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Are you familiar with the Flying Spaghetti Monster theory?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on August 24, 2005

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Photo of Tanya Dusin

“Yes. I think it is every bit as legitimate as creation theory.”

Photo of Lane Stallbaumer

“No, but I can go with it until it’s disproven. It’s as viable as any other unproven theory.”

Photo of Craig Stancliffe

“No, but I have heard about gravity being called into question. They’re calling it intelligent falling.”

Photo of Nate Schrock

“Yes. Global warming is a serious problem and the only solution is to increase piracy around the world.”

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Comments

GreenEyedBlues 9 years, 2 months ago

Science is science. To take such offense to those comments is silly.

You can't expect everyone to buy that your god created the universe in 7 easy steps. Lemme guess, god is a white HE with long grey beard and resembles the first depictions from the hand of Michelangelo Buonarotti.

Everyone has their schemes of what is and is not. Teach THAT to your children and let them think for themselves.

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John1945 9 years, 2 months ago

How kind of the Journal-World to legitimize religious bigotry and intolerance. I don't read German, but somehow I get the feeling that this is what the press must of looked liked in the Third Reich during the early 30's. Will there be a section denouncing the Juden in tomorrow's edition?

Perhaps there could be a new section of the paper devoted to ridiculing various racial and ethinic groups.

At any rate, thanks to the four geniuses above Lawrence has once again been shown to be a hotbed of intolerance for anyone who doesn't goose-step to the tune of its narrow-minded "scientific" community. But then that's probably why KU's rankings as an academic community continue to decline.

Strange though that no one over there has been able to come up with a rational argument to defend Darwinian theory, only these silly ad hominems. No wonder they can't get any grant money.

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GreenEyedBlues 9 years, 2 months ago

I can just imagine John 1945 using air quotes as he says scientist. What a yutz. This doesn't even say anything about KU. But hell, might as well bash KU "scientists" because this article happents to appear in the LJWorld.

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jayhawk2000 9 years, 2 months ago

I don't see how poking a little fun at the Powers That Be can be considered bigoted or intolerant, when in fact it is often their actions that display these qualities. Can't take a joke? Can't acknowledge their own hypocrisy, more like.

The reason it's okay to make jokes about Christians and not Jews is that the Christians control this country and have not been a persecuted minority themselves for many centuries.

Making empowered people feel dispossessed, THAT was a key tool of Nazi propaganda.

In other words, making the majority feel threatened (wrongfully) by a minority was a means of promoting an agenda against that minority. The masses in carrying out that agenda could feel secure, even though their power and position in society was never threatened in the first place.

It is troubling when the people of a country as prosperous and democratic as the USA start complaining of losing their rights to a blameless minority, as if freedom is a finite resource.

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jonas 9 years, 2 months ago

For those unfamiliar with the theory of intelligent falling.

http://theonion.com/news/index.php?issue=4133&n=2

Religious bigotry, john1945 says!

http://groups.msn.com/_Secure/0UADvAuwYgApXYjCaMHrdpyFyeL8Ujn62hP!DVVc3BQngJWKnPfyYMVrtJAg50tdPZkaCzsUV1cTq7s2oBfUg2j5pZRYuG77zTjFnQGj5cyEWq8BkARlnSCLhgAcC4Y/vash%20laughing.gif?dc=4675401830455813961

That's just because you've gotten so used to being coddled by being the supreme majority in everything, that to not easily get your way, not be able to push your views onto other people, or not to have a consensus on everything is unfamiliar and uncomfortable for you. The only reason you can call this persecution is because of your extremely narrow point of perspective.

Sorry.

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hottruckinmama 9 years, 2 months ago

john 1945 you republicans need to get over yourselfs. gop doesn't stand for gods own party despite what you folks think. you don't have a monopoly on god nor a direct line to gods ear. i think its folks like you that are a little closer to the nazi's myself. as to the flying spaghetti monster i'm not familier with it but i bet its bound to stir up some debate.

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Jayhawk226 9 years, 2 months ago

How soon before the first post includes a Bible verse?????

My guess--8:41am.

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tell_it_like_it_is 9 years, 2 months ago

LOL.Trouble ahead for sure. The right wing crazies will be out in full force today.

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jonas 9 years, 2 months ago

tellitlikeitis: shhhhh! You'll spook em!

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craigers 9 years, 2 months ago

If somebody just wants to be more informed, I would suggest reading the second chapter of a book by Clarence Larkin. The book is "Rightly Dividing The Word." I have read it and he has some valuable insight on the whole creation theory. I am not saying that he is 100% accurate or anything like that, but I know that usually people on this board like to read about different theories and ideas. The chapter is called Ages and Dispensations. I urge you to give it a shot. He doesn't validate evolution but gives some ideas on what he feels happened. If nothing else, it is a very interesting read.

As for the question, I have heard of it from the Letters to the Editor section. It sounds pretty funny.

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craigers 9 years, 2 months ago

John 3:16

Doesn't have to do with the subject, but I just wanted to beat the 8:41 timeline!!! :)

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acg 9 years, 2 months ago

He has balls!! ROFL. What a great way to start the day. This is going to be interesting reading today, no doubt.

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megorama 9 years, 2 months ago

It still amazes me that people believe that Christians run this world...do you think the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" theory would even be discussed if it were???

And by the way, Christians ARE and WERE persecuted. Read about the genocide in Turkey in the early 1900's where MILLIONS of Christians were killed...read about Sudan where over 1.5 million Christians have been slaughtered since 1984...read about the recent Christian killings in Indonesia...

I am SO tired of people criticizing Christianity...get over it!!!! If you don't like it, don't worry about it!

As for the "Flying Spaghetti Monster" theory...HILARIOUS. It reminds us how trivial ARGUING/DEBATING all of this truly is.

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johnadavies 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm ready for the a second helping of the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

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legolas1996 9 years, 2 months ago

If evolution were true, mothers would have 3 or more arms. But evolution is not true and mothers dont have more than two arms, so evolution does not work. Sorry evolutionists! Looks like intelligent design has won out. Thats why they call it INTELLIGENT design, not evolution which is nothing but randomness. There is no way that the earth could have been created with this much complexity by randomness. Think about it for a minute.

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christie 9 years, 2 months ago

Darwin agrees with the Intelligent Design Crowd, if they'd only read The Origin of Species:

"There is grandeur in this view of life, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

Both conservatives and liberals have proponents who make us look bad by making silly statements (like the telelogical one made above by legolas). Illogical arguments by extremists on either side make easy targets, and should be singled out for their fallacies. But, neither side should think that they have destroyed the foundation of a postion by knocking down illogical arguments. Most major debates have multiple positions that have some valid arguments. To truly challenge a position, elaborate that position better than its proponents can, then demonstrate your counter argument. I think it does us all good to really investigate and listen to the other side to help us create a more defensible position.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

I believe God used evolution to create all that we have and are. I do believe Adam was a historical figure and the Fall was a historical event. Christians will say I am not being true to a literal interpretation of the Bible. People who do not believe in God will say that I am creating unnecessary characters into the history of the earth and that I should adopt a more parsimonious model. I can roughly defend my position, although I am still not sure how a few of the pieces fit together, but I don't have time to elaborate my arguments now. Maybe I can do it later today.

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megorama 9 years, 2 months ago

Das_Ubermime: You are right, persecution only matters if it occurs in the US. I forgot to get in my box this morning...sorry!

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chimein27 9 years, 2 months ago

Check out prisonerlist.com "Around the world today Christians are being persecuted for their faith. More than 70 million Christians have been martyred for their faith since 33 AD. This year an estimated 160,000 believers will die at the hands of their oppressors and over 200 million will be persecuted, arrested, tortured, beaten or jailed." Nations where Christians are frequently persecuted include:
Afghanistan Cyprus Maldives Sri Lanka
Algeria Egypt Mauritania Sudan
Azerbaijan Equatorial Guinea Morocco Syria
Bangladesh Ethiopia Myanmar (Burma) Tajikistan
Bhutan India Nepal Tibet (China)
Brunei Indonesia Nigeria Tunisia
Chechnya Iran North Korea Turkey
Chiapas Iraq Oman Turkmenistan
China Kuwait Pakistan United Arab Emirates
Colombia Laos Qatar Uzbekistan
Comoro Islands Libya Saudi Arabia Vietnam
Cuba Malaysia Somalia Yemen

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nlf78 9 years, 2 months ago

My only comment for today...I love the illustration! It looks like there is a second grader out there who has alot of potential!

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asterope 9 years, 2 months ago

I find it fascinating that the argument devolves into who is killed most by whom. All this proves is that humans are excellent at being evil to each other--often in the name of a supposed "loving" deity.

It is dangerous to democracy anytime one group tries to silence another through violence, "legal jargon", political action or social pressure. I am concerned by how satire and legitimate discussion are seen as oppression by those currently in power. I have every right to express my concern about the encroaching theocracy and the implications for a secular democracy. To do so IS patriotic, ethical, moral and legal. I also have the right to do so in a humorous way. Sometimes satire is the only way to point out the absurdity of a position.

What I find most interesting in this debate is that many who support questioning darwin are not prepared to support including intelligent design in the classroom as the theory has not be adequately developed and supported (the New York Times had an article on this topic on Monday). While I am fine with questioning science (the practice is actually encouraged by the scientific method), I am against positioning our students in that debate before the grounds for the debate have been firmly established.

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sunflower_sue 9 years, 2 months ago

Why is it that "all Christians" are believed to be these rightest individuals that strictly believe that no evolution took place and the God is an old white man with a beard? Sounds like people that assume that of all Christians are indeed very narrow minded.

As a Christian, I believe in Intelligent design AND evolution. And, I'd be really surprised if God were a little old white man with a beard.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go make a lasagna for the family of my neighbor, whose soul rose to Heaven this very Blessed morning. Good Day!

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bankboy119 9 years, 2 months ago

EM, religion isn't just an exclusionary club that was randomly made up. The Bible even says that God created man to have an intimate relationship with Him. Man was created in His own image and were made to worship Him.

BTW, if anyone comes up with something to disprove the Bible I will withdrawal and publicly apologize for all statements I have made defending and promoting the Bible....because if one thing is wrong with the Bible then that means all of it would be false. As it stands now, Bible is infallible.

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bankboy119 9 years, 2 months ago

Asertope, you should probably check the NY Times again because I'm sure they'll be apologizing for that story as well as a ton of others they have written. When the NY Times actually comes out with a story that is fact not leftwinded like the LJ World then try and use it in defense.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

Is there any group of people on the face of this earth that is more ridiculed than Christians for their faith in an all wise, all powerful Creator? We are laughed at as being gullible, stupid idiots for believing what we do. No matter, it's a case of who gets the last laugh, but I don't really think believers will laugh at the end. Oh, yes the end, we believe there will be an end to this world and then what will happen to the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Ask yourself, there must be some giant refridgerator out there that is keeping the FSM from getting all mouldy. True? I wonder where it is and has anyone seen it lately. As to the comment by legolas, was he not saying that according to the evolution theory, as some creatures adapted to their need by physical changes, would not mothers, in need of more arms have adapted also with a third arm. enochville - what does it all matter. The only important thing is FAITH, agreed? We were given all we needed to know in genesis. Can anyone imagine what the Bible would look like if all the details of creation were included. A science textbook perhaps? And then what would all the scientists do if that were the case? They would never have evolved. :o)

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

TOB - didn't read your post above until after I wrote mine, yes true, many are persecuted. What kind of human beings are we anyway? Why do we ALL feel the need to put others down. Maybe it has something to do with our own feelings of inadequacy.

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GreenEyedBlues 9 years, 2 months ago

MS_Canada, That's the kind of smug bullsh*t that I can't stand. Let's hope you get your last laugh because god loves sweet irony. Why else would [s]he have us wasting our mornings on LJWorld.com debating topics when it's clear that we're all in the Matrix?

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

omb - oh yes the Lollards. Is that not all down to Henry V? Terrible case in point.

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bankboy119 9 years, 2 months ago

GEB, Canada said she said she didn't think that believers would laugh in the end. I have to agree with that as well. To be honest my heart aches because people keep on choosing to ignore all of the signs that the prophecies of the Bible are coming true. That's another topic though.

There won't be a last laugh; it won't be funny when people realize too late that they have been rejecting God while now he has His arms wide open. And yes I am using He because the Bible always says He as well. No I don't believe he's an old white guy with a white beard either....life started between the Euphrates and the Tigris and the inhabitants there definitely aren't white.

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BunE 9 years, 2 months ago

It seems to me that the FSM is gentle mocking, not persecution.

If your faith is such that you can't take a joke, you better think about what it means to be human. Just look at the Platypus. Now THAT is funny. Some of you really feel a need to believe in a 3500 year old myth, so knock yourself out. Just remember the bible is just a book.

Science is a well reasoned and reasonable view of the world around us based on testing and retesting and retesting. It is a search for how things work. You don't have to believe it but most of us living in a modern society should be aware of the scientific method. We will never run out of mysteries so buck up.

The metaphysical side of things is interesting too. For every "truth" in the bible, I can find a corresponding "truth" in Bulfinch's Mythology. They both have single mothers, individuals put to death for the sins of man, floods, giants, etc. Put the study of Creationism and the FSM in Philosophy class, leave science to the scientists.

Oh, Ms Canada: The FSM is in space, there is no air in space and so it can't go moldy, geez...

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

GEB - sorry if I offended you, I most certainly do not feel smug. And your saying that just confirms my point. I did not say that Christians were the most persecuted group, I said they were the group that people most like to make fun of. And is that not what you just did? You made fun of my faith. but that is fine, I can take it.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

BunE - not averse to a bit of levity are you? geesh! :o)

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brandon_patrick 9 years, 2 months ago

Right, except the Armenian genocide was a genocide based on nationality - the Turks targeted all Armenians including many who happened to be Christian. One of the leading reasons that what is going on in Sudan has not been declared genocide is that both Christians and Muslims are being slaughtered by the janjaweed horsemen, rival tribes of both faiths and the government's forces operating in the North. Sudan is an immensely complicated situation stemming from, among other things, poverty, issues of federation, a wary government with problems projecting power outside of the cities and regional ethnic tension.

Americans descring Christian persecution is a bit like white people complaining about discrimination in the U.S. Does it happen? Yes, but on the level of what we gave up until recent time? No. No one likes a cry-baby. And no one likes it when the privileged complain about falling into a state of equality with their former better-thans.

Modern Christianity has largely abandoned its global manifest destiny, its habits to enslave and convert, to convert or slaughter and heck, let's be truthful, it's propensity to convert and then slaughter. We're in the age of the hard-sell. Christian NGOs sweeping in after a disaster and offering rice, but take this bible first; five liters of water - wait! watch this Jesus movie first, now smile in that camera and look grateful. Millions of dollars spent delivering bibles to illiterate populations that could have been spent on better supply logistics, medical care, more basics. We, corn-fed Americans don't really see this here. The red-cross cleans up after our disasters and it's usually local community churches that step into intimate relief roles helping familiar faces after an earthquake or a hurricane or what have you. The closest thing I can think of is the revulsion many people felt when the Scientologists swarmed the site of the WTC bombings after the planes hit and turned it into a publicity stunt. When your dear Christian missioniaries go out proselytizing to the famished, the AIDs ravaged, the orphaned and the hunted I'd bet dimes to dollars that something like that flirts with the exhausted minds of the targets of their charity "Enough with this babble, I'd tell you I believe a Spaghetti Monster gave me life if only you'd end your presentation and distribute the bread."

Christian persecution. Bah. Take it up with Pat Robertson. Maybe after you give enough to be in his platinum club, he'll pretend to listen to you.

Just for the record, I am a lifelong Christian.

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GreenEyedBlues 9 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps jumping down off the cross is in order. Can someone bust out a passage in the "Good" book that spells out that we shouldn't make light of religion? Liberty? Anyone?

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sunflower_sue 9 years, 2 months ago

GEB, Is fear making you defensive today?

BunE, Many good scientists are also Christians.

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GreenEyedBlues 9 years, 2 months ago

It's not so much fear as it is festering anger.

I think it's totally wrong for Christians to push their agenda on the government in the false hope that the world will become a happy place and god will smile down upon the United States for showing Christian Compassion towards all and teaching our kids that evolution is for sinners.

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craigers 9 years, 2 months ago

First of all it is relationship not religion. This religion that everybody wants to criticize is why we have so many problems with it. bankboy I am right with you about the prophesies being fulfilled. Too many to mention right now. The reason why they give the Bible to the people first is because you must fix the inside before the outside even matters. If I am a horrible person on the inside it doesn't matter how I dress it up and how many good deeds are done to or for me, it doesn't change my position for salvation. Quit criticizing missionaries. I see a lot of money raising going on in the US but when it comes to somebody actually going to these tribes to feed them, you don't hear a lot about. I will agree Das that evolution is constrained. But by the creator of it all. Don't you get it? If we were able to adapt so well to our environments and become better suited then why haven't we all become immune to genetic diseases? I would think having a disease wouldn't promote me living better. Why don't we adapt and change with the times? If you really think about it though, many have as much faith in evolution as I have in God/Jesus Christ. I know there is a reason for being on this planet other than just working among other humans and trying to do well until I close my eyes for the last time. That seems pretty depressing to me. However, I have been blessed with my relationship with Jesus and he will come again in my lifetime or I will meet Him when I die. I have seen too many spiritual and physical miracles that have occured in the name of Jesus to make me doubt. I will forever be His. This is the blessed hope.

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Kevin Randell 9 years, 2 months ago

I totally agree with you GEB! But in order to be fair then, we should not let any other party or group push their views on American government as well. That means no racial, sexual orientation, or religious agenda's.

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bankboy119 9 years, 2 months ago

Das, actually evolution hasn't been proven it has all been mutations from my understanding....I'm not going to even pretend that I know everything there is to know about it I'm not a scientist, I'm a businessman.

From my understanding though the changes are caused by DNA being changed and even though sometimes the mutations caused have beneficial effects(like bugs becoming resistant to pesticides) make the creature have more defects as well....so many defects that the benefits do not outweigh the defects and the creature ends up dying off anyways within a few generations.

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craigers 9 years, 2 months ago

The only reason why our nation is blessed is because of the Christian heritage that we have. As this diminishes, then our country will fall apart. We are already encouraging the disassociation with Israel (God's chosen people), what will happen next?

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lunacydetector 9 years, 2 months ago

i haven't the time to read everyone's rant, but the ones i have skimmed over truly shows the ignorance of the liberal left.

just because someone is religious does not make that person a believer in intelligent design.

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Kevin Randell 9 years, 2 months ago

I'll tell you craigers what's going to happen.....He's coming!!!!

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bankboy119 9 years, 2 months ago

A couple more thoughts for the day.

Darwin said he was wrong before he died....so shouldn't the student follow the master and admit they are wrong as well since they were taught incorrectly to begin with?

Also GEB, there is no false hope that the world will become a happy Utopia from Christians, as of now God is not the ruler of this world but Satan. Evidence from the Bible where Jesus is being tempted by Satan and is offered the world is He will only bow to Satan. He does not refute the claim that Satan is master of this world because he has been since the Fall.

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Spoken1 9 years, 2 months ago

Really craigers? I don't believe that to be true at all. There have been many societies no based on Christianity that made it very successfully for far longer than the US has. I have no problem with Christianity, I just do not believe what you are claiming can be backed up with any kind of proof.

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grimpeur 9 years, 2 months ago

Disprove the bible? Well, that's like disproving the existence of FSM. That's the whole point! FSM is also infallible, by the way.

If one wishes to disprove the bible, one might as well set out to disprove the Hobbit, Star Wars, or any other fictional or non-existent story or being. Can't do it.

Convenient, ain't it?

Science, on the other hand, is all about proof (and disproof). You don't think there's a million biologists out there who'd love to come up with evidence of any process more likely to have occurred than evolution as it's now understood? Hell yeah they'd love to! That's their job, in a extrapolative way. Problem is, no matter what anyone proposes, nothing to date has the overwhelming preponderance of suppporting evidence, repeated scientific examination and testing, and observed natural phenomena that we see to support the idea of descent with modification, selective pressure, and genetic heredity.

Disease, gravity, planetary motion, and so forth were all once thought to be supernatural, but we know better now. As for earth origins, nobody yet knows for sure, but some people are interested in finding out what really happened. Some are content with what they already think they know.

And some don't want to know.

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megorama 9 years, 2 months ago

What societies have been more successful than ours? Just curious...?

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sunflower_sue 9 years, 2 months ago

It's all too easy to forget that this country was indeed founded on Christianity. Plain and simple. Like it or not.

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blessed3x 9 years, 2 months ago

Since evolution cannot be proven beyond doubt, doesn't it make sense, from a scientific standpoint, to explore any and all avenues? There are some very sizable holes in the evolution theory, shouldn't we explore other theories as well. What kind of scientist decides on one theory and blindly follows it, thinking it his own "absolute truth"? Don't evolutionists accuse people of faith for doing just this?

Since Intelligent Design does not mention a specific deity, it is non-specific from a religious standpoint. It merely asks the question "Was a higher power involved in our creation?". What's wrong with asking questions?

When I was in school (a long time ago), science was taught as a field of study where you were encouraged to ask questions and explore all avenues until you could prove something one way or another. Intelligent designers aren't asking for evolution to be removed from schools, but simply to allow other possibilities to be explored. In other words, they are asking science to act like science and test, explore and theorize.

What I don't understand is how scientists who try to explore Intelligent Design are treated within their own community. Recently a researcher at the Smithsonian who dared to do just this was attacked by his fellows. Once upon a time we thought the world was flat. Those that thought otherwise were ridiculed and sometimes worse, but the flat-landers were so convinced they were right that they wouldn't allow any other theories to be explored. Are we little better than them? Are we so arogant as to think that we've solved the mystery of the ages? I certainly hope not. I hope science never "settles" on an unproven fact. Science should be dynamic and take into account all possibilities otherwise we do not only ourselves a great injustice but all those that come after.

Just my two cents.

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cwrist 9 years, 2 months ago

John1945 is bigoted against those of us who believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He hurts my feelings.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

bankboy and craigers - right on. You know the saying, a teacher learns far more than the students. I once taught a class on the book of Daniel. I call this book, the greatest book of hope. Prophesies being fulfilled is what the book is all about. Since all of the prophesies of old have been fulfilled, it stands to reason that the ones still of the future will be also, does it not? I just love that book. My book of hope. Yes, oklahomaJayhawk, indeed he is coming. That is the unfulfilled prophesy of Daniel. The fulfilled ones concern the Babylonians, Medes and Persians, the Greeks and the Romans.

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bankboy119 9 years, 2 months ago

I do want to apologize for the evolution argument, definitely not a good one to get into when I don't know anything about it. Bob the quote you had from me was what I had read about it....though I don't remember where so it was a bad one to use(and I'm not saying it just because it's convenient.)

I will say though Grim that all evidence found has supported the Bible. There are numerous sightings of Noah's Ark in Iraq and soldiers have even come out saying they tried to burn it to hide it and they couldn't burn the wood. Also, Pilate, an established historic Roman governor who also happened to give Jesus over to the Jews to be sacrificed wrote a letter back to Rome about the resurrection. In it he said that the Jewish leaders(Pharisees) paid the Roman guards to keep quiet about what they saw at the tomb(they saw the resurrection) but it did not work. The Pharisees also tried to say that the apostles stole the body...but how could that have happened with the guards in front of the tomb?

Disproving the Bible is entirely different than disproving Hobbits or any other make believe story.

Das...bad proofreading on my part.

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nlf78 9 years, 2 months ago

sunflower_sue - You are very right...this country was founded on Christianity. It is easy to forget why our forefathers came to America and came up with our constitution, based all on the fact that they were Christians.

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bankboy119 9 years, 2 months ago

Canada, you are very right about the old prophesies being fulfilled. Jesus fulfilled over 300 by his coming.

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average 9 years, 2 months ago

From what I can tell, this country was founded on deistic rationalism, the religion of the enlightenment.

You have to get to about President Garfield to find a believer in inerrant Pauline Christianity in the White House.

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bankboy119 9 years, 2 months ago

No public school just teaches you that the founding fathers were Deists. Most were practicing Christian.

Another little FYI...for any of you who have seen National Treasure it depicts Washington as a practicing Freemason(not a Christian society) and people also say this because of the portait of him in Mason regala. The portrait isn't accurate though because Washington refused to sit for the painting because of what the Masons really stood for. The artist painted it without Washington being there.

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BunE 9 years, 2 months ago

It is easy to forget that the revisionists have decided to make up the story that America was founded on christianity. Some were christian and brought that view point to the table. Most were men of faith, but christianity was but one. This country was founded on the ideals of the Enlightenment.

This struggle to make the US christian has gone on for 2 centuries. It will continue to, but no matter what some people say, this country was made from the sweat, blood and toil of men and women, some of faith, some of not. God gave them nothing, they saw opportunity and seized it.

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Spoken1 9 years, 2 months ago

Well, the Roman empire lasted quite some time, as did China. Neither were based on Christianity, and both lasted much longer the the USA has.

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bankboy119 9 years, 2 months ago

You have to be kidding right BunE? The revised story is that our founding fathers were either Deists or Atheists but if you look at the actual letters from the FF and historical records from their day, not history books written by people a couple hundred years later, it shows their practicing faith.

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average 9 years, 2 months ago

bankboy:

Believe as you wish, but we have plenty of documentary evidence from the founding of this nation. I can cite Thomas Paine, Ben Franklin, the first six presidents, and others on their religious views.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

It is frustrating to discuss a topic with a group of people who know very little of what they are talking about, but think they know enough. I say that to many people on this board, some who have dismissed evolution out-of-hand and others who dismiss God. Too many people have become jaded and lost their inquistive natures and close the door to learning and discovery. All of us need to entertain the possibility that we might be wrong in some of assumptions, myself included. We shouldn't be so threatened to discover that there might be more to the picture than we thought. And discovering that one thing we believed was incorrect doesn't mean that we have to give up every other cherished belief associated with it. But, I don't know, I could be wrong.

Rene Descarte demonstrated that we can never really prove anything in the ultimate sense of the word. He entertained this thought exercise. He began by doubting one thing, then another, even all that he saw around him. If you have difficulty doing that, think maybe we are in the Matrix, how would you know if you weren't. He eventually realized that the only thing he couldn't doubt was that he was doubting. In other words, there could not be nothingness because something was going on. He coined the phrase, "I think, therefore I am". Now even that statement is overstating what you can truly know, but at least we can agree that something is going on. And that is all we can truly KNOW, at least for now.

Now philosophers can entertain those thoughts, but when they go home at night they still eat and pay their bills excetera. When we talk about knowing in the real world, we are talking about experiencing a consistency of available evidence. In other words, all of our epistomological methods (our five senses, our instruments, our reason, our emotions, the witness of others, our revelations, etc.) point to the same conclusion. We owe it to ourselves, if we are serious about truth, to develop and learn all we can about available ways of understanding and the ways others have used their evidences. There are evidences of God and there are evidences of a history of evolution. If the evidences appear to contradict, it is only an appearence; we have made some incorrect assumptions or we do not understand the evidences in front of us.

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BunE 9 years, 2 months ago

Bankboy119, I am not kidding.

As I said, some were people of faith, some not.

The Enlightenment was the guide.

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Linda Aikins 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm impressed at how well everyone can spell.

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bankboy119 9 years, 2 months ago

BunE not all were practicing Christian you're right. But not all were Deist either.

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beatrice 9 years, 2 months ago

Okay, today's question is interesting.

I would like to ask a serious science question of the literal believe-every-word-in-the-Bible Christians out there. This is a legit question, and I truly mean no disrespect, but am curious to how you would answer.

First, do you believe in DNA? If yes, then why do we not all share familial DNA, which would indicate that we are all descendents of the same original couple, Adam and Eve? Even if our descendents were scattered around the globe, this wouldn't change the structure of DNA, would it? (Or, if there are any scientists out there that could explain this, feel free.)

And to appease our almighty censor DavidR, I hadn't heard of this pasta theory before today.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

bankboy - yes Jesus fulfilled a lot of prophecies when He came the first time to earth. The reason I call Daniel a book of hope is that He will yet fulfill the last prophesy of Daniel, that of the coming of the King to set up His Kingdom and throw out satan, the prince of the power of the air and ruler of this present world's affairs. Now that statement will get some knickers in a few knots, I suspect. Has anyone here today heard of the Creation Science Institute of Santee, California? I think that is the name. enochville, it sounds as if you may be familiar with their findings and literature.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

Right on TOB - we are writing under an illusion of, perhaps, grandeur! But we continue to try, knuckle heads that we are. :o)

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Ceallach 9 years, 2 months ago

Well, what a morning all y'all are having! I just started reading and have only made it to 11:18 but one question I just have to ask before I go back to reading. If someone has beat me to it, sorry.

When did it become unacceptable to question a scientific theory and offer possible alternatives in an educational setting? Surely some of you are researchers. Example, until a mathematical theory is proven, those truly seeking knowledge approach the theory from many, many directions in an attempt to either prove or disprove it. The theory of evolution should be no different. If the advocates of either side are unwilling to offer their theory up to practical evaluation and possible criticism, they are not seeking the truth, they are just lobbying for blanket acceptance of their opinion.

Since the God of Creation is not and was not restricted to our 24 hour day (the term day was used before the account of the creation of the sun -- which we use to determine a day), He is totally capable of implementing a tool such as micro evolution to bring about the world as we see it today.

Evolution theorist cannot hold their theory above question and not expect those with different theories (even a Flying Spaghetti Monster) to loudly voice their opposition.

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Mari Aubuchon 9 years, 2 months ago

Because I don't have the time I would need to comment on everything, here are just a few thoughts:

BankBoy: Darwin did NOT say that he was wrong or repent before he died. The Lady Hope story was a complete fabrication. & Animals, including humans, continue to carry traits that are disadvantageous (such as genetic diseases) because these traits do not prevent them from reproducing.

Sunflower Sue: Some of the founding fathers of this country were christians, some were deists, some were agnostics or atheists. Regardless, separation of church and state is a fundamental principle of our government and its institutions, which include public education.

Blessed3X: I did get a hearty laugh from your equation of evolution with flat-earth theory. By the first century, CE, the fact of a spherical earth was well accepted among educated Greeks and Romans. It was only a small group of christians who believed that the bible proved that the world was flat in passages such as Daniel 4:10-11.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

BunE - I may be stupid, but I don't know exactly what you mean by the Enlightenment. Would you care to enlighten me, pun intended. :o)

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acg 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree with enochville re: people losing their inquisitve nature. I, myself, have no idea if there is a God. Would that make me agnostic? I have no idea, as I've never given myself a religious label. I don't understand blind faith without some sort of tangible proof. I admire those that can stand there and say to me that they believe there is a God without a shadow of a doubt, but truthfully, until we die, we never really know what's out there, if there truly is a heavenly father or if we just become worm food. Who's to say it can't all be right? Maybe some God like being plopped a little speck of life down onto the planet and evolution brought us where we are today. It seems to me that instead of really trying to get to the root of the question, too many are busy chastising each other because their belief systems differ. What a waste of time. Either way, this isn't a mystery we're going to solve anytime soon, as the origin of life is the greatest mystery of all.

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sunflower_sue 9 years, 2 months ago

Beatrice,
In trying to answer your ? about not sharing DNA to the "literal translators of the Bible"...maybe I can help (although I am not a "literal" translator but am Christian)

In Genesis 5:1,2 it says: When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He Created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man."

Did you catch that first THEM? If we were to literally translate this, I suppose we would have to believe that he created more than just one woman and one man. That could explain your difference in DNA.

This, however, does contradict Genesis 3:20 where: Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.

I believe he did create more than one pair of humans. Nowhere in the Bible, to my knowledge, does it say that he just stopped at the one pair.

I don't think we are meant to translate the Bible literally as it was written by man. This, I believe, has more to do with faith.

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Linda Aikins 9 years, 2 months ago

TOB, you took the letters right off my keyboard. I love the arrogance of people who think they can say the exact perfect thing to change someone else's very thick head.

Ain't gonna happen. And I do not find this interesting.

Oh yes, I don't know anything about this moldy spaghetti thing. Ban fluoride.

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J Good Good 9 years, 2 months ago

When you say things like "this country was founded on Christianity, as simple as that" what are you really saying? Your religion has the right to teach my kids your beliefs in public schools? There is no room for my beliefs at all?

You raise holy hell (pun intended) at the "persecution of Christians" (which is hysterically funny in most parts of the world, honestly), but you want the rest of us to just accept that your views are the majority so you get to try to foist them on us.

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acg 9 years, 2 months ago

If Tommy Chong were God I think I'd be a bit more interested in going to Heaven. As far as I understand it, Heaven is an eternity of servitude and I've been serving for a lifetime as it is now. Bosses, kids, hubby, clients, blah blah blah, it never ends. I would think that at least death would bring about welcome rest. If Tommy were God though, we could just do bong hits until the end of time and that's okay, as long as the food is good.

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mossyoak64 9 years, 2 months ago

I have seen many posts criticizing Christianity because it doesn't supply all the answers. Truth be told, you will not find an answer to every question you have regarding the Bible.

When Cain was sent away after killing his brother, the Bible says that God put a seal on his forehead so that he wouldn't be killed. Where did these other people come from? I don't know. The Bible does not say. But I still believe because, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

People will criticize Christians for believing in a God they've never seen, but accept scientific "evidence" wholeheartedly. How do scientists know that the world is billions of years old? Is there a scientist somewhere that is billions of years old, and was here since the beginning of time?

People will chose to believe what a scientist said because that's what they want to believe. That's fine, if that's what you want to believe, so be it. But don't criticize because I, and others like me choose to believe in a God that promises us eternal life. Eternity is a long time to be wrong.

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average 9 years, 2 months ago

acg --- Mark Twain in 'Letters from the Earth' pointed out quite well how we've imagined a heaven so unbelivably dull that we'd wish for death.

Personally, I like the Jehovah's Witness model. They believe that we all just die (no hell), except a small number who go to heaven and the rest of the JWs who get the Earth. It's great by me, since I was expecting to be compost anyway, and would strongly prefer that over an Earth filled with JWs.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

I have really appreciated Das Ubermine's comments. Thank you.

I do not think anyone is justified in believing that God intended for us to take every verse in the Bible literally. One, no where in the Bible does it tell us to take every word literally. Two, the writers came from a literary culture that employed all sorts of devices to convey their messages. Hebrew often uses animals to convey characteristics. Three, if we took every word literally, then we would believe that Jesus is a lamb and a loaf of bread. So, obviously, we must look at some verses figuratively. We need the Spirit to know how to interpret Bible passages and/or a guide/prophet to show us their meaning.

Moses wrote Genesis. Now since he was not mortally around for the creation. His knowledge of the creation came either through vision or revelation. He wrote to the people in his day according to their capacity to understand. I think that there is much we can learn from the Genesis account of creation, but I do not believe is a literal play-by-play.

As far as the DNA question goes. Some geneticists believe we did all descend from a common ancestor in the distant past. Distant enough for all the mutations to occur giving us our present diversity.

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craigers 9 years, 2 months ago

sunflower_sue and TOB, like my post earlier I suggest the book "Rightly Dividing the Word" by Clarence Larkin. I really think that you two would enjoy reading it. I have only gotten to the 5th chapter, but the first four have been very challenging and insightful. It points to problems you have both touched on in your most recent posts. I am not trying to convince you one way or another, but you should definitely give this book a read.

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

Now even though I believe in evolution, I also believe that mankind was created in the image of God (so God is a male that looks like us). [Incidently, and at the risk of offending my fellow Christians, I will say that I believe we have a Heavenly Mother as well. I believe she is not mentioned in the Bible because our Heavenly Father loves her so much that he did not want her name defiled throughout the ages as his has been. But, that is not important to know for our salvation. That truth has been revealed my modern prophets who have the same authority to speak for God as any Old Testament prophet. I'll not go into my evidences of that here].

Anyway, if we were intended to be in the image of God, how would that fit with the randomness of evolution. I do not accept the Intelligent Design theory, although that is one possibility. I have heard of another idea which has some plausibility to me, although I am not attached to the idea and am open to other possibilities. His idea was that given how life develops and the laws of organic chemistry, natural selection, physiology, etc., a species much like homo sapiens is bound to develop. It is quite curious how we have discovered many ancient species, who we not our ancestors, yet shared many characteristics with us, such as Neanderthals and Homo Erectus.

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ms_canada 9 years, 2 months ago

I am going to go online to my library and check out that book, also, craigers. Sounds good. Thanks for the info.

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avhjmlk 9 years, 2 months ago

I thought I might offer the following nugget in support of those who are both dedicated, practicing Christians and dedicated believers in Evolution. An article in the most recent issue of "The Leaven," which is the newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas, made the following comment on Evolution (I can't quote word-for-word because I don't have it on hand, and their website doesn't put every article online): the Catholic church, as a scientific matter, fully supports Evolution. As a scientific explanation for the progression of species, Evolution is not in conflict with religion. As an ideological doctrine, Evolution is not sufficient.

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wichita_reader 9 years, 2 months ago

e_m: LOL!

About today's question. Yes, I'm familiar with the Flying Spaghetting Monster theory. It's kin to the previously-presented-here theory of the Purple Headed Yogurt Slinger.

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beatrice 9 years, 2 months ago

sun_sue: I agree with you that the Bible "was written by man." Where we differ is in who was doing the dictating.

Is anyone familiar with the song "Dear God," by the English pop band XTC? The song is a plea to God (Christian God), with in whom the singer does not believe. One part of the lyrics are: "You're name is on a lot of quotes in this book / Us crazy humans wrote it / You should take a look." It sums up many of my personal feelings, which is, we created God in our image.

I wish I could believe in things like pearly gates, saints, angels, etc..., but I can't. If there is something or someone out there who had a hand in stirring things up in the very beginning, I do not feel that us humans have any idea of Her true nature. If we did know, there wouldn't be so many various opinions about God.

Again, my beliefs, and I do not aim to offend people with different beliefs. I just wish people wouldn't make decisions that affect others based on what is "right" or "wrong" according to personal beliefs -- from views against homosexuals to a person becoming a martyr by being a suicide bomber.

(For DavidR - On topic: I had pasta for dinner last night. Is that the same as holy communion for the FSM clan?)

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Gowain 9 years, 2 months ago

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that ID doesn't require a source of increased complexity to be the creation of the complex source that created us.

Oh, wait, that's right. That's because such a theory is ludicrous in that it requires you to have an utter disregard for logic; either you have to change the rules at some point by allowing one creator far more complex than our own world to exist on its own, or you have to accept a case of "turtles all the way down." But, of course, even though such sources of vast complexity can exist on their own, our world can't.

RAmen, brothers and sisters, RAmen.

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sunflower_sue 9 years, 2 months ago

craigers, I'll look that book up...always up for a good read.

lrN51EXCXydf (whew! what a keyboard full), err on the side of eternal life or eternal damnation...hmmmm, seems like a no brainer to me! Also, if eternity is only the time we spend on earth, some of us would rather spend that eternity feeling uplifted by a belief in a Higher Power.

I don't think anyone here today said that they were a lemming. I think most of us have been tought many things and choose to believe what we believe. I myself, still have many ?s. There are things in the Bible that I simply don't agree with. For example, I don't believe that we are born with sin. I don't think that that makes me a bad Christian. I think that makes me someone with free will.

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sunflower_sue 9 years, 2 months ago

lrN51.............f, Also, I don't believe that church and God are the same thing. I also don't believe that going to church gets you salvation. I, myself, do not attend church, yet my faith is very strong.

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swamp_rat 9 years, 2 months ago

mo64, Amen, brother!

I don't condemn people for their beliefs and I would hope that they don't condemn me for mine.

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daddax98 9 years, 2 months ago

I find it funny when people turn on every word from the bible. any idea how many languages the bible has gone through to reach this point? As a little exparment I used an online translator to take the following and translate it into french... "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them"

I then translated it back into english and got this...

Therefore God created the man in his own picture, in the picture of God it created it; the male and the female one it created them

Heck now it says that God created man to look like man or a picture of man or something or other and God is no longer a man but an it. I know these translators are not perfect, but neither were the people that translated the bible in the first (secon, third, etc.) place.

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phatty 9 years, 2 months ago

I think all of the upset Christians here are missing the point. Note carefully that I said the UPSET Christians.

The people who are attacking Christianity in the face of this debate are, of course, as wrong as anyone else. However, this debate is not about wanting to debunk Christianity, or telling Christians that they can't worship. (I know I know, some people ARE doing these things, but as I say, they too are wrong.)

The point is that, unequivocally, Christiandom IS the driving religion behind this country, a country which was created by our (Christian) forefathers to be free of religious statehood. This puts the ideals of our country in a dangerous spot.

Now, if it was a group of concerned non-Christian scientists (I know some don't agree...but then, some think that they have evidence of aliens, micro-ufo's, etc - what matters here is an agreement by the majority of the scientific community) saying that what seemed to be Darwinian evolution was caused by another scientific theory, WITHOUT their religious backing influencing that descision, that would be one thing. But the fact is that, through no fault of their own, they (like everyone else in the world!) are driven by that which THEY think to be correct. In this case, it happens to be creationism. They're not doing it to be mean, or unfair, or to convert children. They're not doing it to assimilate or squash other religions. They're doing it because they see things in that light.

To be continued...3000 character limit.

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phatty 9 years, 2 months ago

However, our country's founders did not insist that we resist scientific theory, or that we prove things beyond doubt before teaching them. They insisted, NO HOLDS BARRED, that religion and/or religious beliefs, even if they are as vague and non-denominational as ID (supposedly) is, shall NOT influence government or government institutions.

You speak of the price of freedom, of conserving our nation's ideals, of paying homage to our roots. Well, let me explain the price of freedom to you. We've all heard this about driving when we were younger...

"Freedom is NOT a right. It is a priveledge. Along with that priveledge comes responsibility." Our responsibility, both as free citizens and ESPECIALLY as the majority in a free country, is to maintain NOT the rights WE agree with, but those we dispise the most. It is our DUTY and our honor to support the downtrodden, the speechless, and the underrepresented. This, as the majority AND as Christians, is our charge. Our responsibility.

The war against evolution is schools is NOT about fair play, it is about Christiandom. Our motives are inseperable from our beliefs, and we must tread EXTREMELY carefully when it comes to making descisions that have anything at ALL to do with religion and applying them to government institutions. That is exactly WHY the government is forbade that right - not because the founding fathers didn't WANT a Christian country, but because they knew that it was impossible to have such without supressing other belief systems. Try as they might.

Even if ID IS non-denominational, it is STILL a religious belief, and in maintaining the ideals of our country and people it is imperitive that we not shoot down a theory because of such beliefs, even if our argument is that we don't contend to teach religion in its place. It isn't about what's taught in its place - it's about the fact that the only thing upsetting evolution's place as a theory is, at heart, a purely religious argument (not to mention classically white and Euro-centric), and therefore CANNOT be applied to our schoolsystem.

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phatty 9 years, 2 months ago

And as for making sure that kids don't think evolution is the last word - that's why it has that 'theory' suffix on the end of it. If they don't know that that word brands it as inherently fallible and subject to change, they need better english classes, not science courses.

To get caught up in name-calling is something that is equally hard for any of us to rise above, and no one that posted a hateful comment here is in the right. But the fact remains that allowing a scientific theory to be overturned by religious zeal is simply unconstitutional, whatever its intentions may be. Our nation and its laws were founded -under God, I might add- to protect those very people that we disagree with so vehemently.

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rivers66 9 years, 2 months ago

As one who graduated from KU so long ago that I was virtually present at the creation, I can tell you FSM is definitely the way to go. I live in Seattle and emailed it to my cousin in Chicago yesterday. His reply echoed my thoughts exactly. "I was FSM my whole life and didn't know it." So there has to be something to it....

BTW, I suppose you could say if there were really evolution, mothers would have 12 arms, never get tired, and there would be 48 hours in a day. I can't think of any evolutionary reason why it hasn't happened yet. Perhaps the universe was just waiting for designer genes.

Just a small, quiet question. Does anybody get tired of Kansas being the cultural whipping boy for the whole nation? And is anybody concerned that pretty soon nobody with a KU degree in science will be granted even an interview, much less a job, from anybody outside the Midwest? What is KU doing about this cultural attack on their worldwide academic credibility? Anything? Peep?

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enochville 9 years, 2 months ago

I think most people outside of Kansas recognize that KU is separate from the debates in Topeka.

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imkirok 9 years, 2 months ago

Legolas1996 says: "If evolution were true, mothers would have 3 or more arms. But evolution is not true and mothers dont have more than two arms, so evolution does not work. Sorry evolutionists! Looks like intelligent design has won out...."

On the contrary, if there were anything intelligent about our design, then mothers would have three arms. What is intelligent about placing your nose, an orifice that regularly drips bacteria filled slime, directly above the place where food goes into your body? If there was any intelligence involved, why would a woman's birth canal be too small to allow a child's head to come out without severe pain and the possiblity of death? What intelligent creature would give us an appendix, an organ that has no useful purpose but can cause death? You also offer no proof that evolution has not occurred. Your argument makes no sense.

Now, please excuse me while I don my pirate outfit. It's time to go preach the word of the flying spaghetti monster.

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rivers66 9 years, 2 months ago

To enochville - I'd like to believe people outside Kansas separate anything Kansas from anything else Kansas, but it's just not true. I've spent a lifetime trying to overcome extreme prejudice from people everywhere else in the country (even the upper Midwest) about Kansas. You know the way Kansans say "Podunk?" Well, that's the way most people in the U.S. use the word "Kansas."

I once worked for a large San Francisco law firm with branches in 6 cities and two foreign countries that would accept NO interviews (ZERO) from anyone graduating from law schools in the American Midwest or South! They actually passed around a memo to that effect, to all thousand attorneys working in that office.

Wake up!

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redneck 9 years, 2 months ago

I have a few questions for the Journal World. Are you 6 years old? Did your mother not teach you to be respectful of others? WHERE is the tolerance? You preach of tolerance, but you have NO tolerance for people who have a different opinion. I'm not going to get into the debate over Evolution vs. Intelligent Design, because I believe in both. I am however going to give you a piece of my mind, for acting like children. Children make fun of others who are different or who have different ideas, but sooner or later they grow up and realize that they need to be tolerant. This question may be funny on Saturday Night Live, but this is the real world and it's NOT funny. I know picking on each other may be fun, but sooner or later someone is going to go too far and offend the other person. That is why you don't tell racial jokes. I think the Journal World owes somebody an apology and you need to think twice about asking this type of question in the future. I know! Why don't you just report the news and leave the comedy to the comedians. They have MORE experience at being funny. One other question. Why don't you ask people who shop at Wal-Mart these same questions? Are you afraid that you might get an answer you don't agree with?

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johnraguso 9 years, 1 month ago

The Theory of Evolution doesn't say that you can't believe in some old babylonian creation myth ,such as the one taught by creationists. You can believe anything you choose to believe. But if it is not based on physical observation backed up by MEASUREABLE data, it can't be taught in a science class ; it belongs in a religion classroom. Likewise: Intellegent Design .
I ,myself, feel that some kind of intelligence out there guided the creation of life . But I can't prove it ,and even if I could prove it , it wouldn't disprove evolution ----the intelligent designer clearly designed creation to undergo evolution ,which is what 300 years of scientific searching indicates. If you don't believe it ,take courses in biology,chemistry ,quantum mechanics, relativity and logic. If you lack the ability to take these courses, don't worry about. But please realise that ,as such, you aren't qualified to fiddle with the science curriculum .

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biowonk 9 years, 1 month ago

bankboy you're so wrong.

Everyone knows that Noah's Ark crashed at Roswell.

Seriously, where the hell do you get your information, the same place Shrubby got his WMD intelligence?

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Evolve_Kansas 9 years, 1 month ago

Few people understand a scientific theory. Evolution is a fact. It can be proven using the scientific method. It has been proven using the scientific method. Intelligent Design might be true. However, it can not be proven using the scientific method. It is not science.

Respect those that believe in Intelligent Design and respect all religions, but keep it out of our science classrooms. ID and religion are not science.

It is time every intelligent Kansan let his or her voice be heard. Tell the Kansas Board of Education to wake up and join the rest of the educated world. Tell them to listen to the real experts. Teach science and only science in the science classrooms in Kansas public schools.

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justinehsu 9 years, 1 month ago

lots of talk here about eternal life/suffering in heaven/hell, and the concept of being right/wrong eternally, but please, those sorts of things exist only if you're of a bible religion. if you're a buddhist or a hinduist, you'll face a trial following your death, and be punished ONLY if you've done bad deeds, regardless of what you've believed in. and then you'll get re-incarnated. if you're a taoist, when you die, you just die. your flesh and blood will go back to nature.

and as to the FSM, yes, i am quite familiar with Him, with a T-shirt to prove it.

ramen.

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