Thursday, May 05, 2005

You Gave Them An Inch, And Here Are The Miles

You see, until the social conservatives are finally shown that fewer people agree with them than they think, this is the kind of stuff that will happen.

First, it was the "droopy drawers" legislation is Virginia that was mercifully dropped.

Now it's "lewd cheerleading" in Texas, where football (and cheerleading), are a way of life, and the population is conservative enough that I can't imagine such a huge event isn't going to already be controlled anyway.

Even worse, some ignorant people in Kansas that wouldn't know the scientific method if it bit them on the nose, are trying to turn back the clock 80 years. My guess is that Kansas won't be pumping out very many biologists, if they manage to get them to not teach evolution as it is taught today.

What's funny is that even most of the conservative people that I know think these things are ridiculous, but because some conservatives are so convinced that the very far right is a majority, they are no trying to run roughshod over every institution they think that they can legislate. Hey, you asked for it. 2006 can't come soon enough.


Hector Vex said...

You mean that isn't legislation for MORE lewd cheerleading? That's the only reason I go to high school football games!

Two Dogs said...

Yea, the cheerleading thing is over the top. But about the Kansas evolution vs. creationism, why would you not teach both theories? I am not opposed to teaching evolution even though there is very little evidence, but why would you not teach Creationism, when there is more evidence to support that?

soundboyz said...

>but why would you not teach Creationism, when there is more evidence to support that?

Yea, they found Noah's Ark a while back, but they are waiting until the situation is a little less hostile near Mt. Ararat before they can check it out some more!!!

Erik Grow said...

Creationism is not a "scientific theory". It is an idea based on a particular Biblical interpretation. The Catholic church does not even believe evolution to be at all inconsistent with biblical teachings, Two Dogs, as I'm sure you know. Ditto with many sects of Protestantism.

Creationism is like us being from another planet, coming here and discovering the internet, studying it a bit, then deciding that since we don't know how it works yet, it "must be magic", and then calling that "science". It's ludicrous. You can say evolution has unanswered questions, or that we need more study before we're sure, of course. It's like that with much of science.

Let parents teach creationism to their kids at home if they want to, as it has been for the better part of 100 years. The rest of the world has a hearty laugh at our expense every time one of these stories comes out, and the blame falls squarely on the theocons for it.

Two Dogs said...

It would be a whole lot easier to accept an evolution theory if there weren't still apes running around. Erik, if you think that science and religion do not compute concommitantly, why do you think that there are so many scientists that are religious? Sure we hear about the few that are not all the time, but don't you think that the vast majority follow some kind of religion? Just food fo thought.

I object to my son being taught a extremely weak theory (evolution) just because seven people think that it's a good idea.

Erik Grow said...

Two Dogs, no offense, but your question about why apes would still be around tells me that you know very little about evolutionary theory. What is your understanding of how and why it would work?

Your own religion Two Dogs states that evolution and religion are not incompatible, as I said. Certainly, LOTS of scientists are religious, but nearly all accept evolution as at least a distinct possibility. The two can live in harmony. My in-laws are very devout Catholics, and they find it funny when people "don't believe in" evolution as if it were its own religion. As far as most Christians are concerned, evolution is how God chose to make people.

You see, that is the difference between science and religion. In science, you have a theory, and then you see whether the data supports it. Creationism means already deciding the answer, and then looking for data to support it. That isn't how humans come to understand how anything else works, so why would that be the best way in this case? I don't want kids learning that at school. You can teach magic at home if you want to.

Two Dogs said...

Erik, as far as I know, the extremely weak theory of evolution would be bolstered if there was some progression found of any species other than plants. You see, I can 'evolve' corn on my very own backyard with two different strains of corn.

The belief that G_d created heaven and earth has a lot more scientific proof than evolution and that's what the uneducated fail to see.

The only way that Liberals can actually teach their tripe is to get the other ideologies barred.

Erik Grow said...

1. Have you not heard of Neanderthals? What about other fossils? What about the millions of years worth of fossil records that have been painstakingly catalogued for centuries? Humans have only been around for a tiny fraction of how long the Earth has been around.

2. The belief that heaven and earth were created by God but that evolution was the mechanism whereby humans came about is the idea generally accepted by Catholics. Are you saying you disagree with your church's position on the subject?

3. Evolution is not an ideology. It is a scientific theory, and it has support, and you know very little about it to be proclaiming that it is wrong. I would be happy to explain it in greater detail, but I somehow doubt it will help. How do you think it works?

4. Calling evolution a liberal idea is irrelevant. Science has nothing to do with politics. Find me 100 scientists at random, and I'll show you 98 who believe evolution to be somewhere between possible and probable. This is why the rest of the world laughs at us every time we go through this again.

soundboyz said...

>but why would you not teach Creationism, when there is more evidence to support that?

Guys , Guys!!!!Listen, this is not worth bickering back and forth about!!!A few years ago, they found the Shroud of Tourin!!! They think that it dates back to early France.They are reporting that the carbon dating testing revealed some Grey Poupon on the Holy Shroud.

Two Dogs said...

1. Yes, Erik, I happen to be very learned, and I have heard of Neanderthals, Java man, etal, etc. But, you haven't heard of one species between the ancient "man" and the modern one have you? Do you think that evolution just jumped through in about one generation?

2. I can't find one thing in my Catholic Playbook that even addresses evolution, must be from those Catholics that embrace abortion like John Kerry and try to pervert our church with left-wing ideology.

3. What about chickens being the closest think to the T-rex? Dinosaurs evolved into birds? Show me anything that backs up that claim. With our DNA so closely resembling any animal on the planet, evolution should be a cinch to recreate. And I will answer any questions regarding anything that you seem to have trouble understanding. Scientific theory, Erik is just that; theory. Why must you try to denigrate people that don't fall into line with your ideology? That screams of intolerance, something Liberals are supposed to have truckloads of.

4. My comment regarding Liberalism is this: Liberals do not stand a chance against factual information. Y'all still put forth the garbage that the economy is in the tank. Just toe the party line and nobody gets hurt, Kweisi.

And those same 98 scientists will say that creation seems closer to the truth.

Why would I care if the rest of the world laughs at us? Even the people that are most happy in their country emulate us. If you think there is a better place, hey, pack up.

Erik Grow said...

1. So you're saying that God had a couple of "false starts" and created things that were almost like man, and then created man? Those different types are very similar to us. The in-between would look almost completely like one or another, from cro-magnon man especially. You're looking for the 99 3/4 between the 99 1/2 and the 100. At that level of detail, with just some bones, I highly doubt there is a distinguishable intermediate form. This is how people try to "disprove" evolution. No amount of evidence is ever "enough" for those that have already decided evolution cannot have happened.

2. I found an interesting debate at this site. It seems the most Catholics say it is plausible, and most evangelicals say it's not.

More here on JPII's take on it.

This from a Christian forum, which is what I have always been told by other Catholics, so it must be coming from somewhere: "The church at this point considers the theory of evolution to be to undefined to rule on. But in theory it does not conflict with the teaching of the church if certain qualifications are meet. The key being that no matter how god created the human body, he is the source for the human soul."

3. I'm tolerant that others have a different idea. That's fine to me. Just don't ask me to be OK with teaching theology in the guise of science in public school. Teach it at home or in private school.

4. This has nothing to do with "liberalism" or politics at all for that matter. I don't know why you keep throwing that red herring out there. As for "those 98 scientists", I've met enough scientists because of my background to know that your assessment is incorrect. There is plenty of good evidence for it, but it doesn't mean we aren't still searching for more specific answers.

soundboyz said...

>but it doesn't mean we aren't still searching for more specific answers.

Yep, I heard that they finally located the cave where Jusus partied as a teen. They found some Dead Sea Scrolls and a couple of Playboys.

nicnerd said...

You guys really need to understand Eirk's position. I have had the extreme pleasre of debating this argument with Erik in person. You see Erik has this snobbish take on things, only he is right, nobody else can be. He sincerely believes that anyone with faith is a mindless imbecile, he mocks me every time. I present examples of proof of creationism, he never really answer them just looks at me quizically and affirms that I am bible thumping moron.

Erik is a actually a liberal atheist in denial. He will never admit it, he will say that he is an agnostic moderate. Whatever... I suppose I am too simple to understand the super brain of the faithless.

Erik Grow said...

OK, that is an utter lie! I absolutely do NOT mock you. We have been arguing for years about all kinds of things. If I really mocked you as you say, I think you would no longer argue with me, much less be friends with me.

We have actually not had much discussion about evolution. What little we have had has led me to believe that you have some reservations about it, but that you do not see evolution and Christianity as necessarily incompatible. Was I wrong on that? Perhaps so. I don't remember any discussion that you presented "proof of creationism".

nicnerd said...

I am not sure why you believe the two to be incompatible. They certainly are, nobody can say how long the "day" were during Genesis. That said, I find evolution rather hard to swallow. It is an intersating theory, but it is just that a theory. Even just looking at evolution statistically (evidence I have indeed shared with you), evolution is mathematically implausible. I would have to find the data again, but the odds were something like 14 trillion to one.

Anonymous said...

You know, I normally don't contribute to strangers blogs, but something like this I just can't pass up.

For what it's worth, I work with biologists all day. My wife teaches them. There's no dispute in the scientific community about evolution. None.

Now before someone tells me that the lack of debate is because it's being supressed, let me add two things:

1. The theory of evolution has the same level of evidence as the theory of gravity. Really. Antibiotic resistant bacteria. Genetically modified organisms. These all come from evolution.

2. The first scientist to disprove evolution would become the biggest thing since Einstein. He'd (or she'd) win every single prize up to and including the Nobel. It would be like discovering that the earth doesn't really orbit the sun.

There are many documented chains of evolved species. Horses are the most famous among these.

In fact, science has done remarkably well in documenting transitional fossils.

Scientist have induced speciation and evolution in the lab. Given the time frames involved, they've had to work with fruit flies and bacteria, but they've done it all the same.

And just because something new has evolved doesn't mean we have to get rid of the old species. There are many legacy species still around. Dogs evolved from wolves. Wolves still exist. Why shouldn't they? They're well adapted to their evironment. People create different breeds of dogs. More evidence of evolution. Given a million years, you might see speciation events among those breeds.

Evolution has the misfortune to disagree with some people's literal interpretation of the bible. Personally, I'd rather put my faith in a God that can create a mechanism as amazing as DNA and evolution. But that said, you don't need to agree with it.

And for the record, I'm a registered Republican.

Two Dogs said...

Thank G_D, finally an anonymous comment person that has absolutely no idea what they are talking about, man you don't see those much.

nicnerd, I knew that Erik was liberal the first time that we had a debate. What I didn't know until now was that he was atheist, but I was beginning to have my doubts.

I really did try to give him the benefit of the doubt on being a moderate until there was not one thing that he believed that was conservative.

Erik Grow said...

Well Two Dogs I will have to direct you back to my other posts about the subject, that you dismissed already for no real reason. I actually have more fresh ammo for you on that subject too, but I will save it for another post. Also, an atheist believes that they can prove that there is no god. I have no such proof, therefore that makes me agnostic, not atheist.

Nicnerd, how is the conference going? I called you earlier for lunch trying to figure out where you were before I remembered. You did share the Lon Solomon stuff with me before, yes. Is that what you are referring to? In what context were the odds 14 trillion to one? I tried to look it up but couldn't find it. My guess is that there are assumptions made that are absolutely not necessary in order for evolution to work.

The anonymous poster is correct, that in the scientific community it is very much generally accepted. It is also not generally seen as diametrically opposed to religion by much of that same community, as I know it is not by you either nicnerd. I did say that in the previous statement, but with a triple negative or something confusing to read. My fault. I know your objections are along other lines, unlike Two Dogs, but it's been a long time since we last discussed it. Throw a couple one-liners out there and I will answer.

Two Dogs said...

Erik, an atheist "believes" there is no G_d, and agnostic is just not committed to believing in G_d or not. For someone that is not committed, you surely spent a good bit of time on this post and the comments.

Erik Grow said...

I am not committed. I cannot prove, and have no interest in proving that there is no God. How many ways do I have to say that most Christians do not see evolution and Christianity to be incompatible? I do not see evolution as a litmus test of whether someone is Christian or not. Most Christians I know are open to the idea of it.