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Archive for Friday, December 30, 2005

Messy issue

December 30, 2005

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To the editor:

Let's look objectively at this issue of evolution versus intelligent design. No one was there "at the beginning" to observe how this Earth (and life) began. I was taught that theory is that which can't be proven by observation. Common factors in theories are: the person that started it, artifacts that support it and a following of people that believe it.

Coupled with evidence supporting theories is criticism of the evidence. For instance, critics of intelligent design say that evidence is unreliable. Critics of evolution say that there are "missing links" in the fossil record and that the carbon-14 dating process may be inaccurate. Proponents of both sides are dogmatic that their theory is right and both are religious fundamental faiths.

Check out the definitions for religion, fundamentalism and faith from Webster's. Proponents of intelligent design have been called religious fundamentalists. However, according to the definitions in Webster's, this term also applies to evolutionists. Truly everyone has faith or trust in something. The question is, what is the object of their faith?

There are three options regarding this messy, emotionally charged political issue facing the Kansas Board of Education. One: Teach neither, citing that both are religions and can't be taught due to separation of church and state. Two: Teach both in class, side by side, in a unit called "Various Theories of Origins: Evidences and Criticisms." Or, three: Let individual schools choose what to teach, and let individuals decide where to send their children.

Patrick Dority,

Eudora

Comments

Ragingbear 8 years, 12 months ago

ID doesn't even meet the criteria for a theory. A theory has some sort of working basis. All you have is an old book about a bi-polar diety.

Ember 8 years, 12 months ago

Oh, ID counts as a theory. So does the flying spaghetti monster, but that is beside the point.

There is no definate proof of these aliens or higher beings alluded to in ID. Roswell just doesn't make the cut, either. There are too many similarities in genetic structure for ID to really be taken all that seriously.

Frankly, I'd home school my children before exposing them to that drivel.

Leave the aliens to Project: Blue Book and deities to the people that run churches. Leave science to those that have spent the better part of a decade in school learning science.

Ragingbear 8 years, 12 months ago

I decided long ago that if I ever had children, they would either be private schooled or home schooled.

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

Good! Then break down that mis-interpretation of the constitution. I say break down that wall! The seperation of church and state has been totally misinterpreted.

Yes, we are going to private school our children.. You bet.. At Veritas Christian school.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 12 months ago

What a shame. I hope your children can overcome the indoctrination to which you intend to expose them.

craigers 8 years, 12 months ago

How does ID establish a government mandated religion? I don't think ID forces anybody to be a Christian.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 12 months ago

If you force public school students to study a concept that is religious in nature, and try to pass it off as science, that is mandating religion despite the thinly veiling window dressing.

fossilhunter 8 years, 12 months ago

I finally thought of the perfect analogy to ID -- ebonics. Remember that? "English" taught where kids don't really have to spell, just write how the words sound..."words" could be spelled "werdz" and be perfectly OK. ID is scientific ebonics. It looks like science, so therefore, it IS science, right?

Ebonics didn't work either....

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 12 months ago

This letter is an example of "ID isn't science, but neither is evolution". This is an ID creationist talking point meant to attack science rather than to promote ID creationism.

The author stated: "I was taught that theory is that which can't be proven by observation. Common factors in theories are: the person that started it, artifacts that support it and a following of people that believe it."

I have never encountered this definition of a theory before. Theories are indeed supported by observation and experimentation, and evolution is a robust theory.

Another tactic of ID creationists is to define science in narrow terms and then to show how evolution fails to meet these definitions. This is ridiculous rhetoric.

"For instance, critics of intelligent design say that evidence is unreliable."

What evidence? There is no evidence for ID creationism. The only argument put forth by ID creationists is that life "looks like it was designed". This is not evidence.

"Critics of evolution say that there are "missing links" in the fossil record and that the carbon-14 dating process may be inaccurate."

Here is the big difference that the author unwittingly points out. The fossil record and carbon dating are evidence that support evolution. ID creationism has no evidence.

"However, according to the definitions in Webster's, this term (religion, fundamentalism and faith) also applies to evolutionists."

How? Please explain. The author says they apply but does not say how. More empty rhetoric.

A fourth option: How about teaching science in science class and religion and philosophy in religion and philosophy class.

plumwild 8 years, 12 months ago

Intelligent Design is not the property of the religious right or of the journalistic domain and does not equal Creationism. It has been ignorantly hijacked by both those domains. ID originated as scientific reflection on observations of molecular and intra-cellular functions, and purely scientific precepts such as "irreduceable complexity".
My first introduction to it was as a precocious child in conversation with a highly respected botanist, F.U.G. Agrelius, of Emporia, certainly no "Creationist." I have heard of it in scientific discussions for over 45 years. When the moniker Intelligent Design was stuck on it, I don't know. It may have been when Cell Biologist Behe waded in, though he's a recent-comer.
Some scientists question whether vastly complex structures that cannot function at a lower level of complexity can practically be expected to arise from a non-functional or non-related origin, or by "accident". No evidence currently is offered as proof of either. Maybe among you smarter types someone will suggest a venue and terminology you will allow scientists and those of us interested in that scientific conversation to use in examining those questions, such as evolution which includes physics and physical chemistry and perception and cosmology and the pesky problem of some orderly force, undefined except by the space it occupies of "centropy" or "neg-entropy" as the necessary but undefined counter to entropy and natural "disorder"; and that concept of Intelligent Design which includes serious discussions of what is known to happen at the level of cellular life, including motility, metabolism, life, death, irreduceable complexity, and much, much more. Neo-Darwinism and Creationism arguments belong in literature or history or philosophy or debate classes, or on the back of cereal boxes.
The issues are not the same. Depriving students of both of these scientific issues is wrong, as is requiring either neo-Darwinism or Creationism be defined as the exclusive scientific construct.

KayCee 8 years, 12 months ago

The ID hypothesis is: Some things show planning/design in their activity/behavior/formation. The challenge is to design tests that would show 1. There is a difference between random and non-random activities/behavior/formations. 2. If so, show that it is significant.
3. If so, show that there is actually a cause and effect relationship rather then a coincedential relationship.

Is it legal/ethical to: (A). Form such a hypothesis and (B). Develop tests to determine the validity of the hypothesis and (C). Perform the tests and publish the unvarnished results? Proponents of ID say "Yes." Proponents of END(evolutionary non-design) say "No"- one can not even ask this question.

I, for one would like to see the questions asked, researched in depth, debated and discussed.

Many people of faith are are perfectly happy to have END,ID or other theories of how life/the universe came to be, expounded upon. We believe in scientific testing for all theories. We encourge END people or ID proponents to develop tests to verify or falsify either END or ID. We encourage publication of the results. We believe asking questions, even about long held beliefs, to be a good thing.

For neithter ID nor Evolution can any scientist recreate the original occurrance. One can however attempt to develop tests to show if chaos and purpose can be differentiated. Mathamatical formula can help to determine validity, possibility. Chemistry and Biology can be used to look at the questions. I say let the current scientists and the kids who will be our future scientists ask all the questions they like.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 12 months ago

KayCee:

Interesting post. Specifically, what sort of experiment would you suggest to test "planning/design" in "activity/behavior/formation"?

Seriously. Specifically what experiment?

DuQuesne 8 years, 12 months ago

Patrick take a deep breath*.

You say, "I was taught that theory is that which can't be proven by observation." You were taught wrong probably not your fault. A theory, at least a scientific theory, is a great deal more than a wild-ass hunch and has a great deal more going for it than adherence by a large number of people. A scientific theory stands on the evidence for it and does not require faith - "believing in" evolution is a non sequitur in that the process occurs no matter how many believe in it or don't believe in it.

Citing arguments such as those regarding "missing links" and the accuracy of carbon-14 tests only belies your lack of understanding of the methods employed in scientific investigation. Carbon-14 dating like any radiometric dating technique relies on its half-life and is only useful for objects of organic origin which are less than about 50,000 years old. Objects older than 50,000 years must be dated using quantitative analysis of other isotopes.

Teaching neither ID nor evolution is not workable as far as leaving out evolutionary theory because it is the unifying foundation for nearly all of the biological sciences and even some earth science. Leaving out ID is an insult only to the dumb asses who "believe in it." (Me? Biased? Yes.)

Teaching both on an equal footing is ridiculous in that the two concepts ( I cannot bring myself to call ID a "theory") do not share equal support. Evolutionary theory belongs in, and is integral to, a well-designed science curriculum; ID belongs down the hall in "comparative religion" or "comparative theology" classes - if the school district can afford such classes.

Leaving the choice to individual schools would poorly serve their constituencies, and would lead to legitimizing the question, "where did you go to school?" And, would very nearly obviate any efforts at standardization of curricula.

Arguing about (never mind "for" or "against") a thing you don't understand may be illustrated by the following question and answer: Q: Where is the nearest grocery store? A: We have chosen to paint over the wallpaper. - - The point being, of course, the question and the answer bear no relation to each other.

*Don't forget to let it out. And, thanks for participating.

-Schuyler DuQuesne

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 12 months ago

Schuyler: Well said.

plumwild: "irreducible complexity" is not a scientific precept and is a falacy. It is just simply not true. In fact it is a tautology: it assumes that things were "created" as they are now and that biological structures do not change over time. Irreducible complexity proves design which proves irreducible complexity. See the circular argument?

While it is true that "half an eye" is a non-functioning organ, there are examples of "primitive eyes" that served their owners very well at the time, starting with the most primitive eye, the pigment spot.

In fact, Behe's own shining example of irreducible complexity, the bacterial flagellum, is likely to have arisen from a molecular complex with a distinct function, the type III bacterial secretion apparatus.

ID is not science, and it would be a disservice to students to present it as such.

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

I like this debate... except the name calling... seems thats what you fundamental evolutionary athiest do best. You who name call... are you associated with the bigot that teaches at KU? Or maybe you belong to his church :the society of open minded athiest. Open Minded... yea right... thats an oxy-moron.

I think science should teach all the facts of both sides. Some of the posts do offer some intelligent arguments for the THEORY of evolution... that is great... you should always be heard. I also have heard good opposing arguements from Ken Ham, Jonathan Safati, and Carl Wieland. They should also be heard. The problem is that many of you are not open minded, and don't want to even hear opposing arguements... instead just call names. You will surely convince the opposition with that, won't you.... NOT!

Religion: a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. Fundamentalism: a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles. Faith: firm belief in something for which there is no proof: complete trust: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; without doubt or question.

Believe it or not... you (non-open minded evolutionist) are religious... your god is Darwin... your bible is his "orgins of species"... as the author stated... everyone believes in something...

Ember 8 years, 12 months ago

Well, if this is gonna be weighed in the issue of facts, the average high school biology class will probably take 8 years, or so, to get hrough all the facts, with a 2 week blurb in there somewhere pertaining to the Bible, since that is where ID is based.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 12 months ago

satchel,

You are simply incorrect and your statements suggest a deep lack of understanding of science (and a few good zingers!).

Science is not a popularity contest, nor is it fair in the sense that all ideas are equal. For an idea to be a valid scientific idea, it must be supported by data and facts. Blind equivocation of ideas is not a part of science.

I suppose scientists are closed-minded in that any ideas that fail to be supported by data (natural observation and experimentation) are rejected.

I suppose it is also true that scientists believe the scientific method to be the best way of understanding our natural world. This is not faith, however, as the scientific method has proven again and again to have great ability to provide an understanding of nature.

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

fundamental evolutionary athiest ... thats not name calling... its a descriptive noun. You confused your irony meter with your "closed mindedness meter"

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 12 months ago

After reading his last post, I laughed so hard I almost satcheled in my pants.

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

yourworstnightmare,

Thanks for the dialogue (without name calling)...

I think that you are simply incorrect... don't you want to know the more about ID... instead of just passing it off... that is lack of understanding.

I don't disagree with much of the rest that you say... scientific method does deal with operational science... but we are talking about historical science. When it comes to working out what happened in the past... it is limited because we cannot do experiments directly on past events, and history cannot be repeated.

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

Its ok... I just looked in the toilet... I saw yourworstnightmare

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

My last post...

I can zing'em too... yourworstnightmare

Re: the article in the LJW I think since this is such a divisive issue... that school vouchers are a great idea. I am PRO-Choice when it comes to education.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 12 months ago

satchel,

I wasn't calling you a name, I was simply translating your behavior on this blog into verb form. ; )

Jamesaust 8 years, 12 months ago

Look - evolution is not a religion, no matter how many times some quack says otherwise.

To the author: stop trying to drag us down into your muck.

plumwild 8 years, 12 months ago

Y-W-N, It appears you oversimplify to the extent of missing the point. Irreduceable complexity makes no implication that forms don't change or develop. That's your own view. It also says nothing of "create"--again your contribution. There are molecular structures with specific physical functions within cells that either aren't or are. There's no creeping up. That dozens or hundreds of such functions must interact for a primitive cell to live gives rise to doubts of gradual, casual formation of those structures. Antecedent to those things all being in place, there is no more primitive living form from which it can evolve. Up to that point it's just soup.
That reality yields more of a question than an answer. As you say you could explain but doubt I'd follow, I'm eager to hear any vision you may have for how all this tucks together out of a pile of unrelated compounds. I'm comfortable with E/R, string and chaos, u/f strivings, etc. and would like to hear your slant. ID is that vision that says "looks like there is a plan"
Do not confuse intelligence with intellect. Evolution says change...i.c. describes from what foundation level of functional complexity it may begin to live, then perhaps to change. To change, perhaps to sleep...to sleep perhaps to dream...i digress.

yourworstnightmare 8 years, 12 months ago

plumwild,

There is indeed "creeping up". "Creeping up" is everywhere in genetics and molecular biology.

In regard to the "it looks like it was designed" argument, this is even false.

Everywhere in biology are signs of ad hoc, meaning that current structures were derived from pre-existing structures and not formed anew for a new purpose.

Most things in biology in fact look like they were not designed but rather they were cobbled together with what was at hand.

Think of this: the first evidence of cellular life dates to about 3 billion years ago or so. The first multicellular life arose around 1 billion to 600 million years ago.

Cells had about 2 billion years to "work out" their metabolism and biochemistry.

2 billion years. Do you have any conception of the length of time that 2 billion years is? Do you have any conception of the number of "events" that can happen in 2 billion years?

Once self-propagation began (a defining character of life), these "events" would become quickly selected and incorporated by natural selection, the idea that those that can, do.

Self-propagation, the beginning of life, is still a mystery to science, but there are some very good ideas of how molecules can gain the ability to self-propagate.

Once self-propagation began, the race was on.

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

yourworstnightmare,

"Think of this: the first evidence of cellular life dates to about 3 billion years ago or so. The first multicellular life arose around 1 billion to 600 million years ago.

Cells had about 2 billion years to "work out" their metabolism and biochemistry.

2 billion years. Do you have any conception of the length of time that 2 billion years is? Do you have any conception of the number of "events" that can happen in 2 billion years?"

How can you come up with these numbers? ... were you there? All this is presuppositions that cannot be proved.

Think about it: we all have the same earth, the same fossil layers, the same animals and plants, the same stars-the facts are all the same.

The difference is in the way we all interpret the facts. And why do we interpret facts differently? Because we start with different presuppositions. These are things that are assumed to be true, without being able to prove them. These then become the basis for other conclusions. All reasoning is based on presuppositions (also called axioms). This becomes especially relevant when dealing with past events.

This is why the debate exist... This is why different viewpoints should be taught.

Ember 8 years, 12 months ago

Show me verifiable evidence that God exists, without using the Bible since that was written by Man for either historical, moral or questionable reasons.

I, in turn, will present genetic mapping evidence that chickadees and king cobras have 12 distinctly matching genetic markers, thus indicating a common ancestor.

Which is more likely to be provable?

DuQuesne 8 years, 12 months ago

How long before someone incapable of the concentration and patience necessary to acquire an understanding of the scientific method claims that it, too, is a product of intelligent design - because they don't understand it?

Satchel is a big dummy-head.

-Schuyler DuQuesne

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

OK... Ember

God provides the best explanation for the complex order in the universe. During the last thirty years, scientists have discovered that the existence of intelligent life depends upon a complex and delicately balanced set of initial conditions simply given in the Big Bang itself. We now know that life-prohibiting universes are vastly more probable than life- permitting universes like ours. How much more probable? Well, before I give you an estimation, let me just give you some numbers to give you a feel for the odds. The number of seconds in the history of the universe is about 10(18), that's ten followed by eighteen zeros. The number of subatomic particles in the entire universe is about 10(80).

Now with those numbers in mind, consider the following. Donald Page, one of America's eminent cosmologists, has calculated the odds of our universe existing as on the order of one chance out of 1010(123), a number which is so inconceivable that to call it astronomical would be a wild understatement!

Robert Jastrow, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has called this the most powerful evidence for the existence of God "ever to come out of science." Once again, the view that Christian theists have always held, that there is an intelligent designer of the Cosmos, seems to me to be much more plausible than the atheistic interpretation of chance.

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

Another reason... Ember...

God provides the best explanation for the existence of objective moral values in the world. If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist. Many theists and atheists alike concur on this point. For example, the late J.L. Mackie of Oxford University, one of the most influential atheists of our time, admitted, "If...there are...objective values, they make the existence of a god more probable than it would have been without them. Thus we have a...defensible...argument from morality to the existence of a god.

But in order to deny God's existence, Mackie therefore denied that objective values exist. He wrote, "It is easy to explain this moral sense as a natural product of biological and social evolution." Professor Michael Ruse, a philosopher of science at the University of Guelph, agrees. He explains:

Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth.... Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, [ethics] is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says, `Love thy neighbor as thyself,' they think they are referring above and beyond themselves.... Nevertheless,... such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction,... and any deeper meaning is illusory...

Friedrich Nietzsche, the great atheist of the last century who proclaimed the death of God, understood that the death of God meant the destruction of all meaning and value in life. I think that Friedrich Nietzsche was right. But we've got to be very careful here. The question here is not, "Must we believe in God in order to live moral lives?" I'm not claiming that we must. Nor is the question, "Can we recognize objective moral values without believing in God?" I think that we can. Rather, the question is, "If God does not exist, do objective moral values exist?" Like Mackie and Ruse, I just don't see any reason to think that in the absence of God, the morality evolved by homo sapiens is objective. After all, if there is no God, then what's so special about human beings? They're just accidental by-products of nature which have evolved relatively recently on a infinitesimal speck of dust called the planet Earth, lost somewhere in a hostile and mindless universe, and which are doomed to perish individually and collectively in a relatively short time.

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

Schuyler DuQuesne...

More name calling, huh? Easier than actually debating the issues I guess...

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

More for Ember...

On the atheistic view, some action, say, rape, may not be socially advantageous and so in the course of human evolution has become taboo. But that does absolutely nothing to prove that rape is really wrong. On the atheistic view, if you can escape the social consequences, there's nothing really wrong with your raping someone. Thus, without God there is no absolute right and wrong which imposes itself on our conscience.

But the fact is that objective moral values do exist, and we all know it. There's no more reason to deny the objective existence of moral values than to deny the objective reality of the physical world. Actions like rape, torture, and child abuse aren't just socially unacceptable behavior. They're moral abominations. Even Ruse himself admits, "The man who says that it is morally acceptable to rape little children is just as mistaken as the man who says two plus two equals five." Some things are really wrong. Similarly, love, equality, and self-sacrifice are really good.

But if objective values cannot exist without God, and objective values do exist, then it follows logically and inescapably that God exists.

Ember 8 years, 12 months ago

The concept of 'objective morality' means that the morals of the given person, or even society, are open for interpretation by each member of that society, and even by each scenario in which each singular person finds him/herself.

Morality, as it's upmost basic levels, is dictated by the codes of action considered acceptable by the accumulated mass of that society.

Take, for example, the historical fact that prima nocturum was cosidered perfectly acceptable by both the peasants and nobility of England, but viewed as heinous by the Socts that they were attempting to subjugate.

Slavery was considered a moral obligation up to within 5 yeras of the Civil War, and in isolated pockets afterwards as well, not only in teh South, but also in the North. Indentured servitude is simply slavery for a given length of time, nothing more and nothing less.

Women suffrage was once considered to be a blight against the good name of a man because the women in his household obviously did not understand their place in social heirarchy.

Speaking any words against the Church up until the last couple of centuries was an almost automatic prison sentence, and frequently grounds for torture, 'purification', and even death, depending on what was said and what social standing that person had.

The Bible, which is in theory supposed to contain the words of God as given to men, was created by men at the Council of Bishops during the reign of Constantine I in ancient Rome.

Why are there entire sections of the Bible that are contradicted by the writings found in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Why is there absolutely no discernable evidence that Jesus Christ ever actually existed. No birth certification, which was required in every province of the Roman empiure, including Bethlehem. By all accounts of astrology in the Bible, Christ was more likely born in mid to late February instead of December 25th, but the Church swears that this is obviously the case.

Ember 8 years, 12 months ago

Simply stated, basing your concept of morals on something as antiquated and out-moded as Christianity, or worse, the Bible, is the height of arrogance.

How is one religion more acceptable or right than another?

Moral values based on a religion has no right to be acceptable because there is no religion that can prove to be completely true, nor do the moral values implied through them apply to other members of other religions.

There are too many difference between the religions for any one of them to be the basis of any standardized moral codes.

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

Ember

You said: "I, in turn, will present genetic mapping evidence that chickadees and king cobras have 12 distinctly matching genetic markers, thus indicating a common ancestor."

So are you going to show me fossil evidence of a cobra with fuzzy wings... or maybe a chickadee that has a venomous bite?

Send pictures of this... facinating

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

Ember... .

You said: "The concept of 'objective morality' means that the morals of the given person, or even society, are open for interpretation by each member of that society, and even by each scenario in which each singular person finds him/herself."

No, you're assigning subjective morality to "objective morality"

You said: "Morality, as it's upmost basic levels, is dictated by the codes of action considered acceptable by the accumulated mass of that society." This contradicts your first statement.... "are open for interpretation by each member of that society" ... contradicts... " is dictated by the codes of action considered acceptable by the accumulated mass of that society."

Which statement do you really believe?

I don't agree with either... I don't think Objective Morality is subject to what is popular ... or is defined by one persons interpretations.

By the way... regarding your examples of immorality... I don't deny that evil does exist.

Also by the way... You asked me to give evidence of God without mentioning the Bible. I didn't mention the Bible... you did.

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

Ember... Re: "Why is there absolutely no discernable evidence that Jesus Christ ever actually existed. No birth certification, which was required in every province of the Roman empiure, including Bethlehem."

Josephus was a historian who lived from 37 A.D. to about 100 A.D. He was a member of the priestly aristocracy of the Jews, and was taken hostage by the Roman Empire in the great Jewish revolt of 66-70 A.D.

Josephus - Biblical Accounts Outside the Bible Josephus mentions New Testament events and people in some of his works. For many skeptics, this is viewed as significant evidence against the myth and legend theories that plague early Christianity. Here's an excerpt:

Josephus mentions Jesus in Antiquities, Book 18, chapter 3, paragraph 3

"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day."

This is non-biblical evidence that Jesus did exist! There is no Book of Josephus in the Bible.

Ember 8 years, 12 months ago

After doing a bit of digging around about Josephus, I found quite a few articles that basically discredit his writings.

I atempted to cut and paste the entirety of the discussion into this post, but the character length was entirely too much. As such, I have provided a link to the webpage for you to read at your leisure.

The discussion about Josephus is roughly 1/10 of the way down the webpage, as it is VERY extensive.

Hope you enjoy reading it. Until today, I had never heard of Josephus.

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html

satchel 8 years, 12 months ago

Ember...

I think that we both can search the web and find people that would discredit the others' sources. I will look at the link that you supplied. I have not found anyone that actually until now that has said that Jesus never existed. Most people (including many other religions) agree that he did exist, but question his divinity. They usually say that he was a good teacher/ prophet.

I'm glad that you are digging... I hope that you will at least look at both sides, as I am trying to do this also. What I find most dis-heartening is when some just want to name call or discredit opposing ideas as just stupid or ignorant, instead of engaging in the debate as you have... I thank you!

I know that what started as dialogue about Evolution vs. ID, has spilled over to religion/ philosophy. I do think both views of origins can be taught without spilling over to a particular religion as Christianity. As many think that a creator /intelligent designer was responsible for our planet and life without ascribing to a particular religion.

I engaged in this blog to learn more about a view that I don't hold... and learn more about why folks like you believe what you believe. What I don't understand is why Evolutionists don't want to hear any criticism of Evolution in the schools. It seems to me that if the theory is sooo "solid", that it would be to their advantage to hear criticism and answer the criticism, therefore making their case even stronger. They seem to have an irrational fear of ID being taught also. I want my children to hear about the theory of Evolution and the opposing positions like ID. This would provide a more full and rich education. Just because someone may think that there was a creator... doesn't mean that their children will think that. If it is so difficult for both views to be taught, then why not vouchers... so the parents can decide to send their children to the school of their choice.

Ember 8 years, 12 months ago

My main issue with the concept of teaching ID/Creationism or anything else of that bent is that it is based in religion.

Religion is a philosophy. It's a method of thinking that explains the inexplicable to the follower of that religion. For most, if not all, believers of a given religion, the answers that it 'supplies' are almost an emotional and/or subconscious security blanket.

Numerous Gods in older religions were said to be responsible for the appearance of lightning. In today's society, we know that lightning is simply a highly charged path of ions diametrically polarized. But in older times, there were all sorts of suppositions as to why it occured, and all were answered with a divine being.

The more that man learns about the Earth, the more and more religion will be pushed to the side in pursuit of knowledge. It's been that way for untold centuries and will continue on that path for many more. I see no inherent problem with this, but then again, I view religion as more of a crutch for people under emotional duress than anything else.

Evolution itself is not some huge, looming Godzilla-like creature capable of destroying any opposition. It's really more like a jigsaw puzzle. With every piece of knowledge we gain, we get a clearer, more precise view of the entire picture, whereas with ID, pieces of the puzzle are just assumed to be in the right spot, and there is no need to investigate it.

We will most likely never know the exact cause of how life started on this planet. That's perfectly A-OK to me. Understanding how the first forms of life mutated and began to diversify themselves into the cornicopia of what we have today, though, is crucial.

As long as ID would be taught as an elective in high school, I wouldn't overly raise too much of a protest, since it would be the student's choice to take or not take the class. I know that when I was in high school, evolution was not taught as the absolute of how things are. It was not even close to being left at that kind of a declaration. My science teacher showed us almost two months' worth of experiements we could try that would at least show some of the validity in the theory. I went through every single one of them, all repeated at least 4 times, there was no longer any doubt in my mind that the theory of evolution is indeed the strongest of the theories involving life on this planet.

ID/Creationism simply doesn't have the weight of years upon centuries of research backing it up that evolution does. Demanding that they both be taught equally is simply not right.

Would you expect that a man who is blind to compete in an archery contest?

Would you force a man with one hand to move pianos for a living?

Perhaps once ID has a bit more scientific evidence behind it, it will be better received.

Parents don't accept "I dunno" as an answer from their children, and they shouldn't be forced to accept it as an answer in their education, either.

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