Intelligent Design Deployed in Kentucky

| 56 Comments

We got the following story via a dedicated reader in Kentucky, who says its from the newsletter of the ACLU of Kentucky.

When the Discovery Institute and other professional intelligent design apologists talk about wanting to just “teach the controversy”—which everyone knows is in direct opposition to “teach the science”—you should remember this example of a DI-inspired curriculum.

Bloomfield Middle School - Intelligent Design
by William E. Sharp, Staff Attorney

This case also represents a significant pre-litigation victory that is due in large part to the dedication and courage of a committed ACLU of Kentucky member. Specifically, this member contacted us about a particular teacher’s inclusion of Intelligent Design components into a 7th grade science curriculum at Bloomfield Middle. Upon further investigation, we learned that the teacher not only incorporated Intelligent Design’s critiques of Darwinism, but the teacher also disseminated a chart containing Intelligent Design’s rationale for the earth’s short existence. This chart provided a timeline that included (and dated) Noah’s Ark and the Biblical flood story. This teacher also provided students with a five page “fact sheet” on Intelligent Design’s Model of Origins, its critique of the big bang theory, and its theory that dinosaurs coexisted with humans.

When we presented school officials with our objections to Intelligent Design as a reformulated version of Creationism and the substantial legal authority establishing the illegality of teaching a religious doctrine within a science curriculum. Bloomfield officials decided to remove all Intelligent Design components from the science curriculum.

(emphasis ours)

The cdesign proponentsists at the Discovery Institute spend a lot of hot air trying to convince the courts that they have noting to do with those creationdesign proponentsists from the 80s—just like the “scientific” creationists from the 80s claimed to have nothing to do with the “biblical” creationists from the 60s.

However, their grassroots supporters never seem to get the memo.

56 Comments

Wow, that IS a big tent, isn’t it. YEC craziness abounding in this case. Kudos to those who got on the ball on this.

A victory and a warning. If creationists aren’t challenged and smacked down, they’ll just keep sprouting up.

Lenny Flanks’ rule strikes again!

Hot Damn! Can we get copies of that “chart containing Intelligent Design’s rationale for the earth’s short existence.”

I would dearly love such a sweet thing.

And the “five page “fact sheet” on Intelligent Design’s Model of Origins, its critique of the big bang theory, and its theory that dinosaurs coexisted with humans” would probably make me fall to the floor (laughing).

Yeah, I think this is the first time I’ve read about ID being so closely associated with YEC in the “teaching” materials. Perhaps PT’s most persistent troll will show up and tell us again why ID doesn’t represent a religious viewpoint…

Why is it not in the Kentucky ACLU newsletter?

It strikes me as typical but I want the hard evidence

Michael

Excerpt from the link in Reed’s article:

Intelligent Design’s rationale for the earth’s short existence. This chart provided a timeline that included (and dated) Noah’s Ark and the Biblical flood story.

Never mind how DI folk must be cringing at how a clueless rube linked their carefully planned “don’t ask, don’t tell” strategy to pre-“Edwards v. Aguillard” YEC, that timeline and associated hypotheses are as much in conflict with Michael Behe’s position as they are with those of mainstream science. So that clueless teacher is in effect saying that Behe is wrong.

Rather than the tired old “ID ‘is’ creationism” (hasn’t everyone heard that by now?) how about some fun with how classic creationism (YEC, OEC) and ID will eventually undermine each other?

Why can’t the taxpayers of Kentucky decide whether they want Jesus or Darwin honored in public schools? Why must the courts be used to ban Christianity from the schools when democratic sentiment is against it? What is wrong with teaching the idea the evidence that God created the world, or the role of sodomy in AIDS transmission, or that babies feel pain when being aborted?

Yet another candidate for the Bathroom Wall. Send him along.

“Why can’t the taxpayers of Kentucky decide whether they want Jesus or Darwin honored in public schools? Why must the courts be used to ban Christianity from the schools when democratic sentiment is against it? What is wrong with teaching the idea the evidence that God created the world, or the role of sodomy in AIDS transmission, or that babies feel pain when being aborted?”

Why? Shit load of history. And I mean a Shit load. This social experiment has been tried many times, particularly by people of your mental capacity, and they turn out not to like the results too much.

Charlemagne,

Despite a rash of troll activity of late, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt - once.

Ignoring for the time being that teaching ID/creationism violates church-state issues, most mainstream Christian religions have decided that Jesus is best honored by teaching science correctly, without the bearing false witness that is necessary to teach ID/creationism or the (phony) controversy. Darwin is best honored by 150 years of scientists trying to prove him wrong, and succeeding on some details (e.g. blended inheritance), but failing in general.

Charlemagne: No one wants to honour Darwin and as far as I’m concerned you don’t even have to believe his theory is correct. But his theory is part of science and unless you want to be at the mercy of lots of other unscrupulous people I’d recommend that you and your children study and think about it as an exercise in critical thinking. Why don’t you want to at least be aware of what current research into our origins is saying? I know something about science and something about faith and consider myself better for it. It’s not an either or thing. Science is the provable stuff and religion is the faith stuff. Science doesn’t care what you believe and faith is all about what you believe.

And, theocratic societies aren’t much fun when you’re in the minority.

Frank J:

Despite a rash of troll activity of late, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt - once.

Well said, sir – credible. Now it’s up to Charlemagne to respond in a credible fashion.

Frank J: Rather than the tired old “ID ‘is’ creationism” (hasn’t everyone heard that by now?) how about some fun with how classic creationism (YEC, OEC) and ID will eventually undermine each other?

I have always seen the fundamental (no pun intended) flaw of the Discovery Institute is that they do not have a natural public constituency for their specific pitch. The public that is receptive to their pitch is creationist (and usually young-Earth creationist) – and can be effectively guaranteed to fail to grasp the grasp the subtleties of the DI pitch, transforming it into straight-no-chaser creationism.

That means inevitably losing the legal battle – though if it’s really just the DI’s objective to muddy the waters, they seem to be successful at that.

Charlemagne,

I think that you and I want to teach our children the truth.

There may be different ways of revealing different truths, but the truths revealed within nature are best done by methodological naturalism.…the basis of modern science.

There are wonderful passages in the Bible that reveal beautiful and profound spiritual truths. Other guides to spiritual discovery offer truths not found in the Bible. These are religions that each of us are free to choose (or not) and we are free from the influences of government to pursue the beliefs of our choice. Lets keep it that way.

For the sake of our children and for the sake of our religious freedoms we must keep these centers of learning apart.

The irony of a group which ruthlessly enforces conformity when in power, trying to GAIN that power by arguing for fairness and freedom, is often overwhelming. But as Lenny Flank says, we’re guaranteed to see it so long as the DI believes that lying about their intentions is the best way to achieve those intentions. Doesn’t take long for even the simplest lies to tangle the web beyond the comprehension of the creationist in the street.

The DI is a wonderful, consistent target because it’s well-funded, highly visible, and blatantly dishonest. But it may be the wrong target, because it seems clear to me that this teacher need not have ever heard of the DI to preach his faith to 7th graders in public school. He’s telling the kids what he knows to be true, and backing it up with what he knows is solid, factual material because he sees this same material at every web site that interests him. And if EVERYONE says it, how can it be wrong?

So I think MrG has the right insight here - the DI’s approach is much too indirect and lawyerish to be effective. Their constituency has been trained their entire lives to get out there and preach their delusions at every opportunity they can engineer. Not only is this all about Jeezus, but pretending it’s not is worse than wrong, it’s SINFUL. What lawyers do is search for ways to misrepresent the letter of the law to violate the clear intent of the law. What creationist do is save souls. And these aren’t very compatible.

I am a bit concerned that this story can’t seem to be found on the KY ACLU site. In fact, when I search for it, I only find this article. Has anyone contacted the KY ACLU to confirm the story? I’d hated to think that PT got spoofed by someone.

dpr

Charlemagne: “Why can’t the taxpayers of Kentucky decide whether they want Jesus or Darwin honored in public schools?”

1. It’s forbidden by the constitution. 2. It would make nonsnense of the educational system to have one state teach one thing and another state teach an entirely different thing about the same topic. 3. Whilst there’s ample objective evidence for the existence of Darwin and whilst the Theory of Evolution is the only scientific explanation for the fact of evolution, there’s absolutely no objective direct evidence whatsoever that there ever was a Jesus Christ, miracle-working son of a god. When you come up with such evidence, then we can talk about teaching it in schools.

“Why must the courts be used to ban Christianity from the schools when democratic sentiment is against it?”

The constitution is against it.

“What is wrong with teaching the idea the evidence that God created the world”

There’s no scientific evidence that any god had anything to do with this universe. If you can provide the scientific evidence, then we can talk about whether its fit to teach in schools.

“or the role of sodomy in AIDS transmission”

If you accept that your god created everything, then you msut accept that your god created disease - and that he created it before the so-called “fall of man”. Let’s see you come up with a supported, workable explanation for that, first, then we’ll talk about whether your explanation is fit to teach in schools.

“or that babies feel pain when being aborted?”

Let’s have you come up with a supported, workable explanation as to why your intelligent designer needed millions of sperm to create just one baby and why he aborts so many so capriciously first. Then we’ll talk about whether it’s fit to teach in schools.

From the original post: “This teacher also provided students with a five page ‘fact sheet’ on Intelligent Design’s Model of Origins, its critique of the big bang theory, and its theory that dinosaurs coexisted with humans.”

I’d just love to see this so-called “fact sheet”! Is that finally the Theory of Intelligent Design for which we’ve all waited ten years?!

Ian Wrote:

“What is wrong with teaching the idea the evidence that God created the world”

There’s no scientific evidence that any god had anything to do with this universe. If you can provide the scientific evidence, then we can talk about whether its fit to teach in schools.

Like D P Robin, I too am concerned with how everyone is jumping on this story before all the facts are in. Especially since it feeds the obsession of most fellow critics over the religion aspect (reinventing the “wheel” that the courts have been handling nicely) and the similarities of ID and classic creationism, when it’s the strategic differences that are key to unraveling the big tent.

The answer to “What is wrong with teaching the idea the evidence that God created the world?” is:

Science is already teaching how most mainstream religions believe that God created the world (& life & species). What is wrong is to teach one or more failed explanations (classic creationism) or a vacuous non-explanation (ID/”teach the controversy”) that only exploits common misconceptions of science.

OK - This really needs to be verified. I have been doing a search on this middle school and so far all I have come up with is layouts of Mock Trials.

- Before I go any further, they are really quite fun to read :-) Characters are “Eva Lution” and Mrs. Dover” etc… _

Here is the opening sentence of one of the Mock Trial Layouts

“ On December 10, I noticed that Mr. Born hadposted an article on Intelligent Design on the bulletin board. Later on that day a student askedhim about the article. Mr. Born and the class had alengthy debate about the subject and we didn’t getback to the lesson the whole period “

The person who sent us the article is reliable, so I doubt he is tricking us. The article was said to be in the Tourch, and the website only has back issues up to Spring 07.

Well I don’t know if the story is true or not, but it certainly sounds credible. After all, you can’t make up stuff this good. Teaching critical analysis of the big bang to seventh graders, man that must be some school. I can hardly wait to see the math and physics background they must be given in grades one through six.

Of course, with such an extensive science background, I don’t think that anyone will fall for the Flintstones routine of dinosaurs and humans coexisting.

Oh well, just another chapter for EXPELLED: NO INTELLIGENCE EVER!

Are you folks thinking about this? There is far far too much complacency about what’s being taught to the great unwashed. My favorite word lately seems to be naivete, but I keep butting my head against that and complacency with people and organizations that should really know better. Its naive to think that just because creation science, in all its guises, has been beaten back in legislation and public school standards that creation science isn’t being taught in public schools. This teacher in Kentucky is just a peek at what’s going on under the radar. Survey’s cited by Randy Olson show that about a third of all secondary school science teachers sympathize, to one degree or another, with teaching creation science. This Kentucky teacher is just more extreme than most, but one class on the “weaknesses of evolution”, or “critical anlaysis” is all it takes to permanently confuse students about what science is and how its done. No one seems to want to look at this, and it drives me crazy. A large portion of AP Biology classes include “teaching the controversy”, and you can not get The College Board to deal with the problem in an informed and effective way. A science teacher in most US communities has a HUGE incentive to include a brief introduction to evolution “alternatives”, and most of the naive general public will just think of this as minor and fair. You think the creation science propaganda campaign isn’t successful, or certainly not in your neighborhood? Ha! Go, right now, to your neighborhood’s public library online catalog and look at where the creation science books are shelved. I’m NOT objecting that the books are in the library, look at where their shelved. Most of them are on the science shelves right alongside the biology textbooks. If it isn’t happening in your neighborhood then God bless you, but it is NOT uncommon, and it is becoming more common, not less.

What’s responsible for this? One thing: framing the debate as religion vs. science. No win scenario. Stupid Stupid Stupid

Thank you for this report. I will post it to the Louisville Atheists and Freethinkers meetup website.

I have been unable to find any other references to this issue. Could someone please verify if this is real?

“Go, right now, to your neighborhood’s public library online catalog and look at where the creation science books are shelved.… Most of them are on the science shelves right alongside the biology textbooks.”

It’s common for libraries to file nonfiction by their subject; that is, what they’re discussing. So you’ll typically find sound science, obsolete science, and crank science filed together, as long as they’re about the same topic. (Of course, most public libraries should try to have more sound science books than crank or obsolete science books in their collections for any topic of current interest. So anyone finding a crank volume on a scientific topic should be seeing sound science books available to them as well.)

Reed A. Cartwright Wrote:

The person who sent us the article is reliable, so I doubt he is tricking us. The article was said to be in the Tourch, and the website only has back issues up to Spring 07.

This story does not surprise me.

About a year before Dover became the headlines, two middle school teachers in a nearby school district were teaching creationism under the radar in their classes. Apparently they had been doing this for a number of years.

This was eventually exposed and a significant dispute occurred within the School Board. Even the Thomas Moore Law Center got involved; threatening to sue the district if it removed the material from these classes and required the teachers to dispense with their deviations from the approved curriculum. It took several months, with experts being brought in to argue on both sides and with the arguments continuing into the summer, for the issues to be explored and an agreement reached on what to do.

The teachers were eventually reprimanded (though not fired), and the material removed. The threat of a suit by the Thomas Moore Law Center did not materialize (they may have already had their hands full with the developments in Dover).

The local newspaper was full of letters to the editor defending the teachers and laying out the standard ID/Creationist arguments.

During the course of this, a number of biology teachers told me that more of this surreptitious teaching of creationism is going in surrounding school districts; it just hasn’t become public knowledge.

John Mark Ockerbloom Wrote:

It’s common for libraries to file nonfiction by their subject; that is, what they’re discussing.

From what I have seen, book stores do the same thing, and have an even higher ratio of anti- to pro- evolution books than libraries.

I too used to be very irritated that anti-evolution books were in the science section (and am still irritated that even with that “padding” the science section is invariably smaller than religion, new age or science fiction sections).

While they have a religious component, and increasingly a “new age” component, ID/creationism books misrepresent science, so they might as well be grouped with the science that they misrepresent. If those who rave about “Darwin’s Black Box” are serious about being open-minded, they might see one of the refutations right near it, and buy that too.

The Bloomfield teacher in question has confirmed the gist of the story. I am trying to flesh out the details for my blog at www.wheatdogg.com.

Reed A. Cartwright:

The person who sent us the article is reliable, so I doubt he is tricking us. The article was said to be in the Tourch, and the website only has back issues up to Spring 07.

Reed, I’m still concerned. I can’t find anything called “the Tourch” searching Yahoo!, and the listings for “The Torch” leads to college newspapers, none from KY.

Even more disturbing is I can’t find any news articles for this story. At this point, one should be able to find some mention of a story like this on a search engine.

Looking up Bloomfield Middle School on Google show that the district (Nelson County S D) is south of Louisville. Trying both Bloomfield Middle and Nelson County S. D. with intelligent design gets nothing at all.

Again, I’m accusing nobody of anything, but one of the strengths of PT is that the stories are easily verifiable and I am nervous about a story like this that can’t be verified. I would like to see a link or at worst and good bibliographic citation.

dpr

D P Robin:

Reed, I’m still concerned. I can’t find anything called “the Tourch” searching Yahoo!, and the listings for “The Torch” leads to college newspapers, none from KY.

“The Torch” is listed under the main menu at the ACLU-KY website.

I was the person who sent this to the Panda’s Thumb. I retyped it directly from “The Torch”, the KY ACLU newsletter (older issues are at the KY ACLU website, but this one just arrived via snail mail yesterday and I don’t know how long they take to put them online). I will post later tonight (I teach in the evenings) with the Volume/Issue/Page number and get a friend to scan the relevant page of the newsletter tomorrow so I can send it to Reed Cartwright. I had not heard anything about this incident before receiving the newsletter yesterday (Tuesday, March 25). I have no reason to think this was made up as it comes from a reliable source of information.

I too would love to see a copy of the “fact sheet/timeline” the teacher used, but there is not an e-mail address in the newsletter for the attorney that wrote the article.

Here is the citation: The Torch, Spring 2008, Page 7 under Legal Program Update by William E. Sharp, Staff Attorney.

I will try to get the Panda’s Thumb folks a scan by this weekend. I can probably take a digital photo if people are really bent out of shape over this and want it more quickly. Of course this could be The Matrix, or someone went to a hell of a lot of trouble faking the entire goddamn ACLU newsletter just to fool me. Jezzzus tapdancing Christ it is amazing that people think EVERYTHING is available instantly on the internet.

I’m going to guess that the materials the teacher used came from the CREATION MUSEUM which is also located in Kentucky.

The reason doubt was raised in my mind, as to the accuracy of the post, was because I didn’t think that the DI had an official position on the age of the earth.

The article says …

a chart containing Intelligent Design’s rationale for the earth’s short existence. This chart provided a timeline that included (and dated) Noah’s Ark and the Biblical flood story. This teacher also provided students with a five page “fact sheet” on Intelligent Design’s Model of Origins, its critique of the big bang theory, and its theory that dinosaurs coexisted with humans. “

or is the CREATION MUSEUM using the term “Intelligent Design” now? … just a hunch.

“It’s common for libraries to file nonfiction by their subject; that is, what they’re discussing. So you’ll typically find sound science, obsolete science, and crank science filed together, as long as they’re about the same topic.”

Nope. Not going to find astrology shelved in astromony. And I’m talking about catagorization of creation science as science being done with MY tax dollars, in the public library, not book stores which are free to do any damn stupid thing they please. This is first amendment violation stuff.

Stacs S. Wrote:

The reason doubt was raised in my mind, as to the accuracy of the post, was because I didn’t think that the DI had an official position on the age of the earth.

The DI’s official position is “don’t ask, don’t tell” but most DI fellows have conceded that mainstream science is correct. A recent PT article suggested that Paul Nelson, one of the few DI fellows known as a YEC, may actually be an Omphalos creationist (i.e. he personally believes a YE in spite of the evidence, not because of it). When he was here I asked him if that was true, and he didn’t answer.

The teacher sounds like the typical rank and file ID fan who hears all the sound bites from all anti-evolution sources, and selects only what feels good, and tunes out the rest. I have heard it many times before: they get the message that to say “ID” is more politically correct than to say “creationism,” but they just don’t make the connection that if you say “ID” you’re either supposed to play dumb about the age of the earth (& universe & life) or concede the mainstream science position.

Here’s an interesting irony: A few months ago I heard a radio talk show host rave about ID and thought “Here’s a rare ID fan who actually gets what the DI is trying to say.” That’s because he stopped a caller in his tracks with “Mike Huckabee is probably not a young-earther.” Not many ID fans would think to say that. Of course, the host was none other than “Bigfoot” advocate Michael Medved, who soon became a DI fellow!

Daniel Phelps:

Here is the citation: The Torch, Spring 2008, Page 7 under Legal Program Update by William E. Sharp, Staff Attorney.

I will try to get the Panda’s Thumb folks a scan by this weekend. I can probably take a digital photo if people are really bent out of shape over this and want it more quickly. Of course this could be The Matrix, or someone went to a hell of a lot of trouble faking the entire goddamn ACLU newsletter just to fool me. Jezzzus tapdancing Christ it is amazing that people think EVERYTHING is available instantly on the internet.

Thank you Daniel. I was most concerned that we had no citation for this and that the article itself carried no information that even gave a date for when it happened. Personally, I am satisfied and thank you for bringing this to our attention.

I too would dearly love to see the materials this teacher used, and to see what connection it has to AIG. That one gets the confounding of the DI’s position and more “traditional” Creationism doesn’t surprised me: the DI is an inept political lobby, whereas the “people in the trenches” don’t care at all about the politics, but their faith.

dpr

Charlemagne Wrote:

Why can’t the taxpayers of Kentucky decide whether they want Jesus or Darwin honored in public schools?

Two reasons:
(1) Public schools are tax-funded and thus are government institutions. Therefore, the first amendment (you know, where it prohibits government from favouring one religious denomination above any other) prevents the promotion of any religion in public schools. Unless you are suggesting that Mohammed, Krishna, Vishnu, Kali, Set, Odin, Thor, Bast, Mielikki, Cthulhu and Amaterasu Omikami (inter alia) be given equal time with Jesus…?
(2) Darwin does not get “honoured” in schools by the teaching of evolutionary theory. Modern evolutionary theory (MET) is good science, and it has earned its place in the science curriculum in any school that wishes to teach actual science (as opposed to myth, fiction or unreasonable doubt) in biology classes.

Why must the courts be used to ban Christianity from the schools when democratic sentiment is against it?

Oh boy, you really have not understood human rights, have you?

The first amendment guarantees that government will not favour one religion above any other. Therefore, tax dollars may not be used to promote any religion. This right exists to protect minority religious views from persecution by the majority. The biggest flaw of a democracy is that minorities can end up being voted into a position of second-class citizenship. Most western democracies have laws in place to prevent this from happening. In the USA, it is the constitution itself that protects religious minorities.

Christianity is not “banned” from schools. It has the same status as every other religion, or indeed absence of religion. What is banned from public schools is the active promotion of Christianity by the school, which is as it should be. My personal feeling is that, in public schools, the students also should be prevented from proselytising, but this is not the case.

What is wrong with teaching the idea the evidence that God created the world,

Uh, yeah, science classes are all about the evidence, and conclusions drawn from the evidence. There is no evidence that indicates the involvement of a deity in either the beginning of the world or the beginning of life. At the same time, there is no evidence to rule out either option.

The beginning of life is an active area of biological research (abiogenesis), but this is not relevant to MET. MET explains how life changes over time, not how it arose initially. Do not confuse MET (a specific biological theory) with the more general sense of “evolution” (meaning change over time of anything). MET can quite comfortably accommodate a single event of special creation in the distant past (which, IIUC, is what Darwin himself actually believed).

or the role of sodomy in AIDS transmission,

[sarcasm]Good luck with getting permission to teach high school kids what sodomy is.[/sarcasm] Seriously, what kind of a sicko are you, that you want to teach children about this?

or that babies feel pain when being aborted?

Again with the inaccurate terms. Babies are never aborted. Sometimes, blastocysts, embryos or foetuses are aborted. And what relevance does this topic have to a full, well-rounded education? If abortion were a major component of biology, then sure, but it is actually one of many tens of thousands of medical procedures. Human reproductive biology should be taught at some stage, but the curriculum should concentrate on the most important points.

Frank J:

A recent PT article suggested that Paul Nelson, one of the few DI fellows known as a YEC, may actually be an Omphalos creationist (i.e. he personally believes a YE in spite of the evidence, not because of it).

“Omphalos creationist”? I had to look that one up on Wikipedia … ah, the old “Cosmic Prankster Creator” dodge: “Well, the Universe is really young but I created it so it would look old, just to fool everybody.”

I am always dumbfounded to find that somebody actually believes such a thing – not because it is laughable but because it is laughable on both sides of the fence. Stand in the middle of the road, you get hit by traffic going both ways … this is more like standing in the middle of the expressway.

MrG Wrote:

I am always dumbfounded to find that somebody actually believes such a thing.

YECs too get “hit by traffic” from multiple angles, such as OECs and mainstream science (IDers leave them alone for the sake of the big tent). If anything I see Omphalos as an honest, if confused, belief that one at least admits cannot be explained to others. In contrast, anyone who defends YEC after looking long and hard at the evidence is probably either a closet Omphalos creationist or closet evolutionist. IOW, more dishonest than the Omphalos creationist.

If Nelson noticed my question and deliberately refused to answer it, that could mean that he is in one closet or another.

I wouldn’t make too much of the usual comment that Omphalos creationists imply that God is a deceiver, because one way or another all creationists/IDers trivialize God. Plus if one can rationalize how God allows death and suffering, what’s so bad about playing tricks on us about the age of the earth?

Frank J:

In contrast, anyone who defends YEC after looking long and hard at the evidence is probably either a closet Omphalos creationist or closet evolutionist.

No offense meant, but I’m not sure I’d buy that. Honestly, I don’t have much of a problem with creationism as such, since if someone claims their scripture trumps scientific evidence, there’s not much I could or would say about it. The possibility of me convincing them they are wrong are exactly the same as the possibility of them convincing me they are right … zero, to be exact. We have nothing to discuss any more.

It is the attempt of people who hate the sciences to pretend to be scientific that puts them beyond the fringe. Perfectly logical from their point of view – if the sciences are bunk, why not grab whatever bits and pieces of the sciences that can be contrived as ridiculous to throw back at them? Logical consistency? Why would they care?

However, to pretend that they have the least interest in the sciences is somewhat reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver talking to Bill Murray in GHOSTBUSTERS:

“You don’t remind me of a scientist at all.”

“No?”

“You’re more like a TV gameshow host.”

I supposed “television evangelist” would work better in this context.

Dishonest? That’s *such* a harsh word … more like a really bad con job, the scientific equivalent of getting an email from a Nigerian email scammer: “If you’re going to con me, you might actually pull off a *good* con.”

Nigel D:

Charlemagne Wrote:

Why can’t the taxpayers of Kentucky decide whether they want Jesus or Darwin honored in public schools?

Two reasons:
(1) Public schools are tax-funded and thus are government institutions. Therefore, the first amendment (you know, where it prohibits government from favouring one religious denomination above any other) prevents the promotion of any religion in public schools. Unless you are suggesting that Mohammed, Krishna, Vishnu, Kali, Set, Odin, Thor, Bast, Mielikki, Cthulhu and Amaterasu Omikami (inter alia) be given equal time with Jesus…?
(2) Darwin does not get “honoured” in schools by the teaching of evolutionary theory. Modern evolutionary theory (MET) is good science, and it has earned its place in the science curriculum in any school that wishes to teach actual science (as opposed to myth, fiction or unreasonable doubt) in biology classes.

Since evolutionism makes claims about past, unrepeatable events, it is ipso facto a matter of faith. There is no more scientific evidence life came from a rock than there is that Jesus rose from the dead. The difference is we have written record of the latter claim.

Why must the courts be used to ban Christianity from the schools when democratic sentiment is against it?

Oh boy, you really have not understood human rights, have you?

The first amendment guarantees that government will not favour one religion above any other. Therefore, tax dollars may not be used to promote any religion. This right exists to protect minority religious views from persecution by the majority. The biggest flaw of a democracy is that minorities can end up being voted into a position of second-class citizenship. Most western democracies have laws in place to prevent this from happening. In the USA, it is the constitution itself that protects religious minorities.

Christianity is not “banned” from schools. It has the same status as every other religion, or indeed absence of religion.

Jesus said those who are not for him are against him. The evolutionistic lie of neutrality which demotes Christianity to just another religion actually exalts their own religion (Darwinism) to a revered pinnacle where it goes unquestioned!

What is banned from public schools is the active promotion of Christianity by the school, which is as it should be. My personal feeling is that, in public schools, the students also should be prevented from proselytising, but this is not the case.

What is wrong with teaching the idea the evidence that God created the world,

Uh, yeah, science classes are all about the evidence, and conclusions drawn from the evidence. There is no evidence that indicates the involvement of a deity in either the beginning of the world or the beginning of life. At the same time, there is no evidence to rule out either option.

The beginning of life is an active area of biological research (abiogenesis), but this is not relevant to MET. MET explains how life changes over time, not how it arose initially. Do not confuse MET (a specific biological theory) with the more general sense of “evolution” (meaning change over time of anything). MET can quite comfortably accommodate a single event of special creation in the distant past (which, IIUC, is what Darwin himself actually believed).

or the role of sodomy in AIDS transmission,

[sarcasm]Good luck with getting permission to teach high school kids what sodomy is.[/sarcasm] Seriously, what kind of a sicko are you, that you want to teach children about this?

Well, the homosexual propaganda machine maintains a monopoly on the discussion of these issues. Children are already taught all about sodomy–on the terms of the Sodomites themselves. Evolutionists regularly teach the “fact” that “AIDS does not discriminate” and ergo, a virgin has exactly the same chance of getting AIDS as a daily visitor to a San Francisco bathhouse.

or that babies feel pain when being aborted?

Again with the inaccurate terms. Babies are never aborted. Sometimes, blastocysts, embryos or foetuses are aborted.

Yes, and authentic people were never sent to the gas chambers in Auchwitz, only “Untenmenschen” (sub-humans)

And what relevance does this topic have to a full, well-rounded education?

It highlights the religion of evolutionism’s war on human life. Hatred of human life is the linchpin of evolutionary ethics. From the gulags and gas chambers of yesteryear to the abortionists of today to their enthusiasm for sodomy that creates no hated babies but spawns much viral and bacterial life (acceptable in evolutionary eyes)

If abortion were a major component of biology, then sure, but it is actually one of many tens of thousands of medical procedures. Human reproductive biology should be taught at some stage, but the curriculum should concentrate on the most important points.

Since evolutionism makes claims about past, unrepeatable events, it is ipso facto a matter of faith. There is no more scientific evidence life came from a rock than there is that Jesus rose from the dead. The difference is we have written record of the latter claim.

You seem to be confused about what constitutes science. In fact, it is not the events that need to be repeatable but rather observations of said events, whether inferred via morphology, fossils, genetic data and so on.

Did not God create man from dust? How little faith you seem to have to reject not just God’s teachings but the evidence that shows how life evolved over a period of billions of years.

As a Christian myself, I am always amazed at the level of ignorance of some of my fellow Christians when it comes to evolutionary theory.

Well, the homosexual propaganda machine maintains a monopoly on the discussion of these issues. Children are already taught all about sodomy–on the terms of the Sodomites themselves. Evolutionists regularly teach the “fact” that “AIDS does not discriminate” and ergo, a virgin has exactly the same chance of getting AIDS as a daily visitor to a San Francisco bathhouse.

Stop making yourself and Christianity look foolish. Teaching children about sex is hardly something we should oppose as it helps prevent STD’s as well as unwanted pregnancies, leading to fewer abortions for instance.

Hatred of human life is the linchpin of evolutionary ethics

Again you seem to be ill informed my dear Christian friend.

Yes, and authentic people were never sent to the gas chambers in Auchwitz, only “Untenmenschen” (sub-humans)

So when do you believe ‘life’ starts and based on what grounds? Biblical grounds? What do you believe science and the Bible tell us and how does this relate to the woman who is pregnant?

Charlemagne:

Since evolutionism makes claims about past, unrepeatable events, it is ipso facto a matter of faith.

It’s a matter of faith that you have a brain. You’ve never seen your own brain, have you? Can you prove you have one?

Charlemagne: Jesus said those who are not for him are against him.

Huh. I seem to remember Matthew 9:40 “For whoever is not against us is on our side.”

(Text from The World English Bible as found at Project Guttenburg)

Charlemange Wrote:

Since evolutionism makes claims about past, unrepeatable events, it is ipso facto a matter of faith.

This is a straightforward lie.

You claim that we cannot assert anything for sure about past, unrepeatable events (and please, pray, explain what an “unrepeatable” event is when it’s at home!).

Well, in that case, England did not win the 1966 World Cup!

Seriously, your lack of anything resembling logic in that statement is disturbing.

We know many things about the past. We dferive this knowledge from evidence of past events that remains in the present. We observe that objects and substances behave according to regular, reproducible laws (i.e. the laws of chemistyr and physics). Putting the evidence of past events together with our knowledge of the way the universe behaves requires only one very reasonable assumption (that the laws of physics and chemistry do not change with time or place) to allow us to make some very definite and reliable conclusions about past events.

None of this requires faith.

I’ll try to illustrate this by analogy. Try to think of a place that you have only ever visited once, and are unlikely to visit again. How do you know that you were ever there? Sure, you have a memory of being there, but that’s just a matter of faith that your memory is a real record. By contrast, do you have photographs or souvenirs from that visit?

There is no more scientific evidence life came from a rock than there is that Jesus rose from the dead.

What the hell has this to do with evolutionary theory?

Come up with some new soundbites, cos this one is really boring me now.

The difference is we have written record of the latter claim.

Since you quite obviously do not believe everything you see in writing, so how do you decide which written records to believe and which to ignore? Also, is that the same set of documentation that describes locusts as having four legs?

Besides, I would believe hard, physical evidence, and logical inferences drawn from the evidence, over a historical account any day.

The difference is we have written record of the latter claim.

You mean like the written account of Joseph Smith and the golden tablets, confirmed by signed eyewitnesses, thus surpassing in credibility anything the Mormon-deniers have to offer.

Pssst…sometimes people write down lies that serve them. Writing an idea down does not magically transform nonsense into sense. Check out Uncommon Descent sometime.

MrG Wrote:

No offense meant, but I’m not sure I’d buy that.

In haste I did exclude some other “middle” positions such as “closet OEC” and “hopelessly compartmentalized.” The point I was trying to make is that, past a certain point of looking at the evidence, most anti-evolutionists at least partly know that they are leading their audience to infer things that they know ain’t so.

I’m not sure where that “point” is, but I’m pretty sure that most or all DI fellows are well past it.

I should also qualify that, when I say that they’re “dishonest,” I also think (as Ronald Bailey suggests in the above link) that they honestly believe that it would be a better world if the “masses” rejected evolution, even if the evidence supports it. Though I could be wrong about that too.

Frank J:

In haste I did exclude some other “middle” positions such as “closet OEC” and “hopelessly compartmentalized.”

I tend to see “hopelessly compartmentalized” as the norm, not merely among Darwin-bashers but among other fringe groups. I tinker with a number of topics, and it turns out to be about as constant as death and taxes that there’s going to be a fringe group in each one of them. Einstein-bashers are my favorite … every bit as earnest as Darwin-bashers, but nobody knows they exist. I must admit that the Darwin-bashers beat any other fringe group I have run into in terms of the sheer scale and audio volume of the operation.

I’m sure you’re familiar with Glenn Morton’s entirely witty comments about Morton’s demon: http://www.vectorsite.net/g2008m01.html#m7 I think he hit the nail precisely on the head.

Charlemange Wrote:

Well, the homosexual propaganda machine maintains a monopoly on the discussion of these issues. Children are already taught all about sodomy–on the terms of the Sodomites themselves.

References?

Evolutionists regularly teach the “fact” that “AIDS does not discriminate”

No, it does not. It is caused by a virus. Tell me, do you actually know anything about the transmission of HIV?

and ergo, a virgin has exactly the same chance of getting AIDS as a daily visitor to a San Francisco bathhouse.

Your comparison is irrelevant except under specific circumstances :- there are several high-risk behaviours related to HIV transmission, of which unprotected sex (of any kind) is but one. In most cases, HIV is transmitted by heterosexual intercourse. Or are you blind to the plight of the thousands of children in Africa who have HIV infections because their mothers were infected with HIV?

Having read the remainder of Charlemange’s comment (#148772), I have reached the conclusion that this is just another troll. Not interested in understanding anything. Not interested in an open and honest exchnage of views. Only interested in spewing vitriol in an attempt to garner some attention from educated people.

Charlemange, before posting again please either go back on the meds or grow up and get a life.

Since evolutionism makes claims about past, unrepeatable events, it is ipso facto a matter of faith.

Your grasp of Latin is as shaky as your grasp of science.

Why are you soft on crime?

Gil Grissom Las Vegas Crime Lab

No one wants to honour Darwin and as far as I’m concerned you don’t even have to believe his theory is correct. […] Science is the provable stuff and religion is the faith stuff. Science doesn’t care what you believe and faith is all about what you believe.

Respect. [Well, tolerance to be exact, but that doesn’t seem to work. :~]

“We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.”
H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

Bill Gascoyne:

“We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.”
H.L. Mencken (1880-1956)

“Politeness (n): The most acceptable hypocrisy.” Ambrose Bierce

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on March 25, 2008 11:21 PM.

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