this discussion about what should be taught to kids. It’s made more difficult because the issue is really about what people assume that isn’t true, and how they act on those self-made modern myths.

That’s where we need to fight the battle. My “evolution” news search today turned up a couple of letters in the Williamsport (PA) Sun-Gazette. The letter today was from a guy who argued that evolution is pure evil – he called evolution the “excuse” for Nazi atrocities, and even of genocides committed before Darwin was born. The author didn’t hesitate to call evolution a creation of Satan. (See it here: http://www.sungazette.com/letters/l[…]te=3/14/2005)

Cool reason won’t sway that man from his views – he didn’t get there through the door of education and reason.

DK, your father may be a rational Christian. Good on him for that. He’s in the majority among Christians. Thank God.

But the vocal minority of unreasoning and unreasoned creationists is very loud, very demanding, and they won’t stop at simple falsehoods to enforce their view that science is evil.

Are you Christian, DK? If so, do you not agree with me that, as Christians, we have a duty to stop such unreasoned, unrighteous actions by Christians?

Irony

I have never been rabidly anti-Christian until I was exposed to Christians like the ones on this site.

I have run into rabid evangelicals before and chalked it up to a bad apple. However I have found the general public online has a much larger percent of rabid anti-evolutionist and anti-science than I would have thought possible.

I was raised in a very Christian family, my father is a Christian and I have never been taught that anything in the Bible requires God to have not acted via evolution over 4 billion years. I believe that my father believes in evolution. I myself find myself talking as though Christianity is correct but only in the Biblical sense.

But when Christians start talking as though evolution is the source of all evil, populated by ignorant boobs condemned to hell, and basically not acceptable in modern, Christian society. Which is pretty much what Donkey’s example is about, evolutionists are bad because Donkey had a bad experience on the web.

That makes me white hot, smoke out the ears mad . … . .

When I see that Christians have basically put their eggs into the basket of trying to brainwash my relatives and students with pseudo-science…Calling them names if they believe in Darwin etc . …

Why?

Because creationism and ID can’t stand on their own? If it really was this juggernaught of science as you have deluded yoursleves (my sleeves?) into thinking then you could explain it to adult children like you do with all higher science, like quantom mechanics, electromagnatism, relativity, etc etc etc. (there are apparently some really intense elementary schools out there teaching “quantom mechanics”)

Why is a large part of the anti-evolution mindset attacking the individuals that believe in natural selection? Do you feel better when you bully them with threats of hell than you do when I bully you with superior arguments?

Its ironic really we have all become the mirror image of what we oppose . ….It’s funny, because I was never rabidly anti-Christian until I was exposed to the Christians on this site. Like Donkeykong.

DonkeyKong, a well-known liar, launches another

When I see that evolutionists have basically put their eggs into the basket of trying to brainwash my 5 year old neices and SETI sponsered grade 3-9 teaching materials … Calling them names if they believe in God etc . …

A fabrication on DK’s part. Again. What is the point of granting this immoral creationist liar access to every thread on this blog?

It would be refreshing for a change to hear a fundamentalist apologist speak out against nutjobs like Mike the Preacher instead of essentially echoing Mike the P.’s sentiments. Refreshing … but not expected any time soon.

[note: this post self-edited to reduce vitriol to perceived comfortable levels]

Great White Wonder

“DonkeyKong, a well-known liar, launches another”

See its the HS teachers that use McCarthy talk like this that scare rational people.

I am sorry but the evolution/ anti-creationism movement has moven into the realm of the McCarth/Hoover/Stalin etc etc etc. You are literally planning how to brainwash other people’s kids at as young an age as possible. If you had the power I believe you would start to put the non-kool aid drinkers in camps, those who can go to college and those who cannot etc etc etc.

Real science can defend itself with real science. Real science can wait till college. Real science is immensly powerful and can be dis-believed only by those who question reality. Your problem is that many very educated people who are very smart also don’t buy into evolution at the level you seek.

If you were talking to the HS kids with facts and only facts I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but you editorilize.

You don’t teach quantom in Gradeschool things like schrodinger’s cat and the vast philosophical and moral delima’s of quantom physics. Are you anti-science zelots with a beef against quantom physics? Or are kids not ready for certain types of adult delimas?

Likewise trying to brainwash kids at a very young age with a theory that doesn’t stand up to critism in the same way that the vast majority of other science does is wrong.

When someone specifically targets kids in their attempt to sway public opinion and uses McCarthy tactics like the above gem, or the evolution is SCIENCE don’t question it. Or all the PHds believe in evolution don’t question it etc etc etc. These are anti-science teachings you are supporting real science can simply state the facts and let real scientists make up their own mind.

I am not against evolution’s supporting data being taught in school because those finds are facts. I am not against explaination that one theory that explains most of that data is evolution. But what most of you want, crave and seem to NEED on some sick moral level is to teach that there is no other alternative. That is simply not science, nor is the lack of exposing the weaknesses in evolution science.

It appears to me that the reason that science has on this issue chosen to endorse evolution so strongly is because if you accept that there is no other higher being in the universe then you eliminate most of the alternatives to evolution. Most of the strongest supporters of the anti-creationism movement have made that religious choice to be athiest as opposed to agnostic or a believer. An athiest is an active disbeliever which is a religious choice and should not be given preferrence in school now matter who it is that expresses it.

There seems to be a deluded notion that science which has not been supported by Jewdaism/Christianity for centuries and owes a large amount of its current success to being defended by christians who would not tolerate ignoring Gods science laws for the current dogma of the time. It is not an accident that science has been thriving longer under Christianity than under any other system, Christianity is the most pro-science enviornment in the world.

Evidence the athiest enviornment where questioning is critised, dogma is raised to the level of sacrosanct and dissent is opposed by trying to brainwash little kids.

Following the link Ed provided, I noticed this lovely “christian” message, One nation under God! which advocates physical violence aginst non-Christians.

“openly rejected Creationism”

She learned a valuable lesson. Do not be a lone voice openly attacking the beliefs of a large group, in their physical presence, without an exit strategy.

Great White…

When you tell a story about an individual and attach him to a group you are really telling two stories.

One about the individual which I don’t defend one bit, unless the author was less than honest about his presentation which I do not have sufficient support for or against. I can imagine an evolution presentation that would be unsuitable for school due to anti-religious insingations that are not scientific, again I have no evidence for or against the author giving that presentation except his word that he didn’t and the pastors reaction as though he did. Given enough examples using different people for both roles I am sure a rational person will see that sometimes the story teller is the villian and sometimes the pastor reacting is the villian. Again I make no judgements regarding who is right as I simply do not know one way or the other.

Second about the group. The above story wasn’t about Mike the jerk in my town. It was about “Pator” Mike. When you paint an individual portrait thats between you and Mike but when some of the ink ends up on me then its my business too. As such I expressed why a rational person such as myself who is basically not opposed to evolution becomes as anti-evolution as I have and how my anti-evolution stance is very similiar to the anti-creation stance in that both have a foundation outside of science.

Science makes no judgements, it predicts future information. Once science has been shown to consistently in every permutaion predict a set of future information flawlessly then it is often applied backwards but for that we should use a different word because forward looking science and backward looking science have dramatically dramatically different batting averages.…

NelC

Read the welcome message. Panda’s Thumb’s primary mission is to be critical of the so-called antievolution movement. The fact that antievolution comments are allowed, near as I can tell, is so that it doesn’t become an incestuous mutual admiration society. That’s a good thing. It shows, contrary to popular belief, that evolutionists aren’t ALL about censoring opposing views wherever they find voice. Evidently they only want it censored in 9th grade biology classes and peer reviewed science journals…

Dave, your attempt at playing the martyr is really pathetic. You must enjoy it because you keep coming back for more.

In any event, I would really like to see your exit strategy in action. And don’t let the door hit you on the backside on your way out.

“Real science can wait till college. “

Are you KIDDING? What next - real math can wait ’til college? real history can wait ’til college? real reading can wait ’til college?? That’s absurd! And why should science education be the exclusive preserve of the college educated?? Yes, you’re a troll, but even trolls have standards …

…well, they don’t, I guess is the point, but still …

If anything, we need better science education earlier, at the point when kids are more naturally scientists in a way …

“If you were talking to the HS kids with facts and only facts I wouldn’t have a problem with that, but you editorilize.” Kinda like that O’Reilly nonsense a little bit ago (though that was much worse) - science education isn’t facts and only facts. Can you imagine any class that was facts and only facts, without any “editorializing”? Feh.

“You don’t teach quantom in Gradeschool things like schrodinger’s cat” Nice kitty . . well, evolution is really a high school topic. It’s also the fundamental idea behind all of modern biology. Plus, it’s not as conceptually screwy. Also less likely to lead to the needless tragedy of pet cat deaths . .

“ But what most of you want, crave and seem to NEED on some sick moral level is to teach that there is no other alternative.”

At this point, there doesn’t appear to be any real scientific alternative. If one pops up, it’ll get taught at the hs level, though probably with the inevitable lag time, once it convinces the scientific community. Read up on the history of plate tectonics. Why don’t you folks understand this??? Why do you seem to want, crave, and NEED on some sick moral level to believe that your view is being unjustly oppressed by an evil conspiracy? Seriously.

“It appears to me that the reason that science has on this issue chosen to endorse evolution so strongly is because if you accept that there is no other higher being in the universe then you eliminate most of the alternatives to evolution”

Well, there’s still the ‘Powerful Aliens Did It!!” theory … Your formulation doesn’t make sense. You seem to want to say that science is endorsing *atheism* so strongly because then you eliminate most of the alternatives to evolution (which doesn’t even describe Dawkins, I think). Or possibly that science has a vested interest in atheism therefore it endorses evolution which . . etc. Huh? Conspiracy theories again. Face it, science is endorses evolution so strongly because as far as anyone can tell, it’s the best scientific explanation. Science is an integral part of America’s rise as a world power. Why do you hate America? (Look, I’m sick right now. It messes up my sense of humor) You have heard that evolution and belief in god/gods is not mutually exclusive, right?

“An athiest is an active disbeliever which is a religious choice and should not be given preferrence in school now matter who it is that expresses it. “ As an athiest - crap, now I’m misspelling it! - atheist, I’m very, very careful about this. If I were to attack students’ religious beliefs or try to promote atheism as a belief system, I *hope* I would at best be placed in notice, and, if I made a habit of it, certainly dismissed. I think this is a case of projection. Some kinds of religious people, like Messenger on the other thread, would like nothing better than to spend lots of time in the public schools preaching the Gospels constantly (with words), in any subject where it could be possibly invoked, so they assume that all atheists would do the same thing. Silly people! -Although now that I think about it, I find it rather insulting in a way.

“Most of the strongest supporters of the anti-creationism movement have made that religious choice to be athiest as opposed to agnostic or a believer. “ Hmm. Is that actually true? It seems vaguely logical - that people who have both scientific and ‘religious’ objections to this nonsense would be most vocal in attacking it - but you might get a lot of folks who are apalled at what damage the uninformed are doing to their beliefs, and concerned about people rejecting religion because it becomes even more closely associated with this sort of medieval anti-modern knownothingness.

“There seems to be a deluded notion that science which has not been supported by Jewdaism/Christianity for centuries and owes a large amount of its current success to being defended by christians who would not tolerate ignoring Gods science laws for the current dogma of the time.  “

Grammar-checker, DonkeyKong, grammar checker. It may save your soul (especially if God is really picky about these sorts of things - although given that He apparently used singular “their”, I guess not.

And it’s Judaism. If you have to get it wrong, Judyism is at least cute. Jewdaism sounds like something you’d find in a badly spelled anti-semitic rant …

You are expressing, however poorly, a really interesting question - how much was the development of modern science influenced by the concept of a comprehensible, predictable universe organized by God’s laws. However, now that you’ve touched it, it’s mother won’t take it back, so that intriguing bit of historical speculation will now wither and die from lack of attention. Good going, DK!

“Christianity is the most pro-science enviornment in the world.” Sometimes, Donkey. Sometimes. Now where did I put that Indigo Girls tape … ?

“Evidence the athiest enviornment where questioning is critised, dogma is raised to the level of sacrosanct and dissent is opposed by trying to brainwash little kids.” I don’t know about brainwashing, but somebody needs a good cerebral scrubbing, preferably with soup and warm water - maybe it will help loosen some of the gunk. Or at least help with the spelling and grammar?

DonkeyKong is a very appropriate name for the whole anti-evolution effort, bringing to mind the oldy-but goody of a game where poor Mario just trying to climb a little higher constantly has to dodge barrels being tossed at him for no apparent reason. You could read the whole thing as an allegory - but I’ll spare everyone from that horrible fate and just post this …

Buridan, Thank you for the gift of your tolerance. I have learned a lot from all of you here, not about evolution, but about evolutionist. I will go away quietly. The Messenger

Thank you. Dave, it’s your turn…

DaveScot wrote: “She learned a valuable lesson. Do not be a lone voice openly attacking the beliefs of a large group, in their physical presence, without an exit strategy.”

Yeah, let’s not forget what happened to the thousands of folks throughout history who made the mistake of rejecting Christian dogma. Burning, hanging, stoning, torture, maiming, excommunication, etc, etc. I suppose this young lady got off fairly easy. And I didn’t see anything in the post suggesting she was “attacking the beliefs” of anyone. Rejecting something doesn’t necessarily constitute “attacking” it.

It seems that DaveScot thinks the type of treatment this girl received was perfectly acceptable and reasonable. I can just picture the sneer on his face as he made that post. I pray that DaveScot doesn’t someday find himself in the minority of a group displaying a tenth the intolerance of Christianity throughout history.

Incidentally, I proudly display a Darwin Fish on my vehicle right in the heart of Jesus Fish country and I have had my views (understanding and acceptance of evolution theory) thoughtlessly and visciously attacked. Without exception it has been painfully obvious that those doing the attacking hadn’t the slightest understanding of the theory nor any intention of trying to understand it. Their unquestionong minds were simply locked by their dogma.

I can’t remember who said it but they said it well, “God, protect me from your followers.”

I recently listened to a 6-hour lecture titled The Theory of Evolution–A History of Controversy by Edward J. Larson of the University of Georgia. It was on CD’s produced by The Teaching Company. Professor Larson is a lawyer not a scientist, and the subject is history not science. Nevertheless, for a layman such as myself I thought it was great. He covered the history of all the various anti-evolution movements and has a good command of the science involved. I found out that I was lucky to have been in High School during the years 1959-1963 because those years were a brief hiatus from anti-evolution forces and evolution was taught openly during those years.

What was most enlightening for me was that the current anti-evolution arguments are not new. So-called “Intelligent Design” is really just a bit of old-time religious creationism presented in the language of modern bio-chemistry.

I’m a proud member of the vast right wing conspiracy myself but I am saddened when my fellow right wingers fall for the dishonest pandering made to them by the likes of Demski, Behe, Johnson and Wells.

The self-declared Xians who attack the information on this site have never been less honest or persuasive than on this thread. How DO these trolls live with such hypocrisy? I can only believe they enjoy it, since their tone rings drips with an almost evil insincerity. We’re into a space here similar to Twain’s in describing the (no doubt sincere, if completely hypocritical) attitude of the leaders of Hannibal when he was a child in defense of slavery, “How could they lie so? The result of practice, no doubt.

These Xians are the ones who abuse Christ’s teachings to a degree impossible for a non-believer. They can, with a smirk, cast the first stone, and many, many others (from a safe and anonymous place, counting on the “sense of fair play” and “respect” of their opponents) while always claiming suffering on a scale Jesus himself perhaps never approached due to the mildest response, or the most minor burst of anger. Have these sad, grinningly vicious masks of people nothing in life to cherish and enjoy? Do they take no pleasure in discovering exactly how fascinating the Universe and their own minds are? Are they so proud, or so afraid, to see Humanity as a small, if interesting to itself, part of what exists?

None of these are rhetorical questions. The three self-declared critics of “evil Evolution” on this thread cannot understand them. In their pride.

These posts are all the same:

1. Science is good and honest 2. Evolution (the all encompassing metaphysical theory)is science. 3. Therefore people who question evolution are bad and dishonest.

The Comments: 1. The open-minded sceptic - “Hey guys, maybe evolution has some scientific validity issues? Maybe we should recognize its limitations as a theory?” 2. The Darwinian Fundies - “How dare you question science. You must be a troll. It’s too late for you, but give us your kids and we will ‘educate’ them”

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (somewhere in the bible)

Hey, Your Conscience - How dare you question science.  You must be a troll.  It’s too late for you, but give us your kids and we will ‘educate’ them.

Weird. My consciense usually doesn’t try to lie to me. Not to mention that normally uses my native language. I wonder if this is, in fact, yet another fundamentalist hoping against all reason that if he claims often enough that evolution is not the closest theory to what is really going on, it will eventually be true? But the Powers That Be In This Forum have asked to try a simple test, which I have liked. Go read TalkOrigins ( http://www.talkorigins.org ). Once you’ve been there and read everything (I managed in under two months, but I admit I didn’t read through much of the fine detail of the longest articles), and still feel that you have a point, be back and explain it.

Until you do, your straw man is only laughable. There are scientific sissues with evolution, and everyone here (that aren’t trolls) admits it. Just not the ones you’d like. Just because scientists aren’t sure just how important geographical separation is to evolution compared to other mechanisms, it doesn’t make facts like speciation or common ancestors any less proven beyond all but the tinniest sliver of doubt (which remain in all sciences).

Please prove that you’re not going to be yet another troll.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

These posts are all the same:

1. Science is good and honest 2. Heliocentrism (the all encompassing metaphysical theory)is science. 3. Therefore people who question heliocentrism are bad and dishonest.

The Comments: 1. The open-minded sceptic - “Hey guys, maybe heliocentrism has some scientific validity issues?  Maybe we should recognize its limitations as a theory?” 2. The Galilean Fundies - “How dare you question science.  You must be a troll.  It’s too late for you, but give us your kids and we will ‘educate’ them”

Donkey Troll

As such I expressed why a rational person such as myself

That’s pretty funny.

who is basically not opposed to evolution becomes as anti-evolution as I have

Not much rationality there …

and how my anti-evolution stance is very similiar to the anti-creation stance in that both have a foundation outside of science.

Ah, the 100% bogus assertion to top it off. A classic troll sundae.

I’m not a fan of organized religion, Donkster, but creation mythologies are actually sort of interesting and their existence is probably the most benign aspect of most religions. I prefer the Popol Vuh, personally.

Of course, when fundamentalist Guatemalan natives start showing up at the highest levels of political office in our country and start invoking the Popol Vuh to justify gay discrimination and argue that scientists are deluded morons, I may change my tune. I don’t anticipate that happening in the near future and, yes, that is intended as a critique of the Johnsonite Christians who colonize the so-called Discovery Institute.

If the story of Pastor Mike is true, then as a conservative Christian I for one would without reservation condemn his actions. His manners are bad and his theology is seriously flawed (A preacher cannot save anyone’s soul. Besides, Satan is not after anyone’s soul–what would he do with it? There is no such concept as Satan battling for human souls in the bible. In fact, Satan has to ask permission to mess with Job or Peter.)

That said, I have to say I view the entire account with skepticism. It’s just too darn convenient, and I have read too many convenient anecdotes of encounters with fundamentalist preachers on this site. Too many descriptions of “I walked away from Christianity when I heard a preacher preach that {interracial marriage is a sin, the bible teaches of Caucasian racial supremacy, etc.}

Well, David your skepticism seems to be a faulty faculty. You “swallow a camel and strain at a gnat.” I got most of the story second hand, as I said, but I can attest to everything I personally experienced.

And it was Preacher “Mike” not Rev., not Fra., “Preacher.” I thought that was interesting too, and one of the reasons other than his apparent hostility, that I didn’t make any further effort to talk with the man beyond saying “Hello.”

Creationists’ facility at denial, and ability to cast personal aspersions with an air of wounded innocence is legendary. Thanks for providing such a fine demonstration.

The Jewish Bible is an anthology of the best of (mostly) Hebrew literature. The rabbis realized that parts of it were highly difficult to assimilate to their religious outlook—e.g. Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs–but they had too much integrity to them away in view of their obvious merit. Trying to convince yourself that this heterogenous mass is actually a seamless whole requires an enormous amount of special pleading and forced interpretation.

If you really want to be able to read the Bible, the first thing you need to do is lose your faith.

“My name is LUCA …” (a la the Suzanne Vega song)

I have to go to bed.

Maybe PT should get a disemvowelment option? (ie: 4)  vltn rls, t ts cr, n “w r hr, thr s n Gd . …” ) Or better yet, if somebody could whip something up that would insert phrases like “I (heart) Stephen Jay Gould!! He’s my favorite!!!” into offending posts? It might be wrong, but it would be funny!

…y’know, if you do a yahoo search on disemvowelment, it asks you if you maybe *really* meant to look for disembowelment? Sick, sick search engine . …

primitive persons living 400, 500, 969 years…

If you can believe that, believing in ID is no problem.

Yes, Dan S., even DonkeyKong would agree that you need to go to bed ;-)

Ron:

Dang. That’s a great list.

DK’s post hurt my head from the incoherent babbling. I’m going to guess, by the same level of bad grammar etc, that CY is DK too.

Both like to use big grown up scientific words in their posts when they clearly have no concept of what they are actually talking about. Therefore from this time forward I’m filtering out DK’s and CY’s comments so I don’t listen to/read them anymore.

As to David Heddle. You say that you can look to the Bible to decide who is right on a religious claim. That the Bible either addresses that claim or it does not. Who says that the Bible is correct? Why is the Christian Bible so much more accurate then any other religion’s religious text? The Bible has clearly changed over time. Many parts have been added to over the years. If the Bible was really the word of God why would man need to add to the bible over time? Why would man have to alter the word of God to clarify God’s word? Heck many biblical historians believe that the 10 commandments where altered over the years.

You have, and correct me if I’m wrong, have said that you interpret the Bible. Thus how your interpretation of the Bible is any better then someone else’s interpretation is a personal opinion.

Air Bear,

“This morning I heard a sermon proclaiming the Lutheran doctrine of “salvation by Grace alone”. The highly learned pastor argued that we cannot “choose” to accept Christ,…”

Arg. We cannot be saved by choosing to accept Christ. This is not enough on its own. It would mean that salvation would be in our hands when it is not. It is in God’s hands, through God’s grace that we are saved.

Believing the “right things” is no guaranty. God has the final say. See Matthew 7:22-24

Mr. Heddle said:

Well, I’m not a fundy but I can answer it. Since God doesn’t speak to me directly, the bible is the only source of his special revelation. (Nature and science are part of his general revelation, which is why science and religion are compatible, something that bio-fundies do not grasp.) The infallibility of the bible is crucial. If the bible was shown to contain errors, then there would be no reason to believe any of it, including the promises of God. It would put you in the position of liberal Christians who, having denied biblical inerrancy, simply go about making up god to be the way they would be if they were god.

This is where the Darbyist and the creationist depart from Christianity.

We Christians have more than one source of information about God: Prayer, tradition, scripture, and creation, to mention four.

The creationist insists the Bible must be correct, even when it conflicts with God’s own handiwork in creation. The Bible is infallible, in their view, but God is not. Of course, that’s not where creationists think they are going, but it is, nevertheless, where they’ve ended up.

And that is why Christians rejected creationism in the 19th century.

Trying to reconnect David Heddle’s infallible Bible back to science, and tie that in to “testable” claims, let us consider some of the New Testament science:

Jude 1:12 speaks of “waterless clouds” Now obviously science has proven this one false, since all clouds are made of water vapor, by definition, the Bible is flat out wrong. It gets even more silly when those who claim that the Bible meant (i.e. they interpreted it to mean somthing it did not say) clouds that were not rain clouds. since they interpreted the bible, simply to match it to reality, it loses its infallibility instantly. Thus it is wrong, and thus, according to Dave, one cannot claim that it can be correct about the characteristics of God (he failed to take his own statement to its logical conclusion: that if the bible is wrong, then it fails to support the existence of God.)

James 3:12 proudly proclaims two scientific falsehoods: First, (the second one listed in the text) that “Nor can salt water produce fresh”. James, God’s voice in this book of the infallible Bible, falsely claims that fresh water cannot be produced from salt water. I guess God forgot to mention that us mere humans would be building huge desalination plants in the future to do exactly that. James was wrong, thus God was wrong. Another incorrect piece of science that proves David’s “infallible Bible” very fallible indeed.

Second, “Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs?” Need I remind David, or anyone for that matter, that this is a trivial matter for genetic engineering to accomplish. The only reason it has never been done, is, “what would be the point?” Indeed, there is no need to do the gene splicing necessary to make a fig tree produce olives, so why bother. But since it requires no new technology, just the genome maps of figs and olives, to accomplish, this one is wrong as well. Science CAN do it, there is just no reason TO do it! But just like we’ve made zebra fish that glow, engineered plants that produce their own pesticides, bacteria that eat oil, etc., and etc.; we could make a grape vine prodice figs. Science proves the bible wrong, and if it is wrong, then it is fallible.

I could go on. I mean Jesus’ own claim about mustard seeds is well known. Then there are his faith-based claims; that believers could defy medical science, and drink poison is one of these. Care to test test the infallibility of the bible David, and drink a bottle of Drano? (No, please don’t try this, death is pretty final.)

So, now we have come full circle David. We have seen that not only is the bible interpreted (what are waterless clouds?), but that it is not testable for infallibility (because those tests fail), that it doesn’t measure up to scientific testability at all (since science can test a hypothesis – can fresh water come from salt water), but that it fails miserably when faced with the facts of the world.

I guess the last refuge would be for a more “liberal” view of the Bible, that is pulling away from its infallibility, and take it to be what most Christians take it for; a “get to know your god through storytelling and analogy book.”

I forgot to add my really snarky bit, RE: Jude 1:12. ….Or maybe God was referring to the clouds on Venus or Titan.…

Syntax Error: mismatched tag at line 10, column 2, byte 235 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.12.3/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187

We Christians have more than one source of information about God: Prayer, tradition, scripture, and creation, to mention four.

The creationist insists the Bible must be correct, even when it conflicts with God’s own handiwork in creation. The Bible is infallible, in their view, but God is not. Of course, that’s not where creationists think they are going, but it is, nevertheless, where they’ve ended up.

That’s because creationists don’t worship a God —- they worship a Book About God, and are too dumb to tell the difference. They are just idol-worshippers.

Not only that, but they do exactly what David accuses “liberal Christians” of doing — they interpret the Bible as if they themselves were God. And on top of that, unlike the “liberal Christians”, they are arrogant, self-righteous and prideful enough to declare that THEIR interpretations are the only correct ones, and all the rest are wrong. I.e., they declare THEMSELVES to be god. They, quite literally, think they are holier than everyone else.

Heck, David is so self-righteous and holier-than-thou (literally), that he can’t even choke these words past his lips: My religious opinions are just that, my opinions. They are no more holy or divine or infallible or authoritative than anyone else’s religious opinions. No one is obligated in any way, shape, or form to follow my religious opinions, to accept them, or even to pay any attention at all to them. My religious opinions are right for *me*. Whether they are right for *you*, I neither know nor care.”

That says a lot about him.

We Christians have more than one source of information about God: Prayer, tradition, scripture, and creation, to mention four.

The creationist insists the Bible must be correct, even when it conflicts with God’s own handiwork in creation. The Bible is infallible, in their view, but God is not. Of course, that’s not where creationists think they are going, but it is, nevertheless, where they’ve ended up.

That’s because creationists don’t worship a God —- they worship a Book About God, and are too dumb to tell the difference. They are just idol-worshippers.

Not only that, but they do exactly what David accuses “liberal Christians” of doing — they interpret the Bible as if they themselves were God. And on top of that, unlike the “liberal Christians”, they are arrogant, self-righteous and prideful enough to declare that THEIR interpretations are the only correct ones, and all the rest are wrong. I.e., they declare THEMSELVES to be god. They, quite literally, think they are holier than everyone else.

Heck, David is so self-righteous and holier-than-thou (literally), that he can’t even choke these words past his lips: My religious opinions are just that, my opinions. They are no more holy or divine or infallible or authoritative than anyone else’s religious opinions. No one is obligated in any way, shape, or form to follow my religious opinions, to accept them, or even to pay any attention at all to them. My religious opinions are right for *me*. Whether they are right for *you*, I neither know nor care.”

That says a lot about him.

Who says that the Bible is correct? Why is the Christian Bible so much more accurate then any other religion’s religious text? The Bible has clearly changed over time. Many parts have been added to over the years. If the Bible was really the word of God why would man need to add to the bible over time? Why would man have to alter the word of God to clarify God’s word? Heck many biblical historians believe that the 10 commandments where altered over the years.

There are indeed several different versions of the Ten commandments within the Bible itself.

And you ask good questions. Indeed, why is the Christian Bible any more authoritative than the Koran or the Baghavad Gita or the Tao te Ching, other than someone’s say-so. Even if we accept the authority of the Bible, we need to know WHICH BIBLE. There have been gazillions of different versions throughout history. Some contain books that are not included in others; some DROP books that ARE contained in others. All of the early Bibles were heavily influenced by political considerations at the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire, and their translation/compilation continued to be influenced throughout the centuries by purely political considerations. The fundies try to get around all this by yammering that it is the “original autographs” that are infallible. But alas for them, no one has SEEN any of these “original autographs”.

But then, since I don’t idol-worship a book, I’m not all that interested in arguing over “which one is the Real One.”

If I understand logic a bit, it’s not possible to argue the truthfulness of any book based on the book alone - unless you want to be caught in a tautology “The book is true because it says it”. Kinda as the sentence “This sentence is true,” can be true or false - it can’t be decided.

To determine the Bible as infallible and true, it seems one needs some other source. I think that for the fundamentalists, it’s usually their own mind. They replace the simple tautology with a more complex one, “I believe the Bible to be true, and what I think is right, because it’s in agreement with the Bible.”

Do I understand this right?

“God has the final say. Because this book says so. And this book can’t be wrong.”

Didn’t say that. I was commenting on the Luthern belief that we are saved by God’s grace alone, not by what we believe or do. It’s a good thing too, since we don’t seem to know what we believe, wouldn’t you say?

I read the Bible like NY Times news articles. I attend to the “facts” reported and come to my own conclusions. At times the “facts” are wrong, so I look for the big picture, the general principles.

It’s the same with the theory of evolution. One needs to look at the big picture. Mentioning Piltdown Man or irreducible duplicity is just irrelevant nonsense.

Hey folks, could you help me out here? I’m looking for the Panda’s Thumb website - it’s a website devoted to issues surrounding evolution and creationism and run by people in the sciences.

I see that “The Panda’s Thumb” is in the title but you’re obviously a theology website judging by the content. It’s really odd. I swear this was the correct URL.

Air Bear,

, since primacay and (lteral) infallibility of the Bible are two cornerstones of fundamentalism. I’d be interested in his explanation of he differs from fundamentalists.

Don’t mix up laterality and inerrancy. But anyway, if you define fundamentalist as someone who affirms inerrancy, then I am a fundamentalist. Of course, then so are all Catholics, because the Roman Catholic Church affirms biblical inerrancy. I use fundamentalist in the sense of dispensationalist, legalist view–think of the Left Behind series of books” But hey, if you want to equate a belief in inerrancy with fundamentalism, then I’m in. There is no official definition of fundamentalist, so whatever makes you happy.

The highly learned pastor argued that we cannot “choose” to accept Christ, an assertion that is disputed by other Protestant denominations, including Prof. Heddle’s own Baptist faith.

I’m assuming he meant that we can not choose him before we are changed, i.e. he was discussing predestination (imprecisely.) And while it’s true that many Baptists would deny this, you have neglected the fact that there are “Reformed Baptists” who accept predestination. And, by the way, I am not a Baptist, ask my pastor (who would agree with your Lutheran pastor)–we often debate the issue of infant baptism—would verify.

“Rev”,

All of the early Bibles were heavily influenced by political considerations at the time of the collapse of the Roman Empire

Wrong (as usual). There is circumstantial evidence that the canon was in place by the late third and early 4th centuries. And in 367, Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria sent a Festal letter that matter-of-factly listed exactly the same twenty-seven (no more no less books of the NT that are in the bible today. That places an upper limit on establishment of the canon, and there is no indication that Athanasius considered his list new and momentous.

On the other hand, it is possible that a book that didn’t make it in, should have, and that a book that shouldn’t have, did. In particular, there was some debate earlier about Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation. I think they all belong in the canon, but there is no way apart from faith that I can be sure. On the other hand, none of those books, were they to be removed, would have an effect on the gospel (Although losing Hebrews would be a tough pill). This of course has no bearing on the inerrancy of scripture, scripture being defined as that which, in its original form, was inspired.

Marek14:

If I understand logic a bit, it’s not possible to argue the truthfulness of any book based on the book alone - unless you want to be caught in a tautology

Not completely true–because if the book is not self consistent then it can’t be true, just as one example.

Ed Darrell

This is where the Darbyist and the creationist depart from Christianity.

We Christians have more than one source of information about God: Prayer, tradition, scripture, and creation, to mention four.

Well I am neither a Darbyist, if by that you mean a dispensationalist, or a creationist, if by that you mean a YEC. As for your four, let’s be precise. To me, the only source of special revelation is the bible. The only source of general revelation is creation. (So that’s two.) Roman Catholics have sacred tradition, the handed down extra-biblical teachings that are considered authoritative. As for prayer, I for one have never received any divine revelation via prayer. Other things, yes, but not divine revelation.

The Panda’s Thumb? I’ve heard of that place. Unstructured free-for-all overwhelmed by trolls and troll-feeders. Why would you want to go there?

Comment #20000

Posted by Marek14 on March 14, 2005 08:16 AM

If I understand logic a bit, it’s not possible to argue the truthfulness of any book based on the book alone - unless you want to be caught in a tautology “The book is true because it says it”. Kinda as the sentence “This sentence is true,” can be true or false - it can’t be decided.

To determine the Bible as infallible and true, it seems one needs some other source. I think that for the fundamentalists, it’s usually their own mind. They replace the simple tautology with a more complex one, “I believe the Bible to be true, and what I think is right, because it’s in agreement with the Bible.”

Do I understand this right?

Using logic on a primitive belief system like religion, is like using the US Army on the Normans of 1066.

Mr. Heddle:

And in 367, Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria sent a Festal letter that matter-of-factly listed exactly the same twenty-seven (no more no less books of the NT that are in the bible today.

I wonder… where did you get the false impression that there is only one book popularly called “The Bible”, Mr. Heddle? And why do you gloss over the Deuterocanonical books of the OT, which prove exactly the point that was being made?

Fact is, listening to Christian denominations quarrel among themselves can be very instructive: it shows that the pretense of objective assessment of Biblical support for this or that position is just that, a pretense.

(Oh, and by the way: the usual definition of an objective assessment of controversial questions includes a disinterested assessor… do you really want a non-believer to judge the merits of your Biblical opinions, Mr. Heddle?)

Heddle is once again speaking of that of which he has no knowledge. From wikipedia, the Catholic belief re: Bible is:

Their belief that the Church, not any one book, is the vessel and deposit of the fullness of the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. This teaching is preserved in both written scripture and in written and oral church tradition. Neither is independent of the other.

This agrees with my knowledge of the topic - Catholics don’t believe in an inerrant Bible, only one that is a “map road” of sorts to the teachings of God and Jesus Christ. All of it *must* be interpreted (and in fact is - a Catholic Bible has almost more footnotes than there is original text) and from what I remember almost everything is taken as alegorical, reading the teaching inside the story. Certainly, no Catholic priest I have ever known has said that Adam and Eve were real. Or Noah. Some of my religion teachers even went so far as to suggest that even the bodly ressurrection of Jesus is also alegorical (but I have to point out I have no idea if that is official Catholic Church thesis).

David Heddle, please abstain from sprouting further nonesense of topics which you know nothing about.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

As much as I hate troll-feeding, or letting trolls divert discussions in any way, I do think it useful to understand and explore the differences between science and religions, since most who are pro-IDC (Intelligent Design Creationism) don’t understand those differences, and a few very influential pro-IDC people are using that ignorance as part of their main strategy for promoting their agenda.

Science is based upon standards of evidence, logic, assessment, and ethics. Religions as a whole are not, though some individual, specific religions may have some standards, especially of ethics and logic.

The pro-IDC arguments are based on putting their religious viewpoints (which are based on little or no discernable standards of any kind, certainly not logic nor ethics, let alone evidence or assessment) on equal standing with other religions (“We’re all Christians.” “We all believe in the Bible.”) and even science itself (“Darwinism is a religion.” “IDC is science.”). Once people accept those deceptions, the pro-IDC argument continues with asking for equal treatment.

Grey Wolf,

You could not have made a dumber argument, unless you collaborated with the “Rev.” Catholic dogma does affirm the inerrancy of the bible. For example \the Vatican I council (the same council that declared the pope infallible) says:

“The books of the Old and New Testament, whole and entire, with all their parts, as enumerated in the decree of the same Council [Trent] and in the ancient Latin Vulgate, are to be received as sacred and canonical. And the Church holds them as sacred and canonical not because, having been composed by human industry, they were afterwards approved by her authority; nor only because they contain revelation without errors, but because, having been written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God for their Author.”

The fact that they also have an oral tradition (which I said earlier) does no mean that they do not affirm inerrancy. It means that to Catholics the bible is an inerrant but incomplete revelation. At least that is their dogma as defined in councils and the catechism. Why you would even think that what you quoted from the Catholic Encyclopedia proves that the RCC does not affirm inerrancy is quite amazing.

OK, maybe I asked for it, maybe I didn’t.

It doesn’t really matter to me.

I am pulling the plug on this one.

Say ByeBye.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Gary Hurd published on March 12, 2005 12:25 AM.

God loves Australia, He gave us Mutant Sheep was the previous entry in this blog.

The Neck of the Giraffe is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.361

Site Meter