Hi Kelly, Believe it or not I have read a few creation books. The arguments have all been addressed and refuted over and over again. People on this forum and elsewhere patiently continue to help the late arrivals understand how and why the creationist interpretations are incorrect. And new evidence arrives all the time and guess what? It strengthens the ToE and not the creationist viewpoint.
I would challenge you to also read a book. The one referenced by Lithodid-Man in post # 50. http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/ It is free. The chapters are shorter than they at first appear because there are lots of pages of end notes. Granted it is not much fun reading a book online. Maybe you can print it out. I would be very interested in your reaction to it. I would be willing to wager that chapter three will resonate with you and in chapter four you will be forced to close the book and read no further.
The problem with the fundamentalist approach to truth is the order of acceptance of evidence and resulting facts based upon that evidence. Fundamentalists start with the 'truth' and gather evidence in support of that 'truth' and ignore evidence that conflicts with that 'truth' and label it as erroneous usually in some ad hoc fashion. Where as others start with the evidence and see where it leads them.
I think that is why catholic scientist posted that your theology is horrible. By declaring the bible to be inerrant by fiat you are really demonstrating that you have no foundation for your faith..
that although it is your opinion that creationists have been refuted, that is far from the truth. I could say the same thing to you and declare that evolutionists have been refuted over and over again and that the evidence supports creation theory and not evolutionary theory (in the Darwinian sense.)
Both creationists and evolutionists start with a hypothesis and then study the evidence to find support. Don't pretend like evolutionists are different in this respect. There is no way to see macroevolution. It is a theory. You have to study the evidence to find support. The fossil record is your enemy.
I think that Catholic Scientist doesn't really know much about my theology or the Bible for that matter. That's why he needs to insult me.
Re: I take my cue from God's Word, not man's word.
Scripture reveals that faith is weak when there is no evidence and grows stronger with more proof.
By definition in the English language, what you just described isn't faith. Once it requires evidence (material or not) to exist, it's not faith anymore. Again, this is not up for debate. It's the English language. Use another word.
I think that Catholic Scientist doesn't really know much about my theology or the Bible for that matter. That's why he needs to insult me.
Oh, quit being a bitch already.
I know all about your house of cards faith and how one single error in the Bible would make you stop believing in God and in order to believe in God you have to trick yourself into thinking that there are no errors in the Bible even when they are as plain as day to anyone who can read.
quote:Both creationists and evolutionists start with a hypothesis and then study the evidence to find support.
An hypothesis doesn't pop out of thin air. It is based on evidence. After the hypothesis is proposed, further examination evidence will support or refute it, but it beings with evidence.
This is the beginning of the difference between creationism and science. Creationism begins with an assumption that a certain body of evidence of "the truth," then evaluates all other evidence to try to fit it together in a coherent whole consistent with "the truth." Science begins with observations of evidence, then looks for more evidence. If subsequent evidence indicates that the original evidence or the conclusions therefrom were in error, the earlier error is acknowledged and discarded.
There is no "truth" in science. There is data and conclusions, all of which is subject to revision based on new information or conclusions.
quote:There is no way to see macroevolution.
Please define what you mean by macroevolution.
Edited by subbie, : No reason given.
For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and non-believers. -- Barack Obama
We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat
There is no way to see macroevolution. It is a theory. You have to study the evidence to find support. The fossil record is your enemy.
What?! All the transitional forms observed are our enemy? :)
You've just agreed further up the thread that creation science accepts macroevolution, but you did so without realising it. I'll explain.
You must have noticed in your observations of the world that lots of small changes add up to large change. Think of your life. You've changed a little every year since babyhood, and this is "micro-change". But if we look at you now compared to a baby photo, we can see that all this micro-change has added up to "macro-change".
You can apply this to anything. Small changes occur in cities every year as some buildings come down and others go up, and add up to macro-change over the centuries. Small changes adding up to large changes are an obvious observable law of our world which everyone takes for granted.
So, there is no such thing as accepting micro-evolution and not macroevolution, because the former automatically adds up to the latter. In fact, the only people I know of in the world who ever try to break the obvious "lots of small change = large change" law are creationists when they are talking about biology.
So, it's either no evolution, or macro-evolution, micro-evolution just being bits of macro-evolution.
A technical point. In a post further up the thread you said something about us not having observed evolution producing new species. But we have observed this, so I thought I'd put you right on that.
Now, about those mechanisms of the creation theory I asked you for earlier. We still don't know what they are, do we?
Hi Kelly, I hope you are enjoying yourself here, it is habit forming :D
The topic here is about the best approach to deal with fundamentalism. I am not replying to single you out, since you are not the only person who is not dealing with the topic at hand. If you have any further thoughts on the topic as described in the OP, then by all means share them.
Please don't reply to this post, and everybody please read the Original Post again and convince me that whatever you are saying is related to it in some way. If I'm not convinced I'll hide the posts, repeat offenders will face temporary suspensions. Many of the off topic posts here are on topic in other currently active threads.
quote:It does seem to me that Kelly's reconciliation of his religion with science comes from an unconscious but at least somewhat purposeful misunderstanding of the nature of science, as is clear from his criticism of naturalism and his lack of understanding of how theories become accepted. This is very typical of fundamentalists, and we should be exploring how best to deal with this mindset.
I agree. Fundamentalists often have a fear (or at least a distrust) of science, based primarily on the perception that science is in conflict with the Scriptures. This perception, in turn, is due to a number of things. These include a blurring of the distinction between science and philosophical naturalism (e.g. by Dawkins et al), a misunderstanding of what science is and how it is done, and biblical/theological misunderstandings about the trustworthiness of nature and the interpretation of Scripture.
I suggest that the best approach to deal fundamentalists is to address all of these misunderstandings.
I don't believe you know much about the bible because you are discouraged from reading it by church hierarchy. But Jesus had much to say about those who favored their "tradition" over the Word of God.
Fortunately for me, the Bible is error free so I don't have to compromise my faith like you do. I have faith in the God who reveals himself through His chosen prophets and apostles as contained in Scripture. I don't need to mesh the word of man with God's Word in order to believe because my faith is founded in Him alone.
But in truth, I am not enjoying myself here. It is frustrating to try and stay on topic because no one else does. I am simply responding to what I read--where I read it. There is too much interference and control over what we can say and where. I am new to this forum and I find it difficult to find anything or to remember where I have been. I know you said not to respond to this post here, but I don't know where else I should respond. Anyway, thanks for your politeness but I can't keep it straight here. I apologize for messing everyone up.
One of the basic fears of religious fundamentalists who challenge the teaching of evolution, be they 'young-earth' creationists, 'old-earth' creationists or the slightly more sophisticated crowd of 'intelligent design' supporters (Scott, 1997), springs from the idea that the teaching of evolution sets us on a slippery slope that inevitably ends with atheism. Leaving aside the fact that many scientists can be both religious and believe in evolution, and the obvious point that atheism is a legitimate philosophical position that—in a pluralistic society—ought to receive the same degree of respect as any other metaphysical school of thought, 'slippery slope' arguments are logically fallacious (Epstein, 1999). The fallacy lies in the fact that most people—including, alas, prominent science popularizers such as Richard Dawkins—do not make the subtle but crucial distinction between methodological and philosophical naturalism.
Naturalism, broadly speaking, is the idea that there is only nature and that the supernatural realm and phenomena do not exist. As a philosophical position, it has a long history of elaboration and debate. Philosophical naturalism, then, is the strong metaphysical position that there is, as a matter of fact, no such thing as the supernatural nor a higher being, which obviously characterizes any individual who considers themselves an atheist. Methodological naturalism, however, is a metaphysically more modest claim. It takes the position that while there may be a supernatural realm or being, it does not enter and need not be invoked in any discussions of scientific findings (Forrest, 2000). For the methodological naturalist, scientific explanations of the world around us are naturalistic by definition, or else science would not have produced a set of reliable theories and empirical methods to work with and build on. This is why the most embarrassing question one can ask a proponent of intelligent design is: if I gave you a million dollars to set up a scientific research programme, what experiments would you pursue with the grant? There is no possible answer.
The crucial point here is that scientists are by definition methodological naturalists; however, they do not have any specific commitment to philosophical naturalism aside from their own metaphysical views. In other words, science does not necessarily demand atheism, as feared by the fundamentalists. How can we explain this to the general public? One way is to point out that most people are methodological naturalists when it comes to everyday life. Suppose your car does not start today: how do you react to such an annoying occurrence? Most probably you will not invoke a supernatural explanation, nor will you attempt to have the car exorcised by a priest. Instead, regardless of your religious convictions, you will take it to a mechanic, assuming—methodologically—that there must be something physically wrong with the vehicle. Moreover, even if the mechanic is not able to find the problem and fix your car, you will persist in the reasonable belief that there must be something physically out of place, with no supernatural implications or intervention required. You will shrug your shoulders, grudgingly pay the bill, and go in search of a new car or another mechanic. That is exactly what scientists do, and are required to do by their profession—no more, no less.
Scientists and science educators, when faced with irrational attacks against science, usually respond by clamouring for more and better science education. However, there is evidence that increasing science literacy not only will be insufficient, but also may have little or no effect if it is not accompanied by similar efforts to teach critical thinking and the philosophy of science (Walker et al, 2002; Johnson & Pigliucci, 2004). The problem is that too much pre-college and even introductory-level college science education focuses on factual knowledge at the expense of broad conceptual issues, especially in the biological sciences. Obviously, we want our students and the population at large to be clear on some fundamental scientific facts; but, more importantly, we desperately need people who understand the scope, power and especially the limits of the scientific enterprise. Such understanding is crucial for the functioning of modern democracies, in which science has an ever-increasing role in everyday life.
The fact is, the teaching of critical thinking and the understanding of the nature of science are more properly—or at least equally—seen as the domains of philosophy, and require philosophers as well as scientists to be engaged in the response to fundamentalism. Moreover, as I have tried to argue above, both anti-intellectualism and anti-science fundamentalism are rooted in issues of ethics and religion, again the proper domain of philosophy, and areas in which scientists usually find themselves unprepared and uneasy. We need not turn scientists into philosophers, nor can we pretend that the general public can become knowledgeable of the depth of scientific and philosophical inquiry. What we can and need to do—urgently—is to promote a wide, interdisciplinary effort to educate scientists, science educators and the public at large about the science–society–religion triangle and the borders between each faction. Modern societies evolved when science and reason freed humanity from superstitions and religious dogmas and our developed societies have become increasingly dependent on scientific and technological progress to solve its manifold social and environmental problems. Attacks by fundamentalist ideologues therefore threaten nothing but the future of modern civilization.
The liberal voices in the churches have long been reluctant to say anything too critical about fundamentalists, on the grounds that they have every right to live by the beliefs they feel most comfortable with. In view of the obvious devotion and commitment displayed by fundamentalists, liberals have often leaned over backwards to accommodate their viewpoint. That tolerance continued even after fundamentalists became more assertive from the 1960s onward.
Although tolerance is always commendable, it unfortunately slows down the educative process. A great gap has opened up between biblical and theological scholarship on the one hand, and what went on at the parish level on the other. The ordained ministry, on the whole, failed the churches by not passing on to their congregations what they themselves were learning at their seminaries. Because they did not wish to upset their more conservative parishioners, they often left the churches in ignorance of the radical changes taking place. The time has come, and is indeed overdue, for the liberal voice to be heard loud and clear in the churches, even if it does lead to some controversy. In fact, the churches have always been at their strongest when they have been engaged in real debate, either internally or externally.
There are some signs of more assertive liberalism today. Twenty years ago a leading New Testament scholar in the United States, Robert Funk, took the bold step of moving out of the university institutions to establish what he called the Westar Institute. This is a community of scholars who set themselves the task of researching the origins of Christianity, unhampered by the controls they encountered in seminaries and universities. The scholarly Fellows of Westar are supported by the much larger community of Westar members. These are lay people who attend the meetings of the institute and listen to all the debates. One of the aims of the institute is to spread what they call biblical literacy. When invited to do so, it sends representatives to congregations to conduct weekend seminars.
More recently some liberal church leaders in Canada have established the Snowstar Institute. It aims to counter the rise of Christian fundamentalism by means of holding conferences and seminars that will bring church congregations up to date with biblical scholarship. American Bishop John Spong has taken on his own Anglican communion almost single-handedly, writing such books as Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism. Next year the Westar Institute is planning to hold a mass meeting in New York to publicise its work and challenge the churches. These are a few ways in which liberal voices are making a positive response to the dangers they observe in the rise of Christian fundamentalism.
I am new to this forum and I find it difficult to find anything or to remember where I have been.
Click on your account name, which is displayed in the left column next to each of your messages, and it will take you to a list of all the threads you're participating in, with a link to your most recent message in each thread. Very handy!
AbE: Your account name also appears in the banner near the top of every page where it says, "Welcome, Member Kelly!". You can click on that link, too, and it will give you a list of all the threads you're participating in.