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Author Topic: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve  (Read 12196 times)

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Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2009, 04:54:57 PM »
Oh, I understand that it's not about how the world was created. But a lot of people seem to think that holding the idea that God created the world or has a hand in how things play out currently is somehow irreconcilable with the theory of evolution. Personally, I believe in both. I just think that each option should be taught to kids. They should make their own decisions. I feel like people should always know both sides of an argument, and then they can choose which side to support.

Are you willing to give equal time to the creation story of every other belief system on this planet?

As part of science class?

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2009, 05:26:47 PM »
But since evolution cannot be proven the way that Newton's law can (here's where I'm hoping I don't offend anyone)

I'm not offended but I strongly disagree.

As it happens it can and has been proven (well, so far as anything can be "proven" in science. As you succinctly put it, to the standard of Newton's Laws.), many many times. I have literally seen it happen before my very eyes in bacteria and video evidence of it occurring in birds. Give me a decent microbiology lab and I can show it to you in a few very simple experiments on a bacteria culture.

Evolution is unquestionably real. There is no actual debate on this issue by anyone in this field.

People's religious beliefs are their own concern and I'm quite happy for people to believe in whatsoever religion they wish. However evolution as a biological process is the current science, and as such it is what belongs in a science class.

Telling children that there is any question on this is not true. This isn't the same with all science. Start talking string theory, M-brane theory, non-newtonian gravity or the super-symmetrical model and there are real serious debates within the scientific community. This is not the case within biology and evolution.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2009, 06:26:59 PM »
Should be noted that unless her area of research is specifically evolutionary microbiology or some such, she's not entirely likely to know any more on this than the average layperson. Science is a field of foci - you can know an awful lot about and be brilliant in something like genetics, and know nothing of evolutionary science. Considering that she was teaching an environmental science class - which, to the average passerby, will sound like an ecology class - if you want to appeal to her authority, it would be wise to state if she has any.

I'm not disputing you, per se, just pointing it out.

It's been a good three years or so since I took the class, I forget her exact area(s), but believe me, she knew magnitudes more than the ordinary layperson.



Either way, it doesn't matter in the long run. Gravity is still a theory. We know it's an actual force, we just don't understand its rules 100%. There are discrepancies in the movements of celestial bodies and spacecraft; planets and long-duration probes like the Pioneer and Voyager series, that astronomers have noted over years. Observations of Voyager 1 and 2 have showed the probes coming up short in their predicted paths out of the solar system, at equivalent rates over the same observational periods. Same with many of the planets; these are extremely small perturbations in orbital paths, but they are measurable and they are real.

What does this mean? it means we either don't completely understand the effects of gravity on solid objects, or there are other forces acting that we're not observing or comprehending at play. This is the reason that while we all know gravity exists, our current body of knowledge is still a theory of gravity, not a scientific law.

Nobody, however, is disputing the existence or effects of gravity, and guess what, the sum knowledge of evolution is just as plentiful as for that of gravity.


Here's the points that I believe are crucial here, in the article-

Quote
The answer lies, in part, in the possible theological implications of evolutionary thinking. For many, the Darwinian view of life -- a panorama of brutal struggle and constant change - goes beyond contradicting the biblical creation story and conflicts with the Judeo-Christian concept of an active and loving God who cares for his creation. (See Religious Groups' Views on Evolution.) In addition, some evolution opponents argue that Darwin's ideas have proven socially and politically dangerous. In particular, they say, the notion that more resilient animals survive and thrive ("survival of the fittest") has been used by social thinkers, dictators and others to justify heinous crimes, from forced sterilization to mass genocide.

First of all, much of the bible is mythology; that may be an ugly admission for many, but there it is nonetheless. On the first point, where science is contradicting scripture, I must once more invoke the late Carl Sagan. The science of the bible is based on that of ancient Babylon, some six thousand years old. It was the best science on the planet at the time, but we've learned something since then. There's no surprise, then, that there's conflict with a holy book written millennia ago based on obsolete science.

Secondly, to directly quote Dr. Sagan; "science is after what the universe is really like, and not just what makes us feel good".

When the brutal struggle of evolution is discounted because it contradicts the Christian concept of an ever-present, happy funball god, that's a problem. If these truths are socially or politically dangerous, we must ask for whom are they socially or politically dangerous. Certainly not for the common people, who can always benefit from the truth. But perhaps for the institutions that would dispense information and would-be truths, who aren't interested in the truth; they're interested in control. As long as they've got the masses listening to them, they'll have it. The truth will set you free.

The argument of survival of the fittest being misused by dictators and despots is a desperation grab, at best. In fact it's laughable. This is like saying a handful of people in society have misused guns by killing other people, therefore guns must be bad for everyone. It's doubly hilarious when you consider the fact that all these listed atrocities; heinous crimes, from forced sterilization to mass genocide, have all been committed in the name of Christianity and other religions as well.

Christianity, having been an underground cult during the Roman era got its day in the sun, throwing off the shackles of barbarism and oppression of Rome, and over the centuries, became the very thing it sought to defeat in the end. Funny how things work out like that.

Their agenda is based on personal gain and not empirical evidence, and therefore disqualifies itself. To any sane and discerning mind, the 'science' of our holy books collapses in the face of true science.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 06:31:22 PM by The Overlord »

Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2009, 07:00:20 PM »
Once again to quickly point out, the Catholic Church has accepted evolution and has done for years, and it was a monk who discovered genetics and a priest who theorised the Big Bang.

The largest single Christian group in the world accepts evolution: evolutions main opponents are a small localised sect of Christianity. To phrase the disbelief of evolution as Christian vs Secular is similar to phrasing the current Islamic fundamentalist issues as Islamic vs Non-Islamic or even the current financial crisis as bankers vs non-bankers... it is a vast over-simplification that obscures the arguement.

Offline Trieste

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2009, 07:04:21 PM »
What I want to see is a good old-timey religion that calls you a sinner and a heretic for saying the world is round and the earth revolves around the sun.

Now that is conservatism I can at least partially respect for the pure fact of its sheer stubborn-ness and dedication. It would also prove that an entire sect would be able to laugh at itself, which is only a scattered, individual phenomenon at the moment.

Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2009, 07:07:58 PM »
Well there's the Westboro Baptist Church for old fashioned idiocy and calling people heretics... and they certainly are stubborn and dedicated.

Unfortunately, they're not laughing at themselves...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 07:36:19 PM by consortium11 »

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2009, 07:22:41 PM »
Well there's the Westboro Baptist Church for old fashioned idiocy and calling peope heretics... and they certainly are stubborn and dedicated.

Unfortunately, they're not laughing at themselves...

They're about the only ones not laughing at them though :)

Offline Mathim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2009, 07:31:04 PM »
I'm not sure: is abiogenesis (the first life forms) or even big bang (which started out as a catholic theory) really taught to kids to begin with? Because those are the theories that generally conflict with Creationism (and even they can be reconciled to an extent).

I think my stand on the arguement is quite simple. There's very little scientific evidence putting the hand of a creator in evolution, where as there is for the "darwinist theory" (and I dislike that term). I'm all for choice, but creationism isn't a "science" and as such should be taught in religious study type classes, not a science class.

I think the other issue with creationism is this: what would the reaction be if it was taught as the evil emperor Xenu created the world and the creatures rather than "God"... would it have the same support.

I'm a diest, in that I believe there is a "god"... by which I mean a concept we as of yet have no understanding of which could be the matrix or we all live in a giant snowglobe etc... which started everything, but I see no need for it to be taught as a science.

I was taught all of that in seventh grade history in public school. We studied major world religions because they had such a big impact on world history, so yeah, we had to learn about creationism, towards the middle of the year. We learned about Darwin in our first week.

Offline Trieste

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2009, 07:39:23 PM »
Speaking of...

Happy 200th birthday, Charlie! :D

Offline Mathim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2009, 07:42:39 PM »
LOL, just thought of something.

Who here has read about the Darwin Awards?

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2009, 07:45:13 PM »
Read the site and have 4 of the books :)

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2009, 07:49:10 PM »
Well there's the Westboro Baptist Church for old fashioned idiocy and calling people heretics... and they certainly are stubborn and dedicated.

Unfortunately, they're not laughing at themselves...


That's OK because we are.


WBC are the looniest pack of bigots and morons I've ever come across; I'd say go visit their site if you need more than my word, except I'm sure they'll revel in the publicity of a few more hits. The font page is pretty much an adult version of a five-year old's list of taunts and names, and a virtual dare for anyone to do something about it.

I might have missed it in the news, but I'm surprised that the URL is allowed to exist without prosecution. godhatesfags.com

You can sure bet if the URL was godhates(fill in the blank with your ethnic or racial slur of choice) was posted up, a dozen civil rights groups would be all over it, and well they should be. The URL alone should qualify as a hate crime.


Given the way they mess with the families of deceased soldiers, the true surprise is that none of them have been shot yet. But I suspect they're the type that want to be martyred for the 'cause'.  ::)

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2009, 07:53:16 PM »
Speaking of...

Happy 200th birthday, Charlie! :D

Wow...that's true is has been 200 years.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_darwin

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2009, 08:03:17 PM »
Once again to quickly point out, the Catholic Church has accepted evolution and has done for years, and it was a monk who discovered genetics and a priest who theorised the Big Bang.

The largest single Christian group in the world accepts evolution: evolutions main opponents are a small localised sect of Christianity. To phrase the disbelief of evolution as Christian vs Secular is similar to phrasing the current Islamic fundamentalist issues as Islamic vs Non-Islamic or even the current financial crisis as bankers vs non-bankers... it is a vast over-simplification that obscures the arguement.


Yeah the Catholics have figured it out, but yet they still have this notion that the wine and styrofoam wafers miraculously becomes the blood and cadaverous flesh of Christ, I digress but go figure.


I don't aim to pick on any denomination here, but compared to other world religions; Islam, Hinduism, etc., the majority of the religious in the US are a Christian offshoot, and thus by the charts are the majority of the naysayers here on evolution.

Seems Buddhists and Hindus are the most open to the truth, if the numbers are accurate. Whereas despite all its posturing, Islam is still struggling with the reality of the universe, but I am aware that varies by region and nation. There's no possible way you can stack all Muslims into one pile.


No real surprise with the Mormons and Jehovah's Witness though. They may not be crazy-with-a-ticking-bomb-crazy, but they're just plain crazy.


Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2009, 08:17:02 PM »
I've always been partial to godhatesshrimp spoof site

And equally amused that godhatessweden isn't a spoof... especially as the person Phelps set it up in support of ended up thinking Phelps was a loony.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2009, 03:50:13 AM »
As far as the evolution/creation debate:

1) I've seen plenty of intolerance and intransigence on both sides of this one.  I see "creation scientists" who put science through acts of absurd contortion to force the evidence to conform to a literal six days of creation.  I've seen scientists and a scientific establishment implacably (and irrationally) hostile to the very notion that there even just might possibly be some sort of higher intelligence or supreme being of any kind.

2) To a large extent, it's a specious divide, as there is plenty of room for evolution in the universe of a Creator.

3) The argument is often motivated more by politics than fact.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2009, 07:01:38 AM »
I would like to point out your average believer in a faith rarely thinks that much about it. I'm reading a book now 50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. Harrison I got from the library. Among them as these are all real reasons as people told him over the years.

My god created the universe.

My god answers prayers.

Better safe than sorry.

Believing in my god makes me happy.

My god makes me feel I am part of something big.

I want eternal life.

etc.

They are not interested in actually thinking about their faith, any evidence science puts out on evolution or nuances of theology. Mostly it appears to be gut reactions and what people like, believe or desire to believe. So when a Creationist discounts Evolution they likely see Intelligent Design as a viable alternative that makes sense to them and they overlook clearly points of fact that they don't agree with. God made the universe, the world and us is about the basic level of common thought by a typical Young Earth Creationist.

So how is science supposed to fight faith at that level its so simplistic as to be almost a perfect defense against Evolution?

I may think about faith at a higher level as do many of you but that is not true of the majority of Americans it seems.

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2009, 08:44:44 AM »
A non-beliver asked a Zen Buddhist, "Where is the proof that God exists?"  The Buddhist pointed at the sun.  "How can you not believe?" he asked.  A believer asked the same monk, "So you believe that God created the universe in six days?"  The monk asked him, "Which universe?"  A third person, overhearing this, asked the monk, "How can you believe in God, yet not believe in the word of God?"  The monk shrugged and replied in a straightforward manner, "God doesn't use words."

I, for one find no conflict in the idea that the universe is both random and unplanned and that there was a force that caused it to exist.  The lack of proof for either of those things is overwhelming, compared to the amount of proof that there is to make either fact true.  We, as a species, are fundamentally flawed in out attempts to learn about the universe because there is so much we cannot sense or detect.  As a result, it takes us decades and even centuries to observe certain phenomena simply because we lack the means to do so. 

Evolution is one of those forces that we CAN detect, observe and quantify.  We alter the environment, and the things that live in that environment change to survive better in it over the course of their generations.  This doesn't preclude the idea that a creator of some sort was directly involved.  However, the idea that we just suddenly existed because god said so is a little harder to believe.  There are too many conflicting creation myths; and if one of them is being taught, they all must be given nods to.  Freedom of religion is a right the country is founded on; to say 'the Christian creation myth is solely correct' violates a great many principles, including the freedom of religion, as well as common sense. 

But then, common sense is in short supply currently, especially in America.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2009, 09:40:25 AM »
Why just Americans I read in the paper today 43% of Brits, where I believe Charles Darwin was born - believe in a Young Earth creation around 10,000 years or so ago.

My point stands in that you can show every bit of evidence For Evolution and people seem to still believe there was a device creation of some sort. Even I accept Evolution as the visible evidence of how life matured still believe a creative intelligent force started this at least, biogenesis and evolution to most people are necessarily linked at the hip.

Can any scientist with the same assurances that Evolution has prove how life began that for me is the key question? I have not seen it yet demonstrated naturally that life begins using natural forces alone as far as I can tell.

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2009, 12:39:32 AM »
Concerning humanity, I find it strange the emphasis that people put on death concerning the theory of evolution.  By all accounts, religion is an excellent evolutionary adaptation.  It encourages people to form stable, homogeneous family units, and potentially to have greater numbers of children.  Additionally, it helps integrate people into communities, which quite often form support networks which can help them to reproduce or better nurture their children.  Naturally, if scientific ideas threaten the basis of this adaptation, or are perceived to do so, religious people will protect their evolutionary advantage, especially because evolutionary science provides them with no direct advantage, even if the science based on it does reward them.  The same way I find it impractical to think in terms of actual human anatomy, but can still benefit from medical science. 

(Of course, nonreligious folk are gradually creating their own behavioral adaptations, such as forming groups of close friendships that create the sort of extended family unit that the religious community provides for a religious individual.  It sort of makes me want to write a story about a future where humanity has evolved into two separate races.  The religion believing Templars, and the non religious Lillim.  *laughs*  Naturally, the Templars would have a stable society at about an 18th century tech level, and the Lillim would have an anarchic and dangerously creative (and also likely violent) society.  :)) 

As for the issue of abiogenesis, there have been experements which have suggested if you seed a fair amount of carbon into a natural environment which is friendly to carbon compounds, you'll eventually get amino acids.  However, I've heard from a creationist that if you use the conditions existing on earth before life evolved, the primary organic compound you get is formaldehyde.  I'm not sure whether this is actual science, however.   

Offline Trieste

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2009, 08:32:34 AM »
I can't recall the name of the man who did the early-Earth experiment and got basic amino acids, but I know his experiment has been scrutinized by many scientists, and was taught in my (equivalent of) Bio 101 class. It's considered a traditional part of evolutionary science.

As far as formaldehyde, I'm not really sure where that one actually comes from, but I will note that formaldehyde is crazy-eazy to form. It's what actually makes drinking methanol (CH3OH, also referred to as "wood alcohol", I think) so unwise; while ethanol (CH3CH2OH; what's in our drinkable alcohols) metabolizes into acetaldehyde (which is the intermediate that causes hangover symptoms) and then into acetic acid (active ingredient in vinegar), methanol metabolizes into formaldehyde (CH2O) which can be further oxidized by the body into formic acid (CHOOH). All of this stuff is highly toxic (poison dart frogs make use of formic acid from their diet of insects to produce their [in]famous poison, I'm told) and very, very easy to make with basic, basic enzymes present in the body - or things present in nature.

Amino acids are more complex, and possibly require a bit more time; considering that life supposedly evolved over a long, long, long time, it's possible that at first, all we did get is formaldehyde. But nature gets bored, and if you let a reaction go for too long, you sometimes get some pretty strange results.

*rereads* Er. Sorry about the minor chembabble. >.>

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #46 on: February 14, 2009, 08:47:45 AM »
Until a scientist can using the basic elements of life, create amino acids and evolve them into at least some sort of simple life form that would be considered such I and many other will not be convinced about "natural forces" creating life without some sort of assistance as in a creative force outside the process. And I and most other cannot ignore the fact without that you can't evolve anything now can you? Again scientists may split this up most lay persons and those with any reasonable logic cannot I treat them as part of the same theory and idea. And abiogenesis is a major hole to me that science has yet to explain in a testable and real way.


Offline Trieste

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2009, 08:51:10 AM »
Uh, well, they've gotten to the amino acids part.

The rest of it, you'll have to wait a couple billion years, in case you forgot.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2009, 09:17:55 AM »
Can you prove your god exists, in a testable and verifiable way?

"Because <Holy Book> says so" is not proof btw.

Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2009, 11:20:34 AM »
Can you prove your god exists, in a testable and verifiable way?

"Because <Holy Book> says so" is not proof btw.

If you can prove the Christian God exists, he's not the Christian God.

"Beyond all human understanding" and all that jazz.

You can't disprove him either (although you can never prove a negative), and a number of leading scientists believe in a creator of some sort using occam's razor.

As I said, I'm a deist, but it doesn't change the way I live my day to day life whether a "god" does exist or not.