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Happy Darwin year everyone!

#1 User is offline   Gerben42 

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Posted 2009-January-02, 17:57

2009 is the Darwin year, 150 years after "The Origin of Species" there are still so many who choose to ignore the overwhelming scientific evidence behind evolution. What do you think the "Darwin year" will bring? My hope is that the new US government will make sure that religious beliefs are no longer taught in science classes in the USA.

Okay, that's wishful thinking. Anyway, I hope that this year will bring more understanding of evolution to the world.
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#2 User is offline   jdonn 

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Posted 2009-January-02, 18:04

Gerben42, on Jan 2 2009, 06:57 PM, said:

Anyway, I hope that this year will bring more understanding of evolution to the world.

That happening is also an example of evolution. :)
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#3 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2009-January-02, 18:06

I have spoken of my brother on these threads previously, but to refresh he is a PhD in religion, Chaplain (Colonel) U.S. Army retired, and staunch Republican.

Just a couple of weeks ago on the phone he said we were lucky the Founding Fathers had the wisdom to create a secular government - that it was the secular government that allowed a freedom of religion.

I can't add to that.
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#4 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2009-January-02, 18:11

Quote

That happening is also an example of evolution
Yes but its a bad example since the theory of evolution has been intelligently designed.
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#5 User is offline   Gerben42 

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Posted 2009-January-02, 18:17

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Just a couple of weeks ago on the phone he said we were lucky the Founding Fathers had the wisdom to create a secular government - that it was the secular government that allowed a freedom of religion.

I can't add to that.


Neither can I :) I am also happy that this is also the case here. I don't want to end up in jail for saying what I think or believe.

What I am talking about is teaching science in science class, and religion in religion class.
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#6 User is offline   luke warm 

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Posted 2009-January-02, 18:40

Winstonm, on Jan 2 2009, 07:06 PM, said:

I have spoken of my brother on these threads previously, but to refresh he is a PhD in religion, Chaplain (Colonel) U.S. Army retired, and staunch Republican.

Just a couple of weeks ago on the phone he said we were lucky the Founding Fathers had the wisdom to create a secular government - that it was the secular government that allowed a freedom of religion.

I can't add to that.

i concur
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#7 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2009-January-02, 20:36

Gerben42, on Jan 2 2009, 07:17 PM, said:

Quote

Just a couple of weeks ago on the phone he said we were lucky the Founding Fathers had the wisdom to create a secular government - that it was the secular government that allowed a freedom of religion.

I can't add to that.


Neither can I :) I am also happy that this is also the case here. I don't want to end up in jail for saying what I think or believe.

What I am talking about is teaching science in science class, and religion in religion class.

The problem is that countries like Iran mix religion and government. The fact that you are not allowed to teach religious ideas in public school science class in the U.S. is due to the secular nature of the government, the purposeful seperation of state from church.

In Iran, where religion and government are integrated, your science class would be compelled to adhere to whatever view of science the religious leaders deemed appropriate for you to teach.
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#8 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 06:53

Until we evolve an appreciation of our own divinity, no amount of exterior prostration will advance our development.
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#9 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 07:55

"When I look back on all the crap I learned in high school It’s a wonder I can think at all."


Probably the most influential person in my adolescent religious development was my minister. When I was fourteen or so he took me aside and explained that now that I was confirmed in the church it was my responsibility to get my parents in to church more often so that they wouldn't burn in hell. I gave his words some serous thought and haven't been back since.


Any crap they wanted to shovel my way in school, religious and otherwise, was easy to handle.
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#10 User is offline   sceptic 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 14:58

maybe the church will evolve into a fact based belief
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#11 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 15:16

sceptic, on Jan 3 2009, 09:58 PM, said:

maybe the church will evolve into a fact based belief

lol. Evidence-based medicine is already a bad joke, let alone evidence-based religion.
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#12 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 16:12

sceptic, on Jan 3 2009, 03:58 PM, said:

maybe the church will evolve into a fact based belief

Isn't the church evidence against intelligent design?

Although some churches are nice to look at.

#13 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 16:23

I'm still waiting for one of those church signs to display the message: God Bless Charles Darwin.

Edited per Helene criticism. :) (removed ultimate ironic before message)
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#14 User is offline   helene_t 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 16:27

Why would that be ironic? Darwin was not anti-religious. And the pope just said some nice things about Gallilei so why not Darwin. God Bless Richard Dawkins may be seen as ironic, though.
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#15 User is online   Winstonm 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 17:06

helene_t, on Jan 3 2009, 05:27 PM, said:

Why would that be ironic? Darwin was not anti-religious. And the pope just said some nice things about Gallilei so why not Darwin. God Bless Richard Dawkins may be seen as ironic, though.

Right you are - I was thinking more Pat Robertson's church than Darwin's religious beliefs.
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#16 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 17:10

helene_t, on Jan 4 2009, 01:27 AM, said:

Why would that be ironic? Darwin was not anti-religious. And the pope just said some nice things about Gallilei so why not Darwin.

Up until the last pontiff took over, the Roman Catholic church took a quite progressive stance regarding evolution...

Sadly, Benedict seems to be a nut job
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#17 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 17:39

Gerben42, on Jan 2 2009, 11:57 PM, said:

My hope is that the new US government will make sure that religious beliefs are no longer taught in science classes in the USA.

I cn barelly understand why winstonm and other americans keep flooding the water cooler with US related things and topics, but didn't expect to find you on the dark side :).

I am just angry about another pro-atheism topic, you just fail to understand that you cannot even prove that gravitation is not a pure luck phenomemon that can stop working at any time.
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#18 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 18:12

Fluffy, on Jan 4 2009, 02:39 AM, said:

Gerben42, on Jan 2 2009, 11:57 PM, said:

My hope is that the new US government will make sure that religious beliefs are no longer taught in science classes in the USA.

I cn barelly understand why winstonm and other americans keep flooding the water cooler with US related things and topics, but didn't expect to find you on the dark side :).

I am just angry about another pro-atheism topic, you just fail to understand that you cannot even prove that gravitation is not a pure luck phenomemon that can stop working at any time.

I don't see how this is a "pro-atheism" topic.

As I already noted, the theory of evolution is not incompatible with a belief in god. Some folks have commented in favor of separation of Church and State. Here once again, this has nothing to do with atheism (many of the strongest proponents of the separation of Church and State are strongly religious)
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#19 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 18:28

For examples of evolution in action check out the Darwin awards, which have been compiled for several years now.
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#20 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2009-January-03, 19:55

Fluffy, on Jan 3 2009, 06:39 PM, said:

Gerben42, on Jan 2 2009, 11:57 PM, said:

My hope is that the new US government will make sure that religious beliefs are no longer taught in science classes in the USA.

I cn barelly understand why winstonm and other americans keep flooding the water cooler with US related things and topics, but didn't expect to find you on the dark side :).

I am just angry about another pro-atheism topic, you just fail to understand that you cannot even prove that gravitation is not a pure luck phenomemon that can stop working at any time.

I am not sure what sort of luck you are referring to here. Could gravity "stop working"? Well, in some abstract sense of 'possible", anything is possible. Using words that way doesn't get you very far though.

What science can do is to develop a general theory of gravity that will explain and predict motion under the laws of gravity. Using this, and noting unexplained motions, one can find other planets, moons, asteroids and so forth. When there are still unexplained motions, Newtonian physics can be updated to a more complete relativistic theory. The theory of gravity can be used to predict the paths of missiles, rocket ships and comets.

This keeps scientists pretty busy, and the issue of whether gravity is just luck and temporary or really here to stay can be left to the theologically inclined. I have never heard a scientist discuss the issue one way or the other, not when sober anyway.

As to evolution, as someone who once thought but no longer thinks many religious assertions to be true, I can honestly say that the theory of evolution played absolutely no role in my change of views. A generally favorable view of the scientific approach to truth played a fairly strong role in my change of heart but the specific conclusions of any particular scientific theory did not. Basically I see the difference between science and religion as follows: In science, theories are updated as new information comes in. Relativity replacing Newtonian physics, for example. In religion (well, as practiced by some, certainly not by all), Biblical truths are true forever. God created the world in six days some 5000 years ago. True when it was written, true now. Some see this unchanging truth as a strength. I see the ability to revise based on new evidence as a strength. Some can reconcile these two strains of thought. I can't, and don't really wish to.

So I'll stick with science.

Back to education:

One of my gripes in elementary and high school was the way American history was taught. In September we started with the Pilgrims. By June we had gone through the Civil War and, if very lucky maybe made it up to 1890 or so, Next year we start all over with the Pilgrims. Hey Teach. Could we try this year to get to WWI and II, the Depression, the Jazz age, and so on? Do I have to learn about Lindbergh by watching a Jimmy Stewart movie?

Perhaps surprisingly, my hs World History course was pretty good. Probably because we did it once and that was it, instead of starting over every year. The Babylonians? Again?

In English we studied Shelley and Byron. Hail to thee Blithe Spirit, bird thou never wert. (from memory, excuse please if I have this wrong). Good God.

My biology teacher was a true idiot. Best he did not try to tackle evolution. Cells were tough enough for him.
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