‘Theory not fact’ a living fossil from 1925!

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1924-07-22_textbook_row_near.pngAt some point during the last year I realized that nothing really ever changes in creationism, except perhaps the labelling. This probably occurred in-between the discovery that “intelligent design” originated in 1987 as a new label for the creationism just that year ruled unconstitutional in Edwards v. Aguillard, and watching William Buckingham testify at how personally offended he was that the Dover teachers dare teach just a little bit of the evolution that the Pennsylvania state standards required.

Sometimes, though, not even the labels change. Take the Cobb County “theory not fact” sticker which was stuck in every Cobb County biology textbook as a warning label against evolution. It is on my mind because, while it was been ruled unconstitutional in the January 2005 district court decision Selman v. Cobb County, the hearing for the appeal is scheduled for this week, Thursday, December 15.

Now, “theory not fact” policies are sometimes described as a “new” creationist tactic. But I recently came across some information which dates such policies straight back to good-ol’ days of the Scopes Era, the mid-1920’s, when men were men, monkeys were monkeys, evolution was in effect banned from the textbooks, no one was pretending that protecting Biblical literalism wasn’t the key issue, and William Jennings Bryan was barnstorming around the country decrying the evils of evolution.

The first “theory not fact” policy was in fact passed by the California State Board of Education in 1924-1925. The policy was adopted as – guess what – the Board’s accommodation to fundamentalists protesting the teaching of evolution in California. In 1925, the Board took this policy and applied it to textbooks, turning down those that dared treat evolution as anything more than a (colloquial) “theory.”

The newspaper stories from that day read like they are from The Onion. But they’re for real. Via the Historical Archives of the Los Angeles Times in the ProQuest database (subscription required – go visit your local university library), here is a quote from the July 22, 1925 issue of the Los Angeles Times:

TEXTBOOK ROW NEAR

Evolution fight in California

—-*—-

Education Board to Decide What Works May be Used in State

—-*—-

Teaching of Darwinism as Theory Permissible But Not as Fact

—-*—-

[EXCLUSIVE DISPATCH]

SAN FRANCISO, July 21. – The State Board of Education will decide Thursday morning precisely what text-books on evolution may be taught in the schools of California. The basis of selection will be whether the text presents evolution simply as a theory or as a fact. If the book says that evolution is a fact the board, sitting in solemn conclave at the Fairmont Hotel, will consign the volume to the bottom of the bay and points south.

Caught between two fires, the board has declared that evolution as a theory is permissable. One by one the text-books will come up for judgement, and the main fight is expected to develop over the “suspended list.”

There are approximately sixty of these books. The board has previously looked them over and labeled them “doubtful.” They were not definitely barred, but the board appointed a committee of educators, headed by President W. W. Campbell of the University of California, to examine the books. That was last April, and the committee duly turned in a favorable recommendation. So far, however, the board has not adopted the texts as official.

Maynard Shipley, president of the Science League of America, will be present in person Thursday morning to insist that these books be given an official rating. Representatives of the fundamentalists are also expected to be on hand, fighting against their adoption. Advance indications are that the session will be a warm one.

[…]

[Reference: “TEXTBOOK ROW NEAR.” Los Angeles Times (1886-Current File); Jul 22, 1925; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Los Angeles Times (1881 - 1985), pg. 1. URL for database entry (subscription probably required to see the database entry)

If you have access, be sure to click on Page Image – PDF in the lower right-hand corner. This is the front page of the LA Times, the day after the Scopes Trial verdict was handed down. So, there are screaming headlines: “SCOPES CONVICTION PAVES WAY FOR LEGAL STRUGGLE”, “TEXTBOOK ROW NEAR”, “EVOLUTION TRIAL COST $25,000”, and a cartoon featuring Bryan, Darrow, and an ape, entitled, “‘When Shall We Three Meet Again?’.”

For a little more context, see p. 75 of: Larson, Ed (2003). Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution, Third edition, Oxford University Press:

The bewildering disparity in opinion about the impact of Scopes on the anti-evolution movement – from the immediate verdict for the defense in the eastern press to Szasz’s recent verdict for the prosecution – highlights the unexpected resilience of this cause despite its pounding at Dayton. This is revealed in the legal actions following the Scopes trial and Bryan’s death. During the months following Bryan’s death, dozens of evangelical leaders rushed to pick up the fallen mantle, loosing a frenzy of uncoordinated and often localized legal activity against evolutionary teachings. [88] Three days after Bryan died, anti-evolution legislation was introduced in Georgia, one of the few states where the legislature remained in session. In 1926, three of the nine state assemblies meeting that year faced such bills, a record number for a legislative off-year. When the bulk of state legislatures next convened in the spring of 1927, eighteen different anti-evolution bills appeared in fourteen widely scattered states, an all-time high in both categories. A final introduction two years later in Texas rounded out the decade. [89]

Supplementing this legislative activity, some state and local educational boards took the initiative in moving against evolutionary teaching. A year before the Scopes trial, the state Board of Education in California had directed teachers to present Darwinism “as a theory only” while the North Carolina Board had barred state high schools from using biology textbooks that “in any way intimate an origin of the human race other than that contained in the Bible.” [90] A few months after Scopes, the Texas Textbook Commission, acting at the insistence of Governor Miriam Ferguson, ordered the deletion of evolution from all public school texts. The Louisiana Superintendent of Education took similar steps the following year. Scattered local restrictions against evolutionary teaching also cropped up across America during the late twenties. Despite these administrative successes, legislative relief remained the primary legal objective for anti-evolution crusaders during the first few years after the Scopes trial. [91]

[…]

[p. 231, Notes]

88. Bailey, “Anti-Evolution Crusade,” 212-16; Coletta, Bryan, 279; Marsden, Fundamentalism and Culture, 189; and Szasz, Divided Mind, 125.

89. Anti-evolution bill introductions listed in Richard David Wilhelm, “A Chronology and Analysis of Regulatory Actions Relating to the Teaching of Evolution in Public Schools,” Diss. Univ. of Texas 1978, pp. 62-64.

90. Cameron Morrison to WJB, Feb. 5, 1924, Bryan Papers; Bailey, “Anti-evolution Crusade,” 67-69; and Wilhelm, “Chronology,” 90.

91. Compare Maynard Shipley, The War on Modern Science: A Short History of the Fundamentalist Attacks on Evolution and Modernism (New York: Knopf, 1927), 111, with Maynard Shipley, “Growth of the Anti-Evolution Movement,” Current History, 32 (1930), 330. For further discussion of local restrictions on evolutionary teaching imposed during the late 1920s, see Bailey, “Anti-evolution Crusade,” 71-72 and 223-24; Bailey, Protestantism, 88; Ginger, Six Days, 223; Szasz, Divided Mind, 123; and Wilhelm, “Chronology,” 88-91.

(emphasis added)

In creationism, it appears, there really is nothing new under the sun.

3 TrackBacks

...as Nick Matzke reveals. I'm sure some of you paid attention to the goings-on in Cobb county, Georgia, earlier this year. Read More

On December 15th, the decision that the "evolution is a theory, not a fact" stickers were an unconstitutional violation of the Separation of Church and State will be revisited. Read More

Many were taken by surprise by the Cobb County School Board’s decision to settle the Selman case, give up their practice of putting evolution “warning labels” in textbooks, and pay $167,000 in fees to the plaintiffs. They had fought... Read More

78 Comments

Re “Don’t fall for design baloney” (Dec. 2): Personally and collectively, I and many others in the community are getting fed up to here with the constant talk that intelligent design is not scientific. What do they think has caused the top 400 scientists in the world to take the ID stance?

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/op[…]news-letters

Did you know that they were the Top 400?

I’m not old enough to recall the 1920’s and the Scopes trial, but as a science text book editor in the 1960’s I encountered the same attack and argument (evolution is a theory not a fact) from Mel and Norma Gabler and other right wing gadflies in Texas, and their religious compatriots elsewhere in the south. They also mustered the same flawed technical arguments then—thermodynamics, the use of nuclear decay for dating, the many missing links, and so on. Only two things have changed: the name of their theory and the seemingly learned face they present publicly.

Facts are explained by Laws and Theories. If evolution is a fact, then what explains it? Is it the “theory” of evolution? Seems like this would be the situation whether the year is 1925 or 2005.

Blast, In all seriousness, Natural Selection.

Evolution is both a fact (rather, a collection of facts) and a coherent theory that accounts for those facts.

This is the case regardless of whether the semantic quibbles date from 1925 or 2005.

Laws are descriptions of observed relationships. As such, they are not explanatory. Newton’s law of universal gravitation is a description, not an explanation.

Facts are explained by Laws and Theories.

Half right.

Go back and do your homework and figure out which part is which.

Jim McKinney Wrote:

Science is what has exposed the flaws in evolution. It has shown the errors in carbon dating, the moon’s orbit slowdown and the connection between the slow incremental loss of the size of the sun and the concept that if the universe was billions of years old, the sun originally would have been so large, it would have burned out the Earth.

Well, I suppose if you’re going to throw out biological evolution, why not follow it with stellar evolution?

My response to Jim: the Sun is not as old as the universe. There was the Horrendous Space Kablooie, then matter began to settle, then a bunch of stellar dust formed into our solar system. The Sun is not as old as the universe. As for errors in carbon dating, you cannot effectively use material with a 5,000 year half-life to measure billion-year times.

As for the Moon slowing down: http://wiki.cotch.net/index.php/Moo[…]old_universe

Jim McKinney Wrote:

A renowned biochemist, one of the 400 scientists, was able to examine one-celled organisms and hypothesize that a complete organ such as the eye follows the unanimously accepted concept of “irreducible complexity” – simply stated is: If only one part of an organ is removed, it won’t work; you cannot reduce its complexity or it simply will not function. It’s true at the molecular level as well.

Evolution doesn’t work by just sticking parts in, and it never has. A good metaphor can be found here: http://udel.edu/~mcdonald/mousetrap.html

I think what this really illustrates is the need to fight ideologically. The “fundies” won’t listen to what scientists have to say, or they’ll just change their arguments, and they can shout until people listen to them. Scientists should change the nature of the discussion to win.

[fixed by njm]

Dang it! Put in one thing wrong, one thing, and your whole post disappears! A minute’s worth of words lost over a single mismatched blockquote! Can someone fix that?

A thought occurred to me. Science cannot play defense if it wishes to survive a massive onslaught of willful ignorance. Evolution may be true and easily provable, but what if in 10 years, the people throw it out anyway?

The creationists have not changed tactics. They’ve trotted out a few facts, turned them on their heads, and shouted at the top of their lungs that they’ve found a proof to undo evolution. It doesn’t matter if their proof is shown to be unsound. That’s not part of their strategy. They don’t care about what you people say here, even if you’re right.

If they want to make it a culture war, science should fight on a cultural level. Science should show its true colors to the children, and scientists should try to make ‘science’ synonymous with ‘curiosity’ and ‘truth’ and ‘usefulness’ in the public view. If small children are encouraged to poke at bugs with sticks and think of this as science, creationists will find it more difficult to demonize science.

Science has won the fact battle, but that doesn’t mean it’s won the culture war.

Who cares about how a fish became a frog?” he said. “What about the way light beams became us? If you teach the wonder, everyone will see something beyond the physical world.

http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]576#comments

Sooner or later someone will be on to me there. They haven’t been deleting my posts lately. I’ve toned down a bit and today a guy tattled on me in a post. Maybe I’ll be banned. ANyway, This is from a bit dembski himself published. I quoted it in my comment. I wonder what they think? I’m with tice, make science really start young. My kids were collecting bugs by age 5. Not that that’s a good thing but they still have their bug collections. Boxes, styrofoam, pins, little itty bitty name tags and the bugs divided to reflect the taxonomy.

We gave them 5cents a piece for every bug they didn’t have. They learned a lot about ecosystems and habitat that way. Rotten logs were good for a while but soon enough, it got pretty hard to find new ones there.

The bewildering disparity in opinion about the impact of Scopes on the anti-evolution movement — from the immediate verdict for the defense in the eastern press to Szasz’s recent verdict for the prosecution — highlights the unexpected resilience of this cause despite its pounding at Dayton

Quick, how many species of lepidoptera can you name? If you got more than one, chances are you aren’t an ID person. Unless of course you are one of the Top 400 scientists in the world. They believe in ID.

Hmm, this is a tad off-topic, but I came across it while looking for the URL of the 400 list to email that sun-sentinel paper about the ‘error’ (or willful distortion of the truth, as the case may be).

If you go to the Discovery Institute’s site, and click on the “Science and Culture” link to the left, you’ll see column titled “Scientific Research and Scholarship.” The fourth item down on this list is titled “Darwin’s Critics Are No Bigots, in Contrast to Certain Darwinists.”

It is now so very clear to me how it is that the Discovery Institute can believe that ID is science: They also believe that the above article is science!

BWE wrote: “Sooner or later someone will be on to me there. They haven’t been deleting my posts lately. I’ve toned down a bit and today a guy tattled on me in a post. Maybe I’ll be banned. ANyway, This is from a bit dembski himself published. I quoted it in my comment. I wonder what they think? I’m with tice, make science really start young. My kids were collecting bugs by age 5. Not that that’s a good thing but they still have their bug collections. Boxes, styrofoam, pins, little itty bitty name tags and the bugs divided to reflect the taxonomy.”

You know how Dembski likes to write “So-and-so is no longer with this blog”? Someone needs to register as “science” and see if we get “Science is no longer with this blog.”

#

“Who cares about how a fish became a frog?” he said. “What about the way light beams became us? If you teach the wonder, everyone will see something beyond the physical world.”

And that, my friends, is the ultimate truth of the matter.

Comment by Bling Bling — December 12, 2005 @ 11:34 pm #

Maybe Bling Bling likes alliteration.

He’s obviously soliciting a “Bling Bling is no longer with this blog” message.

Comment by keiths — December 13, 2005 @ 12:07 am

http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]archives/576

(I’m Bling Bling)

Yay! My post is saved! Thank you njm! :hugs:

By the way, BWE, better tone down your comments on UD. Dembski’s already square enough, you wouldn’t want to completely deny him bling-bling, would you? ^-^

BWE Wrote:

Quick, how many species of lepidoptera can you name? If you got more than one, chances are you aren’t an ID person. Unless of course you are one of the Top 400 scientists in the world. They believe in ID.

You know, I had to look up “lepidoptera” on Google, and when I tried to name some specific species, I completely blanked. I’ve thought up a few now (luna moth and hawk moth were the first to spring to mind), but my shame still remains.

Tice, I forgive you for not knowing your lepidoptera. It’s not that big of a deal, really. I was on a bug tangent there because of thinking about instilling science at a young age.

You know, After I though about it, I wonder if chemistry sets do the same thing as biology type things. We have done experiments with yeast, dissected owl pellets (after baking), spent hundreds of hours exploring tidepools and dissecting fish that we caught, and tons of other things but I wasn’t the one that turned them onto einstein or chemistry. I guess they all read science news and scientific american since they were pretty young but physics and chemistry don’t necissarily lead to a good understanding of why evolution is obvious. Exploring how life works and how it interacts with other life is really the way you do that.

Well, food for thought.

Wesley Elsberry Wrote:

Laws are descriptions of observed relationships. As such, they are not explanatory. Newton’s law of universal gravitation is a description, not an explanation.

Well, they explain the observed relationships that Kepler’s laws describe.

And Kepler’s laws explains the observed positions of the planets that Tycho Brahe and all others astronomers before Kepler described.

IOW, the explanations of yesterday can become the observed relationships of today.

Regards, HRG.

Science just posted at uncommondescent and now he is going to bed.~~

Science needs sleep!

Jim McKinney

… the sun originally would have been so large, it would have burned out the Earth.

Turns out that this latest in ID arguments was invented by that “top” scientist, Kent Hovind:

http://members.aol.com/dwise1/cre_e[…]ar_mass.html

Completely OT.

Anyone wanting a laugh and with time to waste may enjoy a quick look here. Prof. D. has magnanimously extended invitations to Dawkins, Behe, Dembski, Denton, Johnson to contibute!

On the blog Alan Fox mentioned in post 62619, fdocc wrote:

For example, in Australia “More than 100 schools are already teaching intelligent design as science, alongside the mandatory curriculum requirement to study evolution.”

Can anyone verify that claim?

I think we need to start a counter-campaign. All books with I.D. in it should have the following sticker:

“Intelligent Design is not a fact, not a theory, in fact it’s not even really a hypothesis. It’s entirely made up”

You know, this post got me thinking. We’ve seen news stories recently about how over 60% (I think it was) of the population doesn’t “believe” in evolution. It would be nice to know how much this number has changed since the Scopes trial, or at least since the middle of the last century.

You seem to miss my point. There is “evolution” the “fact”–brought home to us by the fossil record. And “evolution” the “theory”–as in Darwinism; and incredible amounts of confusion are caused by the failure to distinguish these two, a failure that–usually, I suppose–happens through mere laziness.

Nonetheless, how is it wrong to point out that Darwinism is a “theory”, not a “fact.” That is, the fossil record exists, whether or not Darwin ever existed.

Followed the link to the Florida Sun-Sentinel ( to see who the “top 400” were) and found this: Orthodox Jews in S. Florida join debate on evolution vs. intelligent design it seems the Unorthodox Jews are getting in on the I.D. act:

Ask Rabbi Sholom Lipskar, one of the conference organizers, about the topic, and he sounds much like a conservative Christian.

“The moral and ethical morass today – hate among nations, juvenile delinquency, drug addiction, family breakdown – comes from people not believing there is a higher authority that owns and directs the world,” said Lipskar, of The Shul of Bal Harbour. “But when we look to purpose and meaning, a superior authority, things fall into place, socially and spiritually.”

Lipskar met head-on the suggestions by some that intelligent design is meant as a “back door” to putting religion in schools. “It’s not a back door, it’s a front door!” he said. “But the objective is not to make people religious. It’s to make them understand that the world was put into place by an intelligent being. We are not random chemical reactions.”

not quite “on-message” then. The idea that “hate amongst nations - comes from people not believing there is a higher authority that owns and directs the world” is mind boggling coming from an Orthodox Jew - unless he’s one of those that doesn’t support Israel. I’m sure that Osama bin Laden thinks that there is a higher authority doesn’t he?

I actually posted a little piece outlining how nothing has changed in creationism in 20 years, but you got a little more ambitious with your 80 years. My point was to underscore the way the DI has pretended not to publicly want ID taught as science in schools, but, at the same time was writing books to get it included in curricula. This parallels the creationists of the 80s.

I also wrote about the DI’s list of 400 scientists a while back, pointing out that it really doesn’t say a darn thing about evolutionary theory.

I am reminded of Morton’s “The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism” as I read the list of Dissenters from Darwinism, and hear anti-evolutionists proclaiming the end (of science) is near.

Blast asked:

Nonetheless, how is it wrong to point out that Darwinism is a “theory”, not a “fact.”

It’s not wrong in the sense of “untrue.” It’s wrong in the sense of “inappropriate and intentionally misleading.”

Evolution is a Fact and a Theory by Laurence Moran

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evo[…]on-fact.html

Hey Jim, here is a warning sticker for the bible for you right here:

http://img117.echo.cx/img117/984/bi[…]rning5hl.jpg

original link here:

http://nanovirus.blogspot.com/2005/[…]r-bible.html

Hey Jim, here is a warning sticker for the bible for you right here:

http://img117.echo.cx/img117/984/bi[…]rning5hl.jpg

original link here:

http://nanovirus.blogspot.com/2005/[…]r-bible.html

BWE Fair comment, the one thing I find unstomachable is idle worshipers of idyllic idols.Blast is the original individual who just doesn’t get “you are all individuals”.His conscience does not allow that he has been lied to. naturally that calls into question the conscience of the “Great Leader” which in his case is not a divinity but just some piece of pond scum that floated around his childhood.

k.e. Wrote:

BWE Fair comment, the one thing I find unstomachable is idle worshipers of idyllic idols.Blast is the original individual who just doesn’t get “you are all individuals”.His conscience does not allow that he has been lied to. naturally that calls into question the conscience of the “Great Leader” which in his case is not a divinity but just some piece of pond scum that floated around his childhood.

You’ll find that’s a common trait in the post-spiritual believer. It’s rather unfortunate.

Blast -

What Julie said.

Blast Wrote:

In other words, is it “misleading” to point out the distinction, or is it “misleading” to blur the distinction?

It is misleading to play on the fact that the distinction is blurred in common parlance. You are dishonest because you know that it is blurred.

For futher reference, see your use of scare quotes in an attempt to discredit the enclosed words.

Julie Wrote:

If we’re talking about the nature and process of science, It is misleading to substitute the latter definitions for the former. If this substitution is done deliberately in order to sow confusion, the person doing it is lying. If it’s done out of simple ignorance, the person doing it is demonstrating a lack of scientific competence.

But I never said anything about different versions of the word “theory”. I was talking specifically about evolution as a “theory” versus evolution as a “fact.”

k.e.–(#62737)–stated: “Evolution is fact in everyones mind except yours.” That’s a complete conflation of the two notions of evolution. Is he being “misleading”?

AC Wrote:

It is misleading to play on the fact that the distinction is blurred in common parlance. You are dishonest because you know that it is blurred.

The discussion is not about “whether” it is being blurred, but by whom. My question related to “who” was doing the “blurring”, and hence “who” was being “misleading.” (I happen to like scare quotes.) I see no dishonesty in that.

A bit of commentary about laws, hypotheses, and theories.

Moses posted (#62712) ————————————– Scientific Law: This is a statement of fact meant to explain, in concise terms, an action or set of actions. It is generally accepted to be true and univseral, and can sometimes be expressed in terms of a single mathematical equation. Scientific laws are similar to mathematical postulates. They don’t really need any complex external proofs; they are accepted at face value based upon the fact that they have always been observed to be true.

Some scientific laws, or laws of nature, include the law of gravity, the law of thermodynamics, and Hook’s law of elasticity.

Hypothesis: This is an educated guess based upon observation. It is a rational explanation of a single event or phenomenon based upon what is observed, but which has not been proved. Most hypotheses can be supported or refuted by experimentation or continued observation.

Theory: A theory is more like a scientific law than a hypothesis. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory; he can only create a hypothesis.… ———————————– I would have have to disagree with some of the above. First, Laws:

In fact, scientific laws are really just scientific theories that are descriptive rather than explanatory, and usually mathematical. But they are not any more immune to testing than Theories, and they are no more a “fact” than is a Theory. All of the “Laws” cited by Moses (Jeeze, am I really criticising Laws cited by MOSES?) can be and have been tested, just like any other theory. Their degree of certainty is no more than of a theory. Do any of the pro-evo people blogging here think that the degree of certainty of evolution based on over 100 years of testing is LESS than that of the Law of gravity, etc? We do not accept them at face value, we test them every time we use them - just like evolution. And they can be overturned or modified - witness classical Newtonian physics and the modifications added by relativistic physics.

This is not a trivial matter - Creos/IDers constantly ask why, if Evolution is so certain it’s not a “Law”. It’s NOT because evolution is not “generally accepted to be true and univseral” - it is. It’s not a law because it’s hard to put Evo into a descriptive or mathematical relationship. If we wanted to be strictly descriptive, I supposed we could point out a “Law” of Evolution that would state something like “Fossil organisms are observed in the fossil record to change, with more recent fossils appearing more like present day organisms. Fossils show changes though time, with later forms being preceded by slightly different forms. When a fossil becomes extinct, it does not reappear.” Geologists actually do use a similar “Law of fossil succession” to help us use fossils to date rocks relative to one another. This “Law” of evolution is explained by the Theory of evolution (Natural Selection and others), much like the Theory of gravity helps explain the Law of gravity.

Second, a Hypothesis is not an “educated guess” (what the hell does that mean, anyway) but a testable explanation for observations (I think that’s NAS’s definition). A hypothesis “has not been proved”, but neither have theories or laws. They cannot be. All we can do is gather data that constantly test these hypotheses, theories, and laws.

The difference between a theory and a hypothesis is that the hypothesis is much more tentative and has not been rigorously tested yet. Generally, a hypothesis becomes a theory when it is accepted by concensus by the scientific public. I tell my students that we can NEVER “prove” that a theory is correct, only incorrect. But after extensive testing (such as has taken place for Evolution), we can gain a high confidence that we have the correct explanation. The theory, like a law, always remains testable (which the word “proven” eliminates).

Sorry to be so pedantic, but these words are often misused, and we can’t give the other side the chance to misinterpret them to their advantage.

It’s well known that the CIA mess around with GPS signals around communist countries (don’t rely on one if you’re sailing around Cuba - I’ve tried it). So for only 400 Chinese to have GPS trackers that tell them they are in never never land is really quite small.

My example said that the GPS tells the other 400 that they are in China as well, but they say the GPS is wrong, and they claim they are in Nevernever Land.

There are actually 2 billion people in China, so the 400 are even more insignificant than you claim.

I didn’t say there were 1 million people in China.

What the hell is “Darwinism”?

I thought that term was coined by the “fundies” to try and demonize evolution. Am I way off???

Julie

Excellent use of dictionary.com and great information. I know it has helped me.

Blast

Remember perception, its a tricky S.O.B.

I think there is a lot of information that has been posted MANY times as to the distinction between evolution as a theory AND as a fact. Do some reading and then come back and ask if you are still confused. Then go back, read again. If your still confused, re-read some more, and if your still confused after that, well re-read it again. If that don’t help, then your local library has a great set of “Clifford” books that you are sure to enjoy.

Blast,

Try this reference on why Evolution is a Fact and a Theory.

It seems to me that part of the difference between laws and theories relates to the period when they were first enunciated, with similar concepts being more likely to have been called laws in the past. If Mendel’s Second Law (of independent assortment) were hot off the press today, it would probably be called ‘Mendel’s Second Principle’.

Hmm… regarding Lepidoptera, I seem to remember at least five species from a Biology project I stumbled through in the last academic year…

Anyway, I have to agree with the statement that the scientific community is losing the the culture war. Kids are invariably drawn to the flashing lights and awesome sounds of today’s electronics industry, and usually dragged off to church every Sunday where some of them are being discouraged from learning the more modern scientific theories. I certainly couldn’t escape science as a child because I had a chemistry teacher for a mother, but not everyone is so fortunate.

Just thought I’d give you the teenager’s perspective. (Though I still have a bone to pick with Carol C.)

But I never said anything about different versions of the word “theory”. I was talking specifically about evolution as a “theory” versus evolution as a “fact.”

ID, of course, is *neither* a theory nor a fact.

Which is, I suppose, why IDers like Blast spend all their time in word games and silly arguments against evolution, instead of just telling us what the scientific theory of ID is and how to test it using the scientific method.

Could ID be part of a new “operation mockingbird”? http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/R[…]ingbird.html

Dear Ppl., It’s incredible that some of you still argue against the theory of evolution. I should stress that evolution is a fact AND a theory. Natural selection is the principle force behind evolution. However it is not the only one. Scientists also consider sexual selection (which is a special case of natural selection) as well as luck (or lack of it-depending on which side of the fence you’re sitting on). Missing links or not it would very foolish to deny it. Wake up America and don’t be made the intellectual laughing stock of the world. You have a lot to offer the international scientific community.

Wake up America and don’t be made the intellectual laughing stock of the world.

Too late.

More evidence against YEC…

Ancient civilization unearthed in Syria

Seems that 4000 BC date may be at least 4000 years off.

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