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Archive for Friday, September 14, 2007

Kansas vs. Darwin

Documentary examines local school board case that evolved into national controversy

September 14, 2007

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The "Kansas vs. Darwin" crew interviews school board member Connie Morris at the hearings on evolution in Topeka in 2005.

The "Kansas vs. Darwin" crew interviews school board member Connie Morris at the hearings on evolution in Topeka in 2005.





'Kansas vs. Darwin' premiere

With: The Kansas International Film FestivalWhen: 7:40 p.m. MondayWhere: Glenwood Arts Theatre, 9575 Metcalf Ave.Tickets: $8.50 More info: (913) 642-4404

In the beginning, God created controversy.

And filmmaker Jeff Tamblyn was there to cover it.

To clarify, this particular "beginning" took place in 2005 when three members of the Kansas State Board of Education - Steve Abrams, Kathy Martin and Connie Morris - conducted controversial hearings to debate where God belonged in the classroom. Specifically, in what ratio should evolution and intelligent design be implemented into the state's school science standards?

Tamblyn's upcoming documentary, "Kansas vs. Darwin," examines this modern-day Scopes trial from beginning to end.

"When we started the project and began to talk about it, the reception we got was chilly," says Tamblyn, who directed, produced and co-wrote the enterprise.

"One of the first things that everybody asked us was, 'Which side are you on?' In fact, that may eventually become a tagline for the movie."

The subject proved no mere paper vs. plastic debate. The filmmakers became submerged in a core issue as culturally divisive as abortion or the invasion of Iraq.

"Even within families you see these big splits. I think some people can grasp evolution and it doesn't bother them. But almost everybody I talk to who doesn't like evolution, they just don't cotton to the idea that they come from a lower form of life. For some people it might indicate that they are not special," Tamblyn says.

More than 135 hours of footage later, Tamblyn started assembling the film with the help of co-writer/editor Mark von Schlemmer.

"It was a long process," von Schlemmer recalls. "We had to figure out what the real story was. The charm of documentary filmmaking is that you can't really know for sure what you're going to get until you get out there, interview everyone and then look at what you shot to figure out what they're saying."

That long process turned out to run even longer.

"We thought we were done with the film a little over a year ago," Tamblyn says. "We sent it out to some festivals like Toronto and Telluride, and it didn't get in. But this prompted me to take another look at the story. I felt like we could make a better movie."

The first editing revision turned out to be a metaphor for what sparked the initial controversy.

"We took out a lot of the science," Tamblyn explains.

"There was a lot of stuff in there about cells and molecular biology. It was over people's heads, and they were going to sleep. Instead, we really zeroed in on the politics and the politics of faith."

Nearly a year and a half since the first festival edit floundered, "Kansas vs. Darwin" is making its official premiere Monday at the Kansas International Film Festival.

Heroes and villains

"Each year I find that the one subject that I think, 'Who cares?' or 'I've already heard enough about this' winds up being a film that is so well-made and interesting, it overcomes my initial skepticism," says Dotty Hamilton, vice president of programming at the Kansas International Film Festival. "Last year we had an entry about asparagus. I thought it sounded stupid, but it wound up being one of my favorite films of the festival. It was also one of the highest ranked by the audience.

"The audience ultimately decides which films they want to see. Based on advance individual ticket sales, right now 'Kansas vs. Darwin' is leading the pack in audience interest."

Part of the appeal is that for being such a quintessentially Kansas event, the three-day hearing courted national interest.

Journalists from all over the world kept tabs on the melee that pitted John Calvert, director of the Shawnee-based Intelligent Design Network, and Pedro Irigonegaray, a Topeka attorney who supported pro-evolution science standards.

Although the religious side was in full force during the hearings, the Kansas Citizens for Science decided to stage a boycott. Their reasoning was that science is not something that can be determined in the courtroom.

"The average viewer may see the movie as filled with heroes and villains. But my viewpoint is it's filled with human beings," says Tamblyn, a 27-year veteran of corporate film and video production.

"Some people - depending on their viewpoints - might find Connie (Morris) really detestable. I didn't think she was detestable, I just thought she was trying too hard. I would say the same thing about most of the people involved in this. They're scurrying and bellowing to make their point because they're afraid the other side is going to get ahead of them."

National release

The filmmakers are hoping "Kansas vs. Darwin," which was shot on digital video for under $200,000, is strong enough to land a national release.

"We'd love to get theatrical distribution for it. It's not a flashy film - there are a lot of talking heads. But the content of it is pretty gripping," says von Schlemmer, a Kansas University doctoral student in film studies.

"The reason I made the movie - to be blunt - was to make some money," Tamblyn adds. "Of course, I'm real interested in this topic. But through our research we've learned the way you make money with a documentary is primarily through DVD sales - unless you're Michael Moore or you have a lot of penguins in your movie."

Tamblyn is pleased to finally be debuting the official finished version of the picture at the Kansas International Film Festival, which allows most of the people involved in the story the opportunity to attend.

He says, "There are 10 major characters in the film, and they've all been invited to the screening. So far none of the people on the creationist side are coming."

Comments

jasonc_22 7 years, 2 months ago

hopefully the film will show the "villians" as they really are: the people trying to force the psuedo-science of creationism on unsuspecting Kansas children.

Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years, 2 months ago

If you believe in the literal Garden of Eden, then I hope you're a rabid environmentalist, fighting to keep God's creation from being spoiled, like with the SLT or those coal plants in Holcomb.

Otherwise, there's nothing incompatible between Darwin and God, so long as you keep in mind that the Bible and other sacred texts are metaphors and not literal. I believe in both God and Darwin, and looking at a bird or a flower, find both science and sacredness there.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 2 months ago

I predict that there will be heavy bias in this film. Not having seen it, I can't tell you which side it will lean toward, but I predict a one-sided presentation. There hasn't been an objective documentary since Robert Flaherty made "Nanook of the North" in 1922.

scary_manilow 7 years, 2 months ago

I hope you're well aware that "Nanook" was completely fabricated, thus rendering it ineligible for continued "documentary" status.

But, for those interested, Criterion put it out on DVD a few years back, and it's still just as weird as ever.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 2 months ago

Marion, Lawrence Public Library carries Nanook. The online catalog shows that it is available.

Scary Manilow, Now that you mention it, I vaguely remember hearing that the scene where the Eskimos struggled to pull a Walrus out of the ocean was staged. Bummer. So much for objectivity.

RedwoodCoast 7 years, 2 months ago

Nanook was not an objective documentary. It was all staged for the camera. Yes, there is some truth in it, but completely staged. Entertaining, though. Also, check out Kon Tiki. Another good semi-anthropological documentary.

As for this Darwin thing... people keep missing an important point. Darwin did not come up with the theory of evolution. His big contribution to the concept was the idea of evolution by natural selection.

mick 7 years, 2 months ago

Intelligent Design is pseudoscience. So is Evolution Theory.

jasonc_22 7 years, 2 months ago

evolutionary theory isn't pseudoscience, but your absolutely right that intelligent design is.

Frank Smith 7 years, 2 months ago

Connie Morris had an incredible sense of self-importance and a rectitude not found in this many places this side of the White House. She also thinks she's a great deal smarter than she is, a middling intelligence at best. Like the W.H. crew she's a crook, stealing with one hand and flipping Bible pages with the other.

situveux1 7 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if this is the same kind of 'documentary' as Michael Moore's crap. 'Propaganmentary' is more like it. I don't know which side this film will come down on, but it'll come down on one side or the other. I love how they had to throw out the science stuff and just focus on the 'politics' to get people interested.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 2 months ago

Intelligent design is religion.

Evolution is science.

One might feel that science is not the best way to understand the natural world, and one might question science and the scientific method. But to call evolution "pseudoscience" is beyond ignorant. It is purposefully deceitful.

gogoplata 7 years, 2 months ago

Some of you talk like evolution is a fact like 2 plus 2 equals 4.

Haiku_Cuckoo 7 years, 2 months ago

Some of you talk like evolution is a fact like 2 plus 2 equals 4.

Certain elements are fact, such as microevolution and changes within a species. Other areas are still being explored though.

Matt Toplikar 7 years, 2 months ago

Ok, lets get some things straight. Evolution is a fact. When people talk about Evolutionary Theory, they are talking about all of the main ideas that the leading scientists have about how evolution works. This doesn't mean that evolution is a theory, it just means that there are different theories about evolution. One of them is natural selection.

The best way to understand this is to think of gravity. Gravity is a fact. Gravitational theory used to involve Newtonian theories but now mostly involves Einsteinien theories on gravity. Other theories involve quantum physics. So, there is debate on how gravity works, but not that it's actually happening.

This being said, the main ideas behind natural selection are: 1) There is a variation of traits between and within species. 2) Some traits are passed on during reproduction. 3) In a particular environment, the organisms that are able to reproduce, will be more likely to pass on their traits. In other words, natural selection has nothing to do with the "fittest" or the "best" species. It only has to do with the passing on of traits. This means that if an asteroid hits the earth and kills many species off, the ones that are able to reproduce are not necessarily better, but they are the ones that can pass on their traits.

So, you don't have to believe that the human species evolved from apes to believe in natural selection. However, natural selection is one of many reasons biologists think that humans evolved from apes. Other reasons come from studying humans and apes that are living today, as well as the fossil record.

gogoplata 7 years, 2 months ago

Ok, lets get some things straight. Evolution is a fact.

Your say so doesn't make it a fact.

This doesn't mean that evolution is a theory, it just means that there are different theories about evolution. One of them is natural selection.

This sounds to me like the decision has been made that evolution must be a fact but we are just not sure how it happened. I could have been this or that or maybe this other thing, perhaps it is a combination of these. Human DNA is so similar to an apes that we must have evolved from them.

However, natural selection is one of many reasons biologists THINK that humans evolved from apes. Other reasons come from studying humans and apes that are living today, as well as the fossil record.

"Thinking's not knowing" - Doug Heffernan

I have read the arguments from both sides and I remain unconvinced that Evolution is a fact. There is no getting around the fact that there are people on both sides of this one. What if both are true? Can't there be more than one truth?

filmguru 7 years, 2 months ago

Kansas vs. Darwin is just one of a host of great films at the Kansas International Film Festival this year. For a complete schedule, visit the KIFF website at: http://www.kansasfilm.com/festival/schedule.html

gogoplata 7 years, 2 months ago

Certain elements are fact, such as microevolution and changes within a species. Other areas are still being explored though.

Thanks. I can agree with that 100% Evolution from one species to another is not a fact. I have no problem teaching that Macroevolution is something that some people believe is true just like creation is something that some people believe is true.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 2 months ago

"I have no problem teaching that Macroevolution is something that some people believe is true just like creation is something that some people believe is true."

Evolution is supported by facts, experiments, and observation. Creationism is not. Evolution is science. Creationism is not.

Again, you are free to criticize science as an epistemology and a way of knowing, and you need not accept the findings and conclusions of science.

gogoplata 7 years, 2 months ago

Creationism is supported by facts and observation.

The Fact that we live in such an incredibly complex world makes me and others believe that it didn't happen by chance.

And by the way I'm not really sure what an epistemology is. Is that where they cut a woman as she is giving birth?

gogoplata 7 years, 2 months ago

Epistemology or theory of knowledge is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature, methods, limitations, and validity of knowledge and belief.

Aha.

gogoplata 7 years, 2 months ago

Slippy, Slappy, Swenson, Swanson,..............Samsonite! I was way off.

erod0723 7 years, 2 months ago

The title of the movie sounds like some Heavyweight title fight or something....

Wait a second, so Sun Myung Moon is the Messiah returned at last? Hallelujah on the highest!

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 2 months ago

"Creationism is supported by facts and observation."

Please. I have no problem with your self-evident revelation that the universe must have been created because it is complex. However, this is not science. It is religion. You are free to believe what you wish.

Evolution is based on facts and science, the same facts and science that bring you your computer, your automobile, your electricity, and your medicine.

Creationism is not. It is wishful navel-gazing, feel-good ignorance, and outright denial of scientific reality.

Science can be tough to accept. It's conclusions can be scary (just ask the catholic church). You need not accept science as a means to understand the universe. Apparently, self-evident heel-clicking is good enough for you.

RKLOG 7 years, 2 months ago

So when is that big asteroid suppose to hit the Earth?

elkwc36 7 years, 2 months ago

Science hasn't been able to prove Evolution. If so they would of been present to present their case during the hearings. They have to hide behind lawyers. It is your right to believe what you want but I will believe in the real designer. God Bless you all.

Moonbat 7 years, 2 months ago

elkwc36, the pro-science crowd didn't show up at the hearings because they were boycotting it..which I don't blame them. Those hearings made me ashamed of being a Kansan.

Local pro-science advocacy group Kansas Citizens for Science organized a boycott of the hearings by mainstream scientists, who accused it of being a kangaroo court and argued that their participation would lend an undeserved air of legitimacy to the hearings.--Wichita Eagle, "Scientists Right to Boycott Evolution Hearings," March 30, 2005; "Evolution Hearings Rejected by Scientists," April 12, 2005.

Godot 7 years, 2 months ago

I worked with Jeff a long time ago. Unfortunately, he has not changed.

jonas 7 years, 2 months ago

"elkwc36 (Anonymous) says:

Science hasn't been able to prove Evolution. If so they would of been present to present their case during the hearings."

Would you go to a circus trial put together solely by politically motivated people who openly oppose everything you have to say? This is like suggesting those young women in Salem had to have been witches as they didn't turn themselves in to the tribunals. And they have been able to prove evolution, in some spheres of life. As for the one under question, it's supposed to be a process taking hundreds to thousands of years. We've had about a hundred and fifty. Fossil records suggest the truth of claims, but if you want a life, recorded example, you're just going to have to be patient and wait. You've been waiting 2000 years for Jesus to come back, so I know you can be patient when you want to be.

gogoplata 7 years, 2 months ago

What I am talking about is that evolution is not a fact. It is what some people think is a fact. Seems clear to me.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

"U cant be serious, baloonism has no basis... it pales in comparison to the full glory of an acme explosion with a colorful road runner and the wiley coyote careening off the cliff into a boom boom boom bang"

Clearly, your thinking, here, is two-dimensional. What more glorious explosion (and accompanying facial expression) that that produced by the balloon animal held-like your "looney tune" beliefs-too tightly!

Matt Toplikar 7 years, 2 months ago

gogoplata-- You're still not getting it. There's a difference between evolution and macro-evolution. Let me say it in simpler terms. Biological change is a fact. Drastic biological change is a theory supported by much evidence. As far as your claims that Evolution "has major problems", I have to say that I've heard many of the arguments for these "problems" that you speak of, however most of them are either deliberately deceiving, illogical, or not based on science (and they don't deal with Evolution, they deal with macro-evolution). However, if you want to tell me why you don't believe in Evolution (or macro-evolution) I'm totally ready to hear what you think the problems are. Just be ready to hear what my problems with your arguments might be.

Lifelong_Lawrencian 7 years, 2 months ago

Does evolution necessarily explain away the existence of God or just perhaps the literal interpretation of the bible?

Why is it that creationists tend to restrict their objections of science to evolution? Why not ban textbooks on astonomy, cosmology and physics that state that heavier elements that make up our bodies originated from novas and supernovas. Every branch of science includes theories that are necessary extrapolations of known facts. It is a vital tool that moves technology and scientific understanding forward. Gravity is a good example. The Large Hadron Collider will soon begin operation. It is expected to find the Higgs particle that theory predicts is responsible for gravity. Yet even after this discovery, gravity will remain a theory.

Creationists seem all to accepting or simply choose to remain ignorant of far more esoteric theories, like quantum theory, that has helped to generate discoveries and inventions that have launched the modern electronic age. All these theories have originated from the same scientific method. You cannot choose to attack the method that generated one that you simply don't agree with while happily enjoying the use of your cell phone and computer.

All reasonable scientists agree that there is far more data to support the theory of evolution than the theory of gravity. As with many other exceptions "the church" has had throughout history with science, they will have to adjust, while science and the rest of the world marches forward.

pace 7 years, 2 months ago

U cant be serious, baloonism has no basis in history, It is a conspiracy to distract people from the obvious superiority of cartoons. i concede that baloonist can twist their little necks until you think you see the beloved giraffe or even a fully boobed woman, but it pales in comparison to the full glory of an acme explosion with a colorful road runner and the wiley coyote careening off the cliff into a boom boom boom bang

Matt Toplikar 7 years, 2 months ago

Yes some people think it is a fact. These are the same people who think that gravity is a fact or that magnetism is a fact or that atoms are real. Here's one for you: No one has ever seen the earth revolve around the sun, but we still accept it as a fact. No one has seen electrons or protons but we all accept them as being part of our reality. Micro-evolution is pretty impossible to disprove. We can see it happen when viruses mutate, or when we breed dogs and other animals to have certain traits. Macro-evolution is not something that we have necessarily seen, however, the evidence we've seen suggests that it is what's happening.

The difference between science and religion is that science "thinks" and religion "knows". Where science is always ready to discard old theories if new evidence disproves them, religion does not base what it "knows" on anything but religious text. I studied Intelligent Design (creationism) in college, and though I wouldn't call myself an expert on it there were a few things that I noticed about it.

First off, all of the papers you'll ever read about intelligent design have one aim: to disprove evolution. Now you might say that "science should be willing to accept criticism", and you'd be right about that, however, you should also realize that there is no other scientific field that ONLY aims at disproving another theory. In other words, Intelligent Design advocates start with the idea that evolution is false and then try to find evidence to prove their theory. This is backwards science. Where Evolutionary Theory was molded from observations, Intelligent Design (creationism) molds it's observations to fit it's theory, throwing out the ones that go against it.

Secondly, the most obvious thing I noticed about Intelligent Design papers were that their arguments were based mostly around rhetoric and deception. These are tactics often used in debates in politics and law or even philosophy, but are pretty unprecedented in science. An example of this that I noticed quite often would be that Intelligent Design writers would quote a respected scientist to back up one of their arguments, but very blatantly leave words like "not" out of the quotation so that the quote would imply the exact opposite of what the scientist was originally saying. Other examples would include Intelligent Design papers stating arguments for evolution that are not actually argued by scientists and then disproving or "debunking" them. These kind of tactics were used by the tobacco industry to try to prove that cigarettes don't actually cause cancer.

So once more, let me just say that evolution is a fact. It is a fact because we can see it happening. Macro-evolution is a theory, but it's a pretty damn good theory because it's based on a ton of evidence.

RedwoodCoast 7 years, 2 months ago

Creationism is likely what all humans believed at one point in our history. But I think one would find that the sheer variety of different creation stories only serves to invalidate creationism as an explanation of existence. Which one is the "right" one? They are all equally important to the peoples who keep them. I think it's funny that biblical creationists will often cite flood stories in non-biblical creation stories as reinforcement for biblical creationism.

Lifelong_Lawrencian 7 years, 2 months ago

". . .science is physical and fairy tale stuff to me"

And how do you suppose your post appeared on this blog? Fairy tale stuff?

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

75x55,

"Science is a wonderful tool of discovery. It's too bad that humans tend to mix their politics and philosophical trash with it, so that it becomes an adulterated mess."

Wrong, scientists rarely get involved in politics. It's the religious leaders that mix religions and politics together than made all these philosophical trash we're seeing and becomes an adulterated mess. I rarely see a scientist becoming extremely involved in politics or running for offices, if they'd, this country will be a better one.

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

Religion is a set of philosophies on how to behave well for the sake of humanity. God is added into that flavor to entice people to believe further. There isn't much difference between Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Judaism, and Hinduism. The only difference is that Christianity, Islam and Judaism add a God into the formula and messed up everything when a "pious" man made use of "God" to create a mess around the world. Taking away the formula of God, it will become something like Hinduism, Taoism, and even Confucius, advices on how to live better in your life.

gogoplata 7 years, 2 months ago

Macro-evolution is a theory, but it's a pretty damn good theory because it's based on a ton of evidence.

Thank you. Like I said, Evolution is not a fact. Also there are plenty of people writing criticisms of evolution who have no hidden agenda about proving intelligent design. The theory has problems man.

jonas 7 years, 2 months ago

"that takes God out of the creating loop so by doing that you can live without a conscience and there is now punishment after death"

Having a conscience is not requisite on having God in the creating loop or having punishment after death. Truthfully, I think that if you require those things to have a conscience, then you have not progressed far enough along your path as a living human being. Still, I smell in your post a strong whiff of trolling, so I'll refrain from wasting any more time on you.

"Lifelong_Lawrencian (Anonymous) says:

And how do you suppose your post appeared on this blog? Fairy tale stuff?"

The eleventh choir of Angels, the Articulaphem, monitor all posts sent by the sacred wire and intelligently create them on your computer monitor.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

"Either God is all-powerful, and could accomplish something in any way (S)He'd like: or God is not all-powerful."

The question remains: "Can God create a rock so big that even (s)he can't lift it?" (I think that George posed the question, first.)

purplesage 7 years, 2 months ago

Darwinism / evolutionary science and creation science / intelligent design are means of addressing the question of origins. They both arise out of world views that are contradictory. Hence, the way of looking at the origin of all things is contradictory. Evolution and creation are incompatible

It is fascinating that a large number of people hold to an evolutionary, non-theistic explanation of from whence they came and still hold to ideas of heaven, eternal life and such. Either God did, or He did not. Your eternity depends on that.

erod0723 7 years, 2 months ago

The thing that gets lost is that scientists are not stringintly tied to evolution. If something else comes along that better explains the origins of the universe and can be scientifically proven to be valid, then scientists would embrace the idea. Scientists are merely seeking the truth. Evolution holds the most promise, thus most trust is placed in the theory. Creationism/Intelligent Design doesn't pass muster, therefore it is discarded.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

OK, I'm confused about this whole creation thang. So, the Universe HAD to have a Creator, because it is sufficiently complex. Presumably, the Creator is more complex than the Universe. (Certainly, one would not argue that the Universe is more complex than the Creator.) So, who created the Creator?

pace 7 years, 2 months ago

you hear about evolution and creationism but no one speaks for cartoonism. why couldn't they have made this documentary an animated cartoon, then no animals would have been hurt.

gogoplata 7 years, 2 months ago

Do you want to make the statement that the theory of evolution has no problems?

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

"you hear about evolution and creationism but no one speaks for cartoonism. why couldn't they have made this documentary an animated cartoon, then no animals would have been hurt."

... and what of "balloonism?" Had this documentary-or the Creator, for that matter-made more extensive use of "balloon" animals, then perhaps this controversy would not have BALLOONED to such Universal proportions.

matahari 7 years, 2 months ago

filmguru thanks for the link to the festival...

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

"Do you want to make the statement that the theory of evolution has no problems?"

On the contrary, I wish to advance the theory that the problem of evolution has far too many statements (as evidenced by the foregoing commentary).

RKLOG 7 years, 2 months ago

Oh merciful asteroid, rid us of our pain.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 2 months ago

"...but when you say that man evolved from slime or ape then that takes God out of the creating loop..."

This statement is to the point that those who criticize evolutionary science are very ignorant about what the science tells us.

No serious evolutionary biologist would make this statement, because it is not supported by the data and facts.

The data show that humans shared a common ancestor with slime (long, long, ago, ~ 1-2 billion years ago) and shared a common ancestor with apes (more recently, ~10 million years ago).

You need not accept these scientific conclusions, but they are interconnected with and based on the same science that allows you to post on this forum, to heat your house, and to cure your disease.

BrianR 7 years, 2 months ago

It matters not, I don't believe in the existence of Kansas. Kansas isn't compatible with my faith.

yourworstnightmare 7 years, 2 months ago

"humans shared a common ancestor with slime-isnt that the same statement as,man evolved from slime ?"

No, because "slime" was also evolving over that same time period. All organisms on earth have been subject to the same time period of natural selection.

gr 7 years, 2 months ago

"isnt that the same statement"

You're just a bigot!

Hateful! Shoving religion down people's throats! And a bunch of other name calling.

Trying to use logic! I mean.....what kind of nonsense is that!

gr 7 years, 2 months ago

"because "slime" was also evolving over that same time period."

Yea ibroke! Humans evolved from something slimer than slime!

That just totally invalidates your point! Ha!

Lifelong_Lawrencian 7 years, 2 months ago

Take a step farther back in time. The carbon, oxygen, and other atoms that make up the slime were formed in the explosions of supernovae and novae of dying stars.

The real question is--where did the singularity that generated the big bang come from? And equivalently, where did God come from? On this question and this question only, religion and science appear to be on equal ground. Evolution is just a sideline debate that science has already won and religious folks will ultimately accept as most accept that the earth is not the center of the solar system.

camper 7 years, 2 months ago

Boots on a fish. Cute. Where can I get one? I want to put one on my car so everyone can see.

pace 7 years, 2 months ago

"Clearly, your thinking, here, is two-dimensional. What more glorious explosion (and accompanying facial expression) that that produced by the balloon animal held-like your "looney tune" beliefs-too tightly!"

wow, from this simple expression, i have changed. i will no longer be a firm cartoonist, Baloonism has so much more to offer, more tactile, the simple elements all answer. I will not forget the acme explosion for in a way they brought me back, back to the bang that is primevil. My first step will be to try to creat a roadrunner of red and blue baloons. Thank you.

camper 7 years, 2 months ago

I believe in Darwin cause I don like snake. Everyone know we evolved from ape. Snake used to be our predator and eat us when we wer in tree. Get real. The fosils prouve it too.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

"wow, from this simple expression, i have changed. i will no longer be a firm cartoonist, Baloonism has so much more to offer, more tactile, the simple elements all answer."

And in deference to the moral tradition which is ACME (for my own roots can be said to emanate from the rabbit hole), let me offer, in the original Fuddamaic:

"yew scwewwy wabbit, uh-ha-ha-ha"

... th-th-th-that's all, folks!

Bernhardt 7 years, 2 months ago

If the fossil record proves it, what fossil links the platypus to anything else? If true, the evidence should be plentiful, as all of the intermediate stages that failed to live should be in the strata someplace.

jonas 7 years, 2 months ago

Bernhardt: Sounds like an interesting question. Why don't you go get a doctorate in biology and paleontology, and go search out the fossil remains of the platypus, see if you can establish a potential link, debate your findings with other scientists, publish your findings for critical review, and then come back and tell us what you found. We can be patient for you. Although this thread will undoubtedly be dead by then, I'm sure that there will be another thread on the merits of evolution coming up some time close to when you get back, this being Kansas and all.

Otherwise, if YOU don't care enough about the issue of the platypus ancestry any more than its use for you being one thing that possibly does not have a lot of evidence dug up so far, thus providing something to use as a "you can't explain this! neener neener" type of rhetorical question, it's hard to imagine why you'd expect anyone else to.

Bernhardt 7 years, 2 months ago

You evolutionists don't like hard questions, do you? As I said, if the platypus evolved from something, it would be in the fossil record. It is not. with all the fossils extant, which evidently come from animals killed in calamities of some kind, where are all the intermediate species that died because they had not yet acquired the necessary changes to survive. Jonas, Don't give me that crap about debating my findings because, as you well know, there are none! If there were, you and a thousand other evolutionists would product it. And Das Ubermime, who is more arrogant with pride than those who think they know more than God about creation. Your "absence of evidence is not evidence for absence" is a trite expression used by evolutionists trying to defend a dying theory. And your stratas are difficult to find and nowhere on earth do they supposedly exist as they are supposed to. And fossils appear in strata they are not supposed to be in. Evolutionists no longer will debate evolution vs. creation at colleges as the student see through the debates every time. What a snowjob you have pulled.

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

Agnostick and 75 X 55,

Sorry for the mistake. Yeap, human is the cause of the problem. Well, if religious leaders dispute evolution as a theory, I'd have to argue that God is a theory to us too. Because how can one proves the existence of God other than using the bible? To a Hindu, there are many Gods, to a Buddhist, there isn't a God, to others, God is living or not.... if you use Bible, then you are not accounting views of the other religions. Unlike science, there is only one truth, even one theory, until someone prove it wrong, and everyone has to accept it.

gr 7 years, 2 months ago

"Absence of evidence is not evidence for absence."

I love that to go along with Jonas' spout!

I tell ya, space aliens cause global warming!

If you disagree, then find evidence that they are not. If you don't care enough for lack of space aliens, why do you expect anyone else to?

"Absence of evidence is not evidence for absence." True, but can lead to silliness.

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

75X55,

"There are philosophical positions and boundaries that scientists themselves put upon their own discipline. What is sad is that these are so ingrained from the very beginnings of science education that people don't even recognize them, much less see their dogmatic hold over their worldview."

That's why the greatest scientists on earth are mostly agnostics, and not atheists. The inquiry mind is extremely important to make great discovery. An atheist forms his/her judgment too early and presume if it's from somewhere he/she presumes is unreliable, he/she will trash it. You're right, many science educations are deeply embedded in religions but I dispute your saying on embedding oneself in philosophy. Science and Engineering are philosophies in any way you look at. That's why the highest form of degree for research is called the Doctorate of Philosophy and not Doctorate of Science of Doctorate of Engineering. Science without philosophy cannot achieve anything great.

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

gr,

I thought you might want to stop all the nonsense about trying to prove alien and climate change. Get to the real fact about using earth data and climate change and get prepared, not standing on the side and keep on criticizing the work of scientists. What you said are claims, like religions are claims and believe. In science, what you're doing is called unethical and should subject to the criticism of the scientific communities. Your knowledge of climate change is not deep enough, so I won't qualify you to be part of the real scientific community.

Try harder next time.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

"That's why the greatest scientists on earth are mostly agnostics, and not atheists."

Oooh, I'll "weigh in" on that one...

I must admit that, in terms of the TOTALITY of their respective conclusion_ (i.e., God does exist; God does not exist), theists and atheists are indiscriminable to me.

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

tangential_reasoners_anonymous,

As what many Christian sects like to make assumption that Catholics are not Christians. Jumping too quickly into an assumption may lead to wrong result. There are reasons why a group exists, even though it seems to someone that they all look the same. Look deeper.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

livingstone says: "Jumping too quickly into an assumption may lead to wrong result. There are reasons why a group exists, even though it seems to someone that they all look the same. Look deeper."

Being the "agnostic scientist" that I am, more than "looking deeper," I have done the experiment, and replicated it many times, at various levels of analysis, and... theist... atheist... I can't tell the difference.

(Granted, I'm limited to submitting my results in Braille.)

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

tangential_reasoners_anonymous,

Bring on the light, my God. ;P

gr 7 years, 2 months ago

"keep on criticizing the work of scientists." Sounds like you are one who groups the all with the few. Second, I don't believe you have ever established that 95% of all scientist believe in global warming. Did I miss it or did you forget about that part?

"In science, what you're doing is called unethical " Umm, Livingstone, what is the difference of saying

absence of evidence for space aliens is not evidence for absence of them

and

absence of evidence for a fossil line of platypus is not evidence for absence of one?

Is it because one is "silly" and the other, well, we just need to keep on searching?

Is it kind of like Dawkin's type of demented mentality - playtypus are here, so there must be a fossil record? Like I heard, if you were outside looking in, the statistical probability of odds would be against life forming, but we aren't outside so we don't even need to consider the question anymore.

Science isn't supposed to eliminate possibilities before investigating. If something is outside the range of science, science should not be making a conclusion for it.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

tangential_reasoners_anonymous says: "(Granted, I'm limited to submitting my results in Braille.)"

livingstone says: "Bring on the light, my God. ;P"

Lest there be any confusion, the Braille is for my own proofreading purposes (and, of course, that of my audience).

[Being the "agnostic scientist" that I am, more than "groping deeper," I have done the experiment, and replicated it many times, at various levels of analysis, and: light: dark: I still can't tell the difference.]

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

tangential_reasoners_anonymous,

I apologize if my words hurt you, but that wasn't my intention. I was being scarstic to those who insist their point of view of God is correct. I understand Braille. I sincerely believe that Agnostic makes great scientists, just because he/she refuses to accept the established knowledge and continues their inquiry even when he/she is threatened. One of such person was Galileo, when the church challenged his claim that the earth is spherical. Theist and atheist have some differences in them. Just as the GW communities, the level of beliefs can be slightly different too, though when they face skeptics like gr, they always stand together. Three Cheers to Agnostics.

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

Das_Ubermime,

Sometimes, I couldn't be bothered by those who thought that they know everything. They just look through the world through their little eyescope and thought that the world should be like that. They miss the word "Global", and refuses to acknowledge the work of scientists who are very good in their field. It's like an Electrical Engineers telling an Envionmental Engineer that he/she is wrong, just because an EE is more concerned with electricity, it doesn't mean that the environment is not of concerned. Many scientists and engineers are simply locked in their own world and thought the whole world should be like theirs. I thought that's gr point of view and of course, his nonsensical "prove to me aliens are not causing GW"... I will let this guy/gal RIP...

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

gr,

Desperate to find evidences to disprove GW? BTW, the best scientists to prove if there're aliens of not are the astronomers and maybe some astrophysicists. I will listen to them and not you. Nice try on your attempt to divert attention. RIP my friend.

workinghard 7 years, 2 months ago

So it has to be one or the other? So there is no way both theories can be true? Then the nun at the Catholic school I went to must have lied. She said it was ok to believe in evolution as long as you believed God had a hand in it.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

livingstone says: "I apologize if my words hurt you...."

You realize that, if we were in Jena right now, you could be facing attempted murder charges, buddy!

,:-^)

(... and that would be the tongue-in-cheek smiley-not that my tongue ever isn't somewhat in my cheek in these forums)

No apologies needed; 'nuff said!

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

workinghard,

Evolution is already proven true by other sciences. The original theory by Darwin had flaws, but has been strengthen by other scientists. One of those is the the Genetic Science. There are many people who believe in God, but not the God that they think many religions are preaching. That's why there are Agnostic like me. I have a Catholic upbringing, like yourself, but have seen too many pastors trying to make the bible theirs that I think these people should simply say that they're preaching philosophies and not religions.

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

tangential_reasoners_anonymous,

My cousin's deaf from birth (though not blind). I thought that it's alright for blacks to joke about blacks and whites to joke about whites. Cheers and have a nice day.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 7 years, 2 months ago

livingstone says: "I thought that it's alright for blacks to joke about blacks and whites to joke about whites."

Is it not a shared "human" condition? I'm completely comfortable joking about my fellow man (as well as the occasional errant coyote), and being the butt of cross-cultural and cross-racial jokes (tho' I strictly draw the line at dinner theatre at the Coyote Club).

Sean Livingstone 7 years, 2 months ago

tangential,

How I hope one day I can call a black names and he'll think that it's a joke. I thought we're all Americans with a sad history.

gr 7 years, 1 month ago

I find it interesting the similarities of both of you. Livingstone, rather than showing me wrong by listing where it says 95% of scientists agree with global warming, completely skips over it. Likewise, Das_Ubermime, rather than indicating how my logical comparisons are wrong, simply resorts to name calling. Can't deal with their questions - call people names. Kind of speaks for itself. I think my previous post kind of hit the nail on the head.

barnhardt 7 years, 1 month ago

Yes, name calling is in vogue. Amazing are the comments here from those who are in favor of abortion. They also support evolution as a basis for education. No surprise. In the survival of the fittest, the mother is the fittest and the unborn in not. Pro-choice only applies to the mother and not to the unborn baby.

I also notice the mean-spiritedness of some abortion supporting comments and the proclivity to call names to those who do not agree with them.

Why am I not surprised?

LarryFarma 7 years, 1 month ago

--"To clarify, this particular "beginning" took place in 2005 when three members of the Kansas State Board of Education - Steve Abrams, Kathy Martin and Connie Morris - conducted controversial hearings to debate where God belonged in the classroom."--

Wrong -- the debate was not over where God belonged in the classroom -- the debate was over where criticism of Darwinism belonged in the classroom.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 7 years, 1 month ago

I think all Agnostics with Catholic upbringings should be banned from this forum...because we have better things to do with our time! 6 6 D (__

Before I go, I have a question. What is the difference between calling someone a "name caller" and calling someone a name? I'd say it's the same, since I'm not down with the uncaused cause!~)

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