Archive for Sunday, October 9, 2005

Can God, evolution coexist?

Poll: Most think religion, Darwinism don’t contradict

October 9, 2005


Two thirds of Kansans say evolution should be taught in public schools and that there is no contradiction in believing in God and the scientific theory of the origins of life, according to a Lawrence Journal-World and 6News poll.

"The general population believes God and evolution can co-exist," said John Marling, president of Pulse Research Inc., the Portland, Ore., company that conducted the poll for the Journal-World and 6News in cooperation with the Garden City Telegram, Hays Daily News, Ottawa Herald and Salina Journal.

But the statewide survey results also show deep divisions at the crossroads of science, religion and intelligent design, the scientifically unproven notion that life's complexity points toward a creator or designer. About half of Kansans say they know what intelligent design is and half of that group believes it should be taught in school.

The findings of the poll are "highly differentiated by age, differentiated by education and differentiated by gender," Marling said. The poll included telephone interviews with 800 randomly picked Kansans. The margin of error for the poll is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

The conflicting responses from Kansans mirror conflicts that have agitated the State Board of Education, bringing national attention to Kansas and the teaching of evolution.

Stephanie Baker watches her children Will, 1 and Lara, 3 as they put some water-soluble ink pens through their paces. The Bakers live in Lawrence. Stephanie participated in a Journal-World/6News poll on school science standards.

Stephanie Baker watches her children Will, 1 and Lara, 3 as they put some water-soluble ink pens through their paces. The Bakers live in Lawrence. Stephanie participated in a Journal-World/6News poll on school science standards.

Conservatives on the Education Board have a 6-4 majority and are poised to establish science standards for public school students that criticize evolution and raise questions about its validity.

While Kansas often is knocked as backward, the poll results reflect the national mood about two seemingly irreconcilable views. Science says the universe and everything in it evolved over billions of years, while the Bible says God created all living things in one week. Despite these disparities, a recent Gallup poll showed the majority of Americans accept creationism and evolution.


Sixty-six percent of Kansans believe evolution should be taught in school, but that figure varies widely depending on education level.

Fifty percent of those who graduated high school say evolution should be taught, while 75 percent with college degrees believe it should. The chasm widens when comparing those with a grade-school education - 39 percent support the teaching of evolution - to those with post-college graduate degrees - 86 percent.

Those differences, Marling said, "are huge."

"The higher the education level, the more open that individual is to evolution," he said.

Age also makes a difference, with 76 percent of those from ages 46 to 55 believing evolution should be taught, while 49 percent of those 65 and older saying it should.

Men also are more likely to believe evolution should be taught, a whopping 74 percent to 58 percent for women.

Marling said he was surprised by the difference based on gender.

Allan Cigler, a political science professor at Kansas University, said he believes it is because traditionally women participate in religion in greater numbers than men.

Intelligent design ID'd

Roughly half of Kansans know of intelligent design, the notion that biology is so complex it shows evidence of a creator. Intelligent design, called ID for short, has grabbed center stage in Kansas politics because its advocates led the conservatives to adopt the science standards that question evolution after hearings in May that drew international attention.

Of those survey respondents who said they knew what ID was, 54 percent said it should be taught in school.

Again, age and education made a difference. Young adults and older people and those with a lower education level were more likely to want ID to be taught in school, while middle-aged adults and those with higher education levels were less likely. There was no statistical difference in gender on this question.

First-graders work on a class lesson at Pinckney School. A poll conducted by the Journal-World and 6News found that two-thirds of Kansans do not see a conflict between belief in God and teaching evolution.

First-graders work on a class lesson at Pinckney School. A poll conducted by the Journal-World and 6News found that two-thirds of Kansans do not see a conflict between belief in God and teaching evolution.

Cigler said some people who believe ID and evolution should both be taught in science class are under the impression that ID is a theory on par with evolution.

In reality, ID cannot be proved and focuses more on criticizing evolution, he said. "It hasn't been well understood," he said.


Meanwhile, 65 percent of Kansans say one can believe in evolution and God. Only 25 percent said the two can't co-exist, while the remaining are unsure.

This issue has rubbed many Kansans the wrong way in the battle over science standards. Many scientists who support the teaching of evolution say it is possible to believe in the theory and still hold traditional religious beliefs because science explains how the natural world came about while religion attempts to answer why.

But many conservatives have said this is a false position.

Recently, Education Board Chairman Steve Abrams, a conservative Republican from Arkansas City, said at a public forum that it is impossible to believe in both evolution and the Bible.

But that is exactly what two of three Kansans believe.

Carole Bodine, 59, a bacon slicer for a meatpacking plant in Great Bend, has no trouble accommodating the two.

"I actually believe we did evolve from apes," said Bodine, who participated in the poll. "But I also believe in a higher power."

But Bodine parted company with most scientists when she said creationism and evolution should be taught in schools.

"Why hold information back from children," she said.

But Stephanie Baker, of Lawrence, who has two young children, said evolution belongs in science class while other theories, such as ID, should be taught in other religious venues, such as Sunday school.

"It can be taught as a religious theory or philosophical theory because there is no scientific evidence that supports that," said Baker, who participated in the poll.

Regardless of their positions, many respondents said they were not impressed with how the Education Board was handling the issue.

"I'm not quite in agreement with all that's been going on," said Jerry Allard, who lives near Andover. "Things are getting blown out of proportion."

Cigler, the KU political science professor, said the survey's showing that the majority of Kansans accept evolution and creationism was in tune with national studies on the subject.

"The thing that strikes me is how undifferent Kansans are from the rest of the country," he said.

In 1999, the last time a conservative majority on the board tried to de-emphasize evolution, KU did a statewide poll to mirror a national poll on religion and evolution.

The national results and Kansas results were almost identical, Cigler said.

About the poll

The Lawrence Journal-World and 6News, in cooperation with the Garden City Telegram, Hays Daily News, Ottawa Herald and Salina Journal, commissioned Pulse Research to do a statewide survey of Kansas residents on the topics of evolution and intelligent design.

Pulse Research, an independent market research firm based in Portland, Ore., was founded by a former newspaper publisher with 24 years of experience in the industry.

It was a random sample telephone survey based on 800 interviews completed between Sept. 30 and Oct. 5. Calls were spread across each of the state's 10 State Board of Education districts.

The margin for error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, at the 95 percent confidence level.

The interviews were conducted between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and between noon and 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

There was no incentive offered to those who agreed to participate. Many of the participants also agreed to subsequent interviews with reporters to more fully explain their views on the topics.

Pulse Research is one of the nation's largest publication research firms, having completed more than 3,000 surveys for more than 1,800 clients.


cristBwithU 12 years, 8 months ago

Funny, the more I learn, the more I believe in ID and evolution! I am a human bio senior, and a women.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

Jayhawks...good post...and once again, I should have proofed better...Humans did NOT evolve from apes.

Shardwurm 12 years, 8 months ago

Well, look at it this way:

If it weren't for this issue there would be nothing interesting to report from Kansas.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

The numbers are amazing about the correlation of education and belief in evolution. I am by no means saying that less educated people aren't smart (look at bill gates), but I think it is interesting that people that have learned in higher education around the country/world have this tendency to believe in evolution. Please do not say I am sexist for my next comment, I am not. I wonder if the correleation between more men believing in evolution that women stems from the fact that traditionally more men went on to higher education than women. This could have been because of social standards or the fact that a woman was ready to start a family. Thankfully, this is changing.

'Recently, Education Board Chairman Steve Abrams, a conservative Republican from Arkansas City, said at a public forum that it is impossible to believe in both evolution and the Bible.' I don't fully believe this, but I hope Abrams realizes that no matter what he believes in, he will still be either 6' down or ashes floating around when he dies(whichever his family chooses). He is one of the 25% that believes they can't coexist...he doesn't deserve to be the board chairman when he is that much of a minority.

Miss Bodine...actually, evolutionists do now believe that humans evolved from apes...people/thoughts like that are one reason that hardcore conservatives do not like evolution.

Because of issues like this and a board of education that has a leader like the current...when I have kids, I do not want them going through the Kansas education system.

BunE 12 years, 8 months ago

Knock yourself out. Teach ID, just dont' call it science. You do a disservice to science, to religion and to our children. Good science is the cornerstone of knowledge. Maybe a little ID in the history of science but really, its philosophy.

This argument is ridiculous. If we insist on teaching myth and fable as science, we can just sit back, be the playground for the asians and the europeans and take our rightful place and "jesusland".

Faith and science can co-exist as long as they not mistaken for one another. Do you have the mind to believe in both?

jayhawks71 12 years, 8 months ago

scott, I hope you made a typo when you said "...evolutionists do now believe that humans evolved from apes..." NO, they absolutely do NOT believe any such thing. To Carol Bodine, YOU are actually believing in misinformation that no one even somewhat versed in the theory of evolution (stop calling it Darwinism LJ world staff... The Origin of species is old news) would subscribe to.

In addition to the "stealth religion" argument against ID, is the "that's uninteresting" take as well. "It's so complex it had to be done by a designer and we can't understand it. The end." So then what? Cancel science? The answer ID offers is empty. If there is a designer or a god, we will want to know by what means/ did this designer do all of this!

The teaching of intelligent design is the ANTITHESIS of teaching science and that is why ID should not be taught in science classrooms. It basically says... if you can't figure out how something works (or you don't want to put in the work to figure it out) then attribute it to the designer and you can end the search.

Its somewhat odd that religious zealots seem to support the teaching of ID. I usually think of religious people as being (at least as equally) hard-working people, yet, ID is the lazy man's way out. "Too hard to figure it out...must have been done by a designer!"

Scientists are not against teaching ID because they are athiests. They are against teaching ID because it is not science, and more appropriately stated, it is anti-science. There is no incompatibility with evolution and a "creator", but there is an incompatibility between evolution and a literal reading of the bible. A literal reading of the bible is not the same as god. People need to stop equating the two. The bible was not written by your god. It was written by men. Men who make errors. The same errors that some want to attribute to scientific theory. How do you know that Darwin wasn't "inspired" by your god? In fact, if you read your Bible, you will realize that if we are all children of god, we are thus "inspired" by god.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Thanks BunE Finally, someone who knows what this argument is about. Theology, religion, ideas, but not the science of any. So long as the J-W and many others continue to couch the argument as being between alternate sciences, there will be NO resolution. This, of course, is a good thing for the print media on slow news days.

How 'bout it J-W, find an engineering prof at KU who will write a description of science rather than continuing to quote from hippies. We've heard from them. Find a math teacher and ask him/her about the certainty of theory/evidence versus logic. Shoot, ask them about the certainty of logic for that matter. Science has metastasized into an ugly growth on our society. Theory has outgrown the ability to test by so much that reality is mythology. Sophistication, endless stochastic studies, theories, and mini-societies supporting them all are just a very complicated way of saying "I dunno, but I'll give you an answer anyway. I am an expert, all my friends tell me so."

Jamesaust 12 years, 8 months ago

Evolution is not taught in public schools in Kansas (at least, not in most of them). While present in the textbook, most instructors avoid the subject altogether. The comment of the Great Bend woman (a citation to a SYMPATHETIC source) about human evolving from apes demonstrates this.

Having never been taught evolution, most Kansans are in no position to judge it. I propose a straightforward, random, ten question, multiple choice (not particularly difficult) questionnaire about evolution and general science theory be presented in the voting booth. Only those who score at least a modest five correct answers will have their vote "about" evolution in Kansas schools be counted. (Those who score below five will be presented a bill demanding refund of the public funds expended on their "education".)

OldEnuf2BYurDad 12 years, 8 months ago

The arguement that evolution can be "merged" with Christianity is interesting in that there is much in the book of Genesis that corresponds with the fossil record. Meaning that the ORDER of events, NOT THE CAUSE of those events, is the same in the Biblical account as it is in the fossil record. Where you run into a difficulty is when you start asking HOW did all this happen. The Bible gives direct credit to God. The theory of evolution leans on the "primordial ooze" concept to explain how life came from lifelessness without any supernatural influence.

No matter what similarities or agreements we can find, this debate will always be a heated one on the subject of whether or not we give God the credit for being the sole giver of life, or whether we are of the belief that there was no need for God to exist in order for life to exist.

By the way, this article is full of biased and innapropriate comments that do not belong:

"ID cannot be proved and focuses more on criticizing evolution" is wrong. ID is a theory (and belief) all it's own, it does not exist for the purpose of tearing down someone else's beliefs. It is there for those who think it is true. It's not a club to knock over the head of evolution.

"science explains how the natural world came about while religion attempts to answer why". NO, my Bible tells me HOW as well as WHY. This article was written in ingorance of what it means to be a part of mainstream Christianity. I get the impression that the person who wrote this really didn't CARE to get it right.

Mari Aubuchon 12 years, 8 months ago

Pity: That "clan" or genus would be Homo.

Daniel Speicher 12 years, 8 months ago

For the vast majority of the posts... I agree. I think science picks up where design left off. And, religion picks up where science can't go. Meaning this... I believe that science (via evolution) is the apparatus in which God used to create life. But, God DID create it. The theory on how the universe came to be can only be described in two ways:

  1. It was always there (meaning there is no beginning or end)
  2. It was created out of nothing (meaning something had to create it)

The first theory is bogus and even scientists know this can't be. The universe is moving away from a central point ("Big Bang" or an event of the like.) But, for the second to work there has to have been something infinite... eternal... that created it. Nothing, physically, is eternal. Therefore, we must assume that there was something that created the very first something. Whether you believe it is the Judeo-Christian God or any other god, there is something bigger than you or I out there.

Now, do I believe ID should be taught in the science classroom? No. I believe we need to differentiate between what is science and what is faith. Science deals with what is able to be tested... God should NOT be put into this kind of a box. To do so would be blasphemous. I would, as I've said before, like to see a World Religions class set up as a required course that teaches ALL major religions (and some minor religions and cults). I would like to see this taught with creation and many other facets in mind. But, that's just me.

I gotta jet. Good posts here... Thank God (literally) I'm a Lawrence boy... That's all I can say. ;)

--Danny Speicher

jayhawks71 12 years, 8 months ago

A problem with teaching a "Judeo-Christian" version creation is that if that if that "story" of creation is allowed to be placed in the classroom, then ALL creation stories and ALL supernatural beings (think: flying spaghetti monster) need equal coverage. Not allowing the alternatives to be taught would be tantamount to state-sponsored endorsement of religion, which is and has been forbidden by the establishment clause.

Further, allowing intelligent design to be treated (incorrectly) as an alternative to scientific theory will lead to religious "war" for (especially) Christians who want THEIR GOD to be the intelligent designer (i.e., first get a "designer" into the classroom, then claim that the Judeo-Christian god is the designer). Teaching ID in the classroom would result in a smaller scale version of the the religious wars that so plague this planet we live on. How many wars (e.g., radical Islamist terrorism and its response), and how much violence (e.g., bombing abortion clinics) is going to be fought in the name of a supernatural?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 12 years, 8 months ago

All this talk about evolution vs religious myth amuses me. It is something that people will argue about until blue in the face, accomplishing nothing. People who are educated and knowledgable will understand the relatioship between evolution and the role of the deity in this process. Religious zealots will stomp and rage that the educated and knowledgable folks are going to hell. None of this has any bearing whatsoever on our daily lives, except for the churches who are out there stumping for the "disposable income" (who dreamed up that oxymoron??) from the average wage-earner. It is no secret that church attendance is waning and badly, and there are good reasons for that. A significant segment of the population recognizes the cultural warfare that so called "religious" organizations are waging to try to keep themselves from self-inflicted oblivion. And this issue of evolution (a science) vs creationism (a religious belief) gives them leverage with the less-than-knowledgable persons in society. Churches would do well to wise up (not likely!) and understand the fatalistic downside of trying to spread myths and beliefs as fact to an educated society. Failure to do so will continue the slide in faith in a higher power and that is the real casualty in this raging debate.

There IS a Higher Power, a Divine Spirit, but not the one the zealots and fundamentalists would have you believe.

NONE of us, no matter how many Bibles, Korans, or other religious documents you have read or subscribe to,, have ANY IDEA of the true nature of the Divine Power, we can only read what other humans (like us) have written and codified in the above-mentioned volumes.

jayhawks71 12 years, 8 months ago

Provide your evidence of this Divine Power. I have yet to see a shred.

BunE 12 years, 8 months ago


Evolution has absolutely nothing to do with Faith. It has no comment on it, has no bearing on it and certainly ID has nothing to do with science.

Science and Faith are not mutually exclusive when it comes to what we as individuals believe. They must however be examined in the proper manner. When the supernatural (in this case a supreme being) is involved, there is no way to objectively test and measure the outcomes. With science there is.

Also, please stop using the term Theory incorrectly. Theory in scientific terms is a specific, logical framework in which one can describe specific phenomenom, It is a formal application of everything that has been observed. This is the Theory of Evolution. The undefined theory (note the lack of capitalization) is a lay persons term for an idea. It is subjective and based not on fact but on conjecture. The theory in ID, is a supposition, untestable, that a group felt is the best explanation.

Faith cannot be defined objectively and science that is subjective simply does not exist.

Words have meaning and using them interchangeably is disingenuous and dangerous.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

I fail to see that evolution is science, yet most of the people on this board state it as a fact. They reference highly respected scientists. They reference a massive amount of evidence. They even use terms like fact, proof, and other axioms. There is no such thing as scientific fact or proof. Especially on the basis of evidence and theory. Mathematics is not the answer, ask any mathematician. If a mathematical model fits data, "that's nice", they'll say. "But don't use my math as evidence that what you say is true", they'll be quick to add.
It's testing folks. Pure and simple. Make a scientific assertion, back it with tests. Make a projection or extrapolation, this would be pending further tests. Science becomes fruitful when it is tested, and not before.
Don't teach either as science. Let the argument be solved by testing. Can't test? Don't call it science

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Hey BunE, don't forget the equally important 2nd part of science, refutation. Conjecture and Refutation.....thank you Karl Popper.

pity2bu 12 years, 8 months ago

I can say this; I wasn't placed on this earth through monkey evolution. If you were, so be it, go swing through the trees with your monkey / ape ancestors.

I could give a rats a** about science. If evolution is a science, then Christianity must be a science as well. Christianity must be the last word in my book. Science doesn't have a beginning and / or an ending, at least it has never been taught in any of the classes I attended. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

pity2bu: You weren't place on this earth through monkey evolution, true. Of course there's no such thing as 'monkey evolution'. You did however evolve just like the rest of us through a common primate ancestor. If that makes you uncomfortable, that sucks, sorry. If you give a rats ass about science, then stop enjoying things made through science, like your car. YOU go live in the woods and swing through the trees with monkeys. If you think Christianity must be a science too, then that's exactly where you belong, away from civilized society, cuz you ain't helpin anything. The rest of the posts here I enjoyed until yours, at least the rest made sense, even if I might disagree with a detail here or there.

BunE 12 years, 8 months ago

Evolution has been subjected to a great deal of scrutiny and continues to be the driving Theory in Biology. As more fact is added to our knowledge base, changes in the Theory come about. That is Science. ID offers no refutation only the confused myth that if I don't understand it yet, god must have created it.

Again: Philosophy v. Biology. Fine for message boards and comparison, but the can not be taught as interchangeable.

If you don't believe in Science, fine, but keep your faith out of science.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

BunE, nice last post must christianity be a science as well? That makes no sense. How is christianity going to be the last word in your book??? You are only correct in one does not really have a said beginning or an end, yet. Science began when people started testing things in a rational way. Science is not when 'the world began' or anything like that. Science will have an end, someday, in however many years it takes for humans to no longer live. I am wondering about christianity/religion's beginning. I know where christianity came from, but where did the philosophys before that come from? When was your god born, when will he die(or is he already dead)? Ryan is right by telling you that you aren't here through monkey evolution...actually, read his post again...or a few more times, you might actually learn. You still might not believe it, but at least you know the truth.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

Guys, ID/creation was invented to provide a convenient straw-man. Perfect to knock down. Since the creation folks are people of faith, they are easy to ridicule. Yet, you don't ridicule your own faith in science. The authority is evolution, question that as conjecture which is far from being completely testable. Teach neither as science. I think Pity2bu is an evolutionist setting up the straw-man again so you can knock him down. OOh, yer so tough.

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

devobrun: Although I must say you make a clear and convincing argument, I can't say I've been convinced. I can see that you care as much about this argument as I do, and I think that is very important, because I consider this a vital issue before us today. BUT, I don't see much change in your argument lately, but the same thing (albeit, I know mine hasn't either). I just still believe without getting too into it again, that your view of science is too narrow, as well as your view of what consitutes testing.

What then is your ultimate view of where the theory of evolution lies? Is it not archeology then? Is it a part of biology? Are those not science? I've stated my views before that things like carbon dating and biostatigraphy are in fact subject to the confines of hypothosis, testing, and refutation. And if a question lies before science then it is in fact science. Just because we have yet to refine the tools for testing does not mean it CAN'T be tested. I have brought up Galileo who observed that the earth actually revolved around the sun. He could not recreate that in a lab, but I have a hard time believing that what he was doing was not science.

On the point of 'scientific proof' I have to assume that we agree, i.e. that science does not prove anything, but rather that it fails to disprove. Nothing is therefore absolute, but yet to be dispproven. Gravity has yet to be disproved. In my opinion, evolution has yet to be disproved as well. No matter, the discussion is what pleases me the most.

This post today has been one of the best i've seen, thank you all for a wonderful discussion.

wysocki 12 years, 8 months ago

Poll: Most think religion, Darwinism don't contradict. Don't contradict what? Each other? The human species?

Never mind about whether evolution should be taught in public schools in Kansas - of course, it should be - how about teaching good grammar first!

But seriously, isn't anyone paying attention to what the First Amendment's very first words are, that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...?" In other words, the separation of church and state must be upheld in public schools, which means that the integrity of science education in public schools must also be upheld!

Of course, the First Amendment goes on to state that "Congress shall make no law... prohibiting the free exercise thereof [of religion]..." Religion undeniably has its place in American society but that place is not in public schools.

pity2bu 12 years, 8 months ago

Ryan, show me the primate ancestor, if you can! I want to see the actual primate. Sorry If I offend you, but show me what clan of primate I and people like yourself reportedly belonged too. don't just say the primate ancestors, be alot more specific.

usaschools 12 years, 8 months ago

Creationists can no longer hide their unconstitutional agenda behind the phrase "intelligent design." The editor of THE textbook (Of people and pandas) that is the current topic of a court case in PA testified that the authors of the book originally used the word creationism throughout the book, with NO mention of intelligent design. When the Supreme Court ruled that teaching creationism in public schools was unconstitutional (note: not teaching ABOUT it, actually teaching it as if it were valid from a scientific, not faith-based, perspective), the authors of the book SIMPLY REPLACED THE WORD "CREATIONISM" WITH THE PHRASE "INTELLIGENT DESIGN." In other words, they view the words as SYNONYMS!

For the record, I believe in both evolution and the creation of life by God. However, I oppose teaching creationism, by any name, in the public schools IN A SCIENCE COURSE. It is fine with me if it is taught in sociology, political science, history, comparative religions, or something of that nature. Just don't pretend it has anything to do with science. Don't pretend that even a handful of scientists who are not advocates of creationism believe that there is any controversy over the theory of evolution in general. Finally, don't pretend intelligent design is anything except creationism hiding behind a new name.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

pity, that primate no longer lives. They have found remains of a possible ancestor to humans, however. Just wondering, where exactly do you believe that you/I came from? Also, how do you explain parts of the human that no longer have function? The appendix, tailbone, third molars(wisdom teeth)...

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

That's not my area of expertise, I could perhaps elaborate on evolutionary psychology if you need, but I doubt that has much importance to this discussion. Ask an evolutionary biologist for the specifics they could provide you, I only know the overall progression from 'Lucy'-like ancestors that provide links in the chain. There is an abundance of evidence in the fossil record to indicate a progression of what we might classify as un-human or pre-human. The threads diverted in many ways, some only finding dead ends. Others share the same traits that have led to humans as we classify ourselves today. Some of those led into dead ends themselves, i.e. neandertals. Others led to homo erectus, homo sapiens, and finally homo sapiens sapiens, what we are today.

If you're looking for a 'clan', I don't think that kind of information exists yet. Surely being social animals, early humans probably did have social groups, I don't think the modern word clan would be wholly accurate. I do not need to be specific, this is in no way a peer reviewed journal. I am merely pointing out that I believe you have a difficulty in accepting the fact that you were not created 'as is'. It's a natural affection surely, but it doesn't preclude the overcoming thereto. The feeling that humans are superior to all other living things is readily apparent in your comment. It is only natural that when faced with the fact that you did in fact evolve from a 'lower' life form can be self-depricating and hard to swallow. Such an idea removes one from the comfort of the Christian belief that God created one with love. But, the idea of evolution does not for me relieve me of that comfort, it in fact enhances my view that if God did create the world this way, through evolution, it is much more intriguing than the Biblical account of 'poof and then I was there'.

james bush 12 years, 8 months ago

Maybe one of us is a god and we just haven't evolved yet.

BunE 12 years, 8 months ago

Careful, now your heading into "graven images" and "no gods before me" territory.

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

'No god before me' only applies to Christians. Being a non-Christian, that means nothing to me, despite what you believe. I happen to be Buddhist, and I happen to believe personally that Jesus was more Buddhist than he was Jewish or Christian (the way it is understood today). The water your treading upon is dark below and obscures the truth, it falls away easily and you're left drowning in dogma and personal belief, both fallible and subject to the individual and change. Do not reify your beliefs into truth in order to chastize or point out the faults in others. THAT is dangerous territory, not only for those you sanction or not, but to yourself most importantly. Remember, religion should be of a personal nature, to each his own. If you attempt to influence others on a religious level, you are taking on a huge responsiblity, hope you understand the cost. . .

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

unless you're being sarcastic, in which case, i understand

ryanjasondesch 12 years, 8 months ago

and in reading your previous posts, I think I do. . . sorry for any 'jump to conclusion', we all could benefit from better research. IT's gettin late and it's been a long week and weekend, thanks to all here for a great discussion, I've not enjoyed one this much since. . .

concerned_citizen 12 years, 8 months ago

Wow, this has been a great discussion. I wonder why both views cannot be taught a varieties of theory on the development of life? I'm not sure why that's not being done espcially considering that Darwin's theory is plenty old and no one pays too much attention to a lot of scientific ideas that old, especially ones that can't be supported by other advances in related scientific fields. I think both (and more) can be taught, just as different philosophies can be taught in the classroom without people hissing at each other. There are great gaping holes in Darwinian theory, just as the ID theory kind of stops at first causes. To reiterate I think that there's room to discuss both, and for students to (perish the thought) research, discuss and come to their own conclusions without a teacher propagandizing for one side or the other.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

I'm sorry for being abrupt, but NO! I don't believe there is room, unless you of course want to do this in a philosophy course.

bobi 12 years, 8 months ago

I am certain that the study/studies described are full of bias? There are many highly educated Christians, myself included. I believe that those conducting the studies are proponents of not including ID into the curriculums.

Leaping_Lemur 12 years, 8 months ago

Hmmm... Can't help but wonder what the coincidence rate is on the 39% who don't know what ID is and the 54% who believe it should be taught. Of course, there was little surprise in the fact that, the higher the level of education, the greater the chance that a person thinks that ID has no place in school.

And it's these people (the majority) who decide what future generations will learn by way of voting in these BOE members. At this rate in about 10 years, I expect that we'll be dropping meteorological studies in favor of the "Wind God". (Besides, all of that science and math is just too confusing.)

hobb2264 12 years, 8 months ago

Just food for thought...many on this post have made the assertion that ID should not be taught in a science class because it can not be proven. I would make the same argument against the definition of Darwinian evolution, which states (or at the very least implies) that organisms change over time by RANDOM natural processes. If someone out there could please explain to me how science can test or prove randomness, I would appreciate it. Otherwise, I have no choice but to consider the current definition of evolution on the same level as ID.

My suggestion for the science standards is simple. Just have the science teachers in the state of Kansas stop teaching the random aspect of evolution (since that can not be proven by science anyway). If a student has a question about that particular aspect of evolution, then the teacher should direct the student and the question towards the parents. The parents can then educate about the philosophical / religious side of the argument.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

hobb, I don't believe that ID shouldn't be taught because it can't be proven. I believe that it shouldn't be taught because it has religous implications embedded in it. although most evolutionary biologists do not follow darwin's ideas strictly anymore, this is one of his examples for you. It does show randomness, as well as natural processes. I'm sorry I don't remember the exact numbers, I don't feel like pulling out the books...but...on the islands, a couple of scientists, man and wife(not darwin) were doing studies on finches(nothing to do w/ evolution at the time) The islands went through a severe drought ~8 years worth. They were taking measurements of the finches beforehand, and once again started taking measurements. Because of the change in environment(trees not growing as well, leading to less food...)the beaks of the brids/offspring ended up changing to accomodate the newer environment and food that was there. At the end of the drought, came a period of excessive rainfall. Once again, the environment changed. Food was pleantiful, there were many seeds, and bigger seeds. The beaks of the finches once again changed(got bigger) in order to be able to eat the harder/bigger seeds. The birds/offspring that did not change died, and left the rest of the population that did change(evolved to their environment). All be it a small example for you, it none the less is random as well as natural. If this doesn't do it for you because it is only microevolution, I'm sorry, but this is what happens over years to give new species...of which some of those birds were actually classified differently after a period of ~30 years.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

just another quick example of randomness is immunity. i can't explain it all to you here, it will be longer than my last post. there is something called immunoglobulin class switching that is what your immune system is basicly dependent on. it is a completely random process. if you do not have a background in science, you might not understand it, I'm sorry. It's just one more thing that came to the top of my head that is completely natural and random.

hobb2264 12 years, 8 months ago


I am confused by your first post. It sounds to me like you are saying that even if ID could be proven by science, that it still should not be included in a science curriculum because of its religious implications. Doesn't that negate what science is truly about?

I appreciate your examples, but I don't see how either one of them really prove randomness. The real question is, how does one go about reproducing randomness in nature? If you can not reproduce it, it can not be verified scientifically, right?

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

I truely do not believe that ID can be proven by science. I believe that it has too much to do with faith/religion/a creator we can't find, to prove it. If somehow, some way, ID was proven through science...teach it. But again, I do not believe that this can/will ever happen. How do you prove faith?
You yourself cannot reproduce randomness. If you could, it would no longer be random. This is what makes poker, poker. If I could know what the random card was going to be everytime, because I could reproduce the same randomness every time I dealt, there would be no actual game to it. We do however know that randomness is reproduced because we can see this difference...all of them are different(as in my example of different rearrangements of immunoglobulins). Sorry you do not understand the examples. It's interesting stuff though if you ever get a chance to look into it.

hobb2264 12 years, 8 months ago


"You yourself cannot reproduce randomness..." "We do however know that randomness is reproduced..."

I truly am sorry that I don't understand this. :-)

The point of my argument is this; basing a scientific theory on randomness is no different than basing a scientific theory on an intelligent designer. Neither can be verified using the scientific method. In my opinion, if you remove the random aspect of the theory, all sides should be happy.

As far as proving faith. I'm not sure if you actually want an answer to that question. If you do, I will gladly discuss that also.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago


I am also sorry you do not understand. ;) I would like to state that the complete 'basis' of evolution is not really randomness. Randomness is a part of it, however. I like to think of the basis on a larger scale...the change of an organism (possibly leading to a change in organisms). After this, you must move to smaller scales, on which randomness is ONE part of.

I would also like to mention as I have in other posts that the scientific method (you used theory, but I think this is what you meant) does not prove/verify. It only disproves. You must have some sort of information to do tests with, however, which is where I see ID is lacking.

Sure, I'll take an answer as to how you prove your faith. Thanks.

devobrun 12 years, 8 months ago

ryanjasondesch, We do agree on 'scientific proof'. However, gravity is a very interesting example. Newtonian gravity is a very usefull tool, and has been tested many times. I tested it last week in my physics class. We came up with 10.6 m/s2. It is generally considered to be an acceleration of 9.81 m/s2. My class was given the task of finding the discrepency. As soon as I get back from fall break, I'm going to repeat the measurements and carefully check the equipment. However, I did give the class the option of claiming that the acceleration of gravity on the earth had increased! Weightwatchers beware. The gravity of Einstein is a warping of space-time. It yields Newtonian gravity for smaller masses, but it is today in use. GPS satellites have a very precise clock on board. These clocks must be periodically corrected relative to time on earth because of both time dilation due to velocity and gravity warping. Each satellite has provision to adjust the on-board clock, and thank goodness. Time variation due to velocity was factored in the original design, but not the clock error due to the gravity of the earth. So, these satellites must be manually adjusted on occasion. Gravity is the weakest of the fields, about 10 minus 30 that of the electrical field. Also, gravity doesn't fit neatly in with the nuclear fields and the EM field. It can be measured, it seems to exist, but it just isn't quite right. I think the jury is still out on gravity, but for relatively imprecise measurements (such as my high school class!) it is usefull.
This morning I heard a report that the human genome mapping which was concluded a couple of years ago has 'discovered' that the 90% of the DNA that was left out, is actually important. That's right, biologist raced to be the first to map the human genome. Two competing teams almost simultaneously announced they had it. They called the neglected 90% of the DNA just connective junk. Only a biologist. Now they admit that it really isn't all junk after all. Again, we have biologists overstepping the bounds of science.
I don't say that all biology isn't science. I say that it has a bad habit of going way too far in its assertions.

hobb2264 12 years, 8 months ago


I think you and I are a lot closer to agreement then disagreement. For instance, as I have made clear, I think teaching ID in the science classroom makes as much sense as teaching it in the English classroom. It clearly can not be tested based on the rules of science. However as much as you dislike to hear it, either can randomness. Take the following two arguments:

Organisms have evolved by random mutations of DNA. vs. Organisms have evolved by God directing the mutations of DNA.

Neither statement can be tested and/or proven (disproven if you will), so they both should be given equal footing. Since we have already determined that the second concept should not be taught in a science classroom, it is equally important that the first concept not be taught. Also, I would even make the argument that the first sentence makes a religious statement that is as strong as the second (that being the lack of God), and therefore should not be taught in a state funded classroom. Although atheism is not technically a religion, it does make a statement on religion, and thus should not be a part of our children's education.

As for faith. Faith can not be proven or disproven by science. There is no physical measurement of it, just a physical result of it. As a Christian, my faith is "proven" by how I treat those around me (even those I may not agree with), with love and respect. Other religions may give you different definitions, but that is the one I know and understand most. Hope that helps.

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

hobb, just a couple of quick statements before football starts up. First, i do not understand how the first statement makes a religious statement. Isn't god what makes the second religious, not the lack of? I guess I don't understand how the lack of religion makes something religious. I can't say that I am an athiest, more agnostic, but I still do not see how atheism makes a statement on religion. Moreso, I see it as a lack of a statement. Unless you are radical however and want to make an issue of it. The atheists I know just say they don't believe in god if someone asks them...they don't go out of their way to tell everyone they don't. I hope all that makes sense.

As someone that is not sure, i must ask this. By saying that your faith is proven by how you treat those around you, are you saying that you could not treat people well if it were not for a god? This is one of my delimas, people say religion teaches you how to treat others right...which i agree, most religions do. But is that to say that I do not know how to do that, can't love and respect people, just because I was not brought up believing in a god? With this comes another delima for me...some people say that god determines everything you do in life...others say he/she just guides you. Personally, I want to take responsibility for my actions. If I do something well, I want the credit, not a god...if I do something poorly I don't want to have someone to blame except for myself. I'm not one to say 'today wasn't my day,' unless it is in the context of, 'man I didn't do well today.' These are just some of my views.

Liberty 12 years, 8 months ago

If the poll is correct, it reveals that evolution (falsely so called science because it is a theory) is a man taught religion being force taught by the higher education centers. (No wonder those with higher education have this view, they are simply repeating what they have been taught to say...) For evolution to be a science, it must be testable, and able to be proven. Evolution is neither. God and Evolution are both faith based. True science should be taught in the schools, but it has become corrupted with half truths (theories) like evolution. Science today has become corrupted like most everything else. It is political and has an agenda (It's agenda is to replace God and his record of creation). It is not to be totally trusted, as it only has some truth in it to make it seem believable so the unwise will swallow the rest of it as total truth.

God, while requiring faith to believe; is not corrupted. Only man's view of him is. He claims to have created this place and everyone in it. So far, no one has successfully proven otherwise, but there is much evidence to the contrary in true science. For me, I will believe the testimony that God has given about himself, as true science will eventually come around to the truth of God's word as they discover it and catch up to Him. "Let God be true, and every man a liar."

scottjp 12 years, 8 months ago

First and foremost, evolution is part of science whether you like it or not. It is not a man taught is NOT religion at all. Science does not ONLY come from comes from evaluating your surroundings and history also. This is a large part of what evolution uses and is how all science started. Science does not prove anything (as I have said many many times now) it only tries to disprove. With this, your statement about science must be testable and able to be proven is wrong. Sorry, but it is. Much of science is theories...the physics guy on here will tell you that. Most of them are just theories that have yet to be disproved, making them very very strong. Science is also not a political agenda...religious groups are making it more political than scientists. From your statement, I am wondering what 'his record of creation' is? What testimony has god given about himself??? Where? I have a feeling that your answer will be the Bible. If you have a good reason for this, let's hear it, but as it stands I don't see how these are his words. As told by scholars(not scientists), the Bible was written by several people. It is actually made up of their stories and philosophies of the time. If you can prove that these ideas even came from god, please elaborate. I do not think you truely can even if you try quite hard. While true nobody has successfully proven otherwise of a god, this is because there is no form of searching for proof. There are no clues, traces of him/her left put it all together. There is nothing to even try to make proof of a god except for your faith.

hobb2264 12 years, 8 months ago


I think it is interesting to hear you and others explain science to laymen. The thing you don't take into account in your explanations is the "human" factor. Humans are the one performing experiments and humans are the ones interpreting results. Believe it or not, even the best scientists bring their own biases into data interpretation. This is why people like Liberty are skeptical about what scientists claim. Science in some people's opinion (not necessarily my own) is flawed, just like you feel religion is flawed. Because it is a product of man.

mikwitie 12 years, 7 months ago

We do not choose to believe in evolution, it is fact based. That would be like saying you choose to believe the world is round. ID is faith based therefore you choose to believe or not. If you want to learn evolution take a science course, if you want to learn about ID, take a theology course.

DuQuesne 12 years, 6 months ago

I say again: When you propose that any phenomenon not explainable by anything but "intelligent design", or "spooky convergence" or some other ad hoc and circularly self-buttressing argument, then you propose only that it is not explainable to you.

Thusly: "Y'all know whut we dun wuz we took Jr. an' his tumor down to them doctors at the May-Oh Klinic an' they coundn't 'splain it!" No, Mabel June, they couldn't explain it not to y'all.

gr 12 years, 6 months ago

I think, in these conversations of evolution, people should define what "evolution" means to them. Of course, then the conversation which follows wouldn't be quite so "exciting", but maybe more congenial.

Can't say I read all the above posts, but just a few up, mikwitie, stated evolution is based upon fact. If by evolution, he means gene ratios changing over time, I doubt very many people would disagree. It is quite proveable and demonstratable.

So, What is evolution? Is it I observe insects becoming resistant to DDT, I observe finches changing to different types, I observe moths changing color due to environmental changes, therefore I conclude it is an absolute fact that we descended from slime? or at least based upon fact?

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