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In the News: 20 changes emphasize evolution as theory

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Jason Spaceman

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Jun 11, 2002, 6:53:43 AM6/11/02
to
From today's Columbus Dispatch
http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/news/news02/jun02/1302415.html

------------------------------------------------------
20 changes emphasize evolution as theory

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Catherine Candisky
Dispatch Statehouse Reporter

A subcommittee of the State Board of Education may be backing down
from grade-by-grade science standards mandating that students be
taught that Darwin's theory of evolution explains the development of
life on Earth.

In 20 proposed changes to the teaching guidelines, students would
still be taught about evolution but references would underscore that
it is just a theory about human life.

The subcommittee yesterday asked the 45-member writing team of mostly
science teachers who drafted the standards to review the proposed
changes for possible inclusion.

Among the suggestions: replacing "evolution of life'' with "evolution
theory'' and in other instances replacing "evolution'' with
"speciation.''

Another change would eliminate a reference to the "origin'' of life on
Earth.

Despite repeated calls by several committee members, the
recommendations do not mention "intelligent design'' -- the concept
that a supernatural life force was responsible for life on Earth.

Intelligent design advocates on the subcommittee said the fight over
that issue is not over, but they are pleased with the suggestions made
at the board's monthly meeting in Columbus yesterday.

"It's a start,'' said Deborah Owens Fink, a board member from
Richfield and leading advocate for intelligent design.

"There seems to be a heightened sensitivity to (presenting evolution
as) theory vs. fact and about the controversy over the origins of
life.''

Owens Fink and other critics of evolution had asked board members to
lighten what they perceived as a strong endorsement of evolution in
the standards. They wanted evolution presented as one theory, leaving
open the door for others.

Committee chairman Thomas E. McClain, a board member from Columbus,
put together the proposed changes with co-chairman Joseph D. Roman of
Fairview Park.

McClain said the suggestions are a compilation of the concerns raised
by board members and will be reviewed by the writing team at its June
24-26 meeting.

"These aren't final recommendations in any way,'' McClain said. "We
just want to know how the writing team feels about this.''

He said inclusion of intelligent design was not among the suggestions
because no committee member specifically asked for it.

In January, the committee voted 5-3 to include intelligent design in
the standards, but the resolution was never implemented after McClain
and Roman persuaded their colleagues to take more time to research the
issue. In March, the school board hosted a panel of four national
experts on both sides of the issue that attracted hundreds to
Columbus' Veterans Memorial auditorium.

Since then, the 45-member writing team released a second draft of the
proposed guidelines, opting against adding intelligent design.

"It hasn't been settled,'' Owens Fink said. "It is my hope that the
writing team will consider the public input and this committee's
vote.''

Yesterday's suggestions come after months of debate on whether
students should be taught evolution or other ideas, most notably
should intelligent design be included in instruction.

Although most in the science community support evolution, public
opinion polls have shown that most Americans believe in creationism or
intelligent design and want it included in classroom instruction.

The committee is expected to issue its recommendations this fall with
a vote of the 19-member school board expected in December. The
guidelines will become the basis for new state standardized tests.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

James Jensen

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Jun 11, 2002, 11:13:03 AM6/11/02
to
jspa...@linuxquestions.net (Jason Spaceman) wrote in message news:<b9401f8a.0206...@posting.google.com>...

> From today's Columbus Dispatch
> http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/news/news02/jun02/1302415.html
>
> ------------------------------------------------------
> 20 changes emphasize evolution as theory
>

<snip>

> Owens Fink and other critics of evolution had asked board members to
> lighten what they perceived as a strong endorsement of evolution in
> the standards. They wanted evolution presented as one theory, leaving
> open the door for others.

I wonder what the other valid scientific theories are...

<snip>

> In March, the school board hosted a panel of four national
> experts on both sides of the issue that attracted hundreds to
> Columbus' Veterans Memorial auditorium.
>
> Since then, the 45-member writing team released a second draft of the
> proposed guidelines, opting against adding intelligent design.
>

It sounds like ID was squashed. Anyone have any links to what went on
in that discussion?


<snip>

> Although most in the science community support evolution, public
> opinion polls have shown that most Americans believe in creationism or
> intelligent design and want it included in classroom instruction.
>

The one thing wrong with opinion polls is that they are an indicator
of opinions, not facts. The revelations presented by this poll
clearly suggest the existence of a lot of low-wattage bipeds.


----
James Jensen
#1584

Morpheus

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Jun 11, 2002, 12:16:58 PM6/11/02
to

"Jason Spaceman" <jspa...@linuxquestions.net> wrote in message
news:b9401f8a.0206...@posting.google.com...

> From today's Columbus Dispatch
>
http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/news/news02/jun02/1302
415.html
>
> ------------------------------------------------------
> 20 changes emphasize evolution as theory
>
> Tuesday, June 11, 2002
>
> Catherine Candisky
> Dispatch Statehouse Reporter
>
> A subcommittee of the State Board of Education may be backing down
> from grade-by-grade science standards mandating that students be
> taught that Darwin's theory of evolution explains the development of
> life on Earth.
>
> In 20 proposed changes to the teaching guidelines, students would
> still be taught about evolution but references would underscore that
> it is just a theory about human life.
>

Will they also be presenting the atomic theory of matter and the germ theory
of disease as "just theories"?


TomS

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Jun 11, 2002, 12:21:25 PM6/11/02
to
"On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 15:13:03 +0000 (UTC), in article
<fbe9a0d8.0206...@posting.google.com>, james_je...@hotmail.com
stated..."

>
>jspa...@linuxquestions.net (Jason Spaceman) wrote in message
>news:<b9401f8a.0206...@posting.google.com>...
>> From today's Columbus Dispatch
>>http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/news/news02/jun02/1302415.html
>>
>> ------------------------------------------------------
>> 20 changes emphasize evolution as theory
>>
>
><snip>
>
>> Owens Fink and other critics of evolution had asked board members to
>> lighten what they perceived as a strong endorsement of evolution in
>> the standards. They wanted evolution presented as one theory, leaving
>> open the door for others.
>
>I wonder what the other valid scientific theories are...
[...snip...]

Well, there is the theory that Space Aliens did it. (Without
specifying what the "it" is.)

And there is the Magic Force Field Theory: If something is
Intermediately Complex, it couldn't come about by evolution, nor
by design, so there must be a Magic Force Field which did it. Not
that I have ever found anything that happens to be Intermediately
Complex, but you can't show any other way that it would come about,
if there were such a thing.

Tom S.

Brian O'Neill

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Jun 11, 2002, 1:44:25 PM6/11/02
to
"James Jensen" <james_je...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:fbe9a0d8.0206...@posting.google.com...

> The one thing wrong with opinion polls is that they are an indicator
> of opinions, not facts. The revelations presented by this poll
> clearly suggest the existence of a lot of low-wattage bipeds.

Actually, the wording of the poll - commissioned by the Discovery Institute,
not that this story mentioned it - made it so that I would agree to the
answer.

I think everyone would agree that "science classes should teach all of the
evidence for and against Darwinism," as presented, because that's what
happens when the poll is based on a falicious premise in that it assumes
that there *is* evidence "against Darwinism." There isn't, but if there
was, we'd all want to see it taught.

Of course, the scientific illiteracy of this country doesn't help matters
either.

--
TIME ELAPSED SINCE I QUIT SMOKING:
Two years, two months, two days, 15 hours, 45 minutes and 11 seconds.
31746 cigarettes not smoked, saving $3,968.28.
Life saved: 15 weeks, 5 days, 5 hours, 30 minutes.
See my Sig File FAQ: http://pages.prodigy.net/briank.o/SigFAQ.htm


Bobby D. Bryant

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Jun 11, 2002, 1:49:34 PM6/11/02
to
On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 11:44:25 -0600, Brian O'Neill wrote:

> "James Jensen" <james_je...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:fbe9a0d8.0206...@posting.google.com...
>
>> The one thing wrong with opinion polls is that they are an indicator
>> of opinions, not facts. The revelations presented by this poll
>> clearly suggest the existence of a lot of low-wattage bipeds.
>
> Actually, the wording of the poll - commissioned by the Discovery Institute,
> not that this story mentioned it - made it so that I would agree to the
> answer.

Yes, someone should commission a counter-poll that asks "Do you
think mythological explanations should be taught alongside
scientific explanations in science class?"

Bobby Bryant
Austin, Texas

Gregory Gadow

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Jun 11, 2002, 2:08:29 PM6/11/02
to
Brian O'Neill wrote:

> "James Jensen" <james_je...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:fbe9a0d8.0206...@posting.google.com...
>
> > The one thing wrong with opinion polls is that they are an indicator
> > of opinions, not facts. The revelations presented by this poll
> > clearly suggest the existence of a lot of low-wattage bipeds.
>
> Actually, the wording of the poll - commissioned by the Discovery Institute,
> not that this story mentioned it - made it so that I would agree to the
> answer.
>
> I think everyone would agree that "science classes should teach all of the
> evidence for and against Darwinism," as presented, because that's what
> happens when the poll is based on a falicious premise in that it assumes
> that there *is* evidence "against Darwinism." There isn't, but if there
> was, we'd all want to see it taught.
>
> Of course, the scientific illiteracy of this country doesn't help matters
> either.

Agreed. I took a public speaking / rhetoric class in college (it was,
surprisingly enough, a mandatory requirement for a college degree in
California.) One of the units we covered was on analyzing questions found on
polls and surveys for logical formation. A different class on sociology covered
the importance of precise and consistent phrasing. One of the homework
assignments in that class was to take pressing social issue of our choice and
come up with two versions of a poll using similarly worded questions where those
on one side of the issue would agree completely with the first poll and those on
the other side would agree with the second version. And a math class on
statistics had some interesting things to say regarding the manipulation of raw
data during the gathering stage.

You don't necessarily need to know about science to answer general surveys
measuring popular opinion, even if the opinions are in regard to science. You
DO, however, need to know how to analyze the kinds of questions you being asked.
I have often refused to participate because the questions are misleading.
--
Gregory Gadow
tech...@serv.net
http://www.serv.net/~techbear

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe
in one fewer god than you do. When you understand
why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you
will understand why I dismiss yours."
-Stephen F. Roberts

Gregory Gadow

unread,
Jun 11, 2002, 2:11:02 PM6/11/02
to
"Bobby D. Bryant" wrote:

That makes a values judgement which invalidates the question: to fundies, their
religious myths are not myths, they are religious truth. Ask, rather, "Do you
believe that scientific theories contrary to all available evidence should be
taught on equal footing with scientific theories that fit all available evidence?"

Dr H

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Jun 11, 2002, 2:33:47 PM6/11/02
to

On Tue, 11 Jun 2002, Jason Spaceman wrote:

}From today's Columbus Dispatch
}http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/news/news02/jun02/1302415.html
}
}------------------------------------------------------
}20 changes emphasize evolution as theory
}
}Tuesday, June 11, 2002
}
}Catherine Candisky
}Dispatch Statehouse Reporter
}
}A subcommittee of the State Board of Education may be backing down
}from grade-by-grade science standards mandating that students be
}taught that Darwin's theory of evolution explains the development of
}life on Earth.
}
}In 20 proposed changes to the teaching guidelines, students would
}still be taught about evolution but references would underscore that
}it is just a theory about human life.

Are they also going to stress that everything taught in their history
and social studies classes are "just theories"?

}The subcommittee yesterday asked the 45-member writing team of mostly
}science teachers who drafted the standards to review the proposed
}changes for possible inclusion.
}
}Among the suggestions: replacing "evolution of life'' with "evolution
}theory'' and in other instances replacing "evolution'' with
}"speciation.''
}
}Another change would eliminate a reference to the "origin'' of life on
}Earth.
}
}Despite repeated calls by several committee members, the
}recommendations do not mention "intelligent design'' -- the concept
}that a supernatural life force was responsible for life on Earth.
}
}Intelligent design advocates on the subcommittee said the fight over
}that issue is not over, but they are pleased with the suggestions made
}at the board's monthly meeting in Columbus yesterday.
}
}"It's a start,'' said Deborah Owens Fink, a board member from
}Richfield and leading advocate for intelligent design.
}
}"There seems to be a heightened sensitivity to (presenting evolution
}as) theory vs. fact and about the controversy over the origins of
}life.''

I hope that this person, who doesn't know the meaning of "theory"
was not one of the alleged "science teachers" on the committee.

}Owens Fink and other critics of evolution had asked board members to
}lighten what they perceived as a strong endorsement of evolution in
}the standards. They wanted evolution presented as one theory, leaving
}open the door for others.

Velikovsky and Van Daniken live!!!

[...]


}
}Although most in the science community support evolution, public
}opinion polls have shown that most Americans believe in creationism or
}intelligent design and want it included in classroom instruction.

What about separation of church and state? Are all their schools
now going to be parochial schools? What particular religion has
the State decided to advocate?

Dr H


TomS

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Jun 11, 2002, 2:37:31 PM6/11/02
to
"On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 17:49:34 +0000 (UTC), in article
<ae5d8q$53v$1...@geraldo.cc.utexas.edu>, "Bobby stated..."

Ahem. Intelligent Design is *not* a "mythological explanation".

It is not a mythological explanation *because* it is *not* an
explanation. It does not even *attempt* to explain anything. It is
an attempt, at best, to deny evolutionary explanations. Without
offering *anything* better.

A mythological explanation would be something like the story of
Persephone which explains (well, *attempts* to explain) the coming of
spring.

If you want to have a counter-poll, how about "Do you think that
children should be taught the theory that they were designed by
space aliens?"

Tom S.

Bobby D. Bryant

unread,
Jun 11, 2002, 3:56:09 PM6/11/02
to
On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 12:11:02 -0600, Gregory Gadow wrote:

> That makes a values judgement which invalidates the question:

That's my whole point: when a poll is trying to get certain
results, you rig it by carefully phrasing the questions. And one
way of doing that is to ensure that the questions are understood
one way when the poll is taken and another way when the results
were presented.

And that appears to be what was done here. Notice that several
people here in the scientists' camp have said they would agree to
one of the assertions. Yet the creationists present it as an
argument for adding pseudo-science to the public school curriculum.

Bobby Bryant
Austin, Texas

Gregory Gadow

unread,
Jun 11, 2002, 4:07:10 PM6/11/02
to
"Bobby D. Bryant" wrote:

> On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 12:11:02 -0600, Gregory Gadow wrote:
>
> > That makes a values judgement which invalidates the question:
>
> That's my whole point: when a poll is trying to get certain
> results, you rig it by carefully phrasing the questions. And one
> way of doing that is to ensure that the questions are understood
> one way when the poll is taken and another way when the results
> were presented.

Yup. Like I said, I had a class assignment in college exploring exactly
that.

> And that appears to be what was done here. Notice that several
> people here in the scientists' camp have said they would agree to
> one of the assertions. Yet the creationists present it as an
> argument for adding pseudo-science to the public school curriculum.

Agreed. I only wish people who answered surveys and such would actually
take the time and analyze the content of the questions.

Elf Sternberg

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Jun 11, 2002, 5:01:59 PM6/11/02
to
>20 changes emphasize gravity as theory

>
>Tuesday, June 11, 2002
>
>Catherine Candisky
>Dispatch Statehouse Reporter
>
>A subcommittee of the State Board of Education may be backing down from
>grade-by-grade science standards mandating that students be taught that
>Newton's theory of gravity explains why things stay down.

>
>In 20 proposed changes to the teaching guidelines, students would still
>be taught about gravity but references would underscore that it is just
>a theory about why things stay down.

>
>The subcommittee yesterday asked the 45-member writing team of mostly
>science teachers who drafted the standards to review the proposed
>changes for possible inclusion.
>
>Among the suggestions: replacing "gravity" with "gravity theory" and in
>other instances replacing "gravity" with "suction."
>
>Another change would eliminate a reference to the "cause" of gravity.

>
>Despite repeated calls by several committee members, the
>recommendations do not mention "intelligent grappling" -- the concept
>that a supernatural force is responsible for holding things down.
>
>Intelligent grappling advocates on the subcommittee said the fight over

>that issue is not over, but they are pleased with the suggestions made
>at the board's monthly meeting in Columbus yesterday.
>
>"It's a start,'' said Deborah Owens Fink, a board member from
>Richfield and leading advocate for intelligent grappling.
>
>"There seems to be a heightened sensitivity to (presenting gravity
>as) theory vs. fact and about the controversy over the causes of gravity."
>
>Owens Fink and other critics of gravity had asked board members to
>lighten what they perceived as a strong endorsement of gravity in the
>standards. They wanted gravity presented as one theory, leaving open

>the door for others.
>
>Committee chairman Thomas E. McClain, a board member from Columbus,
>put together the proposed changes with co-chairman Joseph D. Roman of
>Fairview Park.
>
>McClain said the suggestions are a compilation of the concerns raised
>by board members and will be reviewed by the writing team at its June
>24-26 meeting.
>
>"These aren't final recommendations in any way,'' McClain said. "We
>just want to know how the writing team feels about this.''
>
>He said inclusion of intelligent grappling was not among the

>suggestions because no committee member specifically asked for it.
>
>In January, the committee voted 5-3 to include intelligent grappling in

>the standards, but the resolution was never implemented after McClain
>and Roman persuaded their colleagues to take more time to research the
>issue. In March, the school board hosted a panel of four national
>experts on both sides of the issue that attracted hundreds to Columbus'
>Veterans Memorial auditorium.
>
>Since then, the 45-member writing team released a second draft of the
>proposed guidelines, opting against adding intelligent grappling.

>
>"It hasn't been settled," Owens Fink said. "It is my hope that the
>writing team will consider the public input and this committee's
>vote."
>
>Yesterday's suggestions come after months of debate on whether students
>should be taught gravity or other ideas, most notably should
>intelligent grappling be included in instruction.
>
>Although most in the science community support gravity, public opinion
>polls have shown that most Americans believe the Earth sucks or
>intelligent grappling and want it included in classroom instruction.

>
>The committee is expected to issue its recommendations this fall with
>a vote of the 19-member school board expected in December. The
>guidelines will become the basis for new state standardized tests.

--
Elf M. Sternberg
Disproportionately Popular Among Homosexuals.
http://www.drizzle.com/~elf/ (under construction)

Graham Shevlin

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Jun 11, 2002, 7:04:02 PM6/11/02
to

Er, perhaps I am getting too old...what is Intelligent Grappling? I
have never heard of this concept...

danarchist

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Jun 11, 2002, 7:00:54 PM6/11/02
to
"Morpheus" <car...@miskatonic.edu> wrote in message news:
[snip]

> Will they also be presenting the atomic theory of matter and the germ theory
> of disease as "just theories"?

The door must be open for Americun students to learn about the
Submolecular Duct-tape theory of matter and the Don't Say Naughty
Words theory of disease. Down with the dictatorship of mainstream
science!

Dan Ensign

Kirstin

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Jun 11, 2002, 7:49:17 PM6/11/02
to
james_je...@hotmail.com (James Jensen) wrote in message news:<fbe9a0d8.0206...@posting.google.com>...

> jspa...@linuxquestions.net (Jason Spaceman) wrote in message news:<b9401f8a.0206...@posting.google.com>...
> > From today's Columbus Dispatch
> > http://www.dispatch.com/news-story.php?story=dispatch/news/news02/jun02/1302415.html
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------
> > 20 changes emphasize evolution as theory
> >
>
> <snip>
>
> > Owens Fink and other critics of evolution had asked board members to
> > lighten what they perceived as a strong endorsement of evolution in
> > the standards. They wanted evolution presented as one theory, leaving
> > open the door for others.
>
> I wonder what the other valid scientific theories are...

they didn't say other "scientific" theories - they just said other
theories - personally, i like the group in portland who tried to get the
shiva-dancing-the-universe-into-existence theory taught alongside
the big bang - strangely, it wasn't even considered along with the christian
creation version...

> > In March, the school board hosted a panel of four national
> > experts on both sides of the issue that attracted hundreds to
> > Columbus' Veterans Memorial auditorium.
> >
> > Since then, the 45-member writing team released a second draft of the
> > proposed guidelines, opting against adding intelligent design.
> >
>
> It sounds like ID was squashed. Anyone have any links to what went on
> in that discussion?

i dunno if you can say it was "squashed" - it's just that scientific
literacy hasn't quite fallen to point where it could be included - however,
since they still did manage to dilute scientific education, it's still
a victory for them - the less people know about science in general, the
more of a chance the cretins have of pushing their religion - a fact of
which they're very aware, i'm sure...

> > Although most in the science community support evolution, public
> > opinion polls have shown that most Americans believe in creationism or
> > intelligent design and want it included in classroom instruction.

> The one thing wrong with opinion polls is that they are an indicator
> of opinions, not facts. The revelations presented by this poll
> clearly suggest the existence of a lot of low-wattage bipeds.

right
most americans don't know that acceleration is the derivative of
velocity, either, or that angular momentum is conserved, but I don't
see anyone trying to remove Newton's theories from the classroom...

kirstinn

Earle Jones

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Jun 11, 2002, 8:05:10 PM6/11/02
to
In article <42c7a17.02061...@posting.google.com>,
dana...@yahoo.com (danarchist) wrote:

*
And we mustn't leave out the "Hair-will-grow-in-the-palm-of-your-hands-
if-you-keep-doing-that-nasty-thing" theory.

earle
*

tim gueguen

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Jun 11, 2002, 9:14:38 PM6/11/02
to

"Dr H" <hiaw...@efn.org> wrote in message
news:Pine.GSU.4.21.020611...@garcia.efn.org...
>

}
> }Although most in the science community support evolution, public
> }opinion polls have shown that most Americans believe in creationism or
> }intelligent design and want it included in classroom instruction.
>
> What about separation of church and state? Are all their schools
> now going to be parochial schools? What particular religion has
> the State decided to advocate?
>

But as you may know some of the religious kookies believe US public schools
indoctrinate students in Secular Humanism, which they claim is a religion.

tim gueguen 101867

Pete Schult

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Jun 11, 2002, 9:39:07 PM6/11/02
to
In article <3D0657FE...@serv.net>,
Gregory Gadow <tech...@serv.net> wrote:

> "Bobby D. Bryant" wrote:
>
> > On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 12:11:02 -0600, Gregory Gadow wrote:
> >
> > > That makes a values judgement which invalidates the question:
> >
> > That's my whole point: when a poll is trying to get certain
> > results, you rig it by carefully phrasing the questions. And one
> > way of doing that is to ensure that the questions are understood
> > one way when the poll is taken and another way when the results
> > were presented.
>
> Yup. Like I said, I had a class assignment in college exploring exactly
> that.
>
> > And that appears to be what was done here. Notice that several
> > people here in the scientists' camp have said they would agree to
> > one of the assertions. Yet the creationists present it as an
> > argument for adding pseudo-science to the public school curriculum.
>
> Agreed. I only wish people who answered surveys and such would actually
> take the time and analyze the content of the questions.

I have been called by pollsters with fairly obvious agendas asking
loaded questions that were worded in such a way that I would have had to
give them the answer they were looking for in order to answer the
surface question honestly. I told them that I wasn't interested in
responding to biased polls and hung up. I don't know what they claimed I
answered.

--Pete Schult

Pete Schult

unread,
Jun 11, 2002, 10:15:47 PM6/11/02
to
In article <Pine.GSU.4.21.020611...@garcia.efn.org>,
Dr H <hiaw...@efn.org> wrote:

>
> What about separation of church and state? Are all their schools
> now going to be parochial schools? What particular religion has
> the State decided to advocate?

Presumably, they want to get back to the days before the various SC
decisions of the '60s and later that ended government schools' teaching
a least-common-denominator Protestantism. I think that now the
denominator they want might be called lcd Fundamentalism since mainline
Protestant groups (at least the leaders thereof) tend to favor the
separation of church and state.

For an idea of what lcdFism entails, see
<http://www.reformation.net/cor/cordocs/42Articles.pdf>.

--Pete

Apostate

unread,
Jun 11, 2002, 10:38:01 PM6/11/02
to

Well, to begin with, derivatives are from Satan, because they
implicitly allow division by zero! And if god turned his back on
things for an instant, so much for conservation of angular momentum!
Hah!!

--
/Apostate
atheist #1931 I've found it!
BAAWA Knife AND SMASHer
plonked by vernon; lusted after by turin
I doubt, therefore I might be.

Barb

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 1:24:42 AM6/12/02
to

Jason Spaceman wrote:

> <snip>


> ------------------------------------------------------
> 20 changes emphasize evolution as theory
>

> <snip>


>
> Owens Fink and other critics of evolution had asked board members to
> lighten what they perceived as a strong endorsement of evolution in
> the standards. They wanted evolution presented as one theory, leaving
> open the door for others.
>

> <snip>

I've been reading this newsgroup for some time. And I am curious to
know what other theories of life there are. From my readings, here's my
understanding:

- "theory of evolution": makes certain predictions which can been tested
by examination of the fossil record. Fossil record may be unclear on
certain specifics, but it seems clear that species come into being and
become extinct over time. The "theory" of evolution is supported by the
fossil record. Unless of course, one wants to say the fossils in rocks
are fakes placed there by an impish God. I don't know how one would
test that idea, so I don't know how proposing it adds to the scientific
body of knowledge.

- "theory of creation": predicts that the earth is 6,000 (or I've also
seem 10,000) years old. Completely contradicted by the laws of physics
as I understand them. My understanding is that analysis of half-life of
certain radioactive materials in rock strata indicate the earth is much
older than this. Therefore, I don't understand how this is in any way a
"theory". It seems wrong on the facts.

- "theory of intelligent design": I'm curious to know what predictions
this "theory" makes. If intelligent design is true, then is there not a
designer who had to sit around and make things up? "Let's see now - do
I want fireworks all the time?" If so, designer could have designed a
universe where laws of physics allowed only for chaos and exploding
gases and where there was no quiet corner in which life could evolve or
even survive. Or, if designer wanted to make us (humans) in particular,
could have picked a much simpler model: earth at center of universe;
stars, sun, planets and moon revolve around earth; man literally at
center of universe. There are so many possibilities. Which does
intelligent design predict?

I'm also curious to know this: many religions of the world have origins
myths. Is it only the fundamentalist Christian ones who insist on a
literal interpretation of their particular origin myth? Also, this
debate seems highly concentrated in the United States of America? Is
there a particular reason or explanation for this?

Please, no lectures on my limited intelligence, lack of scientific
background or lack of insight or reasoning abilities. I'm certain you'd
be right on those scores. I'm trying to understand what this debate is
all about and why it is even a debate. It seems to me there is only one
scientific theory of life and that is: evolution. I'm confused about
why one would consider the others "theories". Are they not really just
origins myths?

Thank you
BurnabyBarb

Wayne Bagguley

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 5:39:47 AM6/12/02
to
Gregory Gadow <tech...@serv.net> wrote in message news:<3D063CC6...@serv.net>...

> "Bobby D. Bryant" wrote:
>
> > On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 11:44:25 -0600, Brian O'Neill wrote:
> >
> > > "James Jensen" <james_je...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> > > news:fbe9a0d8.0206...@posting.google.com...
> > >
> > >> The one thing wrong with opinion polls is that they are an indicator
> > >> of opinions, not facts. The revelations presented by this poll
> > >> clearly suggest the existence of a lot of low-wattage bipeds.
> > >
> > > Actually, the wording of the poll - commissioned by the Discovery Institute,
> > > not that this story mentioned it - made it so that I would agree to the
> > > answer.
> >
> > Yes, someone should commission a counter-poll that asks "Do you
> > think mythological explanations should be taught alongside
> > scientific explanations in science class?"
>
> That makes a values judgement which invalidates the question: to fundies, their
> religious myths are not myths, they are religious truth. Ask, rather, "Do you
> believe that scientific theories contrary to all available evidence should be
> taught on equal footing with scientific theories that fit all available evidence?"

But then you are making a value judgement that their religious myths are
valid scientific theories when they are not. They are not even scientific
hypotheses because they don't even attempt to describe actual facts. They
should be labelled as such and we shouldn't be afraid about offending their
religious sensibilities. Give them an inch and they will take a mile.

-
Wayne

Bobby D. Bryant

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 6:52:48 AM6/12/02
to
On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 23:24:42 -0600, Barb wrote:


> - "theory of intelligent design": I'm curious to know what predictions
> this "theory" makes.

It predicts that if they word things carefully enough they can get
creationism back into the public schools.


> I'm trying to understand what this debate is
> all about and why it is even a debate.

My hypothesis is that children who are born into fundamentalist
homes tend to abandon their religion when they get educated, so
fundamentalists want to limit thei exposure to non-fundamentalist
ideas.

Bobby Bryant
Austin, Texas

Puck Greenman

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 7:48:03 AM6/12/02
to
On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 18:37:31 +0000 (UTC), TomS <TomS_...@newsguy.com> wrote:

> Ahem. Intelligent Design is *not* a "mythological explanation".

No? Well it sure as fuck, aint science


>
> It is not a mythological explanation *because* it is *not* an
>explanation.

You have some other definition for "goddidit"

> It does not even *attempt* to explain anything.

It attempts to explain everything with "goddidit"


> It is
>an attempt, at best, to deny evolutionary explanations.

Yes, by claiming "goddidit".

The creationism are being crafty though. Religion is not allowed to be
taught in American state schools, so creationism are trying to slip it under the
door, by calling it "Intelligent Design", and demanding it be taught along side
the sciences.
I have, as yet, to see any empiric evidence offered to support it.

It is an old myth with a new name.


--

Puck Greenman

The spelling Like any opinion stated here
is purely my own

#162 BAAWA Knight.
ICQ 15096558

Derek Stevenson

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 8:46:39 AM6/12/02
to
"Earle Jones" <earle...@attbi.com> wrote in message
news:earle.jones-84D0...@netnews.attbi.com...

> In article <42c7a17.02061...@posting.google.com>,
> dana...@yahoo.com (danarchist) wrote:

> > The door must be open for Americun students to learn about the
> > Submolecular Duct-tape theory of matter and the Don't Say Naughty
> > Words theory of disease. Down with the dictatorship of mainstream
> > science!
>

> And we mustn't leave out the "Hair-will-grow-in-the-palm-of-your-hands-
> if-you-keep-doing-that-nasty-thing" theory.

Too easy to experimentally disconfirm, especially at that age.

(Of course, "too easy to experimentally disconfirm" never stopped the
creationists, so don't let that worry you.)


Noctiluca

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 12:26:12 PM6/12/02
to
e...@drizzle.com (Elf Sternberg) wrote in message news:<1023829363.315984@yasure>...

Slam-dunk.
Well done.
Ball's in your court IDers.

robert

TomS

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 12:37:18 PM6/12/02
to
"On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 11:48:03 +0000 (UTC), in article
<cicegu4ojq8t24qa5...@4ax.com>, Puck stated..."

>
>On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 18:37:31 +0000 (UTC), TomS <TomS_...@newsguy.com> wrote:
>
>> Ahem. Intelligent Design is *not* a "mythological explanation".
>
> No? Well it sure as fuck, aint science
>
>
>>
>> It is not a mythological explanation *because* it is *not* an
>>explanation.
>
> You have some other definition for "goddidit"
[...snip...]

"Goddidit" is not even an attempt at an explanation.

It is a way of avoiding the issue.

"Are you lost daddy I arsked tenderly. Shut up he explained"
(Ring Lardner, The Young Immigrants. Cited from the Oxford Dictionary
of Quotations.)

If someone attempts to explain something, there ought to be some
connection between the explanation and the thing explained.

"Why is the sky blue?" "Bismark is the capital of North Dakota"
is not an explanation. Nor is "God did it."

"God did it" is a way of avoiding an explanation, by way of
putting the burden on the other person, by putting the taint of
atheism on anybody who would question further.

Tom S.

Tom S.

pelo23_o

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 12:49:07 PM6/12/02
to
Barb <burna...@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<3D06DB15...@yahoo.com>...

<snip>
> I've been reading this newsgroup for some time. And I am curious to
> know what other theories of life there are. From my readings, here's my
> understanding:
>
> - "theory of evolution": makes certain predictions which can been tested
<snip>

This is the only existing theory. It's the only one backed up by factual
evidence.

>
> - "theory of creation": predicts that the earth is 6,000 (or I've also

<snip>
>

This is not a scientific theory, it's theology (and of bad quality IMHO).



> - "theory of intelligent design": I'm curious to know what predictions

<snip>

This is also not a theory, it's the recycling of old, 19th century ideas
first proposed to disguise religious doctrine as science. It was revived
recently as an attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court ruling on teaching
non-scientific at public schools.

> I'm also curious to know this: many religions of the world have origins
> myths. Is it only the fundamentalist Christian ones who insist on a
> literal interpretation of their particular origin myth? Also, this

Any religion that is based on a "Book" is subject to the fundamentalist
twist. Fundamentalism is a simple-minded approach that asserts basically
that the "Book" and only the "Book" is the sole source of all truth. Thus,
Christianity, Islam and Judaism all share the same trait of providing fertile
ground to fundamentalist thinking. Religions such as Hinduism and Budism
are more impervious to such malady since they are not based on a single,
all-encompassing text.

> debate seems highly concentrated in the United States of America? Is
> there a particular reason or explanation for this?
>

It ONLY exists in the US. As a matter of fact, the US is, in this respect,
sadly, the laughing stock of the civilized world. The reason for this has
to do, I think, with US history. During colonial times, every single Christian
nutcase in the Old World that was being persecuted for his/hers religious
ideas found refuge here. Thus a plethora of Crhristian denominations not
under the control of the Roman church was born and found fertile ground
to develop into any sort of nutty doctrine, no matter how detached from
reality. Btw, I'm not saying that control of the Roman church is
anything to strive for. On the other hand, their official word on the
subject is that Darwinian evolution is not a theory but a fact. So,
you see that not all Christians are complete nutcases.

-P-

lanny budd

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 1:20:56 PM6/12/02
to
Gregory Gadow <tech...@serv.net> wrote in message news:<3D063CC6...@serv.net>...
> "Bobby D. Bryant" wrote:
>
> > On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 11:44:25 -0600, Brian O'Neill wrote:
> >
> > > "James Jensen" <james_je...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> > > news:fbe9a0d8.0206...@posting.google.com...
> > >
> religious myths are not myths, they are religious truth. Ask, rather, "Do you
> believe that scientific theories contrary to all available evidence should be
> taught on equal footing with scientific theories that fit all available evidence?"

If it is contrary to all available evidence, it cannot be called a theory.

Puck Greenman

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 2:13:29 PM6/12/02
to
On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:37:18 +0000 (UTC), TomS <TomS_...@newsguy.com> wrote:

>"On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 11:48:03 +0000 (UTC), in article
><cicegu4ojq8t24qa5...@4ax.com>, Puck stated..."
>>
>>On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 18:37:31 +0000 (UTC), TomS <TomS_...@newsguy.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Ahem. Intelligent Design is *not* a "mythological explanation".
>>
>> No? Well it sure as fuck, aint science
>>
>>
>>>
>>> It is not a mythological explanation *because* it is *not* an
>>>explanation.
>>
>> You have some other definition for "goddidit"
>[...snip...]
>
> "Goddidit" is not even an attempt at an explanation.
>
> It is a way of avoiding the issue.

That does not make it any less an explanation.


>
> "Are you lost daddy I arsked tenderly. Shut up he explained"
>(Ring Lardner, The Young Immigrants. Cited from the Oxford Dictionary
>of Quotations.)

Relevance?

>
> If someone attempts to explain something, there ought to be some
>connection between the explanation and the thing explained.

Q: Where did the universe come from?
A: God made it. (goddidit).

Do you think that you can wrap your tiny mind around the connection between
"Q" and "A".?


>
> "Why is the sky blue?" "Bismark is the capital of North Dakota"
>is not an explanation.

Irrelevant.

> Nor is "God did it.".

Q: "Why is the sky, in the painting, blue?"
A: The artist wished/painted, it so.


Q: "Why is the sky blue?"
A: Goddidit.

Is the connection to vague for you?


>
> "God did it" is a way of avoiding an explanation, by way of
>putting the burden on the other person, by putting the taint of
>atheism on anybody who would question further.


I am an atheist.

TomS

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 2:45:51 PM6/12/02
to
"On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 18:13:29 +0000 (UTC), in article
<r13fgukeva3t6u9of...@4ax.com>, Puck stated..."

>
>On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:37:18 +0000 (UTC), TomS <TomS_...@newsguy.com> wrote:
>
>>"On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 11:48:03 +0000 (UTC), in article
>><cicegu4ojq8t24qa5...@4ax.com>, Puck stated..."
>>>
>>>On Tue, 11 Jun 2002 18:37:31 +0000 (UTC), TomS <TomS_...@newsguy.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Ahem. Intelligent Design is *not* a "mythological explanation".
>>>
>>> No? Well it sure as fuck, aint science
>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>> It is not a mythological explanation *because* it is *not* an
>>>>explanation.
>>>
>>> You have some other definition for "goddidit"
>>[...snip...]
>>
>> "Goddidit" is not even an attempt at an explanation.
>>
>> It is a way of avoiding the issue.
>
> That does not make it any less an explanation.

But it doesn't make it an explanation, either.

>
>
>>
>> "Are you lost daddy I arsked tenderly. Shut up he explained"
>>(Ring Lardner, The Young Immigrants. Cited from the Oxford Dictionary
>>of Quotations.)
>
> Relevance?

It's a bit of humor.

>
>
>
>>
>> If someone attempts to explain something, there ought to be some
>>connection between the explanation and the thing explained.
>
> Q: Where did the universe come from?
> A: God made it. (goddidit).
>
> Do you think that you can wrap your tiny mind around the connection between
> "Q" and "A".?

No. Tell me the connection. It is not *explicit* in the "A".

>
>
>>
>> "Why is the sky blue?" "Bismark is the capital of North Dakota"
>>is not an explanation.
>
> Irrelevant.
>
>> Nor is "God did it.".
>
> Q: "Why is the sky, in the painting, blue?"
> A: The artist wished/painted, it so.
>
>
> Q: "Why is the sky blue?"
> A: Goddidit.
>
> Is the connection to vague for you?

What connection? Neither of them is an explanation.

Q. Why is the sky blue?
A. God did it.
Q. Why is the sky a nice magenta and cerise paisley?
A. God did it.
Q. Why is there no sky at all?
A. God did it.

>
>
>>
>> "God did it" is a way of avoiding an explanation, by way of
>>putting the burden on the other person, by putting the taint of
>>atheism on anybody who would question further.
>
>
> I am an atheist.

So? I don't care.

Tom S.

Bobby D. Bryant

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 3:19:43 PM6/12/02
to
On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 12:13:29 -0600, Puck Greenman wrote:

> On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:37:18 +0000 (UTC), TomS
> <TomS_...@newsguy.com> wrote:

>> If someone attempts to explain something, there ought to be
>> some connection between the explanation and the thing explained.
>
> Q: Where did the universe come from? A: God made it.
> (goddidit).
>
> Do you think that you can wrap your tiny mind around the
> connection between "Q" and "A".?

Can you give us a bit more information about what "God" and "made"
mean? And what evidence supports the assertion?

Thanks,

Bobby Bryant
Austin, Texas

Bill Jefferys

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 3:50:44 PM6/12/02
to
At 6:13 PM +0000 6/12/02, Puck Greenman wrote:
>On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:37:18 +0000 (UTC), TomS <TomS_...@newsguy.com>
wrote:

>> "Goddidit" is not even an attempt at an explanation.


>>
>> It is a way of avoiding the issue.
>
> That does not make it any less an explanation.

It is not an explanation in the way science uses the term. A scientific
explanation tells us (through some transparent process of reasoning) that if
a theory is true, we should see certain things, but not see other things.

"Goddidit" is vacuous in this sense. It predicts nothing, and restricts
nothing. It does not tell us to expect to see blue skies, or green skies, or
mauve skies, or anything. It does not tell us to expect to see the double
nested hierarchy that evolution predicts and which we observe. "Just
because" is not an explanation. "Because I say so" is not an explanation.
And "Because God Did It, So Shut Up" is not an explanation, either.

Bill

--
Bill Jefferys/Department of Astronomy/University of Texas/Austin, TX 78712
Email: replace 'warthog' with 'clyde' | Homepage: quasar.as.utexas.edu
I report spammers to frau...@psinet.com
Finger for PGP Key: F7 11 FB 82 C6 21 D8 95 2E BD F7 6E 99 89 E1 82
Unlawful to use this email address for unsolicited ads: USC Title 47 Sec 227

Brian O'Neill

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 5:16:15 PM6/12/02
to
"Puck Greenman" <pu...@pooks.hill.fey> wrote in message
news:r13fgukeva3t6u9of...@4ax.com...

<snip>

Dear Puck:

Please come and get me.

Love,
Clue

--
TIME ELAPSED SINCE I QUIT SMOKING:
Two years, two months, three days, 19 hours, 17 minutes and 8 seconds.
31792 cigarettes not smoked, saving $3,974.02.
Life saved: 15 weeks, 5 days, 9 hours, 20 minutes.
See my Sig File FAQ: http://pages.prodigy.net/briank.o/SigFAQ.htm


Puck Greenman

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 6:08:52 PM6/12/02
to
On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 18:45:51 +0000 (UTC), TomS <TomS_...@newsguy.com> wrote:

>>>
>>> "Are you lost daddy I arsked tenderly. Shut up he explained"
>>>(Ring Lardner, The Young Immigrants. Cited from the Oxford Dictionary
>>>of Quotations.)
>>
>> Relevance?
>
> It's a bit of humor.
>

Relevance?

>>> If someone attempts to explain something, there ought to be some
>>>connection between the explanation and the thing explained.
>>
>> Q: Where did the universe come from?
>> A: God made it. (goddidit).
>>
>> Do you think that you can wrap your tiny mind around the connection between
>> "Q" and "A".?
>
> No. Tell me the connection. It is not *explicit* in the "A".
>

No explanation that can be given, is adequate, if your mind is closed to reality.

>>>
>>> "Why is the sky blue?" "Bismark is the capital of North Dakota"
>>>is not an explanation.
>>
>> Irrelevant.
>>
>>> Nor is "God did it.".
>>
>> Q: "Why is the sky, in the painting, blue?"
>> A: The artist wished/painted, it so.
>>
>>
>> Q: "Why is the sky blue?"
>> A: Goddidit.
>>
>> Is the connection to vague for you?
>
> What connection? Neither of them is an explanation.

If you say so.


>
> Q. Why is the sky blue?
> A. God did it.
> Q. Why is the sky a nice magenta and cerise paisley?
> A. God did it.
> Q. Why is there no sky at all?
> A. God did it.
>

Amazing. You get the answers right, and you haven't a
fucking clue why.


>>
>>
>>>
>>> "God did it" is a way of avoiding an explanation, by way of
>>>putting the burden on the other person, by putting the taint of
>>>atheism on anybody who would question further.
>>
>>
>> I am an atheist.
>
> So? I don't care.

No? Then why do you call atheism, a "taint"?

Puck Greenman

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 6:10:13 PM6/12/02
to
On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 19:19:43 +0000 (UTC), "Bobby D. Bryant" <bdbr...@mail.utexas.edu>
wrote:

It is your book, it is your myth: You tell me.

Michael L. Siemon

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 6:38:52 PM6/12/02
to
In article <bill-B722A2.1...@newshost.cc.utexas.edu>, Bill
Jefferys <bi...@warthog.as.utexas.edu> wrote:

+ ... "Just
+ because" is not an explanation. "Because I say so" is not an explanation.
+ And "Because God Did It, So Shut Up" is not an explanation, either.

Whereas, "Because God Did It, Let us read, mark and inwardly digest
the record of God's action in Nature" (or, for short: "Goddidit; let's
investigate honestly) is not an explanation (yet) but encourages a
possible scientific search. In both cases, the "Goddidit" is not an
explanation, but an expletive. :-)

wf...@ptd.net

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 7:32:59 PM6/12/02
to
On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 05:24:42 +0000 (UTC), Barb <burna...@yahoo.com>
wrote:

>
>- "theory of intelligent design": I'm curious to know what predictions
>this "theory" makes.

actually this 'theory' can make any prediction it cares to. it is
unbounded, undefined, and unrestricted. there's alot of room in any
event for 'goddidit'. it's complete nonsense.

If intelligent design is true, then is there not a
>designer who had to sit around and make things up? "Let's see now - do
>I want fireworks all the time?"

yep...exactly right.


>
>Please, no lectures on my limited intelligence, lack of scientific
>background or lack of insight or reasoning abilities.

seems to me you got it just right.


--------------------
To find out who 'wf3h' is, go to 'qrz.com'
and enter 'wf3h' in the field.

Clothaire

unread,
Jun 12, 2002, 11:53:30 PM6/12/02
to

Despite Elf's eloquence, I still think that gravity is just a theory. It is not
discussed in the Holy Bible; hence, I can't be sure. It won't be that important
in Heaven anyway

Clothaire#1392

"In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with
reality at any point. Nothing but imaginary causes ('God'', 'soul',
'ego', 'spirit', 'free will' -- or 'unfree will'): nothing but
imaginary effects ('sin', 'redemption', 'grace', 'punishment',
'forgiveness of sins')." -- Nietzsche

Mike Lepore

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 1:09:26 AM6/13/02
to
lanny budd wrote:

I see the problem differently. Creationism isn't contrary to evidence. It's failure
is that it's consistent with any evidence. Why is the DNA of a human so similar
to the DNA of a chimpanzee. Answer: It's the will of God. Why are fossils of
mammals found in younger rock and fossils of extinct reptiles found in older
rock. Answer: It's the will of God. That approach is unsciecntific because it
has no predictive power, so it's can't be tested by science. Teachers should
just explain to their students that competing models are compared according
to how consistent they are with observations. Creationism places itself
outside the whole test process. We can compare Darwinism to Lamarcksm,
etc., but creationism doesn't have a single necessary consequence that
might be observed.

--

Mike Lepore email lepore ,
at ; idsi - dot ,
net delete the 5

http://www.crimsonbird.com/

Bill Rogers

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 8:39:12 AM6/13/02
to
Clothaire <Clot...@ieee.org> wrote in message <snip something wonderful>

>
> Despite Elf's eloquence, I still think that gravity is just a theory. It is not
> discussed in the Holy Bible; hence, I can't be sure. It won't be that important
> in Heaven anyway
>
> Clothaire#1392
>
> "In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with
> reality at any point. Nothing but imaginary causes ('God'', 'soul',
> 'ego', 'spirit', 'free will' -- or 'unfree will'): nothing but
> imaginary effects ('sin', 'redemption', 'grace', 'punishment',
> 'forgiveness of sins')." -- Nietzsche

What do you mean it's not in the Bible? Wait a bit, and someone will
post a proof that not only is the inverse sqaure law in the Bible,
along with the numerical value of G, but also gravitational
distortions of time. It's all there. Really. You just have to know how
to look.

grelbr

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 9:34:29 AM6/13/02
to
e...@drizzle.com (Elf Sternberg) wrote in message news:<1023829363.315984@yasure>...
> >20 changes emphasize gravity as theory

Gravity is a myth! The Earth sucks!

A hint to the posters in this thread. If your added text is
so far down after your quotes that it does not show in the
google reading window, you won't get read. Maybe that's your
goal. But standard usenet nettiquette is to quote only what
you need for context, not the entire damn article to put
some stupid four word response at the end.
grelbr

TomS

unread,
Jun 13, 2002, 9:48:56 AM6/13/02
to
"On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 19:50:44 +0000 (UTC), in article
<bill-B722A2.1...@newshost.cc.utexas.edu>, Bill stated..."

>
>At 6:13 PM +0000 6/12/02, Puck Greenman wrote:
>>On Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:37:18 +0000 (UTC), TomS <TomS_...@newsguy.com>
>wrote:
>
>>> "Goddidit" is not even an attempt at an explanation.
>>>
>>> It is a way of avoiding the issue.
>>
>> That does not make it any less an explanation.
>
>It is not an explanation in the way science uses the term. A scientific
>explanation tells us (through some transparent process of reasoning) that if
>a theory is true, we should see certain things, but not see other things.

And I am trying to make a broader point, that it is not an explanation
in any sense. There are legitimate explanations, other than scientific
ones. For example, if we see a painting with a blue sky, we can say that
the sky is blue because the artist wanted to convey a mood of happiness,
or that the artist was a realist, or that the artist was in his "blue
period". These are not scientific explanations, but they are explanations.

>
>"Goddidit" is vacuous in this sense. It predicts nothing, and restricts
>nothing. It does not tell us to expect to see blue skies, or green skies, or
>mauve skies, or anything. It does not tell us to expect to see the double
>nested hierarchy that evolution predicts and which we observe. "Just
>because" is not an explanation. "Because I say so" is not an explanation.
>And "Because God Did It, So Shut Up" is not an explanation, either.

"God did it, and if you don't accept that as an explanation, you're
an atheist."

I suppose that we can make some broad generalizations about what
explanations should be like. Not necessarily strict ones, but "God
did it" doesn't seem to fit any of them.

An explanation should tell us "why this, and not that".

An explanation should make some connection between the explanation
and what it explains.

We should have some reason to accept the explanation, over other
possible explanations. Or, at least, to distinguish between alternatives.

I like Michael Siemon's point in another post in this thread, that
"God did it" is not an explanation, but an expletive.

Tom S.

Bob Pease

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Jun 13, 2002, 10:02:36 AM6/13/02
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"TomS" <TomS_...@newsguy.com> wrote in message
news:aea7u...@drn.newsguy.com...

"Goddidit" has practically nothing to do with the question it is supposed to
be answering.
It is usually an attempt to avoid a confrontation about Faith and does
really imply the "so shut up" tacit message.

RJ P

TomS

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Jun 13, 2002, 10:51:09 AM6/13/02
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"On Thu, 13 Jun 2002 12:39:12 +0000 (UTC), in article
<8984713a.02061...@posting.google.com>, bro...@noguchi.mimcom.net
stated..."

Let's not waste our time on gravity. How about the most abundant
form of life on earth, the "microbes". (By any measure. Number, total
mass, ubiquity, time, environments, variety.) There is no mention of
them in the Bible. It doesn't tell us that they did not evolve. It
doesn't tell us that God designe