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Author Topic:   Key points of Evolution
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 103 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 136 of 356 (465075)
05-02-2008 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by Wumpini
05-02-2008 5:10 PM


Re: Propaganda and Evolution in Schools
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how evolution could be taught in our public schools in a manner that does not offend almost half of the population that believes in literal creation, and over 90% of the population that believes in God?

I don't think it's possible, at all, to teach evolution in a way that doesn't offend those who believe in literal Creation as posed in the Bible. The percentage of people is frankly irrelevant - again, popularity has no bearing on accuracy, particularly when a large percentage of the population lacks any sort of education on the topic beyond the horrendously distorted version displayed on TV. I cringe every time I think of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or when I remember all of the evolution-based episodes of Star Trek that portrayed evoution in a way only a total idiot could come up with (obviously I'm not a fan of Star Trek's writers ;) ).

But "offensiveness" is not always something that needs to be considered.

Remember, the exact same problem of faith vs science has plagued us before. The majority used to believe, with Biblical support, that the Earth was flat, and that the sky held a "firmament" that seperated the "waters above" from the "waters below." They believed this firmament was basically a dome that the Sun and Moon traversed, and the stars were little lights hung in its substance.

Those people were demonstrably wrong. There are still people who believe in a flat Earth. Should we change the way we teach geology to avoid offending a group with facts? Honestly, any group that takes offense to reality has serious problems.

People still beleive that the Earth is 6,000-10,000 years old, even though this is demonstrably wrong. Every observable fact about the Earth contradicts such an idea, to such a degree that ages younger than millions of years for the Earth have not been seriously considered by scientists (including devoutly religious ones) in centuries. That the Earth is old is a fact, and we cannot seriously alter the way geology is taught to gloss over that fact without basically tossing all of geology in the waste bin.

For these and other issues, the choice is either (offend some people when religious beliefs come into conflict with scientific models) or (ignorance). To paraphrase a southern politician whose name escapes me, "we've tried ignornace, and that didn't work."

There really isn't a viable compromise. If you tell students "this is the scientific model, but god may have just made it look this way to test us, and the Bible could be true," then you'll not only still offend a large group of people who are not Christian (or who are not Cristian literalists, etc), but you'll also be introducing a very non-scientific idea into science classrooms. You could put "disclaimers" on biology/geology/chemistry/astronomy/physics/history textbooks to cover all of the fields that could contradict Biblical beliefs and bring up the tired old argument that "evolution is just a theory, not a fact," but you'd not only be sabotaging the majority of the curriculum, but also be lying. The definition of the word "theory" is different for scientific theories than it is in common usage. Theories are models of an observed process - they are a description of observed facts, backed up with significant amounts of supporting evidence and verified predictions. The Theory of Gravity is "just a theory," for example.

What possible reason could we have for intentionally leaving our children ignorant? Their parents might be offended because the observable world contradicts their subjective beliefs? How are we to have biologists if we no longer teach the actual Theory of Evolution in schools? How can we have geologists if we throw geology class out the window to avoid offending Young Earth Creationists?

Just stick to teaching science in science class. What if parents want to tell their children, at home, that "we believe something different. We trust god, even if god's word contradicts what your teacher says. But it's still important for you to learn what science says, because ignorance is never the answer." wouldn't that solve the problem? Why can't religion remain a personal and family matter, like it's supposed to be, rather than the State needing to dance around the differing beliefs of 300,000,000 people to avoid offending any of them?

It's completely understandable that people don't like having their worldviews and deeply held beliefs challenged. My de-conversion from Christianity was not fun, and still causes me headaches with my family and even at work. It's not even comfortable for children to learn that Santa Claus isn't real.

But hiding your head in the sand, covering your ears so that you just don't ever learn the scientific models does nothing more than promote ignorance. Strong faith will survive questioning, even if it doesn't necessarily gain much ground on debate message boards ;)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by Wumpini, posted 05-02-2008 5:10 PM Wumpini has responded

Replies to this message:
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Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4212 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 137 of 356 (465076)
05-02-2008 5:58 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by teen4christ
05-02-2008 4:08 PM


God has been intervening in the world since the beginning
teen4christ says:

Wumpini, your image of God is extremely limited. You imagine God to be this incompetent engineer that has to constantly jury rig His creation to keep things running. Do you not see how some of us might have a problem with your limited view of God?

I really do not understand your view of God. Your name is teen4christ, so that would give me the impression that you profess to be a Christian. If that is so, what part of God's word do you believe?

If you believe any of God's word then you will understand that He has been involved in his creation since the beginning of time. Even if you discard the creation event as myth, and the flood as myth, sooner or later, if you believe in God, you have to believe in something that He has revealed to us.

Did God take on human form, die on a cross, and then rise from the dead? There has been no greater intervention in God's creation then that event. And if you do not believe in that event then any faith that you have is in vain. Read 1 Cor 15.

If God created the universe and all the laws of nature that govern the behavior of everything, and if He is the ultimate engineer of all these things, then everything that he created should be sufficient to explain everything that we observe.

Whose opinion is that? Yours or God's? Are the natural laws sufficient to explain all the miracles of the Bible, or do you deny all the miracles of the Bible including the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

On the other hand, if God has to get involved and use His supernatural powers to fix up some things or influence our lives, then He is not perfect.

God is perfect! We are not perfect, and we are not God. So, if He decides to get involved in anything who are we to judge Him.

You have to understand that what we are discussing is why this whole controversy exists. That is why this forum exists. Because those who believe in God, and believe He has done what is revealed in His word, know that all the times that God has exhibited his power cannot be explained through the natural laws that are in existence today. And, I am not talking only about the creation event, and the flood. There are many, many, many supernatural events described in the Bible that cannot be explained in a science classroom.


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

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Rahvin
Member (Idle past 103 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 138 of 356 (465077)
05-02-2008 6:14 PM
Reply to: Message 137 by Wumpini
05-02-2008 5:58 PM


Re: God has been intervening in the world since the beginning
Whose opinion is that? Yours or God's?

The best response that could possibly be given to you, Wumpini, is this:

"Man wrote the Bible. God wrote the rocks."

I'd cite the quote, but the name escapes me. I'm sure someone else here knows.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 137 by Wumpini, posted 05-02-2008 5:58 PM Wumpini has not yet responded

Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4212 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 139 of 356 (465078)
05-02-2008 6:26 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by New Cat's Eye
05-02-2008 9:52 AM


Re:With God all things are possible
CS says:

Like what? The only thing I can think of is to change the Bible or change the evidence that the ToE relies on.

I think you know I am not going to change the Bible.

As for the evidence related to the ToE, I am not sure I have a good understanding of exactly what that involves. I am trying to study some on it. I assume your talking about age of the earth, fossils, vestigal organs, transitional forms, to name a few. Obviously, we cannot change the evidence, but we can analyze and consider whether it actually supports the theory that is being tested.

I have some ideas that I am working around in my mind, but until I get a better handle on it, I think I will keep quiet. Otherwise, it will take forever to respond to the posts.


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

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Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4212 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 140 of 356 (465079)
05-02-2008 7:29 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by Rahvin
05-02-2008 12:43 PM


Re: Where there is time, there is always hope
Rahvin says:

First, I'd like to apologize to you, Wumpini.

Apology accepted.

And yet that simple phrase means ... It's an intellectual dead-end.

I have actually thought it over, and I like this phrase better: "God said it, and that settles it." It actually makes no difference whether I believe it!

By the way, you seem to be overusing that phrase intellectual dead-end. You should try some variety.

He suggests that evolution predicts we should find such things as a Bull-Frog: a frog with the head of a bull.

You have to admit that it is kind of funny though. lol.

I'm confused. In one sentence you say you don't want religion in the science classroom, and in the very next sentence you say that scientists shouldn't "annoy" everyone by denying the existence of the supernatural. Which is it? Is the supernatural to be included in science, or not?

I think you saw my other post where I address this issue.

No. I do not think that the supernatural can be taught as science. I don't think it can be included in any science theories or methods or whatever you call them. However, most of those people in the science classroom believe in God (according to the statistics I have researched). And as far as I know, it is not the classroom that is sacred, only the theories. It is not like it is a science temple or anything. So, there is no reason to annoy a bunch of people who believe in God, by trying to imply that their beliefs are not important.

I don't know the answer to the problem. That is the whole purpose of this thread. Can evolution be taught in a way that is Christian or Theistic friendly? You can't include it in the science, but I think you can at least be friendly.

Don't make the common Creationist mistake of assuming that, becasue ("god") is not mentioned in scientific models or textbooks that science specifically denies the existence of ("god").

I have no idea what they teach in science classrooms. However, it may be good to make sure the students understand this statement. All of these remarks are focused towards our public school system, and not the universities. People are required by law to attend those schools.

This thread is in the Science section, and so there is a greater focus on objective evidence. Religious perspectives like Creationism tend to do poorly here, becasue they lack supporting evidence outside of religious texts.

I think this thread is in the Social and Religious Issues section. It may be that focusing on scientific objectivism is out of order.

"Nawuni ti gom"


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by Rahvin, posted 05-02-2008 12:43 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4212 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 141 of 356 (465080)
05-02-2008 7:53 PM
Reply to: Message 136 by Rahvin
05-02-2008 5:56 PM


That is not very friendly
Rahvin says:

Just stick to teaching science in science class. What if parents want to tell their children, at home, that "we believe something different. We trust god, even if god's word contradicts what your teacher says. But it's still important for you to learn what science says, because ignorance is never the answer." wouldn't that solve the problem?

Sometimes I wonder if you read what you write. Do you really think this would solve the problem?

You have to remember even though you think these people are ignorant, they are convinced that what they believe is true. They are convinced that you are wrong! So they cannot tell their children that you are right, and that they are ignorant. Do you see the dilemma?

You have to admit that objectively there is a possibility that they are right and you are wrong. However small a percentage you would like to assign to that possibility.

Here is the question. Is it possible to teach evolution to people that believe in God in a friendly manner?

I don't know how, but I think it is possible.

Edited by Wumpini, : spelling


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

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Replies to this message:
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molbiogirl
Member (Idle past 1090 days)
Posts: 1909
From: MO
Joined: 06-06-2007


Message 142 of 356 (465082)
05-02-2008 7:59 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by Wumpini
05-02-2008 7:53 PM


Re: That is not very friendly
Here is the question. Is is possible to teach evolution to people that believe in God in a friendly manner?

I would like to refer you to Archer's response in Message 6.

No one has to present the theory of plate tectonics in a Hindu-friendly manner or the theory of the expanding universe in a Buddhist-friendly manner. The faith of so many professing Christians, though, seems to be made of more fragile stuff.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Wumpini, posted 05-02-2008 7:53 PM Wumpini has not yet responded

RAZD
Member
Posts: 20621
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 143 of 356 (465085)
05-02-2008 8:43 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by Wumpini
05-02-2008 7:53 PM


Define friendly
Is it possible to teach evolution to people that believe in God in a friendly manner?

Judging from the results of that poll you referred to:

quote:
Scientists almost unanimously accept Darwinian evolution over millions of years as the source of human origins. But 40% of biologists, mathematicians, physicians, and astronomers include God in the process.

The answer would be yes, but that some religious people will reject it anyway. Perhaps it is some religious people who are not friendly to science that are the problem, and not the science attitude to religion.

Remember it is not science that is attacking religion, not going into churches and synagogues and mosques, but religious people trying to bring their faith into science class.

Who has caused the problem?

Enjoy.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Deftil
Member (Idle past 2904 days)
Posts: 128
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 04-19-2008


Message 144 of 356 (465101)
05-03-2008 1:28 AM
Reply to: Message 135 by Blue Jay
05-02-2008 5:40 PM


Re: Propaganda and Evolution in Schools
More nit-picking, perhaps, but the numbers have changed since then. According to the 2007 Gallup Poll, atheistic evolutionists are up to 14%. In fact, 9% is the low point over the past decade.

woohoo! go america!

we're gettin thur!

Edited by Deftil, : No reason given.


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Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4212 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 145 of 356 (465114)
05-03-2008 6:15 AM
Reply to: Message 143 by RAZD
05-02-2008 8:43 PM


Re: Define friendly
The definition of friendly.

I looked up some definitions and here are some that I like and think would apply.

1. Not antagonistic or hostile.
2. Favorably disposed.
3. Having the temper and disposition of a friend.
4. Promoting the good of any person.
5. Behaving as though allied in a struggle or cause.
6. Acting as one who sympathizes with a group, cause or movement.

Why did I bring up the question?

The reason I brought up the concept of friendly is because that is how this entire thread began. It was based upon a book that claimed it was possible to teach evolution in a Christian friendly manner.

Rhazd says:

The answer would be yes, but that some religious people will reject it anyway. Perhaps it is some religious people who are not friendly to science that are the problem, and not the science attitude to religion.

I believe there are those on both sides that are not friendly to the other side. Both sides claim to be right, and become unfriendly when they are challenged. I do not see the sides as science in general and religion in general. Scientists claim to have the truth because they have observed it as fact. Religious people claim to have the truth because it has been revealed to them so based upon their faith it is fact. You cannot have two contradictory explanations for the same event and both of them be factual.

Based upon some of the exchanges I have seen and experienced on this forum, it is possible for either group to be friendly or unfriendly.

I would think that it is more the religious people's rejection of evolution that is the problem rather than a science problem. I don't know if you saw the statistics but in 1991 - 47% of the population believed in creation within 10,000 years. If you get down into the Bible Belt you can probably increase that number significantly. With those large numbers, it would be difficult for a science teacher to get along very well in a community where most of the parents did not want their children taught that evolution is a fact. I think this would explain why most of the science teachers in Arkansas were not teaching evolution as late as last year. I think this also explains the significant exodus of students to home schooling and private schools.

Remember it is not science that is attacking religion, not going into churches and synagogues and mosques, but religious people trying to bring their faith into science class.

We must remember also that public school is mandatory in the United States. You must send your children to a public, private, or home school. I would think many of the people that this would apply to would not be qualified to home school their children, and could not afford a private school. So they are being forced by the government to go into these science classes. I am not trying to defend anyone. I am only stating a fact.

So in effect, the government is forcing families to send their children to science classrooms that teach as fact something that contradicts a devout religious belief. Children expect those things which are taught to them to be true. It is at an early age that many people establish the faith that they will maintain for the remainder of their life. Many of the people that possess this faith would place much more value upon it, then they do upon any earthly knowledge. Therefore, the government is in effect placing these children in a position where their faith is being challenged, and this deeply concerns the parents. I do not believe that this is the government's intention. But, that is the effect it is having upon many of these young people.

Who has caused the problem?

I don't know. That is an interesting question. I would not know where to put the blame.

What is the solution?

I would think Rahvin was on the right track for the solution. He just wasn't very friendly about it. Since there are many religious beliefs and supposedly only one fact being taught in science (At least until that fact is disproved, and makes way for another fact.) parents need to deal with the situation at home. They are the only ones who could completely understand what is being taught to their children that contradicts their religious beliefs. However, it would be beneficial if the government, schools, scientists, and others involved in the process developed a system to help parents deal with the problem.

There could be education that explains how scientists claim their theories as fact because this is what has been observed in nature. I do not believe most people understand this concept. Parents need to understand that these theories have been tested and proven to be true without any consideration that a supernatural force could have ever taken place. Parents need to be taught to understand that their religious beliefs could be true, but they cannot be proven by science (creation could be true, even if many people on this forum believes it is a joke). Scientists could explain to parents and their children that if their religious beliefs contradict science and that if their beliefs could be proven through objective evidence, then the scientific theory would have to be changed.

For example, I will try some logic again.

premise - If your belief that God is real is true.

premise - If your belief that God cannot lie is true.

premise - If the Bible is literal and inerrant.

conclusion - Then the scientific theories of evolution and origins are incorrect.

If this logical argument could be explained to the public, then I think it would go a long way towards solving the problem. The attitude of some scientists may prevent them from having a desire to communicate this concept in a friendly manner. The attitude seems to be that science has proven that all these old fashioned mythical religious beliefs are false. Has science really done that? I don't believe so, and many on this forum have stated that the supernatural cannot be proven to be false. However, many times that idea does not come across in the communication process.

Let me summarize my solution.

Parents and their children need to be taught that nothing is being taught in government schools that is intended to challenge the faith of the students.

Parents and their children need to be taught that their religious beliefs could be completely factual and true, however science deals with the natural world and has no possible way to deal with anything that cannot be observed and tested.

Parents and their children need to be taught that those things taught as science in school will be what is observed even if it contradicts their religious beliefs.

Finally, parents and their children need to understand that if their religious beliefs could be proven to be true, and if their beliefs contradict science, then it would prove that the scientific theory is incorrect, and it would have to be changed. (This is the communication that would make or break the solution.)

If this could be done in a friendly manner, then I believe it would go a long way toward solving the problem.

Edited by Wumpini, : changed wording


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

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 Message 143 by RAZD, posted 05-02-2008 8:43 PM RAZD has responded

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Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4212 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 146 of 356 (465115)
05-03-2008 7:18 AM
Reply to: Message 144 by Deftil
05-03-2008 1:28 AM


2007 Gallup Poll Evolution Statistics
Defil says:

More nit-picking, perhaps, but the numbers have changed since then. According to the 2007 Gallup Poll, atheistic evolutionists are up to 14%. In fact, 9% is the low point over the past decade.

I am not sure that we can compare these polls since there were different questions that were asked. All of the statistics that have been used up to now had similar questions. Maybe I am looking at the wrong Poll because I do not even see the 14% statistic that you are talking about. Give me a link if you have one. The poll I am using for this post is a June 2007 Gallup Poll regarding evolution.

Here is a link to the 2007 poll:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/2007-06-07-evolution-poll-results_n.htm

It is very difficult to conclude on these numbers. Here are some interesting points that I find though. Maybe your observations are better than mine.

The percentage of people that believe in literal creation seems to be have increased significantly from 1991. Like I said before the questions are different, so it is like comparing oranges and tangerines.

39% of Americans say that creation in the last 10,000 years is definitely true, while only 18% say that evolution is definitely true. That leaves 43% of Americans who are not certain of what they believe. I guess that is where all the propaganda is targeted towards.

66% of Americans or two thirds say that creation in the last 10,000 years is definitely or probably true.

Only 15% of the population say that creation in the last 10,000 years is definitely false. That means 85% of the population is not convinced that literal creation is false.

I believe that these numbers give us a clear indication of the division in the American population on this subject. The scientific world is teaching what they have observed and tested as true, and that disagrees with what most of the American population believes to be true. Therein lies the problem.

Edited by Wumpini, : No reason given.


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

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bluegenes
Member (Idle past 925 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 147 of 356 (465116)
05-03-2008 8:33 AM
Reply to: Message 146 by Wumpini
05-03-2008 7:18 AM


Re: 2007 Gallup Poll Evolution Statistics
Wumpini writes:

I believe that these numbers give us a clear indication of the division in the American population on this subject.

Actually, they seem to indicate that many Americans don't even understand the questions.

A 53% majority believe that the following is definitely or probably true:

quote:

A. Evolution, that is, the idea that human beings developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life.

A 66% majority believe that the following is definitely or probably true:

quote:

B. Creationism, that is, the idea that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.

There's something wrong there! A considerable number of Americans seem to be able to believe two completely contradictory things at the same time. Embarrassingly for America, it appears that about 19% of its population must be either mad or complete idiots.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by Wumpini, posted 05-03-2008 7:18 AM Wumpini has responded

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lyx2no
Member (Idle past 3164 days)
Posts: 1277
From: A vast, undifferentiated plane.
Joined: 02-28-2008


Message 148 of 356 (465122)
05-03-2008 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 145 by Wumpini
05-03-2008 6:15 AM


Define Patronizing
I, an atheist, have subjected myself to Bible study classes. My mum, a Catholic, is often surprised that I know more about the Bible than she does. If she and I were tested on Bible knowledge I'd be all up in her grill with my superior test results. That does not mean, however, that I believe it to be a factual document.

There is no reason the ToE can not be studied and learned in the same way by Creationists. After all, government schools only require that students know what the ToE states, not that they prescribe to it. Should all the test questions be preceded with the phrase “According to the ToE…”? How tedious would that be? As Rahvin said, deal with it at home.

Evolutionist aren’t antagonistic toward Creationist any more than craftsmen are agonistic toward patrons continually asking stupid pseudo-questions in an authoritative manner. And yes, there are stupid pseudo-questions.

5 & 6 on your list would be patronizing if you ask me.

Let me summarize my solution.

Parents and their children need to be taught that nothing is being taught in government schools that is intended to challenge the faith of the students.

Parents and their children need to be taught that their religious beliefs could be completely factual and true, however science deals with the natural world and has no possible way to deal with anything that cannot be observed and tested.

Parents and their children need to be taught that those things taught as science in school will be what is observed even if it contradicts their religious beliefs.

Finally, parents and their children need to understand that if their religious beliefs could be proven to be true, and if their beliefs contradict science, then it would prove that the scientific theory is incorrect, and it would have to be changed. (This is the communication that would make or break the solution.)

If this could be done in a friendly manner, then I believe it would go a long way toward solving the problem.

What on this list hasn’t been endlessly repeated in these very pages? In this string? I remember these same points being made to me in the 70’s. Maybe someone needs to start listening in a friendly manner.


Kindly

∞∞∞∞

Ta-da ≠ QED


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 20621
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 149 of 356 (465128)
05-03-2008 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 145 by Wumpini
05-03-2008 6:15 AM


Re: Define friendly
I looked up some definitions and here are some that I like and think would apply.

Now consider that science will support any conclusion based on evidence, that leads to predictions and that can be tested. Science is friendly to new hypothesis, tested theory and concepts that are not contradicted by evidence. New ideas are created every day in science, some pan out, others don't.

It is not science, but reality that is not friendly - either to religion or to science - it is what it is. The flat earth concept cannot be considered true because of the evidence that contradicts it. This is not science being "unfriendly" to the flat earth belief, it is the facts of reality that rule it out as a false concept. The age of the earth is a fact - precisely what that age is may be open to some debate, but the actual age of the earth is a fact - and as we get closer to understanding all the facts the closer we get to understanding the true age of the earth. Science doesn't cause the earth to be old, it is what it is.

Rhazd says:
The answer would be yes, but that some religious people will reject it anyway. Perhaps it is some religious people who are not friendly to science that are the problem, and not the science attitude to religion.

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The reason I brought up the concept of friendly is because that is how this entire thread began. It was based upon a book that claimed it was possible to teach evolution in a Christian friendly manner.

And my point is that, seeing as how there are scientists and biologist that are christian (evolutionary biologist Ken Miller is one, as is paleontologist Bob Bakker who gave us Jurassic Park via finding that dinosaurs were warm blooded), and therefore it is not christianity per se that is the problem where science is concerned. If leading evolutionary biologists and world renown scientists can be christian, then by definition (any of the ones you provided) science in general and evolution in particular are "friendly" to religion in general, and specifically to christianity.

I believe there are those on both sides that are not friendly to the other side. Both sides claim to be right, and become unfriendly when they are challenged. I do not see the sides as science in general and religion in general. Scientists claim to have the truth because they have observed it as fact. Religious people claim to have the truth because it has been revealed to them so based upon their faith it is fact. You cannot have two contradictory explanations for the same event and both of them be factual.

What we really have are specific beliefs - rather than religion per se - that are contradicted by facts, just like the flat earth belief mentioned above. The earth is old, and belief that it is young is contradicted by this fact. It is not science that makes the earth old, but the reality of the evidence: the truth, which as you point out cannot have two (or more) contradictory explanations. One (at least) of them has to be false. With science we believe that there is one reality, and that evidence can be understood to find that reality, that the evidence is true. Those that are religious believe they are understanding gods truth through science. Science also insists on testing that understanding continually to eliminate the false concepts or to complete the incomplete concepts. This understanding grows as we eliminate false ideas, such as a flat earth, a geocentric universe, and a young creation.

We must remember also that public school is mandatory in the United States. You must send your children to a public, private, or home school. I would think many of the people that this would apply to would not be qualified to home school their children, and could not afford a private school. So they are being forced by the government to go into these science classes. I am not trying to defend anyone. I am only stating a fact.

So in effect, the government is forcing families to send their children to science classrooms that teach as fact something that contradicts a devout religious belief.

Nor can government decide what facts are true and which are not (nor can people who are not qualified to home school ... ?). Nor does science decide what facts are true and which are not: the facts, the evidence is either true or false based on reality. It is a fact that evolution (change in hereditary traits in populations from generation to generation) occurs. It is a fact that speciation (the division of a parent population into two or more daughter populations that don't interbreed) occurs. It is a fact that these two mechanisms can explain diversity (see thread "evolution and increased diversity" and thread "Evolutionary Theory Explains Diversity" to discuss).

But most specifically the (american) government needs to provide school for all americans without regard for any one religion over any other, so we can't teach a belief that is specific to a certain branch of a certain faith, but must stay with common, tested, secular (agnostic) knowledge.

For example, I will try some logic again.
premise - If your belief that God is real is true.
premise - If your belief that God cannot lie is true.
premise - If the Bible is literal and inerrant.
conclusion - Then the scientific theories of evolution and origins are incorrect.

OR one (or more) of your premises are false. Consider your premise that God cannot lie means that the evidence of the natural universe he created must be true, and that understanding that evidence leads to understanding his truth. Then the scientific theories of evolution and origins (universe to life) are correct.

There could be education that explains how scientists claim their theories as fact because this is what has been observed in nature. I do not believe most people understand this concept. Parents need to understand that these theories have been tested and proven to be true without any consideration that a supernatural force could have ever taken place. Parents need to be taught to understand that their religious beliefs could be true, but they cannot be proven by science (creation could be true, even if many people on this forum believes it is a joke). Scientists could explain to parents and their children that if their religious beliefs contradict science and that if their beliefs could be proven through objective evidence, then the scientific theory would have to be changed.

Finally, parents and their children need to understand that if their religious beliefs could be proven to be true, and if their beliefs contradict science, then it would prove that the scientific theory is incorrect, and it would have to be changed. (This is the communication that would make or break the solution.)

The flip side of this is that if they cannot show this that specific beliefs that are contradicted by the evidence of reality (as understood and tested by science), that perhaps the belief(s) in question should be discarded. Let me close with this comment (not meant to antagonize, but to challenge thought):

de·lu·sion –noun 1.
... a. The act or process of deluding.
... b. The state of being deluded.
2. A false belief or opinion: labored under the delusion that success was at hand.
3. Psychiatry A false belief strongly held in spite of invalidating evidence, especially as a symptom of mental illness: delusions of persecution.
(American Heritage Dictionary 2008)

Rational belief is one that is not contradicted by reality, and reality is what science tries to find and understand, regardless of how "friendly" the evidence is for any cherished concepts.

Enjoy.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 145 by Wumpini, posted 05-03-2008 6:15 AM Wumpini has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 153 by Wumpini, posted 05-03-2008 6:26 PM RAZD has responded

Wumpini
Member (Idle past 4212 days)
Posts: 229
From: Ghana West Africa
Joined: 04-23-2008


Message 150 of 356 (465147)
05-03-2008 4:34 PM
Reply to: Message 147 by bluegenes
05-03-2008 8:33 AM


Re: 2007 Gallup Poll Evolution Statistics
bluegenes writes:

Embarrassingly for America, it appears that about 19% of its population must be either mad or complete idiots.

That's a relief. I thought America was in trouble. That means at least 81% haven't been proven to be completely mad or idiots, yet.

What is even worse than that is if you look at the definitely true numbers.

39% think creation is definitely true, but only 28% believe evolution is definitely false. That means 11% of those who know they were created 10,000 years ago think they could have evolved millions of years ago too.

The evolutionists aren't off the hook either though becaue 3% of those who think they definitely evolved think they could have been created too. 18% said evolution was definitely true while only 15% said creation was definitely false.

Obviously this is either a very bad poll, or many of the people in America have become totally confused.

Edited by Wumpini, : changed wording

Edited by Wumpini, : Still didn't say what I meant


"There is one thing even more vital to science than intelligent methods; and that is, the sincere desire to find out the truth, whatever it may be." - Charles Sanders Pierce

This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by bluegenes, posted 05-03-2008 8:33 AM bluegenes has not yet responded

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