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Author Topic: Intelligent Design
alfrin
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Icon 1 posted November 09, 2005 19:22      Profile for alfrin     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:

quote:
Originally posted by HalfVast:
Anybody ever looked at a platypus? Intelligent design my foot...

Maybe He was stoned that day [Wink]

Some years ago, I was taking Spanish classes in Ecuador. For conversation practice, my teacher was asking me questions about where I'm from, what are the houses like, the animals, etc.
Try explaining a platypus in bad Spanish to someone who's never seen one.

Reminds me of something..

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 01:52      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
While I speak from the viewpoint of an agnostic, I take religion and religious argument seriously, and I have every sympathy with the Roman Catholic line. What actually puzzles me is how any intelligent person can belong to one of those flavours of Christianity that believes in the absolute literal truth of everything in the Bible.

It is a collection of writings from many different hands over many years, translated many different times by groups of people with different dogmatic and political aims and with different cultural contexts, even before we start considering how those same factors influenced the original texts. It is also not without internal contradictions. How can they also imagine that the Christian religion would not like every other religion spawn a set of creation myths in the pre scientific era, that cannot be taken seriously now, other than as a metaphor for an underlying truth.

I have always thought that if you believe in an all powerful God, by implication that Deity is something that cannot be contained by the human mind, thought or language. So the Bible can never be the whole truth, but only a series of pointers on the way.

I would find it just as easy to believe in the literal truth of Terry Pratchett's Discworld universe.

It appears to me that the main appeal of fundamentalist doctrine is to those who find the world just too complicated and confusing and wish to surrender responsibility for the difficult grey moral decisions we often have to make here.

PS It is not my intention that the above paragraph should reopen the political arguments we have ground into the dust in the past. You may think that the above paragraph refers to GWB etc. but I could not possibly comment! [Wink]

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sakurasaku
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Icon 12 posted November 10, 2005 07:15      Profile for sakurasaku     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Famous Druid:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:

I mean, do we have a picture of the "Big Bang"?
No, but then you wouldn't expect to, there were no people around then, so any photograph would have to be fake.

Just to add, there is a lot of evidence for the "Big Bang" such as the cosmic microwave background and the redshift of distant galaxies. Scientists didn't set out with an agenda to go against what is literally in the Bible. They got the data, and came up with a theory that explains them to the best of their knowledge, subject to a revision if/when new evidence appears that contradicts it.

The biggest problem I have with people who are trying to introduce Intelligent Design in our schools is that they are doing everything politically. They are concentrating their efforts on lobbying and changing what we teach our children, rather than trying to get their ideas accepted in the scientific community first, from which revisions in curricula would naturally follow. I guess they are very savvy that way; They are choosing their battle wisely.

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RScottV

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 09:11      Profile for RScottV     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The November 2004 issue of National Geographic had an excellent review of the science behind evolution. I believe that the articles are available on their website; however, the magazine version, with all of the beautiful photos, is more interesting to read.

The headline: “Was Darwin Wrong? No. The evidence for Evolution is overwhelming.”

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 09:28      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think one must bear in mind that all these so-called debates and instances of moral outrage from these types is never about the issues - if personal beliefs were universally held as sacrosanct, there wouldn't be all this fluff.

This is all about one thing: evangelism. The unfettered relaying of decades of scientific understanding threatens their ability to spread their message, and augment their church with new bums to put on seats. Free thinking degrades their ability to further infect the world. Organized faith is too important to let individuals decide for themselves.

(...must go easier on the coffee... bad spungo... )

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 09:37      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
bad or baaaaaaaaaaad? [Wink]

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 10:48      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:

This is all about one thing: evangelism. The unfettered relaying of decades of scientific understanding threatens their ability to spread their message, and augment their church with new bums to put on seats. Free thinking degrades their ability to further infect the world. Organized faith is too important to let individuals decide for themselves.

Actually, I don't think it has much of a connection to evangelism at all. They fear evolution for a few different reasons, in my experience:

- They often believe in the absolute literal divine inspiration of scripture. Since they believe in such a literal interpretation, evolution contradicts them.
- They fear that evolution explains away God. They think that an explanation for the universe that doesn't mention God somehow precludes His involvement.
- A misunderstanding of science in general (I've found this to be common inside and outside of religious institutions).
- General reactionary tendencies among some of these areas. Evolution isn't exactly new, but it's increasingly accepted in society, and reactionaries often fear the direction it's going.

These are just my observations from the anti-evolutionism people I've met. YMMV, AFAIK, etc.

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TMBWITW,PB

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 11:07      Profile for TMBWITW,PB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Very well put, Sxeptomaniac. That has been my experience also, but you put it more eloquently than I could.

Although I have no doubt that there are some church leaders who see it politically from spungo's point of view. [ohwell]

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Rhonwyyn

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 11:53      Profile for Rhonwyyn   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by sakurasaku:


The biggest problem I have with people who are trying to introduce Intelligent Design in our schools is that they are doing everything politically. They are concentrating their efforts on lobbying and changing what we teach our children, rather than trying to get their ideas accepted in the scientific community first, from which revisions in curricula would naturally follow. I guess they are very savvy that way; They are choosing their battle wisely.

The funny thing is that evolution as a theory taught in schools is a fairly new idea. Also, if you remember, it took a series of court cases to get evolution theory permitted in schools. Why not follow precedent and use the court system to reintroduce a previously approved theory of origins?

Also, the Smithsonian has published articles supporting intelligent design (and yes, I know the editor at that time got kicked out as a result, but if you read the article, it has a variety of valid points). In addition, a plethora of nationally and internationally known scientists have stated that the theory of intelligent design fills gaps not answered by the theory of evolution.

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 12:00      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Also, if you remember, it took a series of court cases to get evolution theory permitted in schools.

Uh - where, when? Do you mean Hillsborough? That was basically the same thing that's going on in Kansas now. If you're talking about the inclusion of science in universities - then, yes, way back in the middle ages that was true. Certainly no college I've ever heard of (outside Utah, of course) has had any problem teaching science for the last three centuries.

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 12:00      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Why not follow precedent and use the court system to reintroduce a previously approved theory of origins?

The US courts have ruled, several times, that teaching religion in science classes is a violation of the US constitution. The current 'Intelligent Design' theory is an attempt to bypass those rulings, by disguising Christian Creationism as a scientific theory. The fact that the Kansas board of education had to re-define 'science' in order to force their changes through shows what a fraud that is.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 14:47      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've had a few beers so I will enter the flaming. I reckon that maybe the separation of church and state is the problem in the American system.

I have no problem with the teaching of ID, but it has no place in a science class.

The difference between various belief systems should be taught, but redefining science is not the way to do it. Belief systems (including science) should be covered in a philosophy class.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 15:12      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rhonwyyn:
Why not follow precedent and use the court system to reintroduce a previously approved theory of origins?

If by previously approved, do you mean the during the 19th century when Darwin and T.H. Huxley got into some hot water over this? You are an intelligent woman Rhonnie, but in this instance I think you have drunk too much of the fundamentalist KoolAid.

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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 17:28      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well check it out... If only we had elected Pat
we could all be swilling down the Kool Aid...

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Moe Monkey
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 17:59      Profile for Moe Monkey     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Personally, I'm in favour of IID, infinite intelligent design. It goes something like this:

Look at all the amazing and complicated organisms! No way this happened by chance! It must have been created (oops, sorry, designed) by some intelligent entity...

Look at the intelligent entity! What awesome power! What infinite grace! No way it came about by chance! It must have been created by some intelligent entity!

(Repeat above ad infinitum)

[Big Grin]

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 18:40      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My personal opinion on the thing is:

Criticism of Evolution: - good
Teaching of Creation- er-Intelligent Design: bad

All theories should be criticised; it's the way things move forward. Physical theories and hypotheses are constantly being re-tested. I would only hope that the same kind of criticism happened to a theory hailing from the biological sciences.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted November 10, 2005 19:20      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's some wishful thinking:

Why don't we add a subject added to standard grade school curriculums called "critical thinking". Teach children examine and evaluate information for themselves in order to determine the differences between truth, theory, conjecture, belief and so forth in all aspects of life. The creation/evolution debate would very specifically not be discussed, but you wouldn't have to. The concepts and skills can be taught using non-controversial topics. Imagine the results, however, when a whole generation raised to think for themselves starts thinking about creation versus evolution...

Sadly, it would take political backing and the last thing most politicians want is for everyone to start thinking for themselves.

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The White Tree
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Icon 1 posted November 11, 2005 07:18      Profile for The White Tree     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The sad part is, it is crap like this that is tearing our country apart. The only reason the school board members in Dover tried to get ID into the classroom was because they wanted media coverage, and they wanted to further irritate this situation of ID in schools. I had a teacher that was on the Dover school board a year or two ago, and he quit because he was sick of the people he had to deal with. Religion is in no way science because science relys on information that can be proven, rather than something that is just a belief.
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Stormtalon
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Icon 1 posted November 11, 2005 09:02      Profile for Stormtalon   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by garlicguy:
Well check it out... If only we had elected Pat
we could all be swilling down the Kool Aid...

Hehe. Ahh, Pat, Pat, Pat.

That, folks, is what soccer fans might refer to as an "own goal." The ID proponents have put so much work into trying to build a plausible fictional barrier between ID and religion, and now thanks to Pat, all that work is flushed down the crapper.

Bravo, Pat. Bravo. [Big Grin]

Stormtalon

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Colonel Panic
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Icon 11 posted November 11, 2005 16:39      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In conservative America, people firmly believe that breeding is best done with closely related family members -- Mom and Dad, Sis and Bro, and of course, cousins. It's why folks fly the "Stars and Bars" and vote for "W" -- they breed the common sense right out of themselves.

In pushing the account of creation told in the Book of Genesis, these folks are embracing the many accounts of incest mentioned in that volume: Cain's wife, Lot and his daughters, Noah's family and all the cousins.

The real issue in the United States isn't gay marriage or abortion or "evil-lution," but just plain mama/sister/cousin-breedin'.

We could end this issue very quickly by putting a measure on the ballot that forbids teaching from any "science" text that promotes, endorses or mentions incest. You're either Pro-Incest or Pro-Decency, the way I see it.

I know this would cause home-schooling to skyrocket in red states -- after all the reason most evangelicals home-school is so Social Services won't find about about Mama's and Daddy's secret middle of the night "visits." The conservatives want drug teating in public schools? I say we have genetic testing in home schools.

This dirty little secret is visible in the abortion controversy, too. The evangelicals get pretty hot, when the "in the case of incest" exclusion is mentioned. After all, if Lot's daughters can bear their Daddy's kids, why can't the local trailer trash ? Mind you, it is an absolute fact, not simply a stereotype, that incest is over 900% more prevelant in areas where fundamentalist "Christian" religions predominate. It's just what they do, and the proof is in this pro-incest creationsim movement.

(Catholic Priests are "Pro-Life," on the other hand, because altar boys can't get pregnant. Just ask the Pope.)

I say, "Ban the teaching of incest in all public schools!"

Which side of the bedroom are you on? Or is it "Whose bedroom are you in?"


Colonel Panic

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Colonel Panic
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spungo
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Icon 1 posted November 11, 2005 17:02      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Some folks says we was inbred. I think that's kinda unfair - we was just so poor we couldn't afford our own genes.

/veal

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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted November 11, 2005 17:10      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
CP, it's one thing to vehemently disagree with the political beliefs of conservatives. I can respect that, even if I don't agree. It's another thing to out-and-out insult and misrepresent them. I may not agree with their politics, but you are insulting some of my friends. I don't mind the usual potshots and jabs, but that statement goes a little too far.

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jordanv
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Icon 1 posted November 11, 2005 19:05      Profile for jordanv     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm surprised that my fellow conservatives aren't pushing the teaching of the theory of intelligent falling.

I want the theory of evolution to be taught in religious classes (which you can study as a high school subject here, just in case you can't in other parts of the world). A statement would have to be made that the theory of the bible is unproven, and a number of gaps exist in it.

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ChildeRoland
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Icon 1 posted November 11, 2005 21:07      Profile for ChildeRoland     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
after all the reason most evangelicals home-school is so Social Services won't find about about Mama's and Daddy's secret middle of the night "visits."
Something is seriously fucked up in your head if you honestly believe that.


EDIT - No, something is seriously fucked up in your head if you would even say that, joking or not.

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