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Author Topic:   Does Evolution Require Spreading The Word?
Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6916
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 16 of 135 (319280)
06-08-2006 8:44 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Teets_Creationist
06-08-2006 7:53 PM


Hi, Teets, and welcome to EvC.

Here is my view.

I agree that a person can live a normal, happy, productive life without knowing anything about the theory of evolution. I will list the reasons I think it still must be taught.

(1) Knowledge is its own justification. People should be widely educated, and should know something about a range of fields just because it is a good thing to be widely educated. The theory of evolution is an important part of science and general, and should be part of the biology curriculum for that very reason. Now, one cannot know everything, and one cannot take every single class in school. If one can meet the official standards of a liberal arts education without knowing much biology, so be it; however, one cannot claim to know much biology without understanding the role the theory of evolution has in it.

This is probably the most important reason it should be taught. Like any other subject, it should just be taught because any knowledge in any subject is a good thing, regardless of how useful it is.

(2) Another important reason is that creationists are liars. Maybe the average creationist in the street is sincere in her beliefs, but the major creationist actors are liars. Answers in Genesis and True Origins and the others are full of lies. Not simply different interpretations of facts, but made up facts. Distorted facts. Mischaracterizations of the arguments made by scientists. And these are very obvious "mistakes", and they are told of the mistakes time and time again, and yet they repeat the same untruths over and over again. If they are not deliberately telling falsehoods, then they are choosing to remain willfully ignorant, which is the same as lying in my opinion. The lie openly, they lie shamelessly, and, in the words of Gary Hurd, they lie even when their arguments are undermined by the lie.

I believe that it is we have a duty to look a liar in the face and tell them that we know that they are liars. We have a duty to explain to their audiences the lies and what the truth actually is.

Related to this is the fact that children do not deserve to be "protected" from the truth. If they decide on their own to be creationists so be it; I will be the first in line to protect peoples' rights to believe what they believe. But we do a disservice to children and everyone if we allow them to make their decisions based on mischaracterization of fact and lies of omission.

(3) Less important, in my opinion, but still needing to be said is that creationism does not exist in a vacuum. Although I am ready to believe that most creationists just want to left alone and practice their religion in peace, the major political actors are just that: political actors. Creationism is just one facet of a wider agenda to restrict other peoples' rights to believe what they do and to live their own lives in peace.

These people do not want to protect the sanctity of marriage -- they want to throw homosexuals in jail. They do not want to protect the unborn -- they want to restrict sex completely to religiously sanctioned heterosexual marriages and restrict its purpose to procreation. They do not want all views equally expressed -- they continually demonstrate not only a rabid desire to force their beliefs on others, but they want to prohibit as much as possible contrary views. They restrict behavior, private as well as public, to a very small set they find acceptable; they would even limit political discourse and debate to within a very narrow range of acceptable viewpoints. These people want to impose a Christian version of Sharia on the U.S., and creationism is simply one facet of their overall agenda. We fight creationism as part of a larger fight to protect overall the right of people's life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, including the right to determine how they shall pursue their own happiness.


"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
-- H. L. Mencken (quoted on Panda's Thumb)

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Beatle Addict
Junior Member (Idle past 4231 days)
Posts: 13
From: Big Spring, TX, USA
Joined: 06-04-2006


Message 17 of 135 (319387)
06-08-2006 11:25 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Teets_Creationist
06-08-2006 7:53 PM


I'm going to compare this to disbelief that the holocaust occurred.

1.It doesn't matter wether or not I believe in evolution. I can go along my everyday life, and you're fine with it. When I die, I'm no worse of than you, other than I didn't believe the "truth".

You can also not believe in the holocaust and live a perfectly normal life. This is irrelevant and does not add or subtract to their cause.

2.It is important to promote (teaching or defending could be ways of promoting) evolution, even though it doesn't matter if we believe it or not, because you want the public to be informed of something that really doesn't effect them greatly.

People who don't believe in the holocaust have their right to believe whether it is true or not, and we aren't going to force their beliefs. However, if they get a large group of people together, vying that teaching of the holocaust become banned in schools, or propose their beliefs next to the normal history curriculum, problems arise.

3.It's important to show people how wrong Creationists are, even though if they want to be a Creationist, then you're fine with it.

Accepting someone's beliefs does not restrict you to never questioning their beliefs. You are allowed to debate evolution, and as such, people are equally allowed to debate creationism.

4.If creationists had their way, then much intellegence in the feild of science would be lost, so we have to close them out of it, in order to advance as humans.

Creationists often do not study science and close themselves out of the field of science.

______________________________________

I am currently in the summer before my freshman year of high school. In my 7th and 8th grade years, I’ve encountered several examples of creationism finding its way into my education. My 7th grade history teacher stated she did not believe the year the textbook stated for the crossing of the Bering Strait because it was “too long ago” and my 7th grade science teacher said “I don’t believe in evolution." However, the worst was my science teacher for the 8th grade with the absolute “Scientists who believe in the big bang theory are insane.” which received applause from quite a few members of the class. Those members were not much later heard complaining about science and stating other aspects untrue, stating their favor for creationism. Yet, people wonder why the United States has so few people going into the fields of science.

If neither the teachers nor the students believe in evolution, it could definitely use some defense.

Edited by Beatle Addict, : Missing closing quotation mark.


This message is a reply to:
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ReverendDG
Member (Idle past 2800 days)
Posts: 1119
From: Topeka,kansas
Joined: 06-06-2005


Message 18 of 135 (319422)
06-09-2006 3:41 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by Teets_Creationist
06-08-2006 7:53 PM


Would the world around us still function as we know it, if Creationists had their way, and would we stop advancing in the field of science? How dependant is science on evolution? What is it, that we are trying to achieve, that we cannot achieve without evolution?

of course it would work, but our understanding of it would be unexplained scientificly, i have a feeling some sort of evolution theory would grow again.
as for how dependent on evolution is science? well i think you mean the ToE rather than evolution itself, since evolution exists undependent on humans. science i hope you really mean biology - biology is heavily structured around the fact of evolution and around the theories that make up the ToE.
you can study biology without the ToE i supose but it really wouldn't make much sense if you want to look at how things function, the theory really brings everything inline with everything else.
i guess you could think of a painting the lines and structures are there processable, but like facts are just facts it isn't until you look at the picture and not the lines and pigment that makes the picture up that you see the image

just to add to this i realized that i should take about your numbered items

1.It doesn't matter wether or not I believe in evolution. I can go along my everyday life, and you're fine with it. When I die, I'm no worse of than you, other than I didn't believe the "truth".

science has nothing to do with the spiritual, whether you accept evolution has no bearing on anything unless you use your beliefs to enforce a non-science view in schools

2.It is important to promote (teaching or defending could be ways of promoting) evolution, even though it doesn't matter if we believe it or not, because you want the public to be informed of something that really doesn't effect them greatly.

the fact that evolution happened makes it a moot point, but people knowing that it happened means that people are less ignorent of the world
3.It's important to show people how wrong Creationists are, even though if they want to be a Creationist, then you're fine with it.

if they want to be a creationist thats fine, its when they lie about science being wrong when its not and turn people from a positive view of science that we will defend it
4.If creationists had their way, then much intellegence in the feild of science would be lost, so we have to close them out of it, in order to advance as humans.

we shouldn't close them out, but if they do become scientists they need to come with a mind-set that science is science if it follows the method even if it conflicts with thier beliefs
the problem with creationists as i see it, is the fact that most of them do not feel that there is any point to studying the world around us, other than in light of god - or to limit the studies to basic things and not try to dicect the mechanics ie: not play god

This message is a reply to:
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ikabod
Member (Idle past 3183 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 19 of 135 (319443)
06-09-2006 5:12 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Teets_Creationist
06-08-2006 7:01 AM


with out being aware of options how can you make a informed choice ,
ToE is a scientific explanation of why the world is they way it is ,
creationisum is based on a xian religious explanation of the way the world is ,

they disagree , to the "taught" only one side of the debate is a form of brain washing ... how can you be expected to get a informed view ...

why teach music , art , civil rights , history .........
to take your maths example how would you cope if you where only allowed to know about whole numbers ??

why is it important to promote creation .. if we live aa good life but dont belive in creation are we dammed ..


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Replies to this message:
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Larni
Member
Posts: 3998
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 20 of 135 (319456)
06-09-2006 7:36 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by ikabod
06-09-2006 5:12 AM


ikabod writes:

to the "taught" only one side of the debate is a form of brain washing ... how can you be expected to get a informed view ...

Teach creationism OUTSIDE of science. I'm all for teaching theology (any theology, not just xian)

Creationism is an artefact of a FAITH based perception of the way the world works.

ToE (and any other fundemental of science) is an artefact of a perception of the world that replaces FAITH with EVIDENCE.

I would not dream of barging into an R.E. lesson saying that the xian god did not create the world in 6 days: nor should the xian dream of barging into a science class claiming evolution is not factual.


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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6916
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003


Message 21 of 135 (320105)
06-10-2006 6:40 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by ikabod
06-09-2006 5:12 AM


quote:
with out being aware of options how can you make a informed choice

How do you expect people to make an "informed choice" without teaching the earth is flat, disease is caused by evil spirits, rain falls through windows of a solid dome, the stars and planets move around the earth, and blacks, Asians, and American Indians are inferior to white people?

Hell, how do you allow kids an "informed choice" if you don't teach them that if they wish really hard, they can flap their arms and fly like a bird? Answer: you don't. You say, "To hell with informed choices! Don't jump off the roof, or else you'll break your fool neck!"

Biblical creationism is not an viable alternative. It is noise and adds unnecessary confusion to a pretty cut-and-dried topic. The only purpose teaching creationism could possibly have is to demonstrate what happens when good science poses a dilemma for those with an incidious social and political agenda.


"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
-- H. L. Mencken (quoted on Panda's Thumb)

This message is a reply to:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 22 of 135 (335787)
07-27-2006 4:08 PM


I would like to see a debate arise about wether 10+10=20. That won't happen, know why? Because nobody needs to be told it. Everyone already knows it. You wouldn't see a mathematician going haywire on a forum, because someone said 10+10=30. He would dismiss them. Know why? Because there's no threat to his belief that 10+10=20, because that's set in stone.

If, on the other hand, there was a large politically powerful cult devoted to getting "10 + 10 = 30" taught in schools, and proclaiming that everyone who said otherwise was a fool and a liar, then I think you would see mathematicians "going haywire".

Is it necessary to promote evolution? Why is it so critical people believe it? What happens to us if we don't believe it? Would evolution go extinct without promotion? If I die without ever believing evolution, how much worse off am I than if you die believing it? Would 10+10=30 if mathematics weren't promoted in school?

Yes, but children would be ignorant of the fact.

Why should we conceal facts from children? Just to oblige you and your friends?

I think by comparing evolution to math you've made every point that I could wish to make on the subject.


  
nator
Member (Idle past 860 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 23 of 135 (335830)
07-27-2006 6:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Teets_Creationist
06-08-2006 7:01 AM


quote:
I mean, you already have it infiltrating the school system,

"Inflitrating"? Interesting word choice.

Would you say that Genetics has "inflitrated" the school system? What about Garvitational Theory? Has that also "inflitrated"?

quote:
Is there some sort of "Go and tell" command that evolutionists must abide by, to make sure that their propaganda gets spread?

If the Creationists were content to believe what they wanted to believe inside their churches, then this forum probably wouldn't exist. It is precisely because Creationists wish to replace science in the public schools with their religious dogma that the debate exists in the form that it does.


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nator
Member (Idle past 860 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 24 of 135 (335834)
07-27-2006 6:40 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Teets_Creationist
06-08-2006 7:53 PM


quote:
2.It is important to promote (teaching or defending could be ways of promoting) evolution, even though it doesn't matter if we believe it or not, because you want the public to be informed of something that really doesn't effect them greatly.

Well, no, the Theory of Evolution "affects" people just as much as the Germ Theory of Disease, the Atomic Theory of Matter, and Gravitational Theory.

I'd say the ToE affects people a great deal, actually, if you figure in medicine and genetic research, both of which rely heavily upon the ToE.

We're just saying that as regrettable as it may be, if you insist upon living in willful ignorance, go right ahead, just don't try to drag everyone else down with you via the public schools.

quote:
4.If creationists had their way, then much intellegence in the feild of science would be lost, so we have to close them out of it, in order to advance as humans.

Creation "scientist" don't do science, so nobody has "closed" them out.

If they would like to play by the rules of science, then they are more than welcome to participate.


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nator
Member (Idle past 860 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 25 of 135 (335837)
07-27-2006 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by ikabod
06-09-2006 5:12 AM


quote:
they disagree , to the "taught" only one side of the debate is a form of brain washing ... how can you be expected to get a informed view ...

There is no scientific debate regarding if Evolution occurred.


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capeo
Inactive Member


Message 26 of 135 (335884)
07-27-2006 11:51 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Chiroptera
06-08-2006 8:44 PM


These people do not want to protect the sanctity of marriage -- they want to throw homosexuals in jail. They do not want to protect the unborn -- they want to restrict sex completely to religiously sanctioned heterosexual marriages and restrict its purpose to procreation. They do not want all views equally expressed -- they continually demonstrate not only a rabid desire to force their beliefs on others, but they want to prohibit as much as possible contrary views. They restrict behavior, private as well as public, to a very small set they find acceptable; they would even limit political discourse and debate to within a very narrow range of acceptable viewpoints. These people want to impose a Christian version of Sharia on the U.S., and creationism is simply one facet of their overall agenda. We fight creationism as part of a larger fight to protect overall the right of people's life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, including the right to determine how they shall pursue their own happiness.

This post really won't add much to this thread, everyone has already elucidated most concisely any points I'd put forth, except to say that what's quoted above, to me, is the most prescient argument expressed yet. The fields of science shouldn't have to defend themselves in the face of arguments without evidence but the very underpinnings of a free American society really do hinge on overcoming this baseless attack. We're staring into the face of an anti-enlightenment and the social repercussions of introducing religion into science curriculums and public law making would be horribly far reaching. Anyway, to resond to the OP: that's why I post on these forums and that's why I, and many folks of like mind, am a stringent defender of scientific method in my interactions with people.


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randman 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3589 days)
Posts: 6367
Joined: 05-26-2005


Message 27 of 135 (335898)
07-28-2006 1:10 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Teets_Creationist
06-08-2006 7:01 AM


It's not science, imo
You hit on something. Evolutionism has a messianic and religious aspect to it. it's not just science, and imo, it's not good science. What it is though is a powerful propaganda tool, imo.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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AnswersInGenitals
Member
Posts: 580
Joined: 07-20-2006


(1)
Message 28 of 135 (335906)
07-28-2006 2:21 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Teets_Creationist
06-08-2006 7:01 AM


Hello T-C:
First of all, as anyone working on a computer should know, 10 + 10 = 100, or did your home schooling not include binary arithmetic?

If not, you should check to see how successful you are in trying to get a job in the computer industry. Imagine if all American kids were denied an education in the disciplines germane to advanced technology. Then where would your country be with respect to its ability to compete in this modern world and defend itself and its ideals?

But far more important, did your home schooling cover the history of the age of exploration? This was the late 16th to mid 18th centuries when all the great European nations set out to explore and exploit the rest of the world. You would have learned of the great explorations of Spain in South and Central America, of Portugal in Eastern South America, of England and France in North America, of the Dutch in the East Indies. One country, and one of the richest and most powerful at the time, is strangely missing from this roster: Italy. Or as it was known at the time, the Papal states.

Why was Italy alone left out of this booty that so enriched its neighbors and rivals that they quickly surpassed Italy in power and influence? A major contributing factor was that when Galileo was invited by his friend and admirer, Maffeo Barberini, who was to become Pope Urban VIII, to defend his beliefs in a sun centered celestial model, Galileo told Barberini that he only had to look through the telescope that he had made and see moons orbiting around Jupiter to realize the the Earth was not the center of all celestial motions. Barberini'a response was that if this was what the telescope showed and in doing so it contradicted scriptures, the the telescope must be the devil's instrument and he refused to look through it!

As a consequence, while telescopes and other optical instruments were not outright outlawed by the Council of the Inquisition, the making and using of such instruments was strongly discouraged and could lead to serious social and business problems. So What? As you put it, what difference would it make if no one learned about optics and optical instrument making? The difference is that without these instruments you cannot sail across an ocean. The profound importance of having the latest navigation technology will be evident to you if you have a GPS receiver and are aware of the military history of the GPs program.

While one may argue whether the entry of Europeans into the Americas, with its decimation of the native population and their culture, was a good thing, one cannot argue against the obvious beneficial impact it had on those nations the pursued the science and technology to gain their new discoveries.

A more recent and poignant example of the cost of sacrificing scientific truth to doctrinaire ignorance is the Lysenko affair in the USSR. Trofim Lysenko was a politically adroit but scientifically half baked biologist who became a close comrade of Joseph Stalin and from his position of political power was able to impose on all Russian biology a non-Darwinian and just plane wrong theory of evolution (it was closer to a Lamarkian evolutionary model that was construed to reflect the dialectic philosophy at the basis of communism). This theory was used to guide the development of agricultural to meet the increased demands of Russia's growing population and variable weather. The results were disastrous, and several years of major crops failed, not unlike what is now happening in North Korea. Russia had been the worlds largest producer and holder of gold, but all of their gold reserves and production went into buying agricultural imports from the west. So a nation that was trying to promote itself as a superpower and the one with the 'right' economic system was not able to feed and clothe its own people, but had to supplement its meager production with imports from its worst enemies. (Whoops! Spell checker almost changed that to 'worst enemas'.)

So when you ask why scientists are so ardent in defending evolution, a major part of the answer is that they love their country and the values it stands for and don't want to see it slide into technological impotency due to doctrinaire ignorance.

---------------------------------------

Ignorance is NOT bliss. It is just ignorance.


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arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 34 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 29 of 135 (335908)
07-28-2006 3:09 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by randman
07-28-2006 1:10 AM


Re: It's not science, imo
Evolutionism has a messianic and religious aspect to it.

ok, i've heard the religious line before.

but messianic? how so?


אָרַח

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Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 30 of 135 (335914)
07-28-2006 3:56 AM


You hit on something. Evolutionism has a messianic and religious aspect to it. it's not just science, and imo, it's not good science. What it is though is a powerful propaganda tool, imo.

Are you unable to back up those words with evidence, or merely unwilling?

I for one am all ears to hear your vast implausible conspiracy theory.


  
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