“unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom”

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The judge in Dover strikes down ID. It's a solid and scathing judgment that declares teaching Intelligent Design in the schools is unconstitutional. The decision by Judge Jones is available—it's joyful reading for us on the side of science. Here are a few excerpts:

Plaintiffs accurately submit that the disclaimer mimics the one that the Fifth Circuit struck down as unconstitutional in Freiler in two key aspects. First, while encouraging students to keep an open mind and explore alternatives to evolution, it offers no scientific alternative; instead, the only alternative offered is an inherently religious one, namely, ID. 43 Freiler, 185 F.3d at 344-47 (disclaimer urging students to "exercise critical thinking and gather all information possible and closely examine each alternative toward forming an opinion" referenced "Biblical version of Creation" as the only alternative theory, thus "encourag[ing] students to read and meditate upon religion in general and the "Biblical version of Creation" in particular.) Whether a student accepts the Board's invitation to explore Pandas, and reads a creationist text, or follows the Board's other suggestion and discusses "Origins of Life" with family members, that objective student can reasonably infer that the District"s favored view is a religious one, and that the District is accordingly sponsoring a form of religion. Second, by directing students to their families to learn about the "Origins of Life," the paragraph performs the exact same function as did the Freiler disclaimer: It "reminds school children that they can rightly maintain beliefs taught by their parents on the subject of the origin of life," thereby stifling the critical thinking that the class's study of evolutionary theory might otherwise prompt, to protect a religious view from what the Board considers to be a threat. Id. at 345 (because disclaimer effectively told students "that evolution as taught in the classroom need not affect what they already know," it sent a message that was "contrary to an intent to encourage critical thinking, which requires that students approach new concepts with an open mind and willingness to alter and shift existing viewpoints").

This is the best part to me…

To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions.

The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

With that said, we do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed. As stated, our conclusion today is that it is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.

Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board's decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

Merry Kitzmas, everyone!

3 TrackBacks

Al menos en los Estados Unidos, y según el juzgado al que llegó la cosa. Lo cubren en múltiples sitios (The Panda’s Thumb, Slashdot, Red State Rabble, Secular Left, The Questionable Authority.) Un fragmento de la sentencia: To be sure, Dar... Read More

NOVA takes on the "intelligent design" advocates tonight! Read More

Quick post as I have to head out for the day but will post again later... Judge Jones has found for the plaintiffs in Kitzmiller v Dover, holding that ID is not science and that the ID policy violates both... Read More

56 Comments

Splendid. It sounds like Judge Jones made a sweeping ruling that ID = religion. This is what we were working toward. Question: will this precedent have any effect on the appelate court in the Cobb County case?

Whooooo-hoooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I wonder if Casey Luskin and the rest of the professional liars at the Discvoery Institute will take this as a “sign” to fess up to some of the disgusting piles of garbage they’ve heaped on the Ameican public.

the money quote for me is on p. 49: “In summary, the disclaimer singles out the theory of evolution for special treatment, misrepresents its status in the scientific community, cuases students to doubt its validity without any scientific justification, presents students with a religious explanation masquerading as a scientific theory, directs them to consult a creationist text as if it were a scientific resource, and instructs students to forgo scientific inquiry in the public school classroom and instead to seek out religious instruction elsewhere.” The judgement is everything we would have wanted it to be in its treatment of ID.

I’ll take that splendid and raise you one splendiferous. Hurray.

One bizarre note: the way the NYT reported this made it seem like the court is censoring ID, when it is simply saying that ID is not a scientific theory such that it should be mandated in the biology classroom. That’s a big difference – you can talk about ID all you want in, say, humanities class, to explain the history of ideas. NYT’s policy, lately, of bending over backwards for creationists really is weird.

Judge Jones Wrote:

The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial.

This fact is a testament to the great preparation and execution by the plaintiffs’ legal team. Congratulations on a job well done!

There’s more, courtesy of Red State Rabble (thanks, Pat)

Judge Jones Wrote:

Those who disagree with our holding will likely mark it as the product of an activist judge. If so, they will have erred as this is manifestly not an activist Court. Rather, this case came to us as the result of the activism of an ill-informed faction on a school board, aided by a national public interest law firm eager to find a constitutional test case on ID, who in combination drove the Board to adopt an imprudent and ultimately unconstitutional policy. The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.

Love that phrase: “breathtaking inanity”

Beautiful! Blown straight out of the water! There’s so much good stuff - I might be a while finding a favourite quote here. I love the prolepsis against ‘judicial activism’; the man’s doing his flipping job, the system works.

Given how clear the judge’s utter annihilation of Intelligent Design is, I can almost feel the Discovery Institute’s declaration of victory.

-The Rev. Schmitt.

It won’t affect Cobb County at all, as the decision in Dover is only good for Dover (for now, an appeal would move it up in scope, but such an appeal is unlikely given the change in the school board this past election), and the “theory not fact” disclaimer sticker of Cobb doesn’t mention or reference ID at all.

I wonder what the response will be from prominent politicians who have endorsed the ‘teach both sides’ canard; e.g. McCain, Frist.

Great result! I’m glad the judge identified ID as a sham and also glad he called out the perjury.

My favorite so far:

It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

I doubt there will be any legal consequences for the liars in question, but I’m very glad to see Judge Jones being explicit on this point.

Ouch! By any chance might ‘Rev Dr’ Lenny Flank be clerking in Judge Jones’ court? Parts of the decision may as well have been written by the good ‘Rev Dr’.

Ah, The DI Speaks:

“The Dover decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won’t work,” said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, the nation’s leading think tank researching the scientific theory known as intelligent design. “He has conflated Discovery Institute’s position with that of the Dover school board, and he totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it.”

From http://www.evolutionnews.org/

“we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded it is not.”

the case was motivated by an “ill-informed faction on a school board”, to say nothing of their “breathtaking inanity”

plus attorneys fees awarded to the plaintiffs.

I have no idea how many millions of dollars were poured into the warchests of the the Discovery Institute and the other creationist groups, but I think I just heard a loud flushing sound emanate from Seattle.…

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Kitzmas”

It’s beginning to look a lot like Kitzmas, Now that Jones has ruled. Take a look at the bottom line, The DI is going to whine, But the judge, he showed us he did not get fooled!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Kitzmas. Miller saved the day. He showed why ID is junk and The DI is in a funk. The decision really went our way!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Kitzmas. 3 cheers for the ACLU. They put ID in their sights, They defended our rights, And science is safe again for me and you!

DI and ID freaks, put this in your irreducibly complex pipe and smoke it,

“The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.”

DI and ID freaks, put this in your irreducibly complex pipe and smoke it,

“The breathtaking inanity of the Board’s decision is evident when considered against the factual backdrop which has now been fully revealed through this trial. The students, parents, and teachers of the Dover Area School District deserved better than to be dragged into this legal maelstrom, with its resulting utter waste of monetary and personal resources.”

The Discovery Institute is already spinning the decision

“The Dover decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won’t work,” said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, the nation’s leading think tank researching the scientific theory known as intelligent design. “He has conflated Discovery Institute’s position with that of the Dover school board, and he totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it.”

But there’s a splendid Freudian slip at the very end:

Proponents include scientists at numerous universities and science organizations around the word. [sic, emphasis mine]

Science rocks!

Ah, the DI types. Do you think they are worried about their funding drying up?

“In the larger debate over intelligent design, this decision will be of minor significance,” added Discovery Institute attorney Casey Luskin. “As we’ve repeatedly stressed, the ultimate validity of intelligent will be determined not by the courts but by the scientific evidence pointing to design.”

If I were a gazillionaire interested in imposing fundamentalist religion on the country, I don’t think I’d back this horse anymore. Time to send it to the glue factory.

“he totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it”

What, scientists like William Dembski who talk about ID being the logos of something or other? Scientists who helped produce the ever evolving Of Pandas and People.

Also noted on Slashdot: http://science.slashdot.org/article[…]9&tid=14

First reply: “ Thank God for that!”

Also: “ would like to take this opportunity to thank the almighty spaghetti monster for all that He has done for me.

Not only has He used divine intervention in Dover but He has shown me the way! I await his presence in pirate heaven with the stripper factory and beer volcano.”

Speaking of Discovery Institute garbage…I quote from their site http://www.discovery.org/scripts/vi[…]iscoMainPage

DI Wrote:

Dover Intelligent Design Decision Criticized as a Futile Attempt to Censor Science Education

By: Staff Discovery Institute December 20, 2005

——————————————————————————–

For more information on the Dover Intelligent Design Trial click here.

SEATTLE — “The Dover decision is an attempt by an activist federal judge to stop the spread of a scientific idea and even to prevent criticism of Darwinian evolution through government-imposed censorship rather than open debate, and it won’t work,” said Dr. John West, Associate Director of the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute, the nation’s leading think tank researching the scientific theory known as intelligent design. “He has conflated Discovery Institute’s position with that of the Dover school board, and he totally misrepresents intelligent design and the motivations of the scientists who research it.”

“A legal ruling can’t change the fact that there is digital code in DNA, it can’t remove the molecular machines from the cell, nor change the fine tuning of the laws of physics,” added West “The empirical evidence for design, the facts of biology and nature, can’t be changed by legal decree.”

In his decision, Judge John Jones ruled that the Dover, Pennsylvania school district violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment by requiring a statement to be read to students notifying them about intelligent design. Reaching well beyond the immediate legal questions before him, Judge Jones offered wide-ranging and sometimes angry comments denouncing intelligent design and praising Darwinian evolution.

“Judge Jones found that the Dover board violated the Establishment Clause because it acted from religious motives. That should have been the end to the case,” said West. “Instead, Judge Jones got on his soapbox to offer his own views of science, religion, and evolution. He makes it clear that he wants his place in history as the judge who issued a definitive decision about intelligent design. This is an activist judge who has delusions of grandeur.”

“Anyone who thinks a court ruling is going to kill off interest in intelligent design is living in another world,” continued West. “Americans don’t like to be told there is some idea that they aren’t permitted to learn about.. It used to be said that banning a book in Boston guaranteed it would be a bestseller. Banning intelligent design in Dover will likely only fan interest in the theory.”

“In the larger debate over intelligent design, this decision will be of minor significance,” added Discovery Institute attorney Casey Luskin. “As we’ve repeatedly stressed, the ultimate validity of intelligent will be determined not by the courts but by the scientific evidence pointing to design.”

Luskin pointed out that the ruling only applies to the federal district in which it was handed down. It has no legal effect anywhere else. The decision is also unlikely to be appealed, since the recently elected Dover school board members campaigned on their opposition to the policy. “The plans of the lawyers on both sides of this case to turn this into a landmark ruling have been preempted by the voters,” he said.

“Discovery Institute continues to oppose efforts to mandate teaching about the theory of intelligent design in public schools,” emphasized West. “But the Institute strongly supports the freedom of teachers to discuss intelligent design in an objective manner on a voluntary basis. We also think students should learn about both the scientific strengths and weaknesses of Darwin’s theory of evolution.”

Drawing on recent discoveries in physics, biochemistry and related disciplines, the scientific theory of intelligent design proposes that some features of the natural world are best explained as the product of an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. Proponents include scientists at numerous universities and science organizations around the word.

The real nice readinbg starts at page 68 when he discusses the defintion of science, and breaks the whole thing down at the very basis of the issue: The DEFINITION OF SCIENCE:

Science cannot be defined differently for Dover students than it is defined in the scientific community as an affirmative action program,

Choosing science over ignorance? Brilliant!

My favorite quote from the ruling is this one. It’s short enough to be repeated, over and over, every time that ID advocates claim that they’re doing good science:

“The overwhelming evidence at trial established that ID is a religious view, a mere re-labeling of creationism, and not a scientific theory.”

Wow, West is just completely delusional in that second paragraph. “Digital information?” Chemical, messy, and prone to error, but “digital?” Does the man even understand the meaning of either that word or “information”?

Kevin Wrote:

But there’s a splendid Freudian slip at the very end:

Proponents include scientists at numerous universities and science organizations around the word. [sic, emphasis mine]

Ah, so it is the Logos theory of the Gospel of St. John!

Whilst I’ve got you attention, I’ll add my vote of thanks and admiration to the team involved in getting this verdict: that it is so one-sided (and I’ve read the whole thing) is a testament to their efforts.

Bob

“In the larger debate over intelligent design, this decision will be of minor significance,” added Discovery Institute attorney Casey Luskin. “As we’ve repeatedly stressed, the ultimate validity of intelligent will be determined not by the courts but by the scientific evidence pointing to design.”

Of which there is none.

“Well, Chris, you may well ask me what is my theory. *ahem ahem*”

John West, honorless p'taQ Wrote:

Americans don’t like to be told there is some idea that they aren’t permitted to learn about.

Go to church. Go directly to church. Do not pass biology class. Do not collect a clue.

Page 26, footnote 5:

Defendants contend that the Court should ignore all evidence of ID’s lineage and religious character because the Board members do not personally know John Buell, President of the Foundation for Thought and Ethics (hereinafter “FTE”), the publisher of Pandas, or Phillip Johnson, nor are they familiar with the Wedge Document or the drafting history of Pandas. Defendants’ argument lacks merit legally and logically.

Slam!

Reading the decision…

The judge was pissed and ID lost in every way possible to lose.

Great win. I was disappointed though when the ABC radio in Australia announced it this morning it spent more time on GW Bush’s response.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan says President George W Bush believes the decision should have been left to the school board.

“The President’s also said that he believes that students ought to be exposed to different theories and ideas so that they can fully understand what the debate is about,” he said.

Unfortunately, most people will form their opinion on sound bites like these rather than on the 139 pages.

However, I don’t think ID will last much longer anyway. I think that id (the idea) appealed to deists as a kind of a thinking man’s creationism, even if god did the big bang and nothing else it is still id. However, ID (as per Discovery Institute) putting themselves in the news and shooting themselves in the foot all of the time will have the many of the same people dumping ID.

If I was a creationist I would be getting pretty tired of the DI as well. They have been telling creationists to wait as they want to prove ID first and then get onto the rest of the agenda. Well the creationists are still waiting and the only reason to support ID has disappeared with this judgment.

I was surprised by the DI’s reaction. I thought they’d come up with some mealy-mouthed praise for the judge, because the DI has been telling us all year that they DON’T WANT ID to be taught in biology class - just their idiosyncratic “problems of evolution”.

But no - instead we get this bitterly defiant invective. Interesting.

While today’s ruling is a victory for science and science education, I encourage those who view the ID movement as vanquished to be wary. After reading some of the material on the Discovery Institute’s website, it is apparent to me that they are quite devious and will not hesitate to use any form of deception to forward their ends. Overall, they remind me a lot of the political party in Orwell’s 1984.

BTW, in a related vein, please see http://www.theocracywatch.org. This site is well documented, and if even remotely true, very scary.

Belated congratulations from France (bandwidth issues- I wonder why?) to everyone who contributed to such an amazingly reasonable and sensible result. Judge Jones sure does cut through the crap. I hope it sets the tone for a return to commonsense in the political arena in the US. Well done, everyone.

Posted by The Rev. Schmitt. on December 20, 2005 11:37 AM (e) (s)

Beautiful! Blown straight out of the water! There’s so much good stuff - I might be a while finding a favourite quote here. I love the prolepsis against ‘judicial activism’; the man’s doing his flipping job, the system works.

Given how clear the judge’s utter annihilation of Intelligent Design is, I can almost feel the Discovery Institute’s declaration of victory.

-The Rev. Schmitt.

So far my favourite is:-

The citizens of the Dover area were poorly served by the members of the Board who voted for the ID Policy. It is ironic that several of these individuals, who so staunchly and proudly touted their religious convictions in public, would time and again lie to cover their tracks and disguise the real purpose behind the ID Policy.

Sums up everything I dislike about the ID movement. Sheer bloody dishonesty.

Oh, yes. Yes, YES, YES!!!!

From the judgement document:

The proper application of both the endorsement and Lemon tests to the facts of this case makes it abundantly clear that the Board’s ID Policy violates the Establishment Clause. In making this determination, we have addressed the seminal question of whether ID is science. We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents. (my emphasis)

This looks like Behe et al just took a LOT of SAMs in the tailpipe. Oh happy day.

The problem with identifying Intelligent Design as religion, is that it fails to point out that abiogenesis and evolution are also religions. When speaking to the topic of origins, anything anyone believes must be taken on faith. It takes faith to believe in evolution. It takes faith to believe Intelligent Design. It takes faith to believe the Creation account in Genesis 1 & 2.

The ‘win’ here for the ACLU is that only one side of the faith of origins can be taught. This is morally reprehensible. Regardless of which side you choose to believe, evolution or intelligent design, you are accepting the explanation on faith.

The truth is, there is not enough direct evidence for either side to 100% proove their point. If you choose to believe in evolution, you are accepting the limited available evidence as pointing towards an ultimate starting point billions of years ago from whence came all life. If you choose to believe Intelligent Design, you are accepting the limited available evidence as pointing towards some higher being having planned the universe in general, and life in particular, at some ultimate starting point thousands, millions, or billions of years ago.

If you want to belive that we’re all here by chance, then thereis no purpose in life. If you want to belive that someone put us here, then he/they/it had some idea that it would be interesting.

It is my unwavering understanding of the available evidence that intelligent design, and specifically the special creative works of God as recorded in Genesis chapters 1 & 2, is the real history of the earth. I didn’t evolve, but was made in the image of God for His purpose. If you choose to believe that you descended from apes, dogs, elephants, or the great spaghetti monster, that’s fine, and I won’t stop you. I will present my case, and let you decide for yourself.

However, not allowing all sides of a controversial topic to be discussed does not promote science or education. Whether or intelligent design is correct, or whether evolution is, is not the decision of the courts, it’s a matter of personal belief, and the court’s dismissal of the topic is a disservice to the people of Dover Pennsylvania. It’s a disservice to anyone who wants to be able to intelligently discuss the matters at hand.

What is it with this flood of one-name idiot creationists lately? “Dave”, “Chris”, “Warren”…? is it one guy? Is some creationist site linking here all of a sudden?

Warren, what made you come here? Where’d you see mention of this place?

Warren Wrote:

The problem with identifying Intelligent Design as religion, is that it fails to point out that abiogenesis and evolution are also religions.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ…

If you want to belive that we’re all here by chance, then thereis no purpose in life.

Alternately, one might believe that we were all created by gradually compounded transcription errors, and thus conclude that the purpose in life is to promote correct spelling.

The problem with identifying Intelligent Design as religion, is that it fails to point out that abiogenesis and evolution are also religions. When speaking to the topic of origins, anything anyone believes must be taken on faith. It takes faith to believe in evolution. It takes faith to believe Intelligent Design. It takes faith to believe the Creation account in Genesis 1 & 2.

Uh, I’m going to keep pointing this out over and over. This is a classic case of projection. a psychological dysfuntion that is apparently shared by the overwhelming majority of ID supporters.

perhaps, rather than pointing folks suffering from projection disorder to actual facts and evidence, we should start pointing them to treatment centers instead?

It is my unwavering understanding

oh, btw, THIS is a classic case of denial; also a classic freudian defense of ego, commonly associated with the other classic defense mechanism of projection noted above.

great spaghetti monster

and that’s FLYING spaghetti monster.

gees, one should think someone who believes in Godd would know better.

Warren,

Your arguments are very old and have been thoroughly refuted along with many others on the Index of Creationist Claims page.

Your precise argument is thoroughly debunked on the Evolution is a Religion page.

I hope you take some time to look through the rest of these claims. You might be surprised to find thorough refutations of claims you never dreamed of.

Please let us know if you find any gaps in this list. We want to make sure it’s as comprehensive as possible.

Andrew M. Wrote:

Alternately, one might believe that we were all created by gradually compounded transcription errors, and thus conclude that the purpose in life is to promote correct spelling.

Bwahahahaha. You have my vote for joke of the day.

Posted by Warren on January 4, 2006 02:55 PM (e) (s)

The problem with identifying Intelligent Design as religion, is that it fails to point out that abiogenesis and evolution are also religions. When speaking to the topic of origins, anything anyone believes must be taken on faith. It takes faith to believe in evolution. It takes faith to believe Intelligent Design. It takes faith to believe the Creation account in Genesis 1 & 2.

The ‘win’ here for the ACLU is that only one side of the faith of origins can be taught. This is morally reprehensible. Regardless of which side you choose to believe, evolution or intelligent design, you are accepting the explanation on faith.…..

Warren, You are very wrong on this.

Evolution is scientific: There is a lot of evidence that points it out to be a very good theory.

Religion requires zero evidence.

Do you really want religion to be taught as science? Think about what that requires. Science demands some sort of proof and predictability. If religion was science it would need to remove free-will from God.

I came here from a link off a site that one of my coworkers maintains. Unfortunately, he is a big supporter of evolution, and think Intelligent Design is bunk.

Religion also does require evidence. If there was no one who claimed to have seen X, Y, and Z, then there would be no reason to believe it. If it could actually be proven that Jesus Christ never lived, I would gladly abandon my beliefs. But since He did, I will standy by my beliefs.

Please feel free to disagree with me on any point you wish. But since you can’t prove your stance on origins, you must be arguing from faith in the limited available evidence.

Please feel free to disagree with me on any point you wish. But since you can’t prove your stance on origins, you must be arguing from faith in the limited available evidence.

warren - why should we challenge your religious beliefs?

now that we have that out of the way,

1. evolutionary theory is far less about origins, than it is about explaining the diversity of life.

2. do you REALLY want to compare evidence? have you spoken with X, Y, or Z yourself? know anybody who has done an independent iterview with them?

thought not.

on the other hand, we can readily observe evolution occuring, and thousands of independent observers have done so already, and published their results.

science requires no more faith that direct observation.

you are laboring under a false dichotomy that presumes science is trying to disavow you of your religion, when it appears to science to be exactly the opposite.

take a look at Dover, for example, did the school board try to go to your church and tell you about the lack of evidence for your faith, and that your church should teach science instead?

no?

what really happened there, warren? the school board tried to take THEIR church and insert it into the SCIENCE classroom.

even the lutheran church thinks this is bad for everybody:

http://www.thelutheran.org/news/

check out the article on whether or not THEY think teaching “creationism” in the form of intelligent design is warranted in their OWN SCHOOLS.

now let’s see… who is arguing from a position of faith, yourself or science?

Religion also does require evidence. If there was no one who claimed to have seen X, Y, and Z, then there would be no reason to believe it. If it could actually be proven that Jesus Christ never lived, I would gladly abandon my beliefs. But since He did, I will standy by my beliefs.

Please feel free to disagree with me on any point you wish. But since you can’t prove your stance on origins, you must be arguing from faith in the limited available evidence.

Splendid. May we now have your ‘available evidence’ that Jesus Christ existed and was the Son of God?

Please feel free to disagree with me on any point you wish. But since you can’t prove your stance on origins,

Stop right there.

It seems to me that you making WAAYYYYYY too many assumptions on the scientific side of things.

One. Science does not prove things. It looks for evidence.

Two. Science does not make definitive statements on what did or did not happen. It makes statements of what most likely happened based on the best available evidence. This is far from taking things on faith.

Third, abiogenesis is a separate, though related, process from neoDarwinian evolution. Scientists are pretty careful in distinguishing between the two. The latter HAS been observed, both in the wild and in the lab—there’s nothing of faith involved in THAT.

Warren,

I don’t intend this as a taunt, merely as an exercise in logic…

If I claimed that God came to me and told me that He didn’t exist, would that be sufficient for you?

In science, it isn’t considered “evidence” if it can’t be repeated. In other words, if you claim you experienced something but you and I can’t repeat it so that I can also experience it to, then it isn’t counted as “evidence”.

No one can prove that JC didn’t exist, just like you can’t prove that Invisible Pink Unicorns or the Flying Spaghetti Monster don’t exist.

That being said, I consider myself a Christian AND based upon the evidence that I have personally experienced AND that you could see for yourself if you were so inclined I trust that evolution is the best explanation for the life around us.

How much work would it take you to “witness” the evidence for evolution? That depends upon you and your trust of the scientists.

If you basically trust scientists, a few weeks of reading is probably enough. A great place to start reading is the TalkOrigins web site.

If you basically distrust scientists, you may need to repeat many of the observations claimed by scientists for yourself. This could take you years.

My trust (not “faith” or “belief”!) in evolution is very strong based upon only ~1.5 years of college level geology & geophysics + 2 years of college level physics + 2 years of college level chemistry.

You can imagine that some of the scientists here know far more about it than I do. In order for you to convince them that the “evidence” actually disproves evolution, you’ll have to provide them with far more convincing evidence.

come back with the same “science is religion” argument again, warren, and i would only be able to conclude you do, in fact, need some serious therapy to cure that projection disorder you seem to have developed.

If I claimed that God came to me and told me that He didn’t exist

lol, good one.

If I claimed that God came to me and told me that He didn’t exist

Could God microwave a burrito so hot that he himself could not eat it?

mmmm microwaved burritos.…

lunchtime..

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This page contains a single entry by PZ Myers published on December 20, 2005 11:14 AM.

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