Creationists win… again

  Here is the latest in the creationists attempt to get their beliefs placed alongside science.

The Tulsa Zoo will add a display featuring the biblical account of creation following complaints to a city board about other displays with religious significance, including a Hindu elephant statue.

  According to the article the other “religious” piece was a marble globe with the inscription, “The earth is our mother.  The sky is our father.”  While these items are oblique references to other religions, they are by no means a blatent reference to the various creation myths of said religions.  If the poor, downtrodden Christians want something, why not put up a freaking cross, a depiction of Jesus, Noah’s Ark, or anything else.  Please…  it’s not enough that they want to cram it down our throats in public schools, now they want a damned billboard of their bogus myth placed in a zoo!!!

25 thoughts on “Creationists win… again

  1. What’s worse is that zoos are an instrument for teaching children about animals and biology. This is another great leap backward for America’s educational system.

  2. I would go ahead and place the display on Creationism in a prominent location with a large disclaimer sign at the bottom that states: “Warning: This is total bullshit.”

  3. Like Uber, I think it’s fine to have religious displays in a zoo.  Another serving suggestion: they could be kept in cages, with signs saying “Danger.  Keep your minds out of reach.  Parents are responsible for their children”.

  4. I’m not too upset about this one and the zoo did kind of open the door to this by having the statue of a Hindu elephant god on the premises already. If anything, I’d like to see the zoo have displays around the park illustrating a whole mess of creationist myths from all over the world. That would be actually educational.

  5. creationist5 smeasonist – these people are all going to burn anyways on their judgement day so I say the hell with them. Notice I said on THEIR Judgement Day. It doesn’t apply unless you believe. – They have made their own bed so let them lie in it!!  cool grin

  6. I’ve been following the creationist/evolutionist debate on this website and others for a long time. I have always been puzzled that proponents on both sides have not found a middle way i.e. that ‘God’ (see below) may have designed a mechanism whereby evolution could occur and therefore enable the emergence of humans, plants, animals, etc.

    Of course, this would not satisfy the creation extremists who insist that Genesis is literally true. To my mind they are being willfully ignorant in choosing to ignore the massive evidence for evolution. I cannot fathom why it is so important to them to insist in the ‘literal’ truth of the bible when any reasonable person can see that the stories function equally well when viewed as parables.

    As for who or what ‘God’ is, or whether there is one, that issue is also not simply black and white, true or false; there may well be a middle way there too. For example, I started life as a catholic, however I didn’t really believe in the existance of a human-like God sitting on a cloud and dispensing justice, favours and/or damnation to us down here. I chose to study science (Physics) at University, which pretty much put to bed any belief I had in a supernatural being.

    Just recently however, I have come back to believing in a ‘diety’ of sorts. I have been studying a quantum phenomenon known as ‘quantum superposition’. This states that a particle/waveform exists in all possible states at the same time, and that external observation and/or interaction with the surrounding environment causes the waveform to collapse and for the particle/waveform to take on one particular state. I won’t bore you with the scientific detail, but the phenomenon explains how the first self-replicating molecules could have appeared against incredible odds. If this is true, then the phenomenon seems to me to be the font of all creation and could explain molecular evolution and therefore biological evolution.

    Surely if we cannot put an image on a God (i.e. does he look like us, does he sit on a cloud, does he have a long white beard, etc) then why can’t God be a phenomenon ? If you were looking for a suitable candidate for what ‘God’ might be, then the phenomenon of Quantum Superposition would seem to be a pretty strong candidate i.e. it caused self-replicating molecules to come into existance and kick-started evolution.

    Again, this would not satisfy the literalists, who read in the bible that we are made in God’s image. That argument is also pretty weak – for if God is all powerful, what does he need arms for; if he is all knowing, why would he need ears, eyes, etc ?

    If you want to know more about Quantum Superposition and how it may explain molecular/biological evolution, then I can strongly recommend a great book by a fellow Northern-Irishman called John-Joe McFadden. The book is called Quantum Evolution and does a great job of explaining how molecular/biological evolution may be explained by quantum phenomenon.

    His book (which is entirely based on real/proper science rather than creationist quackery) also provides some explanation of what conciousness is and how it ‘emerged’.

    I’d be interested to know if anyone else follows my argument and whether there is any support for my proposition that there could be a ‘middle way’ that could satisfy the (non-extremist) sides of the designer/evolution debate.

  7. Some people would call Intelligent Design the middle-way, which I don’t necessarily agree with. The thing is that on the right side you have people trying to stay true to traditional Christian values and beliefs, and on the left you have people trying to keep religion out of education and out of anything that might infringe upon the right not to believe. To take a middle ground you would need the righties willing to compromise and the lefties willing to allow a little religion into the system—both of which probably won’t be happening anytime soon.

    Quantum physics is fascinating, though I don’t understand half of it. I’d reccommend the movie “What the Bleep do We Know?” to anyone who wants it all spelled out in layman’s terms.

  8. There is a middle ground already:

    1)  You are free to believe in whatever the fuck you want to believe in.

    2)  That freedom does not extend to curtailing the freedoms of other people, especially those who don’t share your beliefs.

    3)  If you can’t apply the scientific method to it, it shouldn’t be taught in a science classroom.

    The only thing that science CAN’T prove is the unprovable.

  9. I’d argue that there are plenty of people out there who take the middle ground when it comes to the theory of Evolution at least. Specifically they do believe in a personal God and they also accept Evolution as true by assuming that the latter is just one of the mysterious ways God gets stuff done that’s been made a little less mysterious. I know quite a few believers from various religions who lay claim to that middle ground.

    As far as God as phenomena, it’s an interesting idea to be sure, but without having read the book you recommended (though I’ll probably put it on my wish list soon) I’m not sure how “God-like” such a God would really be. At least not by the more traditional definitions of what God(s) are supposedly like. By most standards God is supernatural, but if he’s nothing more than an (admittedly bizarre) phenomena then he becomes natural and thus contradicts one of the primary definitions of what it means to be a God.

  10. ID is “the middle way” in the same sense as saying the Earth is not 4.5 billion years old, or 6,000 years old, but 2,250,003,000 years old (a fair compromise).  It’s just creationism tricked out in sciency-sounding words, and has no place in science classes in public schools.

  11. In reply to Lobo, I’m right with you. I agree that ID (as proposed by Hovind, etc) is bunk and has no place in a classroom. What I am proposing is related to well established Quantum Physics, which does pass scientific method. I don’t want to suggest that by proposing the idea of a quantum ‘diety’ that I am getting into bed with creationist idiots – perish the thought.

    In reply to Les, I’d say we are almost getting down to semantics, or at least I am wink
    If we accept that the word ‘natural’ describes what people can understand by observing the macro and even micro worlds, then quantum phenomenon could be described as ‘supernatural’ i.e. at the quantum level ‘things’ come into existance from nothing, ‘things’ disappear into nothing, ‘things like self-replicating molecules’ come into existance against mind-bendingly huge odds. That seems to satisfy my criteria for being suitably supernatural. When you look into quantum physics in depth, it gets more and more ‘wierd’. Sorry to use such an unscientific term, but that’s the best word to describe it – it just doesn’t fit with everyday human logic. The only thing I could concede about quantum superposition as a possible (creative force/diety) is I cannot imagine ‘it’ being concious, but then we’re way into another massive topic there. Whew ! What is conciousness ? Answers in less than 10 words to…

    The only religion I can sympathise with is Hinduism. Their ancient vedic texts (5-6,000 years old) pretty accurately describe the nature of matter and energy. They knew that the two are interchangeable and seemed to have a good grasp of quantum physics (in different language and symbolism of course). Spooky that they could have beaten the rest of us to it with quite a head start, without particle accelerators to help them. The only problem is that hinduism then goes on huge flights of fancy with elephant Gods, dieties with 6 arms, etc, although I have been told by a hindu friend that these are representative of aspects of human nature and you don’t have to take them literally (Christians take note).

    Ultimately, the only ‘use’ I have for a God is to explain where I came from. Quantum Phenomenon seems to do that for me. I don’t need ‘it’ to be concious and loving (except in the sense that anything that creates me/us is by defintion ‘loving’). Sorry – more semantics – that’s the problem of getting philosophical !

  12. Hmmm. Reviewing my last post, I wish I knew how to spell deity. Sorry God, got your name wrong !

  13. I would like to add this from my book “The Plain Truth About God-101 (what the church doesn’t want you to know)
    A few words to end the “evolution/creation

  14. **God inspired the bible, he didn’t write it. People base their lives around the manic scribbling of desert baked primitives who ate bugs and honey. Of course they saw God! A.W.J.

    OK then try this link!!!once more—with feeling!

  15. If you think that a group of people who lived in a time when the earth was considered flat and their main means of transportation was a donkey – know more than us – you are nuts – plain and simple!

    Agreed.

    On the other hand, I cannot see how a universe so full of wonder and mystery and complexity can ever be considered a result of “blind luck!

  16. Sorry my friend, I hate to tell you this but “dice don’t fuck!”
    don’t believe me? look it up in the book under “dice”

  17. On the other hand, I cannot see how a universe so full of wonder and mystery and complexity can ever be considered a result of “blind luck!

  18. Sorry my friend, I hate to tell you this but “dice don’t fuck!”

    Then why the fuck did you, my friend, use them as a straw man for the Darwinist position (I’m assuming that’s what you meant)?  Scientists will tell you that living things do fuck- at least some of them do- and they do reproduce, producing variations through mutation, which are then selected.  Non-fucking dice are your analogy, not mine, and one no scientist would defend.

    If, on the other hand, you were refering to the origin of the Universe and physical law, that’s something else.  But no one was there to throw dice, so again the analogy sucks.

    The main problem with the Argument from Design (which is basically the position of ID), however, is a logical one.  David Hume saw it in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, published posthumously in 1779:

    How, therefore, shall we satisfy ourselves concerning the cause of that Being whom you suppose the Author of Nature, or, according to your system of Anthropomorphism, the ideal world, into which you trace the material? Have we not the same reason to trace that ideal world into another ideal world, or new intelligent principle? But if we stop, and go no further; why go so far? why not stop at the material world? How can we satisfy ourselves without going on in infinitum?

    The problem is, postulating a God does not explain order- God Himself is orderly, so He must be a creation too, by this reasoning.  Calling Him a “First Cause” or “Uncaused Cause” is mere causistry and leaves the question, where did all this order come from, open.  ID has no explanatory power, so it’s not science.

  19. Zilch – I was referring to the comment about “dice” a few comments ago. You might have to take my word for it but “dice definately do not fuck!” ( I was not talking about Mice! wink
    As for the rest of your rant, I did not understand zilch about what zilch said. zilch
    A.W.J.

  20. Warbi you use a very unfair and misleading thread of logic to throw in “anecephelic baby” as a point to bring your argument home!
    Maybe you should throw that baby out with the bathwater, because I am the first to admit in my Book “Good-101” that Evolution is hard on the individual!

    By the way it’s definitely, not definately, sorry!

  21. Heh, yes it is.  That was my point though.  Many genetic changes that bring about phenotypic changes are not good for the individual nor the species.  Changes happen, good, bad, or neutral.  If these changes bring about a better reproductive strategy, then those traits will tend to spread throughout that particular breeding population.  This points more to randomness than some “intelligent” power shepherding the changes.  The only reason things look so orderly to us is that we are late comers in something that has been going on for literally millions of years- lots of time for the dead enders to die off as well as for ecosystems to reach equilibrium.  Also, our minds tend to form patterns even when they don’t exist.

  22. Warbi your comments are absolutely right but I personaly have a problem with “atheism!” I am not religious in the least but have just enough spirituality flowing through me that I can not get my head around the concept of evolution by blind chance. This means conciousness and everything else we hold dear is, in the long run, totaly irrelevant! That to me is like going into the dark quietly!I refuse. A.W.J.

  23. Moses, just because something is totally irrelevant or hard to accept, does not mean that it is illogical. I am quite prepared for the fact that all this is for nothing. However, I can’t really say ‘nothing’. The opportunity to have lived in such a developed ‘statistically improbable’ world is what makes it ‘wonder’-ful. At least I will have had (at least) 47 wonderful years. Sure, I’d like there to be more to it, but wishing don’t make it so.

  24. Jees!! Anyone that is the least bit religious, and reads my book, calls me a “God hating Heathen” and “infidel!”
    Now I’m getting dissed by the other side too~! sob 🙁
    (think I’ll retire from the human race and retreat to my mountaintop!)A.W.J.

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