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Thread: State frees teachers to criticize evolution

  1. #21
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    If we post a topic and articles concerning the big bang theory (cosmological evolution) or pathogenic bacterial development of resistance to specific antibiotics there will rarely be much in the way of resistance of the basic concepts or claims. The human-centered (what's left of it, anyway) model of the universe, solar-system, etc. is not perceived as being threatened by these arguments. But if you post a topic about the validity of 'real science' evolution as opposed to 'creationism science' where human evolution is concerned, you get a thread like this one.

    I don't know if it's a sad commentary on scientific and critical thinking in the United States - but it certainly feels that way.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

  2. #22
    wise, it has always been my understanding charles darwin proposed his theory of evolution partly because of the death of his young daughter and thence his disbelief in god. thoughts on this?

    Then in 1851 his treasured daughter Annie fell ill, reawakening his fears that his illness might be hereditary. After a long series of crises, she died and Darwin’s faith in Christianity dwindled away.[80]

  3. #23
    Senior Member Wesley's Avatar
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    the scary thought for me is that there may be all these christian colleges cranking out "science" teachers who are more interested in not upsetting their communities than opening and challenging minds. one more barrier for america's scientific progress...the bad christian science teacher

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cass
    wise, it has always been my understanding charles darwin proposed his theory of evolution partly because of the death of his young daughter and thence his disbelief in god. thoughts on this?

    Then in 1851 his treasured daughter Annie fell ill, reawakening his fears that his illness might be hereditary. After a long series of crises, she died and Darwin’s faith in Christianity dwindled away.[80]
    Are you trying to say that Darwin's presented his theory as an act of rebellion against god or that loosing faith gave him the ok to present what he thought was true but was refrained to express because of religion?

    In any case, motives are irrelevant as long as evidence is there to prove what happened.
    Pharmacist, C4-5 injury but functional C6 (no triceps/flexors)

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by JGNI
    Are you trying to say that Darwin's presented his theory as an act of rebellion against god or that loosing faith gave him the ok to present what he thought was true but was refrained to express because of religion?

    In any case, motives are irrelevant as long as evidence is there to prove what happened.
    Cass and JGNI,

    Darwin did not say that his losing faith is the reason why he adopted his theory emphasizing survival of the fittest. In fact, he says exactly the opposite, that it was the evidence that he observed that led him to propose the theory in the origin of species.

    Charles Darwin broke with his grandfather, Lamarck, and the Church of England in his emphasis on genetic propagation of traits (as opposed to acquired inheritance and creationism). The conservative religious position in those days, as it is today, is that there is no evolution, that God created the species as they are today.

    The young earth literal creationist interpretation of the Bible has been disproven. This does not mean the Bible itself has been disproven. There are many ways to interpret the Bible. The intelligent design theory that was proposed by the Discovery Institute and those of that ilk has likewise been refuted many times.

    Intelligent Design keeps trying to shift its position as each of its premises has been shown to be wrong and not evidentially based. For example, the initial argument was that existing organisms are too complex to have evolved. This was disproven. The second premise was that the fossil record is missing much evidence of intermediate forms. This was also debunked. The third premise is that there is a difference between "macro" and "micro" evolution, i.e. evolution can produce small changes but not big changes. This has been disproven.

    I cannot imagine people wanting to teach Creationism and Intelligent Design as disproven theories in science class. In any scientific debate between creationism, intelligent design, and the evolutionary theories, both creationism and intelligent design would come out at the bottom. Most scientists would simply prefer not to teach these as scientific theories and one does not want science classes to become debates of non-scientific theories.

    Please understand that Darwin's theory of the "survival of the fittest" is not the only or even the main criterion for evolution. As Lynn Margulis pointed out in her book "Symbiosis as a Source of Evolutionary Innovation" (Source). There is growing evidence that hereditary symbiosis, supplemented by the gradual accumulation of heritable mutation, results in the origin of new species and morphological novelty.

    Creationism and Intelligent Design denies that evolution occurred. Creationism stipulates that all animals, birds, plants, organisms are exactly the same today as when God created them. Intelligent Design agrees that "micro-evolution" can occur but denies the possibility of significant "macro-evolution". Both are simply not supported by available evidence.

    Wise.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 06-30-2008 at 04:57 PM.

  6. #26
    I just came across this interesting Wiki article on Creationist Arguments
    http://skepticwiki.org/index.php/Creationist_Arguments

    Although still in progress, it is the best and probably the most complete compendium of creationist arguments, ranging from Intelligent Design to how evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics. It is worthwhile reading for it exposes probably every false logic and argument ever conceived. Although each of the many hundreds of arguments have been debunked many times over, they crop up again and again.

    Some of the arguments are truly ridiculous. It might be a good idea if all biology teachers were required to read something like this before they present a debate on evolution. Let me just mention three of the worst arguments, because they illustrate the ignorance of the arguer.
    • Genetics. Some creationists argue that genetics prove that God created and that mutations cannot possibly produce evolutionary changes. This is such a strange argument because anybody who has taken time to study genetics and evolution would immediately say that genetics is evolution and evolution is genetics. The strongest evidence for evolution comes from genetics (Source).
    • No new species. Many creationists, out of ignorance, claim that there have been no new species identified since Darwin. In fact, speciation has been observed and reported many times (Source). By the way, one example suffices to disprove the claim.
    • There are no intermediate forms. This claim is wrong. Many intermediate forms have been identified. However, creationists keep coming up with examples of a particular specimen and say that the absence of an intermediate morphology for that species proves their point, ignoring the many examples of intermediate forms that have been discovered (Source).

    In the final analysis, the battleground of evolution vs. creationism is littered with debunked creationist arguments. Like an old mage tricks, they are refurbished and burnished to be replayed, over and over again.

    Wise.

  7. #27
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    Wise,

    Do you know talkorigins.org?

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html#CC200
    Pharmacist, C4-5 injury but functional C6 (no triceps/flexors)

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by JGNI
    Wise,

    Do you know talkorigins.org?

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html#CC200
    Wow, great site. Wise.

  9. #29

    Sea anemone researcher sits on 'supreme court' of species identification (7/1/2008)

    Here is a great argument against the "no new species" claim of the creationists:

    http://www.wildbiology.com/research/...tification.asp
    Sea anemone researcher sits on 'supreme court' of species identification (7/1/2008)
    Tags:
    new species

    Every day, hordes of spanking new species are found and furnished with scientific names. Almost 17,000 species of animals and plants new to science were described last year. With this abundance of natural novelty, somebody must sort out the new critters, ensuring that discoveries stick to the established system of classifications.

    This is the sometimes-contentious work of Daphne Fautin, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Kansas. Since 2006, Fautin has been a commissioner for the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, the world's top body overseeing the naming of species. She said that policing the scientific names of living things occasionally could be a thorny task.

    "Ideally, there's one name for one species of animal," said Fautin. "But inevitably it turns out there are problems with this."

    For example, Fautin said two researchers in different parts of the world sometimes name the same species differently, unaware of the other's discovery. In such a case, which name does the committee recognize?

    "You should use the older name," Fautin said. "If it weren't for that, then somebody could come along and name all the animals in the world again - and get credit for them all. So, we have to give credit to the first person who was there. But sometimes it turns out that the oldest name is actually a name that is used for a different animal. And we want to have a unique name for each animal."

    Sheer numbers complicate this effort: Since Carolus Linnaeus devised the modern system for plant and animal names 250 years ago, about 1.8 million species have been described. Most new finds go unheralded except within scientific circles.

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