Kentucky religious conservatives cannot wrap their head around theory of evolution

I'm still interested from which particular religious tradition you're pulling the nomadic undersea lizard men from. It doesn't sound to me to be particularly likely as religious figures. Now, you said freshwater lizard-like sentient folk living in small hunter-gatherer tribes, or land/sky reptilian folk working for a celestial bureaucracy - that's religiously plausible.

Despite what you may think, "religion" isn't "stupid cockamamie nonsense idiots think of." Not everything under the sun can be plausibly drawn from known religious traditions.

Likewise, "philosophy," isn't "stupid semantic crap no one really cares about or can use on a daily basis."

I was under the impression that "ISN'T" was a contraction of "IS NOT." Please reread the quoted text with this revision.

LarryC wrote:

I was under the impression that "ISN'T" was a contraction of "IS NOT." Please reread the quoted text with this revision.

I've bowed out already, but I'm sure another goodjer is willing to battle logic loops with you.

It's not a logic loop whatsoever to ask you to directly justify your statement and to ask for sourcing. If your response to that is to drop the discussion, well, that kind of speaks for itself. We don't need that kind of thing muddying the cause for science. It stands on its own, without the need to comment on religion, for or against.

It is its own thing. It stands on its own merit.

LarryC wrote:

If your response to that is to drop the discussion, well, that kind of speaks for itself.

You make it hard for me to take you seriously as a poster some days.

Kraint wrote:
LarryC wrote:

If your response to that is to drop the discussion, well, that kind of speaks for itself.

You make it hard for me to take you seriously as a poster some days.

Why? I'm entirely puzzled by the turn of this discussion. KrazyTaco[FO] has mentioned that nomadic undersea lizard men doing whatever (pick your activity) is religiously possible. I asked for his source religion. Shouldn't he be able to just come out and say it? If he was just inventing things whole cloth, then that reflects exactly the viewpoint I was suggesting he implied: a view of religion as some cockamamie made up crap.

Do you know where he's getting this lizard man business?

This is not the first time this view has been suggested here. "Imaginary skyfriend," as a blasphemous dig also suggests the same thing.

It's only blasphemous because people tell you that your imaginary skyfriend is offended by being called an imaginary skyfriend.

LarryC wrote:
Kraint wrote:
LarryC wrote:

If your response to that is to drop the discussion, well, that kind of speaks for itself.

You make it hard for me to take you seriously as a poster some days.

Why? I'm entirely puzzled by the turn of this discussion. KrazyTaco[FO] has mentioned that nomadic undersea lizard men doing whatever (pick your activity) is religiously possible. I asked for his source religion. Shouldn't he be able to just come out and say it? If he was just inventing things whole cloth, then that reflects exactly the viewpoint I was suggesting he implied: a view of religion as some cockamamie made up crap.

Do you know where he's getting this lizard man business?

This is not the first time this view has been suggested here. "Imaginary skyfriend," as a blasphemous dig also suggests the same thing.

Satinism

I'd really appreciate it if you'd refrain from implying my deeply held religious beliefs are "some cockamamie made up crap" or that it's believers are "just inventing things whole cloth."

Cannot find Satinism. Link, please?

Once again: not implying that. NOT. "Not" means negative, the opposite of, and such. At least, it did the last time I checked.

I cannot provide a link. It is against my beliefs as a Satinist to write down my belief system, typing included. There's actually some fairly interesting scholarly debate on whether typing to people that it is against our beliefs is, itself, against our beliefs.

The point Taco was trying to make is that anything can be hypothetically true. Even lizard men being responsible for creating his home. But that would still need to be tested to be proven true.

Creationists can propose that all life on this planet and indeed the planet itself were just placed here.

Both ideas of who built their respective edifices have exactly the same amount of testable scientific proof behind them... which is basically none.

Is there really a religion about lizard men construction workers? Maybe though I suspect not.

Either way my opinion on the debate of teaching any creationist hypothesis remains in tandem with the Vatican astronomer from Religulous (probably spelled that wrong). Biblical writings have no bearing on science (and by extension science classrooms) because the bible was written before the development of the "modern scientific method" scientific method. End of story for me!

LarryC wrote:

I'm still interested from which particular religious tradition you're pulling the nomadic undersea lizard men from. It doesn't sound to me to be particularly likely as religious figures. Now, you said freshwater lizard-like sentient folk living in small hunter-gatherer tribes, or land/sky reptilian folk working for a celestial bureaucracy - that's religiously plausible.

Despite what you may think, "religion" isn't "stupid cockamamie nonsense idiots think of." Not everything under the sun can be plausibly drawn from known religious traditions.

Are you calling Native American religions "stupid cockamamie nonsense idiots think of"? Are you calling Egyptian Pharaoh religions "stupid cockamamie nonsense idiots think of"? Are you calling persons of Meso-American religion descent "stupid cockamamie nonsense idiots"? Catholicism isn't the only religion in the world even if it is one of the most wealthy and powerful. But I'm bowing out of this argument now because I have no interest in it.

Kraint wrote:
LarryC wrote:

If your response to that is to drop the discussion, well, that kind of speaks for itself.

You make it hard for me to take you seriously as a poster some days.

People still take him seriously?

KrazyTacoFO wrote:
LarryC wrote:

I was under the impression that "ISN'T" was a contraction of "IS NOT." Please reread the quoted text with this revision.

I've bowed out already, but I'm sure another goodjer is willing to battle logic loops with you.

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

LarryC wrote:

As a matter of fact, I'd talked about Shinto Buddhism, and South East Asian animism in these forums before, so yes, I am aware. In fact, I am even aware of religions that feature the weirdest stuff you can think of, since many of my knowledge do not make it to books, or even local publications. I am not aware that any of those religions featured lizard men in construction companies. If you are, please share.

Ok, let me rephrase my original statement then:

KrazyTacoFO wrote:

Yup, there is no evidence for the latter. If we consider that as scientifically plausible, then we must also concede that there is a small group of forward reconnoiterers watching a group of men that are a nomadic race of lizard men from under the sea as being as likely as being men in military uniforms. Of course it's possible, because even if there was video evidence, those lizard men could be just wearing human skin suits. But it doesn't make it scientifically probable, only philosophically and religiously possible.

There are plenty of religions with Animal-God-People that look over and watch men. Does removing the fact that they are holding a hammer and at a work site and instead are more closely related to Army scouts fix your issue with my original statement?

PiP wrote:

I cannot provide a link. It is against my beliefs as a Satinist to write down my belief system, typing included. There's actually some fairly interesting scholarly debate on whether typing to people that it is against our beliefs is, itself, against our beliefs.

I will back him up on this. Satinists, unlike Satanists, can only write about Satinism using satin fabrics (pictures or other reproductions of said writings are highly blasphemous). As we have yet to figure out how to transfer satin through the internet, it is impossible for him to provide you with more information without violating one of his deeply held beliefs.

Also, if you replace "lizard men" with "amphibian men" you'd be somewhat close to the Esoteric Order of Dagon. Innsmouth had to have at least a few carpenters.

I kept trying to make that joke and my phone kept glitching! glad someone else made it after I got mad and quit.

What does this have to do with science education in America?

KingGorilla:

You can clearly see the flippant disrespect shown here by people who say they support science education in the US. This angers people who have genuine religious concerns and makes them think that science is also about disrespecting their beliefs and driving those beliefs out. The Kentucky guys, I'm convinced, have no less ability to understand ToE than Dawkins himself. They just don't like it because people are giving them the impression that it's a belief rather than science.

Plausible: having an appearance of truth or reason.

I was going more for ths idea when using that word. Though maybe another word would more fit the idea. Maybe more of I could see how with current information on the world, both may or may not be true. And.. I am not seeing the undersea lizardmen adding or detracting anything from either idea. hehe

Issue we would have in any form of scientific study would be the second as I have it at the moment would be totally unprovable. As the being in the example would not allow itself to be discovered in this way. The first may or may not be provable in the future.

The off topic thing was more to provoke thought about the ideas than anything.

My concern will always be this...

Would Creationists, for all their talk of wanting both sides in the classroom, be willing then to have evolution taught in Sunday schools and Christian private schools? That would be weird and wrong because the theory of evolution has nothing to do with the messages and lessons of the bible... but it is no different than trying to force a faith based belief into a classroom that is all about the scientific process. The two are incompatible.

Plus, getting into at least one sect of Christianity... Pope John Paul II stated that evolution is no longer just a theory but scientific fact. I don't remember a lot about Christianity (mostly just the love thy neighbor and not judging people stuff). But shouldn't papal infallability come into play there?

LarryC wrote:

KingGorilla:

You can clearly see the flippant disrespect shown here by people who say they support science education in the US. This angers people who have genuine religious concerns and makes them think that science is also about disrespecting their beliefs and driving those beliefs out. The Kentucky guys, I'm convinced, have no less ability to understand ToE than Dawkins himself. They just don't like it because people are giving them the impression that it's a belief rather than science.

But can you not see that those of us who support actual science being taught in the classrooms may be equally offended that some people of religion are trying to impose their clearly unscientific thinking into science classes?

LarryC said:

The Kentucky guys, I'm convinced, have no less ability to understand ToE than Dawkins himself. They just don't like it because people are giving them the impression that it's a belief rather than science.

No, they don't like it because they are being told that Creationism *isn't* science, which conflicts with the worldview that insists that the Bible is literally correct, and where science conflicts with it, science is wrong. By having Creation Science to tell people that evolution is wrong, they can believe that science supports a literal interpretation of the Bible. When people contradict that, they get upset.

It's important to understand that when face with this stuff, the response in American Christian circles has been to redefine what science is, so that it includes the supernatural (see the Ohio 2002 entry and it's references, as a good exemplar). That way, God can be a part of scientific understanding, just like gravity and other forces in nature.

Greenbeandemon said:

Plausible: having an appearance of truth or reason.

I was going more for ths idea when using that word. Though maybe another word would more fit the idea. Maybe more of I could see how with current information on the world, both may or may not be true.

The problem is that when dealing with the real world, and what we can observe of it, the "appearance" of something is not as accurate as it's reality. While it's plausible to say that God might exist as something that *could* be true, when one looks at the actual evidence the world presents us, it does not seem to support that proposition, or require it. It's often safe to have beliefs when they don't conflict with the real world, but once one starts to *depend* upon the belief actually influencing the world in important ways, it becomes much more important to have evidence to back up the belief.

Trivial example - since time immemorial, armies have gone to war with the sanction of their gods ensuring both sides of victory. In the US Civil War, as in many other modern conflicts, it was the same God who was believed to support both sides. Clearly, this belief was not supported by the results. Casually, it's possible to believe that God is on our side - most people think they are good and worthy of support from a divine being. In reality, though, if one *depends* upon God's support in a life or death moment, it's unlikely to lead to an improved outcome over reacting according the immediate circumstances (by, say, taking cover). We even have sayings based on this kind of outcome - "Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition" comes to mind.

That's the difference between the *appearance* of truth, and truth as it stands in the real world.

Greenbeandemon:

Robear has excellent references along those lines. I, myself, would suggest both preKantian works of philosophy, Kant himself as a turning point where synthesis of the two schools of philosophical thought converge, and then later works in the vein of Philosophy of Science. Robear suggested Russell, and I've been reading Popper. I don't agree with either of them regarding their broad assumptions, but reading the material offers an insight as to how the current problems have evolved and why.

Demosthenes:

Papal infallibility can only be called upon on particular statements and in particular instances. Apart from that, despite my great respect for Pope John Paul II, when he talks of ToE being "scientific fact," he clearly doesn't know what he's talking about.

Besides which, papal infallibility is actually one of those points on which Protestant Churches disagree with the Catholic Church, so it's not like you can use that to convince them of anything.

Tkyl:

But can you not see that those of us who support actual science being taught in the classrooms may be equally offended that some people of religion are trying to impose their clearly unscientific thinking into science classes?

I don't see a lot of difference, tbh. Much of the material being brought forward by posters here who say they are "for science" are ALSO imposing clearly unscientific thinking as well. It goes beyond semantics. I can count the number of people posting in the P&C forum who think scientifically on one hand; and all of them broadly agree with the points I'm raising, so they don't post much. I behave the same way, actually. If I see that my thoughts are being posted by another poster, I don't really see the point in posting useless +1's that don't introduce new material, or that focus on ad hominems.

My main thesis here thread-long is that champions like Dawkins are undermining their push for science because they're interlacing it with other agendas - ones that champion atheism, deism, or just attack religion at large. It confuses the issue, and more to the point, it lends validity to the Creationist claims regarding freedom of religion.

If Dawkins and others cannot abandon their other agendas to push for a cause of pure science, then I have to question their real motives here.

Between unscientific thinking and even more unscientific thinking, I would like to choose neither.

Robear:

No, they don't like it because they are being told that Creationism *isn't* science, which conflicts with the worldview that insists that the Bible is literally correct, and where science conflicts with it, science is wrong. By having Creation Science to tell people that evolution is wrong, they can believe that science supports a literal interpretation of the Bible. When people contradict that, they get upset.

It's important to understand that when face with this stuff, the response in American Christian circles has been to redefine what science is, so that it includes the supernatural (see the Ohio 2002 entry and it's references, as a good exemplar). That way, God can be a part of scientific understanding, just like gravity and other forces in nature.

Your excellent reference materials suggest to me that the Creationists didn't really fire the first salvo in this conflict. The Deists, in conflating science with God, fired the first shots. For that matter, Philosophy of Science atheists who insist that "science is the Truth," aren't that far afield, either.

The worldview that the Bible is literally correct is a religious one. There's nothing wrong with it remaining a religious one until someone insists that "Science is the Truth!" at which point all hell breaks loose. Science doesn't conflict with the Bible, taken either literally or otherwise. It is an entirely separate field of philosophy altogether. They are not in direct conflict, in that sense, and pushing for them to be is what's causing the Creationists to take their war to the classrooms, with real, actual, science being mutilated in the process.

The way I see it, real science cannot win here. We have Creationists on one hand pushing their agendas, and "pro-science" people pushing a deist or atheist agenda; neither of which pushing true critical thinking. It's AvP at that point. No matter who wins, science loses!

LarryC wrote:

KingGorilla:

You can clearly see the flippant disrespect shown here by people who say they support science education in the US. This angers people who have genuine religious concerns and makes them think that science is also about disrespecting their beliefs and driving those beliefs out. The Kentucky guys, I'm convinced, have no less ability to understand ToE than Dawkins himself. They just don't like it because people are giving them the impression that it's a belief rather than science.

And that is what the debate is about, for me. Strengths and weaknesses arguments are in textbooks in Texas and Kansas that I know of. The language is focused on evolution. In my googling, Oklahoma has adopted similar language.

This textbook discusses evolution, a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things, such as plants, animals, and humans. No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life's origins should be considered as theory, not fact.
The word "evolution" may refer to many types of change. Evolution describes changes that occur within a species. (White moths, for example, may "evolve" into gray moths.) This process is microevolution, which can be observed and described as fact. Evolution may also refer to the change of one living thing to another, such as reptiles into birds. This process, called macroevolution, has never been observed and should be considered a theory. Evolution also refers to the unproven belief that random, undirected forces produced a world of living thing
There are many unanswered questions about the origin of life which are not mentioned in your textbook, including: Why did the major groups of animals suddenly appear in the fossil record (known as the "Cambrian Explosion")? Why have no new major groups of living things appeared in the fossil record for a long time? Why do major groups of plants and animals have no transitional forms in the fossil record? How did you and all living things come to possess such a complete and complex set of "Instructions" for building a living body?

Boldening the parts that are just wrong. That is what gets my ire up. This is flat out religious lies to attack a scientific theory that they deem inconvenient for their small worldview. The entire last paragraph is a summation of creationist attacks without study into the theory of evolution via natural selection. You can see the same tired explanations and weakness arguments when it comes to smoking, global warming. Lie and fabricate a "controversy." We are now in a period where people are going a step further and stating that biblical creation is on equal footing with the biological theory. Or as I said that the demoniac origins of disease is on par with germ theory. Well no wonder when we erode the separation of church and state, we allow that to erode the wall between science and myth. I am all for an alternate theory to evolution being taught. Someone needs to research it and peer review it first.

The bolded parts have all been thoroughly researched, written on, explained by biologists, archaeologists, geologists, etc.

Hell, I would settle for a religious conservative on this agenda to just tell me how the two conflicting myths of genesis can be seen as fact when the two myths are very different.

KingGorilla:

Actually, the Creationists are right on most of those counts. Those are valid questions, and the points raised are reasonable. ToE isn't a fact; it's a theory. It is very, very, very important to make this distinction in a science class. The fact that you think they're wrong is, IMO, a failure of your own scientific education. They're getting more things right than Dawkins is.

The biggest thing they get wrong (and quite intentionally, I might add), is that Creationism is science; and I have no doubt whatsoever that they know otherwise. They're obscuring that because they know they can't win that. And if the discussion on this thread is any indication, their strategy is working! In fact, the SCOTUS has ensured that they can't win any argument on whether Creationism is science or not, since it has already ruled definitively, and nothing has changed materially.

Of course, they're also mistaken about ToE being controversial; though it was, once. It's less a lie and more a temporal dissembling. It's more wrong to call it a fact than to call it controversial; since it was once controversial, but it has never been, and will never forseeably be a fact, barring time travel technology.

Is biblical creation on par with scientific theory?

Yes. It depends on your POV. Biblical creation is not scientific, but you can choose to believe it philosophically, and/or adopt it as a worldview. There's nothing wrong with that, and it should not be undermined unduly per Freedom of Religion principles. Just as no one religion should be favored, no one religion should also be undermined to the benefit of others.

That's where the rubber hits the road, you see. By making science out to be "True," and "The one True worldview that makes sense," proponents are undermining Creationism. That's not science. That's deism, or some variant thereof. Possibly, it's Philosophy of Science, or some form of pseudoscientific atheism; neither of which is science.

Lose the agendas, pitch pure science and pure critical thinking. Attack Creationism at its weakest points (it's a religion, not a science). I think that these are more powerful strategic moves.

I have never read a science textbook in any field that uses the word fact in defining scientific theory. That is in grammar school, high school, college. Always a theory is defined on some variation of this theme: A theory is the summation of observations, experimentation, research into a phenomena. A hypothesis is formed and through rigorous testing, and peer testing the hypothesis is shown to be accurate and we have a theory formed. That is why we call them theories and not laws anymore. The scientific community already did that.

So I am always wondering why it is important to make sure kids know a theory is not a fact. When I have never seen any definition of theory make that claim. At the core it has been and will always be an explanation of observed phenomena using the best tools presently available.

Now if we want to get into more recent talk of evolution as fact and theory that is for another day. I suspect less resistance to the idea of gravity as fact and theory. I think Dawkins is correct, by the way. Oddly the Kansas textboook shows that evolution is fact in many respects. In order to disprove the factual nature of evolution, you would need to show that 1. our understanding that past life on earth exhibited the same characteristics as present life, or 2. that previously undiscovered life (not even needing to be alien) showed the same.

Stephen J Gould wrote:

"Evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered."

Dawkins goes further of evolution as fact, not theory along similar lines. Keep in mind for Darwin the breakthrough was not evolution, but the mechanism of natural selection. Evolution was already widely accepted in the sciences, but there were some loony ideas out there. Go read the Island of Dr. Moreau.

mudbunny wrote:

And here we go again. (This is in response to LarryC, BTW)

This is the first thread where I've talked about atheist and deist agendas being actively harmful to the cause of science education. Context and reading the entire post is kind of important.

KingGorilla:

I was quite recently linked to the National Science Academy (IIRC) proposing teaching ToE as a fact, not a theory. Indeed, you can just browse this thread here and read more content to the effect of mistaking calculations for facts and other such things. I'd respond to them in more detail, but I can't stop facepalming long enough to type anything. Stengah earlier on this thread proposed sacrificing critical thinking (!) for the sake of teaching ToE as a rote thing.

This is very, very bad. It's a statement that says that whoever wins this thing, science education is killed.

See here:

"Evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered."

This is the problem, right here. This is what's causing the Creationists to go apesh*t, and it's not even good science.

Well their Website, at least takes the theory and fact aproach
http://www.nationalacademies.org/evo...

In science, a "fact" typically refers to an observation, measurement, or other form of evidence that can be expected to occur the same way under similar circumstances. However, scientists also use the term "fact" to refer to a scientific explanation that has been tested and confirmed so many times that there is no longer a compelling reason to keep testing it or looking for additional examples. In that respect, the past and continuing occurrence of evolution is a scientific fact. Because the evidence supporting it is so strong, scientists no longer question whether biological evolution has occurred and is continuing to occur. Instead, they investigate the mechanisms of evolution, how rapidly evolution can take place, and related questions.

That living things change is a fact, observed, tested, close to 300 years of evidence. In the same way, crap falls to earth still happens. The planets still orbit around our sun. Or that global ambient and sea temperatures are on the rise. Kepler did not change that the earth moves round the sun, just that Copernicus had the shape wrong (your classic London Spotted Moth observation).

And we circle back around at this point. Is the a flaw in the supposition that over all this time evolution (changes in the species) is a factually existent as the forces of gravity or magnetism? Quite literally any living thing changes generation to generation. And it is something we can all observe, even if we do not choose to notice it. Evolution in my own backyard with the changing subspecies and characteristics of the squirrel population.

And as I stated to assault that as a life fact would be to show either something existing or that existed that never changed generationally. Evolution as a fact is simply that, stating that all living things change. And thus we get to the scientific challenge here. You find that species, or you go back into our own histories and show that living things do not change, and you get that peer reviewed, collect that Nobel Prize.

National Academy of Sciences wrote:

Evolution:
Evolution consists of changes in the heritable traits of a population of organisms as successive generations replace one another. It is populations of organisms that evolve, not individual organisms.

I see no issue referring to this as a fact. Is there a population of living things that does not show changes in heritable traits (I prefer to think in terms of genetics) over time, through generations?

NAS wrote:

Adaptation:
The adjustment or changes in behavior, physiology, and structure of an organism to become more suited to an environment. According to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, organisms that possess heritable traits that enable them to better adapt to their environment compared with other members of their species will be more likely to survive, reproduce, and pass more of their genes on to the next generation.

I think you are confusing evolution with adaptations, I might be wrong.