Why do people get so emotional about teaching children something up there is little evidence for? Why the emotionalism over schools in Arkansas teaching the children something for which there is little evidence? Surely this reveals an agenda.
Perhaps we get emotional because a full, literal interpretation of the passages of the Bible that serve as the foundation for Creationism suggests that the entire universe was created in 7 days -- a proposition that has been proven false by the considerable evidence accumulated by scientists. We get emotional because, judging from the veracity of the the creationist view of the origins of the universe, the creationist view of the origins of human beings can´t be too accurate. But yes, there is an agenda. I was told this, in confidence, by one of Them, but I think the time is right for me to reveal it: the ultimate goal here is to produce well-educated, rational, thoughtful individuals who are well-equipped to approach Life.
"The fundamental fact is that there is little data to support your second assertion that 'natural selection' is the directional force here."
Not true at all... there is plenty of evidence to support natural selection. I only had to crack open my bio textbook (something I haven't done in a loooong while, even though I'm supposed to be doing it nightly ;-) to find two pieces of evidence for natural selection. The first is a study conducted by Peter and Rosemary Grant, researchers at Princeton, on the relationship between the beak length of ground finches (Geospiza fortis) and the type of food available (this varies depending on the weather. The second deals with Work done by Michael Singer and Camille Parmesan from the University of Texas on the Edith's checkerspot (Edith editha). A Google search on either of these should yield more details about these.
"So why get all flustered when it is not taught? Why teach something that has little grounding in proof to our children? It would be like teaching them the latest theories in fundamental physics and so on, which are unproven too."
I'm curious about which theories you're thinking of here... Relativity? Gravity? Both have been verified by experimentation, and you can prove the latter theory quite easily. And, last I checked, many of the latest theories in fundamental physics are being taught students. The only reason quantum mechanics isn´t being taught is because it´s a little too advanced for 12-18 year olds.
"We should only teach the solid underpinnings in our schools, not theories."
I urge you to consider the implications of this statement. Are you suggesting that we no longer teach basic scientific facts in school? According to this, you wouldn't teach students that the speed of light, for example, travels at 186 000 mi/sec. What kind of society is this going to produce?! And what, exactly, are the "solid underpinnings" you're referring to?
"Okay, that last was pure speculation on my part, but the idea that something abstract and blind can in the end produce E. D. Donahey of Fox news I find difficult to swallow. "
Oh come on, man. You could have come up with a better example ;-) Anyway, you're confusing natural selection (which you are trying to argue is unsubstantiated) and evolution (which, like gravity, is a fact of life). But, a quick example of why you should really try to come to terms with all this: there is a lot of random, blind chance involved in fertilisation. That´s why you and I and everyone you see are neither direct clone of one of our parents, nor are exactly 50% like one parent and 50% like the other. This is a proven fact, not a theory.
"Anyway, in the end I accept the mutations part, but not the Natural Selection pushing things onwards to a greater destiny part. I don't pretend to know what has produced us - maybe it was God, or Natural Selection, or some other external force that is unknowable, but I just don't see any convincing evidence one way or the other frankly, and I don't think any of it should be taught in schools."
Why is it that so many people find the existence of God and the existence of natural selection mutually exclusive? Why does God have to intervene in the day-to-day operations of His creation!?
Also... evolution is no more of a theory than gravity. While the fossil record might contain gaps, comparative anatomy and, more significantly, microbiology provide unassailable evidence for it. Plastik55 and the others who are trying to suggest otherwise need to re-familiarise themselves with the developments that have taken place over the last 10-20 years in Biology.
"Myself when young did eagerly frequent / Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument / About it and about: but evermore / Came out by the same Door as in I went." -- Omar Khayyam
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