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packsaddle

The good guys win again

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Would you be any happier if the federal judge went so far as to say, "God is a myth"? Or is it the season that brings you so much joy?

 

Intelligent design does not directly support a specific religion. It simply purports that there was/is a designer. There is empirical evidence to support this claim. So, it is a theory. This judge, by singling out Christianity, is clearly showing a bias. And he is clearly showing his ignorance by supporting evolution as valid science while discounting intelligent design, simply because if true, it indirectly supports the claims of creationism.

 

Do me favor. In the afterlife, feel free to associate me with the "bad guys". I prefer to be standing with that group, then a federal judge that goes out of his way to try to abolish any logical debate that might remotely support the existence of God as purported by the Bible.

 

Merry Christmas!

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I find it unlikely that a Republican judge appointed by George Bush would address issues not before his court and state "god is a myth".

 

However, he apparently was not pleased by how blatantly and often the school board supporters of Intelligent Design lied under oath in his courtroom:

 

...

Although Baksa claims he does not recall Bonsell identifying "creationism" as the subject with which he wanted to share equal time with evolution, nor that Bonsell mentioned "creationism" at any time up until April 1, 2003, we do not find his testimony on this point to be credible.

...

It is notable, and in fact incredible that Bonsell disclaimed any interest in creationism during his testimony, despite the admission by his counsel in Defendants' opening statement that Bonsell had such an interest.

 

Simply put, Bonsell repeatedly failed to testify in a truthful manner about this and other subjects. Finally, Bonsell not only wanted prayer in schools and creationism taught in science class, he also wanted to inject religion into the social studies curriculum, as evidenced by his statement to Baksa that he wanted students to learn more about the Founding Fathers and providing Baksa with a book entitled "Myth of Separation" by David Barton.

...

Finally, although Buckingham, Bonsell, and other defense witnesses denied the reports in the news media and contradicted the great weight of the evidence about what transpired at the June 2004 Board meetings, the record reflects that these witnesses either testified inconsistently, or lied outright under oath on several occasions, and are accordingly not credible on these points.

...

As we will discuss in more detail below, the inescapable truth is that both Bonsell and Buckingham lied at their January 3, 2005 depositions about their knowledge of the source of the donation for Pandas, which likely contributed to Plaintiffs' election not to seek a temporary restraining order at that time based upon a conflicting and incomplete factual record. This mendacity was a clear and deliberate attempt to hide the source of the donations by the Board President and the Chair of the Curriculum Committee to further ensure that Dover students received a creationist alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution. We are accordingly presented with further compelling evidence that Bonsell and Buckingham sought to conceal the blatantly religious purpose behind the ID Policy.

...

 

 

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I'd prefer not to think about this in terms of "good guys" or "bad guys". The mistake being made, that the court tried to correct, is the impression that intelligent design is science. It's not, and this is corroborated by the expert testimony of scientists who supported the ID side during the court case. Their testimony was that ID relies, at some point, on intervention by a supernatural power; this can't be proven as science, and therefore can't be a scientific theory. Science deals with things that can be proven or disproven based on observable and verifiable natural events. Supernatural intervention is by definition outside of science.

 

Now, does that make evolution correct and ID wrong? Absolutely not. It just makes them different.

 

The court found that those supporting ID in that state were acting within a subterfuge to bring creationism into their science classroom. Among the indications of that was the fact that an early draft of the text to be used for that purpose originally used the term creationism nearly 150 times. In the final draft, all mentions of creationism were replaced with intelligent design. The people of that school district must have agreed, since they have since voted that school board out of office.

 

ID shouldn't be taught in a science class any more than it should be taught in English class or shop class. It is a theological belief that has its appropriate place in either a theology class or a philosophy class, perhaps.

 

Evolutionary theory may be correct. ID may be correct. Maybe some combination of the two is correct. Maybe the supernatural being that intervenes in ID is a space alien. Who knows? The point is, it can't be proven by the laws of science, and therefore shouldn't be include in a science curriculum.

 

I think if the wording of the notice about ID that was to be included in the classroom had been a little different, there might not have been a problem. The wording seemed to imply that both evolution and ID were scientifically based theories, and I think that that's what got them into trouble.

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If I'm not mistaken, the ruling was intelligent couldn't be required teaching in public schools. That doesn't eliminate a teacher from referring to it or even teaching it along with the theory of evolution.

 

So actually, no one won or lost. Things remain the same.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

A blessed Christmas to all

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Sorry, I was sent back from the mini-rapture just long enough to torment Rooster7 a little. ;)

 

So far, it seems that Merlyn is the only one to actually READ the decision. It is a devastating document, delivered by a George W. appointee who previously has stated his support for teaching ID, and whose mentors include staunchly conservative republicans. This decision definitely has winners.

The winners in this case are the children attending science classes in public schools.

 

As we say on the other side of rapture...EeeeeeHaaaaa!

Going back to space now....have a great holiday everyone (Christmas included as well, but up here the Pagans are doing the decorating this year). :)

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I normally stay out of these discussion because I am not as aticulate as others, but I want to add my two cents this time.

 

As a mother of 3 children, 1 of which has had to sit through teachings of evolution, I don't feal that either whould be taught. Evolution is a theory, not proven fact, but it is taught as fact. Let's just stick to teaching what can be proven in our classrooms. Leave the study of theories until the students are old enough to decide for themselves what they want to study.

 

It take faith to believe in Intelligent Design. But does it not also take faith to believe in evolution? To believe that life changed so much over millions of years and that out of the waters intelligent life just came to be.

 

I was not raised in a Christian home and came to these conclusion before I came to my faith. The teachings I recieved in school just never made sense to me, I knew in my heart that there had to be more to it.

 

Here is what gets to me: The most attacked views are those that Christians take. If a Christian attacks the view of someone eles, they are told that they should be openedminded. But then are also told that they should not force their views on others, even though they and their children are having other's views forced on them.

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Are Christian views really attacked or do those that hold those views feel defensive when their mistakes are pointed out? I am a Christian yet I do not see that evolution directly conflicts with my belief. Most major denominations also do not have a problem with evolution. The problem comes when people try to force ID or creation science into the definition of science. Scientific theories or hypotheses, by definition, are falsifiable. That means that you cannot prove them correct, you can only prove them false. If every bison you have ever seen is brown does that prove that all bison are brown? No - it only proves that is what you have observed. What about blonde or albino bison? Until you see an albino bison your theory of brown bison stands to explain bison color. Once you see an albino you must change your theory to explain the new information. The original theory wasn't "wrong" since it explained bison color correctly more than 99% of the time, it just means it needs adjusting to account for new information. ID does not have falsifiable theories. Everything ID has presented are attempts to show evolutionary theory wrong instead of trying to prove or present their own theories.

 

You need to remember that a scientific theory is not a guess or fuzzy estimation. It is a logical and testable explanation for things that are observed. A scientific theory consists of the following - it is:

1.Consistent (internally and externally)

2.Parsimonious (sparing in proposed entities or explanations)

3.Useful (describes and explains observed phenomena)

4.Empirically Testable & Falsifiable

5.Based upon Controlled, Repeated Experiments

6.Correctable & Dynamic (changes are made as new data is discovered)

7.Progressive (achieves all that previous theories have and more)

8.Tentative (admits that it might not be correct rather than asserting certainty)

 

If you object to evolutionary theory because it is just a theory then I guess we will also have to quit teaching gravitational theory and quantum theory too. Nobody has proven gravity yet nor can they even explain how it works yet. Sorry Newton, even though we've worked on it for hundreds of years we can't present your information in school until the students are old enough to decide whether they believe in gravity for themselves. Don't put a box around God through the limitations of the human mind.

 

 

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Fishsqueezer,

 

Don't put a box around God through the limitations of the human mind.

 

This is an interesting statement, in which I find agreement. In fact, I was thinking this very thought as I read most of your post.

 

By the way, I love number six on your list. It's a convenient out every time someone punches a hole in the theory of evolution. Ironically, few secular scientists would afford Christians that out in regard to the theory of creationism. In short, there is plenty of evidence of ID - the existence of God (a.k.a. a superior being) as an intelligent designer - if one is merely willing to open his eyes.

 

Also, evolution has plenty which it cannot explain. But because secular scientists and liberal educators embrace this theory, they collectively give each other an understanding nod and speak of bones yet to be discovered and/or "minor" adjustments that may be necessary. When creationism encounters a gap in evidence, the same community nods but they quickly turn the conversation to the stubbornness of conservative Christians and the need for "superstition". Ironically, while these people the scientific and educational communities - are supposed to be the most open minded, they in fact, are hypocritically embracing a double-standard so their own narrow-minded illusions will not be discredited.

 

Fishsqueezer, consider jumping out of your tank and looking around. I doubt that you will grow legs, but on the other hand you may find a new world, one without walls.

 

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Prairie_Scouter writes:

I'd prefer not to think about this in terms of "good guys" or "bad guys". The mistake being made, that the court tried to correct, is the impression that intelligent design is science.

 

I would like to think of this in terms of "good guys" and "bad guys". Pushing creationism into public schools isn't done by mistake, it's done to get religious teachings into public schools using deliberate deception (as can be seen by how the creationist school board members lied in court).

 

Creationism is not science, because it does not meet the rigorous standards that make science useful. Creationism does not lead to new knowledge, like how to fight diseases - evolution does. Here's a recent Doonesbury strip that illustrates that:

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/2005/db051218.gif

 

Any arguments to include creationism would have a hard time keeping geocentrists out; anyone willing to teach alternative theories that say the earth is the center of the universe?

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I don't think that most people who oppose teaching ID in science classes are attacking Christian beliefs per se. I don't believe most of these people would want to see Jewish, Muslim, or Buddhist views on how the world came to be taught as science either. Nor would they advocate teaching various Native American creation beliefs in a biology class. From the perspective of those who oppose ID as science, the problem stems from a definition of what science is and how it operates, that ID does not appear to meet. That doesn't make ID (or any other belief) unworthy of discussion, the question is more one of where that discussion ought to take place.

 

Faith-based explanations rely on just that, faith. Faith cannot and indeed should not be required to justify itself scientifically in order to have meaning. I really think supporters of ID are barking up the wrong tree by trying to convince people that this is a scientific endeavor. They'd get a lot more traction, and more serious and thoughtful discussion by saying hey, let's look at this as part of a belief system.

 

Religious beliefs and science may well overlap in some places. As an example, we could easily do studies to examine the physical impact of prayer on people's sense of well being (actually I'm sure these studies exist but I don't want to go dig them out right now). If the results show that people who pray regularly are less stressed, in better health, happier, etc., then we might accept as scientific evidence that prayer is good for you. On the other hand though, we wouldn't extrapolate from there that the reason prayer seems to have positive health impacts is because whatever higher being you pray to is actively intervening to answer your prayers. This is purely a matter of faith and belief, and it is inherently untestable in any scientific manner.

 

Personally (and yes, as a Christian), I am not opposed to asking students to explore various theological and cultural explanations for our existence at all. I think this could be a deeply meaningful and enriching discussion. For those who want to explore ID and other ideas about how we got here, why not offer an elective course in cultural anthropology or sociology or literature where students have a chance to explore, compare, contrast, and discuss various understandings of creation. Done well, this would be fascinating regardless of one's religious views. The phrase "teach the controversy" (as inflammatory as this has become in the context of evolution and science) would fit just fine in a class like this.

 

By the way one of the best classes I took in High School (public school, not that long ago really) was a lit course where we read various parts of the Bible, Torah, Koran, and other religious texts. The point of the course was to explore narratives, historical contexts, and ways of communicating beliefs; not to support or denigrate any particular belief. So there can be a place for serious discussion of these kinds of questions, if we can just get past the politics of it.

 

Lisa'bob

A good old bobwhite too!

 

 

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I vote with Lisabob.

 

Trying to pass ID off as a scientific theory is simply dishonest. Any Christian who takes living by the commandments seriously should be ashamed at lying in this way.

 

At the same time, those who teach science must be mindful of the limits of their discipline. Presenting evolution as a theory, along with its wealth of supporting evidence/facts, AND the current areas where we don't understand, is an expectation we all should have of an honest educator.

 

I have seen public schools and public school administrators be truly abusive to Christian kids, and get away with it because of "separation of Church and State." All of us who believe in this fine country should be outraged by such things. The response of Christian parents to demand equal time for their views along with other inimical "secular" views is a simple request for fairness that should be honored. I have seen Christians, though, who really intend to create a "dominant culture." They should take a lesson from Iran and Christian history about how quickly the aims of God are thwarted when church assumes the coercive power of the state rather than the convincing power of a better idea.

 

Da proper place for all of this discussion is a required 1-year philosophy course in all public schools. One that includes the assumptions and weaknesses of scientific method, and treats science on an equal footing with other kinds of human knowledge. One that explores the differences in religious faiths and their understandings of the world, from within... even short segments or visiting lectures taught by rabbis and ministers and imams.

 

Does anyone in this day and age believe that a thorough understanding of these issues isn't vital to being an informed citizen in the modern world?

 

Stop trying to change science. That's dishonest. Teach science for what it is - one particular philosophy of knowledge with a very limited scope. And then be good educators, and teach the other philosophies of knowledge, too.

 

Because a Scout is honest and Trustworthy.

 

 

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Though weary of this common mis-statement, I will soldier on ...

 

Evolution is not a theory. The evolution of biological systems over geologic spans of time is a demonstrated fact. Evolution happens. What is a theory is the mechanism by which evolution proceeds; natural selection is currently the best explanation.

 

Hence, the "theory of evolution by means of natural selection". It's the natural selection part that is the theory, not the evolution part.

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I will agree that things do evolve, but how that happens is the question and that's where the theory part comes into play. So teaching evolution as fact without also teaching all the possible theory gives a one sided and inaccurate view of evolution.

 

A Doonesbury cartoon is hardly proof of anything except humor!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

A blessed Christmas to all

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