Civil War

| 256 Comments

2008-11-29_Evolution_LIE.png

I snapped this on my cell phone camera while I was home in Oregon for Thanksgiving. This doesn’t seem to happen in Berkeley for some reason (perhaps we’re hopeless), but in several other places when I have been to large football games, several groups of protestors/preachers will be standing near the entrances with signs and megaphones yelling at people that the end is coming, repent or go to hell, homosexuality is a sin, etc.

In this case I was attending the Civil War game between the Oregon State University Beavers and the University of Oregon Ducks. The Beavers, from Corvallis, my home town, were poised to go to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 44 years if they could just beat the arch-nemesis Ducks. Many people carried roses into the game.

Anyway, on the way in, this girl and her father were holding signs (not shouting for once) and passing out literature. I asked permission from the father (and the girl) to take the photo; the father agreed as long as I took some of the literature. It’s a great photo for anyone wondering why creationism continues to persist in the culture.

I did not repent of evolution, and the Beavers and their Rose Bowl hopes were mercilessly crushed, at home, 65-38. Correlation or causation? We report, you decide.

256 Comments

Not a happy sight.

We need a new rule: if you don’t understand it you’re not allowed to protest against it.

“My grandad ain’t no monkey!”- bzzzt. No banner for you. “Daddy said evolution is bad.” -bzzzt. No banner for you. “Standard presentations of descent with variation frequently neglect the importance of developmental constraints on the available range of variation.” - you might need a bigger banner.

tacitus Wrote:

Not a happy sight.

Of course not. Not to downplay it in the least, but only a small % of the public is inclined to conduct such demonstrations, with at most another 25% actively cheering from the sidelines. But those people don’t need anti-evolution activists to make up their minds, and almost nothing we do could change their minds.

What worries me much more is another ~20% that isn’t so hopelessly fundamentalist, but still would choose the “man created in his present form in the last 10,000 years” answer on those poll questions. And yet another ~20% that accepts evolution (or more likely a caricature) but still thinks that it’s fair to teach anti-evolution propaganda (what they think is “critical analysis”) in public schools.

It seems like this young girl really does not understand the issues and is just doing what her parents want her to do to please them. Do you think the parents are exploiting her to make their point?

I had a look at the site mentioned on the sign. Don’t bother. Not an argument, not a fact, nothing but blind assertions of falsehoods so blatantly obvious that even AiG gave up on them years ago. The guy must be stupider than a bag of rocks.

George said:

It seems like this young girl really does not understand the issues and is just doing what her parents want her to do to please them. Do you think the parents are exploiting her to make their point?

Should one report this child abuse to Child Protective Services?

“My grandad ain’t no monkey!”- bzzzt. No banner for you.

ITYM “No banana for you.”

I’ve yet to have a fundtard explain to me how the Theory of Evolution being correct disproves the existence of their God. Not only do they not understand biology they don’t seem to understand their theology well enough to defend it, hence the signs and the shouting of “Praise Jeezus!”

Poor girl.

I also checked out the site they referred to on the sign and it was pretty terrible (by creationist website standards)

George said:

It seems like this young girl really does not understand the issues and is just doing what her parents want her to do to please them. Do you think the parents are exploiting her to make their point?

Is it not ever thus?

Shoomi Wrote:

I also checked out the site they referred to on the sign and it was pretty terrible (by creationist website standards)

AIUI, that’s the norm from the militant fringe of the rank and file. Most non-fundamentalist nonscientists would laugh at the material if they had the interest to check it out. OTOH, if the DI succeeds, much of it would be replaced with their propaganda, which is far slicker.

Should one report this child abuse to Child Protective Services?

Uh-Ohhh.….better check your Censorship-O-Meter, the red light is flashing again.

…there’s just no words really is there? How does one fight against such stupidity?

This is rather frightening. I feel sorry for the poor girl, hopefully she grows up to know better.

Dear Mr. FL,

The flashing red light is nothing to worry about. It only comes on if the Censorship-O-Meter is being held by a moron.

Regards, C-O-M Technical Support

George said:

It seems like this young girl really does not understand the issues and is just doing what her parents want her to do to please them. Do you think the parents are exploiting her to make their point?

No, it would appear her parents have carefully weighed all the evidence for and against evolution and from that told their daughter what to think. If she thinks otherwise, her parents might shun and abandon her, i.e. the fear factor, and otherwise make her life a hell on earth. Isn’t that how religion works? But I’m sure it is a heart-warming sight for the Dishonesty Institute ilk.

The flashing red light is nothing to worry about.

You see nothing wrong with the government threatening to remove somebody’s children merely for publicly expressing religious opinions in a non-violent law-abiding manner? Does the word “gulag” carry any meaning for you?

FL

deep said:

This is rather frightening. I feel sorry for the poor girl, hopefully she grows up to know better.

Hopefully her parents don’t belong to this Oregon church -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Follow[…]regon_church)

Sorry - bad link. Here is a sample:

The Followers of Christ is an unorthodox fundamentalist Christian denomination based in the U.S. state of Oregon. The church has attracted controversy for its practices of faith healing and of shunning members who violate church doctrine, including those who seek medical care. According to authorities in Oregon and other places where church members are found, numerous children have suffered premature deaths from treatable causes due to their parents’ refusal to seek medical care. Church members and others have argued that parents should have the right to select whatever methods of healing they deem appropriate for their children; and that public policy which requires use of conventional medicine over faith healing constitutes a violation of freedom of religion.

tacitus said: Not a happy sight.

The ironic thing is, this behavior is perfectly explained by evolution. If a member of the species behaves and acts like its parent, it has very high likelihood of being just as successful as its parent. The danger is in the long term, if the environment changes, the group that refuses to adapt and adamantly cling to old ways will lose “market share” and eventually go extinct. But in the near term, this is a very sane strategy of survival.

Further, the parent of that child is inculcating not just bias against evolution and science but also many other qualities and values. Not all of them will be detrimental to the child. Yes, it might leave a little more credulous and little bit more vulnerable to religious types exploiting her but she will also get some decent level of help and cooperation from her church group. Overall the child might not do badly and in all likelihood will have her own family in the future and might perpetuate the bias against science.

Hopefully, when she grows up, she will be exposed more positive views of science and lose her prejudice against it, but still retain the liking for the non-violent protest and the guts to stand up for one’s beliefs and values that she gets from her dad.

Even if that does not happen, we should realize that this is the instinct honed by evolution over millions of years. It is very very difficult to fight against it.

FL: someone tongue-in-cheek (I assume) said “Should one report this child abuse to Child Protective Services?” and you get from that “… the government threatening to remove somebody’s children merely for publicly expressing religious opinions in a non-violent law-abiding manner”. Please could you explain the logical steps you used.

There is a nice story - with a happy ending! - about a paleontologist who grew up creationist and went to school with the intention of debunking evolution. If you have access to Science, read it here:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conte[…]19/5866/1034

It highlights the difficulties faced by people who “betray” their religious upbringing.

Here’s a sample from that Science article for you poor befuddled non-subscribers:

It was the study of fossils that, 25 years ago, set Godfrey on an anguished path. Raised in a fundamentalist Christian family in Quebec, Canada, embracing a 6000-year-old Earth where Noah’s flood laid down every fossil, Godfrey began probing the underpinnings of creationism in graduate school. The inconsistencies he found led step by step, over many years, to a staunch acceptance of evolution. With this shift came rejection from his religious community, estrangement from his parents, and, perhaps most difficult of all, a crisis of faith that endures.

The article is called “Crossing the Divide,” by Jennifer Couzin.

Science 22 February 2008: Vol. 319. no. 5866, pp. 1034 - 1036 DOI: 10.1126/science.319.5866.1034

Dave Luckett said:

I had a look at the site mentioned on the sign. Don’t bother. Not an argument, not a fact, nothing but blind assertions of falsehoods so blatantly obvious that even AiG gave up on them years ago. The guy must be stupider than a bag of rocks.

The site itself has links to.….….….…..the Answers in Genesis website.

Frank J said:

What worries me much more is another ~20% that isn’t so hopelessly fundamentalist, but still would choose the “man created in his present form in the last 10,000 years” answer on those poll questions. And yet another ~20% that accepts evolution (or more likely a caricature) but still thinks that it’s fair to teach anti-evolution propaganda (what they think is “critical analysis”) in public schools.

The polls clearly show, and my limited experience with AP biology teachers shows, its worse than that. The pro-science/anti-creationism crowd is just as guilty of self deception as the creation science crowd in that there’s an unfortunate tendency to extrapolate from personal experience and believe that the majority doesn’t take anti-evolution propaganda seriously. This photo is just a random sample of reality intruding. “Teach the controversy” is working. Its not a matter of converting anyone. The appeal to “fairness” is only part of it. The problem is the majority who can be easily convinced of an atheist scientific establishment conspiracy. The more the general public perceives proscience activism as anti-religion activism the easier the DI’s work is, and the worse things will become.

Simple enough really, but I keep getting the impression in this forum that someone needs to keep pointing this out.

I do appreciate the civility of a non-shouting, non-in-your-face protest.

Nick, are you telling me the Yeshua guy is gone from Sproul Plaza? I haven’t been back in a few years. While I can’t remember this particular issue rearing its ugly head at Berkeley, I do remember protesters at Berkeley that were equally religious, equally crazy, and a lot more obnoxious…

Check this out: http://www.answersingenesis.org/hom[…]dont_use.asp

The [inserted numbers] refer to my direct responses to this crap.

The authority for Answers in Genesis is the infallible Word of God, the Bible [1](see Q&A: Bible). All theories of science are fallible, and new data often overturn previously held theories[2]. Just as evolutionists continually revise their theories because of new data, it should not be surprising or distressing that some creationist scientific theories need to be revised at times, too[3].

The first article on this page sums up what creationists’ attitude should be about various ideas and theories. The other articles provide examples of arguments that should no longer be used; some arguments are definitely fallacious, while others are merely doubtful or unsubstantiated[4]. We provide brief explanations why, and/or hyperlinks to other articles on this website with more detailed explanations. We don’t claim that this list is exhaustive[5]—it will be updated with additions and maybe deletions as new evidence is discovered. Many of these arguments have never been promoted by AiG, and some have not been promoted by any major creationist organization (so they were not directed at anyone in particular), but are instead straw men set up by anti-creationists[6].

Persistently using discredited arguments is both ineffectual and, more importantly, immoral—it’s the truth that sets us free[7] (John 8:32), not error, and Christ is “the truth” (John 14:6)! Since there is so much good evidence for creation[8], there is no need to use any of the “doubtful” arguments.

1. The claim that the Bible is the infallible Word of God is an blind assumption without evidence.

2. The fact that scientific theories are subject to revision enables science to become more accurate over time.

3. There is no such thing as a Creationist scientific theory. Creationists revise some of their claims to avoid being discredited once even most of their stanchest supporters stop taking them seriously. That’s not education.

4. ALL Creationist claims and arguments are dubious!

5. Of course not! If it was exhaustive, the AIG people would have their ENTIRE website listed there.…and then there would be no need for it, really.

6. Examples, please? It is Creationists who I’ve seen put up the straw men.

7. This is most ironic statement they could have made!

8. When are we ever going to see this “good evidence”?

Now imagine what it is like to try to teach this kid about evolution. I have actually had some fundie kids stick their fingers in their ears rather than be contaminated by even listening to evolution. They have the ultimate threat. If you listen to evolutionists and decide for yourself that it makes sense.…YOU WILL GO TO HELL!!!!

There’s an unspoken assumption of dogma prefacing that article that’s necessary for criticizing it. AIG teaches that the corrupting bias of atheistic science produces a different “science” than that of their God informed “worldview”. If you attack religion in the context of criticizing the creationism education campaign you simply reinforce their argument. The major impact of their argument is not with the anti-science evangelicals, but with the majority of the population that has no interest in attacking religious beliefs. If you volunteer for the role of the anti-religion bogey man you reinforce the public perception that a “balanced” education is necessary.

I think already that thinking is de-emphasized far too much in the educational system already.

Sorry for the redundant “already”. I should have thought about it more.

GvlGeologist, FCD said:

Sorry for the long answer, but you did ask!

No no…this is a great answer! I’m in your boat, oars, bucket and all! I’m appalled by the tendency towards wrote memorization. I think a lot of people push it and like it because they feel it’s something so easy to evaluate - either the student knows the answer or doesn’t. But such thinking has led to diminishing value of information in almost all aspects of society. Politicians can’t really answer any kind of issue question, because a real answer requires thought and in most cases a variety of answers depending on a variety of conditions. Newspapers rarely print penetrating stories because most readers turn off after reading the first paragraph and only want “the facts” (if that). Most entertainment lacks depth because it is aimed at the lowest common denominator. A lot of businesses just look for people who have accomplished specific wrote exercises, having no ability to assess whether a candidate can really think about problems from a variety of different angles.

Oble: Believe me, I value people who can think and discuss things much more than I value people who can regurgitate a bunch of facts. But, as I said to Eric, I recognize that thinking can’t be at the expense of facts. It would be just as bad to have a society that relied on someone rediscoverying Boyle’s Law ever 7 years…

_________Was Lamarckism a scientific theory?

Astrology is not a scientific theory, phrenology is not a scientific theory?

Well is Lamarkism a scientific theory?

There is a very good reason they will not answer this one!!!

Bobby the Sockpuppeteering Troll trolled:

_________Was Lamarckism a scientific theory?

Astrology is not a scientific theory, phrenology is not a scientific theory?

Well is Lamarckism a scientific theory?

There is a very good reason they will not answer this one!!!

There are several good reasons why, actually:

1) Other commenters don’t understand why you don’t go to some website like Wikipedia to read that the primary reason why Lamarckism, as Lamarck proposed it, has fallen out of favor and into disused among scientists is because there is neither proposed mechanism or even evidence of inheriting acquired physical traits.

2) Other commentors have assumed that you have already asked this question, and ignored the answers given to you on a previous thread.

3) Other commentors are ignoring you because you are a troll.

The reason no one will respond to bobby anymore is because this is alias number 70 for it (and that is just since I have been keeping track). Why would anyone respond to someone who shows disrespect for every poster here by using 70 aliases? If bobby wants anyone to take it seriously it should at the very least choose one name and stick to it. If it can’t be bothered to do that why would anyone respond to anything it says or asks?

As the number of bobby aliases approaches three digits, the number of thoughtful worthwhile comments he has made has yet to reach single digits.

Or i=1/P

Where i is bits of information (oh yes please let’s go there again)and P is number of posts.

This girl and her father have a right to believe what they want. I am glad she is being educated by her father. He at least offers hope. What do you have to offer? Death!Thats it that is all there is little girl you go into a grave and rot.

Tricia said:

This girl and her father have a right to believe what they want. I am glad she is being educated by her father. He at least offers hope. What do you have to offer? Death!Thats it that is all there is little girl you go into a grave and rot.

And where have “we” said that?

Tricia, I’ll make this as simple as I can: Evolution does not equal atheism.

tresmal said:

Tricia, I’ll make this as simple as I can: Evolution does not equal atheism.

I think you’re wasting your time trying to explain things to Tricia. People like Tricia have been taught to refuse to accept or believe such a statement, and will refuse to accept or believe such a statement even if it came straight from the lips of Jesus.

Tricia said:

This girl and her father have a right to believe what they want.

Yes, and we have the right to believe that what they believe is stupid. A right to your opinion does not come with an exemption from criticism.

I just came across the pamphlet I got. The website it refers to is http://www.charityministries.org

GvlGeologist, FCD said: in teaching both at University and at Community College levels for the past 20 years or so, I encounter far too many students who really, honestly, believe that an education consists of memorizing a database of facts, without any real understanding of the implications of them.

That’s a shame. I think we are all in violent agreement here that critical thinking is underemphasized in today’s U.S. high schools.

The photo that started this post is probably a good example of this. I think it is highly unlikely that the girl (or her father) will ever really think, even if they learn the facts, about evolution.

Just a quibble, I think the photo is probably not representative of what happens in the normal U.S. system. There you have a mix of competent and incompetent teachers sincerely trying (for the most part) to do a very difficult job. I would guess that critical thinking often gets short shrift simply because there is a lot of material to get through and teaching it takes more planning and is harder to do than teaching facts. Its not a good outcome, but its relatively innocent.

In contrast what is likely practiced in fundamentalist private- and home-school settings is malice: fundamentalist teachers and parents intentionally misrepresenting history, science, etc… as mere fact-collecting exercises, and purposefully denigrating critical thinking as inferior to biblical exegesis.

A good example of this intentional misrepresentation can be found by reading Ayala’s and Kennedy’s expert witness reports from the ACSI v. Stearns case, link:

http://www.universityofcalifornia.e[…]csi-stearns/

In those two reports you will find many quotes from two fundamentalist biology textbooks that explicitly tell students to trust the bible over their own analyses or the findings of science. That’s not just imperfect teaching - that’s malice.

eric Wrote:

In those two reports you will find many quotes from two fundamentalist biology textbooks that explicitly tell students to trust the bible over their own analyses or the findings of science. That’s not just imperfect teaching - that’s malice.

These techniques are taught nearly everywhere by the fundamentalists. Here is another example. Note the section called “Developing a Method of Study”.

I have acquaintances that are fundamentalists and home-school their kids. They won’t buy textbooks that are not approved by their church. I’ve seen the books; they’re terrible.

deep said:

This is rather frightening. I feel sorry for the poor girl, hopefully she grows up to know better.

This is totally sad but she’ll be pregnant by the time she’s 16.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on December 8, 2008 12:42 AM.

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