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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:56 pm 
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The debate is heating up.
For essays and rebuttal essays on both sides of the issue, I offer this:

http://www.actionbioscience.org/evolution/nhmag.html

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:00 pm 
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Darwin's theory of evolution has always been presented as just that - a theory.

Critical thinking and examination of that theory should be encouraged.

However - intelligent design tries to use critical thinking to come to a pre-determined final analysis. That is the antithesis of critical thinking.

Students should be encouraged to examine the gaps in the theory of evolution and postulate why those gaps exist and if they undermine the theory. They should not be led by the nose into a conclusion that is based on even less evidence from a scientific standpoint no matter what the foundation in faith may be.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 12:09 am 
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Wow, nicely done, Dana!

That's it in a nutshell. With "intelligent design" (Creationism by a laundered name), you start with the bible as fact, and attempt to defend those "facts" with science.

Whatever God's truth is - and I use the "G" word loosely - science is supposed to arrive at it with a process that pretty much is established at this point in time. The process leaves open all possibilities, but the conclusions (theories) must be reached by following the process rather than assuming the answer and trying to justify it.

Religious people who insist on teaching Creationism have every right to do so, so long as they don't call it science. Anything that requires faith is by definition a religion.

There's a saying I have in my world - a kind of Forrest Gumpism. As I often tell people when they want to argue with findings based upon what really happens, my response is "The data are the data." Many folks on these forums understand that concept well. Yes, not all data are collected properly, and there are many agendas to deal with that can distort the delivery of information. But the fact of the matter with the theory of evolution is that there IS no agenda. This theory didn't come from a bunch of OUR saints writing stuff in books via divine inspiration. This theory came from scratch, and was built with the available data.

A common tactic used by the Creationism crowd is to find fault or imprecision with some small aspect of evolutionary theory, and then conclude that it's all wrong. Well... That's fine if you want to play that game. But science doesn't then allow you to say "Therefore this theory is the right one - because The Bible says so." Sorry... Creationism must deal with the same critical thinking, just as any other competing theory must. Nothing out there today is perfect because we can't know everything that happened in times where we didn't exist. But there's enough available data to paint some interesting and convincing pictures - irrespective of whatever religious glasses you choose to view those data. All we need now is to connect the dots, and come up with the best understanding we can get - today.

Tomorrow we will know more.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 12:18 am 
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An excerpt from the JREF website:
http://www.randi.org/

WHERE RELIGION CAME FROM

Reader Jay B. Spry observes:

It occurred to me many years ago that religion begins just beyond the frontier of science – that any phenomenon adequately explained by the scientific method is thereby removed from the domain of faith. We don't believe in the solar system on faith; we know it as fact. Even priests – now – accept it as such. Religion therefore represents the sum total of our ignorance, and God is the personification of that ignorance.

Intelligent design is not an explanation. It is an attempt to capitalize on our lack of total knowledge regarding evolution. The basic thesis is this: "The complexity of the universe cannot be explained except in terms of an Intelligent Designer..." The truth is, it has not yet been explained by science. Once again, an appeal to ignorance is proof of a matter of faith.

James Randi: I agree, perhaps with slight differences. I’ve always thought that well before anything that could properly be called “science” existed, religion “evolved” – no pun intended! – as an effort to explain observed phenomena that lacked obvious causes. I suggest a few consolidating steps that might have taken place: First, a god responsible for thunder, another for rain, and yet another for lightning, could be logically melded into a single deity. Second, atmospheric, biological, celestial, and other large phenomenal categories could be corralled into the venue of a more-encompassing single deity. What followed was the further inclusion of creation, morality, and everything else into a single, all-powerful general-purpose entity. A useful corollary to this definition would be that this god is jealous, capricious, vengeful, fearsome, and generally grumpy and nasty, in order to explain everything from simple rashes to earthquakes and hurricanes.

Jay’s comment that now “even priests accept” certain facts, can be attributed to an official decree from The Head Office – not to any individual epiphanies. “Galileo was right,” and “Evolution does take place,” are examples of grudging admissions that have emerged as patches on the rapidly-deflating and sinking balloon of religion….

Jay adds:

Perhaps we could start an "Ignorant Design" movement to explain the multitude of cosmic screw-ups we see, eh?

To which I say, be sure to include the vermiform appendix, variola major, tobacco, bad comedians, and cholesterol, on that list…

**********************************************

Metablade:
I would argue that while indeed there are "gaps" in evolutionary theory, they are not gaps in the sense of proving or disproving the theory itself. The "gaps" or "holes" as they called by creationist proponents are merely gaps in complete knowledge of the entire process, which is simply an issue related to minor studies in which science has yet to discover the solution. To put it another way, These are not gaps by which the theory is in question at all. Their logic is "If I can see my hand, know what it is, know what it does, know what I can do with it, but cannot explain the fingernail, then the whole theory must be wrong.
I am not saying that one should not question any theory.
That is the basis for discovery.
But there has to be a litmus test (Called Scientific method) which steers the ideas in question to the "possible" pile and "poppycock" file.
Intelligent Design, as far as science is concerned is in the latter. This is not to invalidate it, but to say it belongs in the "philosophy section" NOT science.

We know the Universe is present. We know there are certain fundamentals which govern the physical properties of the Universe. What we still do not know is, the totality of everything. This lack of knowledge should not be used as an excuse to "fill in the blanks" with religious views.

Is intelligent design a valid theory? In the context of the definition of "theory" yes, it is.
Is it scientific? No not by any stretch.
Should it be taught in public school as an alternative?
God Forbid (Pun intended)

Remember, our children will be competing in the Global Economy where other countries study harder, are more hungry for success, emphasize education more, and frankly, do not share our monotheistic views. (The exception would be perhaps Islam, in that there IS not much separation of non-secular beliefs, but I speak mainly of the major up an coming players at this time.) We can ill afford this potentially crippling mistake in an already scholastically behind and mentally duller growing youth, not to mention setting a bad president for merging of theology and empirical facts.
I should also note that some people have suggested it be taught as a "comparative religion" subject, but I maintain that this is a subject for college electives, not High School level courses.
Anything less is a gross disservice to our populace.

But I could be wrong....and I'm going to hell, and there's a nice fat flame-engulfed lazy-boy recliner with my name on it, with a snowy T.V., that has a broken remote that only gets UPN....
and it's in the middle of the D.M.V.

:lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:32 am 
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 Post subject: tee-hee!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:01 pm 
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Satire anyone?

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/39512

:lol:

steve


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 9:16 pm 
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The "official" Cobb County Chart of Elements.

-Earth

-Air

-Fire

-Water


There is also a "break away" group that contends that the above chart contains "gaps" and fails to adress certain aspects of the material world--and that an addtl element-"METAL"-- should be added to the chart.

This group also points to ancient Asain texts as support for the element "METAL" and argue that students should be exposed to BOTH charts.

:)


Those ID folks make my head hurt.

Seemingly that have such a loose grasp of proper science that they can't even match the criteria for how and what consists of an actual "theory."

ID does not even meet the basic criteria/standards for a freaking THEORY for cats sake and they want to teach it in schools?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 10:59 pm 
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If creationists would like to say that the entire theory of evolution crumbles when certain deficiencies exist, they ought to hold on their judgment of the Bible until the entirety of its unusual stories have been formally corroborated. Right?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2005 11:49 pm 
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The devil made me buy this dress!


So where does this fit into the Intelligent Forces theory? Would that be... Unintelligent Purchasing? The influence of antimatter? Maybe itdoesntmatter?

Just wondering...

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2005 4:26 pm 
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IJ

Excellent point.

If so-called "gaps" are supposed to call the entire theory's into question.

Then lets apply the same rule to the bible--see if any "gaps" exsist with it?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:09 am 
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Debate?? What Debate?

Here is information from a friend of mine.

"The subject of Intelligent Design shows how information can be crafted to create an apparently equal debate. I thought the issue of creationism died along with the Scope’s Trial and the repackaging of creation into Creation Science during the 70s and 80s. Now the information is once again repackaged. Please see http://www.cjr.org/issues/2005/5/mooney.asp for an article discussing this. “In short, an entirely lopsided debate within the scientific community was transformed into an evenly divided one in the popular arena.” (Cultural pundits have taken sides but in reality, the science community OVERWHELMINGLY believes in evolution.)"

It's important to understand the information side of this issue!

Sheryl

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 3:07 pm 
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Exactly my point.
Any rational human being with even the tiniest spec of reasoning power can see the issue for what it really is, (and sub-sequentially the inane-ness of "intelligent designs'" so-called "arguments".) But here we are, in 2005, and people are actually *discussing* it.

:roll:

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 Post subject: the worst part...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 4:06 pm 
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I think the worst part of all this is that our television and printed news media are actually giving this issue the time of day. Every time ID is presented on equal footing in this debate (even if it is simply a head-line, such as "Intelligent Design vs. Evolution - What you should know!") it bolsters the egos of the misguided and leads them to believe that this subject is actually worthy of debate. :evil:

BTW- for those of you who believe in the liberal bias of the US news outlets, you haven't been paying attention lately to the amount of air time ID is receiving.


We are the laughing stock of the world. :oops:


chewy


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 09, 2005 4:49 pm 
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Even If you read no other essays today or even next month, then I urge you to read this one:

http://tinyurl.com/dmfqy

Highly poignant to this thread, and beautifully articulated.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:17 pm 
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Metablade

Very well written---but I honestly think it was kinda weak.

Makes the same rational errors in reverse that the Christains make.

Namely the use of misleading labels to represent living, breathing, individual people.

I find it telling that many of the atheist crowd are just as "preachy" and as nasty and intolerent as the most hardcore christian groups.

Just another group of folks telling "other" folks how they should feel, and think and what beliefs they "should" hold.


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