MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

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MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby MrHacks » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:52 am UTC

Missouri Congressman Rick Brattin (R-MO-124), introduced a bill on January 10 to teach Intelligent Design to kids from Kindergarten all the way through COLLEGE (yes, COLLEGE), and then brags about how good it is on his Facebook page, where the Internet responded which much disdain.

The Bill HR 1227 a.k.a. The Missouri Science Standard Act is the thrid incarnation of a bill named just like it that died two other times, and the fourth such bill proposed by some creationist fundamental Baptist from rural Missouri, is loaded with a glossary of terms defined by creationists to define how to teach science class. It's a loaded bill designed to expand Sunday School to six days a week regardless if you are Christian, Jew, Muslim, Agnostic, or Pastafanarian.

The minute he posted his support of the bill, everyone was posting their outright disgust with the bill. But on Monday Night, following hundreds of posts critizing him, Brattin decided to follow his mentor former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and DELETE F*CKING EVERYTHING.

Feeling sympathetic for his harshly criticized companion, Andrew Koenig (R-MO-88) introduced his own bill which is a verbatum rewrite of another Anti-Evolution bill that died in committee last year, and has more cosponsors thatn the Brattin Bill (of which Brattin is a co-sponsor of Koenig's bill as Koenig was for Brattin).

The Brattin bill still is on the table and Brattin is still unmoved.

The fact that there are two bill with the same objective in a state where Republicans (most from rural Missouri and devoutely Christian to the point that they passed a law that makes it illegal to be within six feet of an erotic dancer (Thanks, Matt Barton), and whose job as congressman is second to their day job as Christian minster) control both houses of the Missouri Legislature, and want to change the education standards of Missouri to restrict Science class by incorporating Intelligent Design in a state where science jobs are desperately needed to repair the state's economy.

Contact Brattin and Koenig via their office phone number, email, facebook, etc.

"On Blind Faith, we place alliance, what we need more of is Science!" --MC Hawking[/quote]

Hopefully this is better.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Kick » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:08 pm UTC

I just vomited a little. The arrogance of some people astounds me.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:09 pm UTC

It's a great way to boost test scores.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby black_hat_guy » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:37 am UTC

I can see why people would support deciding education at a state level, but schools should be required to teach actual facts, no matter what their state says.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Jan 19, 2012 6:37 am UTC

black_hat_guy wrote:I can see why people would support deciding education at a state level, but schools should be required to teach actual facts, no matter what their state says.


Evolution isn't a fact, it's a theory! :mrgreen:

[Aside: I really hope this thread gets moved to N&A. It's too hard to take this seriously.]
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Djehutynakht » Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:56 am UTC

My belief in Evolution aside, it does seem just a bit bigoted to teach the theory that one group of people (scientists/others who believe it) believe in, and not theories that other people believe in. Evolution does seem to merit itself to be taught more, but honestly, I'm not quite so sure we can call ourselves fair to refuse to present students with alternative theories to those that we ourselves are entirely sure are correct.


"But it's okay, because we're right and he's just some religious nut!"
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Xeio » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:03 am UTC

Except that you're comparing a reasonable theory based on evidence and another based entirely on faith that's totally right because a really old book said so.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Djehutynakht » Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:12 am UTC

Xeio wrote:Except that you're comparing a reasonable theory based on evidence and another based entirely on faith that's totally right because a really old book said so.


Ah. But that's using our method of an evidence-based claim, instead of his method of a faith-based one. By our method, his claim seems ridiculous. By his method, ours does.

It's a subjective question, I suppose.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Diadem » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:16 am UTC

I'm reading that bill's text now, and it's pure comedy gold. First their definitions:
(7) "Hypothesis", a scientific theory reflecting a minority of scientific opinion which may lack acceptance because it is a new idea, contains faulty logic, lacks supporting data, has significant amounts of conflicting data, or is philosophically unpopular. One person may develop and propose a hypothesis;

This is just wrong on so many levels. A hypothesis is the opposite of a theory, how the fuck can you define one as the other? And 'a minority of scientific opinion'. I'm going to want to hear from that majority of mathematicians that think the Riemann Hypothesis is wrong. And then that list of reasons for why a hypothesis is a minority opinion... sigh.

(8) "Origin", the events and processes previous to written history that define the beginning, development, and record of the universe, galaxies, stars, our solar system, earth, earth geology, earth geography, fossils, species extinction, plant life, animal life, and the human race, and which may be founded upon faith-based philosophical beliefs;

Wait, what? I can see how ideas about which events and processes that make up the 'origin' are true, can be faith-based. But to say that the origin itself is based on faith-based philosophical beliefs? Did you even proof-read your own law?

(9) "Scientific theory", an inferred explanation of incompletely understood phenomena about the physical universe based on limited knowledge, whose components are data, logic, and faith-based philosophy. The inferred explanation may be proven, mostly proven, partially proven, unproven or false and may be based on data which is supportive, inconsistent, conflicting, incomplete, or inaccurate. The inferred explanation may be described as a scientific theoretical model;

*sigh* I know it's a list of definitions as used in the law, so sure, they can put down whatever they want. But this is just sad.

(11) "Standard science", knowledge disclosed in a truthful and objective manner and the physical universe without any preconceived philosophical demands concerning origin or destiny. (...)

[bolding mine]
Again, did you even proof-read your own bill?

Then the actual bill itself:
(2) If scientific law is taught, written textbooks statements identified as scientific law shall have no known exceptions of verified empirical data;

So teaching Newton's Laws is now banned? Awesome!

(5) If a naturalistic process previous to written history is taught, the naturalistic process shall be duplicated by an analogous naturalistic process (...)

So, if we want to teach stellar formation, teachers have to actually create a star during practicum? You know, I'm starting to like this law. That'd be one hell of a cool practicum.


But now comes the good part. The entire bill is meaningless.
If scientific theory concerning biological origin is taught in a course of study, biological evolution and biological intelligent design shall be taught. Other scientific theory or theories of origin may be taught. If biological intelligent design is taught, any proposed identity of the intelligence responsible for earth's biology shall be verifiable by present-day observation or experimentation and teachers shall not question, survey, or otherwise influence student belief in a nonverifiable identity within a science course;

There is no such thing as a 'scientific theory on biological intelligent design'. So it can't be taught. All this bill does is force biology textbooks to carry an equal number of blank pages. A minor inconvenience at most.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:58 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:My belief in Evolution aside, it does seem just a bit bigoted to teach the theory that one group of people (scientists/others who believe it) believe in, and not theories that other people believe in. Evolution does seem to merit itself to be taught more, but honestly, I'm not quite so sure we can call ourselves fair to refuse to present students with alternative theories to those that we ourselves are entirely sure are correct.


"But it's okay, because we're right and he's just some religious nut!"


"Theory" in science does not mean the same thing as "theory" in common language. Claiming that creationism/intelligent design is a "theory" in this sense of the term is complete equivocation.

That said, if we're going to teach just any old thing that people think up, why not teach all creation myths. It's not like we have any more evidence for any of those than we do for Intelligent Design.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Xeio » Mon Jan 23, 2012 5:59 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:
Xeio wrote:Except that you're comparing a reasonable theory based on evidence and another based entirely on faith that's totally right because a really old book said so.
Ah. But that's using our method of an evidence-based claim, instead of his method of a faith-based one. By our method, his claim seems ridiculous. By his method, ours does.

It's a subjective question, I suppose.
But by that logic we'd end up teaching young earth creationism. And about the world turtle. And whatever other nonsensical belief systems there are out there. Belief that your own belief system is correct is not a good criteria for inclusion.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby yurell » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:38 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:Ah. But that's using our method of an evidence-based claim, instead of his method of a faith-based one. By our method, his claim seems ridiculous. By his method, ours does.

It's a subjective question, I suppose.


Well, his claim is perfectly fine to teach. In RE. Surely it makes sense to teach theories that have been rigorously tested and accepted via the scientific method in science?
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Fedechiar » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:22 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:My belief in Evolution aside, it does seem just a bit bigoted to teach the theory that one group of people (scientists/others who believe it) believe in, and not theories that other people believe in. Evolution does seem to merit itself to be taught more, but honestly, I'm not quite so sure we can call ourselves fair to refuse to present students with alternative theories to those that we ourselves are entirely sure are correct.


"But it's okay, because we're right and he's just some religious nut!"


That's what many postmoderns would say, but it completely undermines the significance of any science class...Science is fair by nature: if a theory fits the data better than the current one, it becomes the widely accepted one (see: relativity, quantum mechanics, genetics, evolution itself). If the creationists can come up with legitimate data that disprove evolution (hint: they won't), then the matter should be rediscussed; until then, I'm happy I live in Europe where things like this don't happen
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:23 am UTC

Fedechiar wrote:
Djehutynakht wrote:My belief in Evolution aside, it does seem just a bit bigoted to teach the theory that one group of people (scientists/others who believe it) believe in, and not theories that other people believe in. Evolution does seem to merit itself to be taught more, but honestly, I'm not quite so sure we can call ourselves fair to refuse to present students with alternative theories to those that we ourselves are entirely sure are correct.


"But it's okay, because we're right and he's just some religious nut!"


That's what many postmoderns would say, but it completely undermines the significance of any science class...Science is fair by nature: if a theory fits the data better than the current one, it becomes the widely accepted one (see: relativity, quantum mechanics, genetics, evolution itself). If the creationists can come up with legitimate data that disprove evolution (hint: they won't), then the matter should be rediscussed; until then, I'm happy I live in Europe where things like this don't happen
Just to emphasize the above: The reason we teach evolution in biology is because biology is a field of science, and evolution has been discovered, analyzed, and proven through the application of the scientific method.

Creationism has not been proven through the scientific method. If you want to teach Creationism in schools, fine--but not in a science class. Creationism isn't scientifically verifiable, and hasn't earned the considerable credibility we give to scientific fields. Creationists want this credibility--they want to say 'we have SCIENCE on our side!'--but this is an obfuscation technique. I'm fine with Creationists believing what they believe; I'm fine with them teaching it to other people. I'm not fine with them lying or otherwise confusing people and calling it science. It's not, and we need to be very clear about that.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:27 pm UTC

I grew up in a Christian family and I was homeshcooled, my curriculum was from a Christian creationist perspective so I know what the curriculum would look like should these bills pass. Essentially it would consist of them talking about problems with carbon dating, irreducible complexity, the geological column and entropy. This is a very intellectually dishonest approach as non of these issues are truly issues with evolution. Many topics simply are not covered because they have nothing to say about it. This approach is even more dishonest because even if they were proving evolution wrong is not proof of creation. The train of logic is the following:
1. Show evolution wrong
2. Present creationism in an "evolution is false so what says creation isn't true" fashion.

The fundamental problem with creation material is that they are anti-evolution, they present no real evidence for creation. I have read the majority of the creationist material out of the web and it is some of the most intellectually dishonest material I've ever seen. The best instance is was a banner on Answers in Genesis, one of the prominent creationist websites out there (this was still up in 2011 when I found it):
Image
2009 was 150 years since Origin of Species was published... They literally can't subtract.

A quick bit about me. As mentioned before I grew up in a Christian home where evolution was basically a swear word. While most of my science classes when I homeschooled consisted of real science they taught creationism when relevant. I never gave it a ton of thought until one day in physics we were learning how radio metric dating works and how we know there are really old rocks on earth. It seemed odd to me since I knew the earth (and mostly likely the universe) was <10,000 years old so I decided to research it from an objective standpoint. I spent a long time researching evolution on both ends. By a long time I mean I've read almost everything published in talkorigins.org (an amazing site), carm.org (on the subject of evolution), answersingenesis.org and lots of stuff found on Google. Despite how much I wanted it to come out the other way, I came to the conclusion that evolution was undeniable from a scientific standpoint. The intellectual dishonesty in the creationist "scientific" community is astounding. [edit]What I am trying to say with this is that I know about everything there is to know about creationism having grown up around it.[/edit]
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Xeio » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:07 pm UTC

c_programmer wrote:2009 was 150 years since Origin of Species was published... They literally can't subtract.
Charles Darwin was born in 1809. I'd imagine that's the date they're using...
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:09 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
c_programmer wrote:2009 was 150 years since Origin of Species was published... They literally can't subtract.
Charles Darwin was born in 1809. I'd imagine that's the date they're using...

Makes more sense but it's still odd that they would use his birth date opposed to the date his theory was published.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:15 pm UTC

One of the more fascinating aspects of Creationist attacks on Darwin's theory is that a lot of them involve attacking Darwin as a person; some number of Creationists don't seem to comprehend that if Darwin was a baby-devouring xenomorph hidden in human form sent to our universe to bring about the Great Undoing, this would have absolutely zero impact on the validity of his theories.

A lot of that probably has to do with how religious knowledge works; religious knowledge is often passed down through priests, who earn trust and credibility by demonstrating their wisdom and power. Scientific knowledge is passed down through experiment--the fact that, with sufficient knowledge, time, and resources, I can reproduce any experiment and (theoretically!) get the same results is why we trust the knowledge. It has nothing to do with the credibility of the person who produced the idea.

I don't think a lot of Creationists get that.

(Also, Darwin was a pretty mellow, harmless dude, so the attacks just make them look like jerks)
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby yurell » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:45 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:One of the more fascinating aspects of Creationist attacks on Darwin's theory is that a lot of them involve attacking Darwin as a person; some number of Creationists don't seem to comprehend that if Darwin was a baby-devouring xenomorph hidden in human form sent to our universe to bring about the Great Undoing, this would have absolutely zero impact on the validity of his theories.


Just like they use the idea that Darwin renounced his theory on his death bed. Even if this were true it
a) Doesn't show Creationism is true;
b) Doesn't matter — science doesn't rely on authoritarian dictates or revelation* to determine truth.

Most arguments for Creationism are simply against evolution, because clearly if there's a single place that evolution needs refinement (even if it's just the wording of the person explaining it — too used to Bible studies where they have to twist the words like a contortionist to get statements anywhere near moral) then clearly evolution is entirely wrong, faith based and creationism is entirely valid and equally likely. Furthermore, as was pointed out, most of the arguments used against evolution are an exercise in intellectual dishonesty.
Arguments such as the second law of thermodynamics (which only applies to closed systems), carbon dating of rocks and the fact that we can't find 'transitional' fossils (because every time we do they move the goal posts, and not every creature that has ever been born has been fossilised) are all routinely used and, quite simply, would be best taught in science as an example of what not to do.

*Revelation in the religious sense, of course.

P.S. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I get annoyed when my fields of study (astro- & nuclear physics) have their validity called into question without an argument more substantive than "NANANANANANA", so I can only imagine what it's like for the biologists among us.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Diadem » Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:50 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:(Also, Darwin was a pretty mellow, harmless dude, so the attacks just make them look like jerks)

He wasn't just a pretty mellow fellow, he was actually one of the most devoted and meticulous scientists ever. Take the mental image of what a perfect scientist should look like. Darwin comes pretty fucking close. He was very extremely meticulous, very careful with making bold statements, but ultimately not afraid to make them. Not afraid to challenge his own conceptions and world views either (he started out a pretty devout christian). And to top it all off he was enough of a gentleman to share credit with others when 99% of the work was his.

Not that any of that is relevant to the merits of evolution. But it's interesting nontheless.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby jseah » Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:22 am UTC

yurell wrote:P.S. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I get annoyed when my fields of study (astro- & nuclear physics) have their validity called into question without an argument more substantive than "NANANANANANA", so I can only imagine what it's like for the biologists among us.

I'm a biochemist in training (last year undergraduate). While I am mostly unfamiliar with many of the arguments and so couldn't respond on the spot when a friend challenged them (I didn't think any of my friends would actually doubt evolution, apparently I was wrong), I must say that it does get rather frustrating when someone challenges a core tenet and you try to explain why they are wrong and they don't understand you.

I mean, you apply the logical results that evolution would indicate literally every time you run BLAST. (common inheritance) Its the reason why stably transfected cell lines lose their expression over time (non-expressing cells grow faster than expressors). And why you do NOT grow contaminated cell cultures (bacteria/fungi/yeast grow better than mammalian cells)
I think fly geneticists use transposons. That's another one. (mobile genetic elements can undergo their own selection pressures independent of the host organism)

I use the predicted phenomena that occurs as indicated by the theory of evolution (or try to prevent them, as in the case of losing expression in stables) more or less every few days.
When biologists say "there is overwhelming evidence for evolution", they don't just mean all the standard ones like fossil record and carbon dating. We refer to the fact that if evolution were not true, why is it when we do something implied as a result of evolution, it works... And we do this every day.

Doesn't mean evolution is true. But if it isn't, the replacement theory is going to be really brilliant.

Not to mention, it isn't just about Darwin anymore. Biologists have more or less rewritten his theory and added so many little details that I don't think the current version would be recognizable to him in any but the basic principles.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:39 pm UTC

I tried to find my old 8th grade textbook but it looks like it got thrown out over the years. I really want to show people what the books would look like if this bill gets passed. The best I was able to find was this review of a christian science book by a very big publisher (in its realm) called Bob Jones University Press. I don't remember this book but I did have a number of books from this publisher while growing up: http://www.11points.com/Books/11_Eye-Opening_Highlights_From_a_Creationist_Science_Textbook

As a computer engineering student #10 made me want to punch my screen in. We can't directly observe electricity my ass (as I pull out my multimeter).
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby lucrezaborgia » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:36 pm UTC

My biology teacher in college addressed this matter quite easily in the first lecture:

"So...where did we all come from? One theory says the big bang. Some people say gods. Some people say aliens. We really don't know 100% for sure, but what we do know is that ever since the beginning of life on earth, evolution has been the order of the day."

See? Simple!

Ok not so simple...but IMO that's all the amount of time that ID and creationism should be given in science classes.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Griffin » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:36 pm UTC

As a computer engineering student #10 made me want to punch my screen in. We can't directly observe electricity my ass (as I pull out my multimeter).


Technically, that would definitely be an indirect observation.

However, lightning seems a lot more direct. Still, maybe, technically indirect (we can "only" see the light from the heat it generated), but really, it's as direct an observation as seeing a tree (after all all, we can "only" see the protons it has reflected back from another light source)
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:40 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:
As a computer engineering student #10 made me want to punch my screen in. We can't directly observe electricity my ass (as I pull out my multimeter).


Technically, that would definitely be an indirect observation.

However, lightning seems a lot more direct. Still, maybe, technically indirect (we can "only" see the light from the heat it generated), but really, it's as direct an observation as seeing a tree (after all all, we can "only" see the protons it has reflected back from another light source)


Sticking a fork in an electrical socket is a pretty direct measurement, I would think.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:25 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:Technically, that would definitely be an indirect observation.

No, it would not. The best example is the amper measurement setting on a multimeter, it actually breaks the circuit and has it pass though. In this setting the multimeter measures the actual current going through.

Griffin wrote:However, lightning seems a lot more direct. Still, maybe, technically indirect (we can "only" see the light from the heat it generated), but really, it's as direct an observation as seeing a tree (after all all, we can "only" see the protons it has reflected back from another light source)

Now we're leaving science and getting into philosophy. Our measurements of electricity are as direct as any other measurement we trust and live by daily.

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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby TranquilFury » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:30 pm UTC

LaserGuy wrote:
Griffin wrote:
As a computer engineering student #10 made me want to punch my screen in. We can't directly observe electricity my ass (as I pull out my multimeter).


Technically, that would definitely be an indirect observation.

However, lightning seems a lot more direct. Still, maybe, technically indirect (we can "only" see the light from the heat it generated), but really, it's as direct an observation as seeing a tree (after all all, we can "only" see the protons it has reflected back from another light source)


Sticking a fork in an electrical socket is a pretty direct measurement, I would think.

I've felt electricity, more than once, though it wasn't exactly intentional. I have also tasted electricity.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Calica » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:30 pm UTC

c_programmer wrote:Essentially it would consist of them talking about problems with carbon dating, irreducible complexity, the geological column and entropy. This is a very intellectually dishonest approach as non of these issues are truly issues with evolution. Many topics simply are not covered because they have nothing to say about it. This approach is even more dishonest because even if they were proving evolution wrong is not proof of creation. The train of logic is the following:
1. Show evolution wrong
2. Present creationism in an "evolution is false so what says creation isn't true" fashion.

This was my experience at Christian schools. In college my curiosity about biology and science in general won out, and I did some reading and came to the conclusion that evolution is not only (almost certainly) correct, but that it's elegant as hell. In the end, my respect for God as Creator increased exponentially once I understood enough of evolution to realize how beautiful it is. (And yeah, I know that statement is going to make some of you facepalm.)

Anyway, then came the crisis of faith: Does believing in evolution mean I'm putting my immortal soul in danger? Will my church excommunicate me if they find out? You might laugh, but this stuff hurts. I was carrying around this secret that was tearing me up inside, and I couldn't tell anyone for fear of how they'd react. As it eventually turned out, my dad was cool with it, my mom didn't speak to me for a bit (we're fine now), and my pastor expressed concern, but didn't forbid me from participating in communion. And the thing is, even though I absolutely believe in the validity of scientific inquiry, I still feel a little guilty about it.

Not to mention incredibly frustrated with people who denounce what they don't understand, and are afraid to learn because it might damage them somehow.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:44 pm UTC

Calica wrote:Anyway, then came the crisis of faith: Does believing in evolution mean I'm putting my immortal soul in danger? Will my church excommunicate me if they find out? You might laugh, but this stuff hurts. I was carrying around this secret that was tearing me up inside, and I couldn't tell anyone for fear of how they'd react. As it eventually turned out, my dad was cool with it, my mom didn't speak to me for a bit (we're fine now), and my pastor expressed concern, but didn't forbid me from participating in communion. And the thing is, even though I absolutely believe in the validity of scientific inquiry, I still feel a little guilty about it.

I'm confused. From your talk of excommuncation and worry about being denied communion, it sounds like you're Catholic. But the Church is totes cool with evolution, so long as you believe it's divinely inspired. (Which yes, as you note, is a qualificaiton that likely makes many people here facepalm. But probably rather less hard than many other things the Catholic Church does.)
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:53 pm UTC

They said 'my church', which indicates a Protestant organization (people rarely refer to the Catholic church or the Church of England as 'my' church); Protestant churches also still do communion (just differently), and a Protestant church can definitely excommunicate your butt if they feel like it.

Calica: Some people close to me went through a similar experience and it was pretty gut-wrenching for them, too. I can completely understand the whole 'strengthening of faith' bit; in the case I'm thinking of, though, the person pretty much lost all faith and went straight to atheism town. Things would be so much better and easier for adherents to the Christian faith if Christianity just stopped being so uptight about evolution, biology, and science.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:14 pm UTC

Calica wrote:Will my church excommunicate me if they find out? You might laugh, but this stuff hurts. I was carrying around this secret that was tearing me up inside, and I couldn't tell anyone for fear of how they'd react.

I know the feeling, everyone I know in person thinks I'm a devout Christian. Not sure how I'm going to break it to them but I don't see making it widely known until I don't live with my parents.

The Great Hippo wrote:Calica: Some people close to me went through a similar experience and it was pretty gut-wrenching for them, too. I can completely understand the whole 'strengthening of faith' bit; in the case I'm thinking of, though, the person pretty much lost all faith and went straight to atheism town.

Pretty much me (losing all faith).

The Great Hippo wrote:Things would be so much better and easier for adherents to the Christian faith if Christianity just stopped being so uptight about evolution, biology, and science.

Sadly there is no real reconciliation, which is why I'm an agnostic now. The Bible makes no misconceptions that it is absolute and the divine truth of God (John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." 2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" and many others). This means that if the Bible says that the world was created in 7 days, despite it being written by a human it was inspired by God and is true, to reject it is to reject the Bible. I've heard the arguments that Genesis is a metaphor but I see no substantiation other than rationalization to it.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:19 pm UTC

c_programmer wrote:Sadly there is no real reconciliation, which is why I'm an agnostic now. The Bible makes no misconceptions that it is absolute and the divine truth of God (John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." 2 Timothy 3:16 "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" and many others). This means that if the Bible says that the world was created in 7 days, despite it being written by a human it was inspired by God and is true, to reject it is to reject the Bible. I've heard the arguments that Genesis is a metaphor but I see no substantiation other than rationalization to it.
The Catholic Church accepts evolution; most reasonable Christians accept that the sun does not rotate around the earth; most Christians consider the story of Genesis to be a parable.

You don't have to reject evolution to accept the Bible. There are a myriad of ways to interpret these passages; people have been doing it for thousands of years.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:17 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:The Catholic Church accepts evolution;

Catholicism is quite different form Christianity, some guy in Rome accepting something means nothing.

The Great Hippo wrote:most reasonable Christians accept that the sun does not rotate around the earth;

Despite the fact that the people who wrote them clearly thought it did, they put in what seemed to be common knowledge at the time. This indicates that it is written by humans and therefore susceptible to human error. Doesn't sound like words inspired by a divine and eternal god.

The Great Hippo wrote:most Christians consider the story of Genesis to be a parable.

Where did you get this from? From my experience in the church the vast majority consider evolution to be dead wrong.

The Great Hippo wrote:You don't have to reject evolution to accept the Bible. There are a myriad of ways to interpret these passages; people have been doing it for thousands of years.

This reminds me of a quote my pastor once said "Is your doctrine scriptural or your scripture doctrinal."

Scripture is either divine truth or it is not. To take science and say "OK, the Bible says X, how can we interpret it so that it agrees with science" is admitting that science is superior to the Bible itself. If you truly believe in the divinity of the Bible you either need to ignore science or say "How can we reconcile science with what we know is true?" Every Genesis being a parable theory I've heard rests not around biblical pretense but "well we know that evolution is true so what else can we conclude?" That's how I see it anyways.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby The Great Hippo » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:29 am UTC

Christianity is not a singular monolithic entity; you have not experienced the entire breadth and width of Christian thought. Perceptions of the Bible, its place in Christian faith, its status as a source of divine wisdom, its interaction and relationship with science, and every other issue you're bringing up vary widely from permutation to permutation.

I cannot even begin discussing this issue with you if you fail to comprehend that. Assigning uniform properties to Christians and Christian doctrine--and then rebutting them--isn't going to lead to a useful dialogue.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby yurell » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:32 am UTC

c_programmer wrote:Catholicism is quite different form Christianity, some guy in Rome accepting something means nothing.

(emphasis mine)
Did you mean 'form of' or 'from'? If the latter, it is a subset of Christianity. In fact it's the largest branch of Christianity by a factor of two (and that's even with lumping all the Protestants together), so what 'some guy in Rome' accepts means a great deal when his decrees are believed by 1.2 billion people. It may not make it correct, but that's not the same as 'meaning nothing'.

c_programmer wrote:Despite the fact that the people who wrote them clearly thought it did, they put in what seemed to be common knowledge at the time. This indicates that it is written by humans and therefore susceptible to human error. Doesn't sound like words inspired by a divine and eternal god.


How does that respond to The Great Hippo's statement that "most reasonable Christians accept that the sun does not rotate around the earth"? It doesn't, at all.

c_programmer wrote:Where did you get this from? From my experience in the church the vast majority consider evolution to be dead wrong.


Remember that 'guy in Rome'? Yeah, well his followers comprise a full half of Christianity, and he accepts that the creation story in Genesis isn't literally true, and the Catholic church unofficially supports theistic-guided evolution. Added to that a lot of lay-followers that describe themselves as Christian don't believe in the literal truth of the Bible — in fact, 'only' four in ten Americans believe in strict creationism, so even if every other branch of Christianity were as dogmatic as those it still wouldn't be more than half.

Edit: Here's the source for the population of Christians.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby c_programmer » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:57 am UTC

yurell wrote:(emphasis mine)
Did you mean 'form of' or 'from'? If the latter, it is a subset of Christianity. In fact it's the largest branch of Christianity by a factor of two (and that's even with lumping all the Protestants together),.

...

Remember that 'guy in Rome'? Yeah, well his followers comprise a full half of Christianity, and he accepts that the creation story in Genesis isn't literally true, and the Catholic church unofficially supports theistic-guided evolution. Added to that a lot of lay-followers that describe themselves as Christian don't believe in the literal truth of the Bible — in fact, 'only' four in ten Americans believe in strict creationism, so even if every other branch of Christianity were as dogmatic as those it still wouldn't be more than half.

I meant from. Catholicism holds very different beliefs, they believe that you must atone for your own sins (pray the rosary, ect) and that the word of the pope is God sent. This article sums it up very nicely, it's how I've always understood it.

However after doing some research it does seem that Catholicism is generally defined as a part of Christianity. This makes my previous terminology invalid, I apologize for any confusion that has caused. I should have been saying Protestantism as that is what I have been referring to, my experience is more specifically within Pentecostal Protestantism.


yurell wrote:so what 'some guy in Rome' accepts means a great deal when his decrees are believed by 1.2 billion people. It may not make it correct, but that's not the same as 'meaning nothing'

If your religion believes that the Pope is someone who's words are divine it clearly means something. But that's not Christianity Protestantism (old habits die hard). I should have further defined "means nothing" to "means nothing unless you're Catholic."

yurell wrote:How does that respond to The Great Hippo's statement that "most reasonable Christians accept that the sun does not rotate around the earth"? It doesn't, at all.

I wasn't arguing with him, I was building to my point on the divinity of scripture.


The Great Hippo wrote:Christianity is not a singular monolithic entity; you have not experienced the entire breadth and width of Christian thought. Perceptions of the Bible, its place in Christian faith, its status as a source of divine wisdom, its interaction and relationship with science, and every other issue you're bringing up vary widely from permutation to permutation.

I cannot even begin discussing this issue with you if you fail to comprehend that. Assigning uniform properties to Christians and Christian doctrine--and then rebutting them--isn't going to lead to a useful dialogue.

I have been doing that, I honestly haven't seen it this way before but my view even on Christianity itself has been extremely narrow.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby yurell » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:10 am UTC

c_programmer wrote:However after doing some research it does seem that Catholicism is generally defined as a part of Christianity. This makes my previous terminology invalid, I apologize for any confusion that has caused. I should have been saying Protestantism as that is what I have been referring to, my experience is more specifically within Pentecostal Protestantism.


Ah yes, this is remarkably common, especially when every branch complains to be the 'true Christianity'. Essentially, it's like a tree — Christianity is the trunk, and it branches off into (mainly) Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism, each of which are further divided. Nevertheless, they're all 'Christian'. It took me a while to get a reasonable grasp on it, so I can certainly understand confusion ^_^
If you want to go back farther (further?), 'Christianity' is a branch off the trunk of 'Abrahamic Religion', which includes Judaism and Islam too.

It's a bit of a surprise to realise the views of your particular church aren't 'Christianity' in general — I was raised a Roman Catholic, so until I was in my teens that I realised that 'Catholicism' and 'Christianity' weren't synonymous.

c_programmer wrote:If your religion believes that the Pope is someone who's words are divine it clearly means something. But that's not Christianity Protestantism (old habits die hard). I should have further defined "means nothing" to "means nothing unless you're Catholic."


It may not mean anything to you personally, but it will still affect you. For example, the current Pope claimed that condoms spread AIDS, which lead to a marked increased in HIV infection rates in Africa for both Catholics and non-Catholics, since the actions of one group affect the other. I do understand that you don't believe the Pope's decree as divinely inspired, but I don't feel 'means nothing' is an accurate summary — the actions of c. 20% of the world's population does resonate to affect us all.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Diadem » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:58 am UTC

c_programmer wrote:I meant from. Catholicism holds very different beliefs, they believe that you must atone for your own sins (pray the rosary, ect) and that the word of the pope is God sent. This article sums it up very nicely, it's how I've always understood it.

However after doing some research it does seem that Catholicism is generally defined as a part of Christianity. This makes my previous terminology invalid, I apologize for any confusion that has caused. I should have been saying Protestantism as that is what I have been referring to, my experience is more specifically within Pentecostal Protestantism.

I did a double-take on this.

There's no love lost on Rome here. Heck my people literally invented Protestantism. But know your history. Not only is Catholicism the part of Christianity, it is the original Christianity. For three quarters of Christianity's existence, there was only Catholicism. It is still by far the largest christian denomination. And where do you think the 'protest' in Protestantism comes from? What do you think they were protesting?

According to christian tradition, the Catholic Church was founded by Saint Peter himself, as the one and only universal church of Christ. And it's not just the Catholics who believe that, I don't know of a single protestant denomination that disagrees with that statement. According to protestants, the church became corrupted, and lost its way. The founders of Protestantism were very much Catholics. Both Luther and Calvin were priests, and very much part of the church. They did not initially set out to abolish the church, but to reform it, bring it back to what they considered the right way of worshiping Christ. The church establishment disagreed, and the resulting conflict lasted a hundred years. It did not merely split the church, it devastated huge parts of Europe, killed tens (perhaps hundreds) of millions, bankrupted almost every nation in Europe and completely redrew the map.

So yeah, Protestantism and Catholicism don't always see eye to eye. But to say that Catholicism is not Christianity is incredibly ignorant.



But even leaving out Catholicism, I very much suspect that a majority of Protestants still accept evolution. Perhaps not in the US, but the US is very conservative compared to Europe (where most protestants live). Most major denominations all seem to accept evolution, it's only the more conservative ones that have trouble with it. But they are generally much smaller (even if they are often much more vocal).

edit: Damn, in my haste to correct others, I screwed up myself. Of course Catholicism wasn't the only branch of Christianity for three quarters of its existence. I completely forgot about Orthodox Christianity. They are of negligible influence in the Americas and Western Europe, but still have quite a few followers in Eastern Europe and Russia.

Also, in the last paragraph I in no way want to imply there is just Catholicism and Protestantism. Those are the two biggest groups, but there are many more. Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, Evangelicalism. I think Jehovah's and Mormons should probably be considered traditions of their own as well.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby yurell » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:01 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Not only is Catholicism the part of Christianity, it is the original Christianity. For three quarters of Christianity's existence, there was only Catholicism.


I'm not entirely sure of that claim, given the nature of the Great Schism and its history.
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Re: MO Congressmen introducing Intelligent Design Bills

Postby Diadem » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:13 am UTC

yurell wrote:
Diadem wrote:Not only is Catholicism the part of Christianity, it is the original Christianity. For three quarters of Christianity's existence, there was only Catholicism.


I'm not entirely sure of that claim, given the nature of the Great Schism and its history.

I already corrected myself about an hour before your replied :)
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