Kentucky religious conservatives cannot wrap their head around theory of evolution

Gravey wrote:

It's an admirable thing, and I've at least been admiring it reading this thread, though it drives others up the wall. :)

Spend a year or two listening to it and see how you feel. :l

KingGorilla wrote:
ZaneRockfist wrote:
MacBrave wrote:

So can a competent scientist also be a Christian, a Muslim, a believer in Judaism?

http://bigthink.com/ideas/13148

Neil DeGrasse Tyson on religious scientists. I watched a talk with him basically saying that even in the highest echelons of the hard sciences that religious belief, although much reduced, is still there among a few scientists.

Some of the finest earth bound astronomical science is coming from the Vatican these days.

I was talking with my fiancee on this last night, relative to Neil Armstrong dying. Many of the NASA pilots were men of science, military men, and men of god. They saw their privilege to go out into our solar system as getting them closer to the divine. But their faith was not confined to hastily assembled oral stories, fables, and alternate history. Theirs was a god not confined to black ink.

Science is not at all compatible with a fundamentalist view of the bible. Somewhere down the line many Christians trapped god within those pages.

I agree whole-heartedly with everything you said except that one sentence I struck out. Mostly because I know quite a few "fundamentalists" who don't have a problem with it. I also know quite a few that do from just about every sect. The problem of people who have turned Jesus into a jailor is not limited to any particular creed as far as I can tell.

There are those who see science and all it's investigations as not only not antithetical to faith, but that science is an essential part of properly practicing faith in the Divine. We have a built-in brain, and an intrinsic desire to use it to find out about our world, and we consider it a failing to not use it to it's fullest extent.

Hypatian wrote:
Gravey wrote:

It's an admirable thing, and I've at least been admiring it reading this thread, though it drives others up the wall. :)

Spend a year or two listening to it and see how you feel. :l

Hypatian wrote:
Gravey wrote:

It's an admirable thing, and I've at least been admiring it reading this thread, though it drives others up the wall. :)

Spend a year or two listening to it and see how you feel. :l

Well I try not to spend a lot of time in P&C, but I lurk in evolution etc threads when I see them pop up in the Popular Threads box. So I have been nodding my head to LarryC's input in those threads for that long.

Gravey wrote:
Hypatian wrote:
Gravey wrote:

It's an admirable thing, and I've at least been admiring it reading this thread, though it drives others up the wall. :)

Spend a year or two listening to it and see how you feel. :l

Well I try not to spend a lot of time in P&C, but I lurk in evolution etc threads when I see them pop up in the Popular Threads box. So I have been nodding my head to LarryC's input in those threads for that long.

That's not possible...P&C doesn't appear in the Popilar forum threads box. You crazy.

I think the last time Kentucky was mentioned was 4 pages ago. So. Kentucky.

Vector wrote:

That's not possible...P&C doesn't appear in the Popilar forum threads box. You crazy.

Well then it's from trawling the Recent Posts page when I've exhausted My Recents. Point is: I be wack.

Edit: Incidentally, Czech philosopher of science I.B. Wack has written a lot relevant to the preceeding discussion.

Jayhawker wrote:
LarryC wrote:

Not at all. The fundamental quality of blind faith is that it doesn't question. Science is founded on the opposite of that - critical thinking. Just because the axiom you happen not to question is a scientific theory doesn't change the thought process or what it is.

You are arguing a stupid point that doesn't need to be proved. It's why time and time again your presence in threads results in long back and forths that sheds the thread of most of its readers. You feel vindicated if you can get two or three guys to get suckered into your circle of death.

I've been sucked, as well as many others. It always ends the same.

Add me to the list of readers/posters that is completely driven away by this semantic crap.

Gravey:

Thank you. It means a lot of me anytime anyone actually understands what I post.

Vector:

I mentioned Kentucky last page. It was rather central to the entire thrust of the argumentation.

SixteenBlue:

When Redwing discussed shorthand for "believe" in another manner; that was a semantic discussion. It was important in the same way that Definition of Terms is important in a scientific study. We have to be on the same page.

Robear clarifies that what Redwing and others posted may not be strictly true; it appears that when I thought "believe" meant "to accept without needing to question," I was more correct than posters here in general were willing to let on. That is also an important point.

Much of the rest of the discussion is not semantic. Redwing asserts that priests, presumably of similar persuasion, do not contradict each other. I countered by offering a public documented event wherein the Pope went against the advice of his cardinals.

It has been asserted that religious teaching does not change. I countered by pointing out the numerous ways in which Catholic teaching, and even doctrine, has changed over the years.

With respect to ToE and Creationism, I ventured a point wherein I suggest that it's more important to teach the fundamentals of scientific and critical thinking rather than teach any specific theory. It is worse for science to teach students to accept the truth of ToE without question, rather than teach Creationism with a mind to questioning its validity constantly. That is not a semantic argument.

Stengah and I have arrived at a point where we agree that science says "Darwin said X," rather than "X is the truth." I suggest that perhaps the Kentucky conservatives would be far more receptive to the former than they have been to the latter; because the former doesn't question their world view, while being better science at the same time. That's not a semantic argument, either.

If you don't understand what I'm saying, please ask me to clarify better, but please don't jump to the conclusion that everything Cheeze and I talk about are semantic points. It's insulting.

LarryC wrote:

Stengah and I have arrived at a point where we agree that science says "Darwin said X," rather than "X is the truth."

That's news to me. As I recall I objected to teaching Darwin's particular explanation of evolution.

With respect to ToE and Creationism, I ventured a point wherein I suggest that it's more important to teach the fundamentals of scientific and critical thinking rather than teach any specific theory. It is worse for science to teach students to accept the truth of ToE without question, rather than teach Creationism with a mind to questioning its validity constantly. That is not a semantic argument.

I think the problem most of us have with this is that it's a little tangential to the subject at hand. When discussing what ought to be taught in science class, you do indeed want to teach a specific theory. In our education system, critical thinking usually doesn't get taught until later (if at all). Younger students are taught what the current prevailing theory is. It's not until they're older that they're taught why it's the prevailing theory, and it isn't until college that most students encounter the need for critical thinking. While I'm all for teaching critical thinking to younger students, it'd require a pretty hefty revamp to the system, and trying to teach it without that revamp would be problematic at best. Education up through high school focuses more on memorization and recall of facts than critical thinking, not because we think critical thinking isn't important, but because it's harder to measure a students progress than it is with standardized test scores, and unfortunately we've got a major problem with non-educators dictating educational policy.

Stengah:

That's news to me. As I recall I objected to teaching Darwin's particular explanation of evolution.

Quite right; bad choice of wording. Would "Person said X" be a better one? I selected Darwin haphazardly. You may insert the scientist of your choosing without any objections from me.

I'm a little confused about your counter, though. On the one hand, you say that you want to teach specific theories; but on the other hand, you're good for critical thinking.

The entire point of teaching Darwin's Origin of Species is that it's so obviously out-of-date. It's to encourage students to question everything that they see, hear, and read; and this latter is the more essential lesson. A revamp would be a good thing, but it always starts with the first step.

It seems to me that the greater harm is with this emphasis on fact-learning than anything the Creationists could possibly inject into the system. At that point, the argument is no longer about what's good science, but whether or not belief systems ought to be taught at all in public schools; Creationists DO have a point there, in that teaching ToE as factually true contradicts and persecutes their religious belief. That is a valid objection.

It only becomes the more valid every time atheists use anti-religious wording or rhetoric about it because it reinforces that impression. I would say that Dawkins here is a liability for the cause rather than an asset.

Quite right; bad choice of wording. Would "Person said X" be a better one? I selected Darwin haphazardly. You may insert the scientist of your choosing without any objections from me.

I like the way I put it the first time around: "All the data we have on the subject points to X" or maybe "The scientific consensus is X."

I'm a little confused about your counter, though. On the one hand, you say that you want to teach specific theories; but on the other hand, you're good for critical thinking.

The entire point of teaching Darwin's Origin of Species is that it's so obviously out-of-date. It's to encourage students to question everything that they see, hear, and read; and this latter is the more essential lesson. A revamp would be a good thing, but it always starts with the first step.

My counter was to your earlier proposal to only teach students the flawed theories at first, and only tell them later on there are better ones.

Tackling the original "The Origin of Species" as literally penned down by Darwin by itself is enough for that stage of education.

And if they later learned that that theory was obsolete? PERFECT!

If you're going to teach an obsolete theory, you should make damn sure you tell them while you're teaching it that it's obsolete and you also teach them what the current frontrunner is.

It seems to me that the greater harm is with this emphasis on fact-learning than anything the Creationists could possibly inject into the system. At that point, the argument is no longer about what's good science, but whether or not belief systems ought to be taught at all in public schools; Creationists DO have a point there, in that teaching ToE as factually true contradicts and persecutes their religious belief. That is a valid objection.

It is not a valid objection because it's not teaching a belief system. I know you think science is a "belief system," but it is not. You share their bad habit of conflating religious "belief" with secular "belief" when they are two separate things.

Stengah:

I like the way I put it the first time around: "All the data we have on the subject points to X" or maybe "The scientific consensus is X."

I object to the former on account of glossing over bias. Data can point one way convincingly, and then point somewhere entirely different equally convincingly once you're looking at it differently.

I object to the latter on the basis of dehumanization. Students should know that science is a personal, human endeavor, not things handed down by impersonal gods or committees. This, too, is a more important lesson than the contents of any specific theory. Anyone can be a scientist; everyone should be thinking critically.

My counter was to your earlier proposal to only teach students the flawed theories at first, and only tell them later on there are better ones.

If you're going to teach an obsolete theory, you should make damn sure you tell them while you're teaching it that it's obsolete and you also teach them what the current frontrunner is.

I would counter that that's irrelevant, and especially so in the information age.

The important thing to teach is science, not unquestioning acceptance. They ought to form their own opinion on which theories they think best accounts for the data. That's how science works, and that's how to make scientists out of kids.

Teaching them what the current frontrunner is is borderline useless. By the time they're in a position to use that information, the front lines would have moved on.

Don't tell me that this kind of thing isn't suitable for children. I have two young daughters and they don't take anything at face value, even things that I or their elders say. That's because I trained them to think that way. Thus, I can be assured that whenever they need to know what the science is on a topic, they'll look it up and make up their own minds; which is exactly how it's supposed to work.

It is not a valid objection because it's not teaching a belief system. I know you think science is a "belief system," but it is not. You share their bad habit of conflating religious "belief" with secular "belief" when they are two separate things.

Let's say that it's secular belief then. Same thing. That secular belief is contradicting their religious one. That's a conflict of interest with the State in that it favors (or disfavors) one religion over another. By the way, Robear labels it the same way I do. Look at his prior posts.

I just skimmed through four pages and every other post was from Larry. I see this thread is going well.

But you're not changing your opinion on further evidence, because you're not examining the evidence. You're asking the scientists to do so; and then you accept their word on it.

I also trust my mechanic to fix my car. Do I have faith in my mechanic?

Malor wrote:
But you're not changing your opinion on further evidence, because you're not examining the evidence. You're asking the scientists to do so; and then you accept their word on it.

I also trust my mechanic to fix my car. Do I have faith in my mechanic?

Yep.

LarryC wrote:
Malor wrote:
But you're not changing your opinion on further evidence, because you're not examining the evidence. You're asking the scientists to do so; and then you accept their word on it.

I also trust my mechanic to fix my car. Do I have faith in my mechanic?

Yep.

So you're literally saying that trusting my mechanic is the same as religious faith. True?

LarryC wrote:

Yep.

faith != Faith, presumably if his mechanic can't get the job done well and at a fair price his belief would change and he'd find another mechanic. His beliefs that his mechanic is skilled and honest are testable and falsifiable.

Now if he starts trusting his mechanic even as substantial empirical evidence to the contrary mounts perhaps we could say he has Faith but as far as I've seen of Malor that would not be the case.

Malor:

So you're literally saying that trusting my mechanic is the same as religious faith. True?

There are aspects that are similar, depending on how you do religious faith and how you treat your mechanics in your mental space. It can be the same thing, but about different life spheres.

krev82:

Now that is a semantic argument. I gather that people around here didn't like that; as much as I would like to indulge with you ;), perhaps we could do that in PM and return with the bullet points? Be gentle.

So, in other words, your Big Major Point about science versus religion has no actual meaning whatsoever.

If you've even gotten to the point that trusting an expert to fix your car, which is absolutely concrete, is the same as religion, then I don't think your opinion is particularly useful, valuable, or insightful.

Malor wrote:

So, in other words, your Big Major Point about science versus religion has no actual meaning whatsoever.

If you've even gotten to the point that trusting an expert to fix your car, which is absolutely concrete, is the same as religion, then I don't think your opinion is particularly useful, valuable, or insightful.

You're entitled to that opinion. My point has a meaning, some people have understood it. If you're interested, perhaps they could explain it better; they are more aware of your language game and idioms. I'm not about to patent My Big Major Point, so no worries.

If it helps, My Big Major point ISN'T about science vs. religion at all. There was a major talk in the thread about how they're not antagonistic. There's even a link to a Tyson video about it.

LarryC wrote:
Malor wrote:

So, in other words, your Big Major Point about science versus religion has no actual meaning whatsoever.

If you've even gotten to the point that trusting an expert to fix your car, which is absolutely concrete, is the same as religion, then I don't think your opinion is particularly useful, valuable, or insightful.

You're free to have that opinion. My point has a meaning, some people have understood it. If you're interested, perhaps they could explain it better; they are more aware of your language game and idioms. I'm not about to patent My Big Major Point, so no worries.

Well, I now have a deeper understanding of just how poor of a critical thinker you are. Apparently you cannot even sort out a normal understanding of how faith can be used in different ways due to context. But that is yours and Cheeze's domain. You guys act like this is a deep discussion when it is really showing off an inability to think critically.

So, is this latest circle of death compete, or will someone continue to entertain Larry?

Jayhawker wrote:

So, is this latest circle of death compete, or will someone continue to entertain Larry?

I am a bit puzzled as to how having expectations that someone do their job is considered faith.

To believe is not so narrow a verb.

"I believe that to be correct." - This could translate to varying degrees of uncertainty. The speaker could be implying, "I will have to check." or "I'm leaving room for doubt." or "In lieu of the fact that we are imperfect creatures, this is how I see it."

Context is important in American English which is why lawyers make so much money and politicians get away with murder. (figuratively)

fangblackbone:

If you examine my response to Malor, you will find that I said that it CAN mean the same thing. If your trust in your mechanic is implicit and unquestioning, then it is the same mental process. I did not say that it was always necessarily the same thing. I made room for that.

What's more interesting is that at least two people immediately assumed that I was making the semantic mistake that apparently Malor was trapping me into making, when I said no such thing.

It's almost as if it were a political trap.

Would you guys please split this off onto another thread? Every time there's a thread about Creationism vs. Evolution, this threadjack happens. It's old, completely not the point of things, and frankly the reason I've blocked more than a few people from appearing when I'm on my home computer.

Can we at least discuss Bill Nye's video wherein he discusses why teaching creationism in school is a bad idea, and its relevance to the original topic at hand?

So, here's a tangentially related question: should the teaching of creationism be allowed in private schools and homeschools? If science has proven that creationism is false, should it be permitted as part of any curriculum, even those written by conservative Christian publishers?

I guess I'm struggling to come up with a reason why any book that falls into the "textbook" category should be allowed to spread misinformation. Thoughts?

Crispus wrote:

So, here's a tangentially related question: should the teaching of creationism be allowed in private schools and homeschools? If science has proven that creationism is false, should it be permitted as part of any curriculum, even those written by conservative Christian publishers?

I guess I'm struggling to come up with a reason why any book that falls into the "textbook" category should be allowed to spread misinformation. Thoughts?

I say no if they are receiving any form of public funding whatsoever. If a homeschool is receiving tax breaks then I say no as well. But if they are teaching Creationism in a homeschool in the woods of West Virginia and don't know about tax breaks/incentives and aren't receiving public funding, then they are free to teach them the sky is yellow and the bird is not the word.

As a reference point is it currently deemed acceptable for private or home schools to omit evolution? I gather the students are still subject to the same testing as public school students but I have no idea how much testing there is on evolution these days, if any at all.

krev82 wrote:

As a reference point is it currently deemed acceptable for private or home schools to omit evolution? I gather the students are still subject to the same testing as public school students but I have no idea how much testing there is on evolution these days, if any at all.

What testing are they subject to?

Crispus wrote:

So, here's a tangentially related question: should the teaching of creationism be allowed in private schools and homeschools? If science has proven that creationism is false, should it be permitted as part of any curriculum, even those written by conservative Christian publishers?

I guess I'm struggling to come up with a reason why any book that falls into the "textbook" category should be allowed to spread misinformation. Thoughts?

Science hasn't proven Creationism false in the same way that it hasn't proven that God doesn't exist.

Rubb Ed:

Read closer, please. I don't recall having talked about rewording the science to be better in order to appease Creationists before.