Dover, PA school board votes in favor of teaching Intelligent Design.

Proponents of the “theory” of Intelligent Design scored their first victory of sorts this past Monday when the Dover, Pennsylvania school board voted 6-to-3 in favor of requiring science classes in the district to teach alternative theories to Evolution “including, but not limited to, intelligent design.”

School board member Bill Buckingham is the chief architect of Dover’s newly revised biology curriculum that states “Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin’s Theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, intelligent design. Note: Origins of life will not be taught.”

The devout Christian admitted that before presenting the revised curriculum to the board, he had been talking to a conservative Michigan law firm that is interested in defending an intelligent design legal challenge.

The law firm in question is the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, which I’ve mentioned as being a dark stain on Michigan in the past, a group of Christian lawyers with the goal of defending attempts to impose Christian beliefs and values in places they have no business being such as science classrooms. They’ve been itching for some form of test case with regards to Intelligent Design for awhile now and have promised to defend the Dover school district at no charge from any legal challenges it may face. Both the ACLU and Americans United are keeping an eye on the developments and may file a lawsuit challenging the change in policy—a change that was opposed by the science teachers in the district. Taxpayers in Dover could end up seeing their school district waste money defending themselves from the lawsuits as the district would still be liable for the plaintiff’s legal costs should they lose. Buckingham’s response to this possibility was simply,  “My response to that is what price is freedom? Sometimes you have to take a stand.”

Of course by wording the change so that Intelligent Design isn’t the only alternative theory that could be taught they’re hoping that’ll be enough to win any legal challenges. The problem being that, as far as I’m aware, there aren’t any other alternative theories to Evolution other than Intelligent Design. On top of that, Intelligent Design isn’t even a proper theory as much as it’s a piss-poor explanation. That won’t stop those Christians who want to have their world view propped up by government, though.

122 thoughts on “Dover, PA school board votes in favor of teaching Intelligent Design.

  1. In Carl Sagan’s book, The Demon Haunted World, he tells the story of Soviet biology post WWII.

    The essential point is that political manuevering among Stalin’s advisors pushed out the scientists that supported evolution and replaced it with a more politically aligned explanation.  As a result, the Soviets were at a standstill in biological research for decades, falling way behind the curve of technology.

    That is the ultimate result of allowing ideology of any form to replace research based on scientific method.

    They are dooming the country in an attempt to “save” it.

  2. Wired Magazine’s cover story this month goes into detail about the ‘crusade against evolution’.

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.10/evolution.html

    It is definitely worth reading. The creationists are deliberately trying to ‘crash’ science as we know it by hitting kids in school at a suggestible age. Getting their ‘hooks’ into them at this early stage gurarantees that it will destablize modern science as these kids get into the sciences.

    They have a tactic called the “wedge”:

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/barbara_forrest/wedge.html

    If we understand our own times, we will know that we should affirm the reality of God by challenging the domination of materialism and naturalism in the world of the mind. With the assistance of many friends I have developed a strategy for doing this,…We call our strategy the “wedge.”—Phillip E. Johnson

    Here is some more info about this creeping religious blight:

    http://www.geocities.com/lclane2/idfront.html

    Science encourages the art of questioning. Theory and hypotheses are some of the tools used. And science is always revising, updating, improving. It always questions, and does research. Intelligent Design does not. Even without the mention of a Creator, it is simply a tool of doubt and dissolution, meant to clear the boards for Dominionist takeover of science and a return to the Dark Ages.

    Sunfell

  3. Yes, TOTALLY read the Wired piece.  It’s great.
    As they say, the plot is to teach the controversy, rather than the actual theory of this radical “intelligent design” theory.

    This is why an educated populace is the best guard of democracy.  The scientific method matters.

    rob@egoz.org

    P.S.  I don’t even think i own an envelope, much less a stamp.  Educators, at least here in the states, rely very heavily upon email both at the secondary and university level.  Paper is a bother to most of these people (having worked with public educators in the past).

  4. The Wired article is excellent.  They do a good job of capturing just how silly, and yet scary, the whole ID debate is.  gulp

    the Discovery Institute’s appeals to academic freedom create a kind of catch-22. If scientists ignore the ID movement, their silence is offered as further evidence of a conspiracy. If they join in, they risk reinforcing the perception of a battle between equal sides.

    And this quote pretty much sums up the reason that scientists get furious with IDers. 

    says Princehouse. “As a friend of mine said, it takes a half a second for a baby to throw up all over your sweater. It takes hours to get it clean.”

      Vomit as a metaphor for ID! That’s pretty apt!  LOL

    Gilder’s defense of ID, on page 5, almost made my head explode

    In a self-refuting materialist superstition, teachers deny the role of ideas and purposes in evolution and hence implicitly in their own thought

    rolleyes Wow.  There’s a philosophical exercise in non-sequitur.  ‘If the cosmos wasn’t designed for a specific purpose’ [veers wildly] ‘then your own thought cannot be purposeful.’

    shut eye Yeah.  Materialist philosophy sure is bad.  It’s the kind of thought that led humans to abandon lightning-gods, digestion as the “baking” of food in the stomach [although we still produce loafs], pregnancy as the growth of a male ‘seed’ in a female ‘receptacle’ and a thousand other “ooh, it’s the work of the little people!” explanations for observed phenomena.

    If Gilder doesn’t like materialist philosophy, he should stop using any sort of pharmaceuticals, or any device that runs on electricity.  F’n Hypocrite. 

    alright.  I’ve got my smiley fix.  I’ll stop regurgitating the obvious now.

  5. My sympathy goes out to Mr. Neal.  Clearly, he’s ground his teeth over this issue more than once.

    Man, I just hope I don’t have to put up with similar shit once I finally score a job.

  6. My husband reads your blog regularly and sent me this link.  Very interesting.  I teach at a Jewish High School, so religion is very much a part of the curriculum; however ALL of my students have some hideous story in their background about some evangelical Christian trying to push their beliefs on them.  They’ve been pressured to read the New Testament by teachers (in public school) and told they were going to hell by neighbors.  It’s sick.  I am a Christian, myself, but I have a big problem with religion in public schools.  Whose religion?  Whose concept of intelligent design—because each religion that believes in Creation sees it differently.  For that matter, each movement within Judaism and each sect within Christianity has slightly different ideas about what Creation is.

  7. I like the idea of forcing the teachers to run the gamut on the creationist/evolution scale (as compiled in a Skeptic article):

    Flat Earthers
    Geocentrists
    Young Earth Creationism
    Old Earth Creationism
    Gap Creationism
    Day-Age Creationism
    Progressive Creationism
    Evolutionary Creationism
    Theistic Evolution
    Materialistic Evolution

    Perhaps the infighting will keep them busy.

  8. They’re trying to get Ohio schools to teach ID too.  The whole thing is completely ridiculous.  I always get mad and have to keep myself from yelling at students when they spout off that evolution is ‘just a theory’.  Learn what the difference between a scientific theory and a load of crap is before you tell me that.  The whole thing is just scary, and it’s one of the reasons that American kids are dumber than the rest of the world.

  9. To be honest, I hope that Intelligent Design is REQUIRED teaching in Science Class, because then they would have admit that Intelligent Design, if it exists, is ruled by the laws of science. Meaning, even God is ruled by the laws of science.

    If not, then Intelligent Design doesn’t belong in a SCIENCE class.

  10. We have a long road ahead of us in the fight against superstition and ignorance.

    Lol! When I first read that, I read ‘we have a long blog ahead of us’. Well, that I guess is fitting too.

    If we can find someone to ‘debate’ us. So far its all evolutionists here, if I tally it right.

    Captcha = southern

  11. To be honest, I hope that Intelligent Design is REQUIRED teaching in Science Class

    Just make sure to teach your kids real science. Think of the competitive advantage and the emigration potential.

  12. Well, how do you think I feel. I know some of those teachers in Dover, and not all of them want to have ID taught there (my cousin is a teacher at the high school). I grew up in the Harrisburg-Metro area, comprising Harrisburg, York (Dover is like 5 minutes away from this city), Lebanon and Lancaster, PA. Depending on where you go in these areas, you will find “True Believers” trying to sneak in, and in other parts of the area they are kept at bay by sane people smile

    For the most part, ID is only mentioned as a theory in schools, along with evolution, etc. It is not stressed upon, but the school I attended allowed students to study many different theories (ID, evolution, big-bang, etc) and come to their own conclusions, usually by presenting several oral and written reports/thesis on the subject along with pro and con evidence for each theory. No single theory was held above any of the others, as they didn’t want to offend anyone by saying “Your choice in theories is wrong.”

    But yeah, as for Dover, they are a rather conservative small (decidedly Pro-Life, Pro-Bush, Right-Wingers) town, with more churches than houses I think. This might explain such antics on behalf of the local “True Believers”.

  13. Ok, this is only my second post and seeing as I have become hooked on this site (thanks to all who commented on my last post, I got an “A”) I’ve decided to stick my neck out for a comment.

    I have just completed a quick read of the ID web site.  I see pros and cons to this whole argument.  I’ll be nice and list the pros first:

    1) ID’s claim of evolutionist concepts based in non-objective origins.  No biggy here, most physicists will agree that it is relatively impossible to establish true objectivity when studying empirical evidence. 

    2)  Uh…ok I am out of pros.

    Cons:

    1) Isn’t ID basing itself upon subjective assumptions as well?

    2) ID claims there is no empirical proof of evolutions.  What about viruses?  They should be the poster-child of natural selection and, depending on the vectors, evolution. 

    3)  Can ID be empirically proven? If so why hasn’t it? (In fairness, can ID be empirically disproved? If so, why hasn’t it?)

    4)  Doesn’t the concept of ID more properly belong in a philosophy classroom?

    5) Lastly, assuming ID allows for the possibility extra-terrestrial origins to life on Earth as an explanation, how did these supposed aliens develop (evolve?). And while their at it, would they mind disproving relativity so we could surpass that whole speed of light barrier and start implementing some ID of our own on some other planet?

    Ok, done ranting.

  14. Just wondering. Did you read Wired magazine August edition? It details steps taken to promote biotechnology.

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/12.08/singapore.html

    While the US is still the leading place for research even biotech research. Do you think the promotion of such education coupled with regulation on stem cell may eventually allow others to overtake the US? Or perhaps not so much overtake as to reduce US hold on being the place for research, development and innovation in the field of biotechnology?

  15. I’m waiting, not so patiently, for the next age of enlightenment. I could be waiting for centuries!

  16. Okay, I have a plan… An evil plan, so what better place to post it?
    First, we create our own version of ID, based on impossible theories, non-sense half-truths, and an amalgamation of every religions, except Christianities, take on the creation of the universe.  Then we put it all in a textbook format.
    Next, we push it on the Dover School System as one of the ‘alternative theories of evolution’. 
    Finally, we allow the angry Christians in the community to drive the ID out of the schools.
    Who is with me!?!?!?
    -Matt
    p.s. funny, the word I have to submit for this posting is ‘low’… how appropriate.

  17. No single theory was held above any of the others, as they didn’t want to offend anyone by saying “Your choice in theories is wrong.

  18. Actually, ID doesn’t qualify as a scientific theory because it flunks an all-important test: It can’t be falsified.

    Scientific theories cannot be exhaustively verified, but instead there has to be a test that decisively proves them wrong and this is where ID cops out. IDiots basically assert that there is such a thing as irreducible complexity, but if any example they care to name is refuted, they simply turn around and say “But wait! There’s more!”

  19. The scientific conflicts in Genesis alone are astounding. It amazes me that people seriously and sincerely believe in ID. I wonder how many of them still do not realize (or believe) the Earth is not flat.

    The Genesis account conflicts with the order of events that are known to science. In this account the earth is created before light and stars, birds and whales before reptiles and insects, and flowering plants before any animals. From science, we know the true order of events was just the opposite. 1:1-2:3

    Jacob displays his (and God’s) knowledge of biology by having goats copulate while looking at streaked rods. The result is streaked baby goats. 30:37-39

    Source: The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible

  20. Genesis was NOT written as an attempt to explain Creation.  Modern society often places this meaning on the text—but the purpose of the text is anything but an attempt to explain how the Universe came into being.

    First off…
    Genesis contains THREE entirely different account how the Universe came into being, and these accounts sometimes conflict with each other.  When Genesis was written the Hebraic religion was made up of several very different branches.  The people/person who redacted Genesis was attempting a grand compromise between three disctintly different oral traditions.

    If you read the start of Genesis you will see that three different stories of Creation are told in rapid sucession, one right after the other.

    It’s as if Americans had three different stories of Plimoth Plantation—and as some national compromise we always told the 3 different versions together, one right after the other.  That is how the start of Genesis was written.

    People often make the mistake of reading the Hebrew Bible’s various books as singular pieces.  In fact, they often contain multiple (oft conflicting) accounts of the same events.

    Lastly, the oral traditions of Genesis were designed to teach or high-light spiritual and philosophical ideas—not science.

    Our ancestors simply did not think in those terms, until much, much later.  Reading Genesis as a scientific attempt is like reading Jonathan Livingston Seagul as a political treaty.

    rob@egoz.org

  21. While the US is still the leading place for research even biotech research. Do you think the promotion of such education coupled with regulation on stem cell may eventually allow others to overtake the US? Or perhaps not so much overtake as to reduce US hold on being the place for research, development and innovation in the field of biotechnology?

    Not in the foreseeable future.  Many countries have more stringent religious underpinnings than the US.  India is our main supplier of technology labor and even though they will become the largest English speaking country in the world in 2010, they fundamentally lack the religious freedoms to pursue some of the medical studies that we have in the US.  It definitely isn’t going to do us any good though.

    Actually, ID doesn’t qualify as a scientific theory because it flunks an all-important test: It can’t be falsified.

    Exactly.  ID has no place in the scientific classroom.  Save it for philosophy or creative writing classes.  ID Theory breaks the most fundamental rules of scientific research by allowing the researcher to presuppose the unknown and work forward instead of the studying the known and proving it backward.

    I have a theory that aliens from the planet Jamazar built the earth and are we are something of Realistic Sims for their entertainment and they tune in to each one of us on their own private APods. 

    Oh, and let’s not forget Smee!  I ask again, WTF is wrong with these people?

  22. I never said what they did in my school was right, just that that was how they did it back in the early 90’s in my old stomping grounds. I’ve heard alot has changed since then, such as junior and senior class projects required to graduate and whatnot… wink

  23. Maybe they should just design an elective that teaches ALL of the various creations myths as if they were theories.

    I’m partial to the great three toed sloth theory myself.

  24. “Not in the foreseeable future.  Many countries have more stringent religious underpinnings than the US.  India is our main supplier of technology labor and even though they will become the largest English speaking country in the world in 2010, they fundamentally lack the religious freedoms to pursue some of the medical studies that we have in the US.  It definitely isn’t going to do us any good though.”

    Well, I was not actually referring to India. Although it could be said that the country is coming up an Indian company Biocon is 16th biotech company in the world ranked in terms of market cap and revenue.

    Actually I was referring more to the East Asian nations. For example, South Korea, Japan, China, Singapore. Over there the society or more specifically their [main] religion does not really see anything wrong with the idea of evolution or stem cell research.

  25. I did not realize how narrow and fear based evolutionists were.  The mention of God has really freaked some people out. 

    It stands to reason that creationism and evolution would be taught as reasonable theories in biology.  They are after all the two predominant thoughts in our society if not the world.  All other theories are really offshoots of these two.  Present the two and let the students decide.

    Please keep the judicial system out of it.  The ACLU, give me a break.  They are just another form of censorship with a different label.

  26. I really need to learn not to read replies from Creationists when drinking hot coffee. Now I have to clean off my monitor.

    I did not realize how narrow and fear based evolutionists were.  The mention of God has really freaked some people out.

    Not sure what you’re basing either of those statements on.

    It stands to reason that creationism and evolution would be taught as reasonable theories in biology.  They are after all the two predominant thoughts in our society if not the world.  All other theories are really offshoots of these two.  Present the two and let the students decide.

    Except that Creationism isn’t a theory, let alone a reasonable one, and thusly has no place in a science classroom. I can’t think of a single offshoot of Creationism so any examples you can provide would be… illuminating. Creationism is religious ideology and belongs in the Church, not the classroom.

    Using your logic we could argue that there are “theories” that the Holocaust never happened so we should teach both that it did and that it didn’t and let the students decide for themselves. That’s a pretty stupid idea, all things considered.

    Please keep the judicial system out of it.  The ACLU, give me a break.  They are just another form of censorship with a different label.

    Keep Creationism out of the schools and there won’t be any need for the judicial system to get involved. It’s pretty simple, really.

    As for the ACLU being just another form of censorship, again it would be nice if you backed up your claim in some manner.

  27. lachaim regurgitated:

    It stands to reason that creationism and evolution would be taught as reasonable theories in biology.  They are after all the two predominant thoughts in our society if not the world.  All other theories are really offshoots of these two.  Present the two and let the students decide.

    No, it’s not.  Where the hell did you get the ridiculous idea that creationism is a reasonable theory?  Do you even know what a theory consists of?  The only use creationism could possibly have in a scientific context is as an example of what a theory is NOT.

    As to the predominant spewing:

    The number of people who believe in a theory has nothing to do with the truth of the theory.  Evolution is the most codified theory in science not because a large number of people believe it, but because it is proven many, many, many times over through genetics.  The other is just superstitous wishful thinking.

    For the love of pete, I wish the superstitious idiots would at least READ a basic science book.

  28. as has been stated here, which is obvious to anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together, ID/Creationism etc. is NOT a “Theory” by any stretch of the imagination, hell its really not even a “Hypothesis” except by a very lose definition.

    ID is nothing but an “Argument” against the very real and overwhelmingly proven “Theory of Evolution”

    ID in and of itself holds ZERO scientific value, there is not ONE single Falsifiable thus verifiable shred of evidence to support it.
    The entire reason behind ID is to fruitlessly try to prove Evolution wrong, which it fails at miserably.

    Now depending on the Teacher this “could” actually be good, because what this does is open up the ignorance of Creationism to critical thinking and demanding Falsifiable evidence which of course is impossible.

    A “good” Science teacher would eat this up in a class setting, divide the class in 2 groups of Evolution Vs ID and have each side draw up a Hypothesis, then using verifiable and Falsifiable evidence/data provide a workable theory to be critiqued by the other team.

    Naturally the Evolution side has volumes of Falsifiable data to draw from.
    The ID side of the class has absolutely ZERO, a good teacher would explain very carefully what a Hypothesis is then what Scientific Theory means then each time the ID side tries to present their “Argument” he/she would simply point out that is not a Theory keep trying.
    At the end of the day or 2-3 days however long you wanted to stretch it would declare the Evolution side the winner because they are the only ones that could even present a Scientific Theory.
    Then the rest of the year concentrate on factual reality.

    Now what I wonder is exactly how is a teacher going to teach ID? rather obvious that no science teacher has ever been taught such manure as a viable theory for anything pertaining to any of the natural sciences. So, what is a science teacher going to do? put in some ridiculous video tape made by the so called “Discovery Institute”? How exactly does the school board expect a teacher to teacher something they themselves have never been taught.

    Then comes the BAD situation, when you have some born again nutjob pretending to be a science teacher just salivating at the prospect of being able to proselytize his/her class.
    Myself Id love to be either a student OR a teacher in that situation, as a student Id leave the so called teacher in the fetal position after every class because id eat him alive, as a teacher id have so much fun showing how utterly absurd ID is I would begin each class with a shit eating grin.
    So this “could” hypothetically be a good thing as I refuse to believe that more than a small fraction of science teachers could possibly even remotely believe in Creationism/ID, thus the vast majority would show it for what it is in their class, which is nothing but a argument against evolution based entirely on christian dogma. Then proceed to disprove it in a class setting.

  29. It appears that im the first person to comment on this sight that is actually from Dover, The Dover Press release about the subject states that all they want to do is teach flaws or gaps in Darwins THEORY. Now im no biology major but I know that every aspect of science is prone to some type of error, so now because our school is trying to teach those errors we have several law suits being filed against us? I’m not saying i believe in Darwinism nor intelligent design, but i am saying that Darwins theory has its problems, perhaps why its called a THEORY

  30. Yes, thanks I have read a couple of science books and I do have somewhat of a handle on what a theory is.  I don’t pretend to be an expert but appreciate the ability to express my thoughts on this forum.

    Let’s define: 

    the·o·ry (th-r, thîr)
    n. pl. the·o·ries
    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.

    A scientific theory or law represents an hypothesis, or a group of related hypotheses, which has been confirmed through repeated experimental tests. Theories in physics are often formulated in terms of a few concepts and equations, which are identified with “laws of nature,” suggesting their universal applicability. Accepted scientific theories and laws become part of our understanding of the universe and the basis for exploring less well-understood areas of knowledge. Theories are not easily discarded; new discoveries are first assumed to fit into the existing theoretical framework. It is only when, after repeated experimental tests, the new phenomenon cannot be accommodated that scientists seriously question the theory and attempt to modify it. The validity that we attach to scientific theories as representing realities of the physical world is to be contrasted with the facile invalidation implied by the expression, “It’s only a theory.” For example, it is unlikely that a person will step off a tall building on the assumption that they will not fall, because “Gravity is only a theory.” Wilson, E. Bright. An Introduction to Scientific Research (McGraw-Hill, 1952).

    “The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.” Intelligent Design Network, Inc.

    Evolution has not been proven scientifically.  I am not aware of any experimental tests that have proven evolution.  Adaptation has been proven.  Missing links have not been found.  No new species have evolved from something else.  Yet evolution is taught throughout science books as a viable explanation (fact) for everything and is not identified as a theory but as a fact.  It is a biased attempt to push one theory above another.  The theory of creationism (oops, sorry Intelligent Design) was around well before the theory of evolution, meaning it’s not correct to say that ID is just a counter attack to the thoughts on evolution. 

    To label someone as superstitious because of their belief in ID is narrow, shallow and an attempt to intimidate.

    Les in response to your critique of my logic…the Holocaust is not a theory but a proven documented historical fact.  It is not an appropriate analogy in this context.  I agree it is a stupid idea to present the Holocaust in this manner.  My logic did not suggest that.

    I am not suggesting that a priest, rabbi, monk theologian teach a science class.  Just present the “theories” that are out there as “theories”.  Stop pushing evolution as fact until it is proven.

  31. “The theory of intelligent design (ID) holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection. ID is thus a scientific disagreement with the core claim of evolutionary theory that the apparent design of living systems is an illusion.

  32. “For instance all Dogs have evolved from Wolves.”

    Cultures bred wolves to get dogs with characteristics/traits that were more desirable.  This breeding has taken thousands of years to get the dogs we know now.  The wolf and the dog are still the same just different in appearance.  This is not proof for evolution.

    “FALSE, in actuality Evolution has never once in 150 years been “Disproven

  33. Ahh so that’s how Dogs came to be eh?
    Man took a wolf and bred it with what? and how many years ago did we do this?
    http://www.nhm.org/exhibitions/dogs/evolution/evolution.html

    They are trying to disprove a theory not a scientific law.  It is still in the process of being proven.  Creationism is still trying to be disproven.  It would seem that the theory of evolution is the falsifiable that gives validation to the theory of creationism as a legitimate theory.

    LOL, K lets try this one more time.
    Creationism/ID is NOT a Theory, there is nothing there to disprove, nor is it disprovable.
    Basically the same as this:
    I know for an absolute 100% fact as gospel truth that purple flying unicorns live on the dark side of the moon, they are quite shy and have the ability make themselves invisible if disturbed.

    K now disprove it.

    That is creationism, a complete fairytale without a shred of evidence to support it.
    It is not a Theory.

    Religion in any form has no business in a science class.
    Creationism/ID is nothing but religious dogma.

    Just out of curiosity, do you think the Earth is 4.55 Billion years old? or less than 10,000?

  34. To quote Alec from evolutionpages (from a post made on a Catholic forum):

    I’ve been engaged in the evolution/creation debate long enough to realise that evidence, logic and reason manage to persuade few creationists. So my ambition in that regard is limited. I am, however interested by the psychology behind creationist ‘arguments’

    Just to repeat what is obvious to anybody but creationists: Creationism, ID, or however they try to disguise it is not a scientific theory, because it isn’t falsifiable. Reading up on Karl Popper helps…

    Interestingly enough, one can argue that scientific theories themselves evolve. ID, of course, is a stillbirth.

  35. Again the dog/wolf is a lovely example of adaption.  The wolf grew smaller in regions of less food.  It lost its shaggy fur in warmer climates.  People breed and still breed dogs for various characteristics…hunting, laps, color, size etc.  ID is a theory and evolution is an attempt to disprove it.

    It seems that it all comes down to the cosmic questions ?whay am I here and ?What am I here for.  This questions do belong in school.  Science is only an offshoot to answering these questions so is the study of religion, history, anthropology, math, art etc.

  36. Ponder this concerning the “fossil records”.  Today 35 million people world wide are addicted to Meth.  It is a scientific fact that 11.3% of the brain that controls moods, cravings, rewards etc. has been destroyed and that the white part of the brain is enlarged.  I believe this info is found in Discover Mag.  Two thousands years from now scientist find a fossil record and conclude that man evolved into this form.  This is what is happening with fossil records found today.  This assumption would “logically” be made because there are no records documenting the epidemic.

  37. Again the dog/wolf is a lovely example of adaption.  The wolf grew smaller in regions of less food.  It lost its shaggy fur in warmer climates.  People breed and still breed dogs for various characteristics…hunting, laps, color, size etc.  ID is a theory and evolution is an attempt to disprove it.

    So then you agree with “Natural Selection” good smile

    Although for some odd reason you Christians are simply incapable of understanding what theory means, Im beginning to think the Xians must be a distinct subspecies that has evolved the ability to completely ignore factual reality.

    Evolution has zero to do with ID, nor is trying to disprove some religious argument.

  38. Hey, lachaim, you’re forgetting what evolution means, in reality:

    change over time

    Whether it’s human-induced or a response to the environment, it’s still evolution.  Darwin outlined his theory for a mechanism of evolution, namely, Natural Selection.

    One example in historical times (so you don’t have to rely on that pesky fossil record) of natural selection is the peppered moth.

    scroll down to the evidence section

    How can you say that change does not occur when it truly does and when you’ve described it yourself?  How do these changes conflict with religion?

    The part where Creationists really get bugged is “How did evolution/the earth begin”?  and also in particular, they hate the evolution of humans. Evolution itself, as a mechanism, does not contradict religion.  But scientists’ related theories about the origins of the earth and humans could. So stop taking issue with evolution as a mechanism being taught in schools.  Would you really tell a child that all the animals in the world are just the same today as they were 4000 years ago?

    Now as for the origins of the earth and humans, let’s talk about geology and physical anth here. In fact, that link I posted for the peppered moths gives a good account of the geology.  It is true that scientists are not entirely sure when/how the universe was created.  They have a good idea of how the earth formed by watching other solar systems.  There is scientific evidence in the form of really old rocks that the earth is really old.  The bible doesn’t make any comment on the specific age of the earth (that one was conjured up by some guy*), so it really doesn’t conflict.  Who is to say that the rocks and stuff coming together to make the earth wasn’t done by god’s hand?

    about the guy

    That leaves us with the evolution of humans, and that’s the toughie to reconcile.  Physical anthropologists have lots of skulls and remains from humans along every part of the evolutuionary path.  But the thought of humans evolving from some common ancestor with the chimps and bonobos just doesn’t fit with their idyllic vision of The Creation.  And this is where our debate between scientific theories vs. creationist belief comes in.  Just to put it in perspective.  I think that if creationists actually learned about evolution and thought about it instead of simply rejecting it out of hand, they might find a lot of things they agree with in there…as for human descent, I still think science class should teach science, and even the debate between creationists and scientists, but ID has no business being presented as a valid science when it’s clearly not.

    As for the theory bit:
    If you truly understood the scientific method and theories, you would know that part of the scientific method is explicitly NOT trying to prove.  Theories should be falsifiable, meaning that you can provide tests whose results could disprove it.  Many such tests have been made of evolution and they have all failed to disprove it.

  39. No nunyabiz I do not agree with natural selection in the strict evolutionist sense.  I am agreeing to adaptation used in a physiological sense, i.e. acclimatization.

    Your right Shana I do believe in change and did not totally throw out Darwin’s theory.  As I stated earlier I’m not saying Darwin’s theory should not be taught. 

    The part where Creationists really get bugged is “How did evolution/the earth begin

  40. It stands to reason that creationism and evolution would be taught as reasonable theories in biology.  They are after all the two predominant thoughts in our society if not the world.  All other theories are really offshoots of these two.  Present the two and let the students decide.

    I agree with this as well.  I am not arguing that ID should be taught as a science per se.  Just that the argument should not be excluded from the classroom…to restate what Shana said.

    How can you say that when it’s obvious from previous statements and from statements within the same post that you do think of ID as science? 

    I am not saying ID should be presented with any credibility, mind you.  But I enjoyed watching the Scopes monkey trial movie.  Real scientists need to know why ID is not a science and how to defend the integrity of education.  I learned about ID in it’s proper place: as a crap attempt to debunk science because it’s not full of the garden of eden.
    You’ve completely twisted my words and misread them, Lachaim. 

    I understand that theory is a set of hypotheses that one sets out to disprove through various experiments and tests.  Truly time is the greatest tests of both theories.  Just because a test has not been created to disprove creationism does not mean it is not a viable explanation.  Why is gravity still a theory?  What is the evolutionary logic behind the exsistance of weaker species living well past what should be expected? 

    That is wrong.  A hypothesis is an educated guess, pre-testing.  A theory is a tested hypothesis that has not been disproven.  Why don’t you suggest some tests for ID then?
    Gravity itself is not a theory.  There is a theory for how it works.  You are mixing ideas here.  Give me some examples of your weaker species.

    I am confused by your reference to role reversal…

  41. Role reversal…creationist were refusing to let Darwin’s theory be taught in school.  Darwinist are now refusing to let the theory of ID be taught in school.

    Fine just truly be scientific and teach the flaws of evolution and the holes in the concept.  Explain bats…weak species…did bats evolve from rodents?  How did they figure out how to use those wacking wings and radar?  Wow, miraculous.

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