Progress vs. Kansas Board of Education, Round 2

I read up until AIDS and then anything after the big paragraph.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t the separation of State and Church stop this, as it’s done before? At the very least, it should kill creationism in class, but probably intelligent design as well, since the being people usually describes ends up as a god. I can see it being taught in a private school (hell, I went to a Catholic school and we didn’t hear one bit of ID or creationism in biology), but this is dumb as hell. Just wait, this’ll get passed, some kid (or said kid’s parent) will walk out of the class (or pull the kid out) because of the ID part and we’ll have a huge media uproar.

Ok Cid, to that I’ll simply reply with someone else’s argument that I’ve taken a liking to: if we ARE designed, why are we designed so poorly? That appendix floating around in my body? Doesn’t do a damned thing, except pose a risk. Our eyeballs apparently have an inherent blind spot, due to the wait the cells and nerves grew over one another (with some searching, I could find the writing that addresses this. It’s somewhere on )

I don’t want to usurp Sin’s position, and doubt I can, since I didn’t quite manage to take in everything my class on evolution taught, but I’ll try anyway. If you can’t imagince complexity evolving over a matter of time, it might just be a matter of perspective. Evolution take a LONG TIME, generally, and we only live a short time. Our reliable history goes back only a few millenia, at best, and evolution’s been at work for billions of years. There’s been plenty of time for things to change.

Next time on evolution theater: Hitting Irreducable Complexity with the Iron Hammer of Reason!

No. I meant that I find it hard to believe that such complexity could even evolve. For example, the eye has trillions of little rods and cones that detect light. It would make no sense for the rods to evolve first and then the cones, or vice versa; or for the brain to develop neurons but not their pathways. In other words, there had to be an absolutely giant leap for these things to come into being. And hundreds or thousands of creatures had to do it all at once, and pass that on to all their children. That is a big leap of faith.

As for the imperfection, from a faith point of view, God had no interest in making perfect people. He has angels for that kind of thing. The entire point of mankind is a species which is inherently flawed and must grow and make decisions in their own way.

First of all, they aren’t theories, because a theory is more than just some statement asserted to be true; a statement becomes a theory only after evidence is accumulated in support of it. Secondly, they already were knocked down as illogical long ago; different scientists may have their own take on specific aspects of the model used to explain evolution, but there are no scientists questioning the established fact that evolution exists.

The only existing opposition to the theory of evolution is ideologically, not scientifically driven, and the ideology driving it is openly anti-intellectual and irrational. The methods used by this opposition just go to show that it can’t hold up under scientific scrutiny: it is unable to make a real case for itself the honest way, by submitting findings for debate and discussion the way all scientists with new ideas have always had to do; so, it tries to use political clout to strongarm its beliefs into the mainstream, and thus bypass reasoned scientific debate.

There is no leap of faith when you know how the biology behind it works. There is a lot that’s not known, but there is also a lot that is known on the topics of development in all kinds of organisms. Because you don’t know how it works or don’t know how you can know it can work doesn’t mean that it is driven by a higher power.

If you want a reason as to why rods and cones are here, think about why detecting light and shadow would be important for survival and competition. Now let that be selectively refined so that individuals with better sight outcompete those with worse sight, reinforcing the presence of the trait. Refine this over a billion years. Why are rods and cones so complex? Well, how does it benefit us that it is so complex? And its not because its not complex, that there isn’t a relatively simple mechanism / chain for its development.

Most important is not the end product of the organ or part that is indicative of evolution, but the genes and DNA sequences responsible for the generation of such organs and the development of the organism overall. Comapring genetic sequences for the proteins of organisms accross different species is extremely indicative of how closely related 2 things are. This will take a while to elaborate if you care to hear.

My five cents on why ID doesn’t make sense. And yes, I know RPT already explained this.

Well, let’s put it this way: As you say, there’s a lot that’s unknown. Therefore, there’s room for ID to be true. It’s true that there is no scientific evidence for it. But it’s still possible that it’s true; it hasn’t been definitively disproven to the point where it’s impossible. For parents who try to teach their kids the way their faith thinks, it’s very difficult for them to do so if schools insist that they’re wrong. That’s really why they want it to be mentioned in school; not necessarily to say that it’s right and evolution is wrong, but to be given a fighting chance at relating their own beliefs to their children.

It has been disproven to the extent that the rationale for presenting it is discredited.

The school has a curriculum to teach. They have standards they need to meet and topics in sciences that have to be presented regardless of their own irrational beliefs. This has nothing to do with what the parents like to believe but what these classes are supposed to be teaching as science. If you want to debate beliefs, go into philosophy. If you want to debate tested observations and results, that’s science.

You can believe it is wrong all you want, but you are completely ignoring mountains of scientific evidence such as a couple facts that I presented earlier that you conveniently ignored. And you are ignoring these facts solely out of personal preference instead of arguing the validity of what I actually said.

But, in that sense, it’s not possible to “disprove” <i>anything at all</i> “to the point where it’s impossible.” Can you “disprove” the idea that the world doesn’t really exist, and that everything you’ve ever experienced has just been something you dreamed? Can you “disprove to the point where it’s impossible” the idea that gravity is caused by little purple leprechauns who have three heads and practice Celtic paganism? You can’t. So, by your argument, the Little Purple Leprechaun explanation of gravity is just as valid as any other, and so we should teach it in schools as an “alternative.”

The validity of a statement is determined, not by whether or not it’s “possible,” nor by whether or not it has been “disproven to the point where it’s impossible,” but by how much factual evidence and sound, testable logical reasoning exists in support of it. So, if someone claims that he has an alternate theory in any area of science, the burden is always on him to provide a scientifically valid argument in support of it. But providing scientifically valid arguments is exactly what creationists are incapable of doing, so they attempt to circumvent that responsibility altogether, by using political influence to “legitimize” their beliefs by government decree.

I’m not saying what they’re doing is right (no one I personally know has ever tried to get the public school system to represent their own beliefs). I’m just trying to show their point of view.

There have been entire books written which attempt to reconcile science and religion. If people choose to ignore those kinds of attempts, that’s their problem. I actually don’t agree with what they’re doing, but part of that has to do with the fact that Jews who have strong faith nearly all send their kinds to private religious schools rather than to public school, and hence avoid the problem entirely.

I applaud the witty thread title.

One of my best friends routinely goes to the curch of divine science, which is a christian church which also believes evolution. Their argument is that a rational deity would create things logically, and what are ‘seven days’ to a god. The point is, I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive, and if public schools teach them that way, that’s part of the problem. I agree religion should not be taught, but it also shouldn’t be taught against. Public schools should teach evolution, but explain that it doesn’t necessarily contradict relgion, and that you can still belive what you want.

I read the entire post of Sin’s. Do I get a cookie?
Also, about the divine creator thing, isn’t it possible it doesn’t have to abide by the rules of our universe? Why should it, it’s not like it lives here.
Note, I’m not saying I disbelieve evolution, I believe in it. That whole “What created God” argument annoys me though.

Yes you do get a cookie.

I don’t think its possible for science to really explain the origin of matter/energy. There’s no one way to really “know”.

And Cid: I agree completely that it is their right to send their kids to private schools. I may not agree with what is taught there necessarily, however, it is not sponsored by the government, or at least it should not be. These issues we keep hearing are about public schools and how teaching creationism, despite how laughable it might seem in a science course, is indeed state sponsoring of religion.

On the other side…

EDIT: Er, the second one had nothing to do with Darkness, I just find it a funny thing kind of on the topic.

I swear, people have been fighting aobut the former strip so much they aren’t considering the second one enough. I’m atheist, pro-evolution, and liberal, but that doesnt mean I have to hate all religion for it.

I’m for the teaching of what theories and beliefs are. Not the teaching that the beliefs are inherently right, but just what they are.

Oh, and I also read all of Sin’s post. Go me.

Racism and sexual orientation aren’t choices. Religion is. That makes it so that if you’re a fucktard about your religion, you deserve the shaft.

Then teach the views of all of them. Or is that a problem? If it’s not a problem to teach Genesis, then it shouldn’t be a problem to teach every cracked-up laughable religion there is. Tell the kids that MAYBE evolution happened, but also maybe their ancestors were rolling in the hay with aliens from Sirius or whatever the choice star of the moment is for the crackpots out their wearing the same-colored shoes and forming a death cult so they can hitch a ride on a passing comet (I mixed a few different cults into the statement). The only reason Genesis creationism gets such special treatment is that it’s a tradition of the culture, and has no value beyond that. We don’t teach people to burn witches in our schools, we should not teach them creationism.

Also, going back to the idea of a theory. I’m not sure whether this applies to a hypothesis or a theory, but one of the two requires that the idea be falsifiable. That is, it’s provisionally true, but there are circumstances under which, if they were true, the theory (hypothesis) would be found false and summarily discarded. Science is testable, faith is not.

RPT just made me think about Scientology. Xeno and nukes and people volcanoes and all that shit. Now that should be taught. Hehe.

You guys do realize that it’s very difficult to be religious around this board, don’t you? ;_;

Try knowing me in person :wink: