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Author Topic:   The Importance of the First Amendment
Organicmachination
Member (Idle past 4165 days)
Posts: 105
From: Pullman, WA, USA
Joined: 12-30-2007


Message 1 of 59 (454708)
02-08-2008 11:36 AM


The first amendment of the Constitution of the United States contains this line:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;...

The importance of these lines is monumental to the matters of Church and State. According to the first amendment, the government, and by extension, the state itself, may make no law respecting any establishment of any religion. For example, the government, by law, may not force any one individual or a group of individuals to practice any religion, and it must not allow any religion to interfere into governmental, and by extension, state matters.

Therefore, Creationism cannot be taught in schools because it is explicitly religious.


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Message 2 of 59 (454710)
02-08-2008 11:41 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
bluescat48
Member (Idle past 2645 days)
Posts: 2347
From: United States
Joined: 10-06-2007


Message 3 of 59 (454725)
02-08-2008 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Organicmachination
02-08-2008 11:36 AM


The entire amendment
Ammendment 1 US Constitution
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The implications of the amendment not only prohibits giving any particular religious denomination preference but gives all denominations or no denomination may be stopped from professing their beliefs, ideals or theories. But under no condition may one impose their beliefs, ideals or theories to any person or group simply because the other person or group disagrees with the ideals of a particular religious belief. In no way can anyone prohibit a person from stating his views on creation, evolution, God, no god etc. as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. Putting creation into science would go against this not because creation can not be taught but cannot be taught as science because it isn't. ID is no more science than creation since there has been no scientific proof as such. Such ideas can only be taught in a class on religion, but not as an attempt to proslytze in a classroom.


There is no better love between 2 people than mutual respect for each other

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Otto Tellick
Member (Idle past 786 days)
Posts: 288
From: PA, USA
Joined: 02-17-2008


Message 4 of 59 (458255)
02-28-2008 12:14 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Organicmachination
02-08-2008 11:36 AM


Organicmachination writes:

Therefore, Creationism cannot be taught in schools because it is explicitly religious.

More accurately, I think, the basic principles (to the extent that there can be agreement as to what these really are) that underly Creationism and its "liberalized" projection, Intelligent Design, cannot be presented to students as being equivalent to things like history, math, chemistry, physics or even biology in U.S. public schools, which are funded by municipal and state (and even a few federal) tax dollars, and are run by publicly elected or appointed school boards.

So, private schools (funded entirely by tuition, private donations and/or religious organizations) are not so constrained. Also, public schools can present information about Creationism and ID, in the context of studying topics like history, politics and other "social studies", and perhaps in areas like folklore, mythology, and comparative religion (e.g. a review of creation stories from all cultures) -- that is, to study them as social phenomena.

It's a comfort to me that the U.S. Constitution provides this safeguard. Of course, even in the absence of this legal imperative to keep religious indoctrination out of the public schools, it should be self-evident that anything like ID cannot be presented (let alone taught) as science. It is antithetical to science.

The pursuit of scientific inquiry is, in essence, the attempt to explain our physical perceptions. and the physical structures/processes that underlie/create those perceptions, in a manner that:


  • is coherent and consistent in its logic and general applicability
  • is based on and consistent with evidence that is observable and either replicable or confirmed by other observations
  • invites broader and more careful observations to test the predictions of a current theory
  • encourages amendment, rethinking, and novel theories as more observations are made, whenever this results in better explanations, and more accurate predictions

I have not seen a demonstration of any of these traits in the materials presented by ID. The essential basis for ID seems to be something like this: as an "ID Scientist", you must expect to reach a point in your observations where you have to conclude that no further investigation is needed or even possible, because that is a point where an "unknown designer" (e.g. Yahweh) just made it the way it is, so you have to stop there.

As I understand it, the difference between ID and Creationism is that ID does not cite a specific authority that dictates where you have to stop, whereas Creationism specifies that the authority is the Bible, as translated for Christians, and as interpreted by particular Christians.

Either way, the problem that is inherent in their approach, and that demonstrates the profound wisdom of the First Amendment, is that there cannot be any objective basis for authority to resolve any particular point of debate or doubt. If there were any such objective basis, why would there be so many distinct religious groups that hold steadily to so many different, incompatible and irreconcilable beliefs?

Edited by Otto Tellick, : reworded second bullet point


autotelic adj. (of an entity or event) having within itself the purpose of its existence or happening.

This message is a reply to:
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Serdna
Junior Member (Idle past 4274 days)
Posts: 8
From: Florida
Joined: 04-21-2008


Message 5 of 59 (463915)
04-21-2008 10:18 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Otto Tellick
02-28-2008 12:14 AM


"Also, public schools can present information about Creationism and ID, in the context of studying topics like history, politics and other "social studies", and perhaps in areas like folklore, mythology, and comparative religion (e.g. a review of creation stories from all cultures) -- that is, to study them as social phenomena." Quote From Otto Tellick

(Sorry in advance for the copy and past quoting but I am new to this forum and am still learning how to navigate)

But doesn't this completely undermine the teaching of religion to students from their lives outside of school including, but no limited to, church and biblical studies from family members or religious leaders. If you do not want to learn about God or the bible thats fine and its your right as an american to do so, however when schools are teaching evolution as absolute fact, and not theory which is what it is, and at the same introducing religion and peoples most deeply held beliefs as a superstitious social crutch which is quaint, obsolete and ultimately hindering to "human progress", it creates an environment for these students in which any religious or spiritual thought is quickly discarded by the student even if they have religious influences outside of school.

The evolutionary theory is not a religious belief, it is a scientific theory, and is therefore is given free passage in public schools curriculum even though it is essentially undermining any belief in a god or religion, and I believe that this is a breach of the first amendment. ALthough it is not banning religious practice it is forcing children to learn and accept the evolutionary theory as fact voiding any religious beliefs leaving parents with little recourse.

At the same time I do not believe that students should be required to take a course on intelligent design or any specific faith. Instead I believe that religious teachings as well as controversial scientific theories which attempt to disprove those beliefs i.e evolution, big bang etc. should be offered to students at their and their parents/guardians choice.

Basically I believe that mandating the teaching of any religion in public schools is wrong and should instead be a journey that the student embarks on of his or her will. At the same time teachings such as the evolutionary theory which attempt to undermine any religious beliefs also fall into the same category and therefore the mandating of these teachings undercut our most base ideals as americans, Freedom.


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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1153 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 6 of 59 (463918)
04-21-2008 10:37 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Serdna
04-21-2008 10:18 PM


The False Dichotomy
Serdna writes:

Sorry in advance for the copy and past quoting but I am new to this forum and am still learning how to navigate

No sweat, dude: use the "peek" button at the bottom of this message to see how I made that quote box above.

I could also have done it like this:

quote:
Something you said.

Also, when you're writing a reply, there is a couple of links on the left side that lists the HTML and dBCode options you can use in the message.

Have fun at EvC, Serdna!

Serdna writes:

...and at the same introducing religion and peoples most deeply held beliefs as a superstitious social crutch which is quaint, obsolete and ultimately hindering to "human progress"...

Be careful with this, Serdna, because most science teachers don't even mention creationism, especially at the elementary thru high school level of education.

Furthermore, you've introduced a false dichotomy that is perpetuated by religions everywhere: you don't have to choose either science or religion, unless your religion specifically dictates that you cannot believe in science. Science cannot, and does not attempt to, provide commentary on the existence or non-existence of God or anything else that is supernatural.

Even if scientists were to prove evolution from the very first molecule of RNA, through every last nucleotide substitution that happened up until 0.099976 seconds ago, we still would be unable to actually state that there is no God and that He did not create the universe. This is mostly because we don't know what God is or how he/she/it/they create(s) things.

Please, don't subscribe to the view that evolution is a grand conspiracy written by the Devil with the express intent to undermine the good Christian values of the Western World: this is simply not true. In fact, quite the opposite: ID/creationism is very much a grand conspiracy with the express intent of undermining the scientific theory of evolution.

And please, don't say this:

Serdna writes:

...schools are teaching evolution as absolute fact, and not theory which is what it is...

The word "theory" is held in very high esteem in science: there is no higher office to which a scientific concept can be promoted. Please take some time to learn about how the word "theory" is used in science, and realize that it is very different from what your parents and your minister think it is.

Please!


I'm Thylacosmilus.

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Serdna, posted 04-21-2008 10:18 PM Serdna has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Serdna, posted 04-22-2008 12:00 AM Blue Jay has responded

  
Serdna
Junior Member (Idle past 4274 days)
Posts: 8
From: Florida
Joined: 04-21-2008


Message 7 of 59 (463919)
04-22-2008 12:00 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Blue Jay
04-21-2008 10:37 PM


Re: The False Dichotomy
Bluejay writes:

Be careful with this, Serdna, because most science teachers don't even mention creationism, especially at the elementary thru high school level of education.

I never said that science teachers were the ones talking about religion and honestly the thought had not crossed my mind. In fact I was speaking more in reference to history classes, which retell the stories of the past during times that were dominated by religious beliefs. Events such as the crusades and stories of Spain's conquistadores who brutally killed and enslaved native americans during the colonization of the americas. However I in no way fault the teachers for teaching on these subjects, in fact they are I find them to be extremely interesting. Instead I was simply using it as an example of how religion in public schools is being presented to students in a negative light. Top that off with all thats happening in the world right know, specifically in reference to the middle east conflict, and its not hard to see why so many people are turning away from religion.

Bluejay writes:

Furthermore, you've introduced a false dichotomy that is perpetuated by religions everywhere: you don't have to choose either science or religion, unless your religion specifically dictates that you cannot believe in science. Science cannot, and does not attempt to, provide commentary on the existence or non-existence of God or anything else that is supernatural

Wow, I dont even know where you got the assumption that I believe science is the devil, I assume it is from your preconceived notions of people who believe in God, and I certainly hope you will think twice before jumping to such conclusions again, as that is the kind of thinking that hinders an open dialogue on controversial issues.

Of course I believe in science, I am currently taking two science classes at college and I don't cover my ears and yell whenever someone mentions evolution or says the words "millions of years ago". Science is as much a creation of God as the grass in your front yard, and we can use it to further understand the world around us as well as its Creator. However when science is aimed at disproving the existence of God, then I do believe it to a waste of the preciously short time we that we have.

quote:
In fact, quite the opposite: ID/creationism is very much a grand conspiracy with the express intent of undermining the scientific theory of evolution.

Unfortunately your timeline seems to be a bit off as the belief of a created earth has been around for slightly longer that Darwin or his Theory of Evolution. And once again I would ask that you and everyone else refrain from making such blindly ignorant statements.
As for your claims of my fearing science because its "evil intentions" you are wrong again. I do not fear science and your mental preset of thinking that simply because I disagree with the theory of evolution I must be an alarmist in a wooden house in some backwards town in the deep south who burns copies of the Da Vinci, and The Origin of Species so I can cook some beans over the fire, well frankly its a bit insulting.

Bluejay writes:

The word "theory" is held in very high esteem in science: there is no higher office to which a scientific concept can be promoted. Please take some time to learn about how the word "theory" is used in science, and realize that it is very different from what your parents and your minister think it is.

Theory as defined by Webster's Dictionary "1: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another"

Just because your using facts in your research doesn't mean that every conclusion you draw from it is also a fact. Also on a side note, my parents are not religious and the only interaction I have had with my pastor in the couple years has been running into him at target and making small talk, but by now I am no longer surprised by reading a comment like that from you. However I am still disappointed and I also hope that you would try and be as civilized when discussing a topic of such importance.


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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 111 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 8 of 59 (463926)
04-22-2008 12:37 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Serdna
04-21-2008 10:18 PM



But doesn't this completely undermine the teaching of religion to students from their lives outside of school including, but no limited to, church and biblical studies from family members or religious leaders.

Teaching that the Earth is round also contradicts the religious teachings of anyone who believes the Earth is actually flat. Your argument means that we can't teach anything, for fear it might contradict some religious belief.

Science should be taught in science classrooms. Nothing else belongs there, and nothing should be left out. Ignorance is not an answer to anything.

If you do not want to learn about God or the bible thats fine and its your right as an american to do so, however when schools are teaching evolution as absolute fact, and not theory which is what it is

That evolution occurs is an observed fact. The Theory of Evolution is the model used to describe the mechanism by which evolution happens - that is, genetic mutations and genetic drift guided by natural selection.

Its the same as gravity. That gravity exists is an observed fact. The Theory of Gravity is the model we use to explain the mechanism by which gravity functions.

and at the same introducing religion and peoples most deeply held beliefs as a superstitious social crutch which is quaint, obsolete and ultimately hindering to "human progress", it creates an environment for these students in which any religious or spiritual thought is quickly discarded by the student even if they have religious influences outside of school.

Any teacher who actually says such a thing is out of line, even if I'd agree with his sentiment. but where in any school's curriculum is this taught?

Schools teach the Theory of Evolution. They don't make comments regarding religion - they aren't allowed to talk about religion in school, in a positive or negative way. Thats the whole establishment clause.

If a scientific theory contradicts a religious belief, that doesn't mean we have to stop teaching it. Hell, Young Earth Creationism alone would require us to stop teaching all of geology, biology, chemistry, astronomy, and physics to avoid contradicting its beliefs. There's not a whole lot left.

Basically I believe that mandating the teaching of any religion in public schools is wrong and should instead be a journey that the student embarks on of his or her will. At the same time teachings such as the evolutionary theory which attempt to undermine any religious beliefs also fall into the same category and therefore the mandating of these teachings undercut our most base ideals as americans, Freedom.

In other words, you choose ignorance.

We did that for a few thousand years. It didn't work so well.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Serdna, posted 04-21-2008 10:18 PM Serdna has not yet responded

  
Taz
Member (Idle past 1747 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 9 of 59 (463927)
04-22-2008 12:41 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Serdna
04-22-2008 12:00 AM


Re: The False Dichotomy
Serdna writes:

Theory as defined by Webster's Dictionary "1: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another"


I'm curious, Serdna, just what kind of science background do you have? When I say background in science, I didn't mean the ability to look up words in the dictionary and then proclaim yourself to be a biologist.

By the way, run-on sentences are hard to read. Perhaps you'd like to ask someone else to proof read your messages before posting? It makes you look less like a stereotypical christian.


I'm trying to see things your way, but I can't put my head that far up my ass.

This message is a reply to:
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Taz
Member (Idle past 1747 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 10 of 59 (463929)
04-22-2008 12:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Organicmachination
02-08-2008 11:36 AM


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;...

This message is more of a preemptive strike against creationists who decide to quibble at the words. I have seen some creationists argue that the First Amendment uses the word "Congress", which literally means the second branch in the federal government, instead of public institutions. This means that the First Amendment doesn't really apply to the the state level, which by the way is where public education belongs.

The preemptive strike is this. Look up the 14th Amendment and Selective Incorporation before you make yourself look like an idiot.

Edited by Taz, : No reason given.


I'm trying to see things your way, but I can't put my head that far up my ass.

This message is a reply to:
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1153 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 11 of 59 (463931)
04-22-2008 1:11 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Serdna
04-22-2008 12:00 AM


Re: The False Dichotomy
Serdna writes:

I assume it is from your preconceived notions of people who believe in God, and I certainly hope you will think twice before jumping to such conclusions again.

I'm going to enjoy saying this more than I've ever said anything before: I'm Christian. I believe in God and Jesus and the Atonement and spirits and angels and all that kooky stuff, too! And, I believe it all on faith! I have a lot of preconceived notions about all those crazy people who believe in God! :P

Okay, seriously now. I apologize if my message sounded a little harsh to you: I honestly thought I was being objective and sensitive. I'll try to do better next time.

Serdna writes:

I never said that science teachers were the ones talking about religion and honestly the thought had not crossed my mind. In fact I was speaking more in reference to history classes, which retell the stories of the past during times that were dominated by religious beliefs.

Ah, I get it now. Thanks for the clarification. I don't think it really changes much, though: history teachers teach history just as science teachers teach science. Any deviation from that (such as trying to praise Christianity for the good it does) would be a violation of the First Ammendment. Further, I don't think I've ever heard any religion cast in a bad light except by simple exposition of the damning facts (except my freshman year of highschool, when my mother homeschooled me with Christian textbooks--those were very biased against Taoism, Buddhism and Islam). I go to school at a religious institution (BYU--but not for much longer!), and my history classes a few years back still taught about the Crusades, the Middle East conflicts throughout history and the Celtic ritual stuff too. Essentially, they taught everything for which we have evidence. They still managed to feed our "testimonies" of our religion and Jesus and stuff, though. Maybe you'd like lectures here? Maybe not if you're not Mormon.

Serdna writes:

Instead I was simply using it as an example of how religion in public schools is being presented to students in a negative light.

History classes generally teach the facts (or the closest things they have to them). If the facts make you (generic "you", not Serdna "you") look bad, maybe you should face the possibility that you're the reason the facts are bad. There can be no mistaking that religion has been the impetus (or at least, the excuse) behind a lot of frighteningly bad things in the past, and, the way I see it, teaching that this is not the case would be a gross violation of the First Ammendment. "Balance" should never be the goal in any education curriculum, especially when your subject is an explanation of the facts.

Serdna writes:

I dont even know where you got the assumption that I believe science is the devil

I don't know where you got the idea that I got that idea. :P Again, sorry if I screwed up our first contact.

Serdna writes:

Unfortunately your timeline seems to be a bit off as the belief of a created earth has been around for slightly longer that Darwin or his Theory of Evolution

It isn't, and never was, an issue of timing. Here are some ID/creationist websites. And here is Wikipedia's article on the Wedge Strategy. Read their articles, essays and information, and you'll see that everything they do is geared toward attacking, subverting, undermining and, ultimately, destroying the theories/concepts of evolution, naturalism, materialism, etc. In fact, that is their own stated purpose. That, I believe, fully embodies the definition of a conspiracy. To compare, find me scientific publications that attack the ideas of ID and/or creationism: they are not very common, because science is not designed as a vehicle for combating or subverting creationism/ID: it is not an anti-religion movement, but an honest study of the physical universe around us.

I, personally, do not (and will never) support the promotion of a conspiracy against anything in public education.

Serdna writes:

Theory as defined by Webster's Dictionary "1: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another"

Here are all the definitions provided by Answers.com:

quote:
1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.
2. The branch of a science or art consisting of its explanatory statements, accepted principles, and methods of analysis, as opposed to practice: a fine musician who had never studied theory.
3. A set of theorems that constitute a systematic view of a branch of mathematics.
4. Abstract reasoning; speculation: a decision based on experience rather than theory.
5. A belief or principle that guides action or assists comprehension or judgment: staked out the house on the theory that criminals usually return to the scene of the crime.
6. An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.

Science generally uses part of the first definition, thus: "A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena which has been repeatedly tested and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena." Basically, theories are verified by their abilities to pass repeated testing and by their abilities to successfully predict solutions to problems or answers to questions. Scientists believe them because they work very well.

And, if they work very well (and continue to do so), can you think of any reason for us to even consider that they're not accurate?


I'm Thylacosmilus.

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Serdna, posted 04-22-2008 12:00 AM Serdna has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16055
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 12 of 59 (463933)
04-22-2008 2:33 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Serdna
04-21-2008 10:18 PM


What you are demanding is that schools should not be allowed to teach any subject which comes into conflict with ANY religion.

However that is not what First Amendment law says. Actions which advance or detract from religion are permissable provided they serve a valid secular purpose. Science classes get a pass so long as they stick to science - because science education is considered a valid secular purpose.


This message is a reply to:
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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 328 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 13 of 59 (463934)
04-22-2008 2:47 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Serdna
04-22-2008 12:00 AM


Re: The False Dichotomy
Serdna writes:

quote:
However when science is aimed at disproving the existence of God

Just a parboiled second there.

Can you give a single example of such? You previously wrote in Message 5:

teachings such as the evolutionary theory which attempt to undermine any religious beliefs

But why? Why does evolution "undermine religious beliefs"? Not even the Catholic church has a problem with evolution. I'm not saying you have to be Catholic, but if the largest Christian denomination doesn't have a problem with evolution, how can it be said to "undermine religious beliefs"?

If we're going to concern ourselves with any information that might possibly contradict a religious opinion anywhere, then we might as well chuck the entire educational system. There are those who insist the earth is flat. We aren't going to abandon what we have learned of solar system dynamics just to coddle them, are we?

Like it or not, evolution is a fact. It really is. That's why we have a theory of it. You cannot have a theory without a fact to base it upon. That is why it is called the theory OF evolution. You have the fact of evolution first and then you develop a theory to explain the fact.

When I take a ball that is in my hand and let it go, it falls to the ground. Since we haven't mastered that telepathy thing just yet, we have to use words to describe it. The word we happen to have chosen for the force that pulls the ball down to the ground is "gravity."

Thus, we have the fact of gravity.

It is only through experimentation and inquiry that we come up with gravitational theory and find F = Gm1m2/r2.

The same thing with evolution. When we observe populations of organism over time, they change. Since we haven't mastered that telepathy thing just yet, we have to use words to describe it. The word we happen to have chosen for the process by which the population changed is "evolution."

Thus, we have the fact of evolution.

It is only through experimentation and inquiry that we come up with evolutionary theory and find things like natural selection, neutral drift, the chromosome, etc.

In fact, there are various experiments you can run in a decent high school biology lab that will show evolution happening right in front of your eyes.

Why on earth would we want to hide this from people?

And why would it possibly "undermine religious beliefs"?

quote:
Just because your using facts in your research doesn't mean that every conclusion you draw from it is also a fact.

Of course not. That's why you're continually testing the theory. But notice: You have to start with a fact. You have to analyse the FACT of evolution in order to develop a theory OF it.

You also mentioned in Message 5 that evolution was "controversial." Well, according to whom? And why do we care what the people who find it controversial think? Are they in any position to have anything of use to say about it? Just because somebody has an opinion doesn't mean it is a valid opinion with any sort of justification behind it.

Tell ya what. How about this for a way to determine what the curriculum is:

Every year, we shall take a survey of the scientific literature and whatever percentage of the literature advocates whatever conclusion, that's the amount of time we'll spend on it in class. Thus, if 70% of the articles conclude evolution and 30% conclude creationism (even if it's been tarted up as "ID"), then we'll split the class time 70/30.

And if we find that not one paper concludes creationism/ID, is that not evidence that there is no "controversy"? This persistent claim that we should "teach the controversy" assumes that there is evidence against evolution.

There might be, but we haven't found any yet. And since we haven't found any, why would we want to lie to people and say that there is "controversy"?


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Serdna, posted 04-22-2008 12:00 AM Serdna has not yet responded

  
Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2381
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 14 of 59 (463938)
04-22-2008 7:56 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Serdna
04-22-2008 12:00 AM


Re: The False Dichotomy
Hello Serdna and welcome to EvC.

You already have a fair amount to respond to, so I'll restrict myself to just one question.

Serdna writes:

In fact I was speaking more in reference to history classes, which retell the stories of the past during times that were dominated by religious beliefs. Events such as the crusades and stories of Spain's conquistadores who brutally killed and enslaved native americans during the colonization of the americas. However I in no way fault the teachers for teaching on these subjects, in fact they are I find them to be extremely interesting. Instead I was simply using it as an example of how religion in public schools is being presented to students in a negative light.

When the Spanish first met the Aztecs, they discovered one of the most brutal religions the world has ever known, at the bloody height of its power. Human sacrifice was carried out on a scale that is almost unimaginable.

The Spanish responded to this by forcibly converting them to Christianity at the point of the sword, killing thousands, destroying entire cultures (albeit brutal ones) and justifying all of this, in part, by invoking the name of Jesus.

Tell me Serdna, how do you propose we tell this story in such a way that it doesn't make religion look bad?

It is not the fault of history teachers that these events cast religion in an unflattering light. I am no expert on US constitutional law, but I don't think that the 1st amendment forbids the teaching of facts that make religion look bad. I think that you are attempting to cast the 1st amendment net too wide here when you seek to invoke it in reference to secular education that you happen to feel is antithetical to your faith.


Mutate and Survive

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Serdna, posted 04-22-2008 12:00 AM Serdna has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 111 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 15 of 59 (463962)
04-22-2008 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Serdna
04-22-2008 12:00 AM


Re: The False Dichotomy
I never said that science teachers were the ones talking about religion and honestly the thought had not crossed my mind. In fact I was speaking more in reference to history classes, which retell the stories of the past during times that were dominated by religious beliefs. Events such as the crusades and stories of Spain's conquistadores who brutally killed and enslaved native americans during the colonization of the americas. However I in no way fault the teachers for teaching on these subjects, in fact they are I find them to be extremely interesting. Instead I was simply using it as an example of how religion in public schools is being presented to students in a negative light. Top that off with all thats happening in the world right know, specifically in reference to the middle east conflict, and its not hard to see why so many people are turning away from religion.

Your reaction would be appropriate if the "negative light" was due to a historically inaccurate bias. It's not. Religiously-motivated atrocities like the Crusades, the subjugation (and behavior) of the Aztecs, the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, and others all happened. The teachers are not presenting religion in a negative light, religion is presentig itself in a negative light.

Your position seems to be that we should gloss over or sugar-coat historical facts (or scientific facts) that might offend a person's religious beliefs. But the cold truth is that objective facts will often contradict subjective beliefs, and giving those subjective beliefs some sort of free pass is identical to letting children believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy. If a belief is contradicted by objective evidence, purposefully avoiding the subject does nothing mroe than promote ignorance.

Wow, I dont even know where you got the assumption that I believe science is the devil, I assume it is from your preconceived notions of people who believe in God, and I certainly hope you will think twice before jumping to such conclusions again, as that is the kind of thinking that hinders an open dialogue on controversial issues.

That's not what Bluejay said. He said that you're presenting a false dilemma - the choice between science and religion is not a binary one. You can choose both, as many religious people do. The Catholic Church as a whole has accepted evolution as factually accurate over the Biblical Creation myth; surely if the Catholic Church can accept both science and religion, the two cannot be mutually exclusive.

Of course I believe in science, I am currently taking two science classes at college and I don't cover my ears and yell whenever someone mentions evolution or says the words "millions of years ago". Science is as much a creation of God as the grass in your front yard, and we can use it to further understand the world around us as well as its Creator. However when science is aimed at disproving the existence of God, then I do believe it to a waste of the preciously short time we that we have.

Science is aimed at exactly one target: modeling the observable Unvierse in the most accurate way possible. Science does not aim to disprove any deity. Science makes no statements whatsoever on unfalisfiable claims like the existence of god - until such time as we can actually make a meaningful test to show whether god exists or not, his existence is irrelevant to science.

On the other hand, we can disprove literal interpretations of the Bible. But again, that's not the target. The point is to model the observable Universe in the msot accurate way possible. If the most accurate model to date contradicts Young Earth Creationism, science is still not trying to disprove god; it's a side effect of YOung Earth Creationism having no connection to facts or reality. Every time objective evidence contraditcs traditional subjective beliefs you can't say "zomg, science is at war with religion!"

Stoneage mythology has a tendencey to be wrong in light of objective evidence. In that way, Creationism is absolutely no different from any other religious creation myth.

Unfortunately your timeline seems to be a bit off as the belief of a created earth has been around for slightly longer that Darwin or his Theory of Evolution. And once again I would ask that you and everyone else refrain from making such blindly ignorant statements.
As for your claims of my fearing science because its "evil intentions" you are wrong again. I do not fear science and your mental preset of thinking that simply because I disagree with the theory of evolution I must be an alarmist in a wooden house in some backwards town in the deep south who burns copies of the Da Vinci, and The Origin of Species so I can cook some beans over the fire, well frankly its a bit insulting.

And your ignorance of the topic is laughable. Intelligent Design refers not to the concept of a potential designer, but to the modern attempts of Creationists to wriggle their way into public schools in the way of the recent Dover case. Modern ID is a conspiracy to discount science.

As for the reaction you're receiving, it is in very large part due to the vast majority of Creationists we see here who know nothing about evolution, yet think they can prove it wrong anyway. The other part is your silly "we shouldn't teach evolution becasue it might offend religious people" nonsense. Again, if we decline to teach any scientific theory that contradicts Creationist beliefs, we'll have to throw out all of biology, geology, astronomy, radiology, and other fields. There won't be a whole lot left of science class to teach.

Choosing ignorance for fear of offending the religious pushes human development back a few hundred years.

Theory as defined by Webster's Dictionary "1: the analysis of a set of facts in their relation to one another"

Scientific definitions are very different and more specific than common-use definitions. A scientific theory is a model of an observed process that has been tested rigorously and has proven to be highly accurate. That's a lot different from your definition, which is more along the lines of "I have a theory" common-usage.

Just because your using facts in your research doesn't mean that every conclusion you draw from it is also a fact.

Certainly not. But when a process has been observed, directly, to happen, and the model of that process makes very accurate preditions and is never contradicted by evidence, you can treat it as such. It's entirely possible that we are figments of someone else's imagination, or that we exist inside the Matrix - but we continue to treat our existence in the real world as factual because that model is highly accurate by any test we can create. The possibility of the Earth being young, or evolution being false, is very similar to the possibility of you and I being in the Matrix, or being surrounded by intangible invisible pink unicorns.

Also on a side note, my parents are not religious and the only interaction I have had with my pastor in the couple years has been running into him at target and making small talk, but by now I am no longer surprised by reading a comment like that from you. However I am still disappointed and I also hope that you would try and be as civilized when discussing a topic of such importance.

Irrelevant. The argument is all that matters. Your arguments are weak. Try using more evidence and logic and less martyr complex and emotion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Serdna, posted 04-22-2008 12:00 AM Serdna has responded

Replies to this message:
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