published Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Busted!

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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Oz said...

To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, "I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge" --Ravi Zacharias

April 3, 2012 at 1:14 a.m.
Caban said...

@Oz Your quote shows a fundamental misunderstanding of science. I personally do believe in God, however... the weight, scientifically speaking, would be put on those trying to prove he does exist.

If every possible outcome was considered an accepted fact until disproven, things would be quite the mess.

April 3, 2012 at 1:45 a.m.
onetinsoldier said...

Sing it Brother Clay!

The inevitablity of evolution!!!!!!!!

His mind looks for answers his knuckle draggin daddy can't answer.

Oz, Atheism is just as stupid as Theism. We are all agnostic, at least those of us who are honest.

God is an aspiration not an inspiration.

April 3, 2012 at 2:08 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Faith v. Reason is a false dichotomy.

April 3, 2012 at 5:51 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Uh, it's the creationists who have to hide under the covers in school. Freedom of scientific inquiry? Freedom of speech? Please? Repent, liberal hypocrites.

April 3, 2012 at 5:52 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

And conservative hypocrites too, of course.

April 3, 2012 at 6:02 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Andrew - nobody is restricting the freedom of your speech or the freedom of your own scientific inquiry. What is being restricted is your ability to teach religion in a science class in a public school. It's more or less for the same reason that you are restricted from teaching students how to conjugate pi in an English class. Not to mention, this document that Libertarians love - the Constitution - that mandates separation of church and state.

And, as a side note, I have to ask why, as a person of faith, you need the benefit of science to "prove" that God is the Creator of heaven and earth?

April 3, 2012 at 6:02 a.m.
hambone said...

How does the dinosaur fit in this arguement?

Just a collection of odd shaped rocks?

Or did Adam and Eve ride them like polo ponies?

April 3, 2012 at 6:03 a.m.
joneses said...

It amazes me how the monkeys, atheist, are so intimidated by something they do not believe exist. I actually find it entertaining to watch these atheist try to destroy something as powerful as God. They actually think a human being that was designed from a single cell is the most powerful thing on earth. These atheist really have a way of showing just how unintellectual they actually are. Or maybe they actually think their attempts to destroy God and Christianity will rid themselves of the Republican Party. These atheist live under this false illusion that if God and Christianity did not exist their would be no one to disagree with them. With this said they do not believe there are dummycrat Christians. Did they ever hear of Billy Graham or Jimmy Carter? Why are they not attacking them? They are Christians. Their whole non-belief idea is all about politics and nothing else.

April 3, 2012 at 6:06 a.m.
Yano said...

Religion is an evolved psychological phenomenon.

As humans evolved, we came to understand the nature of our own mortality. At the same time, we could not survive without retaining our animalistic survival instincts. The impossible conflict between our desire to live and the knowledge of our inevitable deaths was solved by developing the ability to believe (without evidence) an absurdity - that we will live forever.

Furthermore, as social animals (like wolves for example, that have to cooperate to hunt for food) we have hierarchy and we crave "purpose," that is, we need to feel that we belong to the group and to feel useful to the group. Religion satisfies these deep, evolved emotions by letting us believe (without evidence) that "God" loves us, and that we have a Purpose. It hurts our feelings to think we might just be an accident - look at the visceral reactions of any theist when you suggest such a thing.

Religion offers other goodies too, like an excuse to feel superior to non-believers, and the promise of being reunited someday with our loved ones.

It's tricky to hold beliefs without evidence. Theists must constantly reinforce their beliefs through mental conditioning (prayer), self-deception, and constant discipline enforced by the laws of the church.

Theists often defend their beliefs (without evidence) using irrational arguments that they themselves choose not to examine too closely for obvious reasons. Instead, they attempt to suppress their own doubts by attacking the doubts of others, as Doubt itself is a threat to their fragile beliefs (without evidence).

The happiness or success of a non-believer threatens their constructed world-view, that tells them that theists are special and chosen, and non-believers are enemies of God. So theists tell themselves that non-believers are either NOT actually happy, or will suffer later (after death). Theistic opposition to gay marriage is an example of theistic oppression of those who don't accept their beliefs (without evidence). How dare gay people defy their God by being happy?

Theists are masters of irony, often accusing those who disagree with them of arrogance or fear, when it is theists who live in constant fear of losing the faith on which they have hung their feelings of self-worth, a lifelong struggle for many of them.

People who have religious beliefs (without evidence) are not stupid. They are human. There is nothing wrong with comforting yourself with a little "speculation" about the nature of the universe. Just please don't force your beliefs (without evidence) on others, through indoctrination in our shared schools, or by force of law through our shared government.

April 3, 2012 at 6:27 a.m.
EaTn said...

To paraphrase the apostle Paul when he stated that mankind has no excuse for disbelief when the nature of the world cries out the name of God. As Christians I think we should embrace science as God's handiwork, not ignorantly reject it.

April 3, 2012 at 6:49 a.m.
MTJohn said...

joneses said...It amazes me how the monkeys, atheist, are so intimidated by something they do not believe exist.

It amazes me how folks who believe that nothing can separate us from God's love in Christ Jesus are so intimidated by science.

April 3, 2012 at 6:49 a.m.
dude_abides said...

"There are billions and billions of reasons to accept Darwin's theory of evolution, I swear to God." -Carl Sagan

April 3, 2012 at 7:28 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

It amazes me how folks who believe that nothing can separate us from God's love in Christ Jesus are so intimidated by science.

What a great comment.

April 3, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.
dude_abides said...

Go ahead, tu_quoque... the light switch is on, the glove under the bed seems to be made for a right handed person, but the flashlight's in his left hand, the "Don't Tread On Me" snake is coiled incorrectly? Straighten us out!

April 3, 2012 at 7:37 a.m.
BluesHarp said...

“The sure foundations of the state are laid in knowledge, not in ignorance; and every sneer at education, at culture, at book learning, which is the recorded wisdom of the experience of mankind, is the demagogue's sneer at intelligent liberty, inviting national degeneracy and ruin.”  -George William Curtis

"Ignorance has always been the weapon of tyrants; enlightenment the salvation of the free." -Bill Richardson

"Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" 
– Voltaire

"At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols." - Aldous Huxley

"Humanity has many enemies. The worst of them are ignorance, arrogance, extremism, and violence." - Abbas Kadhim

“Ignorance and inconsideration are the two great causes of the ruin of mankind."
-John Tillotson

"Attempting to debate with a person who has abandoned reason is like giving medicine to the dead." ~ Thomas Paine

"Peace does not fare well where poverty and deprivation reign. It does not flourish where there is ignorance and a lack of education and information. Repression, injustice and exploitation are inimical with peace. Peace is gravely threatened by inter-group fear and envy and by the unleashing of unrealistic expectations. Racial, class and religious intolerance and prejudice are its mortal enemies." -- Frederik W. de Klerk

"It is the nature of every person to error, but only the fool perseveres in error. " -Marcus Tullius Cicero

"Where there is no vision, the people perish." -The Book of Proverbs

"Beware the ridiculous. It will one day rule you.” ― Steven Dietz, God's Country

April 3, 2012 at 7:44 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Funny, in all my life, in person, on line, I have never met the parent that was afraid of their child learning science or evolution in particular. I suppose they do exist but I don’t know that it is a big part of the population.

I have seen lots of people on-line that seem to want to treat intelligent design like it is some kind of heresy. When I first read about intelligent design I found it to be a thought provoking argument that did a reasonable job of reconciling the apparent conflicts between science and scripture. I was not threatened by it at all.

Why are “evolutionists” so hell bent on squashing competing or, maybe, completing theories? Why are they so dedicated to their cause that they will abandon common rules of manners and decency and ridicule anyone who does not share their complete belief system?

April 3, 2012 at 7:44 a.m.
librul said...

Religionists get their panties up in a wad when people deny the existence of their ephemeral gods, for which no evidence exists. Yet they are absolutely livid when schools amd teachers, whose purpose is to impart knowledge and explain the physical world around us which we can see, touch, smell and feel, try to do their job.

The world operates in accord with natural processes known but not understood to our species and its predecessors for millions of years. Laws of physics and chemistry, discerned since the religion-dominated Dark Ages when ignorance was defended to the death, have quite rightly run up against the mountain of non-evidentiary hokum devised by religionists and continue to wear it away - much to their distress.

We will all be better off when that mountain has finally melted into the sea of science-based knowledge.

What I want is for these religio-crazies to NAME JUST ONE BIT OF SUBSTANTIVE HUMAN KNOWLEDGE that has been derived as the result of disproving the laws of science. JUST ONE. WAITING ....

"All knowledge that is not the real product of observation, or of consequences deduced from observation, is entirely groundless and illusory.” -- Jean Baptiste Lamarck

April 3, 2012 at 7:52 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I have seen lots of people on-line that seem to want to treat intelligent design like it is some kind of heresy. When I first read about intelligent design I found it to be a thought provoking argument that did a reasonable job of reconciling the apparent conflicts between science and scripture. I was not threatened by it at all.

Intelligent Design IS an interesting idea, except that it isn't science. Philosophy perhaps, but it has no evidence, makes no predictions, can't be falsified and there is no research underway using the paradigm. It has been tainted by the Discovery Institute, who has used it as a vehicle to undermine science education (unsuccessfully).

April 3, 2012 at 8:03 a.m.
Yano said...

Many religious people believe in the "God of the Gaps," accepting scientific explanations for whatever science can explain, and ascribing to God the mysteries of the universe.

Scientists cause trouble when they do their jobs and expand human scientific knowledge, and come into conflict with ideas and explanations in realms previously claimed by religionists. Just ask Galileo, or today's biologists.

The earth is not flat. The sun does not orbit it. Linguistic diversity did not spring into existence at Babylon. Biological diversity did not begin in Eden 600 decades ago.

April 3, 2012 at 8:13 a.m.
lightkeeper said...

WHAT MOST PEOPLE FAIL TO REALIZE IS GOD DIDN'T USE MAGIC, HE USED SCIENCE. GOD IS THE ULTIMATE SCIENTIST AND MATHEMATICIAN, THERE IS NO ARGUMENT OR DEBATE.

April 3, 2012 at 8:14 a.m.
Jack_Dennis said...

OneTinSoldier: I'm betting you're a Bill Maher fan, no?

April 3, 2012 at 8:21 a.m.
conservative said...

Talk about a straw man! This poor heathen intentionally misrepresents a Republican father as so opposed to "science" that his kid has to study a "science" book in secret.

Who believes that?

Is this bad shepherd looking for new sheep ( sheep are dumb and easily led ) or is he just trying to keep his fold?

April 3, 2012 at 8:33 a.m.
librul said...

Here's hoping the cartoon kid can survive the persecution, nay child abuse, of his ignorant elders.

April 3, 2012 at 8:41 a.m.
shifarobe said...

This is just another distraction from OBAMA. Fur face thinks he can come down to the buckle of the Bible Belt and shake everyone's faith with his overdone cartoons. NOPE. Ain't gonna happen. There's no doubt Christians can be hypocrites, like the black churches who support liberal, abortion promoting, black candidates when they know damn well abortion is an abomination in God's eyes. But as long as they "get mines" from the Gov. they don't care. Or those lilly white churches who preach about financial security on a Sunday instead of Christ who believed in the opposite, and get nervous when a black person shows up at service. They're only happy if they have all their ducks in row. Having said all that, the truth is still the truth. No matter how much we try to %$#$ it up. If you fools think there's no genius, meaning God, behind evolution, then I should also believe OBAMA is a brilliant problem solver, rather than a really good example of devolution.

April 3, 2012 at 8:46 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

lkeithlu said... "Intelligent Design IS an interesting idea, except that it isn't science."

Ilkeithlu, we have been around and around on this, not really interested in debating the science verses philosophy, theology thing. Your philosophy may be other people’s science. We all have different beliefs on different subjects. People who want to limit the discussion only to strict evolutionary theory without leaving room for a belief system held by many, if not a majority, of society are putting themselves unnecessarily at odds and in conflict with their intellectual “opponents”. I think your position would be much better served if you just let time and the light of day take its course. I don’t see how it helps at all to aggressively try to deprive a big chunk of the population of a belief system that they depend on for a sense of purpose and comfort.

April 3, 2012 at 8:48 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Wrong, BRP. Science rules are not MY rules. They are what they are. And as a science educator, I am interested in science being taught, not some philosophy that thinks it can make science claims without science evidence and have it taught to teenagers. Belief systems are outside the realm of science. That does not make them less real or less valid. Nor does it diminish their purpose. If science was the ONLY thing that mattered, why teach philosophy at all? Or literature? Or the arts?

The discussion on life's meaning is important. But it does not belong in a science classroom.

Let me add (love the edit function) that scientific ETHICS are appropriate, such as whether we should clone humans, or genetically alter foods or animals (that we CAN is not the issue, it is whether we SHOULD) Science can and has been abused. It does not diminish the actual science, but speaks to our values.

April 3, 2012 at 8:52 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

You are certainly entitled to your beliefs ilkeithlu. I just do not understand why you find it so important to impose them on others.

April 3, 2012 at 8:54 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Demonstrate to me BRP, how I am imposing my "beliefs", which I have not stated here, on others.

April 3, 2012 at 8:56 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

By adamantly refusing to entertain a theory, even to ridicule that theory with an odd sense of purpose.

Really, how important is evolution in the day to day lives of a person? In contrast, how important are religious beliefs in the life of many? The theory of evolution has very little use for us as we struggle to make it through the day. Maybe you are too immersed in it to see the big picture.

April 3, 2012 at 9:02 a.m.
librul said...

Because, BRP, you are entitled to your own beliefs, too - just not your own set of facts - i.e. "fact: noun; something that has actually occurred or is actually the case." The imposition of known facts or, I would say, the imposition of beliefs arising out of a preponderance of known facts, is no offense to an open mind. The imposition of fantasies NOT supported by facts, is an abomination unto science from which cometh our knowledge.

The fact that you STILL can demonstrate little understanding of the difference between the coloquial use of the term "theory" and the scientific use of the same is beyond forgiveness.

April 3, 2012 at 9:09 a.m.
Yano said...

BigRidge,

People are entitled to their own beliefs, however useful or not.

But science education should not be corrupted by beliefs that are unscientific, no matter how psychologically useful they supposedly are.

(Wouldn't it be better to teach people how to be well with the real world rather than depend emotionally on a false conception of it anyway?)

Evolution is important in biology: Medicine, Agriculture, Genetics, and Environmental studies. Furthermore, all fields of science depend on a rigorous application of the scientific method and cannot survive a sloppy wishful thinking kind of substitute. A population of voters and consumers who believe ignorant things about these scientific fields will seriously hamper American competitiveness in the future.

We can't afford to create a new American Dark Age of anti-science while Europe and Asia advance in these and other fields of knowledge.

April 3, 2012 at 9:13 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

By your same argument, BRP, we would be showing American Idol in high schools instead of teaching Dickens, Shakespeare and Twain. Evolution has provided us a paradigm from which we better understand the human body, for example, with which we can tackle obesity, diabetes, heart disease, orthopedic problems, childbirth. All of these are done from an evolutionary standpoint, as well as child development, genetic abnormalities, mental health.

An interesting fitness book series, Younger Next Year, does a great job of explaining how our modern lifestyle developed faster than our biology could adjust, and how fitness is understood from an evolutionary basis.

That YOU don't find it useful does not make it less valid.

April 3, 2012 at 9:16 a.m.

Why are some so scared of covering all the different views of creation? Why the intolerance? Science and religion should both be taught with equal vigor.

And Clayduh! gave himself another oppotunity to attack middle aged white guys.

April 3, 2012 at 9:23 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Why are some so scared of covering all the different views of creation? Why the intolerance? Science and religion should both be taught with equal vigor

I agree. In separate classes.

April 3, 2012 at 9:27 a.m.
MTJohn said...

onetinsoldier said...Oz, Atheism is just as stupid as Theism. We are all agnostic, at least those of us who are honest.

OTS - I think it is fair to suggest that everyone has doubts. However, I would not equate doubt with agnosticism. The opposite of "faith" is "certitude", not "doubt".

April 3, 2012 at 9:35 a.m.
Jack_Dennis said...

Yano: " We can't afford to create a new American Dark Age of anti-science while Europe and Asia advance in these and other fields of knowledge." Do you fear this happening? Really?

April 3, 2012 at 9:37 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Ilkeithlu,

The American Idol argument seems like a stretch to me, bordering on ridicule.

Don’t you think a presentation on intelligent design would be a good opportunity to let a class exercise their critical thinking skills? I always found classes that admitted the intellectual debates of the time and challenged the weaknesses of all sides the most stimulating. If your point is so obvious, the students that are ready to “see the light” will do just that. The ones that are not can choose the other way and keep their belief system intact.

April 3, 2012 at 9:39 a.m.
MTJohn said...

conservative said...Talk about a straw man! This poor heathen intentionally misrepresents a Republican father as so opposed to "science" that his kid has to study a "science" book in secret.

Conservative - the cartoon isn't really about science v. religion. We who have commented on it have just focused on that dimension. It really is about science v. $$$$$ and the Republican Party is consistently on the side of $$$$$ in that debate.

April 3, 2012 at 9:39 a.m.
librul said...

Even the most pitiful child homeschooled in a religionist home and spoon fed a rich diet of unfounded fantasy will come to realize the error inherent in their "education" IF they are given the gift of science-based instruction as they mature. It is that revelation which religionists are trying to suppress. It's inevitable. Denial of reality is the affliction of a damaged mind crippled by such shackles.

Anyone, Bookie, who would elevate fantasy alongside fact, is advertising their ignorance.

April 3, 2012 at 9:40 a.m.
Yano said...

Jack_Dennis:

Look at the history of stem cell research. Look at the number of Americans entering scientific fields vs the number of foreigners, in AMERICAN universities. Look at the decline of American dominance of Nobel prizes.

I don't think we've fallen off a cliff, but over the long term we could go forward, or not. It's up to us.

April 3, 2012 at 9:42 a.m.

Has science offered more than a theory for how man came about? Not really. Just guesses and pontification. Religion has a theory too. Since neither really knows, shouldn't both be less anxious to condemn the other until real facts are discovered? Scientists think they can find a way using science for man to live much longer. The bible has many passages that say it was normal in the past. Just because you can explain how it was done, doesn't make it any less of a miracle. I consider the laws of physics to be a miracle. That type of organization takes intelligence.

April 3, 2012 at 9:45 a.m.
davisss13 said...

EaTn said... To paraphrase the apostle Paul when he stated that mankind has no excuse for disbelief when the nature of the world cries out the name of God.

riiiiight.

He was full of manure. I've heard this bs as an answer for the question: What about all the people since the dawn of time have never heard the message of Christ and died?

April 3, 2012 at 9:47 a.m.
davisss13 said...

conservative said... Talk about a straw man! This poor heathen intentionally misrepresents a Republican father as so opposed to "science" that his kid has to study a "science" book in secret.

Who believes that?

I believe that Republicans hate science and are doing everything they can to discredit it. Look at what they are doing to textbooks in Texas.

April 3, 2012 at 9:51 a.m.
Caban said...

@Jack_Dennis Put a true Dominionist in the White House and see what happens. Can't you tell from some of these responses that there are folks out there that believe teaching anything THEY interpret as against "The Divine Word of God" as a mortal sin?

And as far as being "persecuted", these are the same folks who learned that if you discredit every other source of information and you never have to explain yourself. Just convince everyone of the existence "left-wing journalism", "socialist college boot camps" and now lazy unionized public school teachers... and you can shove whatever you want down America's gullet.

I mean, our state voted for freaking Rick Santorum... a guy who has campaigned AGAINST SECONDARY EDUCATION.

April 3, 2012 at 9:52 a.m.
MTJohn said...

FlyingPurpleSheepleEater said...Has science offered more than a theory for how man came about?

Before you criticize the theory of evolution, you should at least make an honest effort to understand the object of your scorn.

Although Darwin title his book "The Origin of Species" and that would include the origin of man, evolution really is the science of change - change in the physical environment and change in the organisms that inhabit that environment - over time.

Interestingly, even most creation scientists accept the reality of "micro evolution". Micro evolution is the core of the theory of evolution. The only real difference is whether you bound micro evolution by Bishop Usher's calendar or think of micro evolution occurring over a broader spectrum of time.

April 3, 2012 at 9:54 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Don’t you think a presentation on intelligent design would be a good opportunity to let a class exercise their critical thinking skills?

Not in science, because ID has no science. Unless of course you want to show students that there is no science, and ID proponents resort to lying, which they do, in order to pass it off as science.

Has science offered more than a theory for how man came about? Not really. Just guesses and pontification.

Evidence, actually. Lots of evidence. From many areas of science.

April 3, 2012 at 9:55 a.m.
librul said...

Ahem, still waiting since 7:52 for all of you fantasy-inspired folk to reveal JUST ONE BIT OF SUBSTANTIVE HUMAN KNOWLEDGE that has been derived as the result of disproving the laws of science.

JUST ONE....

WAITING ....

WAITING ....

April 3, 2012 at 9:56 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

lkeithlu said... "Not in science, because ID has no science"

So the social context is not important to you at all. Got that.

Maybe if we had philosophers instead of technicians at the front of the classroom we would be turning out more students with the ability to think for themselves. I am not sure that is the goal of the public education system though.

April 3, 2012 at 9:58 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

A fake science is not appropriate to discuss in science class, unless it is to show that it is not science. (like Astrology) Are you saying that this is what we should do? Should be include Creation science too?

April 3, 2012 at 10:05 a.m.
mtngrl said...

Maybe if we had philosophers instead of technicians at the front of the classroom we would be turning out more students with the ability to think for themselves. I am not sure that is the goal of the public education system though.

That would be a philosophy class, not a science class. As lkeithlu stated, ID could easily be used in a science class to explain how science works, which would explain why ID is NOT science.

April 3, 2012 at 10:05 a.m.
Caban said...

And seriously... what's up with the recent trend of everyone trying to prove God exists? Have some freaking faith and teach your kids religion at home.

And before everyone completely freaks out, there are plenty of religion classes in area public high schools. I took one that was essentially "Bible Study 101". Keep the religion in THOSE classes.

April 3, 2012 at 10:10 a.m.
librul said...

A dominionist theocracy cannot arise in a society which venerates science. THAT is why twits like Santorum and his minions are attacking science. And it gives them great pain to know that mathematics and geometry arose among the "mud people" of Babylonia and Egypt nearly three thousand years ago and their fantasy Aryan jesus had no part in it.

April 3, 2012 at 10:15 a.m.
BobMKE said...

http://www.sodahead.com/entertainment/has-anyone-read-this-god-vs-science-lecture-if-you-have-not--it-is-worth-reading/question-299506/ I don't know if this is a true story by a famous person or not. I, however agree with the content of the above no matter who said it. I'm sure this will stir up the conversation on this topic.

April 3, 2012 at 10:25 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

lkeithlu said... "A fake science is not appropriate to discuss in science class, unless it is to show that it is not science. (like Astrology) Are you saying that this is what we should do? Should be include Creation science too?"

No, just to stimulate the student's mind by honestly comparing what you would probably call the theology that is in competition with the science. I am not sure that evolution is taught as a science anymore since it sounds like its advocates are presenting it as settled science, which would be more accurately called technology.

April 3, 2012 at 10:27 a.m.
davisss13 said...

What kind of future do we have with idiots insisting their religion based bs be taught on an equal footing with science?

April 3, 2012 at 10:30 a.m.
Caban said...

@BobMKE That's an adaptation of this old one.

http://www.snopes.com/religion/einstein.asp

April 3, 2012 at 10:32 a.m.
MTJohn said...

BigRidgePatriot said... So the social context is not important to you at all. Got that.

Maybe if we had philosophers instead of technicians at the front of the classroom we would be turning out more students with the ability to think for themselves.

Context is everything and the context pertinent to this conversation is the classroom. My preference is to have a real person at the head of every classroom - preferably a person who is committed to helping students learn, a person knowledgeable in the subject matter and a person who will teach subject matter that is relevant to the class being taught.

I'm sure that you understand it is not appropriate to teach the Pythagorean Theorem in Latin class. I do not understand why you insist that it is perfectly acceptable to teach that which is not science in a science class.

April 3, 2012 at 10:32 a.m.
Livn4life said...

Faith and Reason CAN be held in balance together. Faith is not, however, Rational. So if one must be rationalistic on every matter, he or she will likely find faith very difficult or impossible. Here is what bothers me: Faith people who are rudely intolerant of non-faithers. Non-believers who claim intellectual superiority over believers because the "nons" take a scientific approach to matters. Hey we share the planet. Why not be accepting of those who are different from us and rather than focus on the negatives, look at the positives in both approaches. The last time I looked, the one who is represented by this week, ie. death on Friday, believed to be raised from death on Sunday, stated his people are to love even their enemies. I would love to see that practiced. But no the adversarial points come out, cartoons or not and here we go with diatribes from all sides.

April 3, 2012 at 10:33 a.m.
Caban said...

Passage re: "settled science" from scienceblogs.com

"More troubling, though, is the fact that both writers just don't seem to get the nature of the scientific process. Science is never completely "settled." Of course, much our understanding of the way the universe works has long been nailed down to the point where there's little to no controversy among scientists. But even on the most fundamental matters generally taught to students as an established fact, there are always scientists poking around the edges, looking for flaws in the ointment. Nothing is ever settled. Indeed, almost every scientist makes his or her living challenging what others have already agreed. "

April 3, 2012 at 10:35 a.m.
limric said...

C’mon - why don't we just admit it. 21st century Republicans are pandering to the dogma of the evangelical Christian movement. And, yes, it’s a movement. They are vigorously working to bring Christian law to America in much the same fashion as Middle Eastern Islamists fight to dismantle human rights for Sharia law. They believe the Bible literally and know unwaveringly that all other knowledge, wisdom, truth and most importantly, sciences, which contradict the Bible, are falsehoods created by atheists. So, they reject reason in favor or dogma. Most Republicans I know reject this, respect science and evidence; many even do science. However, they have lost control of their party and with it the nominating process because far right has taken control and frowns upon ‘theories’ in favor of magic.

Washington Post columnist Steve Pearlstein wrote that if you want a bumper sticker that defines today’s Republican Party’s platform it would be this: “Repeal the 20th century. Vote GOP.”

The last place this sort of thing happened was Iran. Through much of the 20th Century, Iran, though a corrupt dictatorship, was a leading educator, producer of scientists, research and technology in the Middle East. After the revolution, and with the installation of strict theocracy, no more. Unless something very drastic happens to reverse our present course, the same will happen here, most likely within our lifetimes.

However; If someone ever figures out a way to make evolution a really profitable, the Republicans would not only respect its scientific validity, they would praise it as a job creator and give it a tax break. ;-)

April 3, 2012 at 10:36 a.m.
MTJohn said...

BobMKE said...I don't know if this is a true story by a famous person or not. I, however agree with the content of the above no matter who said it. I'm sure this will stir up the conversation on this topic.

Bob - I also accept the content, with a measure of reservation. My reservation has to do with the distinction between faith and reason. The anecdote helps to clarify the nature of faith. The anecdote helps to dispel some of the enigmas that are inherent in Christianity. However, to logic does not "prove" the existence of God. If we could "prove" the existence of God, we would not need faith. But, faith, as defined in Hebrews 11, is the way that God relates with us.

April 3, 2012 at 10:42 a.m.
davisss13 said...

You godless infidels teach creationism or else.

April 3, 2012 at 10:45 a.m.
librul said...

Good one Limric.

Maybe the Republicans who chant "drill, baby, drill" and want to simultaneously deny science aren't aware that the material they want to drill for, that their petro-dollar economy lives on, is comprised of the decomposed remains of living organisms that died millions of years ago and have undergone entirely natural processes so as to be converted to crude oil and that it is SCIENCE that developed the process of fractional distillation to make generally useless crude oil into the dozens of useful products we take for granted today. I can hear them now saying "oops!"

April 3, 2012 at 10:55 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Whether God does or does not exist has nothing to do with science. Nor does evolution itself in any way deny the existence of a God. The problem is that all of the monotheistic religions put "God" in a box and make "him" a 2-dimensional being. Too many Christians want to cling to a limiting and limited definition of God based on the writings of primitive peoples whose only understanding of themselves and the world around them came from the stories (myths) that they concocted and passed on from one generation to the next. They had no scientific understanding of the nature of things.

It is sad that so many people cannot see the Bible for the compilation of myths that it is, and that they feel compelled, for reasons of "faith," to make of it something literal and historic. To interpret the Bible literally will of course conflict with science because it makes no sense whatsoever historically or scientifically.

It is not God necessarily that is in conflict with science. It is small-minded, self-righteous religious people who think that there is onle one way (their way) to heaven and they cling to a narrow, two-dimensional definition of God. To let go of that constricting and limiting set of beliefs is to make room in one's mind, and in the universe, for all manner of possibilities for life itself and for a "God" of truly infinite proportions.

April 3, 2012 at 11:18 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I am not sure that evolution is taught as a science anymore since it sounds like its advocates are presenting it as settled science, which would be more accurately called technology.

Actually, evolution is one of the best supported scientific theories out there. A technology is an application of science. However, I must agree the evolution is NOT being taught. Unless challenged, lots of high schools in TN skip it altogether or teach creation. This is problematic because it puts belief at the same level as evidence-based science, which does nothing to help teach kids what science is.

April 3, 2012 at 11:22 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

librul said... “Maybe the Republicans who chant "drill, baby, drill" and want to simultaneously deny science aren't aware that the material they want to drill for, that their petro-dollar economy lives on, is comprised of the decomposed remains of living organisms that died millions of years ago and have undergone entirely natural processes so as to be converted to crude oil and that it is SCIENCE that developed the process of fractional distillation to make generally useless crude oil into the dozens of useful products we take for granted today. I can hear them now saying "oops!"

…and that all of those living organisms took carbon into the sediment with them when they died, removing it from the ecosystem only to be liberated and put back into circulation by those creative scientists and industrialists. The circle of life is complete.

April 3, 2012 at 11:26 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

…and that all of those living organisms took carbon into the sediment with them when they died, removing it from the ecosystem only to be liberated and put back into circulation by those creative scientists and industrialists. The circle of life is complete.

Wish I had a LIKE button.

April 3, 2012 at 11:33 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

lkeithlu said... “Actually, evolution is one of the best supported scientific theories out there. A technology is an application of science. However, I must agree the evolution is NOT being taught. Unless challenged, lots of high schools in TN skip it altogether or teach creation.”

I guess that would explain your enthusiasm. I never considered that evolution would be replaced by creationism, only that presenting both would make class much more interesting and stimulating. Do you really think a public school would completely omit evolution from its curriculum?

April 3, 2012 at 11:56 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Another great cartoon, Clay Bennett. I suppose if nothing else, Tennessee’s House 368 and Senate Bill 893 gives Tennessee’s citizenry some good laughs.

First there is our Governor Bill Haslam pontificating on his proposed changes to civil service laws that will make it easier to hire and fire state workers while simultaneously signing a bill that will make it almost impossible to fire a teacher who opts to peddle creationism in his/her classroom - talk about upcoming headaches for administrators, school boards, and parents who expect quality education for their children.

And don’t you just giggled out loud every time you hear one of these Republican lawmakers talk about the need to develop good analytical and critical thinking skills when it comes to scientific inquiry. Indeed, if only these Republican lawmakers had applied some good analytical and critical thinking skills in developing Tennessee’s House 368 and Senate Bill 893.

I’ve read an estimated one in eight high school biology teachers across the country already teach creationism as scientifically credible, which has proved to be a costly problem. Senate Bill 893 essentially invites more teachers to participate in this costly and miseducational fray. Needless to say, it will be Tennessee's taxpayers, not the state legislature, who will be left to pick up the tab when the inevitable lawsuits are filed and won. [Sigh]

Then there is the sad but humorous case of Republican Senator Bo Watson who I’m told majored in biology major at UTC. In his Senate Bill 893, Senator Watson refers to biological evolution as a controversial theory, which, of course, isn’t the case. There was a time when biological evolution was controversial in some regions of Tennessee, but this was almost 90 years ago, and things have changed.

MY UTC friends say they’re confident this is not something Senator Watson picked up at UTC. They suspect he must have been absent the week biological evolution was discussed - the same would be true for some of the other scientific subjects Senator Watson includes in his legislation. All things considered, the concensus is that chronic absenteeism must have been the reason Bo Watson opted to become a politician instead of a scientist. [Giggle]

April 3, 2012 at 12:11 p.m.
conservative said...

MtJohn.....When you figure out what you comment has to do with my comment and what you mean by your comment, let me know.

April 3, 2012 at 12:20 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Yep-polls of biology teachers show that they avoid teaching it because of the ruckus it causes. Textbooks chosen by the big markets like TX, which seeks to diminish evolution's coverage, shy away from including too much. Presenting both has its problems: a science teacher who shows a class where Creationism is falsified by the physical evidence would bring a world of trouble. (and they would be "right" in a physical sense, but out of line and incorrect in a theological sense).

Part of this problem is self-fulfilling. One generation is not taught Biology with evolution as the central theme, even though nothing makes full sense except when discussed in this paradigm. They in turn teach the next generation, with textbooks printed by publishing companies that have no spine, and so on. Each generation is faced with an increasing body of knowledge in integrated sciences, with exponentially increasing evidence consistent with evolution and common descent. And yet, in part because of the rapid travel of unfiltered information, more and more people get the false impression that evolution is not a well supported scientific theory. It's odd, but well, it can't be helped. However, it is important that science educators and scientists correct mistakes whenever they see them.

April 3, 2012 at 12:21 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

That is a completely different argument. I could not support a discussion of creationism or intelligent design without a robust exploration of evolution. When I was in primary school they taught evolution and we were left to sort out the conflicts on our own. It was the 1000 pound gorilla in the room.

April 3, 2012 at 12:33 p.m.
onetinsoldier said...

Yano wrote; Religion is an evolved psychological phenomenon.

Good post dude, but thoughtful insight doesn't seem to reach those with limited abilities to think outside their comfort zone. More than a sentence or two usually confuses them so they don't read posts like yours. It rocks their world. I like to keep it short and activate the only button they respond to. Mind numbing fear of reason.

April 3, 2012 at 12:36 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

The problem is that folks insist that evolution has "weaknesses". It has unknown territory, yes, but not weaknesses. Intelligent design exploits those "unknowns", claiming things that cannot be falsified and providing no evidence on its own. Creation must ignore vast amounts of evidence and count on miracles where the laws of physics are suspended. That makes these latter two concepts thoroughly unscientific. As theology, Creation is wonderful and has stood the test of time. As Theology, ID is poor, as it simplifies a creator to a lousy designer (our compressed spine is a good example of a poor design-completely explained by evolution)

April 3, 2012 at 12:38 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Understood, except for the lousy spine design. I always figured our spine was fine for an active human being that was only designed to live 30 years.

April 3, 2012 at 12:45 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Hahahaha! Actually, mammalian spines are designed for suspension between pelvis and shoulder girdle. Our bipedal gate, which conferred an evolutionary advantage for other reasons, came at a price.

April 3, 2012 at 12:52 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Mine sucks. Now I know I can blame it on my DNA instead of my ridiculously inflated life span.

April 3, 2012 at 1:09 p.m.
EaTn said...

I think most on here are missing the point by competing the theory of evolution against the theory of creation. I personally think it's a drab and dreary world when someone can look at a magnificent Monarch butterfly as just another product of chance happening instead of a creation of both beauty and useful purpose.

April 3, 2012 at 1:15 p.m.
una61 said...

The purpose of Science is to provide rational and secular explanations for the processes of Nature. This includes all the Sciences, i.e., Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Meteorology, Oceanography, Anthropology, Ecology, Myrmecology (Study of Ants), Crystallography, etc. It does not include any of the pseudosciences, i.e., "Creationism", "Creation Science", "Intelligent Design", or "Flood Geology" derived from the Genesis myths, or Alchemy, ESP, ghosts, or goblins. I do like the idea of kids at home reading Science books.

April 3, 2012 at 1:43 p.m.
timbo said...

Again, there is no need for science to argue here. Evolution is settled. The scientific evidence is overwhelming. Intelligent design is the exact opposite of what the name suggests. It is superstition and has no place in science class. You are putting your children at a disadvantage teaching them this nonsense.

If you want to believe in Harold the Carrot god I don't care but stay out of science. It is too important to be interfered with by people who believe a "story" written 3000 years ago.

As far as respecting "opinions," some opinions are so ridiculous they don't deserve respect. Intelligent Design is one of them.

Lastly, there would be no disagreement at all if the religious side was not trying to prosthelytize in school classes. Is this so ridiculous you have to have a captive audience. You don't see biologists coming to church to "convert" people into thinking scientifically. You can think as irrationally as you want. I don't care but don't force my children to think as irrationally as you.

Anyone that says this is not promoting religion is a liar.

Keep this stuff at church where it belongs and quit bothering serious people with this clap trap.

April 3, 2012 at 1:53 p.m.
Caban said...

I can vouch that evolution wasn't even mentioned at Bradley Central HS back in the 1990s. Everything I was taught about it in school was from one junior high teacher.

They largely avoided any origin discussions, with the exception of "Bible History" class where our teacher sounded like a tinfoil hatter in retrospect. I still remember her rant about how we need to accidentally bomb the Dome of the Rock so the jews can rebuild The Temple. At the time I was quite religious, so it excited me. Now it's just disturbing as I believe there are more than a few folks in government that would agree with her.

April 3, 2012 at 2:44 p.m.
timbo said...

When I was in Jr. High/High School, the prosthelytizing was out of control. We had assembly with preachers that gave a sermon to the whole school. Almost no mention of evolution, teachers "witnessing" all the time, etc. etc. It was out of control.

Now they want to start this nonsense again. Most Christians think that giving one's opinion to a captive audience is "free speech." That is ridiculous...it is coerced listening.

The part I find hardest to believe but my fellow conservatives on other issues think it is fine and dandy that the government forces religion down our throats. Go figure...

April 3, 2012 at 3:06 p.m.
conservative said...

Timbo..... your "Most Christians think that giving one's opinion to a captive audience is "free speech." That is ridiculous...it is coerced listening" applies to ANYONE'S opinion on any subject.

I saw recently on the Yahoo webpage where someone was claiming to have found bones of a human that were over 1 million years old! Only The dumbest of the dumb sheep would believe that!

I certainly don't want my child or any child being told by some heathen pseudo "science" teacher that bones of a human over 1 million years old were recently found.

I hope that you are opposed to "coerced listening" on other nonsense such as the danger of chlorine in our water, arsenic in our apple products, alar on our apples, man made global warming and climate change, or that it is ok and natural to be a sexual pervert, what to do to protect yourself from the consequences of homosexual sex, nuclear proliferation, the dangers of nuclear power, overpopulation - the list is long, that is taught by the Godless Lieberal "teachers" in the public schools.

April 3, 2012 at 3:53 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I started to respond to this post but realized I would be wasting my time. The craziness is obvious enough without my addressing it.

April 3, 2012 at 4:03 p.m.
MickeyRat said...

Conservative says, "I certainly don't want my child or any child being told by some heathen pseudo "science" teacher that bones of a human over 1 million years old were recently found."

Why? And what is the determining factor defining a "pseudo "science" teacher" and a 'real' science teacher?

April 3, 2012 at 4:05 p.m.
EaTn said...

I personally think that liberals who reject the common sense of a higher power Creator of the universe and conservatives who reject the common sense scientific principles are both missing the truth. With this vast universe, our pea brains have just barely touched on the truth. That may label me as a "liber-con", but that's where I stand.

April 3, 2012 at 4:09 p.m.
Yano said...

When you are a practiced believer in the impossible, when your belief is based on faith instead of reason, then what is left to challenge your biases, your errors, your prejudices, and your ignorance? People either open themselves to reason, or they cling to whatever fantasies please them, flatter them, let them feel good and superior. Inconvenient facts are breezily dismissed.

April 3, 2012 at 4:09 p.m.
timbo said...

conservative ........I was not speaking all those other subjects that liberals like to teach. I was thinking about evolution . Belief has nothing to do with it . science is science , religion is religion and for centuries religion has been the enemy of scientific facts . Most medical principles are based on evolution science. I hope you're not a hypocrite by using medical science when you're sick that was developed on evolution principles. I am sure you just pray to cure cancer or an infection . If you use medical technologies then you don't believe what you are saying .

April 3, 2012 at 4:30 p.m.
joepulitzer said...

YANO AND TIMBO, YOU MUST BE REALLY SMART DUDES TO KNOW FOR CERTAIN THAT THERE IS NO GOD. RIGHT? AND IF THERE IS NO GOD, AND YOU ARE SO SMART, THAT MAKES YOU THE CLOSEST THING TO A GOD THAT THERE IS. RIGHT? ISN'T THIS WHAT ATHEISM IS ALL ABOUT? AS FOR BENNETT, I KNEW HE CAME FROM AN APE FROM THE BEGINNING.

April 3, 2012 at 5:24 p.m.

Evolution is settled? Where is that missing link pray-tell?

April 3, 2012 at 6:34 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Every fossil is a "missing link", sweetie.

April 3, 2012 at 6:37 p.m.
Yano said...

FlyingP:

You are an example of the woeful state of evolution education in our country.

Every animal that ever lived was a link between what came before it and what came after.

Although we haven't dug up every species that ever lived yet, we find more every year, and they either fall into place in the evolutionary chain, or they enhance our knowledge by showing us more clearly how the chain really runs.

We could dig up every individual creature that ever crawled, swam, or flew, and it wouldn't convince some people. They'll just wave their hands and deny the evidence, because it doesn't say what they want.

That's fine, but such people should keep their "beliefs" out of the science classroom. Their beliefs are not functionally equivalent to the evidence-based opinions of countless thousands of knowledgeable actual scientists.

April 3, 2012 at 6:46 p.m.
conservative said...

Timbo...you suppose that God and true science can't coexist.

Man has discovered only a fraction of the true science that God created. I thank God for the science in the field of medicine that man is discovering every day. It has saved my life many times.

Heathens have written and will continue to write foolishness claiming there is no God. Their heathen theories are just that - heathen theories. People spend countless hours being bamboozled and recruited by these fools. What a gigantic waste of time!

EVERYONE knows that he is a sinner and that he will one day be held accountable for his sin. The atheist thinks that by denying the existence of God and surrounding himself with others who deny the existence of God, he can somehow escape judgement.

Anyone who sincerely wants to know if God exists only has to read his word with an open mind. The ESV version is regarded as very accurate and is easy to read.

April 3, 2012 at 7 p.m.
moonpie said...

We embrace the science that makes our life easier and reject those that challeng our notions.

Applied scientific theory has led to: television, air-conditioning, this computer.... the car, the medicines you take, the camera. Crops are more resistent to pests. Smart farming allows less water to be used.

Physics, chemistry, biologic theories and observation led to so many things we hold dear.

Sometimes science challenges the world: atomic energy, atomic bombs, cloning.... We can argue the morals and/or ethics....

But when science challenges our beliefs.... We frequently argue it's not true.

The beautiful thing about science is that it questions itself. Opponents see this as a weakness. People who understand science see this as a strength.

For those who believe in God.... why is science here?

For those who don't..... Why is science not one of the languages of God?

April 3, 2012 at 7:03 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Conservative, this is not about the existence of God. Science has nothing whatever to say about gods, except that, like fairies, unicorns and pixies, there is no physical evidence for their existence.

April 3, 2012 at 7:12 p.m.
una61 said...

The fossil record is a non-linear time sequenced discrete record so that there will always be "gaps". What Paleontologists do is integrate this record over time to track the evolutionary development of plant and animal life forms. Since it's non-linear it conceptually becomes an Integral Calculus type of operation. Eldredridge and Gould termed it, "Punctuated Equilibrium". There are periods of tremendous change (The Cambrian Explosion) and then there are periods of Statis when very little happens. All plant and animal life forms that exist today and that have existed for the past 2 billion years or so are composed of Eukaryotic cells having a nucleus with DNA. What distinguishes life forms and species from each other is the configuration of their DNA. Eukaryotic cell creation will continue for a few more billion years until our Earth is destroyed by a dying Sun.

April 3, 2012 at 7:13 p.m.
moonpie said...

FPSE

"The missing link"? There is not just one....

We actually have something more revealing than the fossile record... Genetics.

Humans and chimps are very similar genetically. While the exact % has been scrutinized and debated, an essential element in the differences are in areas of actual gene regulation. Key areas of differences are in promotor regions. Differential imprinting accounts for diffences, as well, in gene regulation.

Do the similarities prove we came from similar anscestors? No. But no bone will either.

Could a God use the science of DNA to create diffences in species? Yes, it would be convenient, to be sure.

So.... why is science a challenge to God.... I think there are several answers. God is immeasurable, great in power, all-knowing, and never erring.... God gives us purpose and allays our fears of entropy.

Science questions everything.... God and Science alike....

Both seek order in the universe. If any part of God is assailled, dismantled, then the whole concept falls apart for some people.... especially for those who argue strawmen, who think if you defeat a part, you defeat the whole.

April 3, 2012 at 7:23 p.m.
joepulitzer said...

lkeithlu, if you were the only thing in existence, I would have to agree with you.

April 3, 2012 at 8 p.m.
Walden said...

EaTn - good comments on this thread. I agree with you almost entirely. Is it more unbelievable to think that a benign God created all of the complexity of life (think, for example, the human eye), or is it more unbelievable to think that all of this complexity was borne of some great cosmic collision of "stuff" some billions of years ago? Ponder that over your bong hits tonight Libbies.

April 3, 2012 at 8:22 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Walden, do you have anything to offer besides argument from incredulity?

April 3, 2012 at 8:34 p.m.
moonpie said...

lkeithlu,

Even Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe was its comprehensibility, or something like that.....

His statement was brilliant and feeds many souls. He also said, something like:

I see a clock, but I cannot envision the clockmaker. The mind can't conceive the four dimensions. So how can it conceive of a God, for whom a 1000 years and a 1000 dimensions are one?

I think it is foolishness that we, with limited views, think we have the long view. You can think your view is more informed because it is more empiric.

Yet, do we really understand the world so much better than the ancients? I'd like to think so. But how foolish our most sacred scientific beliefs may look 1000 years from now. Who knows.... they may circle back....

Few people in science today think that we are at a pinnacle. Every answer leads to more questions.

Given that, I think that the universe, or a butterfly or a retina are are infinitely complex..... and the most incomprehensible thing about them is that they can be comprehended......

Walden and Einstein shared a wonder. I'd let them have it.

In fact, I'd celebrate it instead of trying to argue against it.

April 3, 2012 at 9:14 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I am all for wonder, moonpie. I am not for teaching religion in science class. I am also not for teaching kids science only, as religion, philosophy, literature, art all have value and meaning that is not scientific. But I do have a problem when people dismiss reality, or try to stuff God in gaps. (which is what the DI tries to do with "complexity",which they seem to insist is a measurement, yet they cannot define or quantify it.) I never implied that science is at a pinnacle; our current understanding may seem rather childish 500 years from now.

My interest in this topic is to preserve the definition of science, and the teaching of sound science in school. The trends in TN and in a dozen other states is to diminish evolution through deceit and lies, and inject a religious explanation in its place. Belief and science each serve a purpose; when belief denies physical reality it goes too far. Likewise, when science seeks to destroy belief it steps outside its own parameters. Science should say nothing regarding the supernatural-if pushed, the most that can be said is that there has NEVER been any empirical physical evidence for it. That is as far as that claim can go.

April 3, 2012 at 9:31 p.m.
dude_abides said...

A child dies of starvation every five seconds. Yet God blesses Tim Tebow (and his man nipples) with another touchdown.

Did Walden just found Bong Hits for Jesus?

April 3, 2012 at 9:49 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Let’s not muddle what Einstein had to say about science, wonder and religion:

Most people readily agree on what is meant by "science," they are likely to differ on the meaning of "religion." [Einstein]

“It is this mythical, or rather this symbolic, content of the religious traditions which is likely to come into conflict with science. This occurs whenever this religious stock of ideas contains dogmatically fixed statements on subjects which belong in the domain of science. Thus, it is of vital importance for the preservation of true religion that such conflicts be avoided when they arise from subjects which, in fact, are not really essential for the pursuance of the religious aims.” [Einstein]

April 3, 2012 at 10:11 p.m.
Walden said...

Ikeithlu - re-read what I wrote, without your jaded glasses on, and re-think. Do you have nothing to offer other than your preconceived notions of why we are here?

April 3, 2012 at 10:25 p.m.

the librul salamander, eating his own tail, said...

“Ahem, still waiting since 7:52 for all of you fantasy-inspired folk to reveal JUST ONE BIT OF SUBSTANTIVE HUMAN KNOWLEDGE that has been derived as the result of disproving the laws of science.”


For starters, Copernicus’ heliocentrism debunked Ptolemy’s then-universally accepted “law” of geocentrism. It may not be SUBSTANTIVE HUMAN KNOWLEDGE for you, but most people would beg to differ.

THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF SCIENCE is the story of new theories challenging, revising, and, in some cases, overturning what earlier scientists considered scientific law. If your “laws of science” are not subject to this type of scrutiny, if their proponents thunder from on high against blasphemous theories that challenge them, then what you have is dogma, not science.

The bill, like most of what the legislature produces, is ludicrous. And so are the anachronisms of agnostics and atheists squeezing their size 30’s into the designer dress of science. Or autographing the label as if they were the ones who came up with it.

“To know the mighty works of God; to comprehend His wisdom and majesty and power; to appreciate, in degree, the wonderful working of His laws, surely all this must be a pleasing and acceptable mode of worship to the Most High, to whom ignorance can not be more grateful than knowledge.” - Nicolaus Copernicus

April 3, 2012 at 10:26 p.m.
MTJohn said...

Walden said...Is it more unbelievable to think that a benign God created all of the complexity of life (think, for example, the human eye), or is it more unbelievable to think that all of this complexity was borne of some great cosmic collision of "stuff" some billions of years ago?

Or, the third option, that both are true?

Science does not refute the notion that the life, as we know it, is the handiwork of a divine creator. It's just that science is able to describe many aspects of creation, as we know it, without presupposing a divine creator.

April 3, 2012 at 10:30 p.m.
Walden said...

MTJohn - all good and well. I have often said that I believe that one day, Science will discover God, and boy, does that scare the crap out of the left.

April 3, 2012 at 10:35 p.m.
MTJohn said...

whats_wrong_with_the_world said...THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF SCIENCE is the story of new theories challenging, revising, and, in some cases, overturning what earlier scientists considered scientific law. If your “laws of science” are not subject to this type of scrutiny, if their proponents thunder from on high against blasphemous theories that challenge them, then what you have is dogma, not science.

3W - you have correctly described the scientific method. Now, if you wish to dismiss the theory of evolution on the basis that new theories challenge old theories, please put forth the information - developed and applied consistent with the scientific method - and not just dogma grounded in a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2.

April 3, 2012 at 10:38 p.m.
joepulitzer said...

Rickaroo, you learned that in college(that "institution" of higher learning) didn't you?

April 3, 2012 at 10:41 p.m.
MTJohn said...

Walden said...MTJohn - all good and well. I have often said that I believe that one day, Science will discover God, and boy, does that scare the crap out of the left.

Walden - if you take what Scripture says about God's foolishness vis a vis human wisdom as spiritual truth, and I do, then you would have to think that the reality of God is beyond the realm of scientific discovery. And, if you take what Scripture says about faith as spiritual truth, and I do, then you also would have to conclude that we cannot relate with God on the basis of human reason and understanding.

April 3, 2012 at 10:42 p.m.
Walden said...

MTJohn - I was unaware that the Scripture ever contemplated foolishness on the part of God. Not sure if I want you to enlighten me, but whatever...

April 3, 2012 at 10:56 p.m.
Walden said...

MTJ - I would also suggest that your comment regarding our inability to "... relate with God on the basis of human reasoning and understanding" lacks a basic knowledge of Christian Faith, and why Jesus was sent to Earth to remedy that very problem.

April 3, 2012 at 11:05 p.m.

MTJohn said...

3W - you have correctly described the scientific method. Now, if you wish to dismiss the theory of evolution on the basis that new theories challenge old theories, please put forth the information - developed and applied consistent with the scientific method - and not just dogma grounded in a literal interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2.


I said nothing about evolution or literalism. My topic was librul’s denial of the value of the scientific method. I also highlighted the absurdity of atheists extrapolating their philosophical viewpoints from a scientific theory. It’s just as bad as literalists constructing scientific theories from the Bible. (Read the rest of Einstein’s article that mountianlaurel quoted to find out how that works. It also contains his enlightening views about the culture-sustaining value of religion, specifically Christianity.)

I also pointed to the anachronism of thinking that modern science came from anywhere other than European Christians and Jews rejecting the superstitions and simplistic theories of pagans. Please put forth your theories that refute what I actually wrote.

April 3, 2012 at 11:06 p.m.
moonpie said...

lkeithlu, Your points are well defined and described. Thanks for making them clear to me. If I were a science teacher rather than a scientist, I would feel more assailed, to be sure. I felt compelled to say something because I never want to turn a back on wonder.

April 3, 2012 at 11:15 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Thanks, moonpie. We should work together on this. Scientists and educators.

April 3, 2012 at 11:20 p.m.

mountainlaurel said... “Let’s not muddle what Einstein had to say about science, wonder and religion”


Indeed. Other insights from the same work (“Why Religion Will Not Be Superseded by Science,” Albert Einstein)

“Does there truly exist an insuperable contradiction between religion and science? Can religion be superseded by science? The answers to these questions have, for centuries, given rise to considerable dispute and, indeed, bitter fighting. Yet, in my own mind there can be no doubt that in both cases a dispassionate consideration can only lead to a negative answer.”

[He then draws a number of distinctions between the proper function of science and the proper function of religion.]

He concludes:

“The interpretation of religion, as here advanced, implies a dependence of science on the religious attitude, a relation which, in our predominantly materialistic age, is only too easily overlooked. While it is true that scientific results are entirely independent from religious or moral considerations, those individuals to whom we owe the great creative achievements of science were all of them imbued with the truly religious conviction that this universe of ours is something perfect and susceptible to the rational striving for knowledge. If this conviction had not been a strongly emotional one and if those searching for knowledge had not been inspired by Spinoza’s Amor Dei Intellectualis, they would hardly have been capable of that untiring devotion which alone enables man to attain his greatest achievements.”

April 3, 2012 at 11:29 p.m.
librul said...

4W - as hair splitters go, you win the big blue ribbon. Advances in scientific knowledge, characterized by the augmentation or usurpation of widely accepted hypotheses at a certain point in time (most often as a result of new evidence or advances in the quality of scientific tools), exemplify growth in knowledge and are to be celebrated. The ability of scientists to overturn the work of other scientists is at the heart of the matter and is precisely why science will always overcome rigid dogma. Scientific knowledge will grow inexorably and "gaps" will narrow and disappear one by one. The challenge I intended to posit, was for anyone to demonstrate that in times since science got on steady legs, there is not a single instance where accepted scientific fact has been overturned by anyone appealing to the world of fantasy, illogic and unreason, best exemplified by persons with blind faith in an ephemeral god.

April 4, 2012 at 12:28 a.m.
MTJohn said...

Walden said...MTJohn - I was unaware that the Scripture ever contemplated foolishness on the part of God. Not sure if I want you to enlighten me, but whatever...

My word choice in the comment to which you responded was informed by passages like 1 Cor 1:25.

Walden said...MTJ - I would also suggest that your comment regarding our inability to "... relate with God on the basis of human reasoning and understanding" lacks a basic knowledge of Christian Faith, and why Jesus was sent to Earth to remedy that very problem.

Walden - I have great confidence in John 3:16, 17; Romans 5:8 and other passages that reveal God as love and Christ as Savior. I understand this as true by faith, faith as defined in Hebrews 11:1, distinct from reason.

April 4, 2012 at 7:42 a.m.
MTJohn said...

whats_wrong_with_the_world said...I said nothing about evolution or literalism. My topic was librul’s denial of the value of the scientific method. I also highlighted the absurdity of atheists extrapolating their philosophical viewpoints from a scientific theory.

3W - Librul responded for himself and confirmed my understanding of his previous posts, i.e. he did not challenge the scientific method. And, your previous post, to which I responded, was not an example of human knowledge derived by overturning the laws of science. Rather, it was an example of human knowledge derived through the application of the scientific method.

whats_wrong_with_the_world said...He concludes:...The interpretation of religion, as here advanced, implies a dependence of science on the religious attitude, a relation which, in our predominantly materialistic age, is only too easily overlooked. While it is true that scientific results are entirely independent from religious or moral considerations, those individuals to whom we owe the great creative achievements of science were all of them imbued with the truly religious conviction that this universe of ours is something perfect and susceptible to the rational striving for knowledge.

3W - you just made a very compelling argument that we should pay attention to the science of climate change and the implications of that science relative to the duty that people of faith understand to be good stewards of the perfect creation that we have been given.

April 4, 2012 at 7:52 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Whats_Wrong_With_the_World said: "Indeed. Other insights from the same work (“Why Religion Will Not Be Superseded by Science,” Albert Einstein)"

Yes, I find Einstein's work and thoughts fascinating. But I think it's Einstein’s observation that most people are likely to differ on the meaning of "religion" that gets to bottom line in regard to Tennessee Senator Bo Watson's proposed law, WWWTW. It also has been the key issue in the various lawsuits against schools that have tried to slip in their own preferred religious beliefs into science curriculums- and for a very legitimate reason:

Several parents won a lawsuit against a Pennsylvania school district in 2005 that had added the controversial theory of "intelligent design" to its curriculum. Unlike the theory of evolution which is taught at most schools as a fact-based science, "intelligent design" -- as argued by the plaintiffs -- was nothing more than a philosophy predicated on the Judeo-Christian belief that the logical sequences found in nature are not random happenings or surprising mutations, but deftly managed events created by a greater omniscient and omnipresent intelligence with a specific plan. In short, the work of God.

A federal judge thought otherwise. But therein lies the rub: Which god? When the founding fathers established the Constitution of the United States, they chose to include the separation of church and state. This was to ensure that the state-sanctioned religious persecutions that plagued much of Europe during the 16th century would not despoil the young, yet grand experiment in democracy that was to become this Republic.

Scientific research has come a long way since Charles Darwin first posited the concept of "natural selection." In the intervening years, humanity has learned much about how we became the dominant species on the planet, how the Earth and the solar system were formed and the ever-changing development of the Universe. Over that time, how we understand the theory of evolution has also changed. Scientists now think that there is an intrinsic logic to our reality, that there are absolutes, laws of nature. Much remains a mystery, and as one question is answered, many others arise.

The question that faced Pennsylvania's Dover School District was whether or not the imposition of one creation belief on a multi-ethnic, secular student body is in keeping with the law that prohibits the creation of a state religion. If they allow one belief system to be taught, surely they must also teach others? . . .”

http://www.livescience.com/11316-top-10-intelligent-designs-creation-myths.html

April 4, 2012 at 9:55 a.m.
timbo said...

joepulitzer..... I didn't say anything about God. I just said that science is science and there is no place for religion in it. I wouldn't even mention religion if your type wasn't preaching at us with this stupid bill from little Bo Watson.

Talk and teach whatever you want in church just leave the rest of us alone in school.

If you mean that adhering to scientific principle is "smart" and denying it is "dumb." Your right.

April 4, 2012 at 12:43 p.m.
chet123 said...

LOOK AT WHAT WRONG WITH THE WORLD......HOW ABOUT CHANGING YOUR NAME TO WHAT WRONG WITH ME..I DROP IN HERE TO SEE THE SAME HATERS..PHILOSOPHYING ABOUT GOD.....WHAT A SHAME! THIS IS WHERE ALL THE SELF RIGHTEOUS RIGHT-WING CAMP OUT....THIS IS THE PROBLEM OF THE COUNTRY....THEY HAVE LOST THEIR SAING POWER...OR ABILITY TO PLANT SEEDS.....THEY HAVE SMEARED THE NAME CHRISTIANITY BY THEIR WICKEDNESS...AND HATE....NOW THEY IN HERE PROFESSING IN GOD/CHRIST.......DO THEY HAVE ANY SHAME???

IT MAKE ME WANT TO THROW UP....WHAT DOUBLE TONGUE HYPOCRITES

April 4, 2012 at 4:08 p.m.

librul said...

4W - as hair splitters go, you win the big blue ribbon.

Scientists also tend to be hairsplitters. Thank God.

Advances in scientific knowledge, characterized by the augmentation or usurpation of widely accepted hypotheses at a certain point in time (most often as a result of new evidence or advances in the quality of scientific tools), exemplify growth in knowledge and are to be celebrated. The ability of scientists to overturn the work of other scientists is at the heart of the matter …

Thanks for the clarification. I should have accepted your venting for what it was.

… and is precisely why science will always overcome rigid dogma. Scientific knowledge will grow inexorably and "gaps" will narrow and disappear one by one.

A heartfelt statement of the foundationalist faith in inevitable progress. Your narrative ignores the long periods of blind spots, rabbit trails, and, well, historical amnesia among a culture’s scientific community. Dogmatic faith in western science’s inexorable “march” toward enlightened certainty (omniscience?) unravels the sense of wonder, mystery, and humility that actually fuels the scientific enterprise. (The lizard eats its tail.) I share your enthusiasm for modern advances in science, but your dreams and prophecies of a world of science devoid religious sensibilities is nothing more than rigid, improvable dogma.

The challenge I intended to posit, was for anyone to demonstrate that in times since science got on steady legs, there is not a single instance where accepted scientific fact has been overturned by anyone appealing to the world of fantasy, illogic and unreason, best exemplified by persons with blind faith in an ephemeral god.

Agreed. Western history’s faulty “scientific facts” were often overturned by wide-awake theists who acknowledged the existence and orderly activity of a rational God who is not confined to western categories of what constitutes “facts.” It was their precision and drive that steadied the legs of the scientific endeavor in the West.

Your blind faith that “science” (scientists?) always speaks with one voice or that it/they will move toward a final destination of absolute certainty is simply ahistorical – a fantasy. Also, not to split hairs, but scientific laws are not the same as scientific method.

Let’s shoot down the new law without preaching that religion is an obstacle rather than a boost to good science. (See Einstein above.)

April 4, 2012 at 9:41 p.m.

CHET123.

Your mother and I are very disappointed in you. You are a confused young man. I believe that you will recover, though. Hang in there.

April 4, 2012 at 10:04 p.m.
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