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Author Topic:   Science, dogmas, and AiG Creation Museum statement of faith
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 905 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 1 of 39 (524964)
09-20-2009 4:55 PM


This is a discussion about creationism and science. Creationism is often excluded from science, and creationists often attribute this to the faults of science, such as the dogma that supernatural conclusions cannot be considered (Evolution as Dogma: The Establishment of Naturalism).

I agree with creationists that supernatural claims can have their time in the scientific courts. However, if we are going to talk about dogmas and science, then we can all agree that the two principles do not belong together. Dogmas have no place in science. And, on that note, creationism seems to have a lot to answer for.

Dogmas are only a thing of the Catholic church, right? Well, sort of. With Catholicism, dogmas are decided by the central hierarchical authority. With the development of the Protestant Reformation, there was no longer a central hierarchical authority governing Christianity. But the Protestants carried over many of the Catholic dogmas as core beliefs--especially the inerrancy of the Catholic scriptures (though not all of the books). The central reason that Protestants hold the belief that the modern Bible is infallible is that it is a tradition of the Christian church, albeit an evolving tradition. The Protestant New Testament was compiled by Athanasius in 367 AD, and the modern Bible as we know it did not exist until shortly after the Protestant Reformation, when Protestants settled on the Protocanonical books of the Old Testament and Athanasius' books of the New Testament, discarding some Catholic additions. Of course, Protestants know that church traditions do not make for truth, but this is primarily a point of faith, not necessarily a conclusion that easily follows from facts and logic. It could very well be true that the Bible is infallible, but it doesn't seem to be a conclusion that can be made by the application of reason alone. Such points of faith of any ideology can be included under the term, "dogmas."

So what happens when dogmas and scientific conclusions seem to conflict? The stereotype is that scientists dismiss the religion in favor of science, and that religious people change the science to fit the religious conclusions. The stereotype, though abrasive, seems to be true. To illustrate, here is a sign at the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum.

On the left, there is a stack of books with the heading, "The philosopher René Descartes said, 'I think, therefore I am,'" and the footer, "HUMAN REASON."

On the right, there is a scroll with the heading, "God said, 'I AM THAT I AM,'" and the footer, "GOD'S WORD."

The left side is a reasonable argument. The right side seems to be nothing more than a tautology--that is: repeating the conclusion. And yet the implication is that the image on the right surpasses the image on the left in authority. This principle strikes me as embarrassing to display on a large sign, but AiG does not seem to feel that embarrassment.

After viewing the image of that sign, I remembered something that reminded me that it should not be surprise. I remembered the last item in The AiG Statement of Faith.

"By definition, no apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record."

To paraphrase, no seeming evidence is valid if it contradicts the Bible. To creationists, maybe this is understandable. To people like me, it seems appalling. Imagine what your reaction would be if this statement published on the NCSE (pro-evo think tank) website:

"By definition, no apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts The Origin of Species or The Descent of Man."

No such statement exists, and the explanation they are likely to give is that it would be a huge embarrassment and contrary to the highest scientific ideals. This link goes to the NCSE About page, where no "Statement of Faith" of any sort can be found. A retort to this point might be, "Well, some things are not said, but it can be seen as their operating policy." Maybe that is true. I have seen the NCSE mangle the facts in favor of their conclusions. It is unfortunate, but it is not unusual, and, at the same time, I believe it is to be appreciated that they don't openly uphold a scientific vice as a virtue. In other words, they do not celebrate dogmas.

The prominent creationist organizations do just that. The AiG statement of faith means that the scientific conclusion must change, not the dogma, when a pair of such ideas conflict. And AiG seems to have no qualms about advertising this point. To them, it is a moral responsibility, not anything to be ashamed about. And AiG is not unique with this behavior--every website for large creationist organizations seems to have a "Statement of Faith" that declares their absolute commitment to the Bible (ICR, CSE, Reasons.org). But dogmas and science do not go together, and it is for that reason I personally believe that creationism does not have a place in science.

Edited by ApostateAbe, : reduction of aggressiveness and additions of material

Edited by ApostateAbe, : title change


Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by MrGrim, posted 09-22-2009 6:37 AM ApostateAbe has responded
 Message 10 by Coragyps, posted 09-22-2009 11:32 AM ApostateAbe has not yet responded
 Message 11 by Lithodid-Man, posted 09-22-2009 1:04 PM ApostateAbe has responded
 Message 12 by Coyote, posted 09-22-2009 1:12 PM ApostateAbe has not yet responded

  
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3497
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 2 of 39 (524993)
09-20-2009 10:22 PM


Too much snark in you message - I say put this one on hold
You've had two topics promoted and I don't like the feel of turning this forum into a snarky shooting gallery.

If you'd like to turn the snark down, I suggest you consider taking these thought to the Ken Ham's Creation Museum topic.

Personally, I'm putting this PNT on hold. Other admins may feel differently about this.

Adminnemooseus


New Members should start HERE to get an understanding of what makes great posts.

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It really helps moderators figure out if a topic is disintegrating because of general misbehavior versus someone in particular if the originally non-misbehaving members kept it that way. When everyone is prickly and argumentative and off-topic and personal then it's just too difficult to tell. We have neither infinite time to untie the Gordian knot, nor the wisdom of Solomon.

There used to be a comedian who presented his ideas for a better world, and one of them was to arm everyone on the highway with little rubber dart guns. Every time you see a driver doing something stupid, you fire a little dart at his car. When a state trooper sees someone driving down the highway with a bunch of darts all over his car he pulls him over for being an idiot.

Please make it easy to tell you apart from the idiots. Message 150


    
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 905 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 3 of 39 (525000)
09-20-2009 11:38 PM


Re: Too much snark in you message - I say put this one on hold
You are absolutely right. I didn't mean to be snarky, but I was, and I cleaned up the topic to reduce the snark. I included more of the creationist perspective and more humility, in addition to more relevant facts. I think the discussions are best without the primitive attacks, and anything else is a step backward.
  
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3497
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 4 of 39 (525150)
09-21-2009 11:18 PM


Your cooperativeness caught me by surprise - How about a topic title modification?
To be honest, I expected you to fight making changes. I wish I had saved a copy of the original message 1, for sake of comparison.

Since the matter of "statements of faith" seems to be a central part of your topic theme, I suggest that you get that into the topic title. Instead of "Science, dogmas, and a sign displayed at the AiG Creation Museum", how about "Science, dogmas, and AiG Creation Museum statement of faith"?

Adminnemooseus


    
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 905 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 5 of 39 (525155)
09-21-2009 11:28 PM


Re: Your cooperativeness caught me by surprise - How about a topic title modification?
I like my own title better, but I think your version of the title is almost as good and it cuts to the most relevant point. I changed it.

EDIT: I also sent you an email containing an older version of the thread.

Edited by ApostateAbe, : No reason given.


  
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3497
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 6 of 39 (525162)
09-22-2009 12:04 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Science, dogmas, and AiG Creation Museum statement of faith thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
    
MrGrim
Junior Member (Idle past 1558 days)
Posts: 11
From: Jo'burg
Joined: 09-18-2009


Message 7 of 39 (525177)
09-22-2009 6:37 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ApostateAbe
09-20-2009 4:55 PM


Science falsely so called:
Hi,

Thanks for great topic.

I agree with you. Though christians are not excluded from the science arena, science has its own rules, and christian conduct its own.

I also, as a scientist think Evolution "Theory" is an example of poor science. I also as a christian won't pretend that God is provable.

Jesus can be known, personally. And as a result if you find Him and follow Him, you do as He says (for your own good), and if a christian is to claim the bible as begin and end of his actions, then he finds himself under instruction to tell others about Him and arguing and debating about nitty-gritty we-want-to-proof-to-you-god-created-all topics, is actually against His will and proof of not knowing Him and lack of trust.

It is not a christian's purpose to proof Jesus is God and created all, but just to let others know that He provided an escape from hell.

To try and start a science called creationism or similar, would put you in no better position as a pro-theory-of-evolution-is-science dude.

I like the poster (picture). Yes I feel proud of it too. Jesus is the only totalatarian who sets you free... Something you have to experience before it brings a smile to your face.

Aw, well.

Thanks again. You strike an effective point.

The word dogma bothers me. I doubt a catholic cares much for what the real God really wants. They have a set of rules (dogma) which, though they claim it is based on the bible, it isn't. These are words of the pope more likely, yes.

Like those church leaders whom call themselves shepherds, when they are meant to be one of the sheep. There is only one shepherd: Jesus. And he is not pleased with wasteful debates. Christians should stay away.

1 Timothy 6:20-21a O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.

Edited by MrGrim, : Correcting me bad idiot grammer...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ApostateAbe, posted 09-20-2009 4:55 PM ApostateAbe has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by PaulK, posted 09-22-2009 7:51 AM MrGrim has responded
 Message 15 by ApostateAbe, posted 09-22-2009 8:27 PM MrGrim has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 10476
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 8 of 39 (525189)
09-22-2009 7:51 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by MrGrim
09-22-2009 6:37 AM


Re: Science falsely so called:
quote:

I also, as a scientist think Evolution "Theory" is an example of poor science.

Maybe you should start a thread to address this point. You can give your own scientific qualifications and show why you consider evolution to be poor science. I expect to see many references to the technical literature.

quote:

The word dogma bothers me. I doubt a catholic cares much for what the real God really wants. They have a set of rules (dogma) which, though they claim it is based on the bible, it isn't. These are words of the pope more likely, yes.

In fact that seems to describe the more conservative Protestants better than it does the Catholics. The Catholic church recognises tradition, as well as the Bible - and is quite open about the fact.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by MrGrim, posted 09-22-2009 6:37 AM MrGrim has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by MrGrim, posted 09-22-2009 8:13 AM PaulK has responded

    
MrGrim
Junior Member (Idle past 1558 days)
Posts: 11
From: Jo'burg
Joined: 09-18-2009


Message 9 of 39 (525191)
09-22-2009 8:13 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by PaulK
09-22-2009 7:51 AM


The fantasy of Evolution
Hi,

You mistake me with someone who cares.

Why should I care about the selective blindness of others?

It's simple. You ask God (in the name of Jesus). You look. You see. It's obvious.

It doesn't require pages and pages of proofs.

No new threads from me, sorry

I adressed the topic: Christians should stay clear of trying to proof God exists, because they are being disobedient otherwise.

Thats what the pretty bible quote was for.

Regarding mixing tradition with scripture:
Matthew 15:3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by PaulK, posted 09-22-2009 7:51 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by PaulK, posted 09-22-2009 1:49 PM MrGrim has responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5049
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 10 of 39 (525198)
09-22-2009 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ApostateAbe
09-20-2009 4:55 PM


They left out Popeye and "I yam what I yam!"

I agree, Abe, that fundamentalists seem more dogmatic than Catholics. The former get stuck on their particular sect's favorite interpretation of some obscure verse, and just won't budge from it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ApostateAbe, posted 09-20-2009 4:55 PM ApostateAbe has not yet responded

    
Lithodid-Man
Member (Idle past 312 days)
Posts: 504
From: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Joined: 03-22-2004


Message 11 of 39 (525213)
09-22-2009 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ApostateAbe
09-20-2009 4:55 PM


NCSE
Hi Abe, great topic and one of that could lead in many fun directions. There is one point in your OP that I cannot get past without clarification:
ApostateAbe writes:

I have seen the NCSE mangle the facts in favor of their conclusions.

Can I get an example of this? I could be mistaken (I often am!) but I have not noticed this while searching through the NCSE website. I spend some time at their page as a science teacher. Perhaps my bias clouds me, so please provide an example of mangled facts in favor of a conclusion. This would be pretty much exactly the same thing as the AiG museum and other organizations are doing. -Thanks


Doctor Bashir: "Of all the stories you told me, which were true and which weren't?"
Elim Garak: "My dear Doctor, they're all true"
Doctor Bashir: "Even the lies?"
Elim Garak: "Especially the lies"
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ApostateAbe, posted 09-20-2009 4:55 PM ApostateAbe has responded

Replies to this message:
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Coyote
Member
Posts: 4522
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 12 of 39 (525214)
09-22-2009 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by ApostateAbe
09-20-2009 4:55 PM


Belief gets in the way of learning
After viewing the image of that sign, I remembered something that reminded me that it should not be surprise. I remembered the last item in The AiG Statement of Faith.

"By definition, no apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record."

You will find similar statements from Creation Research Society, Institute for Creation Research, Creation Studies Institute, and Creation Ministries International, among others.

These show that they are doing the exact opposite of science. Their other writing generally show that they are anti-science (as science comes up with the wrong answers).

Heinlein was right: "Belief gets in the way of learning."


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ApostateAbe, posted 09-20-2009 4:55 PM ApostateAbe has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 10476
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 13 of 39 (525220)
09-22-2009 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by MrGrim
09-22-2009 8:13 AM


Re: The fantasy of Evolution
quote:

You mistake me with someone who cares.

No, I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Thanks for proving that you did not deserve it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by MrGrim, posted 09-22-2009 8:13 AM MrGrim has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by MrGrim, posted 09-23-2009 4:56 AM PaulK has not yet responded

    
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 905 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 14 of 39 (525282)
09-22-2009 8:08 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Lithodid-Man
09-22-2009 1:04 PM


Re: NCSE
Lithodid-Man writes:

Hi Abe, great topic and one of that could lead in many fun directions. There is one point in your OP that I cannot get past without clarification:
ApostateAbe writes:

I have seen the NCSE mangle the facts in favor of their conclusions.

Can I get an example of this? I could be mistaken (I often am!) but I have not noticed this while searching through the NCSE website. I spend some time at their page as a science teacher. Perhaps my bias clouds me, so please provide an example of mangled facts in favor of a conclusion. This would be pretty much exactly the same thing as the AiG museum and other organizations are doing. -Thanks


Sure, Lithodid-Man. Creationists often talk about Haeckel's embryo sketches, and they claim that the sketches are used in modern textbooks. The NCSE denies this claim (Icon 4: Haeckel's Embryos). Here is a paragraph from the NCSE page, and I put the relevant statement in bold.
quote:
What textbooks say

For any textbook to show Haeckel's drawings themselves as unqualified statements of developmental anatomy or to advocate "recapitulation" in a Haeckelian sense would be inexcusable, but none of the textbooks reviewed by Wells appear to do so. Wells gleefully excoriates Futuyma for using Haeckel's drawings, but apparently in his fit of righteous indignation, he forgot to read the text, in which the drawings are discussed in a historical context — stating why Haeckel is wrong — and Futuyma has an entire chapter devoted to development and evolution. Guttman uses them in an explicitly historical context as well. Wells states that books use "Haeckel's drawings, or redrawn versions of them" (Wells 2000:255), but this is not true. Figure 10 shows Haeckel's drawings compared to the drawings in the textbooks reviewed by Wells. It can be clearly seen that a majority of the drawings are not "redrawn." Some textbooks show more accurate drawings; some use photos; only Starr and Taggart (and Raven and Johnson in their development chapter along with accurate drawings and photos) use what could be considered embryos "redrawn" from Haeckel. No textbook discusses embryology in any way that could be considered strongly "recapitulationist." In most textbooks, embryology is presented in just one or two paragraphs, making it hard to discuss all the complexities of development. At a high school level, the aim of the book is to convey some basic concepts of biology, not to confuse students with the complexity of a subject.



The idea that more modern textbooks do not contain Haeckel's sketches is a popular claim in evo circles. It was repeated in the film, Flock of Dodos. But it turns out that the creationists are right on this point, and the NCSE made a mistake. I went to the local community college library to look at a bunch of biology textbooks, I found around thirteen of them, and three of them had the embryo sketches. They were not historical discussions, as in the Futuyma textbook. They were presenting the image as evidence for the theory of evolution. At least one of them even supported Haeckel's theory of embryonic recapitulation, and all of the textbooks were published well after the theory was repudiated. The Discovery Institute published an online article to prove their point, with full scanned images of textbook pages (Discovery.org.

The image was contained in my own high school biology textbook. It was the Miller & Levine "Elephant book." The authors caught flack for this, largely because of the creationists, so they corrected it, and they put a page online explaining the correction (millerandlevine.com). The probable reason for this mistake was to save money, and the Haeckel image is free to use.

Creationists typically have a difficult time proving their legitimate point, in large part because many of them see Haeckel's theory whenever the topic of evolution and embryos come up.

The lessons are 1) that creationists are not always wrong, and 2) always be skeptical about information coming from a source with a social agenda.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Lithodid-Man, posted 09-22-2009 1:04 PM Lithodid-Man has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 905 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 15 of 39 (525290)
09-22-2009 8:27 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by MrGrim
09-22-2009 6:37 AM


Re: Science falsely so called:
McGrim, I think debate can serve the purpose of understanding people like me, and understanding people like me serves an essential evangelistic purpose. If you can get a feel for what motivates me, then you can know I can be drawn into your way of thinking. You don't have to avoid debate. But I do suggest that you avoid debating those who take it too personally, who can't help but heap large helpings of condemnation and condescension into their speech. Are you with me that points of faith should have no elevated place in science?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by MrGrim, posted 09-22-2009 6:37 AM MrGrim has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by MrGrim, posted 09-23-2009 5:14 AM ApostateAbe has responded

  
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