Evolution Sunday

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Feb. 12, 1809 was the day on which both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born. Though we now celebrate Lincoln’s birthday on President’s Day, Feb. 12th is still referred to as Darwin Day and celebrated around the world. This Sunday, it will be celebrated in churches as well. The same folks who put together the Clergy Letter Project, a letter supporting evolution signed by over 10,000 clergy, have organized over 400 churches to celebrate Darwin Day by teaching on the subject in church this Sunday. This is a very valuable project for reaching out to people who have been taught all their lives that evolution equals atheism. For information on Evolution Sunday, go here.

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Darwin Day from ceejayoz.com on February 12, 2006 3:05 PM

Happy Darwin Day, folks! Suggested reading: Pharyngula The Panda’s Thumb ... Read More

66 Comments

Am I the only one who feels a bit queasy over “Darwin day”, and even more so about “Darwin Sunday”?

It’s “just science”, and we really don’t make such days for Newton, Einstein, or, say, Schroedinger, at least not in the US. If the UK has a Darwin day and a Newton day, that would seem appropriate, however I would not want there to be any appearance of a high holy day for “Darwinism” in the USA.

I’m not denying the value in religion embracing science, of course. Whether the two are “compatible” or some such thing is not really much of my concern, but if religion evolves (in the progressive sense) to accept science in all of its implications, I can only applaud. And since I have heard sermons in the past (back when I still went to church at least occasionally) which credited God for science, the least such sermonizers could do is to include God in the credits for evolution as well as for physics. That’s all well and good.

But I know I won’t be making any special plans for “Darwin day” here in the USA. I don’t even especially like focusing on the good, but clearly incomplete, science that we get from Darwin’s hand. I prefer the tack that the journal Science took in celebrating all of the advances in evolutionary studies occurring recently, never mind the fact that the basics were put into place a long time ago. This is the real triumph of Darwin and his ideas, the fact that we continue to achieve an increasing amount of evolutionary science throughout the decades following his own achievement, so much so that we no longer bother to refer to his works except in histories of science.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Newton’s birthday is already celebrated in the united states. It is a paid holiday for virtually all employees. All schools and most businesses are closed. Its the biggest holiday in our country.

Paley’s Birthday too.

I know certain European cities celebrate the birthdays of homegrown musicians such as Beethoven or Mozart. Do they do the same for their scientists?

Posted by Glen Davidson on February 7, 2006 01:13 PM (e)

Am I the only one who feels a bit queasy over “Darwin day”, and even more so about “Darwin Sunday”?

I might feel queasy after celebrating it! It will involve several beers.

Comment #78095 Posted by chris green on February 7, 2006 01:31 PM Newton’s birthday is already celebrated in the united states. It is a paid holiday for virtually all employees. All schools and most businesses are closed. Its the biggest holiday in our country.

But wasn’t that on the Julian Calender or is that already corrected for. ;-)

Sincerely,

Glen Davidson Wrote:

Am I the only one who feels a bit queasy over “Darwin day”, and even more so about “Darwin Sunday”?

I go back and forth on this one. I don’t like most holidays in general, because most of them are meaningless to me personally - religious holidays, political holidays, ‘Hallmark’ holidays. Science, though, seems (to me) worth celebrating - certainly more so than “Valentine’s Day,” which will be shoved down my children’s throats next Tuesday.

However, the idea of *idolizing* Darwin, or anyone else for that matter – effectively turning him into a secular saint – does make me a little queasy, yes. I suppose there is a danger there, but I think it’s probably a long way off.

I am glad to know that some churches are making sure that their congregants know that evolution is valid. I hope that it will cut down on some of the nuttiness we’ve seen in education lately.

I’ve talked to some friends about attempting a Darwin Day “phylum feast” but unfortunately the 12th is also my MIL’s birthday, and *her* church hasn’t quite got on board with Darwin yet, so I don’t think it’ll happen this year.

Glen Davidson Wrote:

Am I the only one who feels a bit queasy over “Darwin day”, and even more so about “Darwin Sunday”?

It’s “just science”, and we really don’t make such days for Newton, Einstein, or, say, Schroedinger, at least not in the US. If the UK has a Darwin day and a Newton day, that would seem appropriate, however I would not want there to be any appearance of a high holy day for “Darwinism” in the USA.

Hey, we manage to have Presidents’ Day, and Veteran’s Day, and (some places) MLK Day and Columbus Day, without making any of the people so honored into gods. And Darwin Day isn’t even federally enforced.

I really like the idea. Far from idolizing Darwin, most people don’t know the first thing about him. He’s not a popular figure like Einstein; the only thing the layman’s heard is the assorted Creationist smears about him being a militant atheist or racist or that he recanted evolution on his deathbed or some such. It’s nice to have a chance to illuminate the life of someone who was actually a cool human being as well as a multitalented biologist.

It’s also, of course, a good chance to explain the things that Darwin was wrong on, to illustrate that no scientist’s work gets taken as gospel no matter how respected he is.

If “Darwin Sunday” consisted of the congregation worshipping a graven image of Chuck, queasiness would be warranted…but I can’t really imagine that happening in any church. More likely it would just be an extended explanation that he’s not quite the demonic figure you thought, and that the theory which he contributed to isn’t going to destroy your spirit or devour your children.

Anton Mates Wrote:

Far from idolizing Darwin, most people don’t know the first thing about him.

So true. I do get excited about the educational opportunities, for my kids, myself, friends, strangers – the Center for Inquiry West is putting on a live reading of the entirety of Origin of Species (expected to take all day) just a couple of hours from where I live: CFI West

Someone on a different board equated celebrating Darwin Day with celebrating Christmas – rather than your very sensible parallel of MLK Day or Presidents Day – as if to do so glorified Darwin to the point of secular sainthood. I can see where certain people might grab hold of that as ammunition in the culture war, (“see? evolution IS a religion! you can’t teach that in schools!”) and I think the comment spooked me a little.

That aside, I like your idea of pointing out where he was wrong and emphasizing the self-correcting nature of science. It really is a great opportunity and potentially a lot of fun.

Two points: (1) The event noted in the post is “Evolution Sunday”, not “Darwin Sunday”. Let’s hear that Litellian, “Never mind”, from Glen now.

(2) Yeah, sure, let’s list the things Darwin was right and wrong about. I’ll spot you guys two items in each category. Right: mechanism of coral atoll formation and importance of earthworms in agricultural soil maintenance. Wrong: Pangenesis and natural selection being the main mechanism of evolutionary change.

Make your entries in this thread.

ChristieJ Wrote:

Someone on a different board equated celebrating Darwin Day with celebrating Christmas — rather than your very sensible parallel of MLK Day or Presidents Day — as if to do so glorified Darwin to the point of secular sainthood. I can see where certain people might grab hold of that as ammunition in the culture war, (“see? evolution IS a religion! you can’t teach that in schools!”) and I think the comment spooked me a little.

Yeah, I don’t doubt that some people will do that. Many ID/Creationism publicizers are quite skilled at hypocrisy, and have no problem simultaneously a) arguing that biologists think Darwin’s a god that can do no wrong, and b) recycling criticisms of Darwin that were borrowed from biologists in the first place! We can’t do much about b), but this is a good chance to refute a).

Mind you, if I had to worship a scientist, it’d probably be Darwin. He really is my role model for what a scientist should be–creative, meticulous, honest, modest and endlessly curious. The breadth of his achievements is simply amazing–forget evolution, who wouldn’t like to be the guy who figured out how coral atolls are formed, and who established just how important earthworms are for soil quality, and who published ground-breaking work on orchid pollination and insectivorous plants? Admittedly, I’d probably commit suicide if I had to do his work on barnacle systematics, but just about anybody can find something to interest them in his body of research.

I also like the admiration he shows for strapping men of other races in The Voyage of the Beagle, but I suspect that publicizing that wouldn’t exactly endear him to the average fundamentalist.…

As a christian I would tend to agree with Glen on this one. Groups like AIG, who are up in arms about this by the way (Have a look at their special broadcast by Ken Ham and Mark Looey), often claim that evolution is a religion and I sometimes feel that having a Darwin day just gives them ammunition.

OK so maybe Newton’s birthday is celebrated in the US, but what about other great scientists who have made ground breaking discoveries. What makes Darwin so special ? Why not have an Einstein day, a Pasteur day, a Lyell day, a Hutton day, a Kelvin day or even a Hubble day. Maybe in the future we might have a Hawking day or even a Dawkins day (wouldn’t it be ironic if that one was celebrated in churches in years to come !)

I have no problem accepting scientific discoveries,even if they do disagree with the bible and in particular the book of Genesis. However, but I’m not that comfortable with the event being celebrated in churches. As far as I’m aware Darwin didn’t express any christian beliefs (I think in the end he was an agnostic but I could be wrong) and certainly wasn’t an evangelist in the same way that say Martin Luther, or John Wesley was.

I do feel though that the church, and especially the evangelical wing, should make a statement regarding a persons belief in origins and their salvation. I always thought that what a person believed on say the age of the Earth for instance, should not affect their salvation, but the message that I am now getting more and more from the fundamentalists is that unless a person believes in a young Earth then they are not really saved. All too often I have heard the statement “If you can’t believe the book of Genesis then how can you believe John 3:16”

Peter Henderson Wrote:

What makes Darwin so special?

I’m sure everyone would have a different answer for this one, but here’s mine: Darwin is special because unlike the other scientists in your list he opened new doors to understanding *ourselves.* Life is of paramount importance to human beings, and seeing where we fit in with the rest of it is pretty mind-blowing. Astronomy, physics, and geology are all fascinating studies, but they don’t have to do with *us* as people (or critters.)

Christie: I see what you are trying to say about Darwin and I don’t disagree with you. My person on that list however would be Edwin Hubble. I think his achievements in the field of astronomy are often over-looked.

Up until his distance measurements with Cepheid variable stars people thought that the boundary of the universe was the edge milky way. All of a sudden it became a much bigger and larger place. For anyone alive at the time his observations were surely mind-blowing and at least on a par with those of Darwin. Even the great Einstein was thrown off by his discovery of cosmological red-shift and the destruction in the belief of a static universe

Two points: (1) The event noted in the post is “Evolution Sunday”, not “Darwin Sunday”. Let’s hear that Litellian, “Never mind”, from Glen now.

How about getting it right, Wayne? I did notice the title, but I read more than the title. Why didn’t you?

Though we now celebrate Lincoln’s birthday on President’s Day, Feb. 12th is still referred to as Darwin Day and celebrated around the world.

Pretty damned snarky for someone who didn’t even read the text with reasonable comprehension. Obviously there is nothing wrong with my segueing into “Darwin Sunday” from “Darwin Day”, and in fact it is rather more correct than the title of the piece. I really don’t know why you’re attacking, let alone so ignorantly.

Also, I don’t know what “Litellian” is supposed to mean. It doesn’t come up on Google. One might think it has to do with Rosannrosannadanna (does she have a last name?), but I fail to make the connection. Anyway, to hell with “never mind”, as if your attack has any merit.

(2) Yeah, sure, let’s list the things Darwin was right and wrong about. I’ll spot you guys two items in each category. Right: mechanism of coral atoll formation and importance of earthworms in agricultural soil maintenance. Wrong: Pangenesis and natural selection being the main mechanism of evolutionary change.

Unfortunately your reading skills fail utterly once again. I only wrote that Darwin’s science was incomplete (“the good, but clearly incomplete, science that we get from Darwin’s hand”), while your ad hominem attack falsely implies that I was saying he was wrong. To be sure, he was wrong about inheritance of acquired characteristics and a few other things, but I didn’t say this and I know that these issues are not terribly important to his overall scientific contribution.

So what are you going to say, Wayne, “Never mind”? Or are you going to at least deal with the inadequacies of your attack?

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Peter Henderson Wrote:

OK so maybe Newton’s birthday is celebrated in the US, but what about other great scientists who have made ground breaking discoveries. What makes Darwin so special ? Why not have an Einstein day, a Pasteur day, a Lyell day, a Hutton day, a Kelvin day or even a Hubble day. Maybe in the future we might have a Hawking day or even a Dawkins day (wouldn’t it be ironic if that one was celebrated in churches in years to come !)

Why not indeed? One could make various arguments for why scientists in that list are more or less deserving, but really, the more celebrations of this sort, the better! If you want to start up a Hubble Day, I’d certainly attend the festivities.

OK so maybe Newton’s birthday is celebrated in the US

I don’t know if you’re joking there or not, but if you’re not American I’m thinking that you might be serious.

What I did not realize when I wrote my first post was that Newton was born on Dec. 25, which would complicate the celebration of his birthday. Others pointed out his date of birth obliquely, by pretending that Newton’s birthday is celebrated on Dec. 25.

Forgive me if I am telling you what you already know, but I did think it possible that you are not American and so might not catch the meaning of those who say we celebrate Newton’s birthday.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

I guess I can back off slightly from some of what I said, since apparently “Darwin Day” is being called “Evolution Sunday” by clergy. Whatever. The article did not make that clear in the least, I didn’t bother with the link (it’s really going to be informative?), and in any case it’s “Darwin Day” on Sunday which hardly changes because of the fact that some have chosen to call it “Evolution Sunday”. The particular title used was hardly what I was questioning, unlike what Wayne falsely suggests.

The concept was my concern, and clearly it is a Darwin Sunday via derivation (or evolution) from the fact that “Darwin day” falls on a Sunday. Attacks based on a shifted label, and facts left out of the article, are hardly called for, and merely pretend to deal with the substance in a manner analogous with renaming creationism “Intelligent Design”.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

I think people here are conflating the notion of a ‘Day’ for something with ‘National Holidays’ ‘Street Parties’ ‘Ticker Tape parades’, and the like.

I don’t think anyone is seriously suggesting this - although if a lot of my compatriots thought they could get a day off work for it - then they’d sign up whatever their beliefs.

What is wrong with celebrating the birthday of the greatest biologist that ever lived? Other sciences may have their heroes - but Newton has to fight it out with Einstein and others in Physics for example (plus he wasn’t a aparticularly nice bloke); Chemistry doesn’t seem to have one single leading figure .

Darwin was clearly the greatest Biologist that ever lived. Even Wallace - who deserves credit for coming up with the same idea and prompting Darwin to publish - deferred to him.

Darwin’s rather simple ideas are still poorly understood by the public. What’s wrong in indulging in an opportunity for a little public education and a chat with friends over a few pints? (which I am looking forward to with Steve et al - all paid for with British ‘Tenners with a picture of Darwin on the back!)

We mark enough wars, deaths and nationalistic struggles between people with ‘real’ holidays. Why not informally celebrate the life of a peaceful and kindly man who shone a bright light on our understanding of life on earth?

Unless your a Creationist of course - but then you have Christmas, Easter, Whitsunday and all sorts of other Christian festivals including a Saint’s day for every day of the year if you’re that way inclined. Today is Saint Ava’s; Saint Richard’s and Saint Nivard’s day if you’re interested: ‘Saint’s Days’

we’re celebrating Darwin Day on Monday by the way - so won’t be offending any Sunday observance kind of thing. The SaintsDay link I gave earlier may be innacurate unless you’re a German child - Wikipedia give a better account.

It also mentions my favourite Saint - Saint Fiacre (1st Spt or 18 Aug) the patron Saint of:

Taxi Drivers

Veneral Disease

Heammerroids

- and if you don’t believe me! check here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiacre

Re “Chemistry doesn’t seem to have one single leading figure” Maybe the guy that invented the periodic table? (Mendelev?)

Henry

Two points: (1) The event noted in the post is “Evolution Sunday”, not “Darwin Sunday”. Let’s hear that Litellian, “Never mind”, from Glen now.

How about getting it right, Wayne? I did notice the title, but I read more than the title. Why didn’t you?

I don’t know who this “Wayne” character might be, but since that’s my text being quoted, I’ll take a stab at this.

The point at issue is not Dick Hoppe’s [whoops, should be Ed Brayton instead – WRE] reportage, but how the organizers have presented the event, which Glen later seems to have come to realize, at least in part.

The character whose trademark signoff was “Never mind” was “Emily Litell”, another one of Gilda Radner’s.

As for Darwin being wrong, I never said that that part of my text was directed at Glen. Hint: I don’t usually use a plural to refer to one person. Nor is any part of what I said there in any sense “ad hominem”.

we’re celebrating Darwin Day on Monday by the way - so won’t be offending any Sunday observance kind of thing.

Well that sounds like a reasonable attempt to keep from offending folk, though it’s not going to change the fact that “Evolution Sunday” is on the traditional “Darwin Day” and Darwin’s birthday in the bargain.

And no, I didn’t confuse Darwin Day with some grand fling. We just don’t have “scientists’ days” in the US (not that anyone notices–except perhaps that Franklin’s birthday was slightly noted recently), and however impressive Darwin may be, there may be an overtone of making Darwin out to be somehow the “greatest scientist” (hardly unarguable) if the day were to gain prominence in the US without any counterbalancing figures from the other branches of science.

Lavoisier might very well count as the most important figure in chemistry (due in part to the time he lived–but that would be true of most important pioneers in science), even though, oh my God, he’s French. He did much to shift chemistry toward a more rationalistic point of view, to chemistry as combinations of atoms rather than as affinities (in the old sense) and mysterious influences.

But anyway, I’m not terribly concerned about Darwin Day, even if it is on a Sunday. It likely won’t be noticed much at all, except by creationists/IDists, and if they’ll probably set up a fuss it will be they who are the obviously annoying ones.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/pharyngula

Okay, not Wayne. Whoever, just someone who attacks without cause.

The point at issue is not Dick Hoppe’s reportage, but how the organizers have presented the event, which Glen later seems to have come to realize, at least in part.

That’s your point, not mine. There are two meanings to quote marks, one of which is to set off a title, another which says something like, “so to speak”. As I said, I care little about the title, and do care about what the day is. Once again you ignored the import, apparently deliberately.

As for Darwin being wrong, I never said that that part of my text was directed at Glen.

Then why don’t you try to find anyone on this thread who was claiming that Darwin was wrong? I know very well that you can’t do it. The closest anyone came was where I stated that Darwin’s works were incomplete, and that was nothing like saying he was wrong. So either you’re hallucinating people who claimed he was wrong or you’re simply using misdirection (once again) to obscure the fact that your attack was false, unwarranted, and referred more closely to my post than it did to any other actual posts. Needless to say, I don’t accept your lame excuse.

Hint: I don’t usually use a plural to refer to one person.

Okay, so instead of falsely accusing one person, you’re claiming to have accused a plurality of persons, when there weren’t any who said Darwin was wrong. Can’t you see how this makes things worse for your false accusations?

Btw, there is a convention of using plurality to avoid referring directly to a single person, even when that one person is being singled out. I’m hardly convinced that you were really faulting a plurality of individuals who didn’t exist, rather than one person who you misread.

Nor is any part of what I said there in any sense “ad hominem”.

Blank assertion, with no basis in fact. Obviously if you’re accusing either a plurality or a single individual of comments which weren’t made, your attack is ad hominem. It doesn’t refer to anything actually said, so it can only be directed at one or more individuals, rather than to any actual statements. I’m not letting you off for your incorrect implications, and I really don’t care if you expect to get away with false charges because of your position.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Then why don’t you try to find anyone on this thread who was claiming that Darwin was wrong? I know very well that you can’t do it.

Bizarre.

Comments in this thread where people have said Darwin was wrong on things, and where those people are not Glen, are here and here. My initial comment follows directly after the second linked comment.

It’s also, of course, a good chance to explain the things that Darwin was wrong on, to illustrate that no scientist’s work gets taken as gospel no matter how respected he is.

[and]

That aside, I like your idea of pointing out where he was wrong and emphasizing the self-correcting nature of science. It really is a great opportunity and potentially a lot of fun.

Well, OK, I guess I owe you an apology, Elsberry. I am sorry that I jumped to conclusions, even if the lead-in tends to suggest that I was one of the ones who said he was wrong “on some things”.

One problem is that one typically responds to one poster at a time, or mentions the switch to another person. Another problem is more definitely mine to own, that I took your link to mean that someone was saying that “Darwin was wrong”, which is what I found to be wrong (the implication is there, but the proper distinctions are also made, and I should have recognized them), not the correct “wrong on some things.” I may be excusing myself, or at least explaining, but I remain apologetic because I should have certainly been more careful.

The upshot is that I was wrong, and continued to be wrong, and I sincerely apologize.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Thank you, Glen. And I will apologize for not having been more clear in distinguishing what comments referred to who in my initial set of points. I’ll try to do better on that in the future.

With that concluded (except to say that I appreciate your graciousness, Dr. Elsberry), I’ll expound a little on the “wrongness” of Darwin accepting the idea that acquired characteristics are inherited.\

In truth, I don’t know how “wrong” he was to accept the notion of the inheritance of acquired traits, when experimental evidence was presented to back up the claim.

On the other hand, it is said that Wallace did not accept the “experimental evidence” that convinced Darwin, and surely one must think it likely that he refused to believe such results for good reason. A lot of fairly obvious reasons exist to doubt that acquired traits are passed on, like the blacksmith’s son who becomes a doctor and hardly develops the same way, or various human features that the possessors hate in a presumably Lamarckian sense, but which nevertheless persist (certain noses, perhaps, or hemophilia). Many traits aren’t amenable to phenotypical change at all, while the rest of the changes don’t obviously persist in the lineage except as one might expect non-acquired traits to do.

One other factor that Darwin would know which almost certainly tells against inheritance of acquired traits, or at least allows only a bare minimum of this kind of inheritance. This is the rather slow change of organisms through time, which was known early on. One would think that acquired traits would speed up evolution tremendously, which is also how many in the 19th and early 20th centuries understood the issue. I know that Freud and Nietzsche tended to suppose evolution to be rapid compared with what we recognize today, and this was precisely because they thought that wills and aquisitions substantially drove evolution.

The fact, though, is that it is difficult to be sure whether Wallace dismissed “experimental evidence” for good reason, or if Darwin accepted such “evidence” for the same reasons that we accept most results published in good journals. We’d have to know how plausible the report of “verification of the inheritance of acquired trains” was in order to know if Darwin really should have rejected the spurious results.

What is the case, I believe, is that Darwin’s agreement with the claim that acquired traits are passed on seems to have prolonged that idea in the minds of some scientists. I know that Freud (quite arguably not a scientist, but taken to be one for a considerable period) kept the idea alive in his writings even after most biologists had rejected the claim–and he defended his belief in inheritance of acquired traits based on Darwin’s acceptance of same.

Nevertheless, this continued mistaken belief was hardly due primarily to its persistence in Darwin’s writings, instead it was a belief widespread throughout biological community, up to about the 20th century. I doubt that Darwin’s acceptance of the idea made a huge difference in the biological understanding of evolution. One perhaps could even argue that Darwin’s acceptance of inheritance of acquired traits kept natural selection alive as an option among those who rather preferred to believe that evolution proceeds via the breeding of acquired traits into bloodlines. Wallace’s stance might have provoked opposition to the idea of natural selection, had Darwin concurred fully with Wallace.

Perhaps I should have posted this on the linked site, but I’m not registered for it, and I didn’t know if it might be too much trouble. Anyhow, the issue of “where Darwin was wrong” was raised here, and might also be discussed here. On the whole I am not inclined to make too much of where he was wrong, since it seems like one ends up reaching, and discussing a whole lot of ambiguous factors like I did above. It is rare indeed that Darwin was very wrong on scientific matters that could be readily known at the time.

One could easily resort to caviling with regard to the areas where “Darwin was wrong”, in the same way that it appears specious and tendentious for school boards to mandate “teaching the criticisms of evolution” in a manner that is not done in the other sciences.

Glen D http://tinyurl.com/b8ykm

Posted by **Wesley** R. Elsberry on February 7, 2006 04:30 PM (e)

Two points: (1) The event noted in the post is “Evolution Sunday”, not “Darwin Sunday”. Let’s hear that Litellian, “Never mind”, from Glen now.

How about getting it right, **Wayne**? I did notice the title, but I read more than the title. Why didn’t you?

It seems there was something else other than the title that you didn’t notice . … .

1) who cares if the creationists/IDers choose to paint ‘Darwin Day’ or ‘Evolution Sunday’ as proof of the religious nature of science. They will make that incorrect point regardless of whether there is a Darwin Day or not.

2) No one would object to a day honoring Beethoven or Michelangelo. Why should scientists and their acheivements be left out?

Remember Darwin on 12 February. Drink a Shiner Bock in his honor. And if you’re religious, thank your god(s) for Charles and his work.

Don’t expect Douglas to be there. He’ll be busy retaking Brahe’s data, and performing Copernicus’s calculations, so that he can say for sure whether the earth goes around the sun, or vice versa. Primary research, don’t you know.

Hey Douglas, this guy’s right up your alley. You’ll probably find him wise and insightful.

http://www.latimes.com/news/science[…]me-headlines

Perhaps you didn’t notice that I made no reference to the age of the earth.

Perhaps you didn’t notice that I asked you what you think the age of the earth is.

Perhaps everyone noticed that you didn’t answer.

Perhaps then I will ask again. And again and again and again and again. As many times as I need to, until you answer or run away.

How old do you think the earth is, Douglas.

What’s the problem with just answering that simple question, Douglas.

Why are ID/creationists such dishonest evasive deceptive liars, Douglas.

Douglas Williams Wrote:

I don’t think I said I had a problem with nor do I see where I was “complaining” about evolution Sunday, only that when most people speak of evolution they mean only biological evolution, usually to the exclusion of the evolution of the planets and universe(s) necessary to produce biology. You may be right that some churches may address this issue tomorrow, I don’t know. But either way, most people don’t, as evidenced by recent responses on this site. So, since science is said to be an institution that seeks naturalistic explanations for phenomena, I was hoping to hear some naturalistic explanations for biological context, i.e., abiogenisis and cosmogony. Instead, all I’ve heard are dispersions and references to someone else’s (often irrelevant) works. I was hoping someone on this site could instead give me their own naturalistic explanation of such phenomena in their own words. As you can see, this hasn’t happened.

Interesting, don’t you think?

Er…no. You posted on a thread on Evolution Sunday, on a website themed around evolution. Why exactly would you expect lots of people to jump into a discussion of the Big Bang and abiogenesis? I mean, those are interesting and worthwhile subjects, but this is kind of like going to an astronomy website and saying, “If you’re so smart, let’s have a naturalistic explanation of antibiotic resistance in bacteria!”

Although I notice you’ve stopped talking about the Big Bang, since Steve S mentioned he actually had some knowledge in that area…

Anyway, answers for “Why the Big Bang?” could range from “Because it just happened” to “Because a previous universe ended in such a way as to produce it” to “Because a god or gods arranged it that way” to “Because the universe is governed by [insert preferred Theory of Everything here], which requires it” to “Because the universe is a simulation on a giant computer, and computer gamers like things to start off with a bang.” None of these are particularly testable at the moment, although some clever person may figure out how to test some of them in the future. Obviously you’ve chosen your particular answer, and that’s fine, but on scientific grounds we can only admit uncertainty.

Abiogenesis is more amenable to scientific investigation. Obviously no one’s actually figured out exactly how to create life from scratch, but there have been steps in that direction, while no one’s been successful at all in showing that life can’t be created from scratch under the known laws of chemistry. So, not much reason to invoke any miracles just yet.

I am not opposed to reaching out to different persuasions. This is our duty, but to sacrifice vital points of doctrine for unity sake at the expense of violating your own conscience and dishonoring God or the gods that our worshiped is, not nor will ever be the best policy.

Evolution though not on the same level as atheism, it is atheism in another form. It is essentially another species of atheism. To deny that God created the earth and man in six literal days is both insensible and without foundation. God is denied. If one would reason unbiasedly and objectively from cause to effect they would not and cannot candidly at least at heart deny the existence of a personal God who created all things from a heart of love. But in a pluralistic society they have the liberty to deny God.

Another disturbing point that is often overlooked even by those who support it is “Sunday Sacredness”. Though there is no scriptural basis, an overwhelming majority of Christians who I believe love the Lord will not yield up nor investigate this subject for various reasons, let Go be the judge.

Sunday sacredness denies the seventh day of creation. This doctrine essentially denies God as the creator. Therefore, evolution and Sunday sacredness though not on the same level as atheism are an extension of atheism in another form calculated to attract the christian but does not lead to true worship. So Sunday sacredness and evolution have some similarities in this area.

In conclusion, I would be very careful with this movement “evolution Sunday” there seems to be an agenda, possibly to bring Sunday back into public law, thus repeating history. For all forced worship always lead to persecution of “so called heretics” and is not in harmony with the supreme principle of scriptures “The Law of Love & Liberty”. The bible says, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”.

Calvin, may I direct you to http://uncommondescent.com . There you will find people who share both your religious beliefs, and your command of science.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ed Brayton published on February 7, 2006 12:16 PM.

Interested in Being a Science Teacher? was the previous entry in this blog.

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