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(Telegraph)   The Vatican officially endorses Darwinism, forcing "Intelligent Design" advocates to find their tinfoil skullcaps to keep the scientific brainwaves out   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 699
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25656 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Feb 2009 at 11:31 AM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-02-11 06:33:02 PM
pic20.picturetrail.com
 
2009-02-11 06:42:56 PM
Has anyone chimed in to point out that calling evolutionary biology "Darwinism" is no more sensible than calling physics "Newtonism"?

Or that Darwinian evolution has nothing to say about abiogenesis?
 
2009-02-11 06:43:49 PM
maddogdelta: After posting that, I always feel dirty, so allow me to post a picture of Bettie Page...

She made her gloves out of CHILDREN?!!!???



That's hawt.


entropic_existence: It is something we talk about in evolutionary biology and there is a real, scientific difference, like I said mostly in scale, between the two. Hell there are some very interesting questions to be asked when dealing with the macro-scale versus the micro.

It would indeed sound silly if someone said "there is no difference between seconds and hours!" but of course "scale" is not what they imply by their comments, but that "seconds can happen, but hours...? Impossible!" The forehead-slapping and "there is no difference!" replies are because... well... they're both just ways we measure specific allocations of time.

People would be better off replying more specifically, of course, but this is Fark. And the whole Creationist macro/micro bullshiat is so oft-mentioned that no one cares to parse terminology with them... just smack them upside the head.


My short reply would tend to be "in what way are they different?" or "by what system is macroevolution deemed impossible?" but since when do they actually answer questions like that directed at them?
 
2009-02-11 06:44:38 PM
Man On Pink Corner: Or that Darwinian evolution has nothing to say about abiogenesis?

I've said that a couple times myself, and others have mentioned it too. And yeah the Darwinism thing is just silly.
 
2009-02-11 06:45:37 PM
Old news, Pius XII said that back inthe 1950's shows how up with it any Bristish paper is when it comes to Christian Theology...

/there are theroies of evolution that are not compatable with Christian theology, htat is why they are called theroies! Darwin just said that the strongest survives...that is except when the federal government pays for stupid people to continue to live and have more time then normal people to procreate...
 
2009-02-11 06:48:52 PM
Instant Karma: Next up, The Divine Spark, formerly known as the "Big Bang".

Considering it was a catholic priest who came up with the theory, they can call it whatever they want.
 
2009-02-11 06:53:33 PM
The onus is on scientists to directly prove the multiverse theory, in any of its various forms. If they cannot prove that the physical constants of nature vary in different parts of this universe, or that we are just one universe among many, then the possibility of intelligent design will remain. If they find that this is truly the only universe, count me as a believer in God.
 
2009-02-11 06:54:56 PM
jmsvrsn: And what was the previous official stance of the church. I'm curious because over 30 years ago I was taught by nuns at a Catholic high school that the theory of evolution was accepted as truth.

Standard lib talking point is all. I remember it the same as you.
 
2009-02-11 06:55:17 PM
All you need to know about ID: it is unfalsifiable.

On the History channel I saw an ID proponent claim that ID can be falsified by an experiment that duplicates a process in a lab, as if somehow an intelligence capable of creating every process in the universe is ruled out by an observation of a process in a lab.
 
2009-02-11 07:00:47 PM
Sticky Hands: HeartBurnKid: Go do the testing, and have it peer reviewed, and then we'll talk.

Tell me, how do you test for God?

You go to God and ask him.

Many people I know have done this.
Most of them received a different answer than I did.


Well, there you go. If you can't reproduce the results by reproducing the experiment, it's not science.

I've tried asking God, and it felt suspiciously like talking to myself. YMMV.
 
2009-02-11 07:01:10 PM
ninjakirby: rocketpants: I don't know where people get the idea that religion and the theory of natural selection are somehow at odds. I guess if you take the book of Genesis literally... but who's really that stupid?

85% of America.


More like 9-12%, based on recent polls. 12% was the peak in the last 30 years. They're just REALLY vocal.
 
2009-02-11 07:02:00 PM
Atheism needs Darwin more than Darwin needs atheism. I'm amazed people on really buy that I.D. garbage. I'm so glad my religious beliefs don't require me to launch political campaigns against sects of science.
 
2009-02-11 07:07:06 PM
pd771: I was seriously taught this in grade school. People are honestly morons. So most people thought a large chunk of Catholics were still part of the ID crowd?

Welcome to Fark. Here, any religion=Catholic. It's the new racism. Ignorance, hate, and misinformation in a new, acceptable package. Saying Catholics never accepted evolution is like saying, "black people have tails, it's a common fact and can't be denied".
 
2009-02-11 07:17:16 PM
miscreant: That may be true, but they also lobby hard against science that investigates areas of knowledge that they consider taboo, and distort some science that they don't like (such as contraception).

And they are held to a higher standard than any other organization that has ever existed. I'd love to see the people of Fark hold their facts and comments to as high a standard as they expect from the whole of the history of the catholic church.
 
CDP [TotalFark]
2009-02-11 07:28:44 PM
SkinnyHead: TyrantII: Which is funny, since the arch-atheist Dawkins has even said that he can not prove god does not exist with science, because it's not a scientific exercise. (nor could he prove it)

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question." ~ Richard Dawkins

DaShredda: How life began has nothing to do with evolution.

Yes it does. It's called chemical evolution.


Still researching those responses?


i132.photobucket.com
 
2009-02-11 07:37:42 PM
Hoopido: Standard lib talking point is all

Until you come across Christians who claim that anyone that agrees with Darwin can't be a real Christian.
 
2009-02-11 07:40:29 PM
My favorite part of the natural selection story is the timely mutation of the FOXP2 and the other language genes. Good job, Darwin. Would have been funny if dogs had gotten those instead.
 
2009-02-11 07:43:55 PM
rocketpants: "I don't know where people get the idea that religion and the theory of natural selection are somehow at odds."

Well, natural selection occurs. As a principle it has been shown to act on populations over time, i.e. it's real, verified, factual. By comparison almost all religions are founded upon false supernatural claims (the exceptions being stuff like secular humanism, yoism and so on.)

rocketpants: "I guess if you take the book of Genesis literally... but who's really that stupid?"

Most
Christians, for the better part of their history? That's how it was intended to be taken, just like the Norse creation myth, just like the Hindu creation myth. Hindsight is 20/20, so it's difficult to accept that we were ignorant enough back then to believe that the universe/Earth/life came about through supernatural means, but that really is what they believe.

Google "Biblical Cosmology". If Genesis was never meant to be taken as a historical account of origins, you'd better go back in time and tell that to the ancient Judaic scholars who carved depictions of a flat earth and domed firmament. If you went back to perhaps fifty years after Christ's death and asked a Christian scholar how he thought the universe, Earth and life came into being, how would he answer? Would be paraphrase modern biology and astrophysics, which he'd have no way of knowing?
 
2009-02-11 07:52:09 PM
luidprand: "More like 9-12%, based on recent polls. 12% was the peak in the last 30 years. They're just REALLY vocal."

No, that's wrong.

i63.photobucket.com

This was expanded some time ago in The Economist and the methodology is laid out in the relevant article on NewScientist.
 
2009-02-11 08:02:15 PM
GilRuiz1: IMO, when this ceases to be the case, a great deal of the friction over evolution will go away.

His strawman, and yours, isn't the case now. "Militant atheism" is similar to everyone calling homosexuals who aren't hiding their orientation anymore as being "in your face about their sexuality". It's a stupid tactic to try and force people back into pretending they aren't something to help ease the minds of those who can't handle viewpoints that conflict with their own.

rodeofrog: Ahem. My uncle taught evolution for 40 years - at Brigham Young University.

That's nice. Irrelevant, but nice.
 
2009-02-11 08:03:06 PM
You are all wrong. Jesus rode a dinasour and then put it under the earth to trick us. Jesus was a crafty f**ker.
 
2009-02-11 08:16:08 PM
Zamboro: If you went back to perhaps fifty years after Christ's death and asked a Christian scholar how he thought the universe, Earth and life came into being, how would he answer?

He wouldn't recite Genesis, since at that point Christians who weren't Jewish converts had no idea what Genesis said. That came around later.
 
2009-02-11 08:19:40 PM
WhyteRaven: "He wouldn't recite Genesis, since at that point Christians who weren't Jewish converts had no idea what Genesis said. That came around later."

His description of the physical cosmology would likely be very similar as the authors of the Bible had merely lifted it from the prevailing scholarly views of the period. Have you ever looked into how many creation myths include a flat, disc shaped Earth? There's a reason for that.
 
2009-02-11 08:34:28 PM
ninjakirby: Who shot first?

"That's what she asked."
 
2009-02-11 08:38:53 PM
Diogenes: Hardly. In America, at least, it's mostly the Protestants making a fuss over ID. And the last time I checked, they have no love for or loyalty to the Vatican.

Bam! This right here. Most of the ID/Creationist crowd are of the anti-Papist stripe. To these guys it's not just about suppressing secular thought and institutions. It's also about suppressing all religions and Christians they don't agree with.

The religious right wing don't realize how bad it would be for them if they actually got their way. After they'd purged their enemies or converted them by the sword, they'd turn on each other for not being the, "right kind," of Christian.

All this windmill fighting and no effort at all to be Christ-like. That sums up the Creationist crowd right there.
 
2009-02-11 09:03:45 PM
Shilar: Again, no, I'm asking when did life begin. Not how the universe began, but how we went from a rock to a living being.


Yeah! I mean, if we were created from rocks, why are there still rocks?

=Smidge=
 
2009-02-11 09:08:19 PM
Shilar: How did a rock evolve to a mass of proteins with in turn evolved into a simplistic lifeform?

THERE WILL BE MATH.

"Natural Selection for Least Action", Kaila and Annila (doi:10.1098/rspa.2008.0178).

"Prevolutionary Dynamics and the Origin of Evolution", Nowak and Ohtsuki (doi:10.1073/pnas.0806714105).

"Self-Sustained Replication of an RNA Enzyme", Lincoln and Joyce (doi:10.1126/science.1167856)

HTH, HAND.

ninjakirby: The origin of life is the study of abiogenesis, not evolution.

...although Prevolution appears derived from the same Second Law of Thermodynamics as Evolution. (See K&A paper above.)

For giggles...
img165.imageshack.us

Shilar: Main problem: Not enough is taught on the theory

The math is rather past what is currently considered high-school level. Mind you, if you want to change that by upping the expectations for K-12 math education, I've a little list of topic suggestions. Combinatorial math, set theory, propositional logic, introductory grammar/automata theory, Kolmogorov probability....

jmgator96: The onus is on scientists to directly prove the multiverse theory, in any of its various forms. If they cannot prove that the physical constants of nature vary in different parts of this universe, or that we are just one universe among many, then the possibility of intelligent design will remain. If they find that this is truly the only universe, count me as a believer in God.

Sweet Fanny Adams. I'm only guessing sincere theoWHARRGARBL because of the FL profile; otherwise: 9.8/10.0, dude.
 
2009-02-11 09:13:59 PM
CDP: SkinnyHead: TyrantII: Which is funny, since the arch-atheist Dawkins has even said that he can not prove god does not exist with science, because it's not a scientific exercise. (nor could he prove it)

"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question." ~ Richard Dawkins

DaShredda: How life began has nothing to do with evolution.

Yes it does. It's called chemical evolution.

Still researching those responses?


I see you that altered quote and raise you THIS ONE!
i42.tinypic.com
 
2009-02-11 09:14:26 PM
This, by the way, is old not news. The Pope first made a declaration like this in 1950:


"The Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experiences in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter-for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. "

Pius XII
 
2009-02-11 09:14:53 PM
Nabb1: Hey, who split off from whom, you stupid snake-handler?

Well played, my friend. Hell, half the snake-handlers seem to think that the Bible was first written in 17th century English.
 
2009-02-11 09:24:15 PM
Animatronik: "The Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experiences in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter-for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. "

wut
 
2009-02-11 09:27:10 PM
Animatronik: "This, by the way, is old not news. The Pope first made a declaration like this in 1950:"

Right, and wiccans presumably accept evolution too. Does that mean that their goddess and nature spirits are real? Hitching supernatural beliefs to the wagon of science doesn't somehow make them more credible.
 
2009-02-11 09:32:55 PM
Why must people insist there must be a reason for life instead of accepting that life just is.
 
2009-02-11 09:50:44 PM
Zamboro: Animatronik: "This, by the way, is old not news. The Pope first made a declaration like this in 1950:"

Right, and wiccans presumably accept evolution too. Does that mean that their goddess and nature spirits are real? Hitching supernatural beliefs to the wagon of science doesn't somehow make them more credible.


This.
 
2009-02-11 09:51:58 PM
Man On Pink Corner: Animatronik: "The Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men [with] experiences in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter-for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. "

wut


Does that help? It basically says that Catholic theologians can accept evolution, that is doesn't conflict with their faith. Read some Faulkner, it will increase your overloaded sentence comprehension.

Just pointing out that there is nothing new in this latest declaration.
 
2009-02-11 09:57:45 PM
Animatronik: It basically says that Catholic theologians can accept evolution, that is doesn't conflict with their faith.


As long as it doesn't conflict with their faith. Which is does regarding the supposed soul.

The evolution of beasts is fine because they don't have a soul. Or do they? There are a lot of interesting questions here which can be debated peacefully, unlike with the ID crowd, but evolution with special creation is not the same as evolution.
 
2009-02-11 10:31:46 PM
WhyteRaven74: Hell it took over 300 years just to settle the issue of his divinity. And that was done by force of declaration. A bad way to do it.

How else do you declare someone divine? Hold a rally at the local Wal Mart?
 
2009-02-11 11:07:02 PM
Okay you're using the worlds largest sun cult as a symbol of authority? You're sure you want THESE people on your side?

PAGAN SUN WORSHIP AND CATHOLICISM
http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/verita.htm

The Reformation happened for a reason.
 
2009-02-11 11:21:34 PM
Ah, Fark.

A veritable cargo-cult of science.
 
2009-02-11 11:29:55 PM
Zamboro: luidprand: "More like 9-12%, based on recent polls. 12% was the peak in the last 30 years. They're just REALLY vocal."

No, that's wrong.



This was expanded some time ago in The Economist and the methodology is laid out in the relevant article on NewScientist.


Cites please? I don't dispute the idea, but there isn't necessarily a correlation between the question ("Humans descend from animals") and the conclusion ("No=Does not beleive in evolution"). There is the doctrine of "Special Creation" in which humans alone are not subjected to evolutionary forces but does not deny the Big Bang, life arising from bupkis, dinosaurs, even the evolution of hominid great apes that aren't homo sapiens. I, personally, think it's pretty much rubbish, but it does exist and isn't that uncommon among Protestants (and many older Catholics).

The number I was citing was Biblical literalists, such as many Southern Baptists, Church of Christ, and the like. Which fall under the "No" camp, but disagree with "Special Creation", as it denies a fundamentalist interpretation.

Again, more detail on the survey would be appreciated. I could be wrong.
 
2009-02-11 11:34:13 PM
Animatronik: It basically says that Catholic theologians can accept evolution, that is doesn't conflict with their faith.

Only part of it. It took 40 years for JPII to give full Catholic support to the idea of evolution and Catholic dogma being compatible at all levels. Even then, Pope Palpatine's criticism of it in his earlier works and speeches lead to some murkiness as to whether the Catholic church would continue the same path as JPII or go the Pius route and withdraw support from human evolution.
 
2009-02-11 11:36:39 PM
OldeFarquer: "A veritable cargo-cult of science."

A creationist might regard you as a science worshiper because you accept evolution. Imagine a spectrum that ranges from relative irrationality to relative rationality, from intense religiosity to atheism. The creationism is a bit further towards irrationality than you are, and the flat earther is further still. Meanwhile the deist is ahead of you in the other direction, the agnostic ahead of him, and the atheist is a bit beyond that, arguably at the terminus of the scale.
 
2009-02-11 11:38:04 PM
Jarhead_h: Okay you're using the worlds largest sun cult as a symbol of authority? You're sure you want THESE people on your side?

PAGAN SUN WORSHIP AND CATHOLICISM
http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/verita.htm

The Reformation happened for a reason.


Yes, it did. But a half-assed theory like that one wasn't it.

Here's a hint - a circle with a cross in it is a natural symbol for a religion to have. Especially if your religion's symbol is a cross an\d you want to frame it. From a design standpoint, it's much better than a cross in a square, for example.

A great part of the Reformation, in addition to the obvious corruption issues, was over Biblical literalism - the clergy wanted only those who had been educated to read the Bible, in great part so they didn't start believing everything in it willy-nilly. Many of the Reformers wanted the Bible to be read and interpreted by the masses. Of course, that ended up with the psychopathic, anti-humanistic mess that was Calvinism, but the essential idea was a good one.
 
2009-02-11 11:44:26 PM
luidprand: "Cites please? I don't dispute the idea, but there isn't necessarily a correlation between the question ("Humans descend from animals") and the conclusion ("No=Does not beleive in evolution"). There is the doctrine of "Special Creation" in which humans alone are not subjected to evolutionary forces but does not deny the Big Bang, life arising from bupkis, dinosaurs, even the evolution of hominid great apes that aren't homo sapiens. I, personally, think it's pretty much rubbish, but it does exist and isn't that uncommon among Protestants (and many older Catholics).

The number I was citing was Biblical literalists, such as many Southern Baptists, Church of Christ, and the like. Which fall under the "No" camp, but disagree with "Special Creation", as it denies a fundamentalist interpretation.

Again, more detail on the survey would be appreciated. I could be wrong."


Here you are. We can argue methodology and interpretation all day, but there's essentially only one reason that someone would answer the survey's question in the negative.

While there's a large number of "uncertain" individuals represented in yellow, it's still fair to say that they don't accept evolution, though not that they reject it outright. Even with the most conservative interpretation of the graph, counting only those who affirm rejection of evolution, you've got a slight majority of US Christians (as a subset of a greater subset). That's a minority of Americans overall, but a majority of American Christians. Here's the data laid out and compared with census data from adherents.com:

i63.photobucket.com
 
2009-02-11 11:44:40 PM
Jarhead_h: Okay you're using the worlds largest sun cult as a symbol of authority? You're sure you want THESE people on your side?

PAGAN SUN WORSHIP AND CATHOLICISM
http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/verita.htm

The Reformation happened for a reason.


Also, one of the unmitigatedly great things about Catholicism is its intense adaptability, especially by incorporating native beliefs systems into itself, such as Saturnalia into Christmas or Celtic gods into saints like Bridget. Pulling rural (ie, pagan) memes into itself allowed for the Church to grow rapidly and develop a startling complex theology in a very short time frame.
 
2009-02-12 12:02:30 AM
Zamboro:

Here you are. We can argue methodology and interpretation all day, but there's essentially only one reason that someone would answer the survey's question in the negative.

While there's a large number of "uncertain" individuals represented in yellow, it's still fair to say that they don't accept evolution, though not that they reject it outright. Even with the most conservative interpretation of the graph, counting only those who affirm rejection of evolution, you've got a slight majority of US Christians (as a subset of a greater subset). That's a minority of Americans overall, but a majority of American Christians. Here's the data laid out and compared with census data from adherents.com:


From the article:

"While American fundamentalists tend to interpret the Bible literally and to view Genesis as a true and accurate account of creation, mainstream Protestants in both the United States and Europe instead treat Genesis as metaphorical, the researchers say."

Again, it seems clear that the question was inadequate and that the survey is (somewhat) invalid. It does point to a problem of education, however.

Here is the denominational data from adherents.com (new window):

Denomination 1990 Est.
Adult Pop. 2001 Est.
Adult Pop. 2004 Est.
Total Pop. Est. % of U.S. Pop.,
2001 % Change
1990 - 2001
Catholic 46,004,000 50,873,000 71,796,719 24.5% +11%
Baptist 33,964,000 33,830,000 47,744,049 16.3% 0%
Methodist/Wesleyan 14,174,000 14,150,000 19,969,799 6.8% 0%
Lutheran 9,110,000 9,580,000 13,520,189 4.6% +5%
Presbyterian 4,985,000 5,596,000 7,897,597 2.7% +12%
Pentecostal/Charismatic 3,191,000 4,407,000 6,219,569 2.1% +38%
Episcopalian/Anglican 3,042,000 3,451,000 4,870,373 1.7% +13%
Judaism 3,137,000 2,831,000 3,995,371 1.3% -10%
Latter-day Saints/Mormon 2,487,000 2,697,000 3,806,258 1.3% +8%
Churches of Christ 1,769,000 2,593,000 3,659,483 1.2% +47%
Congregational/
United Church of Christ 599,000 1,378,000 1,944,762 0.7%
Jehovah's Witnesses 1,381,000 1,331,000 1,878,431 0.6% -4%
Assemblies of God 660,000 1,106,000 1,560,890 0.5% +68%

As you can see, the total members of religious denominations that deny evolution is 20.7%, and that's the most possible. I'm including all Baptists, Pentacostals, Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Assemblies of God. All of the other religions at least teach Special Creation style evolution (which would lead to a "No" above) or the real thing.

Admittedly, there will be some in a major religion (such as some Jews and Catholics) that deny evolution, even if it is part of the dogma, but they would be balanced out by non-Southern Baptists and the like.
 
2009-02-12 12:20:39 AM
luidprand: "From the article:

"While American fundamentalists tend to interpret the Bible literally and to view Genesis as a true and accurate account of creation, mainstream Protestants in both the United States and Europe instead treat Genesis as metaphorical, the researchers say."

Again, it seems clear that the question was inadequate and that the survey is (somewhat) invalid. It does point to a problem of education, however."


Invalid in what sense? The bit you quoted does nothing to change the results. Very nearly half of the citizens polled flatly denied evolution.

luidprand: "As you can see, the total members of religious denominations that deny evolution is 20.7%, and that's the most possible. I'm including all Baptists, Pentacostals, Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Assemblies of God. All of the other religions at least teach Special Creation style evolution (which would lead to a "No" above) or the real thing."

Your creative interpretation of the data doesn't square with the results, though. If only 20.7% "at the most" deny evolution, why does the graph show a percentage of flat deniers approaching 50%?

luidprand: "Admittedly, there will be some in a major religion (such as some Jews and Catholics) that deny evolution, even if it is part of the dogma, but they would be balanced out by non-Southern Baptists and the like."

I'd still like to know how you reconcile the figure you provided with the poll results. On top of which I don't see how quibbles over denominational distinctions make any difference in the matter; it's all make believe, some more sophisticated than the rest, all of it mistaken and most of it apparently hostile to the theory of evolution.
 
2009-02-12 12:34:55 AM
Zamboro: luidprand: "From the article:

"While American fundamentalists tend to interpret the Bible literally and to view Genesis as a true and accurate account of creation, mainstream Protestants in both the United States and Europe instead treat Genesis as metaphorical, the researchers say."

Again, it seems clear that the question was inadequate and that the survey is (somewhat) invalid. It does point to a problem of education, however."

Invalid in what sense? The bit you quoted does nothing to change the results. Very nearly half of the citizens polled flatly denied evolution.

No. They didn't. They denied evolution as it applies to humans. Which is a silly but common nitpick, dating to the 19thC and supported still. It's a variant of last Tuesdayism, in my mind, but it has a large number of supporters, including, for about five minutes in 1909, the Catholic Church.

In addition, there is theistic evolution, which (like Special Creation) accepts pretty much every bit of evolution except where it applies to humans. Again causing a "No"

luidprand: "As you can see, the total members of religious denominations that deny evolution is 20.7%, and that's the most possible. I'm including all Baptists, Pentacostals, Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Assemblies of God. All of the other religions at least teach Special Creation style evolution (which would lead to a "No" above) or the real thing."

Your creative interpretation of the data doesn't square with the results, though. If only 20.7% "at the most" deny evolution, why does the graph show a percentage of flat deniers approaching 50%?

Because it doesn't. It is unclear that those people are flat deniers or not. As the article you cited said (and I'll quote it again for clarity):

"While American fundamentalists tend to interpret the Bible literally and to view Genesis as a true and accurate account of creation, mainstream Protestants in both the United States and Europe instead treat Genesis as metaphorical, the researchers say."

luidprand: "Admittedly, there will be some in a major religion (such as some Jews and Catholics) that deny evolution, even if it is part of the dogma, but they would be balanced out by non-Southern Baptists and the like."

I'd still like to know how you reconcile the figure you provided with the poll results. On top of which I don't see how quibbles over denominational distinctions make any difference in the matter; it's all make believe, some more sophisticated than the rest, all of it mistaken and most of it apparently hostile to the theory of evolution.


But it isn't hostile to evolution - the question does not ask who denies evolution or who accepts it - it asks about a single aspect of the theory which many major religions have problems with. This is an excellent example of how surveys need to have their assumptions examined. Of the population of the US in 2001, only 20.7% belong to religions that do not accept evolution. All of the rest do (albeit with an occasional exception for humans). Again, this may vary from individual to individual, but the majority end to adhere to their faith.
 
2009-02-12 12:50:23 AM
luidprand: "No. They didn't. They denied evolution as it applies to humans. Which is a silly but common nitpick, dating to the 19thC and supported still. It's a variant of last Tuesdayism, in my mind, but it has a large number of supporters, including, for about five minutes in 1909, the Catholic Church."

You can only assume that they don't also deny it as applied to other forms of life, although that's ultimately irrelevant.

luidprand: "In addition, there is theistic evolution, which (like Special Creation) accepts pretty much every bit of evolution except where it applies to humans. Again causing a "No".

So what are you suggesting? That a theistic evolutionist would answer "no" to the question as it was posed?

luidprand: "Because it doesn't. It is unclear that those people are flat deniers or not. As the article you cited said (and I'll quote it again for clarity):"

Here, allow me: "The percentage of U.S. adults who accept evolution declined from 45 to 40 percent. The percentage overtly rejecting evolution declined from 48 to 39 percent, however. And the percentage of adults who were unsure increased, from 7 to 21 percent."

Can we agree on 39%? I don't much care what your excuse is, flatly denying results that are unfavorable to your position (by way of rationalization) isn't acceptable. It's the sort of thing I would expect from a creationist.

luidprand: "But it isn't hostile to evolution - the question does not ask who denies evolution or who accepts it - it asks about a single aspect of the theory which many major religions have problems with. This is an excellent example of how surveys need to have their assumptions examined."

I fault your interpretation of the data and the assumptions you've made about the mindset and motivations of those polled.

luidprand: "the population of the US in 2001, only 20.7% belong to religions that do not accept evolution. All of the rest do (albeit with an occasional exception for humans). Again, this may vary from individual to individual, but the majority end to adhere to their faith."

Once again, your figure does not square with the data unless one takes a very slanted view of the methodology.
 
2009-02-12 01:16:06 AM
Zamboro: luidprand: "No. They didn't. They denied evolution as it applies to humans. Which is a silly but common nitpick, dating to the 19thC and supported still. It's a variant of last Tuesdayism, in my mind, but it has a large number of supporters, including, for about five minutes in 1909, the Catholic Church."

You can only assume that they don't also deny it as applied to other forms of life, although that's ultimately irrelevant.


Not really, from a practical standpoint. It's a weird and vain assumption, but it doesn't deny genetic drift, GM foods, the whole fossil record and the lot. You can be an evolutionary biologist and be good at it, and yet still have the stated exception. I wouldn't want them touching anthropology, myself.

luidprand: "In addition, there is theistic evolution, which (like Special Creation) accepts pretty much every bit of evolution except where it applies to humans. Again causing a "No".

So what are you suggesting? That a theistic evolutionist would answer "no" to the question as it was posed?

Exactly. And they would. I've gotten into this debate many times in my life, with literally hundreds of people (I'm an annoying git, if you can't tell) and the prevalence of the people who have no problem with evolution except when it comes to humans is, to me, astounding. I've encountered people of all religious stripes, from atheist (it was a bizarre theory involving aliens) to the occasional Zorastrian, who believe in it. I recognize that as anecdotal evidence, but there is plenty of available documentation showing Special Creation, Theistic Evolution, and its ilk as being dogma in many belief systems.

luidprand: "Because it doesn't. It is unclear that those people are flat deniers or not. As the article you cited said (and I'll quote it again for clarity):"

Here, allow me: "The percentage of U.S. adults who accept evolution declined from 45 to 40 percent. The percentage overtly rejecting evolution declined from 48 to 39 percent, however. And the percentage of adults who were unsure increased, from 7 to 21 percent."

Can we agree on 39%? I don't much care what your excuse is, flatly denying results that are unfavorable to your position (by way of rationalization) isn't acceptable. It's the sort of thing I would expect from a creationist.

But I'm not denying the results - I'm applying them properly. If you have experience in polling or market research, you know what I mean. The answers can only apply to the question(s) asked - all else is inference. Your numbers may be accurate - but that's why I asked for more evidence, because the poll is not sufficient to judge the beliefs of the populace on evolution as a whole, especially because there are half-assed theories that are very popular.

A perfect example of a similar problem. I was part of a poll recently that asked (among many other questions) about how long it would take for green energy to be sufficient to provide the majority of power for the US. The answer depends on what "green energy" is defined as - something the pollster didn't know. If it's solar and wind, the answer is one thing (never) - if nuclear is included, its still at least 30 years (which wasn't even a possible answer). This poll suffers from the same failure - the intent (Do you accept evolution?) does not match the question.

luidprand: "But it isn't hostile to evolution - the question does not ask who denies evolution or who accepts it - it asks about a single aspect of the theory which many major religions have problems with. This is an excellent example of how surveys need to have their assumptions examined."

I fault your interpretation of the data and the assumptions you've made about the mindset and motivations of those polled.

Fair enough.

luidprand: "the population of the US in 2001, only 20.7% belong to religions that do not accept evolution. All of the rest do (albeit with an occasional exception for humans). Again, this may vary from individual to individual, but the majority end to adhere to their faith."

Once again, your figure does not square with the data unless one takes a very slanted view of the methodology.


No, it doesn't square with the data, because the data in the poll does not address the desired question. The data I pulled out is slightly more relevant, in that it is possible to discover who adheres to what system and what each system adheres to, and the transitive property can be used. A parallel - you can find out how many Democrats there are, you can find out that an article of the Democratic belief is pro-union, and therefore you can get a rough guess of how many people will tend towards being pro-labor.
 
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