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The good guys win again

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From Brent Allen: " This is probably overly simplistic and repetitive, but the problem us "believers" have is their is no room in science for a religious explanation, which directly conflicts with our religious beliefs. Christian students are asked, in effect, to study and believe material which goes against their religious beliefs. We are not asking that science teach religion, we only ask that science acknowledge religion, so that we don't feel we are being asked to choose between the two. "



Brent, I can't speak for everyone, but there are some things I can say.


1. The education system as a whole exists as it does due to the voters decisions. Sure it likely will never be voted out due to twelve years of acceptance by most voters, but I would note that it is, in effect, a majority will. If you wish to change what school your children are forced to go to, I might suggest looking into either private options or politicians supporting voucher programs.


2. Science makes no effort to disprove religion. Surely, I admit, there are some strange scientists out to do that very thing, but they are the rare exceptions. If the majority of people on Earth are religious in some way, and if the scientific body is any representation of that, I doubt the demographics are skewed to any side save perhaps away from any fundamentalist religion.


3. Many religious views have no conflict with science. In fact, I'd say most don't. If science interferes with your views, it is your responisbility to resolve it, but it is illogical to force that same view onto others. I resolve it with the ID version of evolution etc. being the agents of God. There is no way I could consider that biology, that's a resolution of my own. It holds true for all of us. And, considering especially the 1st ammendment and the 14th, we can draw the conclusion that it is wrong for a school to make any bias for or against any religion. By all means it can state theories, but by no means can it say this theory proves you wrong.




From BrentAllen

"firstpusk states: 'The random part of evolution is the variation of genes within a population.' My question is - what caused those variations? Can you prove what caused them? Maybe it was God tinkering with the species? Can you rule out the possibility that ID caused this variation?"


Science doesn't, to my knowlege, rule out things in that sense. Rather it simply goes to where the most evidence lies. If it changes, so does the world view(look at atomic theory for that!) Now, we do get conflicts where evidence is not easily quantified into importance, or where we get inconsistancies(two theories with equal but conflicting evidence- Relativity/Quantam/Superstring might be an example), or theories that just both explain with equal evidence.


Anyway, it is not science to make those claims. We believe variations come from processes durring meiosis and fertilization(and others) but to say God did or did not create it, is simply not science. It's not wrong or right, it's just not science's domain. And as a philosophy, that's fine. Just not science.


"Those models used to calculate the formation of the universe 13 million years ago - are they the same ones currently being used to predict global warming? Are they the same ones used to predict the weather 24 hours from now, and do so with such high precision?


All you evolutionists want proof of ID. I consider myself living, breathing proof of ID."


That's very good for you...but only you! That's what I mean. You can't objectively say to a scientist that you are proof of ID. There is nothing but opinion and personal revelation there. It simply won't apply to everyone.



"Do evolutionists celebrate Thanksgiving? If so, who do they pray to, giving thanks? To the particular gene mutation or variation that caused them to be created? I would like a copy of that prayer, please, so I can be scientifically correct next Thanksgiving. "


Well, I suppose it would depend on the religion of the evolutionist. Most of my prayers are silent thanks type prayers, but sometimes they say grace.


I suppose it really depends on the religion. I can't see how a Jainist might celebrate Thanksgiving in a conventional sense, but certailny he or she might have a non-meat dinner and thank someone, although I cannot say I know enough about the Jainist beliefs to understand.


However, I'm guessing, and forgive me if I'm wrong, that you are likely a protestant simply because you are in America where that is the dominant religion. Likely there are prayers such as the Our Father you could work with.


But forgive me, I don't know your religion off hand, so I suggest saying the same prayers as always.




Yes, so after all of that, what I'm trying to demonstrate is simple. Evolutionists aren't all atheists. They aren't mainly atheists. The Catholic church has accepted evolution, and as it is the largest denomination of Christianity(worldwide, not US) and as we can assume that most Catholics do believe in the words of the church(or else, I suppose, they aren't Catholic) that's a good 900,000,000 evolution believers who are also religious. Heck, let's take out one hundred million who disagree, and another three hundred for those who don't know, and that's a lot.





Note: I only bring up Catholicism due to its large numbers and being one of very few religions I know of that is centralized and has such a definite stance on the view of evolution. The source I have is fairly good, although there are others.


I apologize if the above seemed odd, but by responding in the way I did, I think I drew attention to the facts I wanted to, specifically that evolution and religion are not simply opposites.


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My comment about fish growing legs was sarcasm. Still, inevitably, the evolution argument supports the idea that species can significantly change over time. I'll accept the idea that a species of animal may acquire thicker skin over time (due to those surviving the winter better than others and passing the trait down to future generations). I accept the idea that a species will become faster (collectively) because the faster animals are better hunters and survive to pass on this attribute. It's "the rest of the story" that I don't buy. I remain unconvinced that over time "a deer will become a water buffalo", or that we evolved from an ape like man, or that all of life started out as a microorganism in a pond somewhere.


As for personal attacks, you surely exaggerate. If anything, I offered a retort to your comment that I was incapable of seeing any view but my own. Other comments I made were not directed at any particular individual and contained no noteworthy rancor. I dont see justification for your assertion. So relax, its not personal, at least not to me.


As for empirical evidence for ID, I can point to various web sites, such as this one - http://www.ideacenter.org/about/mission_beliefs.php

Or this one



But whats the point. You seem no more inclined to changing your mind on this issue as I. And this is growing tiresome. So with that, I think I will attempt to bow out of this fray. In the meantime, keep on squeezing those fish or whatever else it is that you do.


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On the surface I will agree with your statements and yes, Creationists (sp) will use the "were you there" argument to try and validate their stance since it validates their (my) belief regardless of "evidence".

However, it only brings us back to the idea that while the theory of Evolution may have all of the "empirical evidence" to support it, this all started from somewhere by someone...in my case, God started it and whether he allowed us to formulate our theories on evolution as part of that process, I will continue to accept both regardless of how a loose bunch of ID people started a fight that they had no hope of winning.


Bottomline, it still does not make the other side "good guys" and it was a poor term used in this forum. Especially in a BSA forum where faith and religious beliefs are promoted - regardless of beliefs of others who post within this forum. I am as candid as possible with my scouts but I fail to see how this ID case can be used in a practical setting with scouts until someone decides that the BSA organization is wrong and changes the rules (like GSA).


What benefit is derived from demoralizing the underlying religious values of the boys within BSA? (I presume we post to this website since we share a common intetest in the BSA) I may not have appreciated how the previous pages and postings that are used to subjugate the beliefs of others, but I would personally toss any adult leader out with the trash if they tried to used these bully tactics to help my son understand the world around them!

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I'll try to answer the questions that have been posed to my as briefly as possible.

I'm Baptist, pretty mainstream. A degree from Georgia Tech, but didn't study biology there.

I don't disagree with evolution, in most cases. Where I do agree, I see it as the WAY God created everything on this planet. It is simply more evidence of God's presence - an explanation of HOW He did it. I do not want to force that view on anyone, I simply want it offered as a possibility.

Right now, little Johnny is told species evolved through gene mutations, recombinations, etc... When Johnny asks his teacher what CAUSED these changes, his teacher will say "We don't know exactly what caused the changes - that is not a question science needs to answer. The one thing I can tell you is, the change was NOT caused by any type of Intelligent Design, or by God. We can't prove that God or ID didn't have a hand in it, but we can't acknowledge that as a possibility" That is where I have a problem.


I do find it amusing that scientist can't agree on global warming, with the evidence (for or against) right before their very eyes, but yet we can teach when and how the universe was formed (without ever mentioning ID). I just wish those brilliant people would reveal the truth behind Stonehenge and the cure for the common cold - I'm sure they know!

Yes, billion, not million. Was that on a Monday or a Tuesday? :-)

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Both of those websites are run by lawyers not scientists. I am familiar with both organizations. IDN has been involved in the state science standards debate in my state and a couple of school board situations. The IDEA Center is mainly trying to get IDEA clubs started on college campuses and promote speakers and conferences. Neither does any research.


There are a lot of grandiose claims, but no empirical scientific evidence for ID on either webpage. The Kitzmiller v. Dover trial gave an opportunity for ID to present their best and brightest. ID had its day in court. The ID 'scientific' evidence did not hold up.

You can read it for yourself at the link below. I am pretty sure that you won't trouble yourself to examine this one either. However, it is there if you seek to educate yourself.





You raise some fair questions. However, I would say that the outcome of the case reinforces the value of the first point of the scout law. It was clear that the effort to decieve destroyed any merit for their case. The other might be that there are very many valid ways to approach faith. I would disagree that the decision undermines the value of faith. However, I do understand that the decision is problem for some with a particular approach to faith.


The discussion here indicated that there are some very strong disagreements about who the 'good guys'are. The tone here can sometimes go well beyond what I would consider appropriate in front of scouts. One must recognize that lying does not put you in the camp of the good guys. The decision makes it clear that dishonesty was at the core of the ID approach in the Dover case.


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My brother is a biology teacher. I assure you that he is able to explain what causes genetic variation to a student. It is when the student raises the issue of evolution contradicting his faith that he will advise the student to talk with their parents or clergy. I would also agree with you about God using evolution. It may not make sense to some, but I am comfortable with accepting it.


On issue of global warming, science is in agreement that it is happening and that humans are a significant contributor. The only scientists that don't agree are funded by oil company interests.


When we start talking about the origin of the universe, we go back as far as we can go. Like the origin of life, we are dealing with massive amounts of time and the evidence that remains from those events. However, I am pretty sure that it wasn't last Thursday. http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/jargon/jargonfile_l.html#last-thursdayism(This message has been edited by firstpusk)

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I am responsible for the 'good guys' terminology. I used it to catch the interest of the forum and it did. I also used it because in the subject legal battle, the winning side didn't resort to lies and deception. I suppose that by elimination some would think that I am indicating that persons on the other side are the 'bad guys'. There definitely are bad guys involved but they are the ones who were engaged in the deception. Others who honestly believe that religion should be taught in science classes, and who state their view in honest, clear terms are NOT bad guys. I disagree with them but as long as they are honest about their arguments I do not consider them to be bad guys, only mistaken. THEY are also winners in this case, they simply may not know it.


The power of this court case is that the forces of deception were exposed to be just what they are and they were, so-to-speak, handed their own heads on a platter by the court. Good.

However, there are plenty more of them where they came from and this fight is not over yet. The forces of honesty and integrity (the good guys) can still lose other battles and we must be vigilant to make sure that doesn't happen.


As I remember, someone (I think it was BrentAllen) was asking for proof of various things. Please refer to a much earlier post which answered this explaining that the concept of 'proof' is something that only really happens in the field of mathematics. In science, the process treats new ideas as hypotheses if they are available for experimental test. The outcomes of such tests are several. Test results can cause the idea to be rejected. If the idea can't be tested, it is set aside until tests are found. If a test is applied, failure to reject leads to tentative acceptance, pending further tests. Proof is, to my knowledge, never attained but in certain cases (such as motion of the earth and planets) rejection is considered quite unlikely.

Nothing based in faith can be treated in this manner. If it is incapable of being tested then it simply isn't considered seriously by science.

There are plenty of seemingly good ideas that actually had some empirical evidence for their basis...that were subsequently rejected by experimental test (remember cold fusion?). Nothing supernatural can be examined in this manner and ideas based in faith therefore cannot be science.

Science does not say these faith-based ideas are wrong, only that they are not scientific and cannot be addressed as such.

There have been comments in this forum in which persons of faith have interpreted this in terms of science saying they are wrong. This is incorrect. Science is merely saying the ideas are outside the realm of science. And should not be taught in a science class.


Comments have also been made as to the source of variation. The only good response I can think of is to note that many mutations are not actually random and can be induced artificially, either by chemical or radiological means. But a thorough treatment of the subject requires, at the very least, a college-level knowledge of genetics and the huge literature regarding sources of variation.

There was a nice little book long ago by Harold Blum called "Time's Arrow and Evolution". It dates to 1968 but he nicely summarizes how selective forces essentially 'filter' genetic variation, producing whatever outcome.

Evolution is something that we must accept because after many decades of tests, we have failed to find a test that has ever given us reason to reject it. That doesn't make evolution good, however, and that value judgement is one that all of us are qualified to make.


Evolution has no 'intent', no sense of direction or morality. Evolutionary forces don't care about feelings, justice, ethics, economics, or life. Evolutionary forces are unthinking and selection works best when it works prior to reproduction. For humans, such forces therefore operate best on children and we owe most of our innate immunities to disease to the fact that countless children lacking such immune capabilities died young from those diseases over thousands or millions of years.

We should remember this every time we see children at risk. Social programs (or lack thereof), economic and medical systems, etc. that allow children and young people to fail in life are, in fact, part of the selective forces that we exert on ourselves. Every decision we make that affects a child is one of the many selective forces acting on them. We know this intuitively and this is the gamble we make when we choose, for example, to home school rather than place them in public or private schools. And,to me, this is where scouting should find its greatest benefit, making opportunities for growth available to all boys equally. However, exclusion of gays and atheists is to acknowledge Darwinian principles and consitutes an application of an intentional selective force. Like that twist? Start a new thread.

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Thanks pack,


As my earlier posts indicate, I think the good guys won. I agree with your reaoning. The proponents of ID lied intentionally, repeatedly and under oath. One of my mail lists sent me something yesterday. Here is a snipet...




The New York Times (December 22, 2005), that although the decision is

strictly a precedent only in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, "this


such a thorough, well-researched opinion that covers all possible bases


terms of the legal arguments that intelligent design advocates present,

that I think any school board or state board of education thinking


adopting an intelligent design policy should think twice."

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I have heard this arguement against ID in classrooms before, and while it is a touch simplistic, I think it might explain why teaching ID as science is a wrong location. Teaching it anywhere related is fine though...



The point is as follows:


If ID were to be accepted into biology curriculum, what with the test questions be?


Would it simply say that there is an unprovable possibility that an intelligent designer built the universe?


Because that sounds philisophical to me?


Would it say that there are some who believe, because that signifies historical, social, or philisophical studies to me.



Would it use some horrible rehash of the laws of thermondynamics to mislead children, because that is simply poor science.



Now, if we had something, anything, scientific in nature supporting ID, I think it might be plausible. As it is now, and how it will likely forever remain, ID is not science.

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"his teacher will say "We don't know exactly what caused the changes - that is not a question science needs to answer. The one thing I can tell you is, the change was NOT caused by any type of Intelligent Design, or by God. We can't prove that God or ID didn't have a hand in it, but we can't acknowledge that as a possibility" That is where I have a problem. "



I have never, in a public school, seen a teacher say as a fact(and never an opinion, either...) that God does not exist. I've had a history teacher talk about why he believes in a religion(it was on topic, relating to something or another, I forget now...) My teacher for biology, if not with just a touch of...not so much contempt as an almost humerous statement, did state he was not trying to upset any religious beliefs.


I'm sure if you asked him why, he'd go on about cellular structure. If you asked why all that happened, he'd say either what he felt(and would ensure that it was known as opinion, or say that science was not responsible. Well, at least I'll make the assumption that the above is the conventional answer(if not, probably "I don't know, that's not science, it's personal, etc.")


I just can't imagine the state saying that the possibility of any religion cannot be acknoledged. Now it isn't part of science, but it is always acknowledged.



In fact, denying that religion would be a violation of the 1st(and XIV) ammendments

It would, in effect, establish a religion, specifically atheism.

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I'm not especially interested in discussing evolution and certainly don't want any nonscientific theories taught as science in the public schools. However, I am curious as to whether any of the posters on this thread have seen the movie What The Bleep Do We Know?, which was in theaters earlier this year and now is out on DVD. It features interviews with physicists and others in science who discuss the ways in which human thought affects the quantum field in ways that are not entirely understood. There have been a series of conferences at which some of the presenters expand on their views and findings. Some of things they discuss are scientifically provable, others are not.


Some Christians consider the movie anti-Christian, because it pretty much assumes that a non-Christian or even an atheist could affect the universe in the same way as religions view prayers that are answered. I didn't see it that way. Anyway, I would be interested if anyone who saw it has any thoughts in light of the discussions here.


There's a website if you aren't familiar with the movie:


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Hi Packsaddle! Glad you're back on Earth!


To add a little levity to this discussion, I have the answer to who/where are the "Missing Links". My 2 brothers are the missing links as at times they don't form words, they grunt instead! LOL! ;) I can say this as I'm older than they are!





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Hi Judy, Hope your New Year includes modest, possible resolutions. :)

And no hangovers (I did sleep late though).


We actually created a backpacking breakfast menu called 'missing links' - contains no sausage. Why do I always return to food....?;)


For everyone, I just found this:



Looks like a couple ID supporters have a chance to cool their heels behind bars. Moral: "Thou shalt not bear false witness." ...at least in court.


Happy New Year everyone!

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Nothing says we can't teach alchemy in chemistry class either, but why would we want to waste their time. The US already lags way behind in math and science compared to other countries. I guess once we are at the bottom we don't have to worry about going down any more.

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