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The Great Thing About Intelligent Design

By codejack in Science
Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 12:53:10 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

The latest foray into the continuing destruction of public education in the United States has taken the form of Intelligent Design, or ID for short. If you are one of the tens of people who genuinely believe in ID, that's fine. If you believe in creationism, good for you. But if you believe that ID is anything other than a stalking horse for christian fanatics to insert their agendas into the public schools, we have a problem.

So why is the title of this piece "The Great Thing About Intelligent Design" you ask? Simple: This is the next step in expanding the power of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.


Religious freedom in the United States has a long and tumultuous history, all the more so because those opposed to the idea seem to have no desire to fight fair. The lies, half-truths, and fiction produced by everyone from puritan witch hunters to Rush Limbaugh suggests that their positions are insupportable without these measures. For the most part, separation of church and state has steadily improved since the founding of our nation, and hopefully will continue to thrive. Towards this end, the argument over ID is truly a Great Thing.

The predominant arguments involving separation of church and state involve the problem of favoring one religion over another; The display of the ten commandments in courtrooms could easily be construed as offensive, not to mention threatening and insulting, to a member of another religion. School prayer invariably founders on the matter of who will lead the prayer, and to which god.

So we receive Intelligent Design, a carefully crafted concept designed to incorporate every religion, simply by not naming the god or "intelligence" involved. Since every religion, by necessity, has some form of creation myth, this should have appeased everyone. Except Atheists.

The Great Thing about ID is that it brings this issue to the forefront: Does the First Amendment protect Atheists, Agnostics, etc? Does religious freedom include the freedom to not be religious? Certain prominent politicians, such as Alan Keyes (also known as the token black thrown out of the Republican convention) argue that it does not, and for that matter, only protects individuals from religious persecution by federal authorities. The Seventh US Circuit Court of Appeals, however, recently ruled that atheism is protected in the same manner as any other religion. Several Supreme Court rulings address the issue obliquely, by defining atheism as a religion.

This is all beside the point, of course, as the real test of the issue will undoubtedly amount to: Who will be on the Supreme Court when the case gets there? Nominee John Roberts has so far managed to completely obfuscate his views on virtually any issue likely to come up during his proposed tenure on the court, discounting the possibility of congress outlawing red ties. His nomination by George W. Bush, noted for his religious devotion and hard drinking, leads only to the conclusion that Bush probably thinks Roberts will be a religious nutcase, just like him. And with O'Connor stepping down from the court, opening a second slot for Bush to fill (and isn't that a scary thought, even without the double entendre?), Alberto Gonzales' name has been bandied about more than Jessica Simpson's underwear. Gonzales makes an especially interesting choice, as his ideological leanings are most well known for their ability to turn on a dime.

In the long run, this will hopefully turn out to be a non-issue; Whether the First Amendment will be strengthened, and the religious rights of American citizens expanded, is another matter, and rests entirely in the hands of our judicial system, god help us all.

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Poll
Origin of Life?
o Evolution 33%
o Creationism 3%
o Intelligent Design 2%
o Intelligible Design 4%
o Flying Spaghetti Monster 47%
o My high school gym locker 8%

Votes: 134
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Intelligen t Design
o stalking
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o recently ruled
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o Also by codejack


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The Great Thing About Intelligent Design | 263 comments (211 topical, 52 editorial, 0 hidden)
This is just silly (2.66 / 18) (#7)
by kitten on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 01:36:22 PM EST

Since every religion, by necessity, has some form of creation myth, this should appease everyone. Except Atheists.

Atheists aren't the only ones who hav ea problem with this. Millions who believe in a God but don't believe he personally waved his hand to create life are also uneasy. Millions who believe schools should be a place to teach the best science we're capable of, not a forum for any schmuck with a doctrine, are also displeased. What about the people who don't like the idea of spending half the semester teaching kids about evolutionary science, and then spend the other half explaining why everything they just learned is wrong.

Politicians, teachers, and parents all complain that students have no respect for schools and teachers anymore. Yet, instead of doing anything to make the situation better, we want to pull stunts like this to show the students that anything learned in school is "maybe", so why should they bother learning any of the material anyway?
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
that was a pretty good comment (1.00 / 14) (#23)
by army of phred on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 07:20:03 PM EST

but you're still kitten. have a zero.

"Republicans are evil." lildebbie
"I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
"my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
[ Parent ]
Oh how terrible. (1.42 / 7) (#24)
by kitten on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 07:37:06 PM EST

Idiot.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
you can never escape your destiny (3.00 / 2) (#113)
by army of phred on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:21:56 AM EST

sorry about that.

"Republicans are evil." lildebbie
"I have no fucking clue what I'm talking about." motormachinemercenary
"my wife is getting a blowjob" ghostoft1ber
[ Parent ]
We'll always have paris (3.00 / 2) (#151)
by debacle on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 09:34:03 PM EST

Spanknuts.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
What about Satanists? (none / 0) (#244)
by DavidTC on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 02:39:31 PM EST

Specifcally, that branch that assume God's an idiot and a fool, and the universe exists to hide the glory of the Light-Bringer? (I can't think of their specific name, but they do exist.)

They agree exactly with Christians that the Christian God created the universe, but would have rather serious issues with calling it Intelligent Design.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Hi, I'm an atheist (3.00 / 2) (#8)
by LilDebbie on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 02:04:41 PM EST

and I believe that billions of years ago, extraterrestrial life forms seeded our planet with incipient life forms in a long term plan to terraform the planet. I have just invalidated your argument. HTH. HAND.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

that's not compatible with ID (3.00 / 3) (#39)
by boxed on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 04:37:08 AM EST

Intelligent Design states that organisms are too complex to have arisen by evolution. Your "seeding" assumes evolution to grow the seeds. Sorry, try again.

[ Parent ]
No it doesn't (none / 1) (#63)
by LilDebbie on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 12:45:01 PM EST

I claim no knowledge as to how the aliens developed.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
yes it does (none / 0) (#101)
by boxed on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:24:16 AM EST

Because you do not claim that EARTH organisms came into existance fully complex, which is what ID is all about.

[ Parent ]
He got you there (none / 0) (#218)
by LilDebbies Wife on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:57:55 PM EST



Things would be much easier to say up to the microphone like a boss DJ.
[ Parent ]
Incorrect. (none / 0) (#220)
by issachar on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:15:01 PM EST

ID according Michael Behe says no such thing. That's 7-day creationism you're talking about. Despite what some people believe, they are not the same thing.

Behe's argument does not deny that evolution occurs. Behe states that modern creatures have some biochemical features that could not have arisen through evolutionary processes.

This is what's annoying about reading a bout ID on K5. Too much false information a villification. This is a very poorly written article. Random FUD about Bush & alcohol? Judge Roberts? The whole Alan Keys racism angle? How about adding a kitchen sink that wants to establish a theocracy and perform back-alley abortions while we're at it?
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

that's the same bloody thing (none / 1) (#232)
by boxed on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 03:44:38 AM EST

Make no mistake about it, that is no different. They claim to not deny evolution, but they deny evolution has done _any significant feature_ where "significant" is defined by them alone. They claim that "specifiec complexity" (another of their doublethink non-defined magic words) cannot arise through evolution, thus all species have been designed fully complex, with evolution only changing insignificant details. It's the exact same bullshit.

[ Parent ]
okay, you clearly have not actually read Behe. (none / 0) (#242)
by issachar on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 02:18:58 AM EST

If you won't bother to read Behe or at the very least an accurate summary of his work, then your comments aren't very useful to us. Behe simply doesn't make the claims that you attribute to ID.

Intelligent design may or may not be an accurate criticism of the theory of evolution, but you're just attacking a straw man. It might be fun, but it's rather pointless.


---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Ughh (none / 0) (#133)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 03:48:15 PM EST

Sorry, but no. The "seeding theory" has been discussed by both Behe and whoever the other ID guru is as possibilities consistent with ID.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
consistent yes, but not inclusive (none / 0) (#233)
by boxed on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 04:30:51 AM EST

Seeding does not conflict with ID, but it doesn't explain the "irreducible complexity" that ID claims exists.

[ Parent ]
you're not along (none / 0) (#195)
by Battle Troll on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 04:59:29 PM EST

Nobel laureate Dr. Crick also came to believe in rocket sperms.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
stupid dictation software = (none / 0) (#197)
by Battle Troll on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 05:02:34 PM EST


--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
The Great Thing About Intelligent Design (1.54 / 11) (#9)
by NaCh0 on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 02:43:57 PM EST

Is that it pisses liberals off. Because of that, I will encourage the local school board in my city to approve it.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
List of things that don't piss liberals off (2.75 / 8) (#22)
by jleedev on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 07:18:34 PM EST



[ Parent ]
US-Centric (3.00 / 9) (#35)
by some nerd on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 04:18:21 AM EST

Some of us haven't redefined "liberal" into an obscenity meaning "anyone left wing compared to me that I don't like." I imagine it's hard to have a concise political views discussion in the US, since every convenient term has been hijacked by opponents to mean something else.

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]
change "hard" to "impossible" (3.00 / 3) (#49)
by killmepleez on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 11:02:40 AM EST

...and you've got a winner.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
And change 'concise' to 'any' $ (3.00 / 4) (#79)
by rusty on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 03:47:58 PM EST



____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
^Rusty, I'm disappointed. (none / 1) (#99)
by it certainly is on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:10:27 AM EST

Since [w]hen did you (buy){1} into the seedy practise of ending no-text messages with \$ instead of the classic "n/t"?

^Regexpers should be shot.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

Well, I am a perl programmer (none / 0) (#126)
by rusty on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:08:18 PM EST

And once the idea is suggested, it's awfully hard for someone like me to resist.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Whew, that's a relief (none / 0) (#236)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 10:57:06 AM EST

At first I thought you were asking for money again.
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Like animal rights? (none / 1) (#66)
by Fen on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 01:47:38 PM EST

I hate chimp-rights and rat-rights, it gets in the way of science. So do those god damn liberals who oppose embryonic research. Damn liberals! ???
--Self.
[ Parent ]
Actually, the best thing about ID (2.80 / 5) (#13)
by some nerd on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 04:54:30 PM EST

Is that it allows us to feel superior to your fundamentalist theocracy-in-waiting.

The UK is rapidly descending into a sick kind of slightly socialist authoritarianism under Neo-Labour, but at least we don't need to circle the wagons and form defensive societies and lobby groups to preserve our right to not believe something there is zero objective evidence for. We just have to be careful not to criticise any religion because obviously such independent thought that would be a dangerous thoughtcrime.

--
Home Sweet Home

Huh? But Tony's really a Tory [] (none / 1) (#200)
by HereticMessiah on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 06:13:10 PM EST

And New Labour (or Neo-Labour, as you prefer) has more in common with the Tories than Labour of old. Socialist? Hardly. Britain's two biggest parties are Rightwing (Conservatives) and Centrist (Labour).

--
Disagree with me? Post a reply.
Think my post's poor or trolling? Rate me down.
[ Parent ]
inteligent design or evolution (1.00 / 3) (#15)
by minerboy on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 05:39:29 PM EST

It really doesn't matter in the scheme of things. how we got here is far less important than who we are, and where we might be able to go. Cut evolution and ID from the curriculum, and just teach genetics.



How about ... (3.00 / 2) (#20)
by Benny Cemoli on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 06:03:10 PM EST

... teach the one that meets the criteria for a scientific theory, and not teach the one that doesn't?

Knowing "who we are" is in large part possible by knowing "how we got here". Should we also drop history because it only teaches us "how we got here"? Paleontology? Cosmology?


"the fabric of space quivers at the touch of even a microbe."
[ Parent ]

evolution occurs so slowly (none / 0) (#29)
by minerboy on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 08:57:55 PM EST

If it occurs at all, that it is irrelevant to human thinking. It's not like history at all. If you teach genetics, you can teach genetic cdifferences that we observe over time, look at genetics in fossils, look at mutation mechanisms. leave out speculation on early biochemistry, incomplete fossil records, and what early hominids may or may not have been like.



[ Parent ]
Evolution is used in labs TODAY (none / 0) (#38)
by boxed on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 04:33:42 AM EST

Evolution is vital to our understanding of an ever changing world. We've seen large scale changes in populations in a single lifetime. A good example is that species of fish that are caught in nets which lets smaller fish through shrink. Yes that's right, in a single lifetime we've seen significant and drastic reduction in the adult size of several species of fish.

Evolution is also vital to our understanding of bacteria and viruses, since they evolve in hours.

You seem to confuse all this with some details about some specific speciation events. Evolution is a vital theory to our understanding of the world. The details you speak of ARE history, not the theory of evolution.

[ Parent ]

selection is not evolution (none / 1) (#40)
by minerboy on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 06:48:25 AM EST

It is the principle used to explain evolution -but not the entire picture. The process of forming a NEW species - one that can't breed with its progenitor, is a bit more mysterious. In fact, biologists have diddled with the definition of species, sub-species etc. to support their pre-conceived ideas of evolution.



[ Parent ]
Hire a skywriter. (none / 1) (#53)
by killmepleez on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 11:10:07 AM EST

many people don't understand the difference between natural selection - an undeniable genetic process, and evolution - a theory purporting to explain the origin of all species.

It is possible to recognize the truth of the former and make use of it in further scientific pursuit WITHOUT requiring a dogmatic insistence on the latter.

natural selection : intelligent design :: evolution : creationism.

Can't we all just get along?

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
Another analogy (none / 0) (#179)
by DjCameron on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 11:48:47 AM EST

This is more relavent to this trial:

evolution : science :: ID : religion

should we be teaching religion in a science class? No we can't all get along.

[ Parent ]

selection producing change is evolution (none / 0) (#57)
by boxed on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 11:38:39 AM EST

Speciation has been observed in the wild multiple times. And btw, you don't mean "can't breed with it's progenitor", you mean "does not breed with other populations that have some specific common ancestor". Species boundaries are not only genetical or physical.

[ Parent ]
no its not (none / 0) (#67)
by minerboy on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 01:49:12 PM EST

Though I see you've been web surfing at talk origins - here is their proof for speciation - 4 examples and of these they are largely speciated by morphology (except for plants - where the definition of species is different. By the way europeans and africans might also be speciated by morphology.



[ Parent ]
dude, you can't redefine "species" (none / 0) (#106)
by boxed on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 05:45:54 AM EST

That's no way to win an argument. I haven't surfed that site no, but I have been talking to my cousin who is a molecular systematic biologist. Exuse me if I take a guy with a PhD in this stuff above your random redefinition of the word species.

[ Parent ]
people who know biology (none / 0) (#111)
by minerboy on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:43:44 AM EST

Understand that "species" is not a clear black and white definition - unless your a 9th grader. The simple definition is that different species cannot reproduce with each other. this is generally because their chromosomes are too different - but there are lots of subtlties. my original point, stated more clearly maybe, is that you should not bother teaching evolution to 9th graders, since they are not capable of understanding the subtlties of speciation. they can understand intro concepts in genetics, and natural selection. Evolution, as taught in intro bio classes is dogmatic, not scientific.



[ Parent ]
By your defiition.. (none / 0) (#112)
by ajduk on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 09:03:21 AM EST

Physics would count as dogmatic; chemistry even more so.

The whole point of science teaching at any level below PhD is pretty much to build up a framework of reasonably established science and scientific methodology. Evolution is very much established. You don't teach the entire derivation and evidence because it would require an unfortunate number of decades.

Of course, if any genuine problems were raised, they would be raised at the journal/paper level, and if validated slowly filter down to the science textbook level - you don't see Stephen Hawking campaigning to get his latest theory into high school textbooks.

[ Parent ]

not true (none / 0) (#118)
by minerboy on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:02:57 AM EST

Classical physics is empirical, as is alot of chemistry. Evolution, on the other hand, taught without genetics, as judged by simple morphological differences, is dogmatic, and in the past was out and out dangerous.



[ Parent ]
Yes true. (none / 0) (#159)
by ajduk on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 03:42:36 AM EST

I think you'll find that all of these sciences go Observation->Hypothesis->Prediction->Conformation observation etc. Unless you are engaging in some kind of special pleading that one type of observation is different from another.

Interestingly, there is a great deal of controversy about how gravity actually works. Would you consider it dangerous or dogmatic to teach gravity without knowing the mechanism?

[ Parent ]

newtonian graviity is empirical (none / 0) (#166)
by minerboy on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 07:24:23 AM EST

not dogmatic. the underlying cause is not important, nor are the controversies at the edge of understanding relevant to the novice physics student. Evolution is different, it is dogma because it is not based on direct observations of a process. It is a theory based on speculation about a process that might explain observations of the current state of various species - less direct than even quantum mechanics. With the development of powerful gnenetic analysis, it may eventually become more empirical instead of dogmatic. So, if you can keep the controversy out of the classroom, teach processes of selection and genetics, but leave evolution out. That will keep out the I.D. people, and serve the students better in the long run.

Part of the problem is that evolution is also a religion for most people. they want to stick it to those evangelical christians, and this is a good way to do it. And when you look at where evolution is applied in developing technology, its just not that important



[ Parent ]
Whatever (none / 0) (#168)
by ajduk on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 08:33:45 AM EST

Don't know where you get this 'empirical/dogmatic thing from', I'll assume you are just making it up.

Evolution is different, it is dogma because it is not based on direct observations of a process.

As I said, special pleading. What is this special 'direct observation' thing you are on about? Evolution is backed by multiple observations, and furthermore many of those observations were predictions. Nothing dogmatic about it.

Part of the problem is that evolution is also a religion for most people.

That's just codswallop. Most people don't care one way or the other. An the vast majority of people don't want to 'stick it' to evangelical christians, but they don't want to be taught religous dogma as science either.

[ Parent ]

take physics 101 (none / 1) (#174)
by minerboy on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 11:00:23 AM EST

A direct observation is a measurement - drop a ball, measure the time it takes to travel to the ground. derive an equation that explains the relationship between height, and velocity - voila, newtonian gravity. Evolution is not a direct observation - oh look, there goes another species changing, guess its evolution. Genetics on the other hand is direct observation - cross the large wing fruit fly, with the small winged fruitfly, and see how the offspring turns out. Evolution is based on indirect observations - fossils, etc. There are few observations of the emergence of new species, and those are clouded by subjectivity in the definition of "species" - so why teach it - what purpose does it serve to teach evolution to novice biology students, if not to indoctrinate them into a particular world view ?



[ Parent ]
So.. (none / 0) (#176)
by ajduk on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 11:11:06 AM EST

How is a fossil an 'indirect observation'? I'm sorry, I don't understand how a 'direct observation' - say, measuring the historical path taken by a moving object, for instance - differs from measuring the historical changes in the morphology of a genera. Especially when both line up and hence act as evidence for a theoretical framework. There is a vast amount of evidence supporting evolution over billions of years, which is why we teach it (speciation events being but a small part of this). That you have invented some strange criteria for ignoring large amounts of evidence is your problem, not a matter of indoctrination.

[ Parent ]
pffft (none / 0) (#186)
by minerboy on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 12:22:40 PM EST

because morphology doesn't mean shit, wrt species determination, particularly with fossils that are but a vague image of the animal that left them. Genetics has revolutionized biology, and has redefined which species are more similar genetically. The morphology is a poor substitute

And I'm not ignoring large amounts of data, I am saying that it is a terrible starting point for novices to understand biology. The fact that I can so easily bate you into "evolution is fact" statements, shows that you really don't understand it at all, but accept the word of scientists blindly. Even a small deviation from the party line - of "must teach evolution" is dismissed out of hand. why ? because it is dogma



[ Parent ]
Try to keep on topic. (none / 0) (#247)
by ajduk on Wed Oct 05, 2005 at 03:45:22 AM EST

What's the difference between 'Direct'and 'Indirect' observations? Try clearing thaty one up before going on about morphology, which you know nothing about, let's face it.

Please direct me to the place where I said that 'evolution is fact'; liar. Now you seem to have to make stuff up to try and argue..

Blindly refusing to learn a subject, yet still pretendfing that it is invalid, is the approach of the dogmatist. You can rant and rave all you like, but it isn't going to change the reality.

[ Parent ]

Not sure I picture that (none / 0) (#62)
by Benny Cemoli on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 11:52:57 AM EST

Let's say you teach genetics: "chimpanzee DNA and human DNA is 99.x percent identical, but we can't speculate on whether humans and chimps have a common ancestor." "There are the same number and relative orientation of bones in a human hand and a whale fin, but we can't discuss why that miught be so."

I just don't see how you structure a curriculum by ignoring one of the central questions of our existence. Whether you teach it or not, the students will ask the question. What do you tell them?

As for the validity of evolution, if there was a viable scientific theory that was an alternative to evolution, I'd be all for teaching it. There are unanswered qustions in evolution, but that doesn't valiudate ID. There are unanswered questions in the big bang theory, but that doesn't mean that an intelligence created the world in 7 days.

Let me ask you this: do you know anyone who advocates ID who is not also a devout Christian?


"the fabric of space quivers at the touch of even a microbe."
[ Parent ]

The two are interrelated. (none / 0) (#185)
by parliboy on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 12:20:17 PM EST

If we got here via evolution, then where we're going is determined by how we evolved.  If we got here because God snapped his fingers, then where we're going is Heaven or Hell.

Regardless of which stance you take, it's unreasonable to say that studying our past fails to help us understand our future.

----------
Eat at the Dissonance Diner.
[ Parent ]

Flying Spaghetti Monster dammit! (2.33 / 6) (#16)
by sudog on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 05:43:09 PM EST

All Hail the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

Heh (none / 0) (#18)
by codejack on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 05:54:18 PM EST

It's in the poll.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
The problem I have with ID (3.00 / 5) (#17)
by hackwrench on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 05:45:31 PM EST

They can't explain how they would prove it over Spinoza's "God is the natural world" and also the problem of "If the Universe is obviously designed, then why isn't God also designed."

Re: The problem I have wih ID (none / 0) (#71)
by zephc on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 02:58:08 PM EST

"They can't explain how they would prove it over Spinoza's "God is the natural world""

That's because Anything other than God being a big man with a beard in the sky goes against the believe by most Fundies that there should be a strict hierarchy starting with God and going down from there. They demand order and classing of individuals - it helps them be above 'non-believers'.
E.g.
God -> Saints ->Angels -> Believers -> Non-Believers
or whatever.

[ Parent ]

Separation of church and state (2.50 / 6) (#30)
by michaelmalak on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 10:40:12 PM EST

Fights over prayer, pledge of allegiance, and intelligent design have one thing in common: public schools. That's the battleground. Eliminate the battleground, and you eliminate the fight -- except for minor skirmishes over courthouses and creches.

The notion that all parents must agree on a common belief system -- a common religion -- is absurd. Under the public school system, parents not only have to agree with each other, they must also agree with the state.

Just as we must separate church and state, we must also separate school and state.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver

and it bothers NO ONE? (none / 1) (#31)
by wampswillion on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 11:12:06 PM EST

that when we do this, we USE our children? religion has no PLACE in schools. you are exactly right about the battleground being schools and the religious right ought to be ashamed. but of course they never are. they feel justified and righteous. and i truly hope wish there was a god, who might smite them down.

[ Parent ]
Why use ALL CAPS if you disdain battlegrounds? (none / 1) (#32)
by michaelmalak on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 11:25:20 PM EST

You're drawing your line in the sand when you exhort that "religion has no PLACE in schools."

My position is that atheist parents should be allowed to give their children an atheistic eduction and theistic parents should be allowed to give their children a theistic education.

By "allowed", I mean without the point of gun extorting $400/month (per median household in my county) to pay for public schools.

You seem to be insisting upon atheistic education for all children -- thus sending us back to the battleground.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]

no (none / 1) (#34)
by wampswillion on Tue Sep 27, 2005 at 11:45:48 PM EST

i'm not insisting on atheistic education- i'm insisting that religion has no place in education except in philosophy and history. personal viewpoints regarding religion should be irrelevant except in discussion and tolerance. and the best way to begin to promote tolerance is to have no one religion or atheism for that matter taught as doctrine.

[ Parent ]
Lack of doctrine is atheism (none / 1) (#48)
by michaelmalak on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 10:05:03 AM EST

See -- you're still using the word "insisting". You're still on the battleground. Who gives you the right to insist on how other people's children are educated?

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]
ok FINE (none / 1) (#93)
by wampswillion on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 09:29:05 PM EST

i'm on the battleground.  but ONLY because i was here first and a whole bunch of those religious fundementalist army troops showed up and started to trying to plant a flag here.
you know? i don't traipse into their churches and tell them what to do there, so WHY do they feel compelled to come tromping into the public schools?

[ Parent ]
Because they pay $400/month (none / 0) (#107)
by michaelmalak on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:07:10 AM EST

The religious parents are on the battleground because the state is pointing a gun at them and demanding $400/month. Most of them would, as I would, like to eliminate public schools, but most of them are more pragmatic than I am and realize that that goal is not possible before their own children reach adulthood.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]
and for that 400 (none / 0) (#142)
by wampswillion on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:45:02 PM EST

you get someone to teach your children and all the other children in your community- math, science, social studies, reading, writing, speaking, social skills, common courtesy etc. usually along with this, you get physical education, art education and music education. sometimes you even get languages.  BUT,  don't you think you are pushing it when you are asking other people to finance your child's religious education too?  geez, take em to sunday school, send them to bible school and church camp. pray with em before and after school, at your family meals and at bedtime. by all means, do that IF it makes you happy,  but KEEP your theology out of the public schools.   do you NOT understand that if you allow your religion in, then  you also, to be fair, have to allow for teaching of any other religion in the world too????  including some that i'm pretty sure you'd hate.  is that such a HARD concept for you to grasp????
or what? do we go by the religion of the majority?  that what you think we should do?  if so, what happens when satanism or whatever is the majority religion?  
don't you get it?  seperatism of church and state- PROTECTS your religion or your choice of religion for your children.  geez.  
give me a break. because you pay 400?  you have a fricking bargain for what you get both in education and in protection of your beliefs- and you don't even seem to know it.  

[ Parent ]
I know it's a radical idea... (none / 0) (#155)
by michaelmalak on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:48:37 PM EST

...but let me state it one more time. I advocate the abolition of public schools, as well as the $400/month tax I pay. I don't want other people to pay for religion education I value, and I don't want to pay for atheistic education other people value.

No public schools.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]

Ok (none / 1) (#171)
by thejeff on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 08:53:35 AM EST

So you want a third world country. Fine, but I don't want to live there.

Universal public education, despite it's flaws, is one of the things that helped make the US a superpower. An educated workforce is a good thing.

[ Parent ]

Out of curiousity, do you support the Iraq war? (none / 0) (#193)
by michaelmalak on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 03:07:35 PM EST

I see the Iraq war as being a symptom of both the U.S. being a superpower and the public education system, both of which you support. So I'm just wondering if you also support the Iraq war.

Your comment also leads to several other possible digressions:

  • You mention an "educated workforce". Jobs, including so-called white collar, high-tech, and knowledge worker jobs, almost always do not require education in the scholarly sense of the word. Jobs require training. (The legal profession and some pure research positions are notable exceptions.) If you read Gatto, you know that public schools were inevented in part to create a trained rather than educated workforce.
  • Do you really want to live in a superpower country, or just an industrialized country? Do you support the idea that the U.S. military budget has to exceed the military budget of the rest of the world combined?
  • Combining the above two points, I would agree that public education helped make the U.S. a superpower. Public education provided the trained (rather than the educated) workforce for the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned about. It seems we agree on the cause and effect and disagree on the goodness of that cause and that effect.
  • Public education didn't exist on a broad scale in the U.S. until the middle of the nineteenth century. Before then, the U.S. was not in dire straights compared to the rest of the world. If public schools were eliminated, charitable and philanthropic schools and scholarships would spring up, just as they still exist today at the college level. The major advantage there is that the funding is voluntary rather than at the point of a gun.
  • Incidentally, now that you understand my position better, I can relay my transition plan. I advocate that public schools start requiring tuition payments on a means-tested basis. It makes no sense for poor parents whose religion requires them to send their children to religious school to pay for rich parents to send their children to public schools. Sometimes a tax wealth transfer from rich to poor makes sense. A wealth transfer from religious to atheist is unjust.


--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]
My fault (none / 0) (#206)
by thejeff on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 07:53:37 PM EST

Superpower was a bad choice. Industrialized would be better for what I wanted to say. Non-third world. Developed country.
My point was that I see universal "free" education as a major factor in moving away from backwater agricultural country.

So for the record: I'm opposed to the Iraq war, the ridiculous defense budget, and the military-industrial complex.

And yes, our educated population did enable all of that. It also has enabled a whole host of other economic and technological changes, some good and some bad, but all in all I'd rather live now than a hundred years ago.

I'd certainly agree that there are serious problems with the public school system. It's also changed drastically since invented, under the political and social pressures of the moment, not due to some grand design. It could certainly use a serious reworking. But I disagree that throwing it away is the best solution.

Most jobs require training, not education, sure. Using loaded meanings of those terms. But that expands training vastly from it's usual uses, which makes me think of on the job training, or those pointless week-long training courses. Obviously far less than many professions require, even after the childhood years of basic "training". I'm going to keep using education, not training. There is a distinction between regular education and actual scholarly education, but it's less than the distinction between regular education and training.

I agree with the training to be a good consumer / worker drone parts, though I suspect currently that's as much a part of our general commercial culture as schools.

I'd argue that a "trained" population is better than an "untrained" and "uneducated" one. An educated populace would be better yet, but I don't think dropping public education will get us there.

You say "before then, the U.S. was not in dire straights compared to the rest of the world." This may be true, though we were considered a backward rough, frontier country, with little cultural influence. But is the comparison meaningful in this context? Did the rest of the world - essentially Europe, if we're talking about educational systems, have universal education then? If not, then what's your point? If public education provides an advantage it wouldn't have been seen when no one had it.

And finally we come to what is probably our fundemental difference. I don't believe that "charitable and philanthropic schools and scholarships would spring up" to replace our current system. Some would, but far from enough to provide even the level of education we have today. Sure the rich would do fine, most of the middle class would find a way to scrape by, but the poor would mostly have to make do with minimal education, trade school type training, or schooling from groups with an agenda to push. I assume you'd want to do away with government standards for these schools as well, and no legal requirement to go to school at all?

And then the libertarian tagline "at the point of a gun."

As for your transition plan, I assume you're relying on the obvious outcome? That those who have to pay tuition will start sending their kids to private schools. Why not, theyre paying anyway. Thus removing more students from public schools and decreasing support. Very clever.

[ Parent ]

BRAVO!!!! (none / 0) (#207)
by wampswillion on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 08:30:57 PM EST

very good rebuttal.  
did you perhaps have a public education???

seriously, thank you.  you said everything i wanted to answer and more.   and you said it better than i could have.  

[ Parent ]

Risk of freedom vs "safety" of the state (none / 0) (#210)
by michaelmalak on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 12:46:39 AM EST

You write:
I don't believe that "charitable and philanthropic schools and scholarships would spring up" to replace our current system. Some would, but far from enough to provide even the level of education we have today.
Perhaps you're not familiar with the history of Catholic schools in poor neighborhoods around the world. Public education has diminished the role of Catholic schools in the U.S., but you still find some in poor urban neighborhoods.

Of course, you would prefer that those children be given an atheistic education while I would prefer that they be given a Catholic education. The difference is that you would make me pay for what you idealize while I would not make you pay for what I idealize.

Then, we should question the idea of universal education. There are some children who do not respond well to education and end up disrupting class for everyone else.

It's gotten particularly extreme in the past few decades -- school is compulsory until age 18 in many states, and college is considered practically a requirement now. We have extended childhoods until the age of 25 to 29, which is past the age of peak fertility in women. Keeping disruptive flunkies locked up in a government school until age 18 is not only counterproductive, it's a prison.

Consider the following two scenarios of population makeup:

  1. 1% scholastically educated; 95% trained/educated; 3% just literate; 1% illiterate
  2. 25% scholastically educated; 60% trained/educated; 10% just literate; 5% illiterate
I prefer the second option; you seem to prefer the first. To some degree, it's a matter of personal taste and risk. But in my opinion, there is little risk because I believe that public schools have degenerated so far that it would actually be an improvement to simply lock children up in a library for a few hours a day where television and IM are blocked (and Internet porn is reactively dealt with like in a typical professional job rather than proactively "blocked" with censorware).

I see little risk in abolishing public schools, and lots of opportunity in creating a generation of independent thinkers if we do. I blame the public school system for creating hordes of sheeple who followed Bush off into war -- subject to rhetorical tricks like simple juxtoposition of terms to make an uneducated audience hear and believe as true a statement that is false while speaking a literally true statement, as in the 2003 State of the Union address:

Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained.


--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]
You don't get it... (none / 0) (#215)
by MrMikey on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:05:42 AM EST

The foundation of a representative republic and an industrialized nation is an educated (no, not just trained) populace. Citizens are more than just worker drones who must be trained for their tasks, and that's it. Citizens need to be able to do their jobs 9-5, and do their jobs as citizens... vote in an informed manner as to who will have political power, and what legislation will be passed.

Our public school system gives every citizen, regardless of socioeconomic status, a base education with religous neutrality. No one religion gets special treatment or condemnation, thus helping to preserve religious freedom for everyone.

If we abolish public schools, who is going to get educated, and what education will they receive? Will the poor be educated? Will the religion with the most $$ behind it get their private schools in place, and push their particular favorite religion on those who can't afford alternative educational choices?

I don't want to see some sort of neo-feudalism, where only the children of the rich get a decent education, and the rest go to "McSchools" which give them just enough education to be obedient workers and compliant, unquestioning consumers. Yes, our current system is closer to this than I'd like, but it isn't there.

I don't want to see a theocracy where all educational materials must pass theological approval.

You haven't done a damned thing to convice me that your "no public schools" world won't devolve into either or some combination of both of those scenarios.

Your "two scenarios" is mere False Dichotomy, using numbers you pulled out of your hind parts. Me, I want to see 100% literacy, and I don't see a single good reason why that shouldn't be our goal, regardless of our ability to actually achieve it. We don't, in fact, now how close to 100% we can get... at what point do you stop trying to teach people? I think the very idea that 5% illiteracy is acceptable is obscene.

I've had this discussion with Libertarians, and come up against what I call the Libertarian Conceit: "Yes, of course, our ideas would lead to the worst of dog eat dog, king of the hill, every man for himself sort of world, one that would put the era of robber barons, company stores in company towns, patent medicines, private police, and so on. But, you see, I know I'm smarter and better than the rest of you, so I'll end up at the top of the heap. The rest of you can go to hell."

Get rid of universal, tax-paid public schools, and a lot of people won't be able to afford a decent education that doesn't ram a particular religion into the brains of their children. But, it's their own fault for being poor, right? Feh.

[ Parent ]

The religion of the flag (none / 0) (#222)
by michaelmalak on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 04:22:12 PM EST

Get rid of universal, tax-paid public schools, and a lot of people won't be able to afford a decent education that doesn't ram a particular religion into the brains of their children. But, it's their own fault for being poor, right?
Separating ideology from education is impossible. The ideology (or religion) of public schools is whatever is in the state's best interest: flag worship, military recruitment (as required by No Child Left Behind), "school to jobs" (as if that is the main purpose of education), psychological profiling (see Cloning of the American Mind) and psychological drugging.

I'm more of a Distributist than a Libertarian. I do believe the state has a right to tax to help clothe, feed, and shelter the needy. It is quite easy for the state to keep these functions separate from religion. As I wrote above, it is impossible for the state to keep education separate from religion, and furthermore the rate of taxation is so high as to limit the choice of those who seek a religion other than the religion of the state. As an archbishop of the Vatican stated last year:

"Even in states in which the right to religious freedom is taken very seriously [...] limits on religious freedom exist [...] For instance, government and taxation policies may limit the rights of parents to choose a religious education for their children [...]"
With distributism, non-corporatism, and a smaller government, monopolies (state or corporate) would not be dictating education. The "free market" (constrained intentionally to keep it free from monopolies of either type) would dictate what types of schools there would be.

Under such a system, if there are enough people who believe as you do, there will be secular schools. If there are only religious schools, then that just reflects the community standards. Even in that case, it would not constitute a theocracy, as it was the (monopoly-free) free market that dictated it, not the state.

--
BergamoAcademy.com  Authentic Montessori in Denver
[ Parent ]

What's your definition of a religion, then? (none / 0) (#224)
by MrMikey on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 09:20:03 PM EST

"Separating ideology from education is impossible."

If that is true (and you haven't made the case for that yet), then you can choose the ideology, and make it explicit. Not all ideologies are equal.

"The ideology (or religion) ..."

Are you saying that the words "ideology" and "religion" are synonyms?

"...of public schools is whatever is in the state's best interest: flag worship, military recruitment (as required by No Child Left Behind), "school to jobs" (as if that is the main purpose of education), psychological profiling (see Cloning of the American Mind) and psychological drugging."

So you assert. Yes, it "can" be those things... just as private schools can have some ideological agenda. What's your point? You seem to be automatically assuming that "State interests" == "bad"

"I'm more of a Distributist than a Libertarian."

What is a "Distributist"?

"I do believe the state has a right to tax to help clothe, feed, and shelter the needy. It is quite easy for the state to keep these functions separate from religion. As I wrote above, it is impossible for the state to keep education separate from religion,..."

You wrote it, but you didn't make your case for the truth of that assertion.

"...and furthermore the rate of taxation is so high as to limit the choice of those who seek a religion other than the religion of the state."

How much is "too high"?

"As an archbishop of the Vatican stated last year: "Even in states in which the right to religious freedom is taken very seriously [...] limits on religious freedom exist [...] For instance, government and taxation policies may limit the rights of parents to choose a religious education for their children [...]"

There are always limits, since we lack an unlimited supply of resources. The question is, where does a State/culture set those limits? By providing a public, religiously neutral (I don't accept your assertion wrt the equality of religion and ideology) education, we provide a common baseline for everyone, and which everyone benefits from, whether they have children of their own or not. If you want something above and beyond that, you pay for it.

"With distributism, non-corporatism, and a smaller government, monopolies (state or corporate) would not be dictating education."

What makes you think that? If McEduCorp owns all the schools in your area, and has the money to erect barriers to market entry, they damned well can dictate education... and without State regulation, there isn't a damned thing you can do about it unless you can match McEduCorp's resources.

"The "free market" (constrained intentionally to keep it free from monopolies of either type) would dictate what types of schools there would be."

What would keep the market "free"?

"Under such a system, if there are enough people who believe as you do, there will be secular schools. If there are only religious schools, then that just reflects the community standards. Even in that case, it would not constitute a theocracy, as it was the (monopoly-free) free market that dictated it, not the state."

So long as someone with more resources than I can control my access to resources, a market won't remain free for very long. So, unless you have the tech to create a Post-Scarcity economy, or you are willing to settle for a low population density and low level of resources, the person with the lion's share of the resources can leverage that into power and control over the rest. I can go into more detail about that if you're interested.

[ Parent ]

One more try (none / 0) (#217)
by thejeff on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 01:56:36 PM EST

After this I'll probably give up, since I think we're talking past each other. Our differences seem to be that that you think the current system is so bad as to be beyond saving, while I think it does need work, but isn't nearly that bad. You also believe that with the removal of the public school system, it will be replaced by a system that approaches the same level of coverage and will actually provide a better education to many. I think that's typical libertarian rubbish: "Get the government out of X and a better X will spring into existance."

MrMikey covered a lot of what I would have said, so I'll just respond to a few specific points.

I'm familiar with, and have a lot of respect for, Catholic schools. I just don't think they, and the other alternatives you mention, will be able to fill the gap.

Catholic schools are also probably the least dogmatic religious examples you could use. For an example of the other extreme, consider the Islamic madrassas, particularly in Pakistan. There's an example of a country with religious education dominant over secular. Is that an example we shoulc emulate?

"Atheist schools" is also a nice rhetorical device. I don't recall ever being taught atheism in school, nor do I think it's widespread. The word you're looking for is "secular."

I would in fact be opposed to teaching atheism in public schools, as I would be opposed to teaching religion. Nor is teaching science the same as teaching athiesm, whether it's physics or biology.

You also ignored my responses to your pre-public education comparison of American with the rest of the world and to your transition plan. I'll assume I'm right about your plan's intent, but that you'd rather not admit it.

For the other I'll ask this: Can you name a country without a public school system that has a better educated populace? Do you think there could be a connection?

[ Parent ]

Re: religion has no PLACE in schools (none / 0) (#108)
by daani on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:14:32 AM EST

I had a similar conversation with someone about this the other day. Not religion in schools, but just religion popping up when not expected. The conversation didn't get very far, because she's a pretentious fool and really just wanted to tell me how she'd become a buddhist but didn't want to push it on me blah fucking blah blah.

Now I have nothing against Buddhism, and if you aren't already religious it might be a good thing to look at. Treat it more like you would a motivational speach than a religion at first. But it's not risk-free! Not only might you go to (Christian) hell, but it turns a significant number of people (think 40-50%) into self-righteous I'm-so-much-more-enlightened-than-you bores. Please be very careful about this if you do choose to mess with any eastern religion. But I digress....

Anyway I guess what I was going to say is that surely sometimes the "no-religion" crowd have to get a bit of perspective. Ok, sure, stopping the fundies from teaching ID as a peer of evolution is important. But why go crazy over a prayer in public school, or a single word in a (suspiciously fascist) pledge of allegiance? Wouldn't it just be better to ignore it than to keep on pretending that it's somehow grossly offensive?

[ Parent ]

for one thing (none / 0) (#254)
by sirmeili on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 04:38:41 PM EST

I'm not 100% on this, but I think most people who complained about prayer were not athiests, but people of differing religions who didn't want to have thier children involved in such prayers (beginning of football games, etc.) Second, the pledge of allegiance originally did not have 'under god' it was added in 1954. Also in some religions you are not allowed to pledge your allegiange to anything other than thier god. Not saying any of it it right, but let's not blame the athiests all the time (of which I'm NOT one ;) )

[ Parent ]
Or (3.00 / 6) (#46)
by bml on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 08:39:30 AM EST

eliminate children. Problem solved.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]
Wow, what a surprise (none / 1) (#82)
by Insoc on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 04:15:53 PM EST

more libertarian garbage websites. And I thought I'd seen them all!

[ Parent ]
That's a good point. (none / 0) (#90)
by shinyobject on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 08:37:14 PM EST

Unfortunately few people have the humility to consider the possibility that they are wrong about something; they believe in the "one right answer" and want to force it on everyone else. This will only get worse as the feds get more involved in setting "standards" for schools. The curriculum will be based more on politics than anything else.

[ Parent ]
Complete destruction (none / 1) (#42)
by starsky on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 07:34:34 AM EST

of the Intelligent Design theory: Linky

Yes (none / 0) (#74)
by alevin on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 03:07:39 PM EST

I have been on the stand in court, and I was asked if I affirm to "tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god." I said yes, but as a Buddhist and a human being I realize I probably should have said "no" because I'm not certain that there is such a god, never mind what that phrase "so help you god" is supposed to mean.

Of course, I would have stated that I'd say the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth, anyway. But "I do" was not really accurate there.

So help me firefox.
--
alevin
[ Parent ]

ERR wrong thread, sorry, nt (none / 0) (#76)
by alevin on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 03:09:13 PM EST


--
alevin
[ Parent ]
That's wierd (none / 0) (#81)
by codejack on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 03:59:15 PM EST

Every time I've been sworn in in court (too many times, really), I was asked to "Swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you."


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
That makes even less sense than the other one /nt (none / 0) (#124)
by alevin on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:53:43 PM EST


--
alevin
[ Parent ]
In Canada... (none / 0) (#140)
by Ogygus on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 05:55:40 PM EST

You will be asked to swear an oath to tell the truth. Most witnesses swear to tell the truth by placing their right hand on the Bible. If you don't wish to swear on the Bible, you can affirm to tell the truth instead. To do this, you simply tell the judge as soon as you take the witness stand that you wish to affirm instead of swearing on the Bible.

I was recently a witness and I was actually offered the option by the court clerk.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]

I find your dry sarcasm (1.00 / 8) (#44)
by Plz No Anonymization on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 08:03:52 AM EST

to be unfurfilling. Just because atheists cannot prove their theory of, "evolution," and must cut down Jesus all the time, they think they get special rights.

It isn't fair that schools can unload their useless evolution rhetoric on children, and have God sit in the background.

Hehe yeah (none / 1) (#45)
by An onymous Coward on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 08:37:59 AM EST

We do get special rights. It's called the first ammendment

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
Who said anything about jesus? (3.00 / 2) (#51)
by codejack on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 11:08:19 AM EST

I could care less if you want to teach religion in school, but keep it out of science class.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
How about (none / 1) (#47)
by An onymous Coward on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 09:22:57 AM EST

Since trial and error is sometimes a pretty intelligent way to learn things, can't we just call evolution an intelligent process? After all, it did figure out how to fly (birds) and how to make people that build rockets and figure out how evolution works. It gets things backwards sometimes, but so does any intelligent person. Then we can just say that everything exhibits intelligent design characteristics because it was designed by an intelligent evolutionary process, making ID a valid theory after all and not a challenge to evolution

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
Heh (none / 1) (#50)
by codejack on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 11:06:36 AM EST

Maybe George W. Bush considers stumbling around blindly an "intelligent" process, but I do not.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
But (none / 0) (#54)
by An onymous Coward on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 11:17:59 AM EST

We are all ultimately particles stumbling along blindly, or neurons blindly doing their thing, etc.

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
exactly (none / 1) (#60)
by codejack on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 11:51:54 AM EST

Intelligence, however, applies to the second, but not to the first.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
nt: why? (none / 1) (#68)
by Eight Star on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 01:49:15 PM EST



[ Parent ]
That's kind of the definition n/t (none / 1) (#69)
by codejack on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 02:25:36 PM EST




Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
nt: which definition is that? (none / 1) (#70)
by Eight Star on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 02:31:14 PM EST



[ Parent ]
intelligence (none / 1) (#73)
by codejack on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 03:06:51 PM EST




Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
funny: (none / 1) (#84)
by Eight Star on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 04:59:51 PM EST

intelligence: 1b The faculty of thought and reason. thought 1 The act or process of thinking; cogitation. think 8 To devise or evolve; invent

[ Parent ]
Haw Haw Haw! (none / 1) (#77)
by imrdkl on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 03:44:41 PM EST

tens of people. What a fool.

I have a question for Creationists (3.00 / 5) (#78)
by rusty on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 03:44:46 PM EST

Those people who profess to believe that every word in Genesis is the literal truth? I have a question for them. I doubt I'll find any here, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

It's a simple question, and I really do mean it sincerely. My question is this:

On what day of the Creation did God create Man?

Any Creationists here are welcome to answer. TIA.

____
Not the real rusty

Somehow I doubt (3.00 / 3) (#83)
by some nerd on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 04:52:17 PM EST

that there are any real creationists here. However I have heard that some broadly literal-Genesis types take the view that "days" could be an arbitrary length of time, since that's a human concept that God would exist beyond, allowing Genesis to be consistent with geological dating evidence etc. It makes sense insofar that the creator of a universe would obviously need to exist in some way outside of its spacetime.

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]
Misses the point (3.00 / 4) (#85)
by rusty on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 05:33:33 PM EST

I'm talking specifically of the sub-genre of Bible thumper who proudly proclaims that every word of Genesis is the literal truth. I am aware that this does not apply to the majority of Christians. It does apply, however, to quite a few of our conservative leaders.

The problem I'm getting at though, is that chapters one and two of Genesis place the creation of Man at two distinctly different times. Chapter one has it happening on day six, and chapter two has it happening after the seven days worth of creation of everything else. They also have two different stories for the creation of Woman.

Basically, the point is that someone who proclaims their belief in the truth of Genesis is ignorant of even their own source material.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

the first one was a beta version nt (none / 1) (#86)
by minerboy on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 05:38:09 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Chapter 2 (none / 1) (#87)
by SaintPort on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 05:55:41 PM EST

goes back to day three and fleshes out the creation of Eden and the story of Adam and Eve.

The written text seems to be two different accounts of verbal tradition, making different points, pasted together, to maintain the cultural story.

It seems to be a leap for many to buy into this explanation, for I have some Christian friends who belive that Adam and Eve were a different set of humans from the day six group, which convienently answers problems about Cains' wife, and, they end up putting an entirely different (heretical) spin on the serpent in the garden.

Anyway, I hope my first answer is acceptable.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Not really (none / 1) (#92)
by kitten on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 09:25:42 PM EST

The first chapter has God creating the plants and animals before man. The second chapter holds that plants were created after man:
When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground...
and animals were created after man, specifically to be a companion to Adam:
The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
And so he created animals, and brought them all to Adam to see if they'd be compatable. (Strange that it didn't occur to God that a man would want a woman, but that's another issue.)
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
you are assuming (none / 0) (#110)
by SaintPort on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:27:33 AM EST

a linear chronology that is not there.  This is the problem Rusty and my previously mentioned friends have. And, it is not the point of the account.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
The problem is (none / 1) (#120)
by kitten on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:00:45 PM EST

There is nothing to say my interpretation isn't correct. In fact, a simple reading would seem to indicate exactly what I said -- that it's a linear account, and the details are inconsistant from one to the next. Nothing suggests it should be read any other way.

You don't buy it because you're a believer, so you have to come up with some way to explain why the details aren't consistant. Hence, you say it's not a linear narrative.

Clearly, we could argue back and forth about it, but the real point isn't Genesis. The real point is that scripture is often vague and malleable this way, subject to interpretation, and here we have two people -- you and I -- reading the same passage and coming up with totally opposite conclusions, neither of which can be shown to be better than the other, or more "correct".

This is what they want to base an entire curriculum on? This is what they want to replace science with?


mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
overstated (none / 0) (#132)
by SaintPort on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 03:21:57 PM EST

This is what they want to base an entire curriculum on? This is what they want to replace science with?

I don't know anyone who wants to replace good science with pure theology, at least not any relevant voice in the debate.

I think even the faithful can put-up with micro-evolution, but if the schools are going to teach macro-evolution, which is an unproven science that demands faith and greatly influences philosophical thought, then ID should be given some air time alongside.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Not even. (3.00 / 2) (#146)
by kitten on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 08:49:15 PM EST

I don't know anyone who wants to replace good science with pure theology, at least not any relevant voice in the debate.

Whether they say, or even think, that's what they want, it's what would happen. You'd have students learning established science half the semester, and then the other half hearing about why everything they just learned is wrong.

I think even the faithful can put-up with micro-evolution, but if the schools are going to teach macro-evolution, which is an unproven science that demands faith

"Unproven" to whom? There is no debate in the scientific community as to whether or not evolution occurs. The consensus is overwhelming -- it occurs. The only question is how it occurs, and that's where the theories come in. Now, instead of trying to encourage students to investigate, ID proponents want them to turn their minds off to any unanswered questions and say "God did it." Sorry, not God, the "intelligent designer", right?

It's a cheap, pathetic, and totally ridiculous excuse out of having to apply any intellectual effort, and it utterly fails to explain anything. The student asks how something works, and instead of giving him the tools to find answers, he's told that an unknowable entity, using unknowable means for unknowable reasons, caused it all to snap into place through some unknowable process. Don't these kids have little enough respect for education as is?
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
pathetic (none / 0) (#241)
by SaintPort on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 07:49:31 PM EST

Whether they say, or even think, that's what they want, it's what would happen.

I am part of 'they', and you are wrong.

You'd have students learning established science half the semester, and then the other half hearing about why everything they just learned is wrong.

Not true. I don't think anyone will argue that mutation observations are wrong. The only points of contention are there because of the problem of provability.

"Unproven" to whom? There is no debate in the scientific community as to whether or not evolution occurs.

Mutation within a species does occur. But I don't think anyone has demonstrated species jumps. You are ignoring the micro/macro parlance.

Now, instead of trying to encourage students to investigate, ID proponents want them to turn their minds off to any unanswered questions and say "God did it." Sorry, not God, the "intelligent designer", right?

Wrong.  Scientific investigation is going to be encouraged more. Christian scientists see the Glory of God in their work. Atheists just see accidents.

It's a cheap, pathetic, and totally ridiculous excuse out of having to apply any intellectual effort, and it utterly fails to explain anything. The student asks how something works, and instead of giving him the tools to find answers, he's told that an unknowable entity, using unknowable means for unknowable reasons, caused it all to snap into place through some unknowable process.

The entity is God, the means is His Word, and the reason is for His glory. The process is obedience to His will.

Don't these kids have little enough respect for education as is?

Respect what? A giant institutionalized mistake/accident/whatever... nothing matters... there is no higher authority... crap.

If you don't get my drift, you aren't listening... and I don't that think you are.

Have a nice day.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Unfortunately (none / 0) (#190)
by Aphexian on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 12:59:43 PM EST

Every single one of you in this discussion has obviously never studied the bible as historical literature. I suggest you (collectively) do some research.

The King James bible (which I assume is the subject of our conversation) is an amalgam of not less than three stories, intertwined. This was done by committee, not by chance or idiocy.

The bible itself is a product of (not-so) intelligent design.
And speaking of which, any man that believes in ID has never seen a platypus.

Damn my sig is finally appropriate. I am teh old skool.

[I]f there were NO religions, there would be actual, true peace... Bunny Vomit
[ Parent ]

We're all well-aware of that. (none / 0) (#191)
by kitten on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 02:30:52 PM EST

However, every translation of Genesis I've ever seen tells the story in the same way, including the various Torahs I've had to read. The notion that the Bible as a whole is a work of repeatedly-translated-and-edited stories is not news.

Rusty's original point was merely that -- that it's silly to take every word at literal face value, since it clearly doesn't work, and it's been filtered so many times down the centuries that it's impossible to know what it originally said (before it was even written down, mind you).

As for ID, you don't even have to look at the platypus. What's the deal with the human tonsils and appendix, which seem to do nothing but potentially kill us? Why are our eyes wired in backwards from how any fifth-grader would do it? Why are we so inefficient in energy intake, can be killed so easily, with few safeguards built in? What's the story with our tailbones, or male nipples? These are all things I'd expect from a nonsentient process building upon what's already there -- not from an omniscient, omnipotent master designer.

Oh, wait. "God works in mysterious ways." How silly of me to overlook that. My intellectual curiosity has now been assuaged. Thank you, Christianity.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
point excellent (3.00 / 2) (#130)
by Benny Cemoli on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 02:52:25 PM EST

Reverse in read be to Bible the intended God believe I.

"the fabric of space quivers at the touch of even a microbe."
[ Parent ]

I am not christian (none / 1) (#184)
by wurp on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 12:18:13 PM EST

But I know at least one christian who is a clear thinker on other subjects, at least.

His take on the 'day' thing is that the bible directly states that "a thousand years" is like unto a day to God, and a day like unto a thousand years.  "A thousand years" was also at the time of the writing a generic phrase for "a really fucking long time".  It is also obvious from the round figures that this is a general statement, not an equation.

Anyway, it's easy to argue from a biblical point of view that when God says "a day", it can mean a long time.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]

Agreed (3.00 / 2) (#239)
by gidds on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 05:44:17 PM EST

Well, I am a practising Christian (though not a USian, nor I hope a fundie), and that's pretty much what I think too.

What I find really interesting is that if you don't close your mind and look at it word by word, if you actually consider the meaning behind it, the Genesis account isn't actually radically different from the accepted scientific model. Sure, the timing is way off, but the order of things agrees pretty well, if you use the right PoV. For example, during the formation of the solar system, there would have been a long while after the sun had ignited when first dust clouds and then atmospheric dust made it impossible to see from the Earth -- all that would have been visible was a generalised light during one half of the day, and little or no light during the other. Only later on would the sun have been visible for itself. Which maps rather neatly onto Genesis mentioning the creation of light, and then later on the creation of the sun, moon, and stars. And so on. Of course, you can put that down to backwards reasoning, but then the whole Bible is a man-centric document, so it makes sense to see events from the Earth's PoV. And from that PoV, Genesis makes a surprising amount of sense.

Or look at it another way. How would you explain the creation of everything to people living six odd thousand years ago? How much of it would they understand, and how would they pass on that understanding? Seems to me that Genesis might well be the result.

It's such a shame. At a basic level, science can't be in conflict with religious truth -- they're both ways of understanding God's creation, and as Einstein said, "Subtle is the Lord, but malicious He is not." The problem comes when people misunderstand, misapply, or misrepresent one or other... It's probably not even deliberate: somehow people get it into their heads that {those fundamentalist loonies/those crackpot scientists} are a threat to {my faith/my objectivity}, and from then on it's only natural to mistake, misunderstand, or misrepresent matters -- consciously or not. And so we get the sort of pointless, ignorant, and destructive conflict we see here...

Personally, I rather like the picture of creation that C.S. Lewis describes in The Magician's Nephew: with the creator literally singing everything into existence. Now that's something that an MP3 rip wouldn't do justice to!


Andy/
[ Parent ]

Very interesting question... (none / 0) (#162)
by IainHere on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 05:59:33 AM EST

...and not one I've even thought of before. None of the Christians I speak to get too excited by questions like this, although I will have to ask the couple of Creationists I know. Seriously, the point of Christianity is Christ, and everything else is building up to that.

> I doubt I'll find any [Creationists] here
No, nor me neither, but the answer would likely be along the lines of, 'good point - I don't know the answer. I'm human, and don't know everything. But what I do know is...'

I know this response misses your point that some people believe every word of the Bible to be literal truth, and might therefore be expected to explain such contradictions. But to be fair, you're missing the point that Christianity is about Christ, and not a book. Perhaps Creationists are doing the same, I dunno; it's their business.

[ Parent ]

Religion is not really the issue. (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by Eight Star on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 03:58:27 PM EST

Science is the issue. If ID had any real scientific basis, it would be fair to teach it as a competing theory, regardless of how much it might look like some religous story. Conversely, even a completely non-relgious theory should not be taught if it doesn't have a scientific basis. Also, no theory can satisfy every religion, no matter how broad. If you try to get around the 1st amendment by pretending to refer to 'whatever god' you're headed in the wrong direction, because it can't be done.

Sure (none / 1) (#115)
by codejack on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:45:56 AM EST

But since ID is being pushed because it appeals to conservative christians who despise evolution, and let's not kid ourselves, that's why it is being pushed, then we should try to get a clear interpretation of the First Amendment that includes the rejection of "generic" religion and protects atheism, agnosticism, etc.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
There already is such an interpretation. (3.00 / 2) (#128)
by kitten on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:59:04 PM EST

The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that not only can government not favor one religion over another, but it cannot favor belief over non-belief.

And to further make the case, "religion" is never defined, legally, as organized religion, as suggested in this article and most arguments about this. A person is free to excercise his beliefs even if those beliefs are held only by himself. By teaching Intelligent Design on the basis that "most religions have a creation myth" you are not only favoring belief over non-belief, but you're favoring creation myth over those who have beliefs that involve no creation myth, or those whose beliefs specifically deny an intelligent creator, or, or, or...
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
god help us all ? (1.50 / 2) (#88)
by SaintPort on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 06:19:42 PM EST

Sir, first you dissed Alan Keyes, a righteous man after my own heart, and then closed with god help us all ?

I think you have even dissed atheists. BTW, I honestly think it only adds a layer of legalism whether atheism is a religion or not... we are going to dance 'round & 'round deciding if we are all allowed free exercise. We can't all be totally 'free' at the same time... let's just try to be civil, shall we?

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

How is Alan Keyes righteous? (none / 1) (#94)
by mtrisk on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 09:49:39 PM EST

He disowned his own daughter after she decided to get involved with the lesbian community. Where's the love?

______
"If you don't like our country, why don't you get out?"
"What, and become a victim of your foreign policy?"
[ Parent ]
tough love [nt] (none / 1) (#109)
by SaintPort on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:23:32 AM EST



--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
Well, it goes like this... (3.00 / 2) (#141)
by Ogygus on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 06:28:52 PM EST

The Bible teaches "hate the sin and not the sinner". Unfortunately, most professed followers of Christ can't be bothered to read the damned thing, much less follow what it teaches.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
It also.... (none / 0) (#245)
by DavidTC on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 03:44:45 PM EST

...fairly clearly says that 'the law' isn't important anymore. Like, over and over and over.

Does not one read that thing? People do not have to follow old Testament law.

First person to mention Timothy 1:9-10 and 1 Corithians 6:9-10 gets to explain the difference between the made-up word arsenokoitai and the actual word for male homosexuals, paiderasste.

As for Romans 1? Read the whole thing, and learn the context. It's a condemnation of Roman pagan rituals, which lead to God punishing people by making their women lesbians and then them themselves gay. Think carefully about that for a bit.

In other words, they getting stoned out of their mind during the rituals and having sex with anything that moved, and being embarrassed about it later. (As being the 'catcher' in a homosexual act was seen as an act of submission, because you were acting like a woman.) Paul said 'Well, stop doing that.'.

Note Paul doesn't condemn the homosexual behavior at all, outside of the condemnation of the pagan rituals in general. No, calling it 'against nature' isn't a condemnation, as he didn't say that, that's just a translation silliness. Same with 'vile affections', which is probably talking about the idol worship. That verse is so poorly translated it's not funny.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Ever hear of irony? (none / 1) (#114)
by codejack on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 10:41:55 AM EST

Alan Keyes, whether righteous or not, is advocating state religion. That makes him anathema to me, as he is basically telling me that I am a second class citizen for not believing in god.

And how did I diss atheists? The point of whether atheism is a religion or not is that it will determine whether "generic" religion is allowable under the First Amendment, including Intelligent Design. That is what my story is all about.

Also, why can't we all be totally free at the same time? I am not saying that you don't have the right to walk around downtown preaching the gospel to your heart's content; That's freedom.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Neither new nor interesting (none / 0) (#89)
by GreenYoda on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 07:23:00 PM EST

I don't think this article says anything new or interesting. Sounds like preaching to the choir (if you'll forgive my religious reference).

Nice Article - and Roberts is in Bush's pocket (none / 1) (#91)
by RhadamYgg on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 09:02:59 PM EST

Perhaps it is not new content, but then again it certainly states specifically what is at stake in the Supreme Court.

After all, a Supreme Court that mandates that atheists, agnostics and freethinkers do not enjoy the protections of the constitution is only a hair away from declaring a state religion.

But anyway it is unrealistic to think that Bush nominated Roberts without getting certain commitments from Roberts before putting up the nomination.

A conversation like this probably happened in some form:

Bush: Judge Roberts, I need a man in the Supreme Court that a godly man can trust. (Knudge, Knudge)

Roberts: But surely there are other people that you can trust for this position. Of course I understand what you mean about godly men and trust.(wink)

Bush: Listen, I can further your career and you can ensure that my legacy lives on for decades. Simply put, anyone else I'd trust for this position has already spilled the beans on how they feel and those nastly liberals would jump all over them. You have very little in your past telling the world that you are a sympathetic to born-agains and hold certain godly beliefs. I need you and you need me. I'll make you a part of history and you'll ensure that I have a historical legacy.

Roberts: Mr. Bush, let me be blunt, everything you advocate are the things I hold dear. I have the self-control and history to make sure that no-one will vote me out of hand.

Bush: We have a deal, then?

Roberts: I don't see how we can lose.
If you can truthfully answer the following question with 'Yes' - then you have done something good: Did you make the world better for the future? In the end the present is not what matters most --it is the future that matters.

Mathematical Refutation of Irreducible Complexity (2.66 / 3) (#96)
by mberteig on Wed Sep 28, 2005 at 11:47:42 PM EST

Irreducible complexity is one of the "theoretical" foundations of intelligent design. I've written a somewhat rigorous logical analysis of the concept of irreducible complexity. It basically points out that there is no such thing as true irreducible complexity in the sense that there is no possible predecessor genotype for a given phenotype.


Agile Advice - How and Why to Work Agile
Reducibly complex mousetrap (3.00 / 2) (#104)
by An onymous Coward on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 05:17:28 AM EST

Clicky

"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
+3 great link [nt] (none / 0) (#164)
by some nerd on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 06:16:05 AM EST



--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]
THAT is a science article ... (none / 0) (#123)
by Einzelgaenger on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:12:38 PM EST

.. get rid of this politics piece, or place it in politics, and get this guy's article into the science section.

Some people are too stupid to ever be free.

[ Parent ]
Ignorance! (3.00 / 3) (#98)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 03:26:39 AM EST

Not every religion has a creation myth. Many Eastern ones have a cyclical or eternal (always was here, always will be) cosmological dogma.

People's minds are so damn NARROW.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan

Why can't we just teach our own children (1.50 / 2) (#119)
by Sesquipundalian on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:29:29 AM EST

about all the ways you can dick around with superstitious morons, and let the poor and uneducated carry around all of the psychological baggage associated with religion.

I pretty much don't care unless it hurts me, and since in our economy someone has to lose (large but FINITE supply of dollars and can only expand at a FINITE rate and all of that..), why can't the winners be the people with strong minds for a f*cking change.

All through out human history, bigsmellyangryman has dominated skinnynicesmellingsmartman. I say it's about time for a f*cking change.

As for me I'm sending my kids to the strictest, most pinheaded school I can find. Are there any Mormon Pentacostal Scientology schools out there named after Reverend Sun Yung Moon? That's where I'm sending my rugrats. Nothing sharpens up those critical thinking skills like a strict parochial education! Lot's of senseless violence, miles and miles of gibbering bullshit, and the absolute certainty that there is noone you can every really trust. Oh yeah!

I figure it's only a couple hundred years or so before our crybaby western democracy splits into a nice stable caste system. It's happening now and I can't wait until it settles down. Oh yeah, and f*ck all poor people for emiting odors, and crossing their eyes in ways that disgust me; may they die in pain and torment!


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
... and where will you be in the caste? (1.50 / 2) (#122)
by Einzelgaenger on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:10:45 PM EST

... you clever use of the word f**k must put you at the top, as it so clearly demonstrates superior intelligence.

Some people are too stupid to ever be free.

[ Parent ]
That's your only criticism? :P$ (none / 0) (#125)
by An onymous Coward on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:07:10 PM EST



"Your voice is irrelevant. Stop embarrassing yourself. Please." -stuaart
[ Parent ]
F*cking Sh*t F*ck Sh*ters (none / 0) (#127)
by Sesquipundalian on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:10:27 PM EST

I hadn't thought of that. Now you got me wondering if I smell bad.


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
I'm pissed off with democracy too (none / 0) (#131)
by vqp on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 02:58:25 PM EST

Well before GWB was president.
Back then was "politically incorrect" to say anything about it. Things are starting to change, specially after the reelection of GWB.
I think that we, democratifobics, should create an NGO.

happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
I'm not pissed at democracy, (none / 1) (#135)
by Sesquipundalian on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 03:55:20 PM EST

I'm pissed at my parents for joining a stupid cult.

I think that the coming caste system will be a democracy. I think that the lower castes will simply become too stupid (relatively speaking) to compete and vote effectively.

As the advantaged (leisure class?) get ever more free time to improve their access to information, and dream up ever more effective ways of exploiting it (by using technology), the poor fall ever so further behind. Sit in on some corporate motivational training sometime, and tell me that religion hasn't gone totally "open source". The religion of the future will be called the non-united church of "roll your own".

PC-talk is a perfect example of this; How the hell did a bunch of commie-dyke-"intellectuals" get the power to tell you who you can and cannot insult? Simple; they used social engineering technology to add their adgenda to everyone's religion. They were able do this during the 1960's-1990's because they happened to be rich jewesses with gobs and gobs of free time for planning things. They had all that leisure time from having all that money and not having to work for anything. The actual reason that they did it, was because the conservative men who were in power at the time were total assholes (who incidentally liked to make sport of raping and assaulting homosexuals).

PC-talk.. jeez, so you're afraid of dykes huh?


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
PC-Talk? (none / 0) (#138)
by vqp on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 05:29:54 PM EST

That sounds like a old shareware program to me... can you explain?

happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

[ Parent ]
Why, are you afraid it was written by lesbians? (1.50 / 2) (#143)
by Sesquipundalian on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 08:31:55 PM EST


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Science?? (none / 1) (#121)
by Einzelgaenger on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:08:22 PM EST

How is this article part of the "Science" section? It is an op-ed/politics piece at best, but more like a diary entry. Where is there a drop of "science" in this article?



Some people are too stupid to ever be free.

should be humour (3.00 / 2) (#129)
by Troll Indicator Beta V1 on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 02:28:38 PM EST

but it's not funny...

Identifying the troll menace since last tuesday...
[ Parent ]

WIPO: (3.00 / 4) (#136)
by localroger on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:26:26 PM EST

Three lines of code in Mathematica.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
Very good, but wrong (3.00 / 4) (#163)
by IainHere on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 06:03:50 AM EST

Having read his New Kind of Science, I can confidently state that Wolfram believes he himself is the origin of all existence. And if he says so, it must be true.

Look upon his works, ye mighty, and despair!

[ Parent ]

What does the first ammendment have to do with ID? (none / 1) (#137)
by caek on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:30:32 PM EST

There's no question of it being used to ban or reaffirm people's right to assert its truth or falsehood. Evolution != atheism. "Who will be on the Supreme Court when the case gets there?" What case? What are you talking about? You seem to conflate a collection of libertarian hot topics with no logical connection or current significance.

A lot (none / 0) (#170)
by codejack on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 08:48:03 AM EST

And where the hell does "people's right to assert its truth or falsehood" come from? I'm not even sure what that means, much less how it applies to the First Amendment. The case in question, since you obviously didn't follow any of my links, or read the news for the past 6 months, is whether schools are allowed to teach ID as a competing theory to Evolution; Currently, both Kansas and Pennsylvania are embroiled in this debate, which just about everyone expects to make it to the Supreme Court in a few years.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
I didn't follow your links (none / 0) (#172)
by caek on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 10:22:21 AM EST

because it's not an MLP. The article should be sufficiently self-contained for its target audience to follow without looking up references. I've read the links now. Yay me. Still none the wiser.

You say "Currently, both Kansas and Pennsylvania are embroiled in this debate, which just about everyone expects to make it to the Supreme Court in a few years." This should be in the article. I was not aware of it. Everyone expects? Who? Why?

I think you're forgetting that the rest of the world sees the fuss over intelligent design, and we laugh. We litterally laugh. We feel unfairly smug about various things. And then we skip to the next story, because the ID controversy has no effect on our lives. True story: I read Carl Zimmer's Evolution a couple of years ago. The exposition of evolution was fantastic, but I skipped the second half of the book, which addressed the "controversy". He assumed I cared. I did not.

Not all your readers are American. Not all your readers understand how the first ammendment has anything to do will school syllabuses. At the risk of obfuscating a cute Jessica Simpson joke (Which I do not get, although I'm sure if very funny. You should be on Air America!), you need to spell it out.

Back to my point about how atheism and evolution are unrelated. So there has been a recent judgement regarding whether atheism counts as a religion. You say "Who will be on the supreme court when the case gets there?" I assume (it's not clear) that you mean the case atheism being a religion. But this has nothing to do with the teaching of evolution. They are neither logically or legally related.

[ Parent ]

Explanation (none / 0) (#192)
by kitten on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 02:41:35 PM EST

The first amendment says that "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free excercise thereof..."

This has repeatedly been interpreted by the courts, including the Supreme Court, as meaning that the government, in any form (including public schools), is not permitted to support one religion over another, or belief over non-belief. They must remain strictly secular.

Hence, when we have people trying to introduce theologically-driven curriculum into the schools, it becomes a first amendment issue. Critics say it supports belief (in some sort of supernatural god) over nonbelief, and supports certain religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc) over those religions which have no creation myth, and so forth -- and this is clearly prohibited by the first amendment.

"Teaching evolution", however, is not a first amendment issue, as you point out. It is taught the same way as any science is taught because it operates the same way any science operates. The only people who have a problem with this one aspect of science (note that they're perfectly happy to use computers and microwaves and telescopes and nuclear missiles and MRI scanners), are those with a doctrinal axe to grind. No one else cares.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
No. The best thing about ID is it exposes atheism. (1.42 / 7) (#148)
by sllort on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 09:21:32 PM EST

Think about it- ID is purported to be a theory, when it is actually a belief system. A theory is experimentally disprovable, whereas Intellgent Design cannot be disproven by any experiment.

Similarly, atheism is purported to be a theory, when it is actually a belief system. The idea that God does not exist is not experimentally disprovable. If there was an experiment to prove that God doesn't exist it would have been done by now (though Hitler took a good crack at it). Atheism is a belief system.

So the best thing about the debate over ID is that it exposes not just the likeable idiocy of its God-fearing proponents, but also the dark idiocy of some of its more vocal opponents: the atheists, who while purporting to advance science continue to espouse their irrational belief in an idea which is neither scientific nor useful.

--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.

-1 You can't prove a negative, dumbass (n/t) (none / 1) (#158)
by h4xx0r on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 03:32:57 AM EST



[ Parent ]
You can prove it probabilistically. $ (none / 0) (#223)
by skyknight on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 08:49:44 PM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
that's my point (none / 0) (#249)
by sllort on Thu Oct 13, 2005 at 11:59:10 PM EST

who believes in something you can't prove? only nutjobs like christians and atheists.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
Provability.. (none / 1) (#160)
by ajduk on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 03:49:55 AM EST

The problem here is that you are taking a positive position (cf. god(s) exist) and asking for disproof; this is logically incorrect. The onus is entirely on the person proposing the existance of god(s) to prove that such a god exists.

It is perfectly possible to disprove the existance of any god with defined properties. It's only the non-interfering gods, those that do absolutely nothing whatsoever, that cannot be disproven.

[ Parent ]

hmmm? (none / 0) (#250)
by sllort on Fri Oct 14, 2005 at 12:05:43 AM EST

The problem here is that you are taking a positive position (cf. god(s) exist) and asking for disproof; this is logically incorrect.

which is why i didn't do it.

i stated that people who have a belief in something which cannot be proven are unreasonable. namely atheists, but that includes christians too.

It is perfectly possible to disprove the existance of any god with defined properties. It's only the non-interfering gods, those that do absolutely nothing whatsoever, that cannot be disproven.

wildly untrue. here let me try: "God is omnipotent, and can manipulate all space and time. He chooses not to be observed by you in any way. Whenever he wants to change something, he instantly destroys the Universe, manipulates its initial conditions during Creation, then fast forwards the Universe to the exact moment when he wanted the change to take effect".

You're saying that you, a program, can test for the existence of the programmer. And yet he controls your state. It's ludicrous.

I love arguing with crazy people - Christians are fun but you atheists take the cake.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

You're either being obtuse, or just silly... (none / 0) (#251)
by MrMikey on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 01:33:13 PM EST

Similarly, atheism is purported to be a theory, ...

It is? This is the first that I, an Atheist, have heard of it. Atheism is simply the lack of theism, the lack of a belief in a Deity or Deities. Now, some people go from this to say that "There are no Deities", in much the same way that people say "There is no Santa Claus" or "There is no Easter Bunny", namely "Given the dearth of evidence, I will take the provisional position that no such entity exists" Some Atheists leave out the "provisional" part.

"...when it is actually a belief system. The idea that God does not exist is not experimentally disprovable. If there was an experiment to prove that God doesn't exist it would have been done by now (though Hitler took a good crack at it). Atheism is a belief system."

Do you believe that pink unicorns actually exist? If not, do you describe your lack of belief as constituting a belief system?

"So the best thing about the debate over ID is that it exposes not just the likeable idiocy of its God-fearing proponents, but also the dark idiocy of some of its more vocal opponents: the atheists, who while purporting to advance science continue to espouse their irrational belief in an idea which is neither scientific nor useful."

When you look at a tree, and see holes in it, do you ascribe equal likelihood to "Perhaps it was woodpeckers" and "Perhaps it was little flying narwhales"?

Oh, please... we humans make assumptions based on a lack of observable evidence all the time. We can imagine all sorts of things, but we don't ascribe an equal probability of existence to each and every one of them. That would be impractical in the extreme.

Also, there is a world of difference between saying "I see no evidence supporting the assertion that a Deity exists" and saying "I don't understand how X could have evolved, therefore it didn't, therefore the only possible alternative explanation is that some Intelligence (which, coincidentally, is exactly like the Deity I already believe in) did it." The former notes a lack of evidence, while the latter mistakes ignorance for knowledge, and commits intellectual suicide for the sake of a pre-existing religious belief.

[ Parent ]

Hmmm? (none / 0) (#253)
by sllort on Sun Oct 30, 2005 at 05:55:51 PM EST

Do you believe that pink unicorns actually exist?

No, nor do I believe that they do not exist. Believing that God may or may not exist is known as being "agnostic". Believing that God does not exist is known as being an "atheist". Please do not attempt to align the completely sane agnostics with the completely irrational atheists, as they are entirely different groups.

If not, do you describe your lack of belief as constituting a belief system?

No, because my lack of belief is only one component of my belief system; see the term "agnostic" above.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Futher... (none / 0) (#255)
by MrMikey on Mon Oct 31, 2005 at 05:24:31 PM EST

"Do you believe that pink unicorns actually exist?"

No, nor do I believe that they do not exist. Believing that God may or may not exist is known as being "agnostic".
Many people use the term "agnostic" in this way, but that isn't the way Thomas Huxley, the man who invented the word and the concept, defined it. He defined agnostic (a - gnosis, without knowledge) as the position summed up by "The answer to the question 'Does God exist?' is both unknown and unknowable." This is a different thing from simply saying that the answer to the question 'Does God exist?' is "We don't know." The "unknowable" part is an essential component.

Believing that God does not exist is known as being an "atheist".
There is "Strong Atheism", which makes the positive statement "No Deities exist.", and "Weak Atheism", which states "I see no evidence that a Deity or Deities exist." I am a Weak Atheist.

Please do not attempt to align the completely sane agnostics with the completely irrational atheists, as they are entirely different groups.

Rubbish. Given the dearth of evidence, it is no more irrational to say that "There are no Deities", than it is to say "There are no leprechauns." Most people would readily agree with the second statement; why does the first statement ruffle so many feathers?

At most, you could correctly, if unnecessarily pedantically remind us that "an absense of evidence does not, in and of itself, constitute evidence of absence." But, again, people don't think or behave as if the possibilities "It could have been the fairies or unicorns." carry any weight when trying to figure out where their car keys went, or what broke their window.

"If not, do you describe your lack of belief as constituting a belief system?"

No, because my lack of belief is only one component of my belief system; see the term "agnostic" above.

Then how do you justify calling Atheism a belief system?

[ Parent ]

Whoa (none / 0) (#256)
by sllort on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 05:19:50 PM EST

So now I am left to ponder the difference between "agnosticism" (Wikipedia: "those who are unconvinced or noncommittal about the existence of deities as well as other matters of religion") and "weak atheism": "the denial of the existence of God or gods, without a commitment to the necessary non-existence of God or gods"). After which I must ponder the claim: "Agnosticism, in both strong (explicit) and weak (implicit) forms, is necessarily a non-atheist and non-theist position."

Are we really debating who's more sane: people who state that they don't know anything about the unprovable, or those who state they don't know anything about the unprovable, but are pretty sure they know something anyway...

...?

I really don't care. 99% of the population has never heard of these distinctions and don't know they exist. When they hear "atheists", they think of this meaning:

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=atheism
"The doctrine that there is no God or gods."

Doctrine, belief system, cult, whatever you want to call it, that's what I mean when I speak about atheism. The fervent, fanatical belief that there is nothing in the Universe outside of what they have already discovered.

They're as nutty as the Branch Davidians, and I think it's time somebody pointed it out. Hopefully the Intelligent Design debate will give us that chance.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

You are getting pretty excited (none / 0) (#257)
by MrMikey on Sat Nov 05, 2005 at 10:17:53 AM EST

over what I see as being a minor semantic quibble.

In real life, people assert that all manner of things don't exist based upon a lack of evidence. No one actually says "Well, yes, it could be that leprechauns, fairies, and unicorns really do exist." Sure, the more pedantic among us will agree that, logically, one can't prove the non-existence of something based on a lack of evidence (which, if you think about it, is just a restatement of 'you can't prove a negative').

But, come on now, is there really any difference between saying "I don't think Santa Claus exists, because there's no evidence." and "I don't think God exists, because there's no evidence." ?

Most people wouldn't bat an eye to the former, but some get all excited about hearing the latter.

If you have evidence of a Deity or Deities, any of the thousands that humans have and do believe in, then let's see it. If you don't, then we're just playing "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" word games.

You want to find some "fervent, fanatical belief" among Atheists. Why? How is not believing in God any different than not believing in the Tooth Fairy?

[ Parent ]

The tooth fairy is not omnipotent. (none / 0) (#258)
by sllort on Sun Nov 06, 2005 at 07:04:54 PM EST

"How is not believing in God any different than not believing in the Tooth Fairy?"

The idea that the Tooth Fairy exists, like Santa Claus, is a disprovable idea. You can put a camera in the kids room and see who delivers the money, and by the tree to see who drops off the presents. With enough resources it would be entirely possible to videotape every Christmas tree in the entire world on Christmas day. You can scientifically test for the existence of Santa Claus. In fact, I'm pretty sure that it's going to be a subitem in PATRIOT ACT III. The existence of an omnipotent creator, however, is not experimentally disprovable, and never will be.

The fact that you are asking such a question is odd - have you even considered setting up an experiment? Do you use Science as your filter, or something else? Belief?

Anyone who says "I am scientifically certain that the Universe was not created" - that person is pretty much nuts. What experiment did they conduct? What were their results? Where is the proof?

Basically it comes down to the Scientific Method. That which can be demonstrated with it, I believe in. That which cannot falls outside the realm of things I can speak to.

Hence, I do not speak to the existence of God. And I loathe those who do: Christians, Atheists, zealots of every stripe.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Yes she is, and boy, is she mad at you! (none / 0) (#259)
by MrMikey on Mon Nov 07, 2005 at 01:05:44 AM EST

"How is not believing in God any different than not believing in the Tooth Fairy?"

The idea that the Tooth Fairy exists, like Santa Claus, is a disprovable idea. You can put a camera in the kids room and see who delivers the money, and by the tree to see who drops off the presents. With enough resources it would be entirely possible to videotape every Christmas tree in the entire world on Christmas day. You can scientifically test for the existence of Santa Claus. In fact, I'm pretty sure that it's going to be a subitem in PATRIOT ACT III.

You don't get it. I could come along and say "Well, sure, the ones you photographed were all done by humans, and not the Tooth Fairy or Santa Clause. But, you see, they don't want you to photograph them, so they arranged for you to see humans doing it instead. They're very sneaky that way." Would such an "explanation" be taken seriously? No, but that's the kicker: it doesn't have to be. All I have to do is think up a scenario in which your observation still fit my world view (e.g. that the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus exist) and I'm good. That is why the concept of "proof" is meaningless. You haven't really proved anything, in the strict sense of proof as providing 100% certainty. What you have done is provide a proponderance of evidence, but that's what we do already.

The existence of an omnipotent creator, however, is not experimentally disprovable, and never will be.

Correct... and the existence of the Tooth Fairy isn't experimentally disprovable, either. The best you can say is that you've failed to observe the Tooth Fairy in any way... or, in other words, you can say that you have an absence of evidence that the Tooth Fairy exists.

Likewise, I have an absence of evidence that a Deity, omnipotent or otherwise, exists. It's the same thing... the exact same thing.

The fact that you are asking such a question is odd - have you even considered setting up an experiment? Do you use Science as your filter, or something else? Belief?

I have no evidence before me. I've heard of no one who has evidence to offer. Every claim I've seen of evidence has fallen through. I asked if you had any evidence to offer, and, so far, none has been forthcoming from you. The experiments done to date to observe phenomena of the Universe, have, to a one, have failed to give any indication that a "God Hypothesis" would add any predictive or explanatory power to any of our theories or hypotheses of how the Universe works. Our observations of the Universe are completely existent with the non-existence of a Deity or Deities (of which there are thousands, btw). Now, you could do the oh so silly "Well, God wants the Universe to look exactly as if He didn't exist or act", but that's no better than solipsism.

Anyone who says "I am scientifically certain that the Universe was not created" - that person is pretty much nuts. What experiment did they conduct? What were their results? Where is the proof?

If it makes you feel any better, I don't know of anyone who claims that, including me. What I do say is that I've yet to see any evidence to support the notion that a Deity or Deities exist. If you have an experiment we could perform, whose outcome is consistent with the existence of a Deity or Deities, I'd like to see it.

Basically it comes down to the Scientific Method. That which can be demonstrated with it, I believe in. That which cannot falls outside the realm of things I can speak to.

Hence, I do not speak to the existence of God. And I loathe those who do: Christians, Atheists, zealots of every stripe.

Well, you are free to have that rather (IMO) idiosyncratic metric for defining "things which you can speak to", but the rest of us don't have to share it. I can speak to the Flying Spagetti Monster at great length, just for fun.

[ Parent ]

Mommy, why is the Tooth Fairy all powerful? (none / 0) (#262)
by sllort on Tue Jan 24, 2006 at 11:05:22 PM EST

You don't get it. I could come along and say "Well, sure, the ones you photographed were all done by humans, and not the Tooth Fairy or Santa Clause. But, you see, they don't want you to photograph them, so they arranged for you to see humans doing it instead. They're very sneaky that way." Would such an "explanation" be taken seriously? No, but that's the kicker: it doesn't have to be. All I have to do is think up a scenario in which your observation still fit my world view (e.g. that the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus exist) and I'm good. That is why the concept of "proof" is meaningless. You haven't really proved anything, in the strict sense of proof as providing 100% certainty. What you have done is provide a proponderance of evidence, but that's what we do already.

You could indeed say that, but you'd be dismissed as an insane person. Only an omnipotent being can be immune to all forms of surveillance. The fact that you're trying to attribute omnipotence to the Tooth Fairy myth shows just how far you've been forced to dig, and that's only the first paragraph. Reply if you need the rest of your arguments crushed.

An atheist is a person who believes that God does not exist; an utterly insane belief system that isn't even rooted in poorly sourced mythology like Jesus or Nostradamus.

Do not bother people with your idiotic diluted interpretations of atheism; a "weak atheist" is an atheist who's too dumb to go to the gym. People with dangerous belief systems should be exposed and ridiculed, and that certainly includes people who have a belief that they can disprove the un-disprovable.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Honey, the Tooth Fairy is make believe. (none / 0) (#263)
by MrMikey on Mon Jan 30, 2006 at 11:49:42 AM EST

You don't get it. I could come along and say "Well, sure, the ones you photographed were all done by humans, and not the Tooth Fairy or Santa Clause. But, you see, they don't want you to photograph them, so they arranged for you to see humans doing it instead. They're very sneaky that way." Would such an "explanation" be taken seriously? No, but that's the kicker: it doesn't have to be. All I have to do is think up a scenario in which your observation still fit my world view (e.g. that the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus exist) and I'm good. That is why the concept of "proof" is meaningless. You haven't really proved anything, in the strict sense of proof as providing 100% certainty. What you have done is provide a proponderance of evidence, but that's what we do already.
You could indeed say that, but you'd be dismissed as an insane person.
What, as opposed to someone who claims that the Earth is 6,000 years old, or that two of every animal was once put on a boat to escape a flood that covered the planet for forty days? People really do believe all sorts of things that I personally consider insane.
Only an omnipotent being can be immune to all forms of surveillance.
If there's no evidence that something exists, then why oh why assume that it does? What do you gain by doing so?
The fact that you're trying to attribute omnipotence to the Tooth Fairy myth shows just how far you've been forced to dig, and that's only the first paragraph. Reply if you need the rest of your arguments crushed.
LOL! You're a funny guy/girl.

From my perspective, this imaginary Omnipotent Being (OB) you speak of is just as real to me as the Tooth Fairy... that is to say, not.

You can't offer me any evidence to support the assertion that this OB exists. You can't give me any reason at all why I should assume this OB exists. You can assert that this OB has whatever characteristics you wish to so as to suit your world view. I'm sure that gives you a warm, fuzzy, feeling, but, beyond that, I don't see how it helps you understand reality in any way, nor do I see this assertion as being of any use.

An atheist is a person who believes that God does not exist;
Not quite... an atheist is a person who lacks a belief in a Deity or Deities (humans have worshipped thousands of different ones, so speaking of "God" as if there was just the one is more than a little disingenuous). Now, they may also believe that no Deity or Deities exist (strong atheism), or simply note that there's no evidence that they do (weak atheism), and leave it at that.
... an utterly insane belief system that isn't even rooted in poorly sourced mythology like Jesus or Nostradamus.
Nostradamus is mythology? Huh...

Anyway, what's insane about saying "I see no evidence for the Tooth Fairy / Leprechauns / Deities, so I'll provisionally assume they don't exist, until such time as I have evidence to the contrary." ? When you walk by a tree, and see some small holes in it, do you immediately assume that small, flying unicorns made those holes? When your car keys go missing, do you immediately assume that some kleptomaniac gnome took them?

We humans make assumptions every day as to what does or does not exist. You just have your shorts in a knot because some of us note the lack of evidence for the existence of your favorite imaginary friend, and say so.

Do not bother people with your idiotic diluted interpretations of atheism; a "weak atheist" is an atheist who's too dumb to go to the gym.

Clearly, my arguments cannot withstand such piercing insight, reason, and eloquence.

You are a silly person.

People with dangerous belief systems should be exposed and ridiculed, and that certainly includes people who have a belief that they can disprove the un-disprovable.
I cannot, and have said more than once that I cannot, disprove the assertion "An Omnipotent Being exists."

I can say "I see no evidence for this OB, so, provisionally, I'll assume no OB exists."

Why should I assume otherwise? Yes, it is certainly possible that an OB exists. What of it?

[ Parent ]

a few inaccuracies (2.50 / 2) (#153)
by tyates on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:04:14 PM EST

There are a few reasons this article doesn't make sense. The issue before the court is whether states have the right to teach ID alongside evolution as a competing theory. But ID doesn't say who made the earth and all the various species, just that some entity did. So it certainly wouldn't infringe on any existing religious or atheistic beliefs. God isn't mentioned, only a creator. The creator could be an alien. Second, it references Alan Keyes as the token black republican at the convention, when I believe both Colin Powell and Candoleeza Rice spoke there. Colin Powell certianly did. The comment about Bush being a hard drinker is not only unfair, but inaccurate, it's widely known that he hasn't touched alcohol in close to twenty years, unless you believe the recent Inquirer reports - and why would we? The better argument against ID is that it's just defies the evidence. You can walk into the museum of natural history and see the entire fossil record. Single celled creatures were around 550 million years ago, and you can see from the record that they get more and more complex as you get closer to the top. (The oldest fossils are at the bottom of course.) if that's not evidence, what is?

Those are easy (none / 1) (#169)
by codejack on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 08:42:41 AM EST

Right; ID doesn't specify who made the earth, but it does imply a supernatural (i.e. not aliens) intelligence, which most certainly does infringe on atheistic beliefs.

Alan Keyes is referenced as the token black thrown out of the convention, an apparently too subtle reference to his being removed from the 2000 GOP convention. Bush getting drunk and having to be hauled back to his ranch to dry out every few months has been something of an open secret ever since he was elected.

I wish I could stop refuting you there, but I can't. ID does not defy the fossil evidence, it says that the evidence was either a byproduct of the process that created us, or, as some would have it, false evidence planted to test our faith. As the first contention is impossible to debate, and the second merely distasteful, I will refrain from either.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
ahh, lovely... (1.20 / 5) (#154)
by creativedissonance on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 11:37:28 PM EST

...soon the 36 hour limit will be reached and this POS article will be consigned to oblivion.




ay yo i run linux and word on the street
is that this is where i need to be to get my butt stuffed like a turkey - br14n
Oh, jolly good (1.25 / 4) (#157)
by nostalgiphile on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 03:29:04 AM EST

You're wrong and here it is at the top of the section page. Next time just STFU in advance, k?

"Depending on your perspective you are an optimist or a pessimist[,] and a hopeless one too." --trhurler
[ Parent ]
no yuo (none / 0) (#214)
by Wealthy Foreign Investor on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 07:14:02 AM EST


* ANOTHER LEGITIMATE ACCOUNT ANONYMIZED - IF YUO SUPPORT ANONYMIZATION, YUO SUPPORT TERRORISM *
[ Parent ]
God's Mind (3.00 / 3) (#156)
by EphraimT on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 02:24:31 AM EST

The arrogance implicit in Intelligent Design, that any one person or group of people knows the Creator's Mind so well that they can honestly and sincerely promote from their fevered brains an organized plan by the Creator that leads to their existance, is the most truly frightening aspect of this "theory". If these believers in ID (ignoring those who cynically use ID as part of a political agenda) felt socially threatened, and the war in Iraq started going badly, and the economy started to falter, and there were terrible cataclysms, and the middle class was slowly becoming a thing of the past what else could they justify?

Oops ... o/~ What if God was one of us ... o/~

Self Referentially Absurd (2.50 / 2) (#182)
by stoolpigeon on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 12:12:50 PM EST

how is what you just said less arrogant by your own criteria? How do you know more about god than they do?
I ran. I ran so far away.
[ Parent ]
That's because ... (none / 0) (#211)
by EphraimT on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 02:47:59 AM EST

... you're a moron, but that's okay, you can help the other two people who truly believe in ID look for their bango pick.

What? What's that you say? I offended you? Awwwwwww, poor baby. But, frankly, what do you expect when you just have to take the cheap shot?

Squeal now, boy!! Squeal like a pig!

[ Parent ]
An obvious yet usually ignored fact (3.00 / 4) (#161)
by some nerd on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 05:56:47 AM EST

is that believing in ID and evolution simultaneously is entirely possible and valid.

Let's take it on faith (because you have to) that the God of your choice exists, that they created the universe, and that they are responsible for the present design of all life. In other words that ID is true.

Now, how do you suppose us mere mortals can understand how God would do this? That's pretty arrogant. How is it even possible, given we're part of the system we're trying to observe? I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to bother micromanaging every quantum interaction in those uncountable squillions of organisms if I could, in my omnipotent wisdom, just establish initial conditions / rules then manipulate conditions and monitor progress to achieve exactly the same thing. Also notice that the Bible does not say how the ID process was achieved, just that it was. In fact the creation process is talked about in exactly such broad strokes of changing conditions, like "sending rain upon the earth" and separating land from sea. Also, there's the issue of free will : the Bible teaches that people are created by God but then are given freedom to do as they will, sin etc. This doesn't seem compatible with an obsessive micro-managing God that constantly controls every atom in our bodies.

Anyway, we do not (and cannot!) know how God does it. But why on earth does that even matter? Surely the important issue for the faithful is that He does it, not exactly how.

A simple solution therefore is to teach evolution exactly as before, but add a phrase like :
"Some people believe that the development of species is directed by a God in some way. This might occur for example by direct intervention to cause adaptation, or by controlling the environment. From a scientific viewpoint, the important issue is that there is strong evidence for evolution through a process of continual adaptation. Exactly how this is achieved reduces to a question of how the universe works at the fundamental levels, which is a metaphysical question science cannot and does not attempt to answer."

This still leaves out the ultra-fundies that believe no species has ever changed in any way at all since the earth was created a few thousand years ago and the abundant evidence to the contrary was put there to test our faith, but most ID supporters aren't that extreme - they simply think (wrongly) that evolution denies God's existence out of hand by providing an alternative explanation, and to be fair they are being antagonised by some militant atheists that push exactly that interpretation on the other side. So I think something like the above could work for both sides, unless the real agenda of most ID'ers is just to impose their religion on everyone else via the state.

--
Home Sweet Home

Evolutionary Naturalism vs ID not evolution vs ID (none / 1) (#165)
by hungus on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 06:47:38 AM EST

You have made the jump that so many people have unfortunately in dealing with evolution in general vs. Evolutionary Naturalism. There certainly are many people who ascribe to a combination of theistic evolution (most Catholics I know fall into this category, but they are almost all Jesuits). However the current debate is around what is taught in schools, which is Evolutionary Naturalism and ID.

Evolutionary Naturalism requires that all processes involved with creation be empirically (dis)provable and thus denies the supernatural by definition. ID says that empiricism is fine with the caveat that there is the possibility ,. if not the probability, that there has been outside interference with natural processes specifically to cause life on our own ball of dirt.

Here is the kicker... both are philosophies taken on faith and neither is empirically (dis)provable. They are not empirically (dis)provable because they rely on history and historical facts are not empirical (repeatable). let us face the fact that it is not possible for us to create another universe and wait a few billion years to prove evolutionary naturalism (which ironically would disprove it since that universe would have been created by intelligent design) It is equally impossible to empirically prove intelligent design for the same reasons, we cannot go and create some other life form (God, spaghetti monsters, etc.) and have them create a universe or even stumble onto one that we created and have them restart the process of life.

begin dry humour

I mean I talked to God this morning about redoing an iteration of the universe and He wouldn't go for it. To many problems associated with it all. Paperwork has to be filed, then there is the process of getting the grants, writing all the papers justifying it it is just all to much work and if He does it now then when the next batch comes along He has to do the same thing to prove creation was intelligently designed to them too. And what does he get? a bunch of folks who really just do not appreciate Him or his work so the question of redoing creation was right out.

end dry humour

[ Parent ]

no, no & no (none / 0) (#173)
by tetsuwan on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 10:51:59 AM EST

Evolution is not evolutionary naturalism. If you frame evolution to be a cosmic evolution, with continuuity from the beginning of time until now, yes, you have a sort of atheistic religion.

The beginning of life here on earth is still unexplained. However, what scientific evolutionary theory claims is that, if we start from the first self-replicating organism, natural selection can explain all of the life-forms that followed from it. New species evolved and survived, or evolved and died. No divine tampering was needed. No specimen was introduced from outer space.

ID is a soft design, a poorly framed hypothesis, that cannot be disproven.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Evolution != Evolutionary Naturalism (none / 0) (#199)
by hungus on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 06:05:48 PM EST

I never claimed they were the same, to bad you reacted instead of actually reading. If you had read the post you would have seen that i specifically state that the argument currently abounding is not evolution vs. ID though that is what people tend to call it but rather evolutionary naturalism vs. ID. Unless you are intending to continue down the same mistaken path, you must define your terms. Evolution generally is not taught in schools with regards to the origins of life, evolutionary naturalism is.

[ Parent ]
I haven't been to high school in the US (none / 0) (#212)
by tetsuwan on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:19:42 AM EST

It was quite unclear whether you meant that evolutionary naturalism is taught while evolution should be, or that evolution is taught and the proponents of ID claim that evolutionary naturalism is.

Well, it appears that we agree.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 0) (#180)
by some nerd on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 11:51:36 AM EST

I'm not religious, and given the choice to dictate would keep religion totally away from any scientific issue. However I don't see anything wrong with pointing out that we don't know where the universe came from, we don't know if it's influenced by one or more external entities, and therefore we don't know for sure if all scientific observations are inserted into our reality by said party/parties for reasons unknown.

It's silly of course since whether our universe is real or inside a computer / controlled by a whacky unknowable God(s), it subjectively affects us just the same so science is still the best way to advance ourselves. It's sort of equally silly not to admit it though, the religious lobby groups are sure to point it out anyway.

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]

No (3.00 / 2) (#167)
by codejack on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 08:33:03 AM EST

First of all, I have no problem with putting caveats on evolution, or even teaching ID or religion or whatever else, just keep it out of science class! Even your notion of adding the phrase to it is fine, so long as it is said in History class, or English, maybe. Anything but science, please.

Second, screw the ultra-fundies, they're only glomming onto ID because they see it as the thin end of the wedge of bringing religion back into school in all respects, and forcing everyone in the world to convert to their brand of christianity, nevermind that many of them disagree on what exactly that brand is. There's nothing we can do for them, poor bastards. But here's where I disagree with you: Evolution may not deny god's existence out of hand, but it, and science in a broader sense, does strongly imply that god is either non-existent, or irrelevant, and that's what these people can't stand.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
re: No (none / 0) (#178)
by some nerd on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 11:31:57 AM EST

just keep it out of science class!

I see the argument for that, but you have to address that (religious) pupils and fundie parents will raise the issue when and where it's brought up. Maybe you could have a short stint of Really Vague Metaphysics 101 immediately before science covers it, to keep the separation.

Evolution may not deny god's existence out of hand, but it, and science in a broader sense, does strongly imply that god is either non-existent, or irrelevant, and that's what these people can't stand.
Well, that's true in that science has explained a lot of the "mysteries" in everyday life that appeals to religion used to be needed for. However I think that any religious types who see things that way have missed the rather significant point that Science cannot (and maybe never will) explain the existence of the universe that all these things happen in! So the concept of a creator still has a huge point in its favour. They would be much smarter to embrace science as a way of better understanding God's universe than seeing it as an enemy. Otherwise they will get -1 to research when they colonise Planet.

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]
Which god? (none / 0) (#183)
by A synx on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 12:18:07 PM EST

Science cannot (and maybe never will) explain the existence of the universe that all these things happen in! So the concept of a creator still has a huge point in its favour. They would be much smarter to embrace science as a way of better understanding God's universe than seeing it as an enemy.
Ah, but which god? :)  You're quoting Pascal's Wager, which has the sad flaw that it has no way to tell the nature of this god or gods, or creator, or initial condition, or whatever.  In other words the concept of a creator does nothing to explain the existence of the universe.  It explains the wishes and guesses of mankind about the universe.  There's nothing that says the universe couldn't have been created by a rapid cosmic expansion out of nowhere. There's nothing out there that says God isn't the random knocking about of matter and energy.  What is written, what has been sold as truth, is an unsubstantiated guess.

[ Parent ]
Way ahead of ya (none / 0) (#202)
by some nerd on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 06:28:47 PM EST

From original post : "Let's take it on faith (because you have to) that the God of your choice exists ..." or Gods for that matter.
Admittedly all a creator concept really does is move the question up a level, like panspermia does for the origin of life.
There's nothing out there that says God isn't the random knocking about of matter and energy.
A common atheist argument is that a God coming into existence and creating the universe is two incredibly unlikely events, whereas the universe spontaneously arising is one ... you can't exactly do probabilty math with shit like that though :)
ISTR reading somewhere that the juedo-christian God in His original YHWH (literally "I am that I am" or "I cause that which is to be") / Jehovah interpretation was considered to be a God of That Which Is, i.e. physically embodied by the observable universe. It's a nice idea, because if God is the universe then that reduces the problem from the two issues of God's existence + universe creation to just GodUniverse :) Also it seems that such beliefs if widely held would encourage environmental and social responsibilty, as hurting any lifeform is to hurt a part of God. Then again current major religions would be pretty cool if their supposed faithful actually did what they said. Excluding crazy Leviticus laws etc etc.

(Again, for the record I'm not personally religious - I'm agnostic.)

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]

So what's the point then? (none / 1) (#209)
by kitten on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 11:36:57 PM EST

If you're going to say that God is just the sum of all physical or natural interactions of the universe, why bother with the concept of God at all? Just leave it at "the universe".
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
I didn't say I believed it (none / 0) (#216)
by some nerd on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:51:52 AM EST

I'm agnostic because I think that there is no signficant evidence either way, and even if there is a God or Gods they would by definition be so far beyond us as to be impossible to relate to anyway.

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]
Way off (none / 0) (#198)
by codejack on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 05:06:55 PM EST

I see the argument for that, but you have to address that (religious) pupils and fundie parents will raise the issue when and where it's brought up.
No, I do not have to address the issue; Religion has nothing to do with science. If they want a class that deals with that, fine, have a nonsense class.
Maybe you could have a short stint of Really Vague Metaphysics 101 immediately before science covers it, to keep the separation.
Great, and then we have a brief stint of flat-earth theory right before Geography class.
Well, that's true in that science has explained a lot of the "mysteries" in everyday life that appeals to religion used to be needed for. However I think that any religious types who see things that way have missed the rather significant point that Science cannot (and maybe never will) explain the existence of the universe that all these things happen in! So the concept of a creator still has a huge point in its favour. They would be much smarter to embrace science as a way of better understanding God's universe than seeing it as an enemy. Otherwise they will get -1 to research when they colonise Planet.
Saying that science cannot explain the existence of te universe is like saying that religion cannot explain the existence of god; Perfectly true, but logically null. Religion is seen as the enemy only insofar as it attempts to hinder science, which is the real argument here. What I meant when i said that god is either non-existent or irrelevant is that even if god does exist, he either cannot influence the universe in any way (irrelevant), or influenced the universe only from the outset, and left it alone after that (might as well not exist).

The only argument remaining, really, is that of free will vs determinism, although science seems close to having a definitive answer for that as well.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Please enter a subject for your comment (none / 0) (#203)
by some nerd on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 07:16:17 PM EST

    No, I do not have to address the issue

Not you personally, but some group will have to if ID is forced into USian schools, which I think will happen in some form.

    Great, and then we have a brief stint of flat-earth theory right before Geography class

Not a widely held belief, current flat earth societies are mostly a joke like the Church of the SubGenius. Anyway every possible crazy theory is covered by RVM 101, since it's just the concept that since we don't understand the universe it's theoretically possible that all our observations are unreliable. (Thus it serves as a protective blanket to keep any specific dogma out of schools ... think of it as harm reduction.) There's no evidence for this, but hey it only takes 10 minutes to teach and maybe it will encourage students to really *think* about deep issues for once instead of just training them to be workplace automata. This could be accomplished in a way that would meet with Liberal approval, by a class screening of the original Matrix where good joints were passed around.

god is either non-existent or irrelevant is that even if god does exist, he either cannot influence the universe in any way (irrelevant), or influenced the universe only from the outset
Maybe. No evidence for that either :)
free will vs determinism, although science seems close to having a definitive answer for that as well
lol what? It's scarily easy to deprive people of their free will via drugs/torture/conditioning if that's what you're getting at, but where it "comes from" to begin with is surely a metaphysical question?

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]
Also : (none / 0) (#204)
by some nerd on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 07:27:25 PM EST

In this bit :
They would be much smarter to embrace science as a way of better understanding God's universe than seeing it as an enemy. Otherwise they will get -1 to research when they colonise Planet.
the "They" are the ID'ers, not the science camp as you appear to have interpreted it. I thought the Alpha Centauri reference would have made it clear, since it didn't I suggest you find a copy and cancel any activities outside your house for the next month or so. WE MUST DISSENT!

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]
/sigh (none / 0) (#229)
by codejack on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 07:43:54 AM EST

OK, it breaks down like this; I we have to address the issue of religious parents wanting their specific dogma taught in schools, the whole thing will fall apart so quickly we might as well just sit out the inevitable sectarian battle, and pick up the pieces afterwards with a really strong "This is why you keep this shit out of schools, dumbasses!"

As for the flat earth theory, my point was that if you bow to ID in science class, you will have to bow to any wacko belief that flies in the face of reality, and will contradict exactly what you are trying to teach so much that public education will end, which very well may be a goal of many proponents of ID.

Maybe. No evidence for that either :)
Exactly. No evidence for something that flies in the face of a logic and reason. My point was a logical exercise in the sense that any kind of "divine intervention" would either violate the laws of physics as we know them, in which case we would notice, or follow the laws of physics, in which case what's the point?

Free will vs. determinism: Religion requires the belief in free wil, otherwise how could you be held responsible for your actions? When I implied that science had an answer, I was referring to chaos theory, which implies that, while everything might very well be set down from initial conditions of the universe, the multitude of interconnections make it impossible to reliably predict just about anything, so the universe is deterministic, but it doesn't help us in any way because we will never know what happens next.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#230)
by some nerd on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 08:27:07 PM EST

    that public education will end, which very well may be a goal of many proponents of ID.

Interesting point. Undoubtedly the most fundie ones want God inserted everywhere in the state machinery and the separation clause struck from the constitution, but the bell curve suggests there are many relative moderates who just want their kids to be taught ID. You do have "faith schools" in the US don't you, with special dispensation to include religious content? Why can't all the ID'ers just send their offspring to those? Probably more funding would be needed to enable it, but perhaps it could keep the issue contained and not impose it on others. I'm sure the money could be found given the votes it would buy.

    I was referring to chaos theory (..)

Heh, so we don't have free will, just a really convincing simulation of it :) Just as well that we can't tell the difference then.

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]

Uh... (none / 0) (#234)
by codejack on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 08:56:09 AM EST

but the bell curve suggests there are many relative moderates who just want their kids to be taught ID.
Actually, the bell curve suggests that rich people want public education to fail so as to create as little competition for their own kids as possible. ID, to them, is just another way of screwing up public education.

You do have "faith schools" in the US don't you, with special dispensation to include religious content?
No, we do not. Only private schools are allowed to include any religious content other than extremely general "religions of the world (or at least America)" type lessons. There is something of a standoff here concerning christmas celebrations, etc, but even here, "christmas break" has become "winter break", lessons include information about hannukah, qwanza, and the like. The problem with funding this sort of tthing is that it opens the door to discrimination; Suppose I want to start a Satanic Rituals Academy with public funding, there's not a chance in hell (heh) that it would get approved, but the Ultra-Christian Academy of Righteousness across the street would get approved in a heartbeat.

Heh, so we don't have free will, just a really convincing simulation of it :) Just as well that we can't tell the difference then.
Actually, it's a moot point; Even if we don't have free will, we must act as if we do, or the whole system goes to hell; Or, we don't have any choice in the matter, anyway.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Faith schools (none / 0) (#237)
by some nerd on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 11:39:40 AM EST

rich people want public education to fail so as to create as little competition for their own kids as possible
Acting exactly as Darwinian theory predicts ..

        No, we do not (have faith schools)

Ah, that makes your situation more understandable. In the UK most educational establishments teach religion in a very generalised way much as you describe, but Catholic schools etc exist where almost exclusive focus on one religion, school prayer and the occassional service is practiced. Other than that they're normal state schools funded just the same. I went to an RC secondary and then a college so religious that it was run by monks until quite recently, despite being theoretically Church of England and agnostic in reality. They were the best ones in the area and whilst I would have preferred them sans religion they didn't do me any lasting harm as far as I can tell. Actually RE was pretty nice as a "free" GCSE since it was mostly rote memorisation, I just wish our teacher for 2 years hadn't been a rather odd/scary neo-puritan.

I think the religion in question has to be recognised by the state, so your Satanic Rituals Academy would probably have problems. Despite us having an "official" state religion of CofE we have plenty of Islamic schools and suchlike, actually projections show the majority religion becoming Islam in the not too distant future should current trends continue so this is really a monarchistic hangover rather than anything meaningful.

Given that the US is significantly more religious on average than we are it would perhaps be acceptable if you had such things to act as a fundie pressure release valve, but that pesky constitution thing might make it difficult.

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]

Not so much (none / 0) (#238)
by codejack on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 11:53:09 AM EST

Acting exactly as Darwinian theory predicts ..
And then we eat them, exactly as Darwinian theory predicts.

I think the religion in question has to be recognised by the state
Satanism, or rather, the church of satan, is recognised by the state. The real problem here is that being left alone isn't good enough for the "fundies"; They want to tell everyone how to live, and, as we are now seeing with Bush's "faith-based" initiatives, if you give them an inch, they'll take a mile.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps .. (none / 0) (#240)
by some nerd on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 06:09:48 PM EST

For the hardcore, you're very probably right that they won't be happy till they have a full blown United States of Jesus theocracy. It comes down to demographics if a divide and conquer strategy could buy off enough of their support to render them an ineffective lobby without causing too much trouble for others.

There is risk involved in appeasement though, yes. Stubborn resistance and waving the first ammendment about a lot is probably the best first line tactic. I can't really see how state funding of a mostly-ordinary faith school would be 'making a law respecting an establishment of religion', at least no more so than the direct funding of churches Bush v2 has already done, so if general ID tuition is defeated you may still end up with that.

--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]

occam's razor (none / 0) (#221)
by Eight Star on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 04:10:35 PM EST

The beliefs of those people is not science. Godless darwinian evolution is adequate to explain. Trying to wedge a superentity into the equation is a matter of faith.

Granted, science doesn't say it didn't happen, but the only reason you attempt the insertion is because your theology breaks down without a creator-God.

[ Parent ]

You know what I think is the craziest thing here? (none / 1) (#243)
by DavidTC on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 02:36:52 PM EST

People asserting that some sort of superentity exist, and then pretending that they aren't thinking of a specific superentity. In fact, they go so far as to pretend we should take no interest in this superentity at all. It just 'exists' and meddles in this one thing.

You know, if there's a superentity out there doing shit to this universe, it is very important to every single thing we learn in school.

You can't just bring it up in biology and then handwave it away everywhere else. It needs to be brought up in history (Perhaps this superentity is messing with our memories and records.), it needs to be brought in every science, etc.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

The God I know (none / 0) (#228)
by frippin on Sun Oct 02, 2005 at 03:32:47 AM EST

isn't the laid-back manager you describe.

If anything, ID points to an alien race interefering with our evolutionary process. After all, why would the God of Abraham, who created the earth the sky and the see, smote enemies and destroys cities with his wrathful fire, stoop to the level of chemistry to achieve his will?

ID is great, AFAIC, because it contradicts the personally involved view of God that the irritating branch of Christianity so reveres. Of course, dealing with contradiction is a strength of the religious, so this contradiction only serves to amuse me and my noodly master.

[ Parent ]

I LOVE INTELLIGENT DESIGN!!!!! (none / 1) (#175)
by LiLWiP on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 11:04:20 AM EST

cause now we can see the flaws in our court system! Check out this letter http://www.venganza.org/ Now, coming from someone who is an atheist, I personally feel that religion should be taught in our schools, as an ELECTIVE. Don't force anyone to take it, but if parents want their children exposed to it, then they can take a class. The problem with this is that we would have to have a class devoted to EVERY kind of "religion" out there (Scientology and Flying Spaghetti Monsterism included!) People are too hung up on being litigious and not concerned about expanding our youths minds and giving them options. I have already told my wife that when our children are old enough to make their own decisions, if they WANT to go to church, I will happily take them. It is their choice, not mine. I am not interested in making my children believe the way that I do. I am interested in raising a free thinking children who will hopefully grow to be free thinking adults.

Poll Options (2.66 / 3) (#177)
by iLurk on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 11:26:47 AM EST

Evolution doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the origin of life.

+1 satire and being nice to atheists (none / 0) (#181)
by A synx on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 12:06:37 PM EST

> of the tens of people who genuinely believe in ID
Haha, the tens of people I love it...

Fool!  You cannot resist the power of His Noodly Appendage

I mean, what is PC-Talk ?? (nt) (none / 1) (#189)
by vqp on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 12:29:29 PM EST



happiness = d(Reality - Expectations) / dt

The Grand Hypocracy (3.00 / 3) (#194)
by hershmire on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 03:17:04 PM EST

It seems to me that any person who would have their religious beliefs imposed on the government (through moralizing laws to teaching doctrine in school) would scream bloody murder if the goverment ever started to dictate any aspect of their religion.

Separation of Church and State is a two-way street. If thumpers want creationism taught in schools, then the legislature should be able to change religious tenants by acts of law. How would they like a bill requiring the Sabbath be celebrated on Tuesday or prohibiting the blood of Christ to those under 21? If this ever happened, you can be damn sure that these Christian Fundies would immediately scream for separation of C&S.
FIXME: Insert quote about procrastination
Vote on it (none / 1) (#201)
by dollyknot on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 06:15:03 PM EST

Time is being wasted plz add your clicks


They call it an elephant's trunk, whereas it is in fact an elephant's nose - a nose by any other name would smell as sweetly.

My favourite God / universe theory (none / 1) (#205)
by some nerd on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 07:33:41 PM EST

Is this one  here. No it's not just "OMG teh Matrix", read it.

Along similar lines there's a great short SF story, I think by Asimov(??) whereby future humans ask a computer of increasingly staggering power if there's a way to reverse entropy. I won't spoil that more than I already have though.

--
Home Sweet Home

What this demonstrates: (none / 1) (#208)
by Shimmer on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 10:33:51 PM EST

From an arbitrarily implausible set of assumptions, you can derive nearly any desired conclusion (a.k.a. "GIGO"). It's an interesting philosophical exercise (and I'd like to know exactly how many bong hits it required), but it proves nothing. It doesn't even pass the sniff test of plausibility.

But thanks for the links. Fun reading. I'm jealous that some people get paid to think up stuff like that.

-- Brian

Wizard needs food badly.
[ Parent ]

That Asimov Story (3.00 / 2) (#219)
by localroger on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 03:04:56 PM EST

was The Last Question.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
Thanks [nt] (none / 0) (#225)
by some nerd on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:51:28 PM EST



--
Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]
Ah, hell, Equal time for Satan (none / 0) (#226)
by lukme on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 10:58:18 PM EST

Whos to say that Satan didn't create all humankind. ID doesn't discriminate, you can't test it.


-----------------------------------
It's awfully hard to fly with eagles when you're a turkey.
Bah (none / 0) (#227)
by trhurler on Sat Oct 01, 2005 at 11:40:19 PM EST

Roberts may well turn out to be a great guy. Some of the justices most beloved of the modern left were appointed by Republicans they hated(Reagan, for instance.)

Bush is not Ashcroft. He may be a Christian, but he's not some maniac trying to turn the US into a theocracy. The fact that he doesn't hate religion as you do does not mean he's the American Ayatollah.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Science vs. Norse Mythology (none / 0) (#235)
by Drog on Mon Oct 03, 2005 at 09:47:44 AM EST

A discussion on this topic is ongoing at my site too (we have a fair number of posters now), where I posted this link to a very funny and insightful cartoon. Thought I'd share it here.

Enjoy!

Looking for political forums? Check out "The World Forum". News feed available here on K5.

Graffiti in my liver (none / 0) (#246)
by FireGuy on Wed Oct 05, 2005 at 12:14:17 AM EST

Well, I certainly don't disagree with your rant as a whole, however, you didn't make an argument that would sway a "believer." You should deconstruct their arguing points using points they can respect. I say this because I'm a former Protestant minister.

However, now I'm an atheist and a fornicating pornographer, but even still there is the conundrum of DNA, which, as far as we know, is the basis for all life. DNA itself contains the instructions for the construction, function and maintenance of all organisms, hence, a language. Thus a language predated all life.

BEFORE there is natural selection, mutation or even maturation, there was language, conveying complete thoughts, a product of ...?

I was curious why I turned out to be a smut producer, so I went to the lab to have my DNA analyzed, and it had over 11,000 occurrences of the words "ass," "boobs," and "wee-wee."

I'd love to hear theories on the evolution of DNA (and RNA and the environments that sustain them), beyond the feeble Krebs cycle introduction. Seriously, I'd love to hear them.

But please, no emotional explosions or 13+ paragraph manifestos. Just good ideas. I have a song for us all...

Everybody is fussin' and fightin'
'bout where we all come from
Everybody is wonderin' where we go
when the whole thing's done

But no one knows for certain and it's all the same to me
I guess I'll let the mystery be.

Alex Firestone www.firegirls.com

pretty much off topic, but where is Sellison? (none / 0) (#248)
by tinkertux on Thu Oct 06, 2005 at 08:31:02 PM EST

I'd thought he'd been on this like incompetent on GWB. I've been gone a while. Was there a purge?

The Poll makes a common mistake... (none / 0) (#252)
by MrMikey on Sun Oct 16, 2005 at 01:49:03 PM EST

in that it conflates "evolution" with "the origin of life."

Evolution is a fact and a theory. It is a fact, in that we directly observe changes over time in populations of living things (and indirectly observe those patterns in the remains of past living things) and call this pattern of change "evolution." The scientific theory that helps us understand and explain the data which documents this pattern of change is called evolutionary theory.

Evolutionary theory is concerned with how populations of living things change over time. It does not concern itself with how the first living things got there in the first place, except very tangentially. If a passing tour bus of wee green blobbies from Alpha Centauri had deposited the first primitive lifeforms on Earth, that wouldn't change evolutionary theory.

Abiogenesis is the process by which life arises from non-living matter. We are only at the hypothesis stage in our understanding of the phenomenon. To be honest, I should say "alleged" phenomenon, but, given the lack of viable alternative explanations, the "alleged" part is left off. And, if you want to be that pedantic (and I don't), all phenomena are "alleged" to one degree or another.

two sides of the same coin (none / 0) (#260)
by waxfanatic on Thu Dec 22, 2005 at 04:41:24 PM EST

I found the entire argument over ID quite enlightening. Contrary to the description of it being between religion and science. From the dogmatic absolutist mentality demonstrated by those "defending" the theory of evolution. I'd say it was more like a fight between two religious sects. I cant think of a bigger threat to science and the teaching of it than when supposed scientists refuse to challenge a long standing theory but instead defend it as though it were holy writ. All this idiotic paranoia/bigotry certain people have towards religious types. Blinds them to the fact that the very frame of mind they fear being imposed on them. Is already quite entrenched thanks to their own actions. "bout the only difference between the 2 main groups of people who'd shove their world view down our pie holes. Is that one uses the word morality and the other uses the term social justice in reference to the same concept. Now ask yourself.. which of the two has managed to affect how youre able to behave more...while ranting about the dangers of the other group doing just that? While I'm no fan of the holy rollers. They're not the ones we need to be most vigilant about. Sadly, while most of us have been fixated on the tea totalers saying all the things we dislike. Its been the nanny statists that have been blowing sunshine up our arses who are f*cking us most.

I think your analysis... (none / 0) (#261)
by MrMikey on Mon Jan 09, 2006 at 12:26:52 PM EST

fails to consider several points, and fundamentally misunderstands the source and nature of the conflict between those who assert the validity of evolutionary theory, and those supporting the idea of Intelligent Design.

First, evolutionary theory is a scientific theory supported by falsifiable hypotheses which have been repeatedly tested, and not falsified. It is supported by mountains of evidence. It is completely consistent with all of our observations and experimental results. It's ideas have been successfully applied in a variety of fields. The idea of Intelligent Design has done none of these things, has no predictive or explanatory power, and has no evidence to support it. It is nothing more than an argument from personal incredulity.

As such, it does not, in fact, represent a "challenge to a long-standing theory" since it is not, itself, a valid theory, and has no evidence or experimental outcomes with which to mount a challenge. It is pseudoscience... it uses the terminology and form of science, but none of its content or rigor.

If you seem to see a "dogmatic absolutist mentality", I'd say it is because this scientific theory is facing constant, vocal, irrational (as in not based on reason) opposition from people who see a conflict between evolutionary theory and their religious beliefs, and cannot accept that conflict's existence.

I note with amusement that you don't seem to have a problem with those elements of science which produced the computer you are using to post your thoughts. As for how a scientific theory relates to "nanny statists", that is something you'll have to explain.

[ Parent ]

The Great Thing About Intelligent Design | 263 comments (211 topical, 52 editorial, 0 hidden)
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