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Should the BSA promote creationism?

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And the topic is creationism and my point was that understanding or explaining one little slice of a scienticfic process (theory of evolution) should be able to fit neatly with all of the other theories, laws etc-Hence the Everything theory-Should the BSA teach ceationism vs randomism


To quote John F.Haught, a lay Catholic theologian at Georgetown University, agrees that scientists sometimes turn evolution into an antireligious world view that exceeds the proper limits of science. However, he opposes ID as both bad science and bad theology.

To Haught, educators fail to admit that 'there are different layers of explanation' for phenomena. For example, water boiling on a stove can be validly explained as molecules responding to heat, as effects caused by turning on the burner, or as evidence that someone wanted a cup of tea.

Similarly, he thinks evolution can be seen as both the tresult of natural selection and part of God's averarching purpose.

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I understood the topic to be, literally, "Should the BSA promote creationism?" and not creationism itself. In other words, I thought it was more of a rhetorical question that suggested extension of the religious nature of the organization to the content of the program, and perhaps suggesting BSA should be anti-science. Not simply about creationist non-science.

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Merlyn's post was pointed in "maybe an anti-science merit badge or something."


My post involves a point that the validity of science does not impact the overall plan of a creator. The Creators ways are not our ways and the creators methonds our not our methods.


But then Merlyn needs to answer 2 questions:


What is God?


What is religion?



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I guess a dictionary is on your shelf somewhere but, not to speak for Merlyn, I asked one of my friends this afternoon:

God - an imaginary supernatural force (potentially one of many, actually) with various powers (depending on whether Greek, Roman, Norse, Hindu, etc.)

Religion - a system of beliefs based on alleged commandments (suggestions?) from one or more of the above. He added some mumblings about such beliefs being irrational in the sense that they are based on one or more imaginary 'friends'. I'm not sure I agree with him on that last part but then, I'm not sure I understand it.

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stlscouter, I fail to see what your point is; creationism isn't science, and that can be shown without addressing what gods or religions are. Creationism isn't science because it doesn't follow the rules of science - it doesn't propose falsifiable theories, for one thing.

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Well since for you a Creator is imaginary there is no need for you to even to adress the question of creationism-for me, my Creator created science and that science can not create a Creator. If the only point to your inquiries about creationism is to find fault or belittle or ridicule the beliefs of others then I'll leave it to you to explain the Everything Theory and only in scientific terms. You may begin with the simple premise: Why does time go in only one direction. Next, explain by physical proof a thought, prove that thought absolutely. Thirdly, prove concusively the unified field theory so as to make it absolute. While my Creeator created these things and knows why and how, science can not create a single thing from nothing.


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An anthropologists view of religion goes something along these lines.


Religion is a social contruct that maintains community cohesiveness by integrating 3 key elements: Theology, Ritual, and Morality.


Theology usually is expressed as an integrated system of beliefs in a variety of supernatural entities and forces (gods, demons, etc.). Ritual is a system of stylized behaviors which self-identify the individual as a member of the group and which reinforce and tie together the various supernatural elements. Morality is a system of behavioral rules which allow people to live together in harmony; often the consequences of violation of the rules are tied back to the supernatural aspects.


In this school of thought, a god is a supernatural entity often (but not always) with special powers. Some gods are interested in human affairs, other are not. Some gods are eternal and/or all powerful, other gods have definite limitations, sometimes including mortality. Some gods are good, other gods are evil, some are both, others are just mischievous.


All religions contain each of these 3 elements. If a social system does not include all 3, then it is not a religion. However, different religions integrate these 3 elements in different ways and often emphasize one element over another. For example, Christianity puts more emphasis on theology than Shinto, which in turn emphasizes morality and proper living more than Christianity. In the same way, some sects of Christianity are more ritualized than others.


This social view of religion does not deny the benefits to the individual: a sense of belonging and fathomable answers to mankinds eternal questions (why are we born?, what happens after we die?, why is there evil?).


Of course, there is also the school of thought that says religions are just cults with more members.

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On the assumption that God actually IS omnipotent, omniscient, etc., I doubt that a person can actually comprehend God except in some personal way, and limited by the abilities of that individual. I can't give you a good answer personally. Simply, "God is love" is good enough for me. Alternatively, one of the children in a religious education class in my church once said he thought God was a cloud. That works too. Happy?

Of course, I could be wrong.:)

God could very well be a hallucination from eating moldy grain stored for the first time in history in ancient Egypt. It is, after all, an interesting coincidence that the rise of agriculture and the use of grain storage occurs around the same time in history as the various visions and revelations of ancient religions. At least I think it's interesting.


As for 'religion', I like door #4 from Webster:

"a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith". (see, you COULD have looked it up in the dictionary after all)


So how is this related to the topic?

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Welcome Trevorum-


I read what anthropologists say religion is, now what do you say it is-same for God.


When the God of the Hebrew declared, when asked who are you, he declared "I am that I am". for anyone to expand on that becomes as the blind men describing the elephant each has a different idea none completely wrong, none completely right- and they just can't "see" the whole picture.


editedpart and by the anthropologists definition the BSA isn"t religious because there is no common theology, certainly no common ritual but of course there is common morality.

(This message has been edited by stlscouter)

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stlscouter writes:

Well since for you a Creator is imaginary there is no need for you to even to adress the question of creationism


Sure there is; creationism is bad science. I don't consider science to be imaginary, and creationism isn't science. My original question was to see if the BSA might end up endorsing a false science like creationism in order to appease some of its supporters.

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Most of you know that Baden-Powell's Scouting for Boys probably sold more copies than any other title during the twentieth century with the exception of the Bible.


Fewer people are aware of his father as co-author of the radical Essays and Reviews (March 1860--published in this country as Recent Inquiries in Theology), one of the most famous books of the nineteenth century!


The Reverend Baden Powell was the first eminent cleric to declare publicly for Darwin, and Darwin admired Powell's writings as he indicated very clearly in his introduction to the third edition of The Origin of Species.


From Jeal's biography, Baden-Powell:


"During the 1850s, many clerics explained away evolutionary theories by arguing that the gaps in the fossil record and the apparent suddenness of changes in species could only be explained by God's decision to create anew every time conditions became unfavorable for existing species. In The Order of Nature Baden Powell poured scorn on such last-ditch arguments. In the October issue of the influential Quarterly Review his book was savaged by the Archbishop of Dublin and others. Far from recanting, Professor Powell sent off a still more trenchant essay--in which he demolished the historical authenticity of the miracles--for inclusion in a collection provisionally entitled Essays and Reviews.


"The Order of Nature was a significant influence upon [b-P], as a sub-heading in Rovering to Success makes plain 'Nature Knowledge as a Step Towards Realizing God'. Baden-Powell also used to quote Bacon's aphorism: 'The study of the Book of Nature is the true key to that of Revelation.' "


If you take the time to read about these connections, I think you will understand why the BSA's government-established monopoly on Scouting is so very important to American religious fundamentalists.








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"step one;


start with nothing and cause light.




start with something compressing into such dense mass that its mass is infinate and its dimensions are finite and there results a big bang.


Prove either."


Science is a tentative venture. Observations are made. Hypotheses are formed and tested. Eventually theories are developed to explain the observations. Nothing is ever "proven". However, at a certain point it becomes perverse to deny the reality of facts that line up in favor of a theory. Both the big bang and evolution have reached such status.


There is plenty of data that fits the idea that our universe started with the big bang. There is the 'red shift' of the light from more distant stars. There is the fact that all of the galaxies are moving away from each other. There are 'echos' from the original explosion. There is the fact that all of the galaxies are moving away from a specific point. All of this points to the reality that our universe had definite beginning about 12 billion years ago.


There is absolutely no scientific evidence for the Biblical creation story. You may accept it on faith but you simply can not argue effectively for the position using science.

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